"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)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Girls overpower Litch, to face NL-S next

The Tigers shone in sub-section volleyball play Tuesday night (10/29) at Litchfield.
Playing on the road meant the Tigers were the lower seed. But the Tigers looked like anything but the lower seed, as they applied a tight defense in turning back the Dragons. The Dragons were the No. 2 seed while MACA occupied the No. 3 spot. The No. 1 seed is New London-Spicer.
Those Wildcats of NL-Spicer are the Tigers' next challenge. The Tigers will surely need a good defense along with other attributes to win again. The Tigers will battle the Wildcats for the Section 3AA-North title at 7 p.m. Thursday in Benson. It's a convenient drive for the Motown fans. A healthy number will surely make the trip.
Fan support had to be deemed a factor in the Tuesday success, based on sounds coming from the radio! Fans of the orange and black have had a wealth of opportunity to cheer over the course of the 2013 fall. We're now up to 17 wins total on the season, against five losses.
Coach Kristi Fehr is smiling along with everyone else in the MACA fold.
Will we all be smiling at the end of Thursday? It would certainly be a delight.
Don't get the impression the win over Litch was a waltz. The Tigers were actually down 2-1 at one point. It was at that stage that the Tigers' defense bore down. The Tigers were going to be unyielding.
We ended up winning 3-2 (not 3-1 as was reported in a subhead in the Willmar newspaper).
Here's a complete review of the scores with MACA numbers first: 19-25, 25-17, 17-25, 25-13 and 15-8. Note how Morris Area Chokio Alberta took charge toward the end. We only allowed 21 points over those last two games. MACA got in the driver's seat in game 5.
Four Tigers each had one serving ace: Hunter Mundal (17 of 17 in good/attempts), Haley Erdahl (21 of 22), Sydney Engebretson (15 of 18) and Chelsey Ehleringer (17 of 17). Beth Holland was a perfect 18 of 18 in serving, and Terianne Itzen was eight-for-nine.
Ehleringer raced around to produce 22 set assists. Erdahl came through with 13 set assists.
Paige Schieler went up to execute three ace blocks. Lacee Maanum and Kayla Pring each performed two ace blocks, and Itzen one.
In the digs department, Itzen topped the list with her 36, followed by Holland (30), Mundal (29), Engebretson (15), Erdahl (12), Ehleringer (10), Schieler (9) and Pring (5).
Let's move on to hitting: Here it was Itzen showing force with 18 kills and 53 of 62 in G/A. Engebretson slammed down 12 kills on 39 of 45. Maanum was a cog with her nine kills as part of 31 of 33 good/attempts.
Schieler added to the mix with eight kills and 27 of 34 in G/A. Nicole Strobel had five kills and 15 of 16 G/A, and Pring produced three kills on 13 of 14.
Litch closes out the 2013 season with a won-lost of 15-14. I'm not sure why they were the higher seed - must have something to do with strength of schedule. It would have been nice to have the Tuesday match here.
At least the upcoming Thursday match will be a comfortable traveling distance from here (to Benson, home of a Burger King).
Go Tigers! The top seed New London-Spicer advanced Tuesday with a 3-1 win over Redwood Valley. Sydney Stone is a premier hitter for the Wildcats.
An exhibit of nature
I was walking across the field north of Shopko about a week ago when I was surprised by a brilliant rainbow. I'm certain it was the finest rainbow I've ever seen. I was on a non-maintained road that hasn't changed in the 50-plus years we've lived in Morris. The property is owned by the University.
A very light rainfall was coming down. The sun peered out from the clouds. It was a perfect mix of conditions for such a wondrous display of color via the rainbow.
We all know about the "pot of gold" myth. In South Dakota there's an old legend about the giant pheasant whose colors were so striking, they gave the impression of a rainbow. Stories of the giant pheasant go back to when the first settlers came to the Dakota Territory in the early 1880s.
You've heard of the "Jersey Devil" or "Champ" the lake monster of Lake Champlain? South Dakota has its own history of a mysterious creature inspiring awe.
The legend of the giant pheasant (with anthropomorphic traits) is represented by the majestic sculpture of a pheasant, in Huron. According to legend, the actual bird froze in place there after its encounter with an amazed boy hunter.
"Why not kill me," the giant bird asked the boy. The boy responded "You are a magnificent bird."
Then the pheasant pledged that if his life would be spared, he would stay at that perch "until everyone in the world has seen my family of pheasants and me."
The pheasant requested a pledge which would be a gesture of honoring him. That pledge would be to honor the code of good sportsmanship in hunting. Seek roosters only. Harvest only in fall and winter.
The boy agreed to such sensible hunting guidelines and to see they got promoted widely.
The grand pheasant also asked that a ritual be enacted, that of releasing a single ringneck to gauge how the hunting season would go, and that if this ringneck flew toward the James River, a bountiful early season would result, and that if the flight is away from the river, the late-season will be best.
South Dakota thus has its own version of the celebrated "Groundhog Day," the vehicle for the classic movie starring Bill Murray. Perhaps Murray should have gotten stranded in South Dakota instead of Pennsylvania. South Dakota has tourist draws many of which might not be familiar to those out East.
Legend has it that the giant pheasant caused the creeks and river valleys to form, thanks to his footprints. Paul Bunyan might have done the same in Minnesota (along with "Babe").
Since pheasants literally "run," that giant pheasant must have been a real spectacle when doing so. Enough to cause the prairie winds? No doubt.
Legend and myth give tapestry to our lives and our history. Today the giant pheasant story is celebrated by Huron SD's "world's largest pheasant."
Wheaton MN has the "world's largest mallard." There is a town that has the "world's largest ball of twine," and another with the "world's largest bullhead."
So, what might our Morris come up with? Our iconic symbol could be placed where the highways meet in front of McDonald's. Let's imagine something there and then let's do it. We once had the "alfalfa arch" but that's history.
How about a big replica of that well-known "Stop and Smell the Roses" sign which has been well-known for years between Morris and Cyrus? There was once a sculpture there but it got stolen. The sign is associated with the late Dan Helberg. It's the cheeriest message you can imagine. It could be our signature.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, October 26, 2013

MACA girls start post-season strong

Special note: On this date, October 26, in 1960, Calvin Griffith decided to move his Washington Senators to Minnesota, where they were re-named the Twins.
The MACA girls hit the gym floor running on Friday (10/25), winning by sweep in their first post-season match.
The Tigers are in for the Section 3AA semis. The 3-0 success on Friday, here, was over Montevideo. A balanced hitting attack had the Thunder Hawks overwhelmed.
MACA hopes to show such strong suits when action resumes on Tuesday. The Tuesday foe will be Litchfield at Litchfield. Litch is called the "Dragons."
Fans at our Morris Area High gym on Friday saw teams going in opposite directions. Coach Kristi Fehr's orange and black crew came out of the night with a 17-5 record. Monte's mark: 7-13. Monte is done for the season.
Scores in the 3-0 MACA success were 25-10, 25-22 and 25-16.
That balanced hitting attack had four individuals sharing the wealth. Here they are: Sydney Engebretson (nine kills, 22 of 26 in good/attempts), Terianne Itzen (eight kills on a perfect 22 of 22), Lacee Maanum (seven kills, 17-for-18) and Paige Schieler (seven kills, 23-for-26).
Kayla Pring had three kills on nine of ten G/A, and Nicole Strobel added two kills to the mix on five of six.
Maanum and Engebretson each had two ace blocks followed by these Tigers each with one: Strobel, Scheiler, Itzen and Pring.
Itzen was the top contributor in digs with 19 while Beth Holland had 17, Haley Erdahl nine and Engebretson eight.
Erdahl and Chelsey Ehleringer were proficient in setting, posting 12 and 10 set assists, respectively.
Holland sent two ace serves at the T-Hawks. She was a perfect 18 of 18 in good/attempts. Itzen picked up a serving ace while going eight-for-nine in G/A. Hunter Mundal was 14 of 15 in serving. Erdahl was nine of ten, Engebretson eight of eight and Ehleringer 11 of 12.
Montevideo had no serving aces. They had a very active setter in Tori Kuhlmann who performed 24 set assists. They had two hitters each with eight kills: Alyssa Stern and Abby Olson. Jessie Janisch had 14 digs and Olson had 13.
Hunting vs. the pacifist philosophy
I occasionally wear camouflage clothing but I'm not trying to fool wildlife.
Hunting clothing is popular among many people who don't seek to hunt. For one thing, manufacturers of hunting clothing know how to keep people warm. There certainly is a need for that even when you're not out in a duck blind or up in a tree stand.
I haven't hunted since my early 20s. The pastime is reportedly not as popular today. One columnist has complained that the regulations have gotten too complicated. Onerous regulations will certainly push the participation down.
The inherent "fun" in hunting seems hard to find, at least in my perception. The idea of a bunch of guys together with loaded guns seems dangerous on the face of it. Going out on a body of water seeking ducks seems dangerous. The water is mighty cold.
Watching a wounded duck in its death spasms doesn't seem pleasant. Retrieving a bloody duck from the water doesn't seem pleasant. Deceiving ducks with decoys seems cowardly. It's a mismatch.
For what end do we engage in this activity? To each his own, I guess.
I comment as someone with experience doing it. I have been to Wyoming where shooting a deer can seem a little like shooting cattle. Hunters there tend to raise the bar and seek a trophy.
I have been in the north woods where the sheer splendor of the pristine surroundings - and that occasional call of a raven - seem fully like a reward without firing a shot.
A day on a deer stand can get you acquainted with the resident red squirrel.
Locally I hunted ducks at Frog Lake (a.k.a. Gorder Lake), Flax Lake and Mud Lake. The memories are remote.
I'm not going to suggest that hunting be outlawed. But it seems an anomaly within our safety-attuned culture of today. It seems to be declining on its own, just like smoking declined before the law started closing like a vise on it.
It seems rather base and barbaric, going out with a gun to seek wild game. Shooting for food? That's what Jed Clampett did. No one has a need to shoot game for food.
My father said late in his life that he had drifted away from hunting, and that he now believed in "live and let live."
Getting out in nature is wonderful. I don't visit duck hotspots any more, but I'd love to observe that "northern flight" again from close range, where I could appreciate the sound of a tightly-grouped flock of bluebills coming overhead and sounding literally like a jet plane!
I love seeing the deer out by the Pomme de Terre River. The wildlife around us are an aesthetic pleasure, a celebration of God's creation.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Can MACA football reverse the disappointment?

Melrose 41, Tigers 15
Turnovers loomed again as a negative factor for MACA football on Tuesday (10/22) in the playoffs.
The Tigers flamed out in the 2013 playoffs, playing but one game. The team seemed to regress toward the end of the season.
I have been sort of flailing my arms suggesting that old coaching hands Jerry Witt and Lyle Rambow be brought back. Once a regressing trend like this sets in, it can be awfully hard to reverse. No one at YME, I'm sure, predicted their team would ever lose 26 straight games.
Disclosure: I'm the same age as Witt and Rambow, and their spouses (Holly and Londa) as well. I'm biased. I'm also Lyle's neighbor (well, two doors down). Come on out trick-or-treating if you'd like.
I doubt that a Witt-coached team would have the kind of problems with turnovers as this year's Tigers. We have one of the finest football facilities around in Big Cat Stadium. We don't want a losing streak to set in.
The books are closed on the 2013 season with a won-lost mark of 2-7. Many fans had assumed we'd end the regular season on a roll. You know what happens when you assume.
The Tigers lost to Melrose 41-15 on Tuesday. We trailed 28-7 at halftime. The host Dutchmen could go on cruise control for the second half. We scored seven points in the first quarter and eight in the fourth. In between was futility. The Dutchmen scored in every quarter. 
It's 4:15 p.m. Thursday as I post this, and I see no coverage of the game on the Morris newspaper website. I know the game was disappointing here in Motown, but a little media acknowledgement is certainly in order anyway. Winning and cheers aren't a prerequisite for attention.
Zach Pierskalla began the scoring with a 14-yard run in the first quarter. He also kicked the PAT to put Melrose up 7-0.
There was some fleeting optimism for MACA fans as Isaac Wente carried the ball in from the two. Noah Grove kicked the point-after, so we have a tie.
Melrose re-asserted itself with a touchdown scored by Gentry Middendorf. Middendorf broke loose on a run covering 68 yards. The PAT kick try was no good. Pierskalla went back to work for the next Melrose score, covering 24 yards of real estate en route for six. Again he kicked the point-after.
The Melrose onslaught built up steam as Pierskalla scored again, this time with a run from the seven. He was handed the ball on the conversion and found the end zone again.
The next Melrose strike came via the passing game: Matthew Beste threw the ball to Middendorf on a play covering 35 yards. Pierskalla's toe produced the point-after.
The Tigers' Riley Biesterfeld scored on a 24-yard pass that had Bryce Jergenson throwing the pigskin. Isaac Wente added two points with a run on the conversion.
The night's final score was by Melrose: a Ryan Preusser four-yard scamper. The PAT kick attempt was no good.
The Tigers experienced two lost fumbles and two interceptions on this night of frustration. They were called for just one penalty (five yards). Bryce Jergenson passed for 100 yards on the nose. He completed seven passes in eleven attempts and had one interception. Trent Marty threw the other interception.
Biesterfeld and Bo Olson each had three pass catches, Biesterfeld covering 78 yards and Olson covering 32. Corey Storck had one reception for 16 yards and Sean Amundson one for five. Grove handled the Tigers' two punts.
Wente didn't find as many openings as he would have liked, and this leading rusher settled for 66 yards in 18 carries of the football. Olson picked up 64 rushing yards in nine carries. Trent Wulf had 23 yards in eight carries. Three other Tigers received handoffs for negligible yardage: Jordan Thooft, Jared Anderson and Grove.
Pierskalla was a force carrying the football for the victor, with 135 rushing yards in 25 carries. Middendorf too was a force, surpassing 100 yards in his eleven carries. These two were complemented by four other ballcarriers: Anthony Welle, Seth Noll, Ryan Preusser and Beste.
Beste did the Melrose passing and with an efficient touch, hooking up with receivers seven times in 10 attempts for 165 yards and no INTs. Four Dutchmen made the catches: Middendorf, Isaac Herkenhoff, Blake Gerads and Drake Meyer.
Noll (the same last name as the legendary Steelers coach) and Meyer had the interceptions.
What's up for the future of Morris Area Chokio Alberta football? First we'll watch the winter and spring seasons unfold with plenty of excitement in store for sure. The weather today (Thursday) is most pleasant with not a hint of winter. But don't worry, winter will fulfill its appointment in these parts. 
Lots of thrills from Wolverines
Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley football shone in Tuesday playoff action, downing RCW 52-13 at Graceville - one of those daylight games in Wolverine country. (Do you still remember the Graceville "Shamrocks?")
The Wolverines are the defending state nine-man football champs.
Would you believe the Wolverines scored all their points in the first half Tuesday? Wow! They're 9-0 on the season. The win was their 21st straight. They are 31-1 since the start of the 2011 season.
Damon Gibson, an athlete with Morris connections, completed all three of his pass attempts for 39 yards and wasn't picked off.
Michael McKee had 121 rushing yards in ten carries. (I remember a McKee from west of here who shot the lights out against Morris in a tournament basketball game at UMM in about 1980. He was a "one-man team" - how the Morris coach described him. I seem to recall he wore thick glasses.)
Many Wolverines carried the football in the explosive win. Austin Maanum carried for 62 yards in just three carries. Jason Montonye had two interceptions while Maanum and Nate Bauer each had one.
I have been told there is a "St. Mary's (school) connection" with this recent successful regime in CGB football. Congrats. If I were still in the print media, I'd dig into that and do a feature article.
Damon Gibson's mother Heather runs that "Morris Area Merchants" publication which is exemplary.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, October 21, 2013

TV's growing pains with "Heidi Game" (1968)

Remember the monoculture? It was the days when kids would show up at school the morning after a popular TV show and discuss it. One such show was "Night Gallery," an extension of the earlier "Twilight Zone."
TV entertainment was on the "big three" networks. You might watch "Gunsmoke" instead of "The Virginian" but it didn't really matter. The two shows were essentially the same, using the Old West to impress Judeo-Christian ethics, while at the same time our national government was prosecuting an immoral and tragic war in Southeast Asia.
Such was the backdrop for us boomers.
Football was coming into its own. Football and television proved to be the perfect marriage. But the media world was so much different then. In the days of the monoculture, we had no pay-per-view, VHS, DVD, TiVo, record, rewind or 700 channels.
The networks NBC, ABC and CBS dominated. The people in charge of those networks could just as well have been on Mount Olympus. Walter Cronkite was "the most trusted man in America," as if we needed such a national guru of sorts. Our media were destined to evolve radically.
And, football has been a beneficiary throughout. It has become the ultimate golden goose.
Certain growing pains were bound to be felt. What happened on November 17, 1968, was probably inevitable. The TV operations had to learn how to accommodate football within their other programming.
Network TV normally followed a rigid schedule. Football was thus sort of a square peg having to be fit in a round hole. Football doesn't follow a script. The duration of games cannot be predicted. The game between the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders on 11/17 of '68 was the ultimate growing pain.
Games at that time rarely went longer than 2 1/2 hours. NBC allotted three hours for the game. Lots of scoring developed. Injuries and penalties cropped up as these American Football League (AFL) rivals did battle in Oakland. These circumstances extended the game's length.
The end was thrilling with Oakland scoring two touchdowns in the final minute to overcome a 32-29 New York lead.
The TV network fell into a quandary that looks quaint today.
Television in those days had to try to appeal to everyone. It's the reason why so much TV entertainment of the time was decried as lacking substance. We heard the term "boob tube." Anyone who would speak of the "boob tube" today would be considered irrational. The rainbow of TV programming today appeals to all tastes.
In 1968, rabid football fans were a definite and important segment of the TV audience. But their interests couldn't rule. Networks had to walk a tightrope in which sports had to be balanced with so-called "family entertainment."
By the same token, people like Cronkite had to walk a tightrope which had them hopefully not giving a hint of their political beliefs. That's why it was so historic when Cronkite did his little opinion segment on the Viet Nam War, as if we needed him to say anything revelatory. It got LBJ's attention who then said something like "If I've lost Walter Cronkite, I've lost America."
Today the people who populate TV news on cable are political as can be. You choose your flavor.
Back in 1968, a network would plug a weekend prime time program like they were trying to get all of America to watch. And they were. The Jets vs. Raiders game was supposed to be a lead-in to the heavily-promoted airing of "Heidi," the Johanna Spyri children's classic.
Problem was, the show was promised to all of America as beginning at 7 p.m. EST. We here in Morris would get it at 6 p.m.
As I recall, cable TV was still new in Morris. We called it the "able cable" then. Out in our neighborhood on the northern fringe, we had to wait a while to get it. This is the reason my interest in the Vikings was delayed. I remember little about the Joe Kapp year and our first Super Bowl for Minnesota. It was shortly after that we got cable.
TV viewers scheduled their day around events like "Heidi." It wasn't like today in which popular movies get re-run frequently on the cable channels, so if you miss a certain airing, or part of it, it's no big deal at all.
I have actually gotten tired of "Happy Gilmore" (Adam Sandler), an excellent comedy movie which I think has gotten over-exposed. Ditto "The Karate Kid." Charlton Heston in the WWII movie "Midway" gets a little old too.
We're so spoiled! In the '60s you really had to be paying attention so as not to miss a favorite show. Thus, NBC was walking on eggshells as it considered how to proceed with the evening programming on that November date.
"Heidi" was promoted to "family" audiences everywhere. Interest in football was substantial but not overwhelming.
Making history, even if unintended
How to proceed? The day's decisionmaking has become the stuff of history books. It appears under the title "The Heidi Game."
The "Heidi" airing had been promoted heavily in commercials and in the print media. "Heidi" is the story of the little Swiss girl who lives with her grandfather in the Alps. NBC executives had stated to everyone in their system that "Heidi" must start as scheduled.
Julian Goodman was the executive who was the equivalent to Zeus on Mount Olympus, making this proclamation. Sports Executive Producer Don "Scotty" Connal relayed the decree to game producer Don Ellis, who sensed trouble. Ellis said he'd been trained to never leave a game in progress.
Connal emphasized to Ellis that the time had been "sold" for "Heidi." Nothing would stand in the way of that little Swiss girl - except of course the execs would find that football fans were more of a force to be reckoned with than they had imagined.
Ellis was the perceptive one. He was too much of a "small fish" to affect anything. Football fans ended up being the really "big fish" in this story.
The execs probably knew that fandom was an appreciable force. But again, these guys were walking that tightrope in which they were trying to be all things to all people. These were the days of "watered down entertainment" like "Gilligan's Island." You could say "boob tube" and not get an argument.
People would be in denial about how much TV they watched. People generally weren't proud of their TV viewing.
Football entertainment was real and not contrived, not watered down for the "least common denominator." Sports fans were less abashed than most people admitting their TV viewing. Such fans came out in force after November 18, 1968, insisting that their viewing preference not be "balanced" with some innocuous "family" show."
NBC had broken away from the Jets-Raiders game with the Jets still leading, to air "Heidi" at the promised 7 p.m. EST time. Mr. Ellis surely knew the tempest that was going to come.
Actually the top execs themselves began to sense trouble while the game was still on. What happened was a confusing entanglement of failed or confusing communication, in that time long before the "communications revolution," back when people still talked about "switchboards."
A brewing dilemma
As 7 p.m. approached, the public began calling in, curious as to how the schedule would proceed, and not all favoring the football game! The top execs, now presumably perspiring heavily, decided the football had to air, but because of the busy "switchboards," were unable to communicate effectively with their minions.
"Heidi" appeared on the screen as per original scheduling. It pre-empted the final moments of the football game in the eastern half of the U.S. Fans missed two Oakland touchdowns that turned the game around.
The incident led to change in the way pro games are shown on network TV. Games are shown to their conclusion. Special phones were installed that came to be known as "Heidi phones." These were connected to a different phone exchange from other network phones.
In 1997, the Heidi Game was voted the most memorable regular season game in pro football history.
The Raiders and Joe Namath's jets were founding members of the AFL. The launch was in 1960. The Jets were originally the "Titans."
Al Davis' Raiders needed a win over the Jets in week 11 of 1968 to avoid falling 1 1/2 games behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFL West. Finishing second would end their season. Meanwhile the Jets could clinch at least a tie for the AFL East title with a win in week 11. There were no wild card teams.
Kickoff time was 4 p.m. EST.
"Heidi" was going to pre-empt "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color," the normal show for that time. Color was still worth promoting. I watched a B&W television set through my elementary school years, as did lots of boomer kids. The later TV show "Police Squad" with Leslie Nielsen (in his comedy incarnation) poked fun at that earlier time by proclaiming it was "in color."
Remember the NBC Peacock that would announce a "color" program? We're so spoiled today, and today we seek "high definition." I remember when we'd sometimes watch a TV show out of Garden City SD under some "snow" on the screen.
The western half of the U.S. was OK for watching both the game and "Heidi." It was the east that got flummoxed.
Interestingly, the game was blacked out within 90 miles of Oakland even though it was a sellout! Politicians eventually went to work on such things. The puppetmasters with pro football knew that scarcity or the perception of scarcity was important for making an entertainment product valuable. Remember the days of "closed circuit" heavyweight boxing matches?
What happened if you planned to watch "Heidi" but missed it? You couldn't count on a re-run or check out the VHS tape. Certain blockbuster movies might get aired periodically on the networks (like "The Time Machine"). Outside that circle, it would be "tough luck."
The doors would eventually swing open, thanks to technology, for endless and obscure movies to find new eyeballs. But in 1968 we could hardly envision it. It was the days of the monoculture.
The Jets and Raiders battled with frequent pass attempts. The clock stopped with each incompletion. There were 19 penalties, each stopping the clock. Each team used all six of the allotted timeouts.
The many scores led to commercial breaks. At halftime, worries were already looming about the transition to prime-time non-sports programming.
As the fourth quarter began, at 6:20 EST, the top execs sensed trouble. Promo spots for "Heidi" kept appearing. People nervously glanced at watches. Phone lines got over-taxed. The communication snafu stood in the way of a resolution. Fuses blew.
The western U.S. could continue watching the game. The eastern half saw that little girl on the Swiss mountain. Fans got on the phone, some even calling the New York City Police, to vent!
NBC finally flashed the game's final score on the screen, just as Heidi's paralyzed cousin Klara was taking her first slow steps. This in turn prompted complaints from non-sports fans who resented this intrusion!
Ah, the perils of trying to be all things to all people. Such was the lot of TV professionals up through the '60s and into the '70s.
"The Heidi Game" didn't lead to complete resolution of the problems. In 1975, NBC announced "Willy Wonka" for its 7 p.m. time slot but it was delayed 45 minutes because of the Raiders/Redskins game going into overtime. I don't think "Redskins" was an issue as a name yet, nor were you required to wear your seat belt, nor were you prohibited from smoking in most places. The Dustin Hoffman character in "All the President's Men" smoked on an elevator.
NBC got many angry calls about the delay for "Willy Wonka" (with Gene Wilder).
Super Bowl: still young in '68
In 1968 the football playoffs were going to lead to Super Bowl III. Yes, just "Three!"
The Jets met the Raiders again on a windy December day at Shea Stadium, NYC, to determine who'd go on to the Super Bowl. The Jets won 27-23, earning the right to face and defeat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. The Colts were favored by an almost unheard-of 19 1/2 points, so I don't really blame conspiracy theorists who claim the game was "thrown."
Oh, to go back in a time machine and make a bet on the Jets!
For the record, the final score in the "Heidi Game" was 43-32, the Raiders up on the Jets, at least for that day. History was made. Sometimes the game is referred to as "Heidi Bowl." I don't accept that, as there was nothing bowl-ish about the game.
Newton Minow once bemoaned TV as a "vast wasteland." It indeed deserved this dubious stamp in my youth, not at all today.
Addendum: "Heidi" was the name of our family dog from 1980 to 1996. God bless her memory.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tigers and their fans stunned at YME

YME 14, Tigers 7
MACA made the trip to Granite Falls Wednesday to end 2013 regular season play. This was the annual mid-week game which in the old days we called the "MEA week game."
When I was in high school there were no playoffs. I remember interviewing former Morris head coach Stan Kent and him saying he didn't believe in the playoffs, because it diminishes conference-level accomplishments. In other words, if you win your conference, a subsequent loss in the playoffs takes some luster from that.
The Tigers of 2013 don't have to worry about winning their conference. They have a lot on their plate now trying to determine what went so awfully wrong.
This is a season with a new head coach. Could it be the "new guy" or "young guy" wasn't completely ready? Or that he ended up overmatched? Is there long-term damage done to the program? Whatever, the trip to Granite Falls Wednesday ended in supreme disappointment.
Be honest, all you fans had this game penciled in as a "win" from the get-go. The game itself would be a formality, right? We'd actually be concentrating on preparing for the post-season, as surely YME would be no obstacle.
Back when the Tigers were 1-4, conventional wisdom had it that we'd likely finish 4-4. In other words, we'd run the table. We actually ended up like a pool player who has had too many drinks. Let history show that on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, the Tigers lost to a team that had lost 26 straight.
We should all be very happy for the YME kids including Austin Vikander who has family connections to Motown. I remember photographing Austin's mother Anna (Carrington) when she ran in state track. Anna was a premier 400m runner. I have prodded her on how she should resume her running, as she continues to look very trim and fit.
The Sting of Yellow Medicine East defeated our Tigers 14-7 Wednesday night.
The Tigers are on the ropes, having sunk to a 2-6 record. They seemed ungainly with their execution toward the end of the game. Does this reflect coaching?
Might we hear calls to get Jerry Witt and Lyle Rambow back in the coaching fold, with Witt ready to apply a stabilizing effect? I'd like to toss my hat in this circle, of getting the old veteran hands involved again.
Maybe I'm biased because these guys are my age. Whatever, I'm ready to see Witt's savvy as a head coach re-implemented. I'm ready to see that occasional "hook and ladder" play as a dagger toward the opposing team. Boomers like us aren't ready to step into obscurity.
The YME Sting had not won since October 26, 2010, when they beat Lac qui Parle in the 5AA playoffs.
The Tigers certainly have some talented players. Isaac Wente had another good rushing night Wednesday. Isaac carried the football 26 times for 126 yards. Trent Wulf had seven carries for 37 yards, and Jordan Thooft plunged forward for 30 yards in seven carries.
Bryce Jergenson threw the football in a conservative passing game. He attempted just eleven passes, completing four for 38 yards. He was not picked off.
Wulf had two of the catches for 22 yards. Corey Storck had one catch for ten yards, and Bo Olson one catch for six.
The Sting strike first
YME was the first team to score on Wednesday. Vikander carried the ball into the end zone from 16 yards out. Grant Lalim kicked the point-after.
Halftime arrived with the score 7-0. It was exasperating. MACA fans at season's start didn't anticipate any special challenge with this game.
Finally the Tigers scored in the third quarter. Wente carried the ball in from the six. Noah Grove kicked the point-after.
The backbreaker for the Tigers was when YME's Blake Lindstrom completed an 83-yard touchdown pass to Chase Richter in the fourth quarter. Lalim's toe was true on the point-after, and the score is now 14-7 with the Tigers unable to summon any comeback momentum.
Vikander finished with 105 rushing yards on 16 carries. Lindstrom completed four passes in 14 attempts for 141 yards and had two interceptions. Richter had two catches for 91 yards, while teammates Landon Evans and Lalim each had one catch.
Turnovers were a tale of woe for the Tigers. There were five lost fumbles! Three individuals were credited with fumble recoveries for the Sting: John Espinosa, Cody Mathiowitz and Josh Hoernemann. Mathiowitz had a QB sack.
YME standouts on the tackle chart were Ted Sjurseth, Cole Hatch, Landon Evans, Mathiowitz and Hoernemann. Lalim did the YME punting.
A 14-7 loss to YME! Fans couldn't have envisioned this in their dreams. Might we be on the verge of a drought on the gridiron much like what YME has been though? You never know when something like this might set in. Do not underestimate the role of coaching.
I remember when Granite Falls, before it was part of YME, was a tremendous football power on its own. One of the most historic wins in the history of Tiger football was at Granite Falls in the late 1980s. Coach Witt used a gimmick play at the end.
Coach Lou Holtz once separated two of his fingers by about an inch and said to his players: "The difference between winning and losing is that much!" Well-spoken.
It appeared the Tigers were not playing the percentages as well as they could have, in the closing stages Wednesday. The apparent ineptness even seemed to creep into the broadcast booth, where Mark Torgerson initially called a YME field goal attempt as "good" and then had to say "no, it's wide right." Have an extra cup of coffee, guys.
Anyone who wishes to see coaches Witt and Rambow back into the picture, please call or email Athletic Director Mark Ekren.
In other Wednesday action, BOLD crushed Benson 36-0, Melrose beat Montevideo 47-27, Underwood beat Hancock 43-6, Canby beat Lac qui Parle 27-13, and ACGC toppled Sauk Centre 31-6.
Volleyball update: The MACA volleyball Tigers will debut for post-season play on Friday, Oct. 25, at home against Montevideo. Match time is 7 p.m. for this Section 3, Class AA match.
Cross country: the conference meet
West Central Conference runners gathered at Granite Falls Wednesday, a day later than originally planed, for the big conference meet. Weather is what caused the delay.
Aaron Goulet led the MACA boys with his third place finish achieved with a time of 17:42. Kurt TeBeest of Monte was first into the finish chute in the boys race, clocked at 17:17 on the 5K route. YME's Jacob Carroll finished second at 17:24.
Goulet was joined in the top ten by teammate Ryan Gray who was seventh with his time of 18:37.
The three other Tiger runners were Jonathan Jerke (16th place, 19:06), Eric Staebler (27th, 20:03) and Travis Ostby (30th, 20:14). Monte had the top boys team and MACA was No. 3.
Savannah Aanerud led the Morris Area Chokio Alberta girls' effort, finishing fifth with her time of 16:29 on the 4K route. Claire Sulflow of Monte won the girls race with her 15:21 clocking.
Lauren Reimers of the Tigers placed 21st with her time of 18:14. Becca Holland was 23rd (18:32), Kali Berlinger 26th (19:01) and Kindra Cannon 30th (19:16).
Benson-KMS had the top girls team while MACA finished fourth. Dale Henrich coaches the running Tigers.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Volleyball regular season ends with 3-0 win

Tigers 3, Monte 0
Morris Area Chokio Alberta put an exclamation point on the regular season Tuesday (10/15), wrapping it up with a 3-0 triumph. The action was at Montevideo.
It was win No. 16 for the Tigers. Now the thoughts are focused on post-season. The 16-5 won-lost numbers promote a strong tone of optimism. The Tigers are 9-4 in conference play.
Scores in the Tuesday win were 25-20, 25-18 and 25-23.
Montevideo used to be the "Mohawks." I remember a mural painting at their gym which had a silhouetted Mohawk with headdress. I wonder if that painting remains.
Montevideo made this nickname change many years before pressure built up for the NFL's "Redskins" to change. "Thunder Hawks" is now well established as the Monte nickname. I used to be confused over whether "Thunder Hawks" was one word or two. I guess it's two. Often I'll shorten it to "T-Hawks" which I probably picked up from other media sources.
Many Tigers excel
Hunter Mundal's serving overwhelmed the T-Hawks at times. She powered four ace serves while going 15-for-17 in good/attempts.
Haley Erdahl had the only other serve ace. Haley had eleven good serves in as many attempts, and one ace. Beth Holland was 10 of 12 in G/A, Terianne Itzen nine of ten, Sydney Engebretson 13 of 13 and Chelsey Ehleringer 10 of 10.
Ehleringer and Erdahl took on the setting mantle and they produced 13 and 10 set assists, respectively.
Paige Schieler went up to produce three ace blocks. Lacee Maanum had two ace blocks, while Nicole Strobel, Itzen and Engebretson each had one.
Itzen led in digs with 14, followed by Mundal with eleven, Holland and Ehleringer each with ten and Engebretson with seven.
At the fore of the hitting attack was Itzen who powered 13 kills past the T-Hawks. Itzen had 39 good hits in 41 attempts. Schieler made her presence felt in hitting, producing five kills to go with 14 of 16 good/attempts stats. Maanum had four kills and 10 of 13 in G/A. Strobel had three kills and was a perfect 6/6 in G/A. Engebretson added to the mix by going 10-for-12 with one kill.
Montevideo has had a below-.500 season of 2013. Alyssa Stern had eight kills for the T-Hawks Tuesday. Alexis Schmitz had three ace blocks, Abby Olson five ace serves, Tori Kuhlmann 23 set assists, and Jessie Janisch 19 digs.
So much for one promotion. . .
I have written in the past that Morris should have the "world's largest pheasant" comparable to what Wheaton has with the "world's largest mallard."
We have all heard of certain other "world's largest" claims, like the communities with the world's largest ball of twine and world's largest bullhead. The giant Paul Bunyan (and Babe) is in Bemidji.
My suggestion with the pheasant goes back many years to when I was in the print media and I made the suggestion verbally with some individuals involved in local legislative campaigns. I later heard that my suggestion made the rounds and fell on some receptive ears. Nothing ever developed from it.
Of course it would cost money, which is a roadblock. The question is whether it's worth doing.
Thanks to the Internet, I have now discovered there's another community that already boasts the "world's largest pheasant." That's Huron, South Dakota.
Congratulations to them. They must have lots of the multi-colored birds running around. And these birds definitely do "run." The "world's largest pheasant" in Huron is along Highway 14 and is a 22-ton sculpture made of fiberglass and steel. It has "affirmed Huron as a premier pheasant hunting location since 1959," we read online.
"From its beak to the tip of its feathered tail, this giant bird spans over 40 feet."
I suppose we in Morris could still boast the "world's largest pheasant" if we simply built one that was larger! I suppose it wouldn't be cool to upstage our friends in Huron.
A good location for such iconography in Morris would be where the highways meet in front of McDonald's. There's a nice open grassy area. Even a modest chainsaw sculpture of a pheasant would look nice there. Maybe Mr. Steen of McDonald's could write a check for this!
Another candidate location would be in front of Heartland Motors.
What's with this rumor that Heartland is moving to that spot across the highway from McDonald's? And then, Superior would move into the old Heartland property? Is this true? Will Superior keep expanding to where it surrounds the whole town? I'm a little scared of this because we live just to the west of Heartland.
Are aggregate conveyors going to take over the world?
If we cross the pheasant off the list for our iconography, and the bullhead too, what then should we choose? It's too bad we don't still have meadowlarks or I'd suggest that. What a delightful bird this was.
How about the world's largest junco? This bird keeps us company through the long winter. Wherever you see one, there will be a bunch. Their togetherness is inspiring during the blahs of winter.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Girls get 2-1 edge but fall to Sauk Centre

Sauk Centre 3, Tigers 2
The MACA girls got a good test Monday with the post-season nearing. The Tigers traveled to play the Sauk Centre Streeters.
The Streeters are the WCC-North champions. They had the look of a champion Monday. They defeated our Tigers but they needed the full five games.
The Tigers began weak, dropping game 1 by a 25-8 score, but games 2 and 3 were quite the different story. Coach Kristi Fehr's orange and black squad took games 2 and 3 by scores of 25-18 and 26-24. So, the Tigers were one game away from taking this match.
Sauk Centre had other ideas. Sauk summoned some new momentum and took game 4 by a score of 25-10, so the stage was set for the deciding game 5. It was a hard-fought game and had the host Streeters pleasing their fans with a 15-12 win.
Sauk Centre came out of the night with powerhouse won-lost numbers of 24-3. In conference the Streeters own a perfect 13-0 mark.
The Tigers' W/L numbers remain quite sterling: 15-5 in overall, 8-4 in conference.
Streeter Amanda Weir was an obstacle for the Tigers Monday. Weir fueled her team's win with 23 kills and five ace blocks. Aleah Gerhartz came at the Tigers with ten kills. Greasing that hitting attack were setters Amanda Kulzer (25 assists) and Katelyn Durbin (18 assists).
Beth Holland had the only serving ace for the Tigers. Beth's good/attempts numbers were nine of eleven. Haley Erdahl was 13 of 13 in serving. Other Tigers to be acknowledged in this department: Hunter Mundal (11 of 12), Terianne Itzen (10/10), Sydney Engebretson (19/20) and Chelsey Ehleringer (14/14).
Ehleringer raced around to perform 18 set assists while Erdahl had seven. Lacee Maanum went up to get three ace blocks while Engebretson had two and Kayla Pring one.
Itzen led on the digs list with 24, followed by Holland (18), Ehleringer (15), Mundal (9), Erdahl (7) and Engebretson (7).
We're saving hitting for last. Here it was Itzen showing the most force, producing 15 kills on 40 of 50 in good/attempts. Paige Schieler showed force in this five-game match, getting 11 kills on 34 of 45 in G/A.
Lacee Maanum and Engebretson both had five kills with Maanum going 23-for-27 and Engebretson 25-for-34. Pring had four kills on nine of ten in G/A, and Nicole Strobel had three kills on eight-for-ten.
This is the week when regular season play ends for the volleyball and football student-athletes. The volleyball finale is tonight (Tuesday, Oct. 15) at Montevideo. The football Tigers will travel to YME tomorrow (Wednesday) in a game where the odds of victory appear to be high.
I remember the days when Granite Falls, before YME, was a tremendous power in high school football. Granite Falls was the "Kilowatts." I also remember a time in the 1980s when Monte was a feared power. This year the football Tigers took care of business pretty routinely at Monte. Change happens.
Pheasant hunting starts
Change also happens with the change of seasons. We are seeing the steady arrival of more chilly temperatures, and this coincides with the pheasant hunters getting out and around. This was impressed on me Saturday when I was at Casey's and mingling with guys who were wearing vests full of shotgun shells.
As a kid I joined in the hunting pastime because my father always had.
It's interesting how pheasant hunters can look like an advancing army as they go across a field seeking to "flush" those ringnecks. The hunting dogs can get obsessed. The hunters advance the way "skirmishers" did in the old Civil War formation. Today of course we're shooting birds and not people, unless you're Dick Cheney (LOL).
My father and I used to hunt ducks at Frog Lake which also goes by the name Gorder Lake. Frog Lake is a nature bonanza, or at least it was then. There weren't many geese then. We'd be awestruck seeing any geese fly over. And our heart would skip a beat if they actually flew close enough to consider shooting at. Most often they'd still be too far away.
We often saw the "blues" and "snows" (blue geese and snow geese) fly overhead. There were more canvasback ducks then.
We anticipated the "northern flight" and those tightly-grouped flocks of bluebills speeding along like a jet plane and making that brief thundering noise to match.
Flax Lake is next to Frog Lake. Hunting ended up not being my cup of tea. Lifting bloody ducks out of ice-cold water is not something I relish.
Pheasant hunters aren't expected to fare real well this year, according to Minnesota Public Radio. The pheasant population is down about 30 per cent from 2012. The extended winter and cool wet spring are factors. Minnesota farmers have been plowing up more grassland to grow corn and other crops because of high prices.
The trend is likely to continue. Governor Mark Dayton was in Madelia in southern Minnesota for the opener.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Late surge comes too late vs. Melrose

Melrose 18, Tigers 14
Bo Olson was almost a miracle man Friday. We could use the word "miracle" if Olson's Tigers had actually won. We could use the word anyway, but any number of other adjectives would do justice. Like, "stupendous."
Friday, Oct. 11, saw Olson's Tigers square-off against the Dutchmen of Melrose. It was a rough night at our Big Cat Stadium for trying to enjoy football. Weather was acting up. From my booth at DeToy's Restaurant, I saw at least one big streak of lightning cross the sky. There was a tornado watch. The wind was oppressive.
Still, I'm sure many enthusiastic fans turned out. Congrats on the enthusiasm, but I passed on this week in order to attend the jazz concert at the University of Minnesota-Morris. No weather issues for me. The concert was terrific. Be sure to put UMM music events on your calendar.
The Tigers have found points hard to come by through stretches of this season. Against ACGC it was zero. Against Melrose on Friday, there was a goose egg on the scoreboard for each of the first three quarters.
Would the Tigers be shut out again? Melrose was seen as a beatable foe. Back when the Tigers were 1-4, many sports insiders locally said the odds were high of the team finishing 4-4. The Tigers did take care of business against Montevideo. They did not against Melrose.
Bo Olson thrilled fans with two late touchdowns but the Tigers came up shy. Melrose was the 18-14 winner at Big Cat.
The Melrose fans had to be plenty nervous at the end. But they did go home happy, motoring along I-94 to the east. When I was a kid, Melrose's Mark Oldberding was one of the best basketball athletes in the nation. He had a pro career.
Did the Friday loss dampen hopes for a home playoff game? I'm not sure, but so many fans seemed to assume we'd finish the season 4-4. Never assume in sports.
A knowledgeable source told me before the season that new coach Kevin Pope "wanted to try some new things." Considering the offensive slumps and the collapse vs. Sauk Centre, I'm not sure those new things are working all that well. I wonder if we'll hear suggestions for Jerry Witt and Lyle Rambow to come back. Hmmm.
Melrose's Friday win pushed the Dutchmen's record to over .500 at 4-3. They scored in three of the four quarters Friday. They seemed in a position to just cruise the rest of the way. As it turned out, they did have enough points to win.
First it was Blake Gerads scoring on a 15-yard pass reception from Matthew Beste. The point-after kick try failed. Seth Noll scored in the second quarter for the Dutchmen. This young man with the same last name as the famous Pittsburgh Steelers coach scored on a one-yard run. The Streeters failed on a two-point conversion run try.
Melrose's third TD came on a Gentry Middendorf five-yard run. The PAT kick try was no good.
The Tigers broke loose late but it was too late. First, Bo Olson scored on a 91-yard kickoff return. Then there was a successful two-point conversion pass: Bryce Jergenson to Trent Wulf. (The Willmar newspaper spelled the name "Wolff.")
Finally there was a 28-yard TD pass from Jergenson to Olson to close out the night's scoring. The conversion run try failed.
Time was against the Tigers. They needed to show more of an offensive flourish earlier in the game. Where was it? It must have been frustrating for the orange and black fans who also had to contend with the ferocious wind.
Such a storm must cause lots of people to hold their breath - those people who just recently had their roofs and/or shingles replaced. We have even had some small hail in October. We're not supposed to get hail in October here. Global climate change. More extreme weather.
Stats from Friday
The Tigers had 13 first downs vs. Melrose compared to 11 for Melrose.
Isaac Wente had a good rushing total again, 95 yards, but he needed 29 carries. He represented nearly the entire MACA rushing attack. Three Tigers had negative yardage, and Nathan Anderson picked up nine yards on one carry.
Jergenson in the passing game was hurt by three interceptions. He hooked up with receivers for seven completions in 17 attempts for 100 yards.
Olson made waves as a pass-catcher with four catches for 71 yards. Trent Wulf had two catches for 16 yards, and Corey Storck had one for 13. (The Willmar newspaper omits the "e" in "Corey.")
Noah Grove was the punter and put his foot to the ball twice (31.5 average). The tackle chart standouts were Nathan Anderson, Isaac Wente and Gage Backman.
Zach Pierskalla of Melrose surpassed 100 rushing yards in his 14 carries. Quarterback Matthew Beste didn't have to pass the ball much.
Melrose had three fumble recoveries. Seth Noll sacked the QB once.
If the stats are correct, the Tigers lost three fumbles and had three passes intercepted. A big handicap.
The Tigers will now play in the annual mid-week game, what we used to call the "MEA week game," Wednesday night vs. Yellow Medicine East on the road. The YME game ends the regular season.
Click on the permalink below to view my Flickr photo album of the Tigers' 2013 season. Thanks for viewing.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Girls prevail on back-to-back nights

The MACA volleyball girls soared up to win No. 15 with two successes at the start of this week.
The success started with a hard-fought win over a stubborn Wheaton-Herman-Norcross team at Wheaton, Monday. That win went into the books 3-2.
Then came Tuesday (10/8), when the home gym was the site for a match vs. Minnewaska Area. The Lakers proved to be not so stubborn and this win went into the books 3-0. The Tigers enter mid-week with a 15-4 overall record, 8-3 in conference.
Tigers 3, Minnewaska 0
Game scores in the success vs. Minnewaska were 25-23, 25-14 and 25-19.
Haley Erdahl put up 16 set assists while Chelsey Ehleringer had 14.
Nicole Strobel had an ace block. Terianne Itzen led on the digs list with 24, followed by Beth Holland (18), Hunter Mundal (11), Ehleringer (10), Erdahl (8), Paige Schieler (6) and Kayla Pring (6).
Four Tigers each had one serving ace: Mundal, Itzen, Ehleringer and Pring. Here's the good/attempts rundown on the four: Mundal (14/16), Itzen (10/10), Ehleringer (13/13) and Pring (6/7). Holland put up 16 serve attempts and was good on all. Erdahl was good on all of her ten. Sydney Engebretson was two of two.
We'll wrap up this report with hitting. Here it was Itzen setting the pace with her 13 kills on 34 of 36 good/attempts. Schieler came through with 11 kills and 24/33 good/attempts stats. Engebretson slammed down eight kills on 20 of 28 in G/A.
Three Tigers each slammed three kills: Strobel (eight of eight G/A), Erdahl (15 of 16) and Pring (14/16). Lacee Maanum added a kill to the mix, going six of seven in the process.
Minnewaska Area came out of the night at 9/12 in overall W/L, 3-8 conference. Emma Middendorf and Ariel Ostrander both had seven kills for the visiting Lakers.
Tigers 3, W-H-N 2
The Tigers traveled west for non-conference action vs. the Warriors of Wheaton-Herman-Norcross on Monday evening. W-H-N was going to give the Tigers a good test. The Warriors are way over .500 in won-lost. Their win total surpasses the Tigers.
On Monday the teams looked very evenly matched, and the full five-game match developed with neither team able to firmly seize momentum.
The deciding game #5 had Morris Area Chokio Alberta in good position much of the way. But the Warriors made a game of it before MACA was finally able to put finishing touches on the win. The game #5 margin of success was four points.
Here's a complete review of the night's scores: 17-25, 25-19, 25-19, 12-25 and 15-11. The Warriors had lost for just the third time this season.
Meanwhile coach Kristi Fehr's orange and black squad stayed very much on a roll. They had enough left in the gas tank to polish off Minnewaska in three games the next night.
Chelsey Ehleringer put up 17 set assists in Monday's five-game marathon. Haley Erdahl put up 15. The stamina of setters means a lot in five-game matches.
Beth Holland had two serving aces while going 20 of 23 in good/attempts. Also performing two serve aces was Erdahl whose G/A stats were 14 of 15. Hunter Mundal had 16 good serves in 17 attempts. Terianne Itzen was a flawless 12 of 12. Sydney Engebretson's numbers: 9 of 11. And Ehleringer's: 16 of 16.
Maanum led the way in ace blocks with four. Engebretson had three ace blocks, Nicole Strobel two and Itzen one.
A five-game match will have lots of players on the digs list. Itzen topped this list Monday for MACA with her 28. She was followed closely by Holland with 25. Mundal came through with 12, followed by Erdahl and Ehleringer each with eleven, Engebretson with eight, Strobel with six and Schieler and Pring with five each.
In hitting it was Schieler leading the way with her 15 kills on 36 of 45 in good/attempts. Itzen pounded down eleven kills on 46 of 51 in G/A. Engebretson came at the Warriors with nine kills on 31 of 35 in G/A. Kayla Pring's numbers were eight kills and 23/25 G/A. Lacee Maanum went 16 of 21 and had six kills. Strobel's numbers: 14 of 19, five kills.
A theory on coach Kill's absence
Is it possible that coach Jerry Kill of the Gophers didn't really have a seizure Saturday morning? It was reported that his health situation acted up again over the weekend, preventing even his appearance at the U of Michigan stadium where the Gophers were playing football.
The Gophers and Michigan Wolverines played for the Little Brown Jug. As the Gophers have been weak for all of the adult life of Minnesota's boomer population, there has been little suspense or drama over where the jug is going to go. In a bygone age there definitely was suspense. But the Gophers faded once the pro Vikings became the darlings of Minnesota's boomer sports fans.
So, should we buy the fact coach Kill had a seizure Saturday morning? Is there room for a conspiracy theory here?
Here's my theory: Coach Kill may in fact have been as stable as he normally is, but the powers-that-be at the U of Michigan may have had concerns.
Over 100,000 fans can show up for Michigan's home games in Ann Arbor. It's hard to visualize such a turnout. I don't think I've ever seen one over 50,000. At our old Metropolitan Stadium, the place looked like it was full any time the turnout was over 35,000. My God, over 100,000 fans? Can they all get a decent view?
Anyway, the U of Michigan administration may have become concerned about the possible spectacle of coach Kill having a seizure during the game. We all understand this is an unfortunate health circumstance. We all feel sympathy and empathy and all those warm qualities.
However, the sight of this man writhing cannot be described as pleasant. A large portion of those 100,000-plus fans would have no background knowledge.
Not wanting the fans to be unreasonably traumatized - after all, this is an entertainment event - the U of Michigan leadership may have asserted itself. Maybe they said that in order for Kill to come, a large statement would have to be placed on the front of the game program, stating that Minnesota's head coach had a handicap and to be aware and advised of such. Perhaps the Minnesota administration then balked at that.
At loggerheads, maybe everyone concerned decided it would just be best that Kill not be there.
Sometimes conspiracy theories are correct, Kemosabe.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, October 5, 2013

MACA boys show superiority on the road

Tigers 18, Montevideo 7
Friday night was not a pleasant time for watching football from a weather standpoint. MACA fans were able to push weather considerations aside as they enjoyed a big road win.
Coach Kevin Pope's squad prevailed over the Thunder Hawks of Montevideo, 18-7.
Some expert fans told me the Tigers had a good chance to close out their regular season with wins. The first of those hoped-for successes came Friday (10/4). 
The Tigers scored one touchdown each in the first, second and fourth quarters. They now own a 2-4 record and apparently have a good chance of finishing the regular season 4-4. Let's not assume any success will come easily.
Monte also came out of Friday at 2-4. Monte's lone touchdown was scored in the fourth quarter.
Isaac Wente was a huge part of the MACA success. Time and again he'd get the football and grind out significant yardage. In all he had 35 carries of the football. He plowed through lots of daylight in the Monte defense. Isaac had 256 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
As a team the Tigers had 344 rushing yards. The defensive crew held the T-Hawks to 198 total yards. The MACA stat in first downs was 18, compared to ten by Montevideo.
Passing had no impact for the Tigers. But it didn't matter considering the authoritative tone of the running game. A bruising running game always puts a smile on the coach's face. A fan told me in pre-season that running the football was going to be a priority for coach Pope.
Quarterback Bryce Jergenson did his part running the football Friday, with 63 rushing yards in just six carries. He did not have positive yardage in passing. For the record, Nate Vipond had one pass catch but it was for negative yardage.
Bryce had no interceptions. I suspect the weather held down passing opportunities.
Trent Wulf had 28 rushing yards on five carries.
Noah Grove punted the ball three times for an average of 24 yards. These Tigers are cited on the tackle chart: Riley Biesterfeld, Corey Storck, Nathan Anderson, Nate Vipond and Alec Gausman.
Monte highlights: Markus Kranz rushed for 73 yards for the T-Hawks. Troy Diggins completed four of 14 pass attempts for 61 yards, and had none picked off. Bryce Maurice and Spence Sulflow each had two pass receptions.
Scoring: The Morris Area Chokio Alberta scoring began with Wente finding the end zone from ten yards out in the first quarter. The conversion run attempt was unsuccessful.
Next it was QB Jergenson scoring on a three-yard run in the second quarter. Again the conversion run try was no good.
Monte kept close with a touchdown in the fourth quarter, scored by Dazhown Coleman on a 16-yard run. Austin Hiepler kicked the point-after.
Wente ended any doubt as to who would win this game, as he crossed the end zone stripe on a 25-yard run. The conversion pass attempt was no good. I'm not sure why the MACA kicking game was no-go. Was it the weather and conditions? To the west of here we had an all-out blizzard.
Click on the permalink below to view my Flickr photo album of MACA Tiger football, 2013. Thanks for viewing. - B.W.
McDonald's not enough?
I'm healthier today than I should be. I attempted to have my evening meal at McDonald's in Morris on Thursday and Friday nights, but I had to depart. Customers were crowding there. As I left on Friday, I noticed cars backed up for what seemed like a block from the drive-in window. Had I waited to be served, the wait would have been too long and uncomfortable.
I have noticed that sometimes McDonald's has only one cash register going when they should have two. A customer waiting in line behind me pointed this out once. Sometimes a customer will be at the counter being served a large and complicated order. It takes time.
So, maybe there should be benches for waiting, or maybe the place should operate like a traditional restaurant where you take your seat and get "waited on." At least you could sit and relax.
But McDonald's is "fast food." Problem is, fast food establishments are not as fast as they used to be. One reason is their menus have gotten larger. It's a trade-off: Do you want to emphasize speed of service or variety of selections? I don't know, but the glut of business that sometimes happens at our McDonald's is calling for some sort of remedy.
It was kind of sad Friday night, seeing this little oasis of a business with bright lights on the north end of town attracting such a crowd of people wanting a service, while the rest of the town seemed deader than a doornail. Something is out of whack in terms of supply and demand. 
Either we need a second fast-food restaurant, like we had for a while with Burger King, or McDonald's needs to expand or otherwise adjust its service for those "runs" of business.
A bus pulled in while I was there on Thursday. Buses are to be expected from time to time. Like any business, McDonald's should strive to serve all its customers in an effective way all the time. It's a community or Chamber of Commerce issue.
Bring back Burger King? Is it true our local McDonald's pulled certain strings to see that the Burger King would leave? That's fine as long as McDonald's can handle the demand henceforth. I'm not sure it can.
If anyone associated with our local McDonald's reads this, don't cuss or gnash your teeth. You should be thankful for people like me who care about your business.
"I'm lovin' it?" Well, not all the time.
Oh, what did I end up having for supper on Thursday and Friday nights? A bowl of Grape Nuts Flakes and whole wheat toast.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, October 4, 2013

Girls get big win over Melrose at home

Tigers 3, Melrose 2
MACA volleyball won with a dramatic flourish Thursday night (10/3) at our Morris Area gym. The foe was Melrose, a team with winning credentials who had beaten the Tigers earlier this season.
Melrose was several wins over .500. Coach Kristi Fehr's Tigers entered the Thursday competition on an impressive roll, winners of six straight! The Dutchmen too had won six straight. These were two premier volleyball teams.
Not surprisingly, the match extended beyond the minimum three games. It went the full five.
MACA needed to carve out a two-point advantage at the end of game #5. This was done with Hunter Mundal at the serving line. Hunter executed with poise to deliver those final two serves, and for the last point we had Terianne Itzen ending it all with a spike, delivered on the edge of the Melrose defense. The Tigers won!
Here's a review of the game scores in this 3-2 win: 25-22, 21-25, 25-16, 22-25 and 18-16.
Morris Area Chokio Alberta came out of Thursday with a 13-4 season record, 7-3 in conference. The Melrose numbers: 11-4 overall, 8-2 in conference.
Mundal ended the night eight of ten in serving. It was Beth Holland with the most powerful serving arm as this Tiger performed five aces and was a flawless 29 of 29 in good/attempts.
Sydney Engebretson was a serving force with two aces on 15 of 17 G/A. Courtney Giese had eleven good serves in as many attempts. Haley Erdahl was nine of ten. Itzen's G/A stats were 10/11. Chelsey Ehleringer was a perfect 23 of 23.
A five-game match is always very demanding for the setters. Here we have Ehleringer performing 22 set assists followed by Erdahl with 12.
Engebretson and Lacee Maanum were the major forces in blocking, finishing with seven and five ace blocks respectively. Nicole Strobel, Itzen and Kayla Pring each had one ace block.
Itzen and Holland led the way in digs with 30 and 29 respectively, and they were followed by Ehleringer (14), Erdahl (12), Engebretson (11), Giese (10), Strobel (7), Paige Schieler (6) and Pring (5).
Itzen's triumphant spike at the end of this win was part of 41 of 49 G/A in hitting with 15 kills. Engebretson led the kill list with 19 and her G/A stats were 46 of 48.
Schieler was a force to be reckoned with, and her hitting stats were 41 of 45 with ten kills. Maanum had six kills as part of 20 of 23 in G/A. Pring came through at 14 of 17 with five kills. Strobel had two kills to go with 14/16 in G/A.
What a memorable evening of volleyball in Tiger country of MACA! It was a memorable week. Fans are beginning to anticipate the post-season.
In other Thursday volleyball, BOLD beat Benson 3-0 and Sauk Centre beat Montevideo 3-0.
The Tigers are scheduled to visit Wheaton on Monday (10/7). A home match follows on the next night, Tuesday, with Minnewaska Area as the foe. The rest of the week is open - a well-deserved respite from competition.
What's in a name?
The Washington D.C. team of the National Football League has always given us interesting stories. The current one has to do with the nickname. 
That name has the same unsavory air as the "Charlie Chan" movies. You know, those Charlie Chan movies that now appear to have been blackballed, all because a certain cable movie channel once announced plans for a "Charlie Chan Marathon." There was a tempest of a reaction, just like when Trent Lott opined that America would be better off if Strom Thurmond, the old Dixiecrat, had been elected president.
Old westerns are treading rough water in terms of still having circulation among the public or getting on television, "marathon" or not. The Washington D.C. team of the NFL is of course called the "Redskins." The name is right out of an old John Wayne type of western, right in there with other terms like "pale face" and phenomena like smoke signals and "Indians lining up on the hill" (ready to charge and scream).
No doubt there was conflict and misery in the old west. But to take a term like "redskins" and attach it to a contemporary sports team, making Native Americans a sheer mascot, is unacceptable in the year 2013.
I remember when Charlie Berg, a long-time politician from West Central Minnesota, used the term "smoke signals" in a quote of note. Berg has an uncanny talent for delivering the quotable quote. He even continued that during the big local protest vs. the proposed jail in Stevens County.
He once talked about how his constituents might get lost trying to find a big league sports stadium in Minneapolis. Dick Guindon of the Star Tribune did a cartoon on this, showing Berg delivering this statement not in the capitol but in a nearby church cathedral (i.e. with dome), because he had gotten lost.
Remember Guindon? He did the famous cartoon of Minnesota kids "walking to school backwards" against a wind in mid-winter, part of the panorama of our (beloved) Minnesota lifestyle.
"Redskins" should be ushered aside. The new name for the Washington D.C. franchise should be "Red Tails," honoring the Tuskegee Airmen. This suggestion is being put forth strongly vs. the stubborn owner of the team.
When I was a kid, the Washington NFL team was known as the "over the hill gang," a group of older players who were more than the sum of their parts, coached by the eccentric George Allen. I believe Allen eventually got blackballed from the league because, legend has it, he made a coaching decision based on the (gambling) pointspread for a game. That's an utter no-no.
The Redskins also gave us the ungodly sight of Joe Theismann experiencing a compound fracture in the leg on national TV.
The Redskins also made it clear through Doug Williams that African-Americans, lest there be any doubt, could man the quarterback position with 100 per cent capability and acceptance. It took a while.
Today the Washington quarterback is the African-American "R.G. III" who has found himself in controversy not because of his skin color, but because he was likely exposed to unreasonable risk of aggravated serious injury in last year's playoffs, perhaps jeopardizing the rest of his career.
The "Redskins" name might be the least of the NFL's problems now, as the revelations keep coming on the unacceptable health risks all players have playing the game.
Go Vikings? I couldn't care less.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tigers get win No. 12 in volleyball, here

Tigers 3, Benson 1
I got fooled. I normally would have posted about the MACA-Benson match on Tuesday. That's if I had known the match was going to be played Monday.
Our Morris Area school calendar had this match down for Tuesday, Oct. 1. I guess we can't accept that school calendar as gospel.
The MACA girls took to the home court on Monday to face those Braves of Benson. Our Tigers, buoyed by success in the weekend Hancock Tournament, showed more of same in terms of quality of play. Coach Kristi Fehr's orange and black crew turned back the maroon Braves 3-1.
Game scores were 25-14, 23-25, 25-14 and 25-16.
The success got the Tigers' win total pushed up to 12. Everything looks upbeat for the Tigers.
Chelsey Ehleringer picked up a couple serve aces while going a perfect 15-for-15 in good/attempts. Terianne Itzen had one serve ace to go with 14 of 15 in G/A. Other Tiger servers: Hunter Mundal (15 of 16), Beth Holland (10 of 10), Haley Erdahl (16 of 16) and Sydney Engebretson (14 of 16).
Ehleringer raced around to put up 22 set assists. Erdahl raced around to perform 14.
Lacee Maanum came through with three ace blocks.
Itzen stood out in digs with her hefty total of 32. Holland came through with 22, and the list continues with Mundal (15), Ehleringer (14), Erdahl (11), Engebretson (9) and Maanum (6).
Let's wrap up our stat report with hitting. Here we had Itzen and Engebretson showing authoritative play. Both came at the Braves with 12 kills. Itzen had 36 of 40 stats in G/A while Engebretson had 29 of 34. Paige Schieler was a force with her nine kills achieved on 30 of 35 G/A.
Maanum was poised at the net and pounded seven kills while posting 25 of 31 in G/A. Kayla Pring had six kills to go with 12 of 14 G/A. Nicole Strobel had three kills and five of six in G/A. Holland picked up a kill while going four-for-five.
Taylor Laumeyer had seven kills for Benson followed by Bethan Erhardt and Krista Motzko each with five.
Morris Area Chokio Alberta owned a 12-4 overall record coming out of Monday.
Marathon weekend coming up
The Twin Cities Marathon is this Sunday. A mass of runners will take off from the Metrodome and head toward the state capitol. The event now has a long history.
I remember being among that mass three times. The first was in 1984 when, not coincidentally, I ran my best. My body was still fresh. I nearly finished the 26.2 miles in under three hours. I remember straining over those last six miles thinking I could do it.
The historical record shows that I finished that marathon in three hours, one minute and eleven seconds. Given that I'm fairly large of stature, it was a performance bringing satisfaction.
My second participation in the TC was in 1987. I had recently gotten a hamstring problem. I was never medically diagnosed but I'm certain that's what it was. I had to stop running completely for a week or two. Then, as I was getting rather desperate to resume, an acquaintance suggested I try a "thigh support." I went to the drugstore and acquired one.
A lot of times, drugstore remedies fall short of one's hopes. You're really just buying hope sometimes. But in the case of the thigh support, the remedy was incredible. It felt like a miracle as I found I could actually run again. I joined my friends for backyard volleyball over by the Morris Dairy Queen.
I resumed running. I showed up at the starting area for the Twin Cities Marathon wearing my long-sleeve T-shirt with "New York City Marathon" on the front. No, I hadn't run it, although I had visited the Big Apple as a tourist a couple times. Spectators along the route acknowledged my apparent connection to the NYC race.
It was wonderful I could even be participating, given the hamstring problem. The thigh support did give some resistance that kept my speed less than optimal. My time dropped off about 15 minutes from 1984. I could have been sad about that.
I interviewed several runners for feature articles through the years who would have given their right arm to have a time of 3:15. So looking back, my thoughts are warm regarding the 1987 experience.
Today I gather that runners aren't motivated as much by time. The idea today is to have a manageable and reasonably enjoyable experience.
The Twin Cities Marathon has aesthetic pluses. You wind through parts of the Cities you'd never visit or see otherwise. Each year I participated, the sights and sounds were invigorating, such as having TV helicopters hovering overhead at the start! You certainly wouldn't experience that at the Barrett 10K.
I have always felt strongly that you needn't train specifically for a marathon. I'm quite the contrarian with this view. I believe that if you simply run four or five 10K races over the summer, hard and focused, you can take off for the Twin Cities Marathon and feel confident. I ran a 10K every other weekend in getting ready for the 1984 Twin Cities Marathon. I got a little extra rest leading up to marathon weekend.
I attended the U of M Gophers football game, vs. Ohio State, on the night before the marathon. Lou Holtz was coaching the Gophers. I had a Polish hot dog for supper. Everything clicked the next day. It doesn't seem so long ago, but oh my it is.
Good luck to all the runners this Sunday. I'm a spectator now, apt to have two Polish hot dogs rather than one, for supper.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Goulet, S. Aanerud lead runners at Sauk

The MACA runners took their energy and stamina to Sauk Centre on Tuesday, Oct. 1. (Oh to be young again.)
The cross country Tigers ushered in October with their appearance in the Sauk Centre Invitational. Rocori had the top boys team. St. Cloud Cathedral topped the girls standings.
Derek Werner was the first boy to the finish line as he covered the 5K in 16:21. He's a Thunder runner from Long Prairie-Grey Eagle. Ben Burgett of the Community Christian School was No. 2, clocked at 16:22. A Rocori runner, Josh Peterson, entered the finish chute No. 3 at 16:52.
Nine schools had their runners in action in Streeter country. Aaron Goulet of the Tigers made the top ten, covering the 5K in 17:42, good for ninth. Other MACA boys were: Ryan Gray (28:43), Jon Jerke (19:12), Eric Staebler (20:43) and Travis Ostby (20:44).
Rachel Eickhoff helped her St. Cloud Cathedral team to No. 1, as she took No. 1 as individual in the girls race, clocked at 15:27. Kristin Mehr of Rocori was No. 2 at 16:06. Then we have Paige Danielson of St. Cloud Cathedral at No. 3 with her time of 16:10.
Savannah Aanerud was the highest-achieving Tiger with her time of 17:06, good for 15th place. Other Morris Area Chokio Alberta girls were: Lauren Reimers (18:05), Becca Holland (18:37), Anna Grove (19:26) and Rebekah Aanerud (19:28).
The MACA girls finished in sixth place and the boys in seventh. The Willmar newspaper had "Beth Holland" among the MACA runners, but isn't she a volleyball player?
Shall we restore the name?
I invite those of you who are not familiar, to visit my companion website which is called "Morris of Course." (Catch the rhyme?)
Someone mentioned to me Sunday that she had discovered it. I am proud of the photo at the top of that site now, a photo taken at dawn. This person who engaged me in conversation liked the photo but was puzzled, at least momentarily, by one thing. The name "Lake Crissey" didn't register with her. I can't blame her.
The "Lake Crissey" name has faded from general use through the years. I don't think it was ever cancelled. It's the name for what we would otherwise call "the Pomme de Terre reservoir." You know, it's that body of water out at Pomme de Terre City Park. It was once a state park. It once had a popular "earthen pool" right next to the river.
You see, "Lake Crissey" is a wide spot on the Pomme de Terre River. So is Pomme de Terre (or Perkins) Lake north of Morris, along with "Middle Pomme de Terre" and "Pomme de Terre North."
I have suggested before that "Pomme de Terre" gets used too much and thus we can get confusion. Whatever, the city park has wonderful aesthetic qualities that attract campers, walkers, bicyclists and everyone.
Our city park out there once had the name "Riverside Park." The local Kiwanis coined that name in the mid-1930s. The dam was not yet fully constructed. Oddly the name didn't catch on. Once the dam was fully up and running, the lake and beach became a magnet for people.
The lake (or reservoir) took on the name "Lake Crissey." It was named for A.D. Crissey who was the region's state representative and who supported the creation of the dam and park. It's a nice name, isn't it? It rolls off the tongue easily. It's nicer than "Pomme de Terre Reservoir," wouldn't you say?.
I first heard the name when I was doing an article for the local print media on the biking/walking trail. I was handed a map that had "Lake Crissey" on it. I was intrigued, asked a question or two, and got some background.
It turns out "Lake Crissey" had faded from popular use years earlier. Perhaps one reason is that this lake doesn't really seem like a lake. It doesn't seem quite big enough and it hasn't been used for swimming in a long time. There was some swimming there when I was a kid, enough to justify a diving raft. Today the feeling you get when visiting there, pleasant as it is, is that it's just a wide spot on the river.
So what? I would like to suggest here and now that "Lake Crissey" be fully restored as the name for this body of water. It's a reminder of our history. The City of Morris should put a sign up. How about it?
In the meantime, I invite you to visit my "Morris of Course" site and view my photo at dawn of this lake, with a cloud of mist rising off the surface and the wind turbines in the background (and reflected on the water).
Here's the link to the site:
God bless you all.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com