"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tigers win on wrestling mat over 'Waska

The MAHACA wrestlers treated their home gym fans to a 41-24 win over Minnewaska Area on Thursday, Jan. 6.
Does anyone find any redeeming value in that string of initials? I'd welcome an alternative but apparently this is the official name. The alternative I'd welcome is "Morris Area."
At 103 pounds it was Travis Ostby of the Tigers pinning Weston Lardy in a time of 3:05. Jacob Braaten of the Lakers won at 112 pounds, by fall over Evan Nelson in 2:53.
Gary Steffenson of the Lakers won by a 2-0 decision over Dillan Johnson at 119 pounds. Myles Smith of the Tigers was the forfeit winner at 125.
130 pounds: Seth Nelson of the Tigers won by fall over Mitchel Manthei in 3:28.
Tony Domnick prevailed for MAHACA at 135 pounds, by a 6-4 overtime decision over Ryan Stottler. Jerid Berning, the Tiger wrestling at 140 pounds, decisioned Brock Wollschlager 8-5.
145 pounds: Patrick Weaver of the Lakers pinned Jordan Thooft in 3:13. Tim Ostby was the forfeit winner for MAHACA at 152 pounds.
160 pounds: Connor Metzger of the Tigers was the technical fall winner over Zach Steffenson - score of 20-5.
171 pounds: Taylor Lundebrek of the Lakers pinned Wade Ehlers in 1:35.
189 pounds: Tyrel Swensrud of 'Waska decisioned Ryan Beyer 6-4.
215 pounds: Joel Harrison of MAHACA won by a 4-2 decision over Micah Klemme. Zach Gibson at 285 pounds decisioned Danny Holtkamp 4-0.

On the pro football beat:
"Wild Card Weekend" has always befuddled me because these are not all wild card teams. "Wild card" suggests teams that are in the playoffs despite not finishing atop their division in the regular season.
I was offended (well, not personally) one year as the sports media built up the hype for Wild Card Weekend and the Vikings were in it. Why the offense? The Vikings won their division. Certainly some of the luster seems taken off that, when you're forced into the same slate as the true wild cards.
One of the most underrated factors in the post-season is the value of getting a bye through the opening playoff round. I'm not sure why some division winners get this and others don't.
Oh, there is a formula. The top two seeds get that bye based on won-lost.
But there are three divisions in each conference. A division winner is forced into the fray for Wild Card Weekend. It's mathematics.
This past weekend we saw the often-woeful Seattle Seahawks host a playoff game because they had won their woeful division. No one could feel sorry for Seattle having to play on Wild Card Weekend.
But most often the division winner that is forced to play on Wild Card Weekend is quite respectable.
I understand that only two teams can get that bye. But it's too bad we have to settle on "Wild Card Weekend" as the term for the opening playoff weekend. Technically it's not precise.
I have long asserted that the first two playoff weekends represent the height of interest in the NFL each year. The games mean a lot so presumably the teams are performing with top intensity.
Don't we all have some doubts about New Orleans, though? That back-breaking long run by that Seahawk had umpteen missed tackles, arm tackles and the like.
Is there some reason why New Orleans seemed to have less than a full tank? They won the Super Bowl last year. Did they not want to go through that whole climb again?
I certainly hope that NFL players are properly incentivized to do well in the post-season.
The Seattle Seahawks are a charming underdog. But serious NFL fans are probably asking questions about how the superior New Orleans team went limp. Surely the Seattle crowd couldn't have intimidated them.
Some of these concerns will be eased if Seattle can continue on a roll. They next play Chicago, a team that is always hard to figure. Maybe Seattle is just jelling in the late stages and has some sort of destiny push behind them. I wouldn't dare try to predict the outcome of that game.
The upcoming playoff weekend, like last weekend, has four games on tap - two each on Saturday and Sunday. It's a lot of football and it generates a lot of stories and analysis.
I consider this to be the peak of the NFL season because henceforth, the pace diminishes markedly. Conference championship weekend has just two games. Then we get that pregnant two-week break which tests our attention span for the NFL product.
When I was a kid there was the phenomenon called "Super Bowl hype." It still exists but it doesn't stand out as much. Our entertainment universe is so much wider now. We can ignore it.
When I was young there were Super Bowl games that seemed very anticlimactic. After all the buildup, we'd get a game with little suspense. The Vikings were involved in some of those.
The Oakland Raiders with Kenny Staebler crushed us.
The Super Bowls of recent years have been more entertaining. I certainly hope there's no conspiracy to ensure this. But there is such a tremendous amount of money invested, it's a legitimate concern to have.
Whenever money gets poured into something, by dump trucks full, the people spending it usually want to make sure they get maximum value. It's just a basic principle.
New Vikings coach Leslie Frazier says he wants to build up the running game. I assume that's a feint. That's not the way you win in the NFL today.
The concept of the marquee runningback like Walter Payton has faded. Today you want a stable of reliable if unspectacular runningbacks. You want them to be reasonably solid ballcarriers while not hurting you, i.e. by not fumbling. You need a stable because the NFL game today is so punishing.
Adrian Peterson is considered a marquee runningback. But has he had enough highlight-reel carries to make up for his fumbles? I would say no. If Frazier thinks he can hitch his wagon to Peterson and win, forget it.
The NFL game today is built around the quarterback. Tarvaris Jackson probably can't handle the starting role consistently enough, although at his best he's impressive. Joe Webb is a project. Frazier says he will not call amateur photographer Brett Favre.
We'll probably see a complete newcomer at quarterback for next fall. Would Sage Rosenfels have been such a bad bet? I wonder if we could get him back.
Rookies are always a long shot.
All in all, the Vikes face the very real prospect of being a bottom-tier team next year and perhaps beyond that. We won't know what hit us. Detroit Lions fans have been through this for years
The Vikings and Gophers could both become total yawners. Maybe that new Vikings Stadium isn't such a priority after all.
Let's adjust our priorities, perhaps?
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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