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SportsCow.comDan's Painting
Thursday, February 19, 2004
The Big Picture. The Whole Picture.
As I got ready to write this week, I spent some time on the editorial page of a Twin Cities' newspaper. I like to see if my thoughts are really that far out there. I like to see what other perspectives are out there. I like to see what I may be missing.

What I learned today is that not enough people are going to high school sporting events. A place where fans, coaches, and players play to win every day. A place where for a few minutes each night, despite their beliefs, upbringing, economics, education, they all pull together to get a job done...win a game.

In a win, congratulations are spread over the entire system and in a loss they look to each other for strength and support.

And you know what? It works!

Kids carry coaches. Coaches carry fans. Fans carry board members.

Maybe we should look at our school, township, county, state and nation more like a team. Maybe a little more pulling together, more discipline, more congratulations, more celebrating, more supporting.

In the letters to the editor we certainly see all our problems, from same sex marriage, rail lines, presidential candidates who blow more smoke than substance, sex offenders and more.

I'll still take a look each day. I still believe a good citizen should be informed. But I also believe we have a great place for release, for life lessons, for growth as individuals.

It's happening almost every night in our area gyms and arenas.

Write your letters to the editor, then put on your favorite colors and head for a local event.

What a great American experience!
Posted By Dan Skogen
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
State Tournaments
It's that time of year.

Coaches start looking down the schedule, eyeing the big games left on their schedule. They start scouting with more urgency. Some start thinking about next year.

The more successful teams start making hotel reservations. Fans start buying tickets. Plans are made to head for the Twin Cities for the upcoming state tournaments.

We are a long way from finding out who makes it in most sporting events this year, however we can take a peek at how some of it is shaping up.

In wrestling, a number of individuals will be advancing to the big show. Team-wise the front runners still include Frazee, New York Mills and Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale in Class "A"; Minnewaska Area, Wadena-Deer Creek and Perham in Class "AA".

In our area in girls' basketball, the Staples-Motley Cardinals currently lead the Section 6AA standings, just ahead of Hinckley-Finlayson and Albany. Pequot Lakes is sitting third in Section 7AA behind Two Harbors and Esko. Bagley, Pelican Rapids and Park Rapids are 1-2-3 in Section 8AA.

In Class "A" girls' basketball Parkers Prairie, Underwood, Battle Lake, Bertha-Hewitt and Browerville remain in the top 10 in Section 5. New York Mills is sitting third, behind Laporte and Lake Park-Audubon in Section 6.

A quick check on boys' basketball has Thief River Falls and Fergus Falls are 1-2 in Section 8AAA. Braham leads the Section 6AA field right now, with Long Prairie-Grey Eagle sitting eighth and Staples-Motley 10th. In section 7AA, Crosby-Ironton is on top, with Pequot Lakes ninth. In 8AA, Park Rapids and Perham are tied for second, with Wadena-Deer Creek ninth. In Class "A", Bertha-Hewitt, Battle Lake and Parkers Prairie are in the top five in Section 5, while Pillager is number three behind Ulen-Hitterdal and Hill City in Section 6.

And of course, the Wadena-Deer Creek, Fergus Falls and Little Falls boys' hockey teams are the cream of the crop in Section 4A this year.

Now is the time to make plans to head for the Cities in the next few weeks and make your way to a State Tournament venue. Some of the best games are the ones you can enjoy without any emotional attachment!

State Tournament dates and sites are available at the Minnesota State High School League link.

The bottom line is this...

A lot of hard work has already gone into this high school sports season. Your support is appreciated. We hope to see you down the road!

You won't be disappointed.
Posted By Dan Skogen
Tuesday, February 3, 2004
Putting Away The Gear
Every year as a season of sports comes to an end, the team members gather one last time in the locker room, or line up in the hall near the equipment room and put away the equipment. Now the NFL is putting away the equipment on the 2003-04 season.

And what a season it was.

Parity came full speed ahead. Every week there were new surprises and what a great run of playoff games! The NFL entertained us from wild card weekend right through New England's 32-29 win over Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

The NFL can now gather to put the gear away on a fine season. Sure they had antics in the end zone, the usual fines and suspensions and they ended the with one of their biggest black eyes when MTV decided to bring rappers touching themselves and singers showing off their equipment. But overall the NFL had a good year, and according to the ratings, a great Super Bowl!

Now what?

Well, about 20 teams could win the NCAA Men's basketball tournament this year. Baseball teams continue to negotiate and set rosters for this summer. Bob Knight is in a hot tub of goo again. Shaq was fined almost $300,000 for coming unglued.

And we still have NASCAR, the NHL, the PGA, NCAA Women's basketball...and on and on...

All of these events are run by humans. There is an unending supply of weekly updates, if for no other reason than the human factor.

And doesn't that make it fun? About the time the waters seem calm, Man raises his unusual head and stirs the pot again.

Let's just leave it this week, from someone who has not been a big fan of the NFL. Your playoffs were fun to watch...nice job...now let's build on that.
Posted By Dan SKogen
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