Posts

Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: It’s a pinnacle moment for Minn U against Sporting KC

Print this entry

By Eric Nelson
May 10, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the Land of Loons...

•Signature Win: It took Minnesota United just 10 games to produce a pinnacle moment in their inaugural MLS season. Minn U blanked Sporting KC 2-0 at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday, getting goals from Abu Danladi and Christian Ramirez, and a shutout from GK Bobby Shuttleworth. SKC (18 points) is an MLS powerhouse and is tied for first in the Western Conference with FC Dallas. The much-improved Loons (11 points) have two wins, 1 draw and 1 loss in their last four games…

•Oh Canada: On Saturday Minn U battles another top-tier club as the Loons play Toronto FC in Canada. Toronto is on top of the Eastern Conference and has an MLS-high 19 points…

•Shock-Off: It was a stunning finish in Minneapolis Friday night. Joe Mauer hit his first career walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against Boston giving the Twins a 4-3 win. The game-winning tater produced some rare emotion from Mauer, who pumped his fist into the air as he circled the bases. It was one of the most unlikely endings I have ever seen at Target Field…

•Hick Ups: NY Yankees CF Aaron Hicks is off to a sizzling start. Hicks is batting .338 with six home runs and 16 RBI, and making the Twins look silly for giving up on him…

•Well-Written: USA today MLB columnist Bob Nightengale recently wrote an outstanding article on the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the impact the violent uprising had on the city, the nation and sports in the wake of the Rodney King verdict.

•Job Hopping: The Vikings have hired Tina Holmes as Chief of Staff and Strategic Advisor. Holmes has spent the last four years in a similar role at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota…

•Eight Ball: It’s looking more and more like the NBA Finals will be the sequel to the sequel. Cleveland and Golden State have already logged a pair of four-game playoff sweeps and are both 8-0 this post-season. The Cavs and Warriors are on an apparent collision course to meet in the Finals for a third straight season…

•Tip-Off Time: The Minnesota Lynx open their WNBA season Sunday night at 6 pm against the Chicago Sky. The game is at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, which is the Lynx temporary home this year while Target Center is being renovated…

•Juggernaut: Congrats to the U of M softball team. The 3rd ranked Gophers (51-3) won their first Big Ten title since 1991 and have a 22 game winning streak. Top seed Minnesota plays Northwestern or Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament on Friday in Ann Arbor, MI…

•Giving Back I: Minnesota Vikings LB Eric Kendricks will present a $20,000 check to The Sheridan Story on Friday at Westview Elementary School in Apple Valley. The Sheridan Story runs weekend food programs at more than 140 schools across the Twin Cities. The funds were raised in Kendricks’ “Sacks for Kids” campaign last season, which asked fans to pledge money for each Vikings sack…

•Giving Back II: The annual Taste of the Vikings charity event is Wednesday June 14 from 6:30-10 pm at US Bank Stadium. Second Harvest Heartland and Land O’Lakes are the main sponsors, which raises awareness and funds to combat childhood hunger. Minnesota players, coaches and alumni will be participating…

Print this entry

Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: On championship Sunday, Atlanta is an NFL oddball

Print this entry

By Eric Nelson

January 17, 2017

GAMEDAY GOLD

 

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the home of Chex Mix

•Fab Four: The quartet of teams playing on championship weekend is an interesting mix. Green Bay, New England and Pittsburgh have NFL pedigree, tradition and plenty of Super Bowl success. Atlanta, meanwhile, is the oddball of the group. The Falcons have never taken a confetti shower, a champagne bath or hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. They have zero titles…

 

•Trophy Count: The Packers (4), Patriots (4) and Steelers (6) have combined to win 14 Super Bowls. Green Bay (5), New England (8) and Pittsburgh (8) have played on the Super stage a grand total of 21 times. When it comes to stability and tradition, this troika of NFL greatness is the gold standard…

 

•Title-Tested: The Patriots dominance in the so-called “parity era” has been remarkable. New England will be playing in the AFC Championship game for the 11th time since 2001. The Patriots have spoiled their fan base with an incredible run of consistency…

 

•Falcon Futility: As for Atlanta, the closest that franchise came to winning a ring was 1999 when the Falcon’s lost Super Bowl XXXIII to Denver. That remains the pinnacle moment in Atlanta history. The Falcons will be playing in just their fourth NFC title game since joining the NFL in 1966…

 

•Moving Day: Sunday’s Green Bay-Atlanta NFC Championship game is the final event ever at the Georgiadome. Next season the Falcons begin play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium – a $1.5 billion retractable roof venue being built next to the dome…

 

•Mt. Rushmore: The NFL really is a gunslinger league. The four remaining QB’s left are Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady. Hard to top that foursome…

 

•Ball Hawks: Two of the NFL’s top wideouts will also be on display when Julio Jones runs pass routes for Atlanta against Green Bay and Antonio Brown does the same for Pittsburgh against New England…

 

•Redemption Time: Brown better have a monster game against the Patriots. Steelers HC Mike Tomlin is not happy with Brown posting Tomlin’s post-game speech on Facebook Live after Pittsburgh defeated Kansas City…

 

•Trending Up: The Minnesota Wild are on an amazing roll. The Wild have won four straight games, eight of their last 10 and have 61 points – most in the NHL’s Western Conference. Minnesota just completed an impressive road trip by winning in Dallas on Saturday and at Chicago on Sunday…

 

•Team Building: At the MLS SuperDraft last week, Minnesota United selected UCLA forward Abu Danladi with it’s top pick. Minn U then chose Wake Forest goalkeeper Alec Ferrell in the second round before trading the twenty-fifth pick to the Philadelphia Union for $50k in 2018 General Allocation Money and the 20th pick in the second round of the SuperDraft. With that choice, the Loons took defender Thomas De Villardi from Delaware. Minnesota United will be an MLS expansion team this year…

 

•Teaming Up: The Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies are sharing a new baseball academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. The $18 million, 85,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility has a 45-acre footprint. Twins and Phillies prospects will reside and train at the academy, participate in an education program, and take part in a cultural development program…

 

Print this entry