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Thomas U. Tuttle

Flags of Our Fathers…

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by Thomas U. Tuttle

 

For a while now, the NFL has been the Titan of Sport, at least in this country, surpassing our National Pastime of baseball in terms of fan intensity, TV money, fantasy leagues, and of course various troubles.

As if finding out that some 90 percent of former players have brain injury from concussions related to playing the game wasn’t enough, lately it has been under real threat from a national anthem controversy that has escalated into a political football of considerable proportion.

While quarterback Colin Kaepernick initiated things last year by deciding not to stand for the anthem (in fact taking a knee) the situation has been escalated by president Donald Trump’s decision to involve himself in the controversy and make some political hay with his core supporters.

This, of course, does not sit well (no pun intended) with many players in the league, particularly African Americans, and has given the controversy distinctly racial  overtones.

Various demonstrations of kneeling, sitting, crossing arms, etc…are now taking place on a weekly basis in various NFL cities, with the rallying cry among black and minority players being a unified protest of various social ills in America, and police brutality in particular. Sunday afternoons have become a platform for protest of perceived American inequities.

Before Trump opened his mouth the controversy was centered on Kaepernick and whether he was a victim of collusion between the owners to keep him out of the NFL. There are those, including associates of GDG, who have thrown around the word “blackball” to describe the QB’s predicament.

On that score, it seems to me there are two sides; Kaepernick is a one-time Super Bowl QB for San Francisco, whose exceptional performance against Green Bay in the NFL championship game stands out in my mind. Of course, that was five years ago, a long time past in football years. And, SF went 1-15 last year, before jettisoning CK and his $14 million dollar contract after the season. Despite a decent QB rating (90+) during that horrific season, no one has picked him up for 2017.

(…and now it is likely that no one will, given that he has hired celebrity attorney Mark Gerragos, who usually does criminal work but apparently couldn’t pass this one up. He has helped accused pedophile Michael Jackson, shoplifter Winona Ryder, woman wacker Chris Brown and murderer Scott Peterson – well, the latter not so much…)

Probably the last straw for Kaepernick was when the Tennessee Titans signed QB Brandon Weeden on October 3rd, a player who CK no doubt feels is inferior to him. So he decided that it was time to pull the trigger on a private effort to seek recompense for his perception of being ostracized.

That is his belief, not mine. I do not think that the owners have colluded to keep him out of football, and the onus is on him to prove it. That is because the collective bargaining agreement dictates there must be clear evidence of nefarious action and I’ll be darned  if anyone, Geragos included, is going to prove that accusation.

Of course, the situation has grown much larger than one man. The owners are meeting in New York this week to try and find a way to move past a controversy that Commish Roger Goodell believes is alienating many fans from the NFL game. This situation has grown into a big deal and is threatening to cost the most financially successful league on the planet giant money. Time for serious meeting, indeed!

And whichever side you are on, it is causing a divide. My friend in Michigan is a serious Detroit Lions fan, but also a veteran who has strong words for the wealthy protesters on the sidelines.

John says, “do you think that the men who died for this country would take a knee to protest the few renegade cops who commit a hate crime? If you want to show your contempt for Trump or bad cops, continue to demand justice, start petitions, and mobilize voters. How can you shun the flag that gave birth to rights and freedoms people around the world can only dream about?”

He continued: “In spite of their disrespect, they can continue to receive their big salaries for playing a game on Sunday, while in many other countries, like North Korea, all they would receive is a bullet. What makes the difference is the American flag that flies over their stadiums.”

I can’t help but have empathy with a black community that has known suffering throughout American history. I’m not blind.

But I also know the pride my World War Two veteran father had for his flag. I’m glad that we decided on cremation years ago, because he would be spinning in his grave.

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Oh Say Can You See . . .

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by Larry Lester
LarryLester42.com

@GamedayGold

Larry Lester is among the nation’s foremost authorities on Negro League Baseball and is one of the founders of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri….

 

The American flag is for all Americans, not a selected few. Among the things, the flag represents is the right of all Americans to peacefully protest as they deem appropriate. Did you know that one can burn the American flag without being prosecuted? Yep, you are protected by the first amendment. So why the uproar about some folks refusing to put their hands over their hearts and stand at attention? There is no language in the constitution that says we must stand, sit or kneel during the playing of the national anthem. It is not a crime!

The players are kneeling in a peaceful protest. We kneel before kings and queens in some countries. We kneel at the altar. We kneel when we propose to our significant other.  So why is this action so threatening to some? Perhaps it is not aligned with your beliefs and values. And that’s okay. That’s your right to protest the protest. The NFL players are not burning the flag, grabbing their crotches, or giving it the finger.  It is a peaceful protest, whether we agree or not, to raise awareness about police brutality and racism in our country.

It is through protests, sit-ins, boycotts, picket lines and the free press that the masses are forced to address racial inequalities and social injustices in this country.

It begs the question, how is kneeling disrespectful to the flag? We wear baseball caps and shirts emblazoned with the American flag. And we love Captain America with his red, white and blue star-studded shield in film. Meanwhile, some NFL teams stretch the American flag in a horizontal position across the field before the game. All three actions are in violation of the National Flag Code of 1923.

Meanwhile Neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups proudly wave the confederate flag in our faces. A thirteen-star flag that represents 11 confederate states and two slave states, Kentucky and Missouri. Despite this flag’s rightful historical place, it is now linked to hate groups. Why would anyone want to be associated with a symbol of failure, hate and division? Please tell me why.

As anyone with a fifth grade education knows, the 13 states represented in the confederate flag are included in the American flag. So why do we need a second flag? Really! It represents second place. Who honors second place? There are no silver medalists depicted on boxes of Wheaties. The runner-up team in the Super Bowl, the NBA finals or the World Series are not invited to the White House.

To flutter a confederate flag atop state capitol buildings and at car rallies, is disrespecting our American flag. The real flag represents the UNITED States of America. All states, not some, in a UNITED way.

Yes, we pledge allegiance to the flag, but the flag has not been allegiant to all Americans, especially minorities. Colin Kaepernick voiced his concerns about police brutality against minorities.  “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

There was never any mention by Mr. Kaepernick of not honoring the military soldiers who fought to protect his freedom to speak and protest. So why are the haters focused on Colin’s non-message? Perhaps we are embarrassed by his truth, that makes us feel uncomfortable. Are we the “Man in the Mirror,” so elegantly sung by Michael Jackson?

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place . . . . “

Historically, it takes agitation to move the needle forward. To cleanse the sin. And that’s what Kap and these sons of magnificent mothers are trying to do.

 

Speaking of the military, a U.S. Army lieutenant named Jackie Robinson, wrote in his autobiography, I Never Had It Made,

“I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag. I know that I am a black in a white world.”

 

Robinson wrote, in 1972, that despite developing authentic friendships with some of his teammates, and feeling genuine love from many fans, he had never stopped feeling like an outsider in his own game, and in the country he proudly served. Wow, that was 45 years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The year before Robinson’s book, Marvin Gaye released his signature album What’s Going On and sung about trigger-happy policing. He begged,

“Don’t punish me with brutality . . .

Come on talk to me . . . So you can see . . . What’s going on.”

 

And dang it, it is still going on! Gaye’s political commentary should make us wanna holler and throw up (both our hands).

Do we have to be of common color to reach common ground? In the words of Atticus Finch (Lee, Harper. To Kill A Mockingbird),

 

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

 

At times, our lack of empathy for others, prevents us from checking our moral compasses.

I close with lyrics from Teddy Pendergrass of the Blue Notes,

“Wake up everybody . . . no more sleepin’ in bed . . . No more backward thinkin’ . . . time for thinkin’ ahead.”

 

Yes, it’s time to stop stinking thinking and start thinking ahead. Now is a time to do a checkup from the neck up. Look in the mirror.

It is time to identify and confront the flaws in our American democracy and correct the social and racial injustices that permeate our government and society today. Perhaps the anthems by Jackson, Gaye, Pendergrass and others will encourage a call to action. Where do you stand or kneel on this issue?

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Donald Trump assaults NFL players

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By Larry Fitzgerald
September 27, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@FitzBeatSr

 

America, the Land of the Free, has become the land of confrontations. Now the sports world has taken center stage in these confrontations. Sunday it was one silent protest after another across the NFL, including in London, where Jacksonville played Baltimore. In Minneapolis (Vikings vs. Tampa Bay), Vikings players, coaches, general manager and owners locked arms in unity, then went out and dominated Tampa Bay 34-17.

It’s been about a year now since former star quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to protest during the playing of the national anthem by taking a knee. He did it because as an American he has the right to protest. His decision has put him in the spotlight, and he has been targeted nationally.

He no longer plays for the San Francisco 49ers and has been an unrestricted free agent since March 2017. One problem is that he can’t seem to get a job. The phone is not ringing — no calls from any NFL teams.

Brooklyn rapper Jay Z recently kicked off his first concert in years. During his 90 minute performance in New York, he dedicated a song to Kaepernick, who has become a polarizing figure among NFL fans for his decision to sit last year and then kneel to protest police brutality in our country.

Several players have followed Kaepernick’s actions both last year and many this season as well, like Michael Bennett of Seattle who last month was assaulted by Las Vegas police. Many of Kaepernick’s supporters believe he is being singled out or blackballed for his advocacy, while others say he’s not been hired because his talent and performance have fallen off.

President Donald Trump, while speaking to his supporters at a rally in Alabama on Friday, said of player protests: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!”

Saturday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL is at its best “when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelmingly force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”

Never has there been an NFL Sunday like the one we just witnessed. Head Coach Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers stayed in the locker room in Chicago at Soldier’s Field until after the playing of the national anthem, as did the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans prior to their game.

As a former player and journalist who has covered this league for 39 years with a son active in the NFL, I can tell you the words of our president have fired up the NFL. It just might be enough to bring the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) a little closer.

I said weeks ago we are headed towards a national debate on race relations in this country. It hurts that those who don’t understand won’t take the time to try and learn about the issues that exist. This is so much deeper than the playing of the national anthem. And it never has been about disrespecting the flag.

The division can only lead to a harmful result. There is a thin line between love and hate. It’s a shame that the president has chosen to stoke the fires and fuel his base — many of whom don’t care and won’t change — with hatred and violence. But that is who he is.

Stay tuned. I hope the best is yet to come.

 

 

 

Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.

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GDG rundown for Sept. 8th-10th

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Now, that Labor Day weekend has come and gone, it’s time to get down to business.  At least, that’s what pro and college football are thinking.  We’re thinking it, too.  Eric and Larry are back from the holiday to bring you all the football (and more) you need from the Downtown Minneapolis studio.  Of course, the Vikings are in the spotlight ahead of their opener in front of the national Monday Night Football audience.  But we’ll hear more on the start to the league’s season, including weather causing an issue and Colin Kaepernick’s continuing search for employment.  Plus, two special guests join us this week.  Our hosts talk with author and SB Nation national columnist Thomas George, as well as Taste of the NFL founder Wayne Kostroski.

A Whirlwind of Anticipation and Devastation

Segment 1: With football approaching to smother the sports landscape, there’s no way that it can deny Mother Nature.  Our hosts look at the devastating impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  Then, they give us a tease to the NFL preview extravaganza.

 

Kaepernick Still Roams the NFL Desert

Segment 2: The season is underway, and Colin Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job in the league.  The fellas dig into the latest surrounding the former 49ers quarterback.  Is the most recent reason for his unemployment due to an association?  Do the guys think he will get a shot this to call a play this season?

 

The Smell of Success: Taste of the NFL Founder Wayne Kostroski Talks with GDG

Segment 3: With pro football back in gear, our taste buds also need to get going.  The Taste of the NFL kicks off its 25th year this weekend.  Founder Wayne Kostroski previews the opening events and looks ahead to what will take place when they attend Super Bowl LII in the foundation’s own backyard.

 

Noted Author & Journalist Thomas George Discusses the Makings of an NFL QB

Segment 4: What does it take to make a franchise quarterback?  As the NFL season gets underway, the guys welcome in SB Nation national columnist Thomas George.  The author of the new book “Blitzed: Why NFL Teams Gamble on Starting Rookie Quarterbacks” tells us about the way organizations look at those highly-drafted signal callers and the differences in how they could be handled.

 

Thomas George Looks Into the Future of Football

Segment 5: Author/Journalist Thomas George stays with us for a few more minutes, with the conversation shifting.  Is there a nick in the impenetrable castle built up by the NFL?  Mr. George gives his thoughts on where the league is going.

 

Twins Holding Strong to Playoff Hopes

Segment 6: The pigskin isn’t the only thing stay front and center.  The Twins hover around one of the AL Wild Card spots.  Eric and Larry try to break down an important series in Kansas City.  You would think this effort is good enough to keep Paul Molitor on the bench next season.  Is it?  Plus, we hear a little more on P.J. Fleck’s Gopher debut and Giancarlo Stanton’s power-packed season.

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: NFL predictions from my crystal football

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By Eric Nelson
September 7, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

MINNEAPOLIS -Sports Nuggets from the Land of Lakes...

•Shield Predictions: I have looked into my crystal football and see these 10 things happening in the 2017 NFL season:

  1. – After exhaustive research of birth records in his hometown of San Mateo, CA, the US Census Bureau announces that New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is 30, not 40. Brady’s freakish ability to defy age fostered the research…
  2. – Brady and Patriots owner Robert Kraft immediately dispute the USCB’s report and hint that it is part of a smear campaign led by Commissioner/dictator Roger Goodell
  3. – The intense dislike between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh reaches new heights in their two games. Bengals-Steelers becomes so acrimonious that Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor speak out against the carnage…
  4. – The Minnesota Vikings – desperate for quality offensive lineman – coax HOF legends Randall McDaniel and Ron Yary out of retirement…
  5. – Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones begs, pleads and even tries bribery to get Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension reduced. But, Goodell doesn’t budge and Zeke sits…
  6. – The Alt Right adopts the Washington Redskins as their favorite team and applauds the franchise for keeping the controversial nickname, but does a quick 180 and disavows any ties to the Redskins after they sign QB Colin Kaepernick
  7. – Miami’s Jay Cutler finds football bliss in South Florida and leads the Dolphins (who have the coolest uniforms in the NFL) to the playoffs…
  8. – The Chargers barely move the meter in Los Angeles and wind up getting less attention than Crenshaw High’s football team. As a result, LA begs San Diego to take back the Chargers and the Clippers…
  9. Randy Newman’s 1983 hit song, I Love LA is banned from the radio airwaves in St. Louis and San Diego…
  10. – Seattle’s Blair Walsh kicks a walk-off winning field goal against New England in overtime as the Seahawks wins Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis 24-21…

 

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Will this be a Vikings Super Bowl season?

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By Larry Fitzgerald
September 5, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@FitzBeatSr

 

The preliminaries are over. The rosters have been trimmed to 53 players, and all indications are that the 2017 Vikings are good but not good enough. The worst running team in football last year has Sam Bradford at quarterback.

Bradford has a career-losing record as a starter. He’s never won a playoff game. You find me a QB with a career-losing record as a starter who won the Super Bowl.

“I think the pressure is on Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur,” said former NFL running back Marshall Faulk. “I look for an offensive team to establish an identity. For 10 years their identity was Adrian Peterson. It’s his show. Shurmur advocated for Bradford. He had him in St. Louis, Philadelphia, and now Minnesota.”

Florida State rookie running back Dalvin Cook will start at running back. He has looked great. Latavius Murray, the Pro-Bowler from Oakland, has not. He has to come through big with his talent and experience. The offensive line is better.

In recent years, history tells us teams with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks win the big games. Last year Tom Brady was suspended the first four games. No problem — New England still won the Super Bowl for the fifth time, 34-28, with the mother of all rallies after trailing by 25 points.

Mike Zimmer’s defense is loaded. He has five Pro Bowlers! The team invested over $100 million in guaranteed money, a franchise record, in three of the Pro Bowlers. Can you say the heat is on?

Last year the NFL lost 10 percent of its following audience. It was an election year. This year, quarterback Colin Kaepernick was not hired by any NFL team. No job the first week of September, all because he protested cops getting away with killing innocent Black men. The team owners have spoken: We don’t care about talent, we want no part in protest directed at the national anthem on NFL Sundays.

Playing and singing the national anthem at sporting events did not start until 1918, 17 months after the United States was in the war to end all wars. Over 100,000 Americans were killed in action. Chicago Cubs vs. Boston Red Sox were in the World Series. Ball players and others had to fight to defend their country.

Francis Key’s lyric “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” better known as the national anthem, was written after the bloody attack by the British in the war of 1812. Patriotism and tradition came together to rally Americans in unity hip to hip.

Several players continue to protest today. Marshon Lynch of Oakland has been protesting for years and nobody noticed. Eric Reid of San Francisco as well. Kaepernick has his supporters. Some will be protesting against the NFL this season, like Spike Lee, several New York police officers, and the great Henry Aaron, who can’t believe the NFL is denying him the opportunity and a job.

Kaepernick made a business decision to leave San Francisco. He bought out his remaining contract, becoming a free agent. Had he not bought out his contract, it’s conceivable he would still be with the 49ers. Once he was not under contract anymore, the politics of the NFL owners have spoken loud and clear.

For what it’s worth, this is my 39th season covering the NFL and the Vikings. Here’s what I think will happen:

NFC North
1) Green Bay, 2) Vikings, 3) Detroit, 4) Chicago
NFC West
1) Arizona, 2) Seattle, 3) San Francisco, 4) Los Angeles
NFC South
1) Atlanta, 2) Tampa Bay, 3) New Orleans, 4) Carolina
NFC East
1) New York Giants, 2) Dallas, 3) Philadelphia, 4) Washington
AFC East
1) New England, 2) Miami, 3) Buffalo, 4) New York Jets
AFC South
1) Houston, 2) Tennessee, 3) Jacksonville, 4) Indianapolis
AFC West
1) Kansas City, 2) Oakland, 3) Denver, 4) San Diego
AFC North
1) Pittsburgh, 2) Baltimore, 3) Cincinnati, 4) Cleveland

 

Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.

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GDG rundown for the weekend of Aug. 25th-27th

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After a few weeks of split locales, our hosts are both back in some friendly confines.  Eric and Larry return to the Downtown Minneapolis studio as the sports world gets busy once again.  The Twins look to surge again as they try to stay in the MLB Wild Card (and maybe even the AL Central) race.  The Vikings get their starters ready for their preseason showcase.  College football gets going, while Colin Kaepernick continues to sit well off of the sidelines.  We hear the guys’ pick for the Mayweather-McGregor fight.  And the show dives deep into the soul of baseball when USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale talks about the history of the sport.

Twins Hope To Stay Wild

Segment 1: As we head toward September, these Twins have quite a bit to play for.  The guys tell us what they think the organization has done to turn things around.  Is the franchise finally content on keeping a talented center fielder?  Is this team winning despite the front office moves?

 

Will We See the Real Vikings This Weekend?

Segment 2: The Vikings try to regroup going into the most “realistic” game of the preseason.  What happened in Seattle?  By the way, what got into former Purple place kicker Blair Walsh?  Our hosts search for an identity that this squad may represent.

 

“Away” at College and Star-Spangled Banter

Segment 3: The college football season officially gets underway on Saturday.  Does the matchup set for Sydney, Australia (Rice-Stanford) go against what the NCAA stands for?  After that, what conversation did Colin Kaepernick spark when he protested against the National Anthem?

 

Circling the Diamond with USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale

Segment 4: The Dog Days of Summer are quickly turning into the MLB Pennant Chase stretch.  To get more in tune with the season, the guys welcome USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale back to the show to throw the topics around.  They start the conversation goes back into the Steroid Era, with the Cardinals getting set to honor Mark McGuire this weekend.  Plus, are the Dodgers a lock to win the NL Pennant?

 

Bob Nightengale Discusses the Diversity of Baseball

Segment 5: The discussion with Bob Nightgale continues, as we hear stories on and off the field.  The trio look back on the St. Paul Saints’ remembrance and celebration of the late Roy Campanella.  That leads into the chatter about whether the name of Boston’s famed Yawkey Way should be changed.  And could the American League take the World Series trophy back this season?

 

So Many Items to Cover…

Segment 6: It’s a chance for the hosts to unload on a number of topics, including whether Tracy Claeys was to blame for the Gopher football program troubles, which fighter will win the Mayweather-McGregor fight, the impact of Solar Eclipse fever, and the logic behind Andrew Wiggins firing his agent in the middle of a contract negotiation.

 

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GDG rundown for the weekend of Aug. 4th-6th

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Sometimes, it’s nice to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities.  That’s the case for not one, but both of our hosts this week.  Larry rubs shoulders with NFL royalty as he covers the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH.  Meanwhile, Eric heads to the Pacific Northwest for a change of scenery.  And GDG’s Tom Tuttle brings a Minnesota flavor to the program.  There’s a lot of talk about the NFL, Vikings Training Camp, the Twins slow fade, and some personnel changes on the PGA Tour.

 

Only A Matter of Time

Segment 1: The NFL Preseason is underway.  Our guys look into some of the headlines as the pigskins start to fly.  Will Colin Kaepernick find a job?  What should we expect from the Vikings?

 

America the Beautiful

Segment 2: The guys are both on the road this week, and they use this segment to soak in their surroundings.  We get a sense of how fanatical the state of Ohio and the city of Seattle are for their sports franchises.

 

Driven for Success…and Change

Segment 3: It’s a key time of the year in the world of golf.  It’s also a bit of a turbulent time for two of the game’s biggest stars.  Has Phil Mickelson’s image been tarnished through someone else’s conviction of guilt?  And why is Rory McIlroy making news off the course this week?

 

The Stars of “The Star”

Segment 4: One of the NFL’s glamour teams had a showcase on Thursday.  However, what can we expect from the Dallas Cowboys this season?  Eric and Larry dig deep into the resurgence of “America’s Team”, including how owner Jerry Jones got himself into the Hall of Fame.

 

Purple Preseason Pride

Segment 5: We’ve heard quite a bit about pro football nationally, but what about in our own backyard?  Eric and Larry take some time to focus in on the Vikings.  Are they still hopeful that Teddy Bridgewater can return?

 

GDG’s Tom Tuttle Talks Twins

Segment 6: The Twins eventually became sellers as the Trade Deadline came and went.  And the disappointment in the air couldn’t be summed up any better than by GDG’s Tom Tuttle.  He joins the program to look into whether the team took the right path for this season and beyond.

 

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Peyton Manning can golf with President Trump if he wants and other sports stars can criticize the POTUS if they want

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By Eric Nelson
June 7, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the North Star State...

•Playing Politics:NFL legend Peyton Manning is taking heat for golfing with President Donald Trump recently in Virginia. Many Manning fans are upset that he associated himself with a divisive guy like Trump. I am not a Trump fan and believe he has polarized the USA by sewing the seeds of hate. But, Manning did nothing wrong and does not deserve venom from the left just because he golfed with the POTUS…

•Two-way Street: Manning, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Bobby Knight and others can align themselves with Trump if they want. It’s their prerogative. Of course, it’s okay for LeBron James, Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and others to criticize Trump if they want. It is their prerogative too and they don’t deserve criticism from the right…

•Just Asking: What will happen first?… The Golden State Warriors losing a playoff game or Colin Kaepernick getting an NFL job…

•Kevin Can’t Wait: When it comes to chasing NBA championship rings superstars named Kevin have had plenty of success. First it was Kevin Garnett going from Minnesota to Boston and winning a title. Then it was the Timberwolves peddling Kevin Love to Cleveland where he won a championship. Now it looks like Kevin Durant will find Kevin heaven with Golden State after leaving Oklahoma City for Oakland…

•Rod’s Return: Minnesota Twins legend Rod Carew and his wife Rhonda return to Target Field on July 3 for the LA Angels-Minnesota game. It will be the Carew’s first trip to the Twin Cities since Rod had a heart transplant on December 16, 2016. The Carew’s will also be in Minneapolis on August 18 for Twins Hall of Fame Weekend and Donor Day against Arizona…

•Flashbacks: The Twins will salute Carew by remembering the 40th Anniversary of his magical 1977 MVP year when he batted .388, and the 50th Anniversary of his 1967 AL Rookie of the Year season…

•Party-Time: The Twins host their first-ever MLB Draft Party at Target Field on Monday. Gates open at 5:30 pm and Minnesota has the number one pick in the draft for the third time in club history. The last time the Twins had the top pick was 2001 when they chose Joe Mauer. Minnesota plays Seattle that night at 7:10 pm…

•Domination: The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals are running away with their respective divisions. The Astros (42-17) lead the LA Angels and Seattle by 13 games in the AL West, and the Nationals (37-20) have a 12 1/2 game cushion over Atlanta and the NY Mets in the NL East…

•Title Starved: Btw, Houston and Washington have never won a World Series, so there is a chance that another baseball championship drought ends this season…

•Bar Brawl: According to USA Today Rex and Rob Ryan were involved in a bar fight in Nashville on Saturday. Too bad Rex Ryan’s Buffalo teams did not have that much fight when he was coaching the Bills…

•Puck Power: The NHL is on a roll as Nashville and Pittsburgh cap off a wonderful post season in the Stanley Cup Final. Hockey is also getting an assist from NBA icon Charles Barkley, who has been gushing about the sport. Barkley’s pro-hockey stance is definitely good for the game…

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GDG rundown for Memorial Day Weekend 2017 (May 26th-29th)

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It’s a long weekend for many across the country as we pay tribute to our Veterans, past and present.  While many of us will relax over the holiday, the world of sports continues on.  Eric and Larry keep us informed, broadcasting this week’s program from the Downtown Minneapolis studio.  As a matter of fact, there’s so much crammed into this edition, we had no time to bring on a guest.  The guys dive into the surprising Twins, the upcoming NBA Finals, the Lynx playing in a new venue, the misfortune surrounding the Vikings, and the new NFL rules that are raising some eyebrows.  Plus, how important are the stadiums the house all of these games?

Twins Staying On Top

Segment 1: The Twins are best in the MLB in something.  The guys look at the team’s impressive road record.  Could starter Ervin Santana and slugger Miguel Sano be candidates for some recognition later in the season?  What are some of the other factors that have led to first-place status in the division?

 

New Digs, Same Successful Lynx

Segment 2: The Minnesota Lynx may have changed home venues this season, but the winning continues.  Eric and Larry dig into the start of the team’s campaign.  How has the environment changed with them playing at Xcel Energy Center?  And what are the guys’ thoughts on Charlotte receiving another chance to host the NBA All-Star Game?

 

Final-ly: The NBA Matchup We’ve Been Waiting For

Segment 3: It hasn’t provided a lot of drama, but the NBA postseason might change very soon.  The fellas offer up their preview analysis of Round 3 in the Cleveland vs. Golden State trilogy.  Plus, have these playoffs held any intrigue to this point?  Maybe not as much as some of the tension that some famous sports TV personalities are experiencing.

 

More Injury News for the Vikings

Segment 4: We have a sighting!  Our hosts dig into the video showing Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater tossing the pigskin around.  But is Teddy’s knee the most pressing injury for the organization?  We hear more about another eye surgery for coach Mike Zimmer.  Then, does the NFL’s plan to shorten overtime periods make sense?

 

Some Changes are Coming for the Shield

Segment 5: The NFL changes don’t stop with just OT.  The guys give their opinions on the easing on penalties for end zone celebrations.  After that, they dive into the prolonged unemployment of QB Colin Kaepernick.  Is he being shut out of finding a job?

 

The Value of an Arena

Segment 6: There’s a lot of sports news that involves the fans…or their seats, at least.  We hear the latest stadium news in California and closer to home.  Which stadium is getting naming rights for the first time?  What can the Lynx do to improve the ambiance over at the X?  And how much increase in value could the Warriors see just by moving across the Bay?

 

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Gameday Gold Radio – September 7, 2017 – s.2

Kaepernick Still Roams the NFL Desert

Segment 2: The season is underway, and Colin Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job in the league.  The fellas dig into the latest surrounding the former 49ers quarterback.  Is the most recent reason for his unemployment due to an association?  Do the guys think he will get a shot this to call a play this season?

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Gameday Gold Radio – September 7, 2017 – s.1

Now, that Labor Day weekend has come and gone, it’s time to get down to business.  At least, that’s what pro and college football are thinking.  We’re thinking it, too.  Eric and Larry are back from the holiday to bring you all the football (and more) you need from the Downtown Minneapolis studio.  Of course, the Vikings are in the spotlight ahead of their opener in front of the national Monday Night Football audience.  But we’ll hear more on the start to the league’s season, including weather causing an issue and Colin Kaepernick’s continuing search for employment.  Plus, two special guests join us this week.  Our hosts talk with author and SB Nation national columnist Thomas George, as well as Taste of the NFL founder Wayne Kostroski.

A Whirlwind of Anticipation and Devastation

Segment 1: With football approaching to smother the sports landscape, there’s no way that it can deny Mother Nature.  Our hosts look at the devastating impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  Then, they give us a tease to the NFL preview extravaganza.

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Gameday Gold Radio – July 21, 2017 – s.6

Controversial Questions Spanning the Sports Landscape

Segment 6: Is trouble surrounding Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott?  Is an afro keeping Colin Kaepernick from finding his way on an NFL roster?  What do the fellas think about all of the attention surrounding the O.J. Simpson parole hearing?  And will either of them drop everything to watch the upcoming Mayweather-McGregor fight?