Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

In honor of the madness that is Black Friday we give you two videos from "Jingle All the Way" whose plot albeit terrible centered around the pursuit of a rare toy.  Plus, let's be honest, listening to Arnie try and say "Tuuuurbooo Man dollll" makes us chuckle.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

College Football Humor

Some college football humor courtesy of our friend and avid reader, NB Tex.


College football and higher education………..

Ohio State's Urban Meyer on one of his players:

  "He doesn't know the meaning of the word fear. In fact, I just saw his

  grades and he doesn't know the meaning of a lot of words."


  Why do Tennessee fans wear orange?

  So they can dress that way for the game on Saturday, go hunting on Sunday,

  and pick up trash on Monday.


  What does the average Alabama player get on his SATs?



  How many Michigan freshmen football players does it take to change a light bulb?

  None. That's a sophomore course.


  How did the Georgia football player die from drinking milk?

  The cow fell on him.


  Two West Virginia football players were walking in the woods.

  One of them said, "Look, a dead bird."

  The other looked up in the sky and said, "Where?"


  A University of Cincinnati football player was almost killed yesterday in a

  tragic horseback-riding accident.

  He fell from a horse and was nearly trampled to death.

  Luckily, the manager of the Wal-Mart came out and unplugged the horse.


  What do you say to a University of Miami Hurricane football player dressed in a three-piece suit?

  "Will the defendant please rise."


  If three Florida State football players are in the same car, who is driving?

  The police officer.


  How can you tell if an Auburn football player has a girlfriend?

  There's tobacco juice on both sides of the pickup truck.


  What do you get when you put 32 Arkansas cheerleaders in one room?

  A full set of teeth.


University of Michigan Coach Brady Hoke is only going to dress half of his players for the game this week; the other half will have to dress themselves.


  How is the Indiana football team like an opossum?

  They play dead at home and get killed on the road.


  Why did the Nebraska linebacker steal a police car?

  He saw "911" on the side and thought it was a Porsche.


  How do you get a former Illinois football player off your porch?

  Pay him for the pizza.


  What are the longest three years of a University of Kentucky football players life?

  Freshman I, Freshman II, and Freshman III.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Time the Atlanta Hawks Drafted Giant Gonzalez

credit New York Times

Gonzalez is most famous for becoming this...

from Wikepedia:

"World Championship Wrestling (1989–1992)

In 1989, Hawks owner Ted Turner offered González a job as a professional wrestler with another of his ventures, World Championship Wrestling (WCW). After a year of training, González was introduced to fans as El Gigante on May 19, 1990 at the pay-per-view Capital Combat. Wearing shorts, he competed as a fan favorite and was billed as being close to eight feet tall.

Over the next two years, he feuded with Ric Flair over the WCW World Championship, participated in a 'Chamber Of Horrors' match in 1991 and also had a date on TBS with Missy Hyatt. He also developed a feud with Sid Vicious and the One Man Gang over the identity of being the true giant of WCW.He also had a cross promotional stint in the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion before signing with the World Wrestling Federation in 1993.

World Wrestling Federation (1993)

Debut and feud with The Undertaker (1993)González competed as "Giant Gonzales" during his time in World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as a villain, managed by Harvey Wippleman, González grew a beard and wore a full body suit that featured airbrushed muscles with bushy hair attached. He was introduced at the Royal Rumble in January 1993, where he eliminated Wippleman's nemesis The Undertaker from the Royal Rumble match despite not being an official participant.  Gonzalez lost to The Undertaker at WrestleMania IX by disqualification after he knocked Undertaker unconscious using ether. This remains the only instance where the Undertaker has not had a decisive victory in his WrestleMania streak.  After another loss to The Undertaker at SummerSlam, to end the feud. Wippleman berated Gonzalez leading Gonzalez to turn on Harvey Wippleman."

His wrestling gimmick was also named one of the 20 worst gimmicks of all time.

Monday, November 12, 2012

1994-1995: Timberwolves Drafting Kevin Garnett Straight Out of High School

We tell the story of the Timberwolves drafting Kevin Garnett in the 1995 NBA Draft straight out of high school.  We use online, magazine, and newspaper archives to tell the story.

1994-95 Minnesota Timberwolves




Wolves Name Kevin McHale General Manager




Kevin Garnett

The Albany Heralad 2.22.95, Click To Enlarge



Kevin Garnett Declares For NBA Draft


1995 NBA Draft



Wolves Sign Garnett


Wolves Concern that Isaiah Rider Will Be a Bad Influence

Spokane Review 7.2.1995, Click To Enlarge

Garnett Debuts

Herald Journal 11.5.95, Click To Enlarge

Friday, November 9, 2012

1994 - The Minnesota Vikings Pursuit of Scott Mitchell in Free Agency

We use Newspaper, Magazine, and website archives to help us tell the story of the Vikings pursuit of Scott Mitchell.

The Vikings 1993 Starting QB Situation

The Vikings signed Jim McMahon to a 2 year contract to be there starting quarterback in 1993 (9tds, 8 ints., 1,969 yds., 76.2 QB Rating, Vikings finished 3rd in the NFC Central and made playoffs as a Wildcard.  Lost to the New York Giants 17-10).  After the season, the Vikings decided to cut McMahon instead of paying him the $2.1 million due to him for the 1994 season. 

Click on Article to enlarge.


Scott Mitchell's Opportunity

In Week 5 of the 1993 season, the Dolphins lost starting QB Dan Marion to a achilles injury against the Cleveland Browns.  Scott Mitchell, a 2nd year back-up QB finished the game for the Dolphins.
Click on Article to enlarge.

Click on Article to enlarge.

Marino was out for the season, and Mitchell was the starting QB for Dolphins for the rest of the season.  Mitchell was initially succesful as a starting QB for the Dolphins.

Click on Article to enlarge.

Mitchell missed a couple of games with a injury himself, and was not as effective upon his return.  The Dolphins collapsed down the stretch, and became the first team ever to miss the playoffs after starting 9-3.  Mitchell finished the season with 12 tds., 8 ints., 1,773 yds. and a 84.2 QB Rating.  Mitchell was also a free agent.  His 1993 role as the man in Miami was enough to make him a very coveted commodity in the NFL's March 1994's free agency.  

1994 Free Agency

Some highlights from the article that will interest Vikings fans.

...Then he was off to Minneapolis, where everything looked right. Good offensive weapons, young coaching staff, new and wise receivers' guru (Jerry Rhome), no long-term quarterback. Viking vice president Jeff Diamond asked Agnone if $10 million over three years would get the deal done; the figures were pleasing to Agnone and Mitchell. At the Vikes' training complex Mitchell passed free-agent offensive tackle Chris Hinton in a hallway. It was no coincidence; the Vikings wanted to show Mitchell they were intent on building a great front wall for him. Mitchell pulled Hinton aside and asked, "What are you going to do?"

"Go here, if they offer me the right money," Hinton said. Minnesota did, and that weekend Hinton signed.
On Friday, Agnone went home to Baltimore and the Mitchells went to Florida for the weekend. That evening Scott called Agnone. Kim's visit to the Minneapolis suburbs had gone well, and Scott loved the Viking coaches and offense. Scott said, "Tell Minnesota if they offer $10.5 million over three, a Metrodome luxury box and a down payment on a house, we're there."
Whoa, Agnone counseled. The Viking money will still be there in a week. Relax. Take your last two visits, to Los Angeles and New Orleans.  "A moment of temporary insanity," Mitchell said later. "I realized if I didn't take all the trips, I might regret it later."...

...Then Fontes stepped up again. Realizing the Lions had fallen behind the Vikings in the Mitchell stakes, he called the quarterback and asked him if he would meet Friday with Fontes and the Lion offensive architects, Dave Levy and Tom Moore. Come on down, Mitchell said. That afternoon, Bernie Kosar, a free-agent quarterback as well as a buddy of the Mitchells', called. He told Kim, "I canceled my visit to Detroit. They only want Scott. They'll die if they don't get him."...

...At 10 a.m. Saturday, Agnone and partner Howard Schatzky, in their office north of Baltimore, started playing Lions against Vikings over the phone. By 2:30 in the afternoon, Detroit stood at three years, $10 million—including the kind of bonus, $3 million, that Mitchell wanted. Minnesota came way up on its bonus offer, from $900,000 to $2.4 million, in a three-year, $10.2 million package. Diamond said he was tapped out, and he'd previously told Agnone he wouldn't offer a huge bonus. So Agnone called Mitchell, told him he thought he could boost Detroit's bonus to maybe $5 million, but not Minnesota's, and asked Mitchell what he wanted to do....

...Scott, his college-sweetheart wife and their 3-year-old poodle, Bart, set off for a walk around their posh suburban block. This was it. No phones. No pleas. No $400 dinners. In one hour Scott would know exactly where his football future lay, and he knew that he and Kim could pick it. Minnesota, Detroit. Detroit, Minnesota. Barry Sanders, Cris Carter. Henry Thomas, Chris Spielman. Dennis Green, Wayne Fontes.

"I don't want to decide," Kim said. "You decide. I just want it to be over."

"No," he said. "This is both of us."

She said she would be happy to live in either place, though she preferred Minnesota. He said that while they really liked Minnesota, they didn't dislike Detroit, and they couldn't think of a reason not to live there. The bonus thing nagged at both of them. Scott kept thinking, If the Lions offer me a huge bonus, they'll stick with me. If the Vikings don't, they might not. Scott stopped. "I'm gonna call Tony and tell him to try Detroit," he said.

If Mitchell would accept a salary structure of $1.4 million, $2 million and $2.6 million, Detroit would then have $100,000 more for their cap in 1994. "No problem," Agnone said. At 4:20 p.m., the deal was done.

The Vikings didn't go down without a fight. Diamond urged Mitchell to talk with him on Sunday. Mitchell thanked him and said he would talk but wouldn't change his mind. He was a Lion.

Schmidt flew to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday night, contract in hand. Mitchell signed just after noon on Sunday. "I'm going to a good football team, a team that really wants me and proved it," Mitchell said. "I'm at peace."....

Mitchell's Time with the Lions

Don Banks of Sport Illustrated summarizes Mitchell's 5 seasons with the Lions:

Mitchell's name often comes up as a cautionary tale for NFL executives who are ready to throw big money at back-up QB's that thrived as a fill-in and enter free agency.  (Rob Johnson, Matt Cassel, Matt Flynn, Kevin Kolb, etc.)

The Vikings dodged a bullet.

Vikings Plan B

The Vikings traded for Warren Moon.

Click on Article to enlarge.

Moon passed for over 4,200 yards in each of his first two seasons, but missed half of the 1996 season with a broken collarbone. The Vikings' starting quarterback job was given to Brad Johnson and Moon was released after he refused to take a $3.8 million pay cut to serve as Johnson's backup.
The Vikings made the playoffs in Moon's first year, but lost to the Chicago Bears 18-35.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hindsight is 20/20: John Carlson

We use Newspaper archives to help us tell the story of the Vikings signing of John Carlson.

courtesy Pioneer Press
March 15, 2012

John Carlson was in Kansas City on Tuesday night, preparing for a visit with the Chiefs, when the Vikings placed a call that changed everything. The call was so persuasive, the former Seattle Seahawks tight end said, he left Kansas City and didn't meet with the Chiefs. The 6-foot-5, 251-pound Litchfield, Minn., native is returning home, signed to a five-year, $25-million deal with the Vikings worth $11 million guaranteed. "Rick (Spielman) came forward with a commitment no other team had shown, a level of interest that was unparalleled," Carlson said on a conference call Wednesday, March 14, with local media, referring to the Vikings general manager. Money wasn't the only commitment. Carlson said he noticed how the Vikings are "building something" with their offense and are dedicated to surrounding quarterback Christian Ponder with playmakers. During Carlson's Wednesday visit, several team executives and coaches told him how much the team wanted him. Now he'll have his chance to repay the team by becoming a well-rounded tight end who plays to his strengths as a pass catcher.

The Star Tribune summarizes the significance of Carlson's signing:

What is the significance of John Carlson’s arrival?......But when the Vikings made a mad rush at John Carlson on Tuesday night, expressing their interest and commitment in a way that caused the tight end to quickly leave Kansas City before a scheduled free agent meeting with the Chiefs there was plenty to digest. The Vikings had Carlson’s ear and he bolted from Kansas City to connect with the brass at Winter Park.
General manager Rick Spielman’s interest in landing Carlson shows the commitment that offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has expressed towards making tight ends a big part of the offense. It’s easy to envision Carlson and Kyle Rudolph operating together in two tight end sets next season, each able to put stress on opposing defenses with their pass-catching abilities.
Plus, the Vikings’ five-year commitment to Carlson also speaks to a bigger picture priority at Winter Park and that’s the hope to surround quarterback Christian Ponder with young playmakers that will be around for a while. The quest for continuity on offense is a major priority right now.
Carlson’s worth? We’ll need at least a full season maybe two to begin evaluating whether a deal worth a reported $25 million over five years was sensible. Yet on Wednesday, Carlson expressed his vision for how things will work out, excited about the core of playmakers in place – from Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin to Christian Ponder and Rudolph.
“My goal has always been to be a well-rounded player,” Carlson said. “Being able to contribute in the passing game, being able to stretch the field and make plays like that. But also I need to do the pass protecting that you need to do as an effective tight end in this league. I want to catch passes. That’s the fun part. But I’m also excited about doing a good job in the run game and protecting as well.”

Carlson's numbers through 9 weeks in 2012:

3 catches, 8 yards, 0 tds.