Guest Post

Guest Post COW: Jon likes himself a little puck

Friday, January 26th, 2007

It’s that time again — honestly, one of our favorite times of the week. We get to shut our yap and let you have the stage for a little while. Jon, RandBall’s sixth Commenter Of the Week, is a bona fide blogger in his own right. He has spent the past three years penning “The National Anthem Before A Cubs Game,” which probably gets a lot of indirect traffic from a different audience because the first three letters of its web address are “tna.” But seriously, it’s a Minnesota-themed sports blog, and he does a splendid job with it. He checks in in just one second — right after we remind all the former COWs that you now get to vote for the COW every week. So please do vote. Don’t go to some other site and just throw your vote away. Here are Jon’s words:

Raise your hands if you know the final score of Wednesday’s NHL All-Star Game. Not a lot of hands up, are there? Nobody — okay, a minuscule number of somebodies — watched the All-Star Game. Despite the fact that it was televised in HD. Despite the fact that all the offensive talent in the world was on display. Despite the fact that Vs. pulled out every stop they could think of, in an attempt to draw in new fans. And those new jerseys? They’re ugly. They look like baseball batting practice jerseys. And here’s the worst part: the die-hard fans liked the old ones.

Here’s an idea, NHL: instead of always trying to draw new fans, how about you focus on not alienating the ones you already have? You might remember us, NHL. We’re the ones who still call the NFC North the “Norris Division.” We’re the ones who grow a beard while our team is in the playoffs. We’re the ones who make jokes about “calling Toronto” when we can’t make a decision. We’re the ones that stuck with you through the lockout and through the boredom of the clutch-and-grab neutral zone trap. How about catering to us for once, NHL? We’d rather have hockey in Winnipeg than in Las Vegas. We’d rather you not make the uniforms that we defiantly wear on Casual Friday into something that looks ridiculous. We’d rather not go three years in between visits from Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, just because you can’t get it together and agree on something better. And we want the Norris Division back. That’s non-negotiable.

Focus on those of us who love hockey. We’re the best salespeople you have, and if you make us happy, it will pay off in the long run.

Re-guest post: COW meets Coyote

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Let’s try this again, the scintillating old-fashioned way, where we get to retype everything Coyote sent us for his guest post. Hey, we’re all about the COW:

Wow, Commenter Of the Week! Where do I go from here? Do I go with why Nick Punto will not be in the starting lineup by June? Do I talk about the new Gophers coach? No, I think I’ll save those for my next COW appearance. (Yes, I just called multiple COW honors). I think what people are looking for on a Friday morning is entertainment. So I am going to satisfy everyone’s YouTube needs early today the only way I know how … COW clips!

First, if anyone has a fever, I think I have a remedy.

Second, I find this clip very symbolic. I think this clip has everything this site needs: A COW and soccer together in a video. Just think of the cow as us readers and the soccer player as RandBall. You can take it wherever you want from there.

One rant to use my soapbox: Baseball contracts are out of control. With contracts continuing to rise every year, there will be a breaking point. Owners will not be able to continue with the trend. Even people like George Steinbrenner will halt when it is no longer profitable. At some point, someone is going to stop paying the dollars and the dominoes will fall. Whether it’s television that stops paying or fans who stop paying, there will be a breaking point and it will be an ugly one.

Guest post COW: Sassbottom prefers shredded Wie

Friday, January 12th, 2007

We gave him the forum, and we imagined it might come to this. But ladies and gentlemen, these are his 300 words. He earned them, and he thought them through. Sassbottom checks in right here (sorry about the font … something about cutting, pasting, etc.):

It’s time I come clean with RandBall Nation. Despite being a frequent
contributor to RandBall and this week’s COW, I have some shortcomings to which I must finally admit. I, Sassbottom, am a filthy, sexist pig.
I haven’t always been this way, mind you. It’s developed over time,
starting a few years back, when a young girl from Hawaii first developed
a following as the Next Big Thing in golf. “Michelle Wie can hit the
ball a mile,” the story went. “Isn’t that amazing?” I, like most people, was impressed at first. Because when a lanky 15-year-old girl can do something like that, it’s impressive. It’s something you don’t see too often. Like a squirrel on waterskis. Or Evel Knievel. You watch them do their thing and say, “Wow. That’s pretty cool.” And then, when the neat-o demonstration is over, what are you left with, exactly? Nothing. And that’s why I’m a sexist pig. Because I’m no longer impressed with a little girl’s delusions of finding success on the PGA Tour. Michelle Wie is the Bearded Lady of professional golf. I’ve seen the sideshow and I’ve moved on.

To wit, check out ESPN’s golf page. Go ahead. Do it now. I’ll wait. There she is. The lead story, dangly earrings and all. She shot a 78 in the first round, 15 strokes off the lead. She’s going to miss the cut for the seventh time. Why is this a story at all, much less the lead? At what point can (or should) golf fans cease to be impressed by this carnival attraction? You want to impress me, Wie? Turn down one of those exemptions. Then issue a statement: “Thanks, but I’m not able to compete on that level.” That would be impressive.

As the old saying goes, she had me at hello. It was a nice run. Now go away.

Guest post: TwinsJunkie weighs in

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Trevor Born writes for and has authored his own blog, TwinsJunkie, for more than two years. And you know what? He’s only 17. Yes, he’s a senior at Bloomington Kennedy High School. At an age when RandBall was riding on the roofs of cars and stealing road signs — don’t do that, kids — Trevor has been putting together a resume that many J-school graduates would be happy to have. He’s hanging out at the Star Tribune office today, and we thought: What the heck, let’s let Trevor have some space here. So here he is:

Well first of all I’d like to thank Michael for letting me pound at his keyboard during his incredibly busy day (as evidenced by the assorted empty coffee cups and Mountain Dew bottles lying around) and giving me an opportunity to post on one of the best blogs around [RandBall note: He was paid handsomely to say that].

I’m the TwinsJunkie, but the hot topic around town seems to be the firing of coach Mason and who he should be replaced with. A lot of names have come out, some of them crazier than others (whenever someone says suggests Tony Dungy, I typically reply “Why not Bill Belichick?”), but I’d like to make my case for a guy that grew up just a few minutes away from me: Lane Kiffin.

Mr. Kiffin is a 31-year-old graduate of Bloomington Jefferson who is now serving as the offensive coordinator at USC. During his tenure he has coached two Heisman Trophy winners (Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush) as well as three first round draft picks (Leinart, Bush, and Mike Williams). He was ranked by as one of the top 25 recruiters in the nation and is busy grabbing the top talent around the country as we speak. And at 31, he could lead the Gophers for quite a while, Joe Paterno-style.

Guest post: Chip Scoggins keeps it short and sweet

Monday, January 8th, 2007

When it comes to college football, we here at RandBall don’t claim to have much expertise. In general, we prefer pro sports. That’s just the way it is. That said, we will be watching tonight’s BCS title game with interest. No. 1 against No. 2 gets our attention every time. And we also wanted to share some knowledge with you. So we asked Star Tribune college football writer Chip Scoggins for a quick pick. He is a man of few words, and none of them are wasted:

“I’ve voted Ohio State No. 1 with my AP vote since day one, and I’ll stick with that pick. I think Troy Smith will be the difference. He seems to play his best in big games and never looks rattled. His confidence carries over to the rest of the team, both on offense and defense. I see the Buckeyes winning by seven to 10 points.”

Your thoughts?