Recent Articles

Would a Robinson Rule be just another ruse?


The only thing I like about a proposed “Eddie Robinson Rule” for college sports hiring is that it is being named for the late Grambling football coach. Otherwise, if the proposed law is modeled after the NFL’s Rooney Rule, I’m afraid it’s a recipe for deception, false hopes and tokenism. This week’s “Another View” published in the MSR sports section briefly discusses Richard Lapchick’s latest campus leadership report, where it notes again just how White (nearly 90 percent) of the campus leadership positions are.  

Here are the latest diversity report’s “lowlights”:

Coaches of color decreased by three, from 18 in 2012 to 15 in 2013. There was a two-percent drop in Black head football coaches (now 9.6 percent) from last year even though Black football players at the same time went up nearly three percent. Continue Reading →

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Metrodome farewells



The Minnesota Vikings’ final game in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome ironically ended in the same fashion as did their first-ever game there in 1982 — with a close win over division rival Detroit. After Sunday’s stadium-closing finale, the MSR obtained some final thoughts on the soon-to-be-closed Dome. “It meant a lot to me,” said KMOJ sports reporter Sam Williams after seeing his name on the big stadium “dome-o-gram” electronic message board during Sunday’s game. “I’ve covered the Vikings for about 16 years, and to have my name on the marquee for the very last time, why wouldn’t you love it? I love it,” admitted Williams. “It was great.”

Marcus Sherels set a single-season team record with the highest punt return average (15.2). Continue Reading →

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A fast start, a final game, and a superstar returns

This week’s column features a perennial state boys’ basketball power off to a fast start, a former boys’ basketball state champion and top football prospect playing his final collegiate game, and a former boys’ basketball standout who returned home to face the Timberwolves in an NBA game.  

St. Paul Johnson off to a fast start

Defending St. Paul City Conference boys’ basketball champion Johnson got off to a fast start in their season opener, defeating visiting Lakeville South 83-60 before a capacity crowd. PIERRE CONWELL, a 6’-3’ forward, led the way with 26 points, including a powerful two-hand dunk. Continue Reading →

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Three tied at top of NFC North


We have reached the halfway point of the 2013 NFL season, and it’s all tied at 5-3 at the top between Chicago, Detroit and Green Bay. Monday night, the oldest rivalry in the NFL between the Bears and Packers was at center stage, and Chicago beat the Packers 27-20 at Lambeau Field for the first time since 2007. The Packers were in the driver’s seat before kickoff, having beaten the Bears six straight times. With Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Packers were 8-2 vs. the Bears; however, they were 0-2 on Monday night. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota Lynx: We thank you!


It is quite clear that the most successful and winningest professional sports team in Minnesota history is now the two-time champion and three-time finalist, The Minnesota Lynx. Our profound congratulations and our deepest appreciation for a quality franchise and a quality team with quality players and a quality owner. Minnesota has long been desperate for a dynasty. The young ladies of the Minnesota Lynx have created that dynasty. Their march through the WNBA playoffs, 7-0, has only been done one other time in the history of the league. Continue Reading →

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More Vikings impressions



According to an inside source, I wouldn’t be too far off when I said to them that there were more Black workers than Black fans at Sunday’s Minnesota-Cleveland football game at the Metrodome. A three-year Black female stadium worker told the MSR that she estimates at least 70 percent of the game-day workforce is Black – her husband has worked at the Dome for eight years.  As a result it’s safe to say that maybe three to five percent of the 63,000-plus in attendance were Black. “I’m a diehard Vikings fan, and I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida,” says Sylvester Blue, who now lives in Dallas, Texas.  “I’ve been a fan since I was four years old, and I’m 48 now. I work hard all my life and for me to get a chance to come see them live and in person, that’s the ultimate for me.”


J.T. Jones, who was part of a traveling group from Atlanta, Ga. admitted that his group earlier talked about not seeing more Blacks at pro football games, whether in the Twin Cities or his hometown.  “We got a good price on tickets,” says Jones.  He added that a possible reason for the lack of Blacks at NFL games can be attributed to financial concerns.  “We can’t splurge as much as we want to.  We pick and choose what we splurge,” he explains.  “You look on TV and it never looks like there are Blacks at games.”

“I’m a big football fanatic.  I work hard to enjoy the things I love, and football is one of them. Continue Reading →

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Lions roar, beat Vikings 34-24

What a difference a year makes. Last year, the Vikings, 10-6, were hungry and focused and determined to turn their program around — and they did. Adrian Peterson, the NFL’s MVP, ran for an incredible 2,097 yards while the team was 4-2 in the NFC North. In 2012, eight of the 12 playoff teams won their first game of the year. But NFL, by one definition, stands for Not For Long. Continue Reading →

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Concern grows over long-term effects of football head injuries


(Originally published July 5, 2012 in MSR)

Thomas Darden is among more than 2,000 former players who are suing the National Football League, arguing that the league concealed information from them about football-related injuries and long-term brain damage. We are slowly learning that playing football can be dangerous to one’s health. At least three former pro players’ deaths, all ruled suicides, may actually be attributable to brain damage suffered from years of playing the sport. “I forget things,” says Darden, who played defensive back for nine seasons for Cleveland (1972-81). “I may have a thought and lose that thought. Continue Reading →

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Free Gophers football tickets meant to ‘improve student engagement’

Not many Black students seemed engaged








The 2013-14 University of Minnesota school year now is in session. Last week, during the school’s sixth annual Welcome Week, nearly 5,000 new students took advantage of  the offer of a free ticket and meal voucher and attended the August 29 Gophers’ home football opener. However, it is not clear how many of the approximately 400 Blacks and other new students of color were in attendance. During a 75-minute period before the game, this MSR reporter didn’t notice too many Blacks first-year or otherwise who came through   the stadium’s Lincoln County gate. But the few we were able to talk with all looked forward to “having fun” at their first-ever college football game. Continue Reading →

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