NFL

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Browns upset Vikings 31-27!

It was not supposed to end like this, not the final season of Vikings football at Mall of America Field (the Metrodome), which opened in 1982. The Cleveland Browns traded away their best player, running back Trent Richardson, mid-week to the Indianapolis Colts for the Colts number-one 2014 NFL Draft pick. Big trades are rare indeed during an NFL season. In fact, I can remember only one when the Vikings traded six players and six draft picks to Dallas for Herschel Walker. The deal gave the impression that the Browns had given up on 2013 and would come to Minneapolis and get spanked by the hungry Vikings. Continue Reading →

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How does the State of MN pay its $50 million?

Has there been a breach of contract?  
“Drop-dead” dates sends chills through lawyers advising legislators, executives and investors, because of the consequences of failing to comply with legal/contractual obligations on time. Minnesota’s Vikings drop-dead date is February 15, 2014: the date the NFL requires teams to submit notice if they will not play in their city in 2014. Will we save the stadium and our beloved Vikings? As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” (“I have a dream”), Minnesota is pushing aside stadium employment equity and diversity considerations. 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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State bill aims for athletic concussion protection, prevention

Law would set standards for head injury care, education for student-athletes and those who work with them
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

(Originally published May 5, 2011 in the MSR)

A bill that would establish education and return-to-play standards for youth athletes following a concussion currently is moving through the Minnesota Legislature. Five states this year already passed such laws: South Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, Colorado

and Utah. Bill supporters are optimistic that it will be passed before this year’s session concludes in May. A concussion is a type of brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works. It is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, and can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. 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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Concussions: a knock-out blow to football?

 

Head injuries or concussions — it’s been called “getting your bell rung” — have been around since Fred Flintstone strapped it up for old Bedrock U. Too bad that in recent years it took pending lawsuits against the NCAA and the NFL to finally get the issue the rightful attention it deserves, including any long-term and short-term effects from head injuries. Some even have suggested doing away with such sports as football among youngsters, which frankly is a knee-jerk reaction, since anyone is susceptible to concussions by simply falling down while walking. Instead, what’s probably needed is better teaching at the youth level. Mike Pettis, a longtime North Commons youth football coach, strongly disagrees with those critics who advocate the end of youth football, calling them members of “a scared society.”

“I’ve been coaching [youth] football for about 35 years,” continues Pettis. “The first time I’ve heard of a concussion with one of our kids was last year. Continue Reading →

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Tensions divide stadium partners

Vikings and MSFA at odds
 
Is there a future for reconciliation between two partners who thought they had the world at their fingertips just a year ago, when in August of 2012 it was like a love fest, as the Vikings (Wilfs) and the state of Minnesota (Minnesota Sports Facility Authority) both declared their love, trust, and respect for each other? What difference a year can make. The New Jersey court ruling against the Wilfs led Minnesota (State, Sports commission, City) to question the integrity of the Vikes owners, the Wilfs, by ordering a forensic audit and an analysis of the Vikings’ owners ability to pay their portion of the $975 million so-called “Peoples” stadium. People tend to forget that just a year ago, as required by the legislation of 2012, the Vikings delivered $50 million to the Sports Facility Authority, when the MSFA was extremely cash flush ($50 million from the Vikings, $24 million transferred from the now defunct ballpark authority). Everyone expected that by now the State of Minnesota would be reaping the millions of dollars in revenue expected to be coming in from electronic pull tabs (and later electronic bingo), isn’t happening. Continue Reading →

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“We didn’t know!” Really?

Everybody pretends ignorance or amnesia on Zygi’s dealings
 

Many intelligent, knowledgeable people purposefully said they were surprised by the 21-year-old court ruling against the Wilfs, owners of the Minnesota Vikings. Really? Why do they think we believe them (Star Tribune wrote of it in 2011)? They quietly believed the Wilfs would win. What they “won” is loss of credibility. Continue Reading →

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Do NFL owners get free racketeering passes?

 

 

Having grown up in Chicago, I think I know a thing or two about racketeering and fraud. Have you heard of Al Capone? The National Football League, the game we love, has two franchise owners, one in each conference, who are in deep trouble with the feds. Cleveland Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslem has since April been under investigation by the FBI for his involvement and ownership in Pilot Flying J. Several of his employees have already been arrested, and lawsuits are piling up. The Vikings shared ownership of Zygi, Mark and Leonard Wilf was recently slammed by a New Jersey Judge for violating state racketeering laws and using fraudulent bookkeeping practices. Continue Reading →

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The ins and outs of player trades

 

 

The MSR is happy to introduce a new voice on our sports page, that of Julia Toles. Julia describes herself as “a writer, future producer, and driven young lady who is trying to be the voice of the unheard. I am a firm believer that so much can be learned through stories and listening. My passion for telling stories through the written word is what drives me daily. I hope that you enjoy the ride as I report the truth, delve into the ugly, and stay persistent in honesty!”

 
Introducing a new MSR sports columnist:
 
 

Welcome to the world of “Julia Says.”

 

Have you ever wondered why in the world of sports there is such a thing called trades? Continue Reading →

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