Henry Lake

Recent Articles

No heavyweights in ‘Friday Night Fights’

But the smaller guys put on a good show
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Downtown Minneapolis was the site where ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” made its season debut last week. “This city has a lot of boxing history,” said Warriors Boxing Promotions COO Luis DeCubas at the January 2 pre-fight press conference at a downtown Minneapolis restaurant. “Tonight is a very special night,” noted former KFAN host Henry Lake, now hosting a daily midday show on a Kansas City sports station while sitting in one of those VIP ringside seats during the January 3 eight-bout card, which featured several local boxers. “A ‘W’ is a ‘W,’” declared Minneapolis welterweight Javantae Starks, who improved to 8-0 after his split-decision win over previously unbeaten Limberth Ponce of Rock Island, Ill. “I didn’t understand the split decision at all,” added Starks, who knocked down Ponce early in their six-round fight. Continue Reading →

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Local media personalities migrate south to warmer climes

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Two local radio personalities recently left town, and both are now entertaining audiences in their new locales. Former KMOJ midday host Georgia Ellyse — “Miss Georgia” — is now a morning drive time co-host at WFXE-FM in Columbus, Georgia. Henry Lake is now a midday co-host at Kansas City, Missouri’s KCSP-AM after 15 years at KFAN-FM. The two local natives – Ellyse of St. Paul and Lake of Minneapolis — began their new jobs earlier this month. Continue Reading →

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KFAN post Henry Lake is now all white

Joni Mitchell once sang that you don’t know what you’ve had until it’s gone. “We’re glad to get him,” admits KCSP-AM Program Director John Hanson on Henry Lake, the new midday host at “610 Sports Radio” in Kansas City. Personally I am glad the most talented but underused staffer at KFAN has finally left the area’s longest sports yakker. Lake had never gotten the right exposure, once being second billed with someone named Sludge, doing Vikings and Gophers ‘fan whine’ post-game shows then finally a solo hosting a show in what the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once called, the most segregated hour in America, Sunday mornings at 11. Now the Minneapolis-born Lake had to take his talent on the road, and thank goodness right in the nick of time. Continue Reading →

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Another View Extra — Coaching Gopher basketball a career killer

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

 

Only two coaches in Minnesota men’s basketball history have ever led teams to a national championship: Clem Haskins won two NIT crowns in the 1990s, and Tubby Smith won the 1998 NCAA title at Kentucky. Both Black men have the most 20-win seasons: seven for Haskins and five for Smith. However, both men also have the dubious honor to have been fired at Minnesota. Despite a 511-226 career record in 22 seasons, Smith unfortunately is a victim of college sports’ “What have you done for me lately?” philosophy. “When you let a guy go with the character and the skill of Tubby Smith, you better have an idea of somebody who can turn things around, and I don’t know of any of the elite coaches [seeking the Gophers job],” says Washington, D.C. radio host Mark Gray.  “I don’t know what direction they are going, but you are trading a sense of value when you disrespect a guy who’s a Hall of Fame-caliber coach.”

Minnesota AD Norwood Teague thinks that the next coach will have an easier time than Smith did selling the idea to blue-chippers that playing in a “classic” Williams Arena, a place that only looks good when it’s full of people, is an urban hoopster’s dream. Continue Reading →

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Gophers fire a great coach rather than build a great team — Tubby’s gone. Who’s next?

 
 
 

Former U of M coach Tubby Smith was not fired last week but weeks earlier by the information bubble-blowing media. One knuckleheaded bubble-blower said on local sports radio a few weeks earlier that the only active Black coach to win a national championship “had no credibility.”

“We live in a state where we’re used to inconsistency and a lot of fair-weather fans,” notes former KFAN host Henry Lake. “They went all in emotionally when the Gophers got ranked eighth in the country, and when they started to struggle the fans got bitter… Also factor in the media pressure from certain individuals in town that built the momentum up and ramp it up for changes to be made.”

“I think [Smith] did a masterful job rebuilding a dead program in Minnesota,” says Washington, D.C. radio talk host Mark Gray.  

Gophers AD Norwood Teague, during his March 25 press conference following the announcement earlier that day of Smith’s firing after six seasons, claimed, “We made this decision based on an evaluation of the overall body of work.”

Then let’s look at Smith’s “body of work” and compare it to his three predecessors after their six years at Minnesota:

Tubby Smith (2007-12): 124-81

Jim Dutcher (1975-81): 108-61

Clem Haskins (1986-92): 89-90

Dan Monson (1999-2004): 100-86

Unfortunately, too many locals got Gopher-giddy when the team’s No. 8 ranking in early January ultimately didn’t mean Bo Diddly. Continue Reading →

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Finally, parity in men’s college hoops

 

 

 

Can we say with all surety that parity was finally achieved this year in men’s college basketball? KFAN’s Henry Lake (HL) and Robert Littal (RL) of BlackSportsOnline recently shared their thoughts on this and this year’s cliché-filled NCAA tournament already in progress. (Please note: Lake and Littal’s comments were made prior to Sunday’s tournament selections.)

View: Was there indeed parity this season? HL: There always will be premier schools, but what I think is different this year is that some of those teams that we always penciled in as top seeds in the tournament essentially have taken a step back, [and] other teams have taken a step forward. I am not surprised that there is parity. Continue Reading →

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Wild, wild NFL win and lose!

 

Give the NFL credit for being smart. Number one, all they do is win. Revenue-ratings, popularity, continued growth, and they do all this while assaulting the NFL Players Association. The recent flurry of activity in free agency is so deceiving. Like Mike Wallace leaves Pittsburgh and signs with Miami for $60 million, $30 million guaranteed. Continue Reading →

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Resolved: to pop ‘information bubbles’ whenever possible in 2013

National columnist Jason Whitlock coined a term for a certain phenomenon back in October. This phenomenon was seen and heard endlessly during the presidential campaign and throughout out President Obama’s first term: claims that he’s not a real American and other such nonsense. Whitlock calls it an “information bubble” when people “avoid hearing their perspectives challenged in a credible way…” Such bubbles are ever present in sports, especially in sports talk, whether verbally or through the written word. Black quarterbacks historically are recipients of information bubble baths. Gophers senior QB MarQueis Gray and former Vikings signal-caller Travaris Jackson both were bubbled throughout their respective careers around these parts. Continue Reading →

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‘No Black talent on the air’

White perspectives dominate local mainstream media
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

Black voices are barely heard on local mainstream radio. It’s even worse in local sports radio. “There is no Black talent on the air in the Twin Cities except at KMOJ,” claims KTWN-FM’s Brandon Wright, a nine-year veteran. KFAN “is too White for me,” proclaims St. Paul African American Leadership Council’s Tyrone Terrill, speaking of the Clear Channel station that has only two Black on-air talents, Henry Lake and Trent Tucker, heard only on weekends, and none on weekdays. Continue Reading →

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Tiger ties Nicklaus with 73 career PGA wins

 

 

What a remarkable achievement at age 36 — Tiger Woods, the first billionaire athlete, has caught his childhood dream, Jack Nicklaus, in career wins on the PGA tour at 73. Golf is an incredible game, and what you achieve in it is so satisfying. Golf is an individual mental and physical test of your will to overcome yourself. When it’s over, you have to accept what your score is. No sport has been tougher on Blacks than the game golf. Continue Reading →

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