Once upon a time, there was an intense rivalry between the “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and St. Paul. It seems to me that the hard feelings have given way to an all-around attitude of “Minnesota Nice” (a phrase that makes me cringe every time I hear it) rather than intense competition between neighboring towns. So, being the instigator that I am, I’m trying to bring back those hard feelings and stir the pot a bit. Because, let’s be honest here, who doesn’t love a good rivalry? Let’s break this down and determine once and for all which city is the “ugly sister”. Continue Reading
A lot has happened in my life in the past 6+ months. I guess a lot more than usual, and that’s why this blog suffered. Since last posting on this blog, I’ve…
gone on vacation to Maui,
picked up the sport of ultimate frisbee, climbed the biggest mountain I’ve ever hiked,
tried my hand at Alaskan salmon fishing,
and finally I quit my job, packed up my stuff and headed down the Alaskan highway with my brother to Minnesota, and found a new job back in Minneapolis.
With all of these changes in my life, I decided the blog needed a facelift, too, so I changed themes, and now my header matches the skyline of my current city once again.
It’s funny to me, that while I took those 6 months off from writing on this blog, the blog continued to prosper. This November was my blogs most successful month in its history, and I didn’t write a single post! I don’t know what this means, other than my most popular posts, especially “Life as an Electrical Engineer” continue to rack up the hits long after I wrote them.
Anyhow, the point of this post is just to let all of my most loyal readers know that I’m back and ready to start spewing out my opinions and mostly failed attempts at clever remarks and comedic analogies. I’m going to set myself the goal of writing one post a month from here on out. Will I succeed in this goal? That remains to be seen. I’ve said this once, and I’ll say it again: If any of you out there have any specific blog post ideas or any subjects that you want my commentary on, please don’t hesitate to email me (email@example.com), comment on this post, or hit me up on my Facebook page.
You know when you go out to a restaurant and you want to order appetizers, but nobody can decide what to get because they all look so good; or not so good, but you’re just hungry enough to try a few anyhow? Well, that’s kind of what I got going here in this blog post, and it’s closer to the latter than the former. I don’t have a single topic worthy of it’s own blog post (full appetizer order), but I’m sure my readers (yeah, right) are hungry enough to sample a few of my topics anyhow. Since I anticipate this happening at least once more in my blogging career, I’m naming this Sampler Platter I (that’s right, I’m numbering them Roman numeral Super Bowl style).
Topic #1: T-Jack Apologist Guy Gets His Big Break
At work, I listen to a lot of KFAN podcasts to help pass the time. I find work more enjoyable this way, my bosses never seem to care that I have headphones in as long as the work gets done, and it helps me stay connected with the Minnesota sports scene while up here in Alaska. Plus, since they don’t only talk sports, I’m a lot more aware of other current events as well. My favorite show on KFAN is The Common Man Progrum (it was Sludge & Lake, but alas, it got canceled). I asked for the moniker “T-Jack Apologist Guy” in an e-mail that I had read on air many weeks ago, and so that got me real excited to e-mail the show more regularly. So I re-wrote the lyrics to Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” so that it would be a tribute to Brett Favre titled “He’s So Vain.” Well, Common complimented the lyrics a long time ago, but never sang the lyrics along with the song on air. Today, he finally dusted ’em off and sang along with Carly using my lyrics. I was so jacked up! It was quite the thrill. If any of you are interested, I have the podcast link here, and since it’s about 45 minutes long, you can skip ahead to the 3:55 mark to hear Common first compliment it, and then the 29:50 mark to hear him sing it.
Common Man, Hour 3, 3/8/10 or since that doesn’t fast forward very well, you can download the podcast from here by right clicking on the “Download” link and then selecting “Save link as” and then you can skip around to any point you choose in Windows Media Player.
Topic #2: Talking on Cell Phones While Driving
I’ve heard some rumblings lately that in Minnesota people are starting to make a stronger push to outlaw talking on cell phones while they drive. I know that in some states, this is already the law, and for example, in the city limits of Chicago, it’s also against the law to do so. I am completely against any of this type of legislation. I know that the far more common law out there is that it’s illegal to “text” while driving, and I guess I’m okay with that one, because it’s absolutely impossible to keep your eyes on the road anywhere near the amount that you should while you’re text-messaging someone. Talking on the phone, however, is no less distracting than talking to someone else in your car, and we all know that that is not going to be outlawed. But if we do in fact pass this legislation, where will the line be drawn? Will we not be allowed to eat while driving? Will radios and stereo systems be removed from vehicles to prevent wild sing-alongs that can be distractions? Maybe the increasingly-popular GPS navigations systems will have to go by the wayside if too many accidents occur due to people programming them while driving. When you get in a car and drive, you’re putting yourself at risk no matter how safe you try to be. In this country, we believe in liberty, and sometimes the liberties we enjoy come with risks. If the government takes away all risks to our safety, then we’ll be left with no liberties, and that wouldn’t be any fun. It’s my opinion that we have a pretty good balance right now between safety and liberty, and I hope that the government does not decide to overstep its bounds and ban the use of cell phones while driving a car.
Topic #3: Damian Johnson
Damian Johnson is a senior basketball player for my favorite college basketball team, the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Damian is my favorite Golden Gopher of all time, and frankly, it’s not even close. I’ve only been a true fan of this program for 5 years now, and Damian just brought the most solid, all-around game out of any player that I had the privilege of watching play in person. I think that Damian could have been the third or fourth best player on a great team, but instead he was the best player on our mediocre team. If the team around him was better (like if Nolen wasn’t ineligible, Mbakwe wasn’t suspended, and White wasn’t released from his scholarship) he still could have been the best player on a really good team, and it just kills me that Damian’s senior year had to be such a disappointment. With all of the close losses, I contend that we win at home against Michigan St, Purdue, and Michigan, and on the road against Northwestern and Indiana if we had those three guys, and if that were true, we would have been Co-Big Ten Champs with Ohio State. But this team somehow held it together to be on the bubble of NCAA contention without those guys, and with a miracle run to the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament, the Gophers still might be able to steal an at large bid into the tournament. For any of you out there who aren’t convinced that Damian is a likable guy, I defy you to watch Big Ten Network’s “The Journey: Minnesota Basketball” found here, and come away not loving “VIP Johnson”, as he calls himself. Anyhow, in Damian’s final home game, (unless of course, we miss the tournament as expected, and get a home NIT game) he recorded one of his best all-around lines of his career. A 10 point, 11-assist (career high), 5 rebound, 3 steal, and 3 block gem of a game. And here’s the real kicker: 0 turnovers. Damian, it’s been quite a run, and I wish you well at whatever you choose to pursue after college.
Topic #4: One funny video
I’ve been reading “Club Trillion” which is a blog by a walk-0n Ohio State basketball player and he links YouTube videos in his blog postings. One of them happened to be this. Enjoy.
Well I hope you’re satisfied, because unfortunately there won’t be a “main course” today.
So right after I published that first post, I noticed that I made a grammatical error, but I’m too lazy to point it out.
Anyhow, that’s not important. The whole reason why I started this blog is to get my frustrations about the Vikings current season out in some form.
Let me start by saying that I became a Vikings fan when I was five years old. Our family moved to Minnesota, and despite a Bears fan for a father, I first remember liking the Vikings when a woman in our church at the time gave me a Vikings coloring book. It was Denny Green’s 1st or second year as the head coach, I think. It was probably pretty close to when Favre was starting his first games for the Packers. So as long as I’ve been a Vikings fan, (until the beginning of last season) Favre was the QB of my least favorite team. Now in the mid 90’s, the Packers were slightly better than the Vikings, but for the most part evenly matched, until 1996 when they finally got over the hump and won the Superbowl. Now it is one of my deepest, darkest secrets that I actually rooted for the Pack that year once the Vikings were eliminated from contention. You see, I’m 3/4 Swedish, and my parents went to North Park College (now North Park University) in Chicago, and my family is very involved in the Evangelical Covenant denomination. (If you’ve never heard of us, check us out at http://www.covchurch.org/) Well I don’t know if Mike Holmgren is himself Swedish, but I know his wife was a Covenanter and his daughters apparently went to North Park, and so he gave a bunch of money to the school. So for that reason my parents were for the Packers, and I, like a good little boy went along with them. I don’t know what was wrong with me. So then, the following season, I came to my senses and went back to Packer hater mode, and correctly predicted that the 13 point underdog (or whatever the line was) Denver Broncos would beat the Packers. I also basked in the greatness that was the ’98 Vikes, and took great pleasure in Randy Moss’s shredding of their defense in Lambeau on Monday night. Year after year went by and I had to listen to announcers gush over Favre time and time again while we went through our different QB’s that were, in my opinion, far cooler and more fun to watch than that jerk in Green Bay. Meanwhile there would be times when Favre would beat my team, and look like such a clown while doing so. And so my disdain reached unhealthy levels. I’m not proud of it, but I just downright loathed the guy. When he finally retired, I was happy to see him go, but unhappy to see all of his interceptions go with him. (I absolutely love that his final pass as a Packer is a pick in overtime that cost his team a Super Bowl appearance). When there were rumblings that he might come back to the NFL, and that he wanted to come to the Vikings, I was somewhat on the fence, but for the most part supported the idea just because I knew it would stick it to Packer fans big time. When he went to the Jets instead, I decided that it was probably for the best that he wasn’t a Viking. Then he played horribly down the stretch for the Jets, and I just kept loving his horrible QB play. I continually mocked his career and Hall of Fame credentials by saying he was the all time interceptions leader, and that outside of his 3 stellar MVP seasons, he really didn’t have a great career statistically. He was overrated in my mind. I’m of course, biased, but that doesn’t change the fact that compared in this pass happy era of the NFL, his career 86.6 passer rating isn’t very good, and until this season, Favre never had a passer rating over 100. And he’s even worse in the playoffs. So when the talks renewed about the Vikings getting him again, I was adamant that I didn’t want him on my team. I called in to the local sports talk radio station in Minneapolis to give my opinion that Vikings fans were jealous of the success the Packers had with Favre and were kidding themselves when they thought they’d be getting the same caliber player. I even lost my sense of sticking it to the Packer fans. I felt like Favre had let them all down with his selfish flip-flopping on his retirement in Green Bay, and they didn’t really deserve to see their favorite player in a Vikings uniform. Plus I empathized with them. Twice it was rumored that the Packers might trade for my favorite player of all time Randy Moss, but it didn’t happen. The thought of Randy in those disgusting uniforms with those gluttonous drunks in Lambeau cheering him on made my skin crawl (yes, I realize there are drunks at all NFL games including idiots at Viking games too), and I knew I could never love him the same way if he ended up in Green Bay, even if it wasn’t his fault that our idiot front office traded him away (I’ll get to that rant another day), and it wouldn’t be his fault if he was traded to the Pack. So for any Packer fans out there that might be reading this, I am sorry for any childish Viking fans that may have taunted you as Favre suited up for the Purple. Please forgive them; they know not what they do. I only hope that you would have returned the courtesy to me if Moss had played for you. Then we can look at the facts of why Favre was not best suited to be our QB. I must begin by saying that I, along with my brother, are the only 2 Tarvaris Jackson apologists that I am aware of. If you are as well, let me know, because I haven’t met any others. Tarvaris has not exactly made a splash in the league thus far, but let’s compare his numbers from his first three years to, oh, I don’t know, Brett Favre’s in his first 3 years in the league. Tarvaris, with limited playing time, so he didn’t get a chance to get in a rhythm without fear of getting benched, had passer ratings of 62.5, 70.8, and 95.4, compared to Favre’s first 3 years of 0.0, 85.3, and 72.2. Notice Tarvaris was far from great, but he was improving, while Favre had a decent year in year 2, but was just inconsistent, and yet, his coaches stuck with him, and it payed off with the next four years posting ratings over 90 each season. Was Tarvaris about to make the jump and turn the corner in his fourth year? We’ll never know since he didn’t get the chance to start, but he has continued his improvement in his limited playing time this year with a rating of 113.4 (which is higher than any year Favre had ever had). Now let’s compare his first three years to Favre in the same three years. Favre posted ratings of 72.7, 95.7, and 81.0. Overall, a better three years than Tarvaris, but those who remember those years know that Favre had a much better receiving corps those first two years in Green Bay, and it’s also easy to see that Favre was in the twilight of his career, with one good rejuvenation year in the middle there. Clearly not in the same upward trend that T-Jack was in, and giving no indication that he would play well as a 39-40 year old. So there you have it, I was against Favre from day one. And I’ll continue this rant in my next posting, which will explain how Favre has ruined this season for me, and I believe, has ruined the Vikings’ chances at winning a Super Bowl, both now and in the future.
Click here for Part 2 of this rant.