Insight News

Wednesday
Oct 01st

Sports

Big summer sports events in gear

Big summer sports events in gearThough the early parts of the baseball season are still underway, there are some other real cool worldwide sports going down on all parts of the globe, including Minnesota. This week we’ll brush over some tennis, next week some local golf, gotta pay respects to the real futbol (soccer) as the FIFA World Cup draws near in South Africa, and all the while building up some greater interest and knowledge of baseball, because that’s definitely the hottest ticket of the summer.

For now, the French Open sits on the center stage of the World sports audience, and of course that means The Venus and Serena Williams Show is in full effect. But as much as it seems as though the Williams sisters dominate all things tennis, they both actually have a pretty tough record in the French Open. Serena has one French Open championship to her name, which she achieved in 2002 by beating her sister Venus. Other than that year, neither of the sisters has been in the French Open Women’s Singles Championship, which is hard to imagine. Even more difficult to imagine is that the two ladies have not mastered the doubles competition for the French Open. The Williams sisters won the French Open Women’s Doubles Championship in 1999 towards the beginning of their worldwide, decade-long, domination of the sport.
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Good Grief. Timberwolves miss out on #1 Pick

Good Grief. Timberwolves miss out on  #1 PickIf the NBA Draft involved dice rather than lottery balls, then the Timberwolves would constantly come up with snake eyes. After a long tough rebuilding season the Wolves deserved a whole lot more than to only land the fourth pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. According to lottery percentages, the Wolves had the second best chance to land the first pick. But this marks another great opportunity to use my favorite quote in sports history, from none other than pro golfer Boo Weekley who said, “You never know what them dogs gonna do ‘til you run ‘em. So let’s run ‘em.” Weekley was making a comparison between athletes and hunting dogs, but the quote works just as well with regard to the Wolves and their future draft pick, so as usual, hope springs eternal…and I’m trying to spin this positive.

The NBA Draft will take place on June 24, and boy do the young Wolves need someone to come add some “uumph!” to the current roster of highly respectable hoopers. This years’ draft does not come off as one of the more celebrated groups of collegiate offerings, but once again, “let’s run ‘em.”
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Stadium issue is the budget vs. the building

Stadium issue is the budget vs. the buildingThe legislative window for Vikings efforts towards a new stadium has closed and the fact that there is a looming state budget shortfall doesn’t spell well.  Yet the campaign is on throughout the state to convince the business community of the benefits that a new Vikings stadium could bring.  The legislative session adjourns on May 17, so it doesn’t look good, save a miracle, but that might not be so bad after all. As the recent national healthcare legislation proved, and as Prussian theorist Carl von Clausewitz stated, “No campaign survives first contact…”

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. That is what I see when I have had the opportunity to survey the recent activity around the new Twins and Gophers structures. I’m sure this is part of the message delivered by the Vikings staff and supportive legislators, as they visit with the various statewide Chambers of Commerce and Fortune 500 company CEOs. For those like the man (Jeff Baker), who posted the recent billboard stating, “Dear Mr. President, I need a Freakin’ Job” I would have to imagine that the construction jobs and service contracts that would be born through the stadium project make a lot of household’s palms itch. Naturally there is quite a bit of excitement for the Twin Cities community for the newly-built stadiums, like a child having a new toy to play with, but it doesn’t hurt that the buildings don’t suck. This only proves the quality of the construction industry residing here in our backyard, and the compliments have been heard far and wide for the Twins stadium in particular.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. backs up his big talk


Floyd Mayweather Jr. backs up his big talk
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a big mouth. My brother taught me early on that “loose lips sink ships” but upon closer review, Floyd Mayweather’s high-speed motor mouth may be big in terms of overall volume of bullcorn produced, but bullcorn can also be known as fertilizer. In Mayweather’s case, the fertilizer produced by his oral cavity is feeding the growth of a rare plant called The Money Tree.

Two weeks ago, Mayweather put on a clinic of various forms, in his defeat of Sugar Shane Mosley. Many would point to the slippery, angled, boxing gameplan that Mayweather executed, or the sonic speed jabs that he continually snapped Mosley’s head with. But what impressed me the most of Mayweather in this fight, was the way in which he endured getting socked-up during the first couple rounds of the fight. While Mosley may have been simply trying to make the show look good during the later parts of the fight, he brought his scrappin’ shoes early on; and it worked. The fact that Mayweather’s nose didn’t swell from the connections Mosley made early on, may have said something about the power of the punches, but Mayweather’s knees told a different story.
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Look for another series of Kobe’s championship Nike puppet commercials


Look for another series of Kobe’s championship Nike puppet commercials
Basketball ain’t what it used to be, but it’s pretty impossible not to marvel at the size and grace of the young men flying – but mostly lumbering – down the court, and regularly flying sky high over the rim. I mean Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic seems likely to be able to dunk a ball over the backboard, and every time I see his shoulders I think of the Eddie Murphy stand-up phrase “Aw look at his shoulders.”

Lebron James is the closest thing to a live video game character, and Kobe Bryant has finally achieved the status of “Greatest Michael Jordan Look Alike of All-Time.” So I suppose when I think about it like that, I remember that Magic Johnson was huge, and actually had hops before he got his Hollywood weight; and I would also imagine that Wilt Chamberlain could dunk a ball over the backboard. So maybe things aren’t so different after all…except for Dwight Howard’s bison sized shoulders…and martian sized little head (he-he).
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Celebrating Black baseball in Minnesota


Celebrating Black baseball in Minnesota
 The 63rd Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in major league baseball comes as the Minnesota Twins embark upon a new existence in lovely Target Field. The Twins early season play has complimented the impressed euphoria of the fan base, and so all around there are many reasons for Minnesotans to be proud.

Baseball in Minnesota has a rich, proud history, which includes strong representation in the historic national Black baseball days of the 19th and early 20th Century.

Note: I try my best to “keep it real” with my articles, and I just realized the tsunami I just stepped into through approaching the topic of Black baseball in Minnesota. Well, I suppose that I always wanted to improve my baseball knowledge, so here we go because I know I’m not the only one who needs to bone-up on his Black baseball. I also suppose that a hearty, “Thank you Jackie” is in order for shining a light many years after his passing.
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WNBA Draft: Monica Wright, Kelsey Griffin

WNBA Draft: Monica Wright, Kelsey GriffinCollegiate drafts in the various sports are always pretty interesting. I suppose the concept of good kids coming up and getting theirs is always something to celebrate. For the Minnesota Lynx it was quite the celebration this year, but it was sort of like someone kept on bumping the DJ table and making the record skip a few times. However, in the end, the Lynx ended up getting much better for the upcoming year, and even the year to follow.

The Lynx traded away the first pick in the WNBA draft in order to get more subsequent picks at the second and third draft slots this year. This was a pretty difficult move to make because the first pick represented the opportunity to bring in National Champion guard Tina Charles from the University of Connecticut (UCONN). Now if you didn’t happen to notice the undefeated dominating season that UCONN had this year, which was simply a carryover from last years’ National Championship, then you may have perhaps missed the collegiate career of the future Michael Jordan of the WNBA. The women’s game is evolving mightily, and you only need to watch Charles’ jumpshot form to know that men and women are equal. I don’t care where you’re from Tina Charles has one of the most beautiful jumpshots known to man.
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