Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sports Sports and more Sports!!!!

Okay, since I AM a sports director.... I figured to add my two cents in on some things.

1) AJ coming back.... Like the rest of "Jackrabbit Nation", I was pretty stunned to find out women's basketball coach Aaron Johnston was leaving SDSU to take the job at UWGB. Needless to say, I was even more surprised to find out less than a day later he changed his mind!

Now those of us that matter (the fans, the school, and the players) are happy he changed his mind and welcome him back with open arms. Others however, think there's something more to this than meets the eye... i.e. the media.

In my never-to-be-humbled opinion, I think they're making a mountain out of a molehill. How many of us have accepted a job offer or have taken a job, only to leave and go back to where you were before? It happened to me... I left KJAM to work at Citibank and sure enough, I came back after realizing how much of a mistake I made.

Fact is, we all make mistakes... I'm glad AJ caught his in time before too much damage was caused!

2) Vikings draft.... Some people were suprised that Minnesota DIDN'T take Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn in the draft (he later went to Cleveland with the 22nd pick). Instead, they went with Oklahoma running back and Heisman runner-up Adrian Peterson.

I think it was a wise choice. Tavaris Jackson had a lot of growing pains last year, culminating with two sup-par performances in a season where the team basically gave up. But I think those games were important for him, because he now knows what he needs to do in order to be a solid NFL quarterback. And with the team signing Brooks Bollinger as a backup, Jackson will have a solid teacher. I figure we'll get a pretty good picture of what to expect from Jackson this year. He could be our QB for the future, or the next Gino Toretta!

And with more teams going to a 2-back offense, Peterson will be a great 2-back, along with Chester Taylor. With Taylor getting his first 1,000-yard rushing season last year, the Purple and Gold could have a dynamic two-some in the backfield this season PROVIDED Peterson heals from his broken collarbone.

3) Sportsmanship.... I think this is going to be an issue that sticks around for quite a while. One of the biggest examples of poor sportsmanship I saw was earlier this year at the State "A" Boys' Basketball Championship. In that game the second-place team refused to come back on the court to accept their medals. Frankly, that was a VERY poor example of sportsmanship, followed up by some half-hearted excuses by the coach.

Frankly, I'm glad the SDHSAA (the governing body for high school sports in South Dakota) didn't capitulate and give the team it's medals right away. The coach and the AD for the team had to drive to Pierre the next month for the Association's annual meeting and basically get read the riot act. Furthermore, the school is now on probation and could face suspension from post-season play if they don't make a lot of changes.

I think it was a fair punishment. But I also wonder if the team was not an Indian school, would the punishment have been different; a "double-standard", if you will? But the important thing is that the Association did make a stand and say poor sportsmanship will NOT be tolerated. Bout damn time, too!

Friday, April 27, 2007


I've been thinking a lot about my Grandma Driscoll lately.

June 15th will be two years that she left us. They say time heals all wounds; I'm not so sure about that. Rather, I think with time, you just get better at hiding those wounds.

And now we have a beautiful new addition to our family. Grandma's 22nd (or is it 23rd?) great-grandchild. The first time her daughter (my mom) became a grandma herself. And she's not here to share our joy.

It bothers me. It really does.

I can see a little bit of Grandma in Zoey. From the shock of black hair to the way her little mouth forms a perfect straight line when she draws in her lips. Just like Grandma.

In some ways, it comforts me. But in other ways, it reminds me of what we lost.

I've heard all the comforting phrases... "As long as you remember her, she's never really gone"... "She's in a better place"... "She's looking down on us."

That may be true, but it doesn't replace her being here.

She may have been one of God's children, but she was my grandma. And as long as I live, I'll never understand why God took her away from me.

God, you have so many children... couldn't you leave us Grandma for a little while longer?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Happy 4/20, everyone!

Huh huh huh huh.... it's 4-20! huh huh huh huh...

On to happier things...

Well, considering I had to release a little vitrol last week, I figure it's about time I had a happy post!

As a New Yawk cabbie would say "Foist things foist!"

After nine months of somewhat-quiet anticipation, I'm proud to say I'm a first-time uncle! Zoey Jane was born April 11th in Sioux Falls at Sanford/USD Medical Center... Yeah, I know. But fortunately Mike and Katy held off temptation and did not name her "T. Denny!"

But she is just about as perfect as a baby can be. LOTS and LOTS of dark hair... in fact the nurses at the hospital would spend the night in the nursery playing with it, spiking it and all that jazz. Thank goodness they restrained themselves from dyeing it blue! :D

But Zoey, mother and father are all doing well. They're back home and I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with them!

The other good piece of news is that I FINALLY have my taxes done! This year, I did something a bit different. I actually put away the paper, pen, and calculator and did my taxes on-line. Yes, yes, I'm a bit of a luddite. But I'm a cautious luddite. Hey, Identity Theft and all that crapola!

But talk about a time-saver! All-told, it took me an hour to do, then one click and I'm done! Not too shabby. I didn't get as big a return as I usually get; I blame that for actually making some decent money and getting bumped into a higher tax bracket... which goes to show that being successful truly DOES have a price! ;)

And I already have my plan on how to spend my refund...a decent entertainment center and some new glasses!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Guess I touched a nerve!

Wow... I've been accused of not having any "journalistic integrity!" That's a first for me!

As you know I lit off on a touchy subject yesterday about "uber-punishment" and the need for forgiveness, or at least giving a CHANCE for forgiveness. In my haste to get this entry done, I made a faux pas and I got ripped a new one for it.

In the words of Steve Martin, "EXCUUUUUUUUUUUUSE ME!"

You don't have to agree with me, but let's set some some ground rules.

First of all, I don't claim this to be the end-all, be-all for factual information. This is purely opinion and my thoughts only. If you think I'm some journalistic grand pooh-bah, then you REALLY need a clue!

If anything, I like to think of myself a "gadfly", irritating the status quo and sparking debate. And if that rankles a few feathers of the politically correct, so be it. I don't care.

Secondly, if you wanna debate, let's debate. But hold off the name-calling and the snippy attitude. The world is mean enough already, don't you think? And if you find it to still fire off baseless, claimless insults, at least have the GUTS not to post as anonymous!

I don't claim to be a journalist and I NEVER claimed to be a personality! Just ask my mom! LOL

Monday, April 09, 2007

Are we going for uber-punishment?

Michael Richards says the n-word and he gets sued.

Mel Gibson goes on a drunken tirade against Jews and all of a sudden Rob Schneider doesn't want to work with him anymore (did he ever work with him in the first place?)

Isaiah Washington says a derogatory term about a fellow cast-mate and he's going to "rehab," after calls for him to be fired.

Don Imus puts his foot in his mouth (again) and now there's calls for him to be fired.

Is it just me or is everyone getting just a wee-bit overly sensitive about people who act like morons? I can understand being upset and wanting some kind of reconcilliation if one does something stupid, but does it have to come at the cost of ruining a person's livelihood?

I've done and said some stupid stuff in my life. Hey, I'm human, it's been known to happen. All I can do is apologize, make ammends and make sure it doesn't happen again. But most importantly, I and the people I offend get on with our lives.

It's called "forgiveness." Perhaps that's a fogotten notion in this society of victimhood.

Besides, it's just words... nothing more. I've been called names before. There's two ways of handling it.

1) Don't let it bother you, be a grown-up and get on with your life.
2) Become overly-sensitive, have a hissy fit, and whine and complain.

Besides, I think Jesus in Matthew 7:6 said it best, when he said, "first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye." In other words, don't assume to rebuke people for their faults without looking at and trying to correct your own.

Cover Me!!!

So what makes a really good cover song?

It's a question that's plagued mankind througout the ages. Now I'm not talking about a song that is re-hashed by every bar band that knows a total of three chords, nor the drunk chick trying to sound like Shania or the Dixie Chicks at karaoke (believe me, I've heard more than my fair share of THAT!)

What makes a good cover song falls into several criteria... 1) respect to the song, while adding your own style to it, 2) being original, 3) "owning" the song... in other words, not trying to sound like you're singing off a karaoke machine. If you meet these exacting criteria, then you have a cover song that kicks royal ass.

So here's some great examples of cover songs... in no particular order

1) "I feel love"... orginally a disco hit by Diana Ross, re-made by the Blue Man Group... the percussion really makes it tick.

2) "Land of Confusion"... orginally done by Genesis, re-made by Disturbed... same message, different times... somewhat prophetic. Not bad!

3) "Mrs. Robinson"... a classic by Simon and Garfunkel becomes a classic alternative hit by The Lemonheads... Juliana Hatfield's driving bass and Evan Dando's vocals are a perfect fit for this re-make!

4) "I'm a Believer"... originally written and recorded by Neil Diamond but re-made TWICE... by the Monkees and Smash Mouth... hey, any song that gets covered two times earns my respect.

5) "Streets of Bakersfield"... done by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, re-did by Dwight Yoakam and Owens... had to include a country song in there... besides, the Tex-Mex twist is pretty darn cool!

What are your favorites?

Thursday, April 05, 2007



Nothing like a sudden spring cold snap to stuff up the ol' schnozzola!

It's amazing... last week it was incredibly nice... I was even able to turn off the heat in my place (which should make my bill a bit more tolerable). I thought we were finally able to slip out of Old Man Winter's icy clutches.

Boy, was I WRONG!!!

Now I'm fighting a stuffed up nose... nothing more, thank goodness. But enough to head to the store to stock up on Zicam and OJ!

OJ... kills cold germs dead! (Okay, bad joke!)

And another thing...

I was reading yesterday. It had an interesting article about how a scientist has also embraced his religious side as well. All I can say is, "Good for you!"

But then I read some of the comments, saying how he's a "quack scientist" because science and religion are supposed to be "mutually exclusive." Really giving this guy a hard time.

Well, excuuuuse me! I had no idea that "separation of church and state" has extended so that anyone who openly expresses his or her faith is labeled a crack-pot!

Which begs the question... why are Christians given such a hard time about their beliefs while Muslims, Jews, Hindu, and other faiths are give a blank ticket? Granted, there's some looney-tunes people who claim to be Christian... abortion clinic bombers, child molesters, Fred Phelps... but does that mean you condemn a whole group of people just because of the actions of a very few? Isn't that stereotyping? Isn't that supposed to be "Politically Incorrect?"

Apparently some don't see it that way... perhaps we should start a government program to relieve these poor souls of their rectal-cranial inversion!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

We're gonna win Twins!

Even though there's snow on the ground (I thought this was supposed to be spring), I can smell the leather and wood. Of course, I'm talking baseball... what you were probably thinking of escapes me!

It's time once again for sunflower seeds and tepid beer... of mosquito bites and long bombs. And so far, my Twinkies are doing pretty darn good! Granted, it's only 2 games into the season and 160 more to go, but call me the eternal optimist!

Every time I think of the Minnesota Twins, I go back to my childhood... of sandlot games at Clark Field... Nate Henry trying to perfect Kirby Puckett's high leg kick that he had when he swung the bat... of worshipping the idols of Kirby, Herbie, and Frankie "Sweet Music" Viola (before he got greedy, pissy, and traded). But most of all, I remember the "dynamic duo" of the broadcast booth, John Gordon and Herb Carneal.

Okay, a little back story... it's 1992, just before my Junior year of high school. I'm working in Sioux Falls in this cooped-up, soulless metal buiding as a document prepper for a microfilm company. It was tedious, boring, and frankly I detested it. We were encouraged to bring our own music to listen to, CDs, cassettes, or just the radio (as long as we had headphones, of course).

I would steal my little brother's transistor radio and listen to music most of the time (someone please shoot me for ever liking Belinda Carlisle!!!). But one night I got fed up listening to the same song over and over again and flipped the switch to KSOO-AM.

When you need to know... 11-4-OH, K-S-O-O! Still a good station.

Well, apparently the divine entity knew what I needed to know because that night I was introduced to John, Herb, Dark Starr, and Sid Hartman... Minnesota Twins Baseball!

I always thought John and Herb worked well together... John, the firey cheerleader who practically screamed "Touch 'em all, Kirby Puckett!" and Herb, the Southern Gentleman with a smooth delivery and a voice that made you feel like you were at the game.

You felt like you could walk out the door and into the Dome... grab a dog and a beer... watch the game... then head out into the heady summer night for a quick round at Hubert's bar and grill afterwards. And all this from 240-miles away!

I listened religiously every night. Off-nights or rain delays were sheer torture for me. But it was my refuge from a tedious summer job. Later on, I board-opped the Twins games when Depot Radio carried them, and I still caught a game or two on occasion, but the magic was just a shade of what I felt that summer of 1992.

Herb Carneal passed away last Sunday. Kirby Puckett died last year. I still root on the Twins. There was a time I didn't... mainly because of my disgust of the baseball strike that took my summer away from me. Mauer has a great bat, Torii could be an All-Star if his bat can catch up to his glove. And Nick Punto is so good at third base, he's like a human vacumn cleaner. Santana has unreal control... and when Liriano gets back from Tommy John surgery, well, I wouldn't want to be the Yankees!