Hunt Down


Stu’s Enemies Month Hunt Down: Mike Alstott

Friday, May 1st, 2009

alstott.JPGThe month of hate ends with Stu’s Hunt Down of Mike Alstott, who haunted the Metrodome in both college and the NFL, and continues to haunt your nightmares. Stu?

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Name: Mike Alstott

Claim to Fame, Minnesota: was a bludgeon-shaped thorn in the side of both the Minnesota Gophers and Minnesota Vikings. In his decade at Purdue, Alstott plowed through the Gophers like they were a cheerleader in front of a paper banner: 13 career touchdowns, and individual games with 183 and 171 rushing yards. Or, as the late Jim Wacker noted in an article by handsome blogger Todd Zolecki, “He ran through us like cheese through a goat.” No, I don’t know what that means, either. Once Alstott was drafted by Tampa Bay, area football fans were able to observe his metaphorical cheese punishing the local team’s metaphorical goat intestinal tract twice a year. Please, enjoy this tribute video set to the quiet storm balladry of Rammstein.

Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: everyone has their own personal Chris Berman running bit that drives them mad. Perhaps it’s “back back back” or that hoary clip that ESPN runs of him and Glenn Frey. For me, it’s that [redacted] sound effect he’d make whenever there was a highlight of Mike Alstott getting the ball by the goal line. I HATED that.

Villain in Popular Culture He Most Closely Resembles: comic book bad guy Juggernaut.

Where He Is Now: since it has his name on it, let’s assume he’s actively involved in the Mike Alstott Family Foundation. Follow them on Twitter! (Seriously, you should follow them, if only to atone for following Ashton Kutcher.)

Sweet, Sweet Closure Scenario: switches bodies with Darrin [redacted] Nelson for the final play of the 1987 NFC Championship Game.

Glorious Randomness: Wikipedia, what say you?
Another famous nickname Mike has is “Bathtub Mike”. This comes from the days when Mike would strap old, used cast iron bath tubs to his back and run 40 yard sprints. This helped build his unique leg strength as well as prevent the old used bath tubs from taking up too much valuable space at the local landfills. Mike used upwards of 23 used tubs to drag on his back over the years.

On a related note, I wonder what Mark Chmura’s nickname is. ZING!

Further Discussion: did you enjoy Enemies Month? I know I did. Please leave suggestions for any other themes or Hunt Downs in the comments. If they can be phrased as nonsenical things that Jim Wacker might have said (“Geezo beezo, that running back over there’s like a gin joint on Armistice Day!”), all the better.

Stu’s Hunt Down: Red McCombs

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

mccombs.JPGIn continuing with his April “hate” theme, Stu takes a look at former Vikings owner Red McCombs. Just in time for the NFL draft! Stu?

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Name: Billy Joe McCombs

Nickname: Red

Claim to Fame, Minnesota: like Lou Holtz before him, McCombs entered Minnesota to much acclaim as the down home savior of one of our beloved football institutions, exited it a wealthier man, and left an on-field product of questionable value. Of course, you can’t blame Minnesotans for playing the rube to Holtz or McCombs, because if you can’t trust college football coaches and used car salesmen, who can you trust? Sigh. It’s my assessment that the state of Minnesota would absolutely buy a monorail from Lyle Langley. Especially if he had a southern accent.

Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: as noted, he made his fortune selling cars. He also owned the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs, and was a co-founder of radio behemoth Clear Channel. If you’re ever in Austin, Texas, and somehow run out of great places to eat, drink and see live music, feel free to enroll in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. Someday, maybe you, too, can run an NFL franchise on the cheap and sell it for a mind-bottling profit.

Villain in Popular Culture He Most Closely Resembles: to continue in a Simpsons vein, this guy.

Where He Is Now: no precise location, but it’s safe to assume he’s somewhere in Texas, sleeping on a pile of money and wearing diamond boots.

Sweet, Sweet Closure Scenario: forced to infinitely haggle with grumpy retirees from Coon Rapids who are just on the lot to kick the tires on a Buick Skylark and “don’t want to be taken for a ride, Mister.” In the background, a Clear Channel-owned classic rock station plays “More Than a Feeling” for the 47th time that day.

Glorious Randomness: McCombs also dabbled in ranching, and is responsible for a new breed of cattle called the Gelorn, which is a cross between a Longhorn and former Viking lineman David Dixon. No, wait a minute, I misread that. It’s actually “a cross between a Longhorn and a German Gelbreith.” I regret the error.

Stu’s Hunt Down: Al Secord

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

alsecord.jpgBefore we begin with the second April installment of Stu’s Hate-filled Hunt Downs, let us throw out a couple of numbers: 1 — number of runs the Twins have scored in the two games we have attended this year; 12 — number of runs the Twins have scored in the two games we have not attended this year; 0-2: Twins’ record when we attend; 2-0 — Twins’ record when we do not attend. At least they had the decency to lose quickly today so we could get back to work. And now: Stu and Al Secord. Stu?

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Claim to Fame, Minnesota: if Todd Bertuzzi and Dave Hakstol had a baby, it would be both a marvel of modern science and named Al Secord. The level of vitriol directed by North Stars fans at the former Chicago Blackhawk can only be described as Pierzynski-esque. What “Aloha” is to Hawaii, “Secord sucks” was to the Met Center faithful. Answer the phone? “Secord sucks.” Tornado warning? “Secord sucks.” Another marriage gone south? “Secord sucks.” But surely, at the end of the day, his opponents respected the man, correct? North Stars legend and anti-pants activist Dino Ciccarelli answered that question in a 1982 Sports Illustrated article:

“I hate him,” Ciccarelli says, “but whenever he calls again, I’ll answer.” Last week Secord and Ciccarelli found themselves on the same bus headed for Washington’’s Capital Centre, teammates for the All-Star Game. When Ciccarelli boarded, Secord asked him how he was feeling. “Bleep you,” Ciccarelli replied. “You don’t care.”

Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: unlike other goons, Secord could score goals and stuff, posting 40+ goal seasons thrice, including a 54-goal tally in 1982-83. Also, as a member of the Boston Bruins, he went into the stands at Madison Square Garden to duke it out with some fans. Fortunately for all of us he wasn’t in the NBA, otherwise we’d still be getting stern lectures about how out of control the league is.

Villain in Popular Culture He Most Closely Resembles: your basic nondescript henchman from any ’80s action movie whom Mel Gibson or Patrick Swayze would have dispatched in short order.

Where He Is Now: Wiki says he’s a pilot for American Airlines, which should finally settle the age-old debate about whether or not you can land a jet by pulling a jersey over its head and punching it over and over.

Sweet, Sweet Closure Scenario: we convince the ever-efficient Swedes to level the Bloomington IKEA store and replace it with an all-new Met Center. Once they’ve had three weeks to accomplish this and apologized for bringing the project in late, we invite Secord and Willi Plett to tangle at center ice one last time. Andy Van Hellemond will be the referee who haplessly tries to separate them. Afterwards, we all go to the Thunderbird and party. Who’s with me?

Glorious Randomness: if you’d like to view a watercolor portrait of Al Secord painted by someone who appears to be Secord’s mom, just follow the links. You’re welcome. [Proprietor note: Alan Secord is the artist's son & she wanted to capture the intensity of his blue eyes].

Stu’s Hunt Down: Drew Pearson

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

pearson.JPGWe like where this is headed. Stu?

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What defines a man? Some would say his works. Some would say the relationships he’s cultivated or the family he’s built. Some might even say that man is indefinable, a mystery that cannot be solved. All these people are jerks. Man is defined by his enemies, and by enemies, I mean athletes he’s never met who are employed by teams that play against the teams he likes.

It’s my distinct pleasure to announce that April is Hunt Down Enemies Month. The villains of the Minnesota sports landscape will be found and given their due. This I swear to you.
The Huntdown
Name: Drew Pearson

Claim to Fame, Minnesota: shoved Nate Wright to the [redacted] ground and caught the game-winning “Hail Mary” pass from Roger [redacted] Staubach to lead the Cowboys over the Vikings in the 1975 NFC playoffs. How bad was the non-call? Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page was given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and ejected from the game. Referee Armen Terzian was knocked unconscious by a flying liquor bottle. Fran Tarkenton’s dad died (in the third quarter, but still).

Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: was a 3-time All-Pro selection and a member of the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team.

Villain in Popular Culture He Most Closely Resembles: Scut Farkus, who shoved Ralphie around with impugnity.

Where He Is Now: per Wiki, he was involved in the XFL’s NY/NJ Hitmen franchise (along with former Vikings assistant coach Rusty Tillman), which doesn’t make up for his hurtful destruction of the Minnesota Vikings’ 1975 season, but does help take some of the sad out. He now lives in Plano, Texas, and is represented by Roger [redacted] Staubach’s PPI Marketing firm.

Sweet, Sweet Closure Scenario: contact PPI Marketing, retain Pearson’s services for an event at the Mall of America. Find the exact spot where he shoved Wright to the [redacted] ground (presumably a Cinnabon), then have everyone there pelt him with yellow flags. If he’s available, present Nate Wright with the key to the city, a voucher for parking and go halfsies with him on any one food court item.

Glorious Randomness: succeeded Joe Theismann as quarterback for South River High School in South River, New Jersey. It is not known if Theismann changed the pronunciation of anything while playing there.

Stu’s Hunt Down: Janet Karvonen

Friday, March 20th, 2009

karvonen.JPGIn lieu of more discussion of last night’s game — wait, did Abrams just hit another three? — and recognizing that the festivities of the day will begin around the time of the second post and we don’t know when we’d get to Stu’s Hunt Down otherwise, we’re going to jump right in with that this morning. Stu?

The Huntdown

Name: Janet Karvonen

Claim to Fame, Minnesota: the Tayler Hill of her day, Karvonen led New York Mills to three consecutive girls basketball titles in the late ‘70s and established all sorts of state high school records, most notably the career scoring mark of 3,129, which stood until 1997, when it was broken by former ‘70s radical Sara Jane Olson*.

Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: played in the NCAA Final Four for both Old Dominion and Louisiana Tech.

Where She Is Now: as the Wiki link notes, she’s married with four kids and lives in the St. Paul ‘burbs, and attends to the long-running Janet Karvonen Basketball Camp. She’s also been involved in the broadcast of the girls’ tournament in years past, so you might be able to catch her on the teevee this weekend, too.

Glorious Randomness: New York Mills has something called the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. (In Renville County, we just call them “church basements” or “bars.”) If you click the link you’ll see that former artist-in-residence Robin Barcus Slonina fashioned a 14-foot-tall “Corn Dress,” which is exactly what it sounds like. In stark contrast, all my Soybean ManRomper got me was a citation for public indecency and horrible, horrible chafing.

*Untrue, but since every other media outlet has to beat this story into the [redacted] ground, I’m just doing my part. Also, I have been informed that AIG is awful. (For those who care about accuracy, it was Megan Taylor of Roseau who broke Karvonen’s record.)

Fasola-link! Did these guys work in cahoots? The dunk that made history.

OK, so here’s how the rest of the day is going to work: much like yesterday. Except: we’ll be over at the Dome (as civilians) and will try to post new threads via BlackBerry based on observations from the early games over there. Got it? Good.