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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: The LA Sparks and Minnesota Lynx have been on a collision course all season

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By Eric Nelson
September 20, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

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

•Hoops Destiny: No surprise that the LA Sparks and Minnesota Lynx will play in the WNBA Finals for the second straight season. The two powerhouse teams have been on a collision course all year…

•Pedigree Programs: The Sparks and Lynx have each won three titles and the winner of this series will join the Houston Comets as the only four-time champs in WNBA history…

•Solar System: There will be a galaxy of stars in this match up. LA has Candace Parker, Odyssey Sims and Nneka Ogwumike. Minnesota counters with WNBA MVP Sylvia Fowles, Maya Moore,  Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen.  Another Lynx title would earn them another confetti shower, another parade and cement them as one of the greatest teams in Minnesota sports history…

•Quarterback-Tested: The Minnesota Vikings are facing some of the NFL’s top gunslingers early this season. In week 1 the Purple took on New Orleans’ Drew Brees, in week 2 they faced Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger, this Sunday it’s Tampa Bay’s young star Jameis Winston and next week it’s Detroit’s Matthew Stafford. In week 6 Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay come to US Bank Stadium…

•Quarterback Quandary: Meanwhile, the Vikings are in a QB conundrum. If the injured Sam Bradford does not return for the Bucs game, Minnesota is going to be hard-pressed to win. Case Keenum and his teammates will have to play much better than they did in Pittsburgh for the Vikings to have a chance…

•Deja vu: For the second straight season the Packers have been part of a venue christening on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. On 9/18/2016 Minnesota knocked off Green Bay 17-14 in the first game ever played at USBS. Almost a year later, on 9/17/2017, Atlanta broke in Mercedes Benz Stadium with a 34-23 win over GB…

•Peachtree Palace: The Falcons new digs looked spectacular on NBC. The $1.6 billion retractable roof facility has all the bells and whistles – including a halo board that circles the top of the stadium and is the seventh largest video screen on the globe…

•Nice Threads: The Miami Dolphins have some of the coolest uniforms in the NFL. The Aqua, orange and white color scheme is catchy and the team logo featuring a dolphin with a sun backdrop is quintessential South Florida…

•Prep Pals: Detroit QB Matthew Stafford and LA Dodgers P Clayton Kershaw both went to Highland Park HS in Dallas. On Monday night Stafford threw two touchdown passes in the Lions 24-10 win over the NY Giants, while Kershaw gave up his first career grand slam in a 4-3 loss to Philadelphia…

•Lion Kings: Detroit is 2-0 and on top of the NFC North after a solid performance against the Giants at MetLife Stadium. The Lions – a playoff team last season – are good enough to win the North…

•Coup de’etat: Blue Jay Nation flocked to Target Field for last weekend’s four-game series against the Twins. There were thousands of Toronto fans in the ballpark chanting and cheering loudly for their team. They could be seen wandering all over downtown Minneapolis – especially in bars and restaurants. Multiple tour buses from Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan were parked on city streets…

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: The Colorado Rockies and Minnesota Twins have flipped the script

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By Eric Nelson
May 17, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the Minneapple....

•Turnaround Teams: Two of MLB’s early season surprises began a three-game series Tuesday night as Colorado knocked off Minnesota 7-3 in an interleague matchup in Minneapolis. After disappointing seasons in 2016, the Rockies (25-15, 1st place NL West) and Twins (19-16, 1st place AL Central) have flipped the script. Not many baseball pundits saw this coming because Colorado was 75-87 last season and Minnesota was 59-103…

•Rock Stars: Colorado’s top players are 1B Mark Reynolds (.317 batting average, 12 HR and 33 RBI), P Antonio Senzatela (6-1, 3.31 ERA) and P Greg Holland (17 saves). They are key cogs on a Rockies team that has baseball fans in the Mountain Time Zone excited about something besides the Denver Broncos..

•Ballpark Bargain: According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland A’s are selling monthly ballpark passes in June for $19.99. Detroit, Houston, Minnesota and Milwaukee have sold similar packages for much higher prices…

•Play Ball: The St. Paul Saints open their regular season Thursday night when they host the Gary SouthShore Railcats at CHS Field. Popular Saints P Mark Hamburger is back with the team. Hamburger had 12 wins in 2016, which was tied for first in the American Association…

•NCAA Snub: Someone please explain how the top-ranked Minnesota Gopher softball team can’t get a number one seed in the NCAA tournament? The Gophers (54-3, 25-game winning streak) should be opening the tournament in Dinkytown – instead of Tuscaloosa, AL where they play Louisiana Tech (37-22) on Friday. This omission is purely comical…

•NFL Snub: It’s as clear as the Montana sky that Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed. There are currently 111 quarterbacks in the NFL and Kaepernick is not one of them. The 29-year old Kaepernick – who started five seasons in San Francisco, had playoff success and took the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII – can’t get a job. Meanwhile, Trevoyne Boykin, Case Keenum, Kevin HoganBryce Petty, Jake Rudock and other guys with far less accomplishments are in the league. There is clearly something fishy about this…

Colin Kaepernick

•NFL Politics: Of course, the roots of this exclusion go back to 2016 when Kaepernick took a stand by taking a knee during the star spangled banner. It was Kaepernick’s personal protest against police mistreatment of African-Americans. Kaepernick became a lightning rod, despite having no record and doing nothing illegal. All he did was exercise his constitutional right to free speech. Now Kaepernick is toxic and the league looks incredibly hypocritical because there are plenty of guys with rap sheets who are playing…

•Seattle-Bound: According to the Seattle Times, Seahawks HC Pete Carroll is exploring the possibility of bringing in Kaepernick or Robert Griffin III to back up Russell Wilson. If Kaepernick does get another chance it will probably be with someone like Carroll, who lets his players express emotion and opinion as long as they produce…

•Saluting Sylvia: Congrats to Minnesota Lynx star Sylvia Fowles, who will have her number 34 jersey retired by LSU this season. Fowles was an All-America player for the Tigers and is a three-time Olympic gold medalist. Seimone Augustus – who also plays for the Lynx and went to LSU – already has her number 33 jersey retired by the Tigers…

September 24, 2015: Minnesota Lynx Slvia Fowles (34)

•Rare air: Fowles will become the 12th LSU athlete or coach to have his/her jersey retired, which includes Pete Maravich and Shaquille O’Neal

•Splitsville: ESPN is breaking up Mike and Mike. Beginning in 2018 Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg will have new roles with the network. I say boo to this. Mike and Mike have been a solid tandem since 1998. They mix information with entertainment (infotainment) and it works. They are critical without being personal and they don’t have egos so big they need zip codes like other folks in the broadcasting business. If it isn’t broke why fix it? ESPN whiffed on this one…

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