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Tuesday, October 30, 2001
The Scarecrow And Mr. Skogen
The last two weeks, I have found myself examining the current state of the MSHSL football playoffs.

These two articles have generated more e-mail, and comments from people I've run into than any other articles I've put on the 'Cow.

Some have been former players, some coaches and fans. And guess what? They all brought a fair argument to their opinions.

One of the most compelling might be that injuries, bad breaks, scheduling and sometimes just the coming together of a team will allow a team that plays under .500 during the season, into the playoffs.

Others did agree that in football, there should be a mercy rule or at the very least a running clock.

My guess is nothing changes in the near future. But to all who contacted me this week...Keep it up. I'd like to hear from others.

Will the Vikings coaches be handing out boxing gloves on the sidelines so these primadonas can duke it out while they wait to head back onto the field? I don't care what level you are at, it's time for Dennis (The Scarecrow} Green to walk over to these finger pointing cry babies and let them know, in no uncertain terms, that the crap stops now. If you want to bust a move on a teammate, let it happen in the locker room. If you are the head man...show that you have the kahoonas to run a team...and take care of it.

Meanwhile, those D-backs are looking good against the hated Yankees. And I am looking forward to the start of the NBA season.

From the Pie Hole: Good luck to the locals still chasing a championship. How about Bertha-Hewitt getting their second win of the season by a 2-0 score?!

Remember: What people really need is a good listening to.

Dan can be contacted at dan@sportscow.com
Posted By Dan SKogen
Wednesday, October 24, 2001
Possible Playoff Solutions
Last week I ripped the Minnesota State High School League for their desire to eventually hand every school in the state a trophy.

Well, it's fine to stomp and yell, but how about some solutions?


First let me say that blowouts in the winter sports don't seem as much, a problem. We will see some 35, 45, and 55 point blowouts, but for me it's much more palatable.

I do like the current volleyball and baseball systems...three classes seem to work well there. I really believe its back to football.

I was visiting with Wadena-Deer Creek football head coach Ryan Kapping as they got ready to face Albany in the first round of the playoffs Tuesday night. One of the games I detested!

In all truth Albany can name a score in this one...29 seniors will bring the noise all night long.

Kapping admitted they were huge underdogs and I don't think he had any thoughts of winning the game. But, he said (and he does make a point), "this is how the system is set up and when we (W-DC) won the coin flip, what was I supposed to do say "no," we don't want to play anymore, send someone else?"

To his credit, Kapping hopes to practice some things, use alot of kids and let his young program get a close look at what a top-ranked system is like.

Kapping went on to extoll the virtues of the Wisconsin format of needing conference record of .500 or better to make the playoffs and a complete bracketing off of all teams. No byes...no weak sisters.

I like it...on paper anyway.

Maybe some day I can be proud of the MSHSL football playoffs.

From the Pie Hole: OH MY GOD! Did anyone see what the Queens did to the Cheddarwursts?! Apparently smoking is now allowed in the MetroDome!

Baseball, where are you? I am not great with electronic devices, but baseball has been hard to find on TV.

Remember: It's bad to suppress laughter. It goes back down and spreads to your hips.

Dan can be contacted at dan@sportscow.com
Posted By Dan Skogen
Thursday, October 18, 2001
Bring The Best To the Tournaments
As much as I enjoy high school sports and as much as I encourage you to get out and see a high school event in your area, there is something very wrong with the current MSHSL football playoffs.

Let me throw a few examples at you:

Wadena-Deer Creek at Albany

Sebeka at Bertha-Hewitt

Any team with an 0-8 or 1-7 record, playing any team with an 8-0 or 7-1 record.

There is nothing to be learned except how much it hurts to get completely destroyed, physically and emotionally. When will the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) send the message to these sections that still take eight teams, that enough is enough.

Only occasionaly will the number seven seed beat a number two.

Almost never has a number eight beaten a top-seed...and add to that it's usually so lopsided, that it is of no interest to the media or the fan.

I would like to see three things occur in high school football, in all classes:

1. The Mercy Rule- If a team has a 45-point lead in the second half, the GAME ENDS!

2. Running Clock- If a team has a 35-point lead anytime in the game, the clock runs steady!

3. Only four teams from each section make the playoff.

The first two rules would force coaches to play deeper into the bench to keep the score from getting away, teach more youngsters the game, allow them to play more and keep both teams from getting hurt.

The third change would give fans a chance to come and see the best of each section playoff for the right to get to the state tournament.

There is nothing to be learned from a 45, 50, 60, or 76 to nothing score.

Section coaches, let's wake up.

Give the playoffs the excitement and integrity they deserve. Let's bring the best to the tournament!

From the Pie Hole: Vikes with too many trouble to explain now! Tom Kelly leaves the Twins...I liked Tom. In 33 seasons Mike Mahlen coaches to 250 wins!

Remember: If you can remain calm...you just do not have all the facts.

Dan can be contacted at dan@sportscow.com
Posted By Dan Skogen
Tuesday, October 9, 2001
Around The Horn
Congratulations to Major League Baseball. Although there's still the playoffs to work through, they have just completed an outstanding year. And we had the privilege of being part of a record setting season.

First of all the Twins. These kids from Minnesota were picked to fall flat and fall fast. This is one writer who put them in the wild card chase this year and the division chase in 2002. They could not keep pace with the torrid teams of the west, but closed out the year with back to back wins over Chicago to take second place in the central division. They did it with fun, young talent that played the game. The Twins should be real fun next year.

Also in 2001 we got the chance to witness some outstanding achievements....Barry Bonds with 73 home runs...he also broke the major league record for walks in a season, plus 6 other records. Ricky Henderson broke Ty Cobb's major league record for career runs...a record that had stood for 73 years! Cal Ripken gets ready to retire and becomes the oldest player to hit a homerun in an All Star game. How about Gregg Maddux going 70-1/3 innings without allowing a walk?!

In the end, major league baseball showed us again they can entertain without the huge athletes. Baseball is still a game for all athletes. Baseball does need to speed up their game. It is still the best major league sport for radio broadcasts. Thank you Baseball for a great season.

From the Pie Hole: Here come the fall playoffs. Take the time to get out and show some support in your community.

America strikes back! Nothing else needs to be said. God Bless America!

Remember: My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely.

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