You are in the hands of Brian Lee Rivers every day 10am-3pm on KJ-108. This is working man's radio with a guy at the controls that REALLY knows his rock! BLR brings you Classic and new rock that you can listen to all day long. Plus, at high noon, the Electric Lunch; Win lunch from the Red Pepper of Grand Forks with the Lost Lyric Competition, Name That Album, and more! This REALLY is radio that you can lock into and stay with all day long!
I’ve got two boys that I’m raising and so far they have picked up none of my bad habits. Now that I’m a family man, I left the rock band thing that I did when I was younger. I spent age 17 to 35 or so moonlighting as lead vocalist with a little keyboard playing to help fill out the sound with different bands over those years, Ranging from high school garage bands to serious regional bands that toured a little and to local bands that got it’s ya-ya’s out in small clubs around the area. I was never close to the big time and never expected to get close; I just had a good time doing it. I realized I had to quit because my kids were young and demanding and it was too hard to function as a parent on Sunday morning when you got back from Warroad at . God, do I miss the band thing, but my life with my kids is beyond words and I have no regrets, just a little longing that would probably go away a couple of weeks later if I got back into it again.
My life is Family, Work and Youth Sports right now and it’s been blur.
The Record did not matter to me last night. My Team was on Monday Night Football... So I turned on the surround sound and filled my living room with football ambience. So much so... that my wife asked me to turn it down. For anyone who feels like siding with my wife... Let me say in my defense that it was a National Broadcast game. This wasn't the typical regional broadcast with secondary equipment. Monday Night Football is great with surround sound... I was going to be able to hear the QB bark out calls in high quality. I only mention this part just to show the anticipation I had going into the game.
Now for the rest... Let's talk about how little enthusiasm I had as the game went on. Let's just say... that the Volume went down as the game progressed and my wife ended up satisfied with the volume.
I'll just say it... The Giants were one of the worst teams I've seen in quite some time and the Vikings were three times worse.
I was shocked when Josh Freeman was named the starting QB earlier this week. I thought to myself that this Freeman guy must be a fast learner to pick up the offense this quickly.
Turns out... That he may not have a grasp on the offense yet and his start may have been a little premature. Yet here he was starting anyway and this leads to some big questions.
How many cooks are in the Vikings Kitchen right now? Who made the call to start Josh Freeman?
I have a hard time believing that it was Head Coach Leslie Frazier.
Josh Freeman was running a simplified offense and this was pointed out by Jon Gruden during the broadcast many times. The Giants were stacked up for the run all game long. The Passing game should have been wide open. When Freeman had an open WR to hook up with (which seemed to be quite a bit)... He missed them by a mile. The Minnesota Vikings offense last night was broken and it appears that one of the cooks in the kitchen... BROKE IT.
So based on no information at all... I assume it wasn't Leslie Frazier. A coach would have to know that throwing away half the playbook just to start a QB isn't a good idea. A coach would have to know that Josh Freeman isn't ready yet based on what he had seen in practice. Freeman would have no experience working with his wideouts. It's hard to time patterns without a little experience... you know... timing them.
Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave may have enough juice to convince the head coach to go against his better judgement and start someone not ready but Musgrave wouldn't want to toss away half of his playbook to shoehorn a guy into the lineup. Musgrave and the QB coach would probably have an even better view of what Josh Freeman was looking like in practice. It just doesn't make sense based on what I saw last night.
That leaves the GM or the Owner as my main suspects. I really believe someone over Leslie Fraziers head... Demanded that Josh Freeman start.
If it was Frazier who made this call... It's hard to defend it and him with two QB's who have been working with the offense all year suited up. Personally... I can tolerate... Execution mistakes... I can tolerate bad play calls... even bad game plans. Players make mistakes and so do coaches and they make them every day of every week. Nobody is perfect but this decision to start Freeman was something that any worthwhile coach would know better.
Monday Night Football analyst... Jon Gruden made a statement during the broadcast last night. Paraphrasing... He said something along the lines of... "I feel bad for Leslie Frazier... Josh Freeman has no business starting this football game after 12 days of working with the offense and personnel". Again... I'm paraphrasing... I don't remember the exact words but that comment seemed to suggest that Gruden knew that Frazier was forced to make Freeman the QB. This was my interpretation and I think I'm right.
There are too many cooks in the Vikings Kitchen. The Soup didn't taste good before but it's worse now. No coach would willingly start a guy with 12 days experience over two guys who are prepped, well paid and ready. I'm not a Ponder Fan but Ponder would have won that game last night.
The National Collegiate Hockey Conference begins tonight in Oxford Ohio. #1 Ranked Miami of Ohio hosting our University of North Dakota.
This is an exciting time for College Hockey in my opinion. As fans we were pretty comfortable with the WCHA but when Minnesota and Wisconsin departed for the Big Ten... The WCHA changed and there was no way you could feel comfortable with the WCHA anymore. You can't just let the Big Ten Hockey Conference happen and be comfortable with Michigan Tech.
With Minnesota and Wisconsin joining the new Big Ten hockey conference with Michigan and Michigan State of the CCHA along with Ohio State and the brand new Penn State Program. The Big Ten hockey conference became an instant power conference. The WCHA and the CCHA had no chance to keep up with that. The NCHC was a necessary creation to not only match the Big Ten but pass it by as perhaps the top conference in the Country.
With Denver, Colorado College, Nebraska Omaha, Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State, Western Michigan, Miami of Ohio and UND. The NCHC has a great combination of talented committed hockey programs with the best arenas and the best markets and the best attendance with a dose of some great potential TV Markets. Denver, Colorado Springs, Omaha and Cincinatti are fairly large markets. To put it simply... The Best schools were linked together and this improves the overall competition and gives the coaches of the conference a strong selling point for the high end recruits and it gives each school in the conference a future revenue base that can be grown.
It took foresight to recognize the future of the WCHA and it took guts to execute the change and I give all the credit to UND Athletic Director Brian Faison. The easy thing to do is just maintain the status quo... to do nothing. It takes guts to change... even if it is change for the better. I don't know who made the first phone call about the creation of the NCHC... I don't know when the first discussion took place. I don't know if it was an easy sell to the current members or if it took a large dose of politics to make it happen. It happened and I assume that Brian Faison was a major force and he should be given a ton of credit for at the very least recognizing it and saying yes.
I'm a big Brian Faison fan. He has overseen a shift from from Division II to Division I, Membership in the Big Sky conference, Dealt with an extremely complicated, divisive and sticky nickname issue that is still ongoing and the creation of the NCHC. It's easy to say that Brian Faison is doing what he is supposed to do as athletic director. It's easy to say that Division I and the NCHC were obvious moves. It's easy to say... but much much harder to do. It takes a strong AD and Brian Faison seems to be just that. I've seen a few AD's come through in my time in Grand Forks. Brian Faison has been the best by far.
I'm proud of UND... Win or lose tonight... The Future is bright in the NCHC. It's a big night and it's a big night because of the future and it will have nothing to do with who wins. However... UND will win. At least I hope so.
I read Lavelle Neal and I listen to him on 1440 the Fan. Lavelle Neal is the Minnesota Twins beat writer for the StarTribune. I find Lavelle very measured in his statements and there is no question that he understands baseball like very few do. He's good at his job and he has direct access to the Twins... So when he offers an opinion... I tend to listen to it.
Awhile back... I heard Lavelle make the statement that the Minnesota Twins Clubhouse is very library like. He says it's a laid back clubhouse to the point of too laid back. He says the difference is very noticeable when you walk into the clubhouses of other teams. Saying that most of the other clubhouses have an energy and the Twins simply don't have that. Lavelle also says that the Twins clubhouse is a reflection of Joe Mauer's laid back personality.
I've never been in the Minnesota Twins clubhouse so I really can't confirm or offer an opinion on the Twins clubhouse atmosphere. However, I've watched a bunch of games and I can say without reservation that they play like a bunch of librarians and baseball needs to have an aggressive energy to it or it isn't being played right.
Disclaimer: I apologize to any librarians who may have been offended by that statement. Librarians are intelligent and they provide a much more important service to our society than Baseball Players do.
Disclaimer: I apologize to any Baseball Players who may have been offended by the above disclaimer. There are many baseball players who do wonderful things for our society.
If what Lavelle says has a grain of truth to it and I have no reason to doubt him. Terry Ryan needs to address this. Let Joe be Joe but bring in some new leaders... high energy players who will lead by example. They don't have to be over the top talented... They can be a couple of Nick Punto type players. They just need to be the type who will bring it nightly. Give it 100 percent and have fun while doing it. Someone who will get in the face of someone if needed and fill their hat with shaving cream just to keep things loose when needed. Let that type of player become the leader in the clubhouse and let Joe be Joe. Its my opinion that players like that are a tide that can lift all boats. It doesn't matter what they produce... They will be worth the addition because everyone around them becomes inspired and produces more.
I don't know... Just a thought! Fixing the Twins will be hard... I'm trying.
I think it's entirely possible that the UND Coaching staff might feel differently but I actually walked out of the Alerus Center on Saturday... Somewhat Happy.
The UND Coaching staff probably feels differentlly because they lost to a very strong Eastern Washington club 35-14 and it was obvious that UND mistakes was the primary reason. They turned the ball over 3 times. A Fumble at the 10 Yard Line and an Interception at the 23 Yard Line stopped UND Drives dead in their tracks. Those two turnovers led to a pretty equal game in my opinion to look like a blowout on the scoreboard. The UND Coaching staff most likely wasn't very happy about this and that is understandable.
As for me... I came out of the building fairly happy and I was happy because the defense did a hell of a job against a good offense. They were swarming to the ball and stuffing the run and that was something that they were not doing against Montana and Montana State and they didn't do that great a job against South Dakota State either.
Defense was my primary worry and I saw progress and overall that was encouraging to me.
The offense is struggling a little... but I think that the offense will be fine once they stop shooting themselves in the foot with the turnovers and penalties. Mollberg is young at QB and he can throw but will make the occasional freshmen mistake that should get better the more snaps that he takes. As Mollberg gets better... The weapons will still be there waiting for him. Greg Hardin, Kenny Golladay, Jameer Jackson and Blair Townshend are an amazing group of wideouts. So Yeah... With the improvement of the defense... I'm walking on the bright side of the road. Next week Sacremento State comes to town.
UND Hockey had a nice weekend against Vermont... It will go down as a win and a tie but UND beat Vermont in a shootout after the tie so it's ok to declare it a sweep. Grimaldi looks poised and ready for a big year. UND will kick off NCHC action for the first time ever next weekend against top ranked Miami of Ohio.
The Vikings? Yuck... The only thing that was good about the Vikings on Sunday was that I was able to take a break from raking leaves to watch them. The defense remains bad and it isn't going to matter who is the QB as long as the defense plays like that. I'm on the dark side of the road with my Vikings.
Right now 3 NFL teams have not won a game... They are the Jaguars, Giants and Buccaneers. These teams should win a game or two before the season is out. The Giants might beat the Vikings next week. Is it too soon to start thinking about the 2014 NFL Draft? As of right now... There are 3 players that look to be impact players according to what I'm reading. QB Teddy Bridgewater out of Louisville, QB Tajh Boyd out of Clemson and DE Jadeveon Clowney out of South Carolina. I guess it would be kind of nice to finish in the bottom three to grab one of those guys. It is too soon to start thinking about the 2014 NFL Draft?
The UND Football team is coming off a conference win on the road against Idaho State. Two games into the Big Sky conference and UND sits 1-1. Only 3 teams are 2-0. If UND can pull things together and go on a run the conference title is still possible. That is how it sits on paper and there is truth in that. However... Based on what we've seen so far from the squad... Can you still say anything is possible?
Yeah you can... But honestly it's hard to say. You wouldn't be human if the defense hasn't scared the pants off you as a passionate supporter of the Green and White. Montana and Montana State came to town and the punter for both teams could have stayed home to save on travel expenses in both games.
The Win against Idaho sate was much needed but this weekend the talented team from Eastern Washington comes to town and this is a team that is similiar in talent to the Montana squads that went back home real happy. Anything is possible but I'm honestly going to wake up Saturday Morning and start murmuring to myself right away. I'll be murmuring "C'mon D... Make a play... Make a stop" If the defense can do just that. I will tell you without a doubt that anything is possible! If they can't... well... I won't say it.
The Vikings are taking on the Panthers on Sunday. I'd say that there is very little chance of Josh Freeman seeing game action. He's going to need a little time to learn the offense before they hand him the keys. While Josh may not see any game action... I'm willing to bet that he will be given a lot of face time. I wonder what the over/under will be: Total number of television shots and comments of Josh Freeman in uniform on the sideline will be.
According to Leslie Frazier... The Vikings are not done with Christian Ponder yet. At least that is what he is saying publicly. I think that is what Coaches are supposed to say if they want to avoid throwing someone under the bus. However... actions speak louder than words... There is someone in the organization... either the owner, the General Manager or even Coach Frazier who is done with Ponder because Freeman is here.