Posts

audio logo

GDG rundown for the weekend of August 18th-20th

Print this entry

It’s getting toward crunch time in the MLB.  It’s getting toward game time in the NFL.  But no matter what time it is, our guys are always at the ready to bring the heat.  Eric is back in the Downtown Minneapolis studio, while Larry gives his take from the Twin Cities’ suburbs this week.  It’s a packed week, with the NFL Preseason going into its second week, the anticipation of P.J. Fleck’s Gopher debut, the Wild re-signing a local product, and the Wolves’ increased exposure.  GDG’s Tom Tuttle joins in the fun as he tries to figure out if the Twins pulled the plug a little early on their postseason chances.

“Fake” Football Equals Real Big Money

Segment 1: The NFL continues to roll through its preseason…and continues to rake in the money.  Eric and Larry begin this week by looking at the process of how this month of the league’s calendar works.  This includes the money that fans are willing to spend.

 

Watching Out for the Injury Bug

Segment 2: As the Vikings take their last portions of Camp back into the Cities, which injuries are the guys concerned about?  They focus in on whether Latavius Murray will be ready to go for the season opener.

 

Hoping To Be Fleck-Tastic

Segment 3: The Gopher football team is ready to start the P.J. Fleck era.  Are the fellas geeked to see how this edition of the team will look?  Then, the L.A. Dodgers are flat out steamrolling the rest of baseball.  We hear about an inspiring comeback story on the mound.  And there are other stories about athletics looking beyond the court.

 

Pigskin…In & Out of Reality

Segment 4: Wait a minute…Rice and Stanford are opening their NCAA football seasons WHERE?!?  Where are Wisconsin and Notre Dame going to battle on the football field in upcoming seasons?  Plus, are either of our hosts big into fantasy football?

 

Yea or Nay: GDG’s Tom Tuttle on the Twins’ Playoff Chances

Segment 5: Can the Twins stay alive in the AL postseason chase?  Did they pull the plug too early on this season?  GDG’s Tom Tuttle joins the program to give his thoughts on whether the “Wait for Next Year” strategy really works.

 

Twin Cities’ Winter Teams Make Some News

Segment 6: A native Minnesotan is coming home.  We hear about the Wild signing former center Matt Cullen.  After that, if you’re away from the Upper Midwest and want to see the 2017-2018 Timberwolves, you’ll have plenty of chances.  Our hosts peek at the Wolves’ increased presence in the national spotlight.

 

Print this entry

audio logo

GDG rundown for the weekend of Aug. 11th – 13th

Print this entry

Time’s ticking to take care of those Summer vacations.  So, the road show continues for one of our hosts.  Larry is back in the Twin Cities, while Eric has traveled east on I-94 to the city known as Chicago.  The guys really dig into the Second City, from the ChiSox to how things roll on different sides of the metro.  The Vikings get their preseason underway.  What should we expect from this version of the Purple?  And how important of a role has Mankato played in the franchise’s history.  Is the World Series matchup a foregone conclusion?  The Lynx will have to get familiar with another homecourt come playoff time.  And Larry catches up with the 3M Champion (Paul Goydos), the President’s Cup captain (Steve Stricker), and a stud Viking defender (Eric Kendricks).

No Winning Time for the White Sox 

Segment 1: With Eric rolling into Chicago to take in a White Sox game , the guys look at the disappointment on the South Side of the Second City.  Plus, can the Twins pull it together enough to stay in the postseason chase?

 

Which Side of the Windy City?

Segment 2: Our hosts take another look at the city of Chicago.  What makes the difference between the North Side and the South Side?  After that, Larry recaps the Champions Tour making their annual stop in the Twin Cities.  And who’s the favorite to win this weekend’s PGA Championship?

 

It’s Back to Football for the Purple

Segment 3: The Vikings have found their way to the Preseason.  What can we expect once the regular season starts?  The fellas give their thoughts on where the team can improve.  Then, a former Purple signal caller made an impression during the second game of the NFL Preseason.

 

A Title-Series Collision Course?

Segment 4: The Dodgers and Astros are running away with the best records in their respective leagues.  But will they meet in the World Series?  Eric and Larry discuss any other contenders that could derail the potential showdown.  They also look into the participation decline in golf after yet another Minneapolis city course announces it will (at least partially) close.

 

Larry Gets His Miles and Grabs Some Sound

Segment 5: Larry continued his busy week when he returned from the NFL’s Hall of Fame weekend in Canton, OH.  His first stop was Blaine, where he caught up with the winner of last weekend’s 3M Championship (Paul Goydos) and this year’s U.S. President’s Cup captain (Steve Stricker).  Next, Larry strolled into Mankato and chatted with Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks before the team said its final goodbyes to the city.

 

The Roaming Lynx & A Fond Farewall

Segment 6: The Lynx are undoubtedly the WNBA’s best.  Is that fueled by a sense of revenge?  The guys discuss that, as well as the changing homecourts for this season’s team.  And it’s farewell to Mankato for the Vikings.  Our hosts reflect on the impact Training Camp had on the community.

Print this entry

After 52 Years in Mankato, that’s all, folks!

Print this entry

By Larry Fitzgerald
August 10, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

MANKATO — August 8, 2017 marks the official end of an era when, after 52 years, the NFL Minnesota Vikings left Mankato State University and the city of Mankato for the very last time. After all these years, the Vikings will move to their new permanent office and training headquarters in Eagan, Minnesota in March of 2018.

All 32 NFL teams are in their second weeks of training camp, the rosters loaded with 90 players each fighting to make dreams come true. Last week I was in Canton, Ohio for the NFL’s Hall of Fame game. Dallas edged Arizona 20-18.

Last year’s HOF game was canceled because of poor field conditions. Many changes have been made to Tom Benson Stadium just off highway 77 in Canton. This year’s 2017 HOF Class featured Morten Anderson, Terrell Davis, Kenny Easley, Jerry Jones, Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson and Kurt Warner.

The Vikings pre-season starts Thursday night in Buffalo vs. the Bills. After carefully watching the Vikings working hard in Mankato, I am reminded how time just keeps moving on. When I started covering sports in the Twin Cities 39 years ago, little did I know I was the first Black sportswriter to cover the Vikings full time.

The Vikings had a private ceremony Monday thanking the city of Mankato and Mankato State University. Vikings ownership was there, team President Mark Wilf with team COO Kevin Warren as master of ceremonies, as well as the president of Mankato State and the city’s mayor.

The University’s president thanked the Vikings for helping Mankato State become the second-largest university in the state. He had the gathered group laughing when he said Mankato State might open an Eagan Campus.

HOF coach Bud Grant was there and shocked me by coming up from behind and emotionally hugging me. I remember covering coach Grant’s Vikings and how serious and stoic he was. I was so determined back then to not be denied. Coach Grant was always good to me — that’s why after all these years the Vikings are like family to me.

There have been hundreds of ball boys and staff employees over these 52 years at Mankato. Only a couple, however, have gone on to star in the National Football League. The late Dennis Green made that a reality for me; he gave my two sons Marcus and Larry, Jr. their first jobs. I hosted and produced the “Dennis Green Radio Show” for eight years.

I will never forget the hot August day that my son Marcus called me at 4 am to tell me Korey Stringer had died of heat exhaustion. I was in shock literally and jumped in my car and drove to Mankato. I never thought to check my fuel gage. I was just emotionally lost.

My car ran out of gas on highway 169 near St. Peter. Former Vikings star Joe Sensor stopped and helped me get gas after being stranded on the road. That would ultimately be the last season for coach Green. In 2001 the team could not overcome the death of Stringer.

The 2017 Vikings look good to me with Super Bowl 52 coming up in February of 2018. I believe this team is ready for the challenge in this final season of Vikings football in Mankato and the chance to win Super Bowl 52 at home in U.S. Bank Stadium.

Do you believe it’s finally time for the Vikings?


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 Aug. 4th-6th

Print this entry

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

 

Only A Matter of Time

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

 

America the Beautiful

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

 

Driven for Success…and Change

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

 

The Stars of “The Star”

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

 

Purple Preseason Pride

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

 

GDG’s Tom Tuttle Talks Twins

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

 

Print this entry

audio logo

GDG rundown for the weekend of July 28th-30th

Print this entry

With everything going on in the world of sports, here comes the NFL.  Eric and Larry are ready for the added weight, as they bring us all of the headlines from the Downtown Minneapolis studio.  There’s a ton to cover this week, including the rumors of Kyrie Irving as a Wolves player, the Twins’ slide down the standings, the Dodgers’ NL dominance, the Vikings starting up Training Camp, and more.  We get more insight on the Purple’s last trip to Mankato when legendary Viking Chuck Foreman joins the program.

Are the Wolves Becoming a “Destination” Team?

Segment 1: So, why would All-Star and NBA champion Kyrie Irving have Minnesota on his short list on teams to be traded to?  Eric and Larry have their thoughts on whether the Cavs’ point guard might actually move to the Twin Cities.

 

Purple Pride Spends One More Year in Mankato

Segment 2: NFL football is getting back on the field, with Training Camps opening up all over the country.  The guys look in on the Vikings as they rev it up in Mankato.  Which Purple defender got a bigger paycheck going into camp?  And what are the keys that could help the team return to the postseason?

 

Twins Run Into a Freight Train in L.A.

Segment 3: The Twins have held up through the season, but the floor is sliding out from under them.  The fellas recap the Twins getting swept in Los Angeles.  How impressive are the MLB-best Dodgers?  We hear about every aspect of the organization (from the team to the atmosphere).

 

Several Stories From the Local Headlines

Segment 4: MN United’s new stadium won’t be ready for a while, but it’s name will be waiting.  We hear about the sponsor’s name that will be shown on the building.  Will the PGA Tour get an annual stop in the Twin Cities?  A legendary area coach and Basketball Hall of Fame member passes  away.  And the Lynx continue to run through their WNBA schedule.

 

Former Viking Chuck Foreman Talks Mankato Memories and Team Expectations

Segment 5: As we near the beginning of the NFL Preseason, the Vikings are about to close a chapter in their storied history.  A key member of that history, running back Chuck Foreman, joins the program to discuss the charm of Training Camp in Mankato and his thoughts on the 2017 product.

 

A Bizarre End for the Champion Golfer of the Year

Segment 6: Did anyone see what happened late on Sunday in the Open Championship?  Our hosts relive the incredible finish to the third PGA major of the year.  After that, is coaching diversity lacking across parts of the Big Ten (including here in Minnesota)?

Print this entry

Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Minnesota is no longer the North Pole of the NBA

Print this entry

By Eric Nelson
July 25, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@Ericinminny44

 

MINNEAPOLIS -Sports Nuggets from Timberwolves Nation...

•Trade Demand: Kyrie Irving has had enough of Cleveland. The superstar PG is tired of being solar eclipsed by LeBron James and wants to leave the King’s galaxy. Irving’s goal is to force a trade to one of four teams – Miami, Minnesota, New York or San Antonio…

•Hot Spot: By simply listing the Timberwolves as one of his fab four, Irving gives the franchise legitimacy. Apparently Minnesota is no longer the North Pole of the NBA…

•Butler Bounce: Of course, the T-Wolves can thank Jimmy Butler for this perception change. Once Minnesota acquired Butler from Chicago, the Wolves got instant street cred…

•Young Talent: In the last seven days the Minnesota Twins have gone up against two of the most prolific rookies in recent MLB history. Last week the Twins faced Aaron Judge and the NY Yankees in a three-game series in Minneapolis. This week it’s phenom Cody Bellinger as the Twins and LA Dodgers play three in So Cal…

•Dodger Dinger: On Monday night the Twins found out just how good Bellinger is. Bellinger slugged a three-run home run in the 9th inning to give LA a 6-4 win. Bellinger has 28 taters and 67 RBI this season..

•Fun is Good: The St. Paul Saints continue to be one of the best sports bargains in the Twin Cities. Scenic CHS Field is a gem, the ball club is highly successful (34-27 and 1 game behind Winnipeg in the AA North) and the goofy, in-game shtick is comical. The Saints hallmark is baseball mixed with entertainment and they pull that off that better than anyone…

•Lowertown Boom: This is year three for the Saints at CHS. They are part of the reason why Lowertown St. Paul is now a hip spot. There are cool parks and trendy restaurants near CHS and a good vibe in the area…

•Oh Maya: Not many athletes have a trophy case with more hardware than Minnesota Lynx G Maya Moore. On Saturday Moore collected another trophy after being named MVP of the WNBA All-Star game in Seattle. Moore scored 23 points to lead the West to a 130-121 win over the East. It’s the second straight season Moore has been ASG MVP…

•Vanishing Act: There are plenty of things to focus on as the Minnesota Vikings begin training camp this week in Mankato. One focal point is second year WR Laquon Treadwell – who had just one catch last season. Treadwell was persona non grata as a rookie and the Vikings need to get much more from their 2016 first round draft choice…

•Done Deal: Even though this is just the start of training camp for all 32 NFL teams, one thing is certain – New England will win the AFC East. The Patriots have won eight straight East titles and 14 since 2001…

•Name Game: Golden Valley, MN-based Allianz Insurance Company has acquired naming rights for Minnesota United’s future stadium in St. Paul. Allianz Field becomes the 1st Allianz-sponsored stadium in North America and 8th in eight countries on four continents. The soccer specific venue opens in 2019 and will cost $200 million. Capacity is 19,400…

Print this entry

Just like that, summer’s over!

Print this entry

By Larry Fitzgerald
July 25, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

Summer — where did it go? Yes, it has been hot, humid and muggy. I was just getting used to it and bam! It’s over!
Yes, we are still in July, mind you, but the Vikings are in Mankato. And when the Vikings go to Mankato, you know what that means: back-to-school sales and the Minnesota State Fair.

They start playing pre-season games in a few weeks. The Vikings announced this is their final season training in Mankato. Mankato State University has been their summer home for 52 consecutive years. 2017 will be their last.
Training camp is all business. Ninety players each on 32 teams report at the beginning, and when September rolls around 57 players will have survived.

I must say training camp is not what it used to be. The players don’t hit as much as they used to. The teams, thanks to the NFLPA, actually show a greater concern for the players’ health.

Coaches for years built the mental toughness of their teams by working their players hard in the heat and humidity of late summer conditions. That meant lots of hitting during the twice-daily practices.

Everything the players do in camp except going to the bathroom is recorded on video. The contracts that the players sign don’t kick in until September, the start of the regular season. NFL players make about $400 each week during training camp.

Most of the jobs have already been won. However, for a few veterans who get challenged by rookies and second year players, this could be the end of the road.

It’s football, football, and more football — training, lifting weights, sprints and gassers. There is nothing to love about training camp. The coaches are seldom happy. They push you to the brink demanding that you show the potential or consistency they expect.

This is year four for Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer. Two years ago he won the NFL North title. Teddy Bridgewater was his starting quarterback; in 2017 the job, for now, belongs to Sam Bradford. General Manager Rick Spielman has one playoff win in 10 years.

With Super Bowl 52 in February at U.S. Bank Stadium, the pressure is on this team to really be good. If the Vikings are to be a playoff team, they will have to be much better on offense. Last year they could not run the football, and Adrian Peterson is gone. Eventually it caught up with them.

I’ll be making my final trips to Mankato over the next few weeks to gauge the potential of the 2017 Vikings. NFL pre-season football starts with the Hall of Fame game from Canton, Ohio on Thursday, August 3, Dallas vs. Arizona.
You thought I was joking? Summer is over. It’s football season.

 

 

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

Podcast

Gameday Gold logo

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

With everything going on in the world of sports, here comes the NFL.  Eric and Larry are ready for the added weight, as they bring us all of the headlines from the Downtown Minneapolis studio.  There’s a ton to cover this week, including the rumors of Kyrie Irving as a Wolves players, the Twins’ slide down the standings, the Dodgers’ NL dominance, the Vikings starting up Training Camp, and more.  We get more insight on the Purple’s last trip to Mankato when legendary Viking Chuck Foreman joins the program.

Are the Wolves Becoming a “Destination” Team?

Segment 1: So, why would All-Star and NBA champion Kyrie Irving have Minnesota on his short list on teams to be traded to?  Eric and Larry have their thoughts on whether the Cavs’ point guard might actually move to the Twin Cities.