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Monday, April 19, 2004
Dont Be Dumb
Every once in a while I have to point out the obvious...

There's deep level of stupidity that exists in this old world of ours.

I have taken a turn at some of the dimmer light bulbs in the NFL. I have pointed a finger or two at some of the duller knives in the NBA and even NASCAR has a few that have fallen from the stupid tree, hitting every branch on the way down.

But how about adding another name to the list? Say "hello" to Mike Danton!

Yes, the Mike Danton that doubles as a forward for the St. Louis Blues of the NHL.

Apparently he has a fear of people finding out what he does when he is away from the arena. Apparently it is either illegal or embarrassing or freakish...or maybe just stupid.

He and a 19-year-old girlfriend decided that the best way to keep their secret a secret, was to kill the third wheel in this little party.

Mike, have you lost a marble? Spill the news before they do. Deny the story. Refuse to make a comment. Whatever...

But when unprofessional hitman try and get into the silencing business, it not only gets messy, it gets stupid...and it gets stupid quickly!

We can now add the arrest of Mr. Danton to the public figure stupid file.

Meanwhile, until Barry "My arms are juiced" Bonds proves that he is clean, I suddenly don't care how many home runs he hits! Take the test.

The rumors are running about a possible change to the state girls' and boys' basketball tournaments. Talk is of a three-class system, and a "re-seeding" after you get to the quarterfinals of the state tournament.

The attempt is to get the better matchups in the finals.

It would be good for the tournament. There have been a lot of blowouts the last few years. In my opinion, the best tourney was the old Sweet 16, when eight Class A and eight Class AA teams combined and played down to a single state champion.

I believe Twin Cities television lost interest when, for example, the potential for a Perham vs. Hermantown state title game meant little revenue or ratings for them.

The state tournaments are still fun and if we keep tweaking the system, eventually they will get it right.

They've only been at it for 80 years!
Posted By Dan Skogen
Thursday, April 8, 2004
Youth Movement
I was once told that you win championships with seniors. Well, after spending four days at this year's state boys' basketball tournament I can tell you...not anymore!

Youth was the overriding theme.

Teams like R-T-R started three sophmores on their way to a Class "A" title, while Braham wins the Class "AA" title without a senior on the squad and a powerfull freshman coming off the bench.

Great underclassmen, making big plays in big games.

People were shaking their heads at the talent and the ability these kids are showing. More and more we see teams with fewer seniors.

It seems only the good ones stay around, while the average ones find something else to do...and give way to the youth movement.

Kids today are bigger, stronger, faster.

I remember my teammates and myself, having hard time remembering to pack our shoes, sitting in the front of the bus, being quiet, and trying not to make eye contact with the juniors and seniors.

We sometimes got to dress for a varsity game, but rarely played, unless the outcome was decided. Now the underclassmen are running, jumping, blocking, and dunking the upperclassmen off the court.

And you know what? Good for them.

Parents and players that are having trouble with the early turnover have to remember that at that level it's varsity basketball. A coach who is worth his salt has to play the best players available to him. Some years it's the seniors, but more and more it is not.

Dedication and loyalty to the program, along with maturity is something seniors can always bring to the program. But as the 2004 state boys' basketball tournament showed, the youth movement is on...and I don't see it changing anytime soon.

THe NCAA mens' and womens' tournaments sure were fun to watch...even if my brackets were a mess.

Spring sports running full speed ahead. Get the lawn chair out and head for an event near you.
Posted By Dan Skogen
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