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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Jared Goff and Case Keenum have had bounce back seasons

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By Eric Nelson
November 15, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the Land of 10,000 Lakes…..

•Loss Loss Land: In 2016 Jared Goff and Case Keenum were part of a Hollywood horror show that had a disastrous ending. Goff and Keenum shared the quarterback duties with the LA Rams and both put up sub-par stats on a sub-par team that finished 4-12. Simply put, it was a debacle…

•QB Revival: In 2017 Goff and Keenum are now part of amazing comeback stories – with each guy playing a key role in their team’s success. The Rams are 7-2 and Goff has made major strides in his second season. The Minnesota Vikings are also 7-2 and Keenum has been steady and sometimes spectacular for the Purple in a back up role. …

•Collision Course: LA and Minnesota play Sunday at US Bank Stadium and both teams are heating up. The Rams have won four straight and the Vikings have a five game winning streak. The winner will garner plenty of accolades and boost their playoff hopes..

•Case Closed: There are plenty of people huffing and puffing about who should be the Vikings starting signal caller, but this one is easy. Keenum is the guy and should play until he proves he can’t. Teddy Bridgewater’s day will come soon enough, but no sense tinkering with something that isn’t broken…

•Video Game Offense: The Rams are putting up cartoon-like numbers this season. LA has scored 296 points – the most in the NFL. The Rams have erupted for 51 against the NY Giants, rung up 46 on Indianapolis, 41 on San Francisco, 35 on Dallas, and scored 33 against Arizona and Houston…

•Coaching Contrasts: The Rams bounce back season has raised the profile of 31-year old Sean McVay, who is the youngest HC in NFL history. McVay comes from a football family and has a reputation for developing quarterbacks. Goff’s success is more proof of that. Meanwhile, LA’s DC is 70-year old Wade Phillips, who knows how to coach up a defense…

•Powerhouses: LA and Minnesota both have lofty spots in this weeks NFL Power Rankings. The Rams are number 2 and the Vikings are ranked 6th. Philadelphia is the top team…

•Deserving Honor: Congrats to Paul Molitor, who was named American League Manager of the Year after leading Minnesota to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. The Twins are the first team in MLB history to make the postseason after losing 100-plus games the previous year…

•Zero Hero: Minnesota G Devan Dubnyk is pitching shutouts at a rate that would make Clayton Kershaw envious. Dubnyk has three straight blankings after the Wild’s 3-0 win against Philadelphia on Tuesday night in St. Paul. Dubnyk has a team record scoreless streak of 195:05 and has stopped 103 shots on goal in the three wins…

•Breaking Up: After 18 highly successful years at ESPN2 and ESPN Radio, Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg’s run is over on Friday. Mike and Mike are moving onto supposedly greener pastures, but we will see how things play out…

•On-Air Chemistry: Mike and Mike worked because they clicked – which is a rare combination in the egotistical world of broadcasting. It’s too bad Mike and Mike are going away, because their product is still very good. ESPN should not be breaking up this tandem…

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: It’s All Eyes North thanks to the Minnesota Timberwolves fast start

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By Eric Nelson
November 8, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the capital of Timberwolves Nation…..

•All Eyes North: The Minnesota Timberwolves have played only 10 games this season, but already look like a completely different team compared to the inept squads who have struggled since 2004. Minnesota (7-3) has won five straight games for the first time in eight years and is four games north of .500 for the first time since 2007. The additions of Jimmy Butler, Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague have taken the T’Wolves to another level…

•Instant Impact: With Butler in the lineup Minnesota is 7-1. Butler doesn’t have spectacular stats (15.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game), but he elevates his teammates. Butler also plays lock down defense and is a winner. Butler could become a rock star in Minnesota…

•Sports Riddle: What do the Timberwolves and LA Rams have in common? Both are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004…

•Giant Rout: The Rams crushed the NY Giants 51-17 on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. According to the LA Times it is the most points the Giants have allowed at home since 1964. With QB Jared Goff getting better, RB Todd Gurley bulldozing opponents, and a solid defense, the Rams are trending up…

•No Boos Allowed: The 8-1 Eagles have the NFL’s best record and are playing so well that normally cynical Philadelphia fans have nothing to boo about. In Philly quarterback Carson Wentz is now as popular as Rocky Balboa – except that Wentz is actually a real character…

•Carson by the Numbers: In just his second season Wentz has blossomed into a top-notch gunslinger. The North Dakota State product leads the NFL with 23 touchdown passes and has thrown just five interceptions…

•Moving Up: Despite a bye last week, Minnesota has gone from number 7 to number 6 in this week’s NFL Power rankings. Philadelphia is number 1 followed by the LA Rams, Pittsburgh, New England and New Orleans…

•Husker Invasion: The Cobheads are coming. Even though Nebraska has a sub-par 4-5 record, don’t be surprised if Cornhusker fans stage a coup d’état and take over TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday. Minnesota is also 4-5 and a good chunk of Gopher backers have already given up on the team. Husker Nation always travels well, which means they will flock to Minneapolis for some football and partying…

•Mission Miami: Minnesota Vikings legend Chuck Foreman is going to Saturday’s game in South Florida between number 3 Notre Dame and 7th ranked Miami. Foreman played college football for the Hurricanes…

•Just Asking: Have Hawkeye fans stopped celebrating yet? Iowa’s 55-24 battering of Ohio State last week in Iowa City was clear cut Hawkeye domination and one of the most convincing wins in school history…

•Gold Rush: Congrats to Minnesota CF Byron Buxton and 2B Brian Dozier for winning their first AL gold gloves. Buxton has a knack for making highlight plays and covers more ground than a tarp. Dozier is steady and sometimes spectacular in gobbling up ground balls, and makes turning a double play look easy…

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GDG rundown for the weekend of Oct. 27th-29th

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The Upper Midwest is getting its first real taste of Winter this weekend, and athletics seems to be leading the way.  With the Winter sports seasons up and running, our hosts get into the spirit.  Eric and Larry travel to St. Paul as they broadcast this week’s episode from the Xcel Energy Center.  Despite Thursday’s win over the Islanders, our guys peer into the Wild’s slow start.  They also describe what’s wrong with the early season of the Timberwolves.  The Vikings make a return trip to England with first-place thoughts.  The World Series got off to a roaring start in L.A.  Gopher football tries to bring one special pig home from Iowa City.  And if you want guests, boy, do we got ’em.  We’ll hear from several Vikings players, as well as CBS broadcast legend Greg Gumbel.

Not the Wild’s Best Hopes to Start

Segment 1: After a preseason of positive buildup, the Wild aren’t off to the best of starts.  The guys review the first few games of the season and look into how the team can turn things around on the long homestand.

 

Vikings Go Back to See the Queen

Segment 2: The Vikings are headed back to London as they look to continue their hold on the NFC North lead.  What’s going well for the squad as they head across the Atlantic?  The fellas also dig into this week’s opponent, the Cleveland Browns.  When will that franchise ever “get right”?

 

Wolves Whimpering Start

Segment 3: Just like the Wild, the Timberwolves had a lot of hype coming into the season.  And just like their NHL counterparts, the early results haven’t been good.  Eric and Larry discuss what they believe is giving the team fits in the first couple of weeks in the current campaign.

 

World Series Bringing the Drama

Segment 4: If the first two games were any indication, we could be viewing a true Fall Classic.  The guys dive into the opening stanza of the World Series before the scene shifts from Los Angeles to Houston.  Did the Astros find a hole in the Dodgers’ bullpen?  Can L.A. squeeze out a win or two on the Gulf Coast?

 

A Host of Sound from the Vikings Locker Room & CBS Broadcaster Greg Gumbel

Segment 5: If you were searching for game sound, stop right here.  In this segment, our hosts chat with Vikings DE Everson Griffen, TE Kyle Rudolph, and CBs Xavier Rhodes and Terence Newman.  Oh, and for good measure, we’ll hear from legendary CBS broadcaster Greg Gumbel.

 

Gophers Try to Take Floyd Back

Segment 6: Gopher football enters its first true Trophy Game of the P.J. Fleck era.  The fellas recap last week’s victory over Illinois before turning their attention on Iowa and Floyd of Rosedale.  Plus, they look a little broader at which teams are still in the national championship picture.

 

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Energetic Everson Griffen is playing lights out for the Minnesota Vikings

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By Eric Nelson
October 25, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the Purple Nation…..

•Sack Happy: Minnesota DE Everson Griffen is one reason why the Vikings have a top flight defense. Griffen had two sacks in Minnesota’s 24-16 win against Baltimore on Sunday and has nine this season (third most in the NFL). Griffen is a power/speed combo package who comes off the edge with fury and passion…

•Tone-Setter: Griffen has become the Vikings version of Von Miller. He wreaks havoc on a weekly basis and has non-stop energy. Griffen, Anthony Barr, Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith are playing at an elite level. As a result, the Vikings (5-2) have swagger and confidence as they hop the pond for a game against Cleveland (0-7) on Sunday in London…

•Trending Up: Minnesota is ranked seventh in this week’s NFL Network power rankings. The top five teams are Philadelphia, the LA Rams, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and New England…

•Friendly Skies: The Rams (5-2) are off to a fast start, which is even more impressive when you factor in their ability to conquer jet lag. On October 15 LA flew to Jacksonville and defeated the Jaguars 27-17. Total round trip mileage was 4,302. The following week the Rams went to London and battered Arizona 33-0. Total round trip distance for that global journey was 10,912. LA has a bye this week, then makes another coast-to-coast flight for a game in New Jersey against the NY Giants on November 5…

•Déjà vu: For the second straight season 2B Brian Dozier is the Most Valuable Twin. Dozier batted .269 with 34 home runs and 93 RBI for Minnesota in 2017. Ervin Santana is the Twins pitcher of the year. Santana was 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA and made the AL All-Star team…

•Marquis Matchup: If game 1 is a precursor, the 2017 World Series could be epic. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw outdueled Astros star Dallas Keuchel in scorching 103 degree heat on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The Dodgers won 3-1 and have a 1-0 lead in this battle for all the MLB marbles…

•Old Rivals: The Astros and Dodgers have plenty of shared history because Houston played 51 seasons in the National League. In 2013 the Astros switched to the American League…

•Lone Star Drought: A Texas team has never won a WS title. The Astros are 0-1 and the Rangers are 0-2 in MLB’s showcase event. The Astros only other series appearance was in 2005 when they lost to the Chicago White Sox. Houston has now made the Fall Classic as an NL and AL champion…

•Mighty Mouse: Pound for pound Jose Altuve is the most impressive athlete in pro sports. Altuve is 5-6, 164 pounds and looks more like a jockey getting ready to ride in the Kentucky Derby. But no one has had more impact on Houston’s WS run than this pint-sized superstar…

•Titletown: The city of Houston has morphed into a championship hub. Super Bowl LI was played there in February and now the WS is coming to Space City on Friday…

•Smart Decision: The Dodgers have home field in the series because they earned it. Los Angeles was 104-58 in the regular season, the best record in baseball. Good move by MLB to get away from awarding home field advantage to the winning league in the All-Star Game. That was a gimmick…

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GDG rundown for the weekend Oct. 20th-22nd

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Wherever you turn, there’s something to find on the “Sports Dial”.  Eric and Larry are back in the Downtown Minneapolis studio to tear through all that meat on the sports bone.  The Timberwolves start their new campaign.  The Vikings get a leg (or a collarbone) up on the Packers.  The MLB is closing in on its annual World Series matchup.  The Gophers look to finally get out of their Big Ten funk.  Plus, there’s plenty more NFL to discuss when two current Vikings (Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes) and a former one (Adrian Peterson) join the program.

Wolves Can’t Get an Opening Win
Segment 1: The doors have opened to the 2017-2018 NBA season.  The guys take a couple of minutes to look into the Wolves’ opener in San Antonio.  Was is a good thing that they lost to a pedigree franchise, or is it bad that they lost to a depleted pedigree franchise?

 

Big Hearts and One Huge Shot
Segment 2: The guys get a little philanthropic during this segment of the show.  One local youth football team will get the chance to see a rather important game in February.  Then, was Anthony Barr’s hit on Aaron Rodgers clean or a cheap shot?

 

AP’s Successful Desert Debut
Segment 3: Adrian Peterson wasn’t lost in the desert last Sunday.  Our hosts dive into the former Viking’s big showing in his first game as an Arizona Cardinal.  After that, we get a brief preview of the Purple Showdown between Minnesota and Baltimore.

 

One Backup QB’s Chance & Another QB Gets Back Up
Segment 4: There’s been a lot of QB talk this week across the Upper Midwest.  Teddy Bridgewater isn’t ready to get back to regular season action, but he has returned to the practice field.  Can the Packers survive, and maybe thrive, with Brett Hundley under center?  And has the NFC North flipped due to the Rodgers’ injury?

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is on his way to the ground...

Anthony Barr takes Aaron Rodgers  down…and out…

 

NFL Sound Galore with Adrian Peterson, Trae Waynes, and Xavier Rhodes
Segment 5: It was another big Sunday across the NFL.  It was so big that we needed to get reactions from two locker rooms.  Eric tracked down Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes, while Larry got some time with the aforementioned new running back of the Cardinals, Adrian Peterson.

 

No Dodging L.A.; Gophers Try to Rebound
Segment 6: As of Thursday night, half of the World Series was set.  The fellas discuss the Dodgers getting back to the Fall Classic for the first time in 29 years.  Plus, the shine coming from TCF Bank Stadium has faded.  What can the Gopher football team do to get out of their three-game losing streak?

 

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GDG rundown for Oct. 13th-15th

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When things seem down in sports, you want to believe that hope can bring you out of a bad place.  Eric and Larry are hopeful that they can brings you the latest and greatest from the sports world.  Gopher football hopes to turn around their losing ways in the Big Ten.  The Timberwolves hope that the offseason hype can build into regular season success.  The Vikings hope that a Monday night win can bring momentum to a Border Battle Sunday.  And is there any hope for meaningful discussion on the NFL protests during the National Anthem?  This week’s guests are familiar with Purple Pride, as we hear from current Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon and former RB Chuck Foreman.

Gophers Digging a Big Ten Hole
Segment 1: The Gophers started so well on the football field.  But since the page turned to conference play…not so much.  Out hosts look at the team’s loss at Purdue and whether they can turn things around against Michigan State.

 

Are the Wolves Ready to Howl?
Segment 2: There’s a lot of buzz for basketball in the Twin Cities.  Off of the Lynx winning their fourth WNBA title, the Wolves are getting set to open a much-anticipated season.  The fellas use their crystal ball to discuss how the new-look roster will fare.  Plus, can anyone challenge Golden State for the title?

 

Vikings Continue Their NFC North Run
Segment 3: It was an ugly win, but it was an ugly road win in the division.  The guys talk about the Vikings’ Monday night victory in Chicago.  They also take a couple of minutes to preview Sunday’s rivalry contest with the Packers.  After that, how crushing was Tuesday’s USMNT loss to the future of American soccer?

 

More Purple Talk: Jerick McKinnon Talks Vikings with GDG
Segment 4: Eric and Larry turn back to the pigskin.  More specifically, they begin an extended focus on runnings backs.  They catch up with Vikings tailback Jerick McKinnon after his big night in Chicago.  Later, they shift focus to Arizona, the new home of former Purple star Adrian Peterson.

Minnesota Vikings Jerick McKinnon runs against the Chicago Bears

Jerick McKinnon with a strong run in Chicago – Photographer: Steve Floyd

 

Even MORE Purple Talk: Legendary RB Chuck Foreman Stops By
Segment 5: The Vikings won the middle game of this NFC North stretch.  But it was the folks that weren’t playing at the end that have made the headlines lately.  Legendary running back Chuck Foreman reviews the team’s win in Chicago and previews their matchup against Green Bay.  Plus, how well are the guys replacing Sam Bradford and Dalvin Cook playing?

 

Protesting…and Protesting the Protesting
Segment 6: The debate over the National Anthem protests rages on, with the White House making another statement.  Our hosts look at the walkout from Vice President Mike Pence.  Where does that leave us as the protests, and backlash, continue?

 

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Thomas U. Tuttle

Molitor To Return

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by Thomas U. Tuttle

 

The Minnesota Twins held a press conference the other day to announce that manager Paul Molitor had agreed to terms on a three year deal worth about four million dollars, or roughly one-sixth of what Joe Mauer makes in one year.

And while Mauer had a good year and earned his money (???) it was Molitor who held things together, forged trust and confidence among his diverse band of players, survived the use of 36 – yes, 36! – pitchers over the course of the season, won 26 more games than the previous year – and ultimately made the American League playoffs.

Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey followed Molitor to the podium and made it clear that he and GM Thad Levine were ultimately convinced that, via the long path of 162 games, the current manager of the ballclub was the right leader to take the Twins into the future.

“Over the course​ of the year, it felt like we were building a relationship,” Falvey said early is his remarks. And he followed that important comment with another revealing statement: “I’m not surprised by the class shown by Paul, given who he is as a person, that he handled things so well” – words spoken in recognition of the difficult position Molitor was in, essentially all year, working the final year of his contract.

And knowing, without much doubt, that expectations were that the new, post Terry Ryan braintrust would bring in their own brand-new outside guy to manage the club.

But Falvey and Molitor, as a pleased owner Jim Pohlad said Tuesday, “built a relationship over time (and) I had heard over the course of the year that was how it was going.” Indeed, growing mutual respect between the 61-year-old field general and the 34-year-old CBO was the theme of the day. “I understand that he (Falvey) is looking to build a long term, sustained, championship type program – and I’m all in with that!”

Paul Molitor and Sid Hartman in the Minnesota Twins clubhouse.

October 10, 2017 – Paul Molitor is interviewed by legendary Minnesota journalist Sid Hartman after signing a three year contract extension to manage the Twins.

Some press conferences don’t tell you much, but this one did. Paul was fairly relaxed and reflective, on a season recently ended and a future that could be bright. These guys can work together; Falvey was credited by Molitor with never really commenting, let alone interfering, in a game situation. And at the same time, the young chief respects Mollie enough to expect his observations and potential insights on player decisions, including additions and subtractions from the squad.

Thirty six pitchers is not necessarily a good thing, of course, although Molitor noted that it did give him a chance to evaluate “a lot of arms.” Indeed. The Twins put a stable team on the field, with ten players getting 400-plus at-bats – the most in all of baseball. But – and it’s a big but – the pitching MUST improve significantly or great hitting, like exceptional managing, won’t be able to overcome weak starters and a very modest bullpen.

It was interesting for me to watch Hall-of-Famer Molitor coach against my fellow Northwestern Wildcat baseball alum Joe Girardi. Paul was the greatest shortstop of his time while at Minnesota (and arguably the best ever in the Big Ten) while Girardi earned All American honors as well, behind the plate, about a decade later. He has won rings with the Yankees as a player and manager.

Paul was a big part of my book STATE OF THE GAME which came out in 2000. In it, I devoted a chapter to his special nature as a player and leader – but more than that, as a baseball man. My projection was that he would eventually manage, and manage well. Not that difficult a prognostication, I guess, although it took almost 15 years longer than I thought it would for him to take the helm. (He was offered the Toronto job years ago, but the timing wasn’t right.)

Girardi was much the same, and to watch them square off in a one-game playoff contest was a treat for me. I almost flew out to New York, but I’m glad I didn’t. Mr Confidence, Ervin Santana, laid an egg after being given a three run first inning lead. Walked the leadoff man, gave up a three-run homer minutes later, and deflated his team like a bench-clearing gasser.

Girardi heads to the AL championship behind excellent starters and a powerful bullpen. I’d sure like to see a 5-game or 7-game matchup between the two Big Ten all-star managers, maybe next year. But you have to get batters out at critical times, and the Twins are going to need to vastly improve in that critical department.

I’ll let you in on a little something; In July, I caught up with youthful (43) Chicago Cubs World Series winning General Manager Jed Hoyer. It was at the Society For American Baseball Research (SABR) conference in NYC this summer. His words to me, when I asked about Minnesota’s new hire Derek Falvey, were these: “He will be a great fit, and he really knows how to build pitching.”

Let’s hope so. It would be good for Molitor to be able to get the number of pitchers used per-season below 36…

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: It’s time for the Minnesota Twins to jump into the free agent pool

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By Eric Nelson
October 11, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

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

•Time to Commit: This is a critical off-season for the Minnesota Twins. The Twins arrow is pointing up and they have a young core of talent with building block players such as Brian Dozier, Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Jose Berrios. However, the Twins are not yet a polished product. They need another starting pitcher (preferably an ace) and have to improve their bullpen. Now is the time for owner Jim Pohlad to go all in and do whatever is necessary to make the team better..

•Upgrades Available: Historically the Twins do not chase marquis free agents. It is not in their DNA and there is no guarantee that forking out huge dough for someone will translate into post-season success. But, it is an avenue teams can use to get better, and it’s time the Twins travel down that road. Jake Arrieta (Chicago Cubs) and Yu Darvish (LA Dodgers) are the pitching plums on this year’s free agent market. Both will want multi-year deals for approximately $20-25 million per season. Both also can instantly become an ace in a rotation and sell tickets. It’s time for Minnesota to take the free agent plunge and sign an Arrieta or Darvish – the potential rewards outweigh the possible risk. Go for it Twins, the future is now…

•Closing Time: Another option is for Minnesota to pursue a lights out closer. The Twins could go after Wade Davis – who has been a key cog in the Cubs success. Davis’s price tag would not be as high as a Darvish or Arrieta, but he would bolster the Twins bullpen…

•Casualty List: With star players such as JJ Wattt, Odell Beckham Jr. and Travis Kelce all suffering major injuries this week, it’s another harsh reminder that pro football is a risky business. It’s also another reason why players should demand guaranteed salaries when negotiating the next collective bargaining agreement. Despite NFL efforts to make the game safer, players continue to go down like bowling pins…

•Hypocrisy: Too bad President Donald Trump and VP Mike Pence aren’t as focused on getting guns off the streets as they are on NFL athletes who take a knee. According to CNN, it cost taxpayers 250k for Pence to fly Air Force Two from Las Vegas to Indianapolis then to Los Angeles on Sunday. In a staged stunt, Pence showed up for the San Francisco-Indianapolis game, then left early because some 49ers did not stand for the star spangled banner…

•Just Asking: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says any Dallas player who does not stand for the national anthem will be benched. The Cowboys next game is October 22 against San Francisco in Santa Clara, CA. If the entire team takes a knee, will Dallas forfeit the game..?

•Evergreen State Success: In this week’s AP college football top 25, Washington is ranked fifth and Washington State is eighth. According to the Seattle Times it’s just the third time the Huskies and Cougars have been in the top 10 simultaneously. This year’s Apple Cup game between Washington State and Washington is November 25 in Seattle, and could have playoff repercussions…

•Signature Win: Btw, that’s the same Washington State team that Minnesota knocked off in the 2016 Holiday Bowl. Despite that impressive outing, HC Tracy Claeys was kicked to the curb by the current Gopher regime who did not want him in Dinkytown…

•Soccer Honor: Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino is the MLS Player of the Week. Molino scored a goal and had an assist in Minn U’s 3-2 comeback win last week against Atlanta United in Georgia. Molino has seven goals and a career-high nine assists this season…

•Trending Up: This season’s WNBA playoffs drew an average of 9,596 spectators per game, the most since 2010 (10,822). The WNBA Finals between Los Angeles and Minnesota on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 was the third most-watched Finals ever, averaging 559,000 viewers for the five-game series…

•Knight Time: Former Indiana coaching legend Bob Knight was in St. Paul last weekend for a Nike coaching clinic at the University of St. Thomas. Tommies HC John Tauer, Iowa State’s Steve Prohm and ex-NBA coach Mike Fratello were also at the clinic…

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GDG rundown for the weekend of Oct. 6th-8th

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Fall is definitely in the air, and Postseason Fever was riding high in the Twin Cities this week.  Larry breaks it down from the Downtown Minneapolis studio, while Eric chimes in on location from the area suburbs.  The Twins ran into an old foe in their playoff return.  The Lynx defeated a new foe in their quest for another title.  The Vikings and Gophers try to find some success on the football field.  Plus, we have a bonanza when it comes to this week’s guests.  Tom Tuttle weighs in on the NFL.  We hear from some of the WNBA champs (Cheryl Reeve, Seimone Augustus, and Rebekkah Brunson).  And Don Renzulli of NFL On Location talks about how you can get in good at Super Bowl LII.

Twins Hit A Familiar Roadblock

Segment 1: The Twins made great strides this season.  But they couldn’t past their bug-a-boo, the New York Yankees.  The guys look back at the team’s loss in the A.L. Wild Card Game, as well the rest of this exciting Summer.

 

Purple Pain: GDG’s Tom Tuttle Discusses A Big Vikings Injury

Segment 2: While the leaves are changing, one thing that stays constant is our recurring conversations with GDG COO Tom Tuttle.  He joins the program to look into the NFL schedule at the quarter-turn of the season.  Where do the Vikings stand after a devastating injury to their stud rookie runner?

 

Gophers Try To Rebound on the Road

Segment 3: The Gopher football team had a lot going for it as they opened their conference season last Saturday.  That all came into question after a head-scratching loss against Maryland.  Was this just a blip, or are the Gophers headed for a few more struggles?  The guys tackle that and look ahead to this week’s game at Purdue.

 

Lynx Back On Top: GDG Talks with Members of the WNBA Champs

Segment 4: The Lynx got their ‘revenge’, beating the L.A. Sparks in a dramatic WNBA Finals.  Larry was at Williams Arena for Wednesday’s Game 5, and he had the mic handy after the game when he chatted with Cheryl Reeve, Seimone Augustus, and Rebekkah Brunson.

 

Don Renzulli of NFL On Location Provides A Super Bowl Experience

Segment 5: The NFL season has a long way to go, but it’s not too early to think ahead to Super Bowl LII.  If you are looking for a way to take in all of the atmosphere surrounding that week, NFL On Location Experiences can provide a front-row seat.  Don Renzulli of On Location tells us how you can get in on this year’s big event.

 

Wild Return to the Ice & Topics Galore

Segment 6: It’s a hodgepodge of topics during this portion of the show.  The Wild started their season on Thursday.  What can they do to build off of last season?  Carolina QB Cam Newton is seeing the effects from making some off-color comments to a female reporter.  The Wolves head to China to continue their preseason schedule.

 

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: The Minnesota Vikings are getting plenty of northern exposure this month

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By Eric Nelson
October 4, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the home of Trix...

•Northern Exposure: The Minnesota Vikings are smack dab in the middle of a three-game October run against NFC North opponents. It began last week with a 14-7 loss to Detroit, continues Monday night in Chicago, and finishes up October 15 in Minneapolis against Green Bay. This is a crucial stretch for the Purple, who can ill afford to go 1-2 or 0-3 against their division rivals…

•Diggs Route: Vikings’ WR Stefan Diggs has become an explosive player who gains yards in chunks and has a knack for making tough catches in traffic. This season Diggs has 22 receptions, an NFL-best 391 yards receiving and four touchdowns…

•Saluting Ahmad: Ahmad Rashad was inducted into the ring of honor at halftime of the Lions-Vikings game, something that was long overdue. Rashad was an impact wideout with Minnesota from 1976-81 and was a key cog in the Purple’s offense…

•Fantastic Finish: Rashad played in one Super Bowl and four Pro Bowls for Minnesota. His pinnacle moment came in December 1980 against Cleveland in Bloomington, MN. Rashad caught a last second desperation heave from quarterback Tommy Kramer as the Vikings stunned the Browns 28-23 to win the NFC Central Division title. The play is now known as “The Miracle at the Met…”

•Philly West: According to the LA Times, there were so many Eagles fans at Sunday’s Philadelphia-LA Chargers game in Carson, CA, that Philly players had to quiet the crowd when QB Carson Wentz was calling signals. A total of 25,374 showed up to the StubHub Center and most wore green jerseys…

•Tough Transition: The Chargers should cut their losses, hop on I-5 south and return to San Diego where they belong. Not only is LA ignoring the Chargers, but they are off to an 0-4 start – which does nothing to garner attention or interest in sports-saturated So Cal. The Chargers have also been on the short side of three squeaker games – losing by three to Denver, two to Miami and two to Philadelphia…

•KC Masterpiece: Rookie RB Kareem Hunt might be Kansas City’s most exciting player since Dante Hall – who was known as the “The Human Joystick.” Hunt leads the NFL with 502 yards rushing, has 157 yards receiving and six touchdowns. Hunt is a major reason why KC is a perfect 4-0…

•Waffle Kings: Hard to believe the Minnesota Twins have not given manager Paul Molitor a contract extension yet. What are Derek Falvey and Thad Levine waiting for? Molly took the Twins to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Enough said. Bring him back and give him a raise…

•Playoff Bonanza: Even though the Twins got bounced from the wild card game by the NY Yankees on Tuesday night, this is a great week to be a Minnesota sports fan. It’s not often when two Twin Cities teams are in the post-season at the exact same time. From Twins-Yankees to Sparks-Lynx, there were plenty of high stakes games to focus on…

•Sayonara Soccer: Minnesota United’s final regular season home match is Saturday against Sporting KC at TCF Bank Stadium. Minn U won 3-2 against Atlanta United on Tuesday and has 35 points this season. The Loons finish up on the road against Los Angeles on October 15 and San Jose on October 22…

•Crowd Count: Minn U is averaging 20,380 fans per match this year – 10th best in MLS. Atlanta United is the top-draw in the league with a per match average of 46,956, followed by Seattle (43,298) and Toronto (27,634)…

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Gameday Gold Radio – November 17, 2017 – s.6

An International Mishap & Honors that Confuse and Astound

Segment 6: What do President Trump, the Ball family, college basketball, and shoplifting have in common?  The guys discuss this near-miss of an international incident in China.  Colin Kaepernick gets an honor from a major magazine.  A couple of Twins (A.L. Manager of the Year Paul Molitor and Platinum Glove winner Byron Buxton) get some accolades for a season’s worth of work.

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Gameday Gold Radio – November 17, 2017 – s.1

It’s another week with major headlines across the sports world.  Who better to cover them all than Eric and Larry.  They’re back together in the Downtown Minneapolis studio for this week’s edition.  And it’s going to be quite the weekend in the Twin Cities.  The Vikings try to keep a playoff spot and a bye in their sights when the battle the Rams.  The Timberwolves try to keep the winning ways alive.  The Wild build an impressive streak against their opposition.  Gopher football has a chance to go bowling.  The Twins get some well-deserved accolades.  And that’s just the local stories.  To go along with everything, we’ll hear from the Playmaker himself, NFL Hall of Fame member Michael Irvin.

Horns-A-Plenty at the Bank

Segment 1: A showdown is set for Sunday in Downtown Minneapolis.  The guys look back on the history of the Vikings-Rams series.  We get a heads up on the revival of that series, with both teams sporting sparkling 7-2 records.  How big of a game is this for both squads?

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Gameday Gold Radio – November 10, 2017 – s.3

Remembering an Ace & Going for Some Gold
Segment 3: The sports world is not all smiles this week.  Baseball is mourning the sudden and tragic passing of former Cy Young-winning pitcher Roy Halladay.  However, there are brighter stories from the diamond.  Our guys discuss the Gold Glove-winning attributes of Twins’ stars Byron Buxton and Brian Dozier.  Plus, will the Twins be proactive during this Hot Stove season?
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Gameday Gold Radio – November 10, 2017 – s.1

This show isn’t just nationally-known, it’s internationally-known.  This week, Eric is guiding the show in Minneapolis, while Larry is out in Phoenix.  They dive in on the juicy story of Jerry Jones’ lawsuit threat against the NFL.  The Vikings might have a QB controversy going into the second half of the season.  The Twins get some gold to show off in their trophy case, while the MLB celebrates the life of an ace pitcher gone too soon.  Will the Gophers find a way to get bowl eligible?  Did a loss to Golden State do more good than harm for the Wolves?  Then, GDG columnist Scott Taylor joins the program to look at the Wild’s poor start, soocer and baseball’s footprint in Canada, and more.
It’s Not All Good-ell for Jerry Jones
Segment 1: While Eric and Larry have some distance between them this week, one thing that pulls them together is the NFL.  The guys analyze Jerry Jones’ threat to sue the league if Commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract gets extended.  Will the Dallas Cowboys owner get his way?
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Gameday Gold Radio – October 5, 2017 – s.1

Fall is definitely in the air, and Postseason Fever was riding high in the Twin Cities this week.  Larry breaks it down from the Downtown Minneapolis studio, while Eric chimes in on location from the area suburbs.  The Twins ran into an old foe in their playoff return.  The Lynx defeated a new foe in their quest for another title.  The Vikings and Gophers try to find some success on the football field.  Plus, we have a bonanza when it comes to this week’s guests.  Tom Tuttle weighs in on the NFL.  We hear from some of the WNBA champs (Cheryl Reeve, Seimone Augustus, and Rebekkah Brunson).  And Don Renzulli of NFL On Location talks about how you can get in good at Super Bowl LII.

Twins Hit A Familiar Roadblock

Segment 1: The Twins made great strides this season.  But they couldn’t past their bug-a-boo, the New York Yankees.  The guys look back at the team’s loss in the A.L. Wild Card Game, as well the rest of this exciting Summer.

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Gameday Gold Radio – September 28, 2017 – s.1

This has been a wild week in sports.  From controversy to title hopes, there’s a lot for Eric and Larry to tackle.  They do so from the Downtown Minneapolis studio.  The Twins are back in the postseason for the first time in seven years.  How did they do it after last year’s disastrous run?  There’s no way they can go the entire show without touching on the NFL player protests last weekend.  GDG’s Tom Tuttle offers his opinion on whether this is the right way to go.  The Vikings rebounded against Tampa Bay.  Will the momentum continue against Detroit?  The Lynx are in a battle to win their fourth WNBA championship.  Plus, former Gopher football player and athletic director Dr. McKinley Boston joins the program to speak on the 50th anniversary of the last Gopher football Big Ten champ and his road to becoming Dr. Boston.

Twins Turnaround is Complete

Segment 1: You better believe it!  The Twins became the first team in MLB history to make the postseason a year after experiencing a 100-plus loss season.  Eric and Larry take some time to explain the remarkable turnaround at Target Field.  And whom would the guys name as the team’s MVP?

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Gameday Gold Radio – September 21, 2017 – s.3

A Playoff Berth’s So Close for the Twins

Segment 3: The Twins are clawing their way to a potential postseason berth.  Can they keep hold of this opportunity?  Eric and Larry dive into what we should expect over the last handful of days in the regular season.  Plus, they begrudgingly look back at the team getting swept at the hands of the Yankees.

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Gameday Gold Radio – September 14, 2017 – s.4

GDG’s Tom Tuttle Talks Tragic Weather and Terrific Twins

Segment 4: While the fun of sports continues, it’s trivial to the devastation this hurricane season has wrought on the American Gulf Coast.  Tom Tuttle joins the program to discuss the tragic wake that Hurricane Irma left across the Caribbean.  Then, can the Twins hang on for the next two weeks and make the postseason?

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Gameday Gold Radio – September 14, 2017 – s.3

Cleveland Crushes; Will Gopher Revenge Be Sweet?

Segment 3: Can anybody cool off the Indians?  Thursday marked the team’s 22nd consecutive win, an American League record.  Does this bode well for Cleveland returning to the World Series?  Plus, the Gopher football team can exact some revenge for the men’s basketball team?  Middle Tennessee comes to town for this week’s contest.

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Gameday Gold Radio – September 14, 2017 – s.1

It’s another week where frivolity mixes with tragedy.  For most of this episode, Eric and Larry bring the fun as all the sports worlds mix together.  The Lynx begin their quest for a fourth ring in seven years.  The Vikings make a triumphant return to NFL football.  The Twins make sure they keep their playoff hopes kicking.  Is Cleveland the latest lock to win the World Series?  Then, the show does turn to recap the wrath that another hurricane has brought to the U.S.  Tom Tuttle takes a few moments to discuss the light and heavy of the past week.  We also hear from some victorious Vikings (Dalvin Cook, Linval Joseph, Harrison Smith) after Monday’s opener.

Lynx Spring Into Action

Segment 1: The Lynx have finally entered their playoff run.  The guys dissect the team holding serve at home against the Washington Mystics.  Plus, one Lynx star gets her due from the WNBA.  After that, we hear a touching tribute to a Twins icon that you never saw play on the field.