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Wednesday, January 31, 2001
Congratulations Gene!
Congratulations to Gene Mattila, cross country coach from Staples-Motley. Gene was recently choosen as the 2000 Midwest cross country coach of the year.

I have had the chance to interview Gene, he is one of those behind the scenes coaches. Gene finds a way to get the best from his best athletes, but still he requires sportsmanship, academics, and he demands respect. Nicely done Gene!

How many of you have seen Gene in action? What a different life the coaches of the "non-spectator" teams lead. Imagine putting the kind of time a head coach must put in, knowing that on game day only the athletes, their parents and a few friends will be there to see the fruits of their labor.

No high school sporting event is designed to be a non-spectator sport, but it has happened over time. The tennis, golf, cross country and other teams and their coaches deserve your attention. They know it will not come, but talk to a coach or visit with an athlete and you'll find that they do talk strategy, dedication, intensity, and pride in their sport.

Looking for something different? Go expereience a sport you know little about. You'll learn something, you'll be appreciated and you might even get in free!

So hats off, not only to Gene Mattila, but to all the coaches and athletes of those hidden sports. Job well done!

In parting here come the winter tournaments! It doesn't get any better than this. Let's fill some gyms and arenas and make some noise. There is sure to be lots to cheer about. Good luck to all!

Remember: Golf is like a love affair. If you don't take it seriously, it's not fun. If you do take it seriously, it only breaks your heart.

Dan can be contacted at dan@sportscow.com
Posted By Dan Skogen
Wednesday, January 24, 2001
WDC Backcourt Club Is Back
The WDC Backcourt Club is back and the exciting part for me is that the Backcourt Club is actually going to be doing what a Backcourt Club should be doing.

The mission is to provide the under-programs with the fundamentals and game experience they need to enjoy and understand the game of basketball.

This will be accomplished in many ways including organized and instructed elementary programs...helping where they are needed in the 7-12 programs....offering funding for summer camps...purchasing additional equipment and sponsoring tournaments for the youth traveling teams.

Athletics in it's most simple form is learned by doing and the Backcourt Club hopes to enhance these oppertunities for the young basketball players at WDC.

The Backcourt Club has been orginized in the past, but I remember it more as a weekly gathering with most of the conversation surrounding the varsity programs. These programs we could have very little effect on.

Now the Backcourt Club wants to work in the background, so the 9th-B-squad and varsity coaches can teach the finer points of the game and the student-athletes that play basketball will be funneled to them with the good basic skills and knowledge of the game.

It's a good plan.

Your help is needed. The WDC Backcourt Club is a 501-c(3) non-profit organization so your contribution is tax deductible. If you want more information or would like to contribute with time or money contact John Paulson at 631-3317.

Good luck to the WDC Backcourt Club.

That's it for this week just remember: "The only job security in the world is to be more talented tomorrow than you are today".

Dan can be contacted at dan@sportscow.com
Posted By Dan Skogen
Wednesday, January 17, 2001
Fuschia Pride!
Let's make this short and to the point.

In week 15 of the soon to be completed of the NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings fell to the Rams of St. Louis 40-29. The next day I said the Vikings would not win again. And but for the Grace of God (or the fact that they got to play the Saints) they would not have.

Just a few numbers...518 total yards for the bad guys....114 for the good guys. With over 12 minutes left in the first quarter, the Giants lead 14-0 and the "FREAK" hadn't been on the painted dirt yet! You know the rest, 41-0 the Giants in a good old fashioned whupping.

What wins big games? DEFENSE. Not just any 11 guys flying around spinning like tops about to topple. But 11 hard-nosed, red-meat- eating, eye of the tiger, smash mouth, nasty boys that would rather take you out back and do some 'splain'n to you than step around you. Guys that make you look out your ear hole after a hit. Guys that draw a line in the sand and openly announce you can come this far...then we will stop you. Not the type of dancing twirling defense the Vikings have put together...more like the Ravens "D" .

That's a defense and after what they did to Oakland on Sunday 16-3 in the AFC battle I must pick them to win Superbowl 35 on the 28th.

I relize that with my track record, it give the Giants hope.

I still like the Vikings. I want them to be winners. Hey Red, this off season let's help the defense. Then starting next August, let's not dance, not point, not shoot our mouth off. Maybe we could approach each game like a PRO. Maybe we could be prepared in all ways. Maybe we could draw a few lines in the sand. Just remember had we won one of our last three regular season games, last week's game would have been in the Minneapolis Hump...and that may have made all the difference in the world....maybe.

Make sure you check other parts of SportsCow.com for results of some great wrestling tourneys and the first home boxing card this past weekend.

Remember: If you believe everything you read..don't read.

Have a great week.

Dan can be contacted at dan@sportscow.com
Posted By Dan Skogen
Tuesday, January 9, 2001
Can You Smell What Dan Has Cookin?
There's something cooking in the kitchen and it smells like crow pie.

A month ago I gave up of the Minnesota Vikings. I felt they had lost their edge. I felt the defense could't stop anyone and the offense was not as sharp as it had been. The Vikes were spiraling into the blackhole we Minnesota fans have become used too!

As the Vikes made the playoffs despite a three game loosing streak, I had no confidence in their ability to beat New Orleans. I am here to humble myself before you Vikings fans. The "queens" played a nice offensive game and the defense actually showed up to bury the playoff poor "Saints" 34-16.

Of course, I was wrong on three of the four games this weekend. The Giants dumped Philly 20-10, Baltimore handled Tennessee 24-10 and Oakland shut down Miami 30-10 (which I did pick correctly.) Ah...three pieces of crow pie.

Lets try again.

This Sunday in the NFC title game it's the New York Giants 28 and the Minnesota Vikings 24. The AFC championship goes to Oakland 27-17 over Baltimore.


Don't forget the Wadena boxers have a home card this Saturday, January 13, with the doors to the Wadena Armory opening at 6:00 p.m.

Have a good week and remember: The only job security in the world is to be more talented tomorrow than you are today.

Dan can be contacted at dan@sportscow.com
Posted By Dan Skogen
Wednesday, January 3, 2001
Dans Book Club
If you've been bowled over by the BCS, have lost interest in the NFL, or you resolved to read more in 2001, check these out this week. I don't read often, but have found several interesting books over the past few years that you might enjoy.

Before Howard Cossell passed away he wrote a dry, at times tough to read, book called "I Never Played the Game". Howard was special. A guy America loved to hate. This book opens all those emotions again.

For just good sports reading there are two books that always jump to the front for me and both are rather old. "They Call Me Coach (The John Wooden Story)". Coach Wooden led UCLA through the dynasty years and coached some the of the best college and pro players of their day, but still kept an eveness in his life that I admire. And to think he was just a snowstorm away from comming the the University of Minnesota!

Another suggested reading would include "The Life and Times of Sandy Koufax". This book takes you through the Koufax days. From being so wild that no one wanted to catch him, through his string of no-hitters and to his career ending illness.

And lastly, if you want to get off the sports desk and just enjoy yourself for a couple hours, check out "Where the Sidewalk Ends". It's a book of poems and drawings by Shel Silverstein.

Round two of the NFL playoffs leaves me waiting to see if I can pick'em. From the looks of the past year's office pool...I can't. Still, I was not overly surprised by games played last weekend during the wildcard round. Three weeks ago I predicted the Vikings couldn't stop me from crossing the street and I said they would not win another game this year. Three losses later, I'm not ready to change my mind. I would like nothing better to be wrong this weekend but...In the NFC, look for New Orleans to stop the Vikings 28-20 and the Eagles to surprise the Giants 21-20. In the AFC, I like Oakland to have little trouble with Miami 30-10. While Tennessee will avenge an early season loss and beat Baltimore 24-17.

Have a good week and remember...Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If it's original, you'll have to ram it down their throats.

Dan can be contacted at dan@sportscow.com
Posted By Dan Skogen
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