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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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GDG rundown for Sept. 29th – Oct. 1st

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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?

 

NFL Protests Grab the Headlines

Segment 2: It’s the hot-button issue of the week.  The NFL player protests during the national anthem caught the interest of President Donald Trump, and then it blossomed.  Our hosts look into everything that went on last Sunday and Monday.  Did this also leak into which championship teams will be showing up at the White House?  And do the Vikings have something in Case Keenum?

 

The Heart of the Matter: GDG’s Tom Tuttle Discusses Player Protests

Segment 3: The NFL player protest hits a lot of people at home.  That includes GDG CFO Tom Tuttle.  He joins the program to share his thoughts on this headline that’s staying on the front page.  The three gentlemen bat around the idea of whether the actions taken by the players are disrespectful or not.

 

Gopher’s Golden Age: Dr. McKinley Boston Remembers Gopher Glory

Segment 4: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the last Gopher football team to win at least a piece of the Big Ten championship.  Dr. McKinley Boston was part of that team.  We’re honored to have the former player and U of M athletic director on the program to discuss that team and what college athletics looks like today.

 

Beyond the Field: Dr. Boston Looks Into Fifty Years of Change

Segment 5: The conversation takes a turn as Dr. Boston stays with us for a few more minutes.  He tells us about the path he took to earn a doctorate.  What’s changed on the U of M campus since his days in the Dinkytown neighborhood?  And how have opportunities changed over those 50 years?

 

Inches of Separation & Vikings Making a Case

Segment 6: The Lynx let Game 1 get away, then they held on to take Game 2.  What will they show in the rest of their WNBA Finals series against the Sparks?  Then, they head back to the Vikings.  Can the Case Keenum train continue to build steam with Detroit coming into town this Sunday?

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Case Keenum makes his case for the Minnesota Vikings

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By Eric Nelson
September 27, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the Bold North...

•Case Closed: Minnesota QB Case Keenum proved his skeptics wrong on Sunday with an outstanding performance against Tampa Bay. Keenum threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings convincing 34-17 win. Keenum was given plenty of time to throw by his purple people protectors on the offensive line, and was in sync with wideouts Steffan Diggs (8 receptions, 173 yards and 2 touchdowns) and Adam Thielen (5 catches for 98 yards). Keenum deserves all the accolades he is getting this week…

Vikings QB Case Keenum surveys the defense

Case Keenum surveys the Buccaneers defense

•Key Game: On Sunday Detroit (2-1) comes to Minnesota (2-1) for a crucial NFC North match up. The Lions swept the Vikings last season, which essentially kept the Purple out of the playoffs…

•Closed Doors: What’s the point of having pivoting doors at US Bank Stadium if they are rarely open? For Sunday’s Tampa Bay-Minnesota game at USBS the gigantic glass doors were shut. So what if it’s 90 degrees outside, let some natural air in the dome. The pivoting doors are a gimmick…

•Cowboy Unity: Of all the snapshots from the NFL’s week 3 protests, my favorite came on Monday night in Glendale, AZ before the Cowboys-Cardinals game. Dallas owner Jerry Jones took a knee with the Cowboys and then the entire team rose as one for the Star Spangled banner. It was a great show of unity and a remarkable pivot for Jones, who according to the Dallas Morning News, donated $1 million to President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January…

•Pop’s View: San Antonio Spurs HC Gregg Popovich went rip city on the POTUS this week, criticizing his recent comments about the National Anthem and not inviting Golden State to Washington DC to celebrate their NBA title. My response: You go Pop. This is one guy who gets it…

•Epic Day: Kudos to the University of St. John’s, St. Thomas and the Minnesota Twins for putting on a great show Saturday at Target Field. A whopping 37,355 fans showed up for Johnnies-Tommies – a single game NCAA D3 attendance record. There was plenty of energy in the venue and the game had a big-time feel…

•Dirt Ball: One of the cool visuals was seeing a gridiron with infield dirt and green grass. That used to be a common site when MLB and NFL teams shared facilities, but now is only seen in Oakland with the A’s and Raiders. This looked like a throwback game…

•Gotham Showdown: The Minnesota Twins are close to clinching the AL’s final wild card spot. If/when that happens, the Twins will face the NY Yankees in a one-game playoff play-in at Yankee Stadium. Historically the Yankees have been kryptonite for the Twins and have dominated them in the regular season and post-season. But, a one-game winner-take-all scenario is different than a best-of-five, or best-of-seven series. With Ervin Santana on the mound Minnesota has a legitimate chance to spring the upset…

•Evil Empire: Minnesota and New York have met four times in the playoffs (2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010) and the Yankees won each series. The Twins were swept twice and lost the other match ups 3 games to 1. New York has also whipped up on Minnesota in the regular season, posting a 78-31 record since 2002…

•Twins Turnaround: Minnesota’s remarkable rebound is one of the top story lines in MLB this season. Going from 59-103 in 2016 to a possible playoff berth in 2017 is amazing. Paul Molitor could be AL manager of the year, and 1B Joe Mauer and CF Byron Buxton could win gold gloves…

•Flash Back: In 1987 the Twins stunned all of MLB by winning the World Series. Now, 30 years later, the 2017 Twins are trying to do the same thing. Unlikely? Yes. Impossible? No. Could be an interesting October in the Land of Lakes…

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GDG rundown for the week of Sept. 22nd-24th

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There’s a lot of “big happenings” when it comes to the Twin Cities.  And it’s not just because we’re months away from hosting Super Bowl LII.  Eric and Larry are in the Downtown Minneapolis studio to spread the love.  The Lynx are looking for an historic WNBA title.  The Twins are seeking a spot in the MLB playoffs.  Gopher football has made it through the non-conference schedule unscathed.  Meanwhile, the Vikings are searching for answers with their starting QB struggling to get back on the field.  Our hosts cover all of those topics.  And there’s a special event happening at Target Field this Saturday.  Michelle Morgan from the University of St. Thomas tells us what went into making a Division III rivalry a national story.

Vikings’ Panel & Quarterback Placement

Segment 1: The city of Minneapolis is giddy about hosting this upcoming Super Bowl.  But are there some concerns regarding the outside of U.S. Bank Stadium?  The guys discuss falling zinc panels.  Then, which QB holds the title of “2nd Best in Vikings History”?  And what will Tampa Bay bring to the Purple on Sunday?

 

More Headlines From the NFL

Segment 2: A quarter of the NFL sports a 2-0 record.  Which of those teams could miss the postseason?  Our hosts pontificate.  After that, Ezekiel Elliott has had his name in the news for negative off-field transgressions.  But what’s the on-field mistake that some are screaming about this week?

 

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.

 

Randy Moss Gets His Honor

Segment 4: It might have happened a couple of weeks back, but it’s still great to hear Randy Moss’ speech as he was being inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor.  We hear that speech from the opening Monday Night game of the NFL season.  The fellas also wonder if the football head coaching circle is starting younger than it used to.

 

No Other Rival: GDG Talks with Michelle Morgan About a New D-III Feat

Segment 5: A unique event takes place this Saturday in downtown Minneapolis.  The NCAA Division III football rivalry that is St. Thomas and St. John’s will take place on a grand stage.  UST associate athletic director Michelle Morgan joins the program to discuss this special renewal of the series that is taking place at Target Field.

 

Lynx Look for Redemption & Gopher FB Sets a High Bar

Segment 6: The WNBA Finals is set.  The Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks will seek to become the second team in WNBA history to win four championships.  Which team has the edge in the rematch?  Gopher football has the week off before starting their new nine-game Big Ten campaign.  What can we make of the 3-0 start for P.J. Fleck’s guys?

 

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Eric Nelson

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

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By Eric Nelson
September 20, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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GDG rundown for the weekend of Sept. 15th-17th

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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.

 

Purple Pride on Display in Week 1

Segment 2: The Vikings got off to a victorious start on Monday.  Our hosts break down the Purple’s impressive win over New Orleans.  How good was Sam Bradford?  Is the offensive line closer to being fixed than broken?  And what momentum can travel with them as they head to Pittsburgh this Sunday?

 

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.

 

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?

 

The Sound of Victorious Vikings, Courtesy of Gameday Gold

Segment 5: After the Vikings ran their 2017 record to 1-0, the fellas headed to the locker room to get some reaction from another good start.  They got mics in the vicinity of rookie rusher Dalvin Cook, defensive tackle Linval Joseph, and safety Harrison Smith.

 

The Rest of Weeks 1 & 2 Around the NFL

Segment 6: On Thursday, the Texans and Bengals provided the opener for Week 2 of the NFL season.  The guys wonder if Houston’s win may spell doom for Cincinnati.  After that, what are the rest of the headlines for the second week of regular season play.

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Astros-Twins is a tale of two top prospects

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By Eric Nelson
May 30, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the home of Gold Medal Flour...

•Prized Prospects: There are plenty of good angles in this week’s Houston-Minnesota series that is a battle between two first place teams. One is the comparison of Astros SS Carlos Correa and Twins CF Byron Buxton. Correa – the top pick in the 2012 MLB draft – is batting .309 with eight home runs, 30 RBI and three errors. Meanwhile Buxton – the second choice in the 2012 draft – is batting .194 with two home runs, eight RBI and one error. On Monday, Correa crushed a 430 foot home run for the Astros off Minnesota ace Ervin Santana

•Pure Power: In the same game, Minnesota 3B Miguel Sano smashed a 417 foot tater onto Target Field’s grassy knoll in center field. Left, center or right, Sano’s ability to hit long balls to all fields is impressive…

•7-11: There were plenty of fireworks in the Memorial Day game as Houston rallied to win 16-8. The Twins scored seven runs in the 5th inning and led 8-2 late in the contest. But, Houston erupted for 11 runs in the top of the 8th to stun Minnesota. The half inning was also interrupted by a brief 10-minute rain delay. The last time Houston had an 11-run inning was 1994 and it’s the first time ever the Astros have won when trailing by six runs entering the 8th inning…

•Amazing Astros: Houston clearly has the look of a potential World Series team. The Astros (36-16) have the top record in MLB and lead Texas and the LA Angels by 11 games in the AL West. With a galaxy of stars such as Correa, 2B Jose Altuve, CF George Springer and P Dallas Keuchel, Houston has the building blocks for a possible title run…

•Trending Up: After a sputtering start at the plate, Twins 1B Joe Mauer has slowly raised his average. Mauer is batting .289 and reached base seven times in Minnesota’s 15-inning loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday…

•Minnesota Marathons: The Twins last three games have been lengthy affairs. On Saturday, Minnesota knocked off Tampa Bay 5-3 in a 3 hour and 35 minute game. On Sunday, the Rays outlasted the Twins 8-6 in a 15 inning contest that dragged on for 6 hours and 26 minutes. Monday’s Astros-Twins slugfest took 3 hours and 44 minutes to play, which does not include the rain delay…

•Sparse Turnouts: Despite being on top of the AL Central, the Twins are 23rd out of 30 MLB teams in attendance. In 27 dates Minnesota is averaging just 23,119 fans per game…

•Basebrawl: Just a hunch, but I am guessing that Washington RF Bryce Harper and San Francisco P Hunter Strickland won’t be exchanging Christmas cards this year…

•Trailblazer: Kudos to the St. Paul Saints for saluting Ila Borders on Saturday in the Capital City. In 1997 while pitching for St. Paul, Borders became the first female player in minor league history. The Saints also gave out Borders bobblehead dolls to fans before their game against the Kansas City T-Bones…

•Goal-oriented: Minnesota United F Christian Ramirez is tied for third in MLS with eight goals. Ramirez scored the only goal last week in Minn U’s 1-0 win over Orlando City SC. After he scored, Ramirez celebrated with Loons HC Adrian Heath, who was unceremoniously dumped by Orlando City SC last July…

•Repeat Crowns: It doesn’t happen often, but there is a chance the NBA and NHL will have back-to-back champs in back-to-back seasons. Cleveland is trying to make it two straight titles in the Association and Pittsburgh is trying to repeat in the NHL and leads Nashville 1-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals…

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: The Minnesota Twins are thriving on the road

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By Eric Nelson
May 24, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

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

•Travel-Tested: The Minnesota Twins apparently love packing their bags, hopping on jets and staying in hotels. After their 2-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night at Camden Yards, the Twins are 13-5 on the road, which is much better than their 11-13 home record. The Twins (24-18) continue to be an early season surprise as they lead Cleveland by one game in the AL Central…

•Mound Magic: Twins P Ervin Santana was outstanding against the Orioles, throwing a complete game, two-hit shutout. Santana (7-2) is tied with Houston’s Dallas Keuchel and the LA Dodgers Clayton Kershaw for the most wins in MLB. Santana’s 1.80 ERA is the lowest in the majors…

•Sano Show: On Monday Miguel Sano put on a power display at Camden in Minnesota’s 14-7 win. Sano had four hits (including a home run), scored three times and drove in three runs. Sano has 37 RBI which is tied for the AL lead with Seattle’s Nelson Cruz

•Sunday Saturation: There was sports gridlock in the Twin Cities on Sunday. Kansas City and Minnesota played a double dip at Target Field, Gary and St. Paul played two games at CHS Field and the LA Galaxy took on Minnesota United at TCF Bank Stadium. The Royals-Twins games drew an announced 27,852 fans, the Railcats and Saints played before 7,511, while LA and Minn U attracted a crowd of 19,107. Not bad considering temps were in the mid-40’s and there was rain or mist coming down part of the day…

•Just Asking: What will happen first, the Golden State Warriors losing in the playoffs or Keuchel losing a game? The Warriors are 12-0 in the NBA’s postseason while Keuchel (currently on the 10 day DL) is 7-0…

•Ho Hum: The Minnesota Lynx (4-0) are off to another fast start. The Lynx squeaked by the Connecticut Sun 80-78 on Tuesday night in St. Paul. Sylvia Fowles scored 21 points and had 13 rebounds for the Lynx who have spoiled their fan base with consistent success…

•Hockey-Tonk: Music City is Hockey City now that Nashville has advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history. The Predators are the 14th sun belt team to play for the Cup and suddenly have become a trendy team in Tennessee…

•Fun is Good: Kudos to the NFL for easing up on player celebration penalties. The stuffy and buttoned up league that frowned on dancing and frolicking, is now going to let players be more expressive. Goal post dunks, snow angels and choreographed end zone dances will be en vogue again thanks to rule changes approved at the NFL spring meetings in Chicago…

•Coliseum Upgrades: According to the LA Times, the historic LA Coliseum is going to get a $270 million renovation. USC – the venue’s primary tenant – has raised $225 million for the project which will be finished in 2019. The Coliseum makeover includes new seats, wider aisles in some areas, a tower with luxury boxes and club seats on the stadium’s south side. Coliseum capacity will shrink from 94,000 to 77,000. The LAC is also the temporary home for the LA Rams…

Los Angeles Coliseum

Los Angeles Coliseum

•Name Game: The Times also reports that Coliseum naming rights have been sold to United Airlines. That means the 94-year old facility will have a new name for the first time ever…

•Prep Palace: According to the Houston Chronicle, Legacy Stadium in Katy, TX opens this fall. The tab is $72.1 million – making it the most expensive high school football venue in Texas history. Legacy’s capacity will be 12,000…

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Eric Nelson

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

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By Eric Nelson
May 17, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the Minneapple....

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colin Kaepernick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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