Posts

Mayweather stops McGregor by TKO

Print this entry

By Larry Fitzgerald
August 28, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@FitzBeatSr

LAS VEGAS — The legend of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. grows after defeating mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in the 10th round by TKO in a marvelously entertaining Las Vegas spectacle.

McGregor is the biggest name in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and his flair and showmanship has made him a name that sparks fire in fans and the entertainment business of the UFC.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Conor McGregor

Likewise, we live in a violent world and Mayweather has learned the good and bad side of violence. He does not hide from it. He’s a great 50-0 undefeated champion.

Although his character is damaged due to having served time for the domestic abuse of the mother of his children, Mayweather has rebounded and found a way to make a fortune being demonized by millions. That’s part of Mayweather’s genius: He accepts that he’s flawed with talent and zeal and God-given skills.

Make no mistake about it: he is a brilliant business man.

Just like when sports fans years ago wanted to see Larry Bird beat Magic Johnson — two great players, one White, one Black — it gets the coals hot and stokes the rage, and in many cases, the frenzy is fueled by racial differences.

It’s not personal, it’s business, and part of hyping the fight was the desire of thousands to see McGregor and his on-the-edge personality beat up Mayweather.

Mayweather has shown a history of struggling with southpaw-style fighters. McGregor was a little bigger with just enough awkwardness to sell this first-time fight as a win-win.

But McGregor’s youthful flair (he’s 29; Mayweather is 40) and surge of confidence ran into Mayweather’s superior boxing experience. McGregor has never fought more than five rounds before, and Mayweather stuck to his plan and allowed McGregor to burn so much energy being the aggressor.

As the fight wore on, Mayweather was then able to take the fight to McGregor. He started sticking jabs to a worn out McGregor’s face to win by TKO.

Not many thought this fight would go past five rounds, and certainly not 10 — nobody but Mayweather, that is. Mr. 50-0!

 

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.

Print this entry

Vikings: How good will they be?

Print this entry

By Larry Fitzgerald
August 25, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@FitzBeatSr

 

So much is riding on this 2017 Vikings season it makes you nervous even thinking about it. Playing the Seattle Seahawks in the pre-season last week was a measuring stick game. You know how good and consistent Seattle is, and how well-coached they are, and they seldom lose at home.

Seattle 20, Vikings 13 — not exactly what Vikings fans wanted. I was honestly surprised how successful they were running. It was a defensive game. I thought the Seahawks were better: they were more physical and ran the ball when and where they wanted to consistently.

I am disappointed right now in running back Latavius Murray. He was signed as a free agent from Oakland and can’t get on the field. If he doesn’t play this week against San Francisco that is a bad sign.

Rookie Dalvin Cook has been impressive but he is so young with much to learn. Last year, as we know, the Vikings could not run the football at all when Adrian Peterson got hurt. Now he’s gone and you don’t win in this league unless you can consistently run the ball.

Sam Bradford looks good at quarterback, throwing to Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, and Kyle Rudolph. But his career win-loss record in St. Louis and Philadelphia concerns me and that is hard to ignore. I do like tight end Bucky Hodges, however; he a keeper.

With three weeks before the opener, the Vikings have time to get better. The NFL is a dictator league, so you have to force your will on your opponent. The players and coaches are all good, so good that they are able to figure out your game plan and your scheme.

Since 2001, the Vikings have been in the playoffs just five times, with just one playoff victory in 2009.

When you have the Super Bowl in your home stadium, you really hope your team can be good. My expectations are for this team to blow the roof off U.S Bank Stadium.

How realistic is that coming off of an 8-8 season? I’ll keep drinking the purple Kool-Aid because they do have a solid foundation with lots of talent on defense and special teams.

But the early signs bug me. I have concerns over talented Michael Floyd’s suspension for four games. Murray has done nothing yet, as I mentioned. They gave this guy $15 million to watch? And Laquon Treadwell, last year’s number one pick, is still a big question mark.

The offensive line is better, but can they jell and become a solid versatile group?

No reason to be alarmed just yet — the Vikings lost on the road to a good football team that made the playoffs. But there are legit reasons to share with you my concerns.

 

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.

Print this entry

audio logo

GDG rundown for the weekend of May 12th-14th

Print this entry

There’s a lot of fun to be had during this week’s edition of the show, with some serious notes mixed in.  Eric and Larry dish it all out from the Downtown Minneapolis studio.  They jockeying back and forth from the Vikings’ new additions to the stories making waves in the MLB, with some insight on the NBA and NHL playoffs to boot.  Can baseball get back to its glory days?  How about some love for a few other squads, including MN United, the Gopher softball team, and the Lynx?  Plus, Boston Red Sox broadcaster Joe Castiglione discusses the good (and sometimes bad) that Beantown has had to offer lately.

On the Road to Traffic…& Greatness

Segment 1: You can’t get around it, past it, or through it.  Road construction continues across the region, and the guys use this time to vent a little more on all of the orange barrels and cones.  Then, they get into the ongoing NBA and NHL postseasons, including a preview of the Stanley Cup “Semifinals”.

 

More Offseason Moves for the Vikings

Segment 2: The Vikings have brought a local kid back home…but not without raising a couple of eyebrows.  Eric and Larry give their opinions on the signing of St. Paul native and Super Bowl-winning wideout Michael Floyd.  Is there any comparison between this situation and the controversial draft selection used to take running back Dalvin Cook?  And was this move initiated due to the inaction of rookie Laquon Treadwell?

 

Diamond-Lights: Highlights from the MLB

Segment 3: The fellas look around the Major Leagues to pick up some headlines.  Are the Yankees going beyond respectability and getting back to the good ol’ days of domination?  Then, what do they think about Albert Pujols approaching the majestic milestone of 600 home runs?

 

Can MLB Regain Its Past Luster?

Segment 4: Does the MLB still have a foothold on the American sports conscience?  The guys look at how America’s Pasttime got passed by on the road to now.  Where did it all slide for the guys representing the diamond?  And is Commissioner Rob Manfred taking the right steps to make it more popular?

 

The Voice of Sox Nation: Joe Castiglione Chats with GDG

Segment 5: He’s seen some of the biggest heartbreaks and celebrations in the history of Red Sox Nation.  Joe Castiglione has been behind the mic for the franchise for over three decades.  He was in town last weekend, and Eric caught up with him to chat about the team and the ugly incidents that took place at Fenway Park recently.

 

A Segment Filled with Shoutouts

Segment 6: MN United appears to be gaining some positive traction after last weekend’s win over Sporting KC.  Then, it’s time to show a little love for the ladies.  The Gopher softball team is experiencing an historic season as they enter the Big Ten tournament.  And the Lynx begin their journey to redemption this weekend as the WNBA regular season gets underway.

Print this entry

audio logo

GDG rundown for the weekend of Feb. 10th-12th

Print this entry

After a whirlwind trip to Houston, Eric and Larry have returned to the Twin Cities.  There’s so much to dissect from a fascinating Super Bowl game and week.  The guys break down the action, and hear analysis from a winning player’s (Michael Floyd) and media member’s (USA Today and ESPN’s Jarrett Bell) perspective.  We also hear from Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. on what was the driving force behind his path to winning a prestigious award.  And we start talking college pucks.  St. Cloud State defenseman Jack Ahcan takes us through life in the NCHC…and on the U.S. World Juniors team.

An Out-of-This-World Trip to Space City

Segment 1: The guys made it back from Houston and have quite a story to tell.  Eric and Larry discuss the incredible game and the week that occurred prior to it.  Will Minneapolis be ready to host this event next February?

 

A Champion’s Journey: GDG Talks with St. Paul Native Michael Floyd

Segment 2: One of the Twin Cities’ own now has the distinction of being a Super Bowl champion.  Our hosts caught up with New England wide receiver Michael Floyd to discuss the roller coaster ride he faced over this past season.

 

Deadline Dilemmas: GDG Catches Up With Jarrett Bell

Segment 3: We continue to look back on last Sunday’s Super Bowl.  The fellas get into the media side of covering this event when they talk to USA Today columnist and ESPN analyst Jarrett Bell.  How frantic does a deadline become when the definite headline changes dramatically?

 

How He Got Here: Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. Discusses His Influences

Segment 4: Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. received a tremendous honor last weekend.  The co-winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year was interviewed by Seth Davis of CBS Sports in 2016.  We tune in to find out about the people that helped pave Larry’s path to the award.  Then, what do Eric and Larry think of the 2017 NFL Hall of Fame class?

 

Golden Skate: SCSU’s Jack Ahcan Reaches the Highest Peak

Segment 5: We turn our attention from the completed NFL season to the ongoing NCAA Hockey season.  The NCHC postseason is fast approaching, and one of its biggest names is joining the show.  Saint Cloud State freshman defenseman Jack Ahcan talks about his first go-round in the league, what it means to block shots, and playing on the national team that won Gold at the World Junior Championships.

 

A Hodgepodge of Cards, Wild, and Wolves

Segment 6: In this segment, the guys get into some of the awards given out by the NFL.  Also, Larry, Jr. will have some company returning for the Cardinals, the Wild hit a little bump in their torrid play, and the Timberwolves lose a key piece of their young core.

 

Print this entry

GDG rundown for Super Bowl LI weekend (Feb. 3-5)

Print this entry

They say there’s a big game on Sunday, eh?  Maybe that’s why Eric and Larry have bolted the Twin Cities for the warmer climate of Houston, TX.  This week, our hosts are putting on their work boots to cover everything happening ahead of Super Bowl LI.  They sit down with numerous guest to discuss the game and more.  You’ll hear from the New England Patriots (Tom Brady, Michael Floyd, & Chris Hogan), the Atlanta Falcons (De’Vondre Campbell), past Super Bowl champions (Aqib Talib and Brian Billick), and NFL insider Steve Wyche.

 

Houston, We Have Pigskin

Segment 1: Eric and Larry have made it to Houston, site of Super Bowl LI.  They set the scene from what has already been a very festive week.  Later, could political sentiment be a reason to change (or embolden) your rooting interest?

 

 

Tete-A-Tete: De’Vondre Campbell and Tom Brady Chat with GDG

Segment 2: Eric and Larry aren’t just in Houston to watch a ball game.  They’re working to give us the best sound from all of the build up to Sunday.  They start in this segment by talking with Falcons (and former Golden Gopher) CB De’Vondre Campbell.  Then, Patriots QB Tom Brady shares some of his thoughts before playing in his seventh championship game.

New England QB Tom Brady banters with the media

New England QB Tom Brady

 

Catching Up Fast: GDG Talks with Michael Floyd and Chris Hogan

Segment 3: The focus turns to the New England receiving corps this segment.  First, we hear from Twin Cities native Michael Floyd about his role on the team and how another local helped guide his path into the league.  Then, emerging talent Chris Hogan explains he has taken full advantage of being in the Patriots’ organization.

 

Champion Luster: GDG Sits Down with Aqib Talib and Brian Billick

Segment 4: We hear from champions during this part of the show.  All-Pro corner Aqib Talib discusses the journey to a Super Bowl ring and his time in New England.  After that, former Vikings OC and Ravens head coach Brian Billick tells us what he’s up to these days.

 

Legitimacy vs. Legacy: NFL Network’s Steve Wyche Breaks Down Super Bowl LI

Segment 5: Now, it’s time to get a media perspective.  NFL Network correspondent Steve Wyche spent some years covering the Falcons.  He tells us about what this Super Bowl appearance means to the organization, whether Atlanta can pull off the upset, and what this title would mean for the legacies of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Bill Belichick greets the press before Super Bowl LI

Bill Belichick greets the press before Super Bowl LI

 

Dinner and a Show…and a Championship Game

Segment 6: The guys return to the microphone to talk about the true definition of a good Super Bowl…food and entertainment.  They discuss a barbecue contest that one of our hosts got to judge.  They explain what they expect from Lady Gaga’s halftime show.  Plus, they chat a bit about the game itself.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan

 

Print this entry

Thomas U. Tuttle

Welcome to 2017

Print this entry

by Thomas U. Tuttle

Yes, the new year of 2017 has arrived, and 2016 is finally in the rear-view mirror. For a lot of us, and for different reasons, it was a tough year that needn’t hurry back.

But maybe all years are going to be tough going forward, elections or no elections. Maybe there’s just no way out of the numerous challenges on this planet, our only human home with it’s fragility, challenges and dangers increasingly on display.

Recently I visited Egypt, and a few days after a trip to see the Coptic Christian church in Cairo, it was bombed, leaving over 25 dead and many seriously injured. My trip closed in the country of Jordan where we visited the Karak Castle, an ancient (1100’s – AKA the “Crusader Castle”) and it, too, was the site of a terrorist attack mere days after our group was there, wandering inquisitively through the bowels of that amazing and historic structure.

The bad guys missed us, an appetizing western target I’m sure. But close only counts in horseshoes and, sadly, hand grenades.

Radical Islam is determined to keep turning this old world upside down- a world we hope can get older and be the beautiful place where we all grew up – but it’s not our only challenge. Insanity and lunacy emerge when you least expect it, as exemplified by the recent murder of innocents in the Fort Lauderdale airport, last frequented by yours truly when headed to a Super Bowl in that fair city. There are dozens of other examples, just in 2016. The nuthouse, unfortunately, is all around us…

Which brings me back to the “funny pages of life,” also called the sports section of your newspaper or internet source. Of course, sport used to be a lot simpler back in the day, before the giant money and ridiculous self-promotion of both teams and players. Increasingly, the constant misbehavior of many of our stars has become a turn-off for a great number of fans. The stories of our foolish, wealthy sports stars are legion and go well beyond the recently arrested (once again) Adam “Pac-Man” Jones.

How about the case a few weeks ago of former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd? After a tough loss to the Miami Dolphins, he is busted at 3 a.m. in his Caddy Escalade asleep at a traffic light in Scottsdale, at the busy intersection of Scottsdale Rd. and Goldwater Blvd. Asleep! According to the police report, it took three tries to rouse him – “foot on the brake, head back, mouth open, sound asleep.” Man, that’s an ugly picture.

After exhibiting belligerence and refusing the b.a.c. test, a warrant was obtained and the number came in at 0.217 – or nearly three times the legal limit. Michael Floyd had the privilege of a prominent high school and then a Notre Dame education (where he also had a DUI in 2011), so you would think he would have learned something. And playing for the lousy Cards is no excuse for driving so hammered you can’t even function.

Or maybe he is just making the case for one of the new “self-driving” models.

But don’t worry, the story has a happy ending. Arizona released Floyd the following week, and New England picked him up and immediately plugged him in. That Bill Belichick doesn’t miss a trick! And the receiver has contributed immediately.

My friend Joseph, who lives in Michigan and is a former School Superintendent and sports fan, says that he just doesn’t care about pro football any more – too much bad behavior with lack of consequences, he recently wrote to me.

In truth, the National Football League is up there with Amazon and Google as an industry that greatly impacts our lives. What the NFL wants, the NFL gets and holding that league accountable is nearly impossible. And they use their strength very selectively, nailing any overly-exuberant end zone activity with relish while allowing the degenerate, talented Floyd to try and help Tom Brady to another SB.

Hey, maybe it was a strategic career move by Michael – it sure could turn out that way!

Back on the local sports front, the Gopher ugliness has been nothing to sneeze at, with Tracy Claeys paying the price for coming across as actively supporting his abhorrently behaving kids. He wasn’t really, but his choice of words couldn’t have been worse.

I don’t agree with crucifying a football coach for standing by his players, nor do I agree with the vitriol spewed by Christine Brennan towards Brent Musburger for not vilifying Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon’s bad behavior enough. Despite a plethora of misbehaving athletes, I still can’t bend to political correctness in assessing accountability. Mixon has been heavily punished and his life altered by the events of a brief moment. He has apologized profusely and, I believe, sincerely.

Mixon was pushed and struck by a woman, and he then dropped her – and injured her – with one punch when he was 20 years old. Had “she” been a “he” Mixon would have been within his rights to return a blow. But no title 9 gender equity here – there is a movement at the U of OK to remove coach Bob Stoops because he brought Joe Mixon back after a long punishment, and it is believed top running back Mixon may go undrafted given the PR headaches it is assumed he would bring.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love sport. But perhaps I’m old enough to demand some honor in the competition and in the athlete. I grew up with Ernie Banks and Harmon Killebrew, Gale Sayers and Jerry Sloan. I knew every starter on the ’69 Cubs, and the towns they came from. The average salary for a Major Leaguer at that time was around $40 K a year – compare that to today, where a mediocre reliever commands upwards of five million.

As former Twins GM Terry Ryan once told me, “the money is out of whack.” Even for the good guys, like another famous receiver out west, the cash is exhorbitant. What does a guy do with tens of millions of dollars? Buy Haiti ? I don’t know, but good works should be at the head of the life agenda.

Not wheeling around plastered in your Escalade.

Print this entry

Podcast

Gameday Gold logo

Gameday Gold Radio – May 11, 2017 – s.2

More Offseason Moves for the Vikings

Segment 2: The Vikings have brought a local kid back home…but not without raising a couple of eyebrows.  Eric and Larry give their opinions on the signing of St. Paul native and Super Bowl-winning wideout Michael Floyd.  Is there any comparison between this situation and the controversial draft selection used to take running back Dalvin Cook?  And was this move initiated due to the inaction of rookie Laquon Treadwell?

Gameday Gold Radio from Super Bowl LI – February 2, 2017 – s.3

Catching Up Fast: GDG Talks with Michael Floyd and Chris Hogan

Segment 3: The focus turns to the New England receiving corps this segment.  First, we hear from Twin Cities native Michael Floyd about his role on the team and how another local helped guide his path into the league.  Then, emerging talent Chris Hogan explains he has taken full advantage of being in the Patriots’ organization.