Sunday, February 26, 2006

So that's why they call it a "swap" meet!

[photo caption] The misleading add for what was billed as a "swap meet". And don't click there to download the flyer. Click there to make nothing happen.

Today's big event was the bike swap meet at St. Paul Academy. The swap meet was sponsored by Peace Coffee and Birchwood Cafe with proceeds going to the velodrome at the National Sports Center in Blaine.

Peace Coffee, in true hippy fashion, gave out free coffee. Birchwood Cafe, in true Birchwood Cafe fashion, charged for their wares. Good times.

Fogbot was selling some "stuff" (i.e., "merchandise slightly better than curbside garbage") at one of the tables.

Fogbot also found out the hard way why it's called a "swap meet" instead a "profit meet": most people don't make a profit.

What happens, apparently, is that while people are selling their crap at one table, they're also actively buying other peoples' crap at another.

Thus, no one makes a "profit". Instead, you hope to go home with better crap than you "swapped".

To wit, Fogbot rid himself of two wheels, one set of brake levers, and a pair of Minneapolis Bike Messenger Association socks for a small, but temporary, profit. He also gave two wheels, a drop bar, a set of brake levers, and a kick-stand away to the Macalester Donate-Bike-Crappers, or something.

However, Fogbot also obtained the following: a full team kit from Brioches La Boulangerie; some Union Jack socks; some bull horn bars; some flat pedals; and some "World Champ" bar end plugs.

In total, Fogbot came home with cooler stuff than he left with, but his wallet was lighter, too.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Final Thought While Watching Olympics

[photo caption] A female of the species whistling her dissatisfaction towards a notable former Minnesota bicycle racer.

After watching several days of Olympic mens' hockey coverage, Fogbot is struck by the "European boo" -- whistling.

The high-pitched whistle is the ultimate form of derision or jeering on the European continent, and it was on full display at these Olympics -- especially in sports with head-to-head competition, like hockey.

The lesson that can be learned from this strikes close to home, of course. Let's all hope that Super-Rookie begins to realize that all of those whistles coming his way are not compliments. In fact, they're far from it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


[photo caption] The album cover for "Fantastic Planet" from the now-defunct band Failure. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia.com

Type the word "failure" into Google and hit either the enter key and check out the first listing; or, just hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" key.

Then enjoy. Maybe even laugh.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Badly Drawn Boy

[photo caption] Damon Gough, aka Badly Drawn Boy. Photo courtesy BadlyDrawnBoy.co.UK

During the hours upon hours that Fogbot has been spending on the couch and in front of the tele watching the 20th Winter Olympiad, Fogbot has heard Badly Drawn Boy's song "All Possibilities" being used to advertise for Target.

Badly Drawn Boy is one of Fogbot's favorite artists, and the two superstars (minus one Fogbot) spent some quality time together on BDB's last trip through town in October 2004.

Fogbot's not sure how he feels about Badly Drawn Boy selling his songs to corporations for their usage, but this isn't the first time that he's done so. BDB sold a song a few years back to Gap, justifying by saying something along the lines of, "I had just bought a house and I used the proceeds to pay off the mortgage."

Decent justification, as far as I can tell.

Hope Damon got a Ferrari for his troubles this time around. Or at least a nice bike. Maybe even a BMC SLT01.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

More Thoughts While Watching Olympics

[photo caption] A time-lapse depiction of how not to win a gold medal in womens' snowboard cross. Photo: courtesy NBCOlympics.com

Some Larry King-like commentary on the 2006 Turin/Torino Winter Olympics:

I'm completely tired of this slacker attitude put forward by snowboarders and certain downhill skiers. If it doesn't matter to you how you perform, why are you at Turin? Explain yourselves.

How appropriate was it that Lindsey Jacobellis, ahead by an insurmountable margin in her womens' snowboard cross race, took a digger as she was trying to disrespect her competitors? Got what ya deserved, sweetie: silver.

There's no better breakfast drink for your heart than grape juice made from Concord grapes. Trust me.

A highlight of this Olympic broadcast had to occur last night when hockey commentator Ray Ferraro first disclosed his marriage to Cammy Granato, then proceeded to postulate that her absence from this year's team cost them a trip to the gold medal game. Good one.

Who spends more time on their knees? US goalie Rick DiPietro or US figure skater Johnny Weir?

Speaking of the US mens hockey team, why are they playing so timidly? Shoot the puck, bang home a couple of rebounds, and let's move on. Why are we looking for highlight reel goals on every shot?

Do you realize that the price of gasoline in some areas of this great country have gone up almost 100% since the 9/11 attacks?

Is there any feud more hilarious than the one going on between mens speed skaters Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick? After hearing and reading some of their comments towards each other, the combined ego sizes between them make it impossible to side with either one.

And how funny was Melissa Starks' interview with a visibly angry Shani Davis after he won the mens' 1,000 meter race?

Starks' best question: "Are you angry?"

Even more kudos for NBC and Starks for neglecting to mention a huge reason why Davis may be so upset: racist comments placed on his website after Davis refused to take part in the team pursuit race and Hedrick criticized him for it.

NBC continues to bastardize the English language. First, Dick Ebersol individually decides that "Torino" rolls off of the tongue better than does "Turin". Now, they're calling bobsledding "bobsleighing" instead. Enough already, Dick.

June is the greatest of all of the months.

Great mini-documentary on the 1994 team pursuit competition in Nordic skiing featuring a grueling race between the Norwegians and their superstar, Bjorn Daehlie, and the Italians, led by a drunk. Why can't you make it easier to find on your website, NBC?

It kills me how hard Bob Costas and Jim Lampley try to hide the fact that everything in their evening broadcasts is taped, having ended hours earlier. Way to pull the wool over my eyes, boys.

Why don't they ever show the "wives' section" during mens figure skating?

Who's more overrated: Bode Miller or Apolo Anton Ohno? My vote goes to Ohno.

I have a friend who plays professional hockey for the Rockford IceHogs of the UHL. One of his teammates, Bob Nardella, is playing for Team Italy due to some lax passport regulations by Italy. Good for him anyway, though.

I find that felt tip pens are easier to write with than ballpoint pens, though I write more clearly with ballpoint.

And finally, what may be the most amazing statistic in the entire Olympics: How many athletes does Scandinavian country Denmark have at these Olympics? 4. How many males? 0. How many sports are they competing in? 1 - curling.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Smithers v. Fogbot

[photo caption] An action photo of Smithers in hot pursuit of sweet Abu Ghraib photos and Mohammed cartoons. Photo: courtesy SmithersMPLS.com

But Smithers started it!

Wednesday afternoon, Smithers posted the following:

Smithers: For the record: I am in favor of the news media publishing the newly released photos from Abu Ghraib. I am in favor of the news media publishing the Mohammed cartoons.

Ugh. Well, here we go with another round of "Fogbot Gets All Righteous With A Local Blogger".

Fogbot: is it really about "freedom of speech", or is it about something called "ignorance"?

maybe it's just me, but if a religion and it's followers do not condone the use of imagery in relation to one of that religion's prophets, it would seem to me that it's highly ignorant, disrespectful, and arrogant for a non-believer to violate this sacred law.

from a western point of view, this is an issue of "freedom of speech".

from the eastern point of view, this is an issue of "blasphemy".

from any point of view, however, this is an issue of ignorance. and i, for one, am not going to condone the viewing of this image, for in doing so i would be supporting and defending that very ignorance that played such a key role in creating that image. period.

Smithers: I'm not talking about publishing the cartoons to tweak Muslims. This cartoon issue is such a big deal right now that I believe that the media should not feel that they have to censor themselves from showing the source of this controversy. If we were talking about publishing cartoons for the sole reason of angering a group of people I would, of course, not be in favor of that.

Fogbot: Smithers sed: "I believe that the media should not feel that they have to censor themselves from showing the source of this controversy."

In the very next sentence Smithers sed:"If we were talking about publishing cartoons for the sole reason of angering a group of people I would, of course, not be in favor of that."

Oh, I get it now: publishing them initially is different from presenting them after the fact for, you know, public discussion.

Nope, no hypocrisy there...

Smithers: I guess, for me, it's a difference of the media printing something for the sole reason of pissing someone off, versus printing something that has already got someone pissed off in order to show the rest of us why the person may be pissed off. See the difference?

Fogbot: But do you see that to many there is *no* difference?

Muslim law states that you are not to create an image of Mohammed. There is no exclusionary clause stating that it is permissable to do so "to show the rest of us why ther person may be pissed off".

There is no difference, Smithers. Do you see that?

Smithers: Sure I do. I guess the question is, should US media be expected to adhere to the laws of any religion? I don't think so.

Fogbot: And maybe they shouldn't. However, I do expect the US media to adhere to a certain level of decency and professionalism that would inhibit them from fanning the flames of hatred, ignorance, and misunderstanding any further.

I would expect that much.

Get out of your "freedom of speech" cocoon and try to empathize a little bit. Try to understand that the cultural context of others may not agree with your own. That does not mean, however, that they need to conform to what feels comfortable to you. Instead, there needs to be respect and understanding.

I do not believe that your position reflects either respect nor understanding, but rather arrogance and pomposity.

And it is this very same "Ugly American" line of thought that makes you no better in this case than Bush & Co., who you are constantly ragging on for their failure to comprehend the "big picture".

One has to be capable, or at least attempt to, see beyond the cultural limits of their own society. Not everyone has to play by your rules; sometimes we need to reach a necessary compromise of attitudes.

This is the last time I'll respond to this topic. While I'm not trying to be overly righteous, I am trying to visualize a world in which people empathize with one another and respect the belief systems that each of us hold.

Smithers: Well, I don't know how you can adequately tell this story unless you give those who are unfamiliar with the situation the details. And I don't know who you expect people to empathize and respect each others beliefs if you don't provide the details regarding a situation that has inflamed a particular community.

If you don't explain what is driving people to riot, by showing the details of what is in these cartoons, or showing the details of the abuse at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, then I believe you are telling half the story.

Call it a "freedom of speech cocoon" or "arrogance" or "pomposity" if you like, I guess I disagree.

Fogbot: Am I confident that abuse took place at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo by reading statements provided eyewitnesses and former prisoners?


Am I confident that some American prisoners of war during World War II in the Pacific theater had to endure what became known as the "Bataan Death March", not because I have ever seen pictures or film of it, but because I have read the accounts of those who survived, including Bernard T. Fitzpatrick?


Am I confident that many Muslims worldwide have reason to be incensed by the fact that a Danish cartoon of Mohammed exists, let alone how that cartoon depicts Mohammed, without ever having seen the cartoon?


Am I confident that Elie Wiesel and millions of others experienced and witnessed the atrocities of the Jewish Holocaust as carried out by members of the Nazi army as Wiesel so described in his novel "Night"?


See where I'm going with this?

Sometimes a credible account speaks just as much, if not more, than a visual image ever could.

Have I actually seen the Mohammed cartoon? I have. I wish I hadn't.

Have I actually seen images from Abu Ghraib? No, and I would prefer to keep it that way, though I have no doubt that the alleged abuse and torture did indeed occur there.

[The End]

Friday, February 17, 2006

"I'm sorry that my face got in the way of your pellets."

[photo caption] Loyal Bush donor and bird pellet recepticle Harry Whittington.

From CNN.com:
The man shot by Vice President Dick Cheney today apologized for what Cheney and his family have had to endure since the weekend hunting accident in Texas. Harry Whittington, 78, said: "Whatever activities we pursue and regardless of how experienced, careful and dedicated we are, accidents do and will happen." Whittington, speaking to reporters outside the hospital where he was treated, added: "My family and I are deeply sorry for all that Vice President Cheney and his family have had to go through this week."

For the record, Whittington spent several days in a hospital recouperating from potentially lethal wounds inflicted by Vice President Dick Cheney. The 78 year-old Whittington also suffered a heart attack due to complications from injuries sustained in the mishap.

On the other hand, Vice President Cheney occupied himself this week carefully crafting his version of events, paying the state of Texas for a small game license post-shooting spree, and taping a highly publicized and highly edited interview with Fox News' Brit Hume.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Thoughts While Watching Olympics

[photo caption] Ayer's Rock -- Australian snowboarding's secret weapon.

Will the impending Chinese domination of the world begin with a hostile takeover of pairs figure skating?

Shouldn't Americans who win medals in events invented by Americans and forced on the Olympic world by Americans only be credited with half a medal?

How many granite rocks do those hurlers get to throw in a "set" anyway?

Why didn't anyone tell me that there were very attractive female hurlers in Bemidji?

Just how did a female Australian become one of the best snowboarders in the world? There's no snow on Ayer's Rock, is there?

Did you know that a Venezuelan Mormon who teaches at Idaho State was the oldest luger in this year's luge competition?

The Olympics are a lot funner when Prince Albert of Monaco gets his ass kicked for the upteenth time in bobsledding. He's competing this year, right?

If there was a cable channel that showed nothing but speed skating, bobsledding, and the biathlon 24/7, I'd watch. Sign me up. I'm not kidding.

How come my dad didn't point his fast-skating poor hockey-playing son towards speed skating?

When will figure skating's male outfit madness stop?

What's up with South Korean dominance in short-track speed skating?

Who knew that Hans Christians Andersen's cute little children's tale would inspire generation after generation of Dutch youth to skate really fast, but always a fraction of a second slower than Americans?

Shouldn't there be an investigation into Canada's ineptitude at speed skating?

Why are Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland terrible in Winter Olympic games dominated by their Norden brethren Norway and Finland?

It was a lot funner when we had the Evil Empire to cheer against. I think we should force Norway into this role.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


(photo caption) Legendary egomaniac and sometimes professional sports broadcaster Al Michaels.

Professional Sports


--ABC trades the rights to broadcaster Al Michaels to NBC for: the rights to broadcast live Friday coverage of the Ryder Cup golf championship between the United States and Europe in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, as well as the right to re-air NBC coverage and extended highlights; expanded Olympics highlights from this year through 2012; "Monday Night Football" promotions during the NBC Sunday night NFL game through 2011; expanded highlights from Notre Dame football, the Kentucky Derby, and the Preakness through 2011; and the rights to a cartoon character named "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit".

No joke.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


(photo caption) This may or may not actually be a picture of the Chinese delegation I met yesteday. Lean towards the "may not" option.

On a friend's computer, don't have time to write a lot, here's a story for you:

Yesterday, a bunch of Chinese high school students visited my workplace. In many Asian schools, the English teachers (usually young Englishmen or Americans) give the students "English" names. I'm not sure exactly why, but I'm guessing it's because: 1) Chinese names don't translate well and 2) to indoctrinate them, or something.

When the students introduced themselves to me, they introduced themselves as following: Bill, Henry, Christina, and Belimsky.


"Who gave you that name?" I asked.

"My teacher," she responded.

"Okay," I replied.

I still don't get it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

And Now It's a Photo Blog

Remember Chuck Klosterman?

Remember Klosterman in "Stand By Me"?

Or Klosterman's work as the "Church Lady" on Saturday Night Live (suggested by Jill from Up In Alaska)?

Here are some photos of Tuffy's win at Stupor Bowl IX. No picture of him giving the "Category 6 Salute", however.

And this one:

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Impossible Victory

(photo caption) "Well, for starters, you have to purify yourself in the waters of Lake Stupor Bowl" (photo: courtesy MBMA.net)

For bike messengers in Minneapolis and beyond, the first Saturday of February marks the date of the now-renowned Stupor Bowl.

The Stupor Bowl, the brainchild of the Minnapolis Bike Messenger Association (MBMA), is now in its ninth season and draws messenger-racers from as far away as Milwaukee, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Along with messengers, other bicycle racers and non-racers often join in.

This year's Stupor Bowl IX offered four different races for participants. The "Overall" winner would reach as many destinations (read: bars) as possible in the three hour time frame from 3-6 pm. The "Points" winner would score as many points (read: beers drank) as possible during the race.

Another race was a medallion hunt, wherein contestants would use clues gained from four saloons to locate the prized medallion.

The fourth and final race was for the best poker hand. Racers would collect one playing card from five different bars to put together their poker hand, with the best hand winning.

Stupor Bowl IX marked the debut of Category 6 Racing Squad's Tuffy, who already was a neophyte in the Minneapolis racing scene.

"I've never even ridden a Minnesota Cycling Federation race, and I'm sure as hell not a bike messenger," Tuffy admitted.

Race registration was held at the uber-cool Minneapolis bike shop, One on One Bicycle Studio, a business that serves as a cafe/bicycle retailer/bicycle repair shop/bicycle junk yard. Racers were provided with the secret starting point for the race at 2:45 pm and had until 3 pm to reach the site.

After careful race instructions manifest distribution from race organizers "Dispencer" and "Superrookie", someone yelled, "Go!" and the riders were off.

"I was going to ride with two guys from Cat6 -- 'Fil' and 'A-to-the-B'," Tuffy stated. "We were each going to race to different destinations for medallion clues."

"I was the first rider to get to the Hexagon Bar to get my clue. I called Fil and we discussed clues -- his from Grumpy's in Nordeast and One on One, and mine from the Hex. We decided that it had to be at the Sculpture Garden by the Walker," Tuffy recalled.

"A couple of minutes later," Tuffy explained, "A-to-the-B calls and says that his clue from the CRC cafe (A-to-the-B was the first to arrive there, as well) specifically says 'the Walker'. From thereon, it was a dead sprint to the Sculpture Garden."

Heading into a wind out of the west on his way into downtown while on the Greenway, Tuffy slowed to the point that he thought he had a mechanical problem, but went on anyway.

"I was at about 7th and Chicago and Fil called and said there was a note that read 'Gone' where the medallion should have been," stated Tuffy. "We were pretty down, but decided to switch gears and do the Poker race instead. I was near Hubert's, so I stopped there and told the other two to meet me at Mackenzie's."

Fil and A-to-the-B picked up their first card at the Red Dragon and their second at Mackenzie's.

"I scored a King of Hearts at Hubert's, then I got a red Ace at Mackenzie's," Tuffy recalled. "I thought, 'Well, this could be gravy.'"

After doubling back to Hubert's for Fil and A-to-the-B, the trio made their way to St. Paul Dubliner Bar for the next card. The trek included a cyclocross-style bike carry up some stairs near the Washington Avenue bridge.

"We roll into the Dubliner, and I forgot to take my glasses off, so I'm walking around squinting and stumbling like a zombie trying to see, and some guy says, 'All the way in the back," recounted Tuffy.

"And then the dude handed me another King," explained Tuffy.

With only an hour left in the game, the Cat6 crew sped towards the next stop, the Sunrise Inn, in south Minneapolis.

"I was the first in the door, and the guy threw me another Ace," said Tuffy. "So, now I had two pair -- and high cards at that. I knew I was sitting pretty."

At this point, Fil and A-to-the-B had their full five cards, and really bad poker hands, according to Tuffy. The trio decided to put together a paceline to the Red Dragon in Uptown so Tuffy could retrieve his fifth card.

"The paceline lasted about two blocks. We were all really tired," Tuffy stated.

The group rolled up to the Red Dragon at 5:45 pm with the game's end time of 6 pm looming.

"I didn't know if I needed to have all five stops on my manifest to win the Poker competition," explained Tuffy. "So I wanted to stop just to be sure."

The volunteers at the Red Dragon presented Tuffy with his third King. Full house.

"I was like, 'No way,'" recalled Tuffy.

Leaving Fil at the Red Dragon, where he was going to eat dinner, A-to-the-B and Tuffy raced to Grumpy's in downtown.

"When I got in the door, the bouncer asked me for an I.D." recounted Tuffy. "My hands were so numb that I couldn't feel anything, so the bouncer had to pull my wallet out of my jersey pocket for me."

The finish check-in line wrapped halfway around the bar area.

"When I finally got to Dispencer, I gave him my manifest and asked him what was the best Poker hand he had gotten, and he whips out a straight flush -- 7,8,9,10, and Jack of Diamonds," Tuffy explained.

"Bullshit!" Tuffy remembers exclaiming.

"I was just kind of pissed, but if them's the cards, them's the cards, you know," acknowledged Tuffy.

But rumors began to leak that Dispencer and Superrookie were going to disqualify the straight flush, a rumor confirmed during the awards ceremony by Superrookie.

"All of the racer's confirmation stamps were written with the same ballpoint pen," explained Superrookie.

The disqualification put the prize on Tuffy.

"It was just a Bianchi bike bag full of swag. A couple tires, t-shirt, socks, and the like," recalled Tuffy.

"It made me feel good to win the gear, especially because my body felt like crap."

Saturday, February 04, 2006

A Gopher Renaissance?

(photo caption) Zach Puchtel helped to breath fresh air into the Gophers' season with his tremendous effort against Indiana last weekend.

Columbus, Ohio--
It wasn't an upset of "Miracle on Ice" proportions, but the Gophers mens' basketball upset of #11 ranked Indiana last Sunday at Williams Arena may have been just as unexpected.

In trouncing the Hoosiers 61-42 last weekend, coach Dan Monson and the rest of the Gophers looked to set the tone for an improved second half of the Big Ten season. The first half saw a hugely disappointing 1-6 conference record and increasing calls for Monson's dismissal.

Monson's Gophers are out to prove that the Indiana result was not a fluke, and Ohio State may just be the team to catapult Minnesota back into conference respectability. The Gophers swept the Buckeyes last season, including a 60-56 overtime victory in Columbus.

The Gophers (10-8, 1-6) will tip off against Ohio State (15-3, 4-3) at 2 pm today in Columbus.

Monson, perhaps sensing employment insecurity or perhaps just grasping for straws, surprised the Williams Arena faithful by starting Harvard-transfer forward Zach Puchtel and walk-on freshman forward Jamal Abu-Shamala against Indiana, moving regular starters Moe Hargrow and Dan Coleman to bench duty.

Incredibly, the moves paid off. Puchtel, a senior walk-on, played much larger than his 6'6" 250 pound frame in containing the Hoosiers All-Conference forward Marco Killingsworth. Killingsworth, one of the Big Ten's leading scorers, was held to only 15 points in his matchup with Puchtel.

“Number 32 (Zach Puchtel) did a great job for Minnesota today,” said Indiana coach Mike Davis. “We had him in the scouting report, but we did not pay a great deal of attention to him. He did a great job guarding Marco (Killingsworth) today. A lot of times the guys who have guarded Marco this year have been dirty and fouled him to guard him at times this year. Give number 32 a lot of credit . He did a great job on Marco and he guarded him cleanly one-on-one very well.”

Jamal Abu-Shamala's contribution while in the starting lineup could not overlooked either. Though he scored only seven points on the afternoon, Abu-Shamala provided a much-needed outside threat for the Gophers.

Abu-Shamala, who may be the best pure shooter to wear a Gophers uniform since Voshon Lenard, has the ability to both create his own shot as well as getting consistently clear looks at the basket, due in large part to his rangy 6'5" frame and the high release point on his shots.

A Shakopee, Minn. native, Abu-Shamala is shooting an amazing 57% from the field and an equally ridiculous 51% from three-point land.

Recognizing his recruiting gaffe, Monson awarded Abu-Shamala a scholarship in December.

Both Puchtel and Abu-Shamala are expected to start again today against Ohio State in place of Hargrow and Coleman.

Friday, February 03, 2006

These are my friends and readers...

(photo caption) Born in Minnesota, raised in North Dakota, Chuck Klosterman is the pop culture guru du jour. How the hell did that happen?

Here's an insight into the life I lead and to those I share this existence with. Oh, the joy.

Reader: Are you reading Chuck Klosterman's Super Bowl blog on ESPN.com? If not, you should start.

Fogbot: No. Klosterman's always rubbed me the wrong way. I think he's a bit pompous and not much of a writer, per se. Seems like the "it" boy of the writing world, which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with talent. I'll check it out, though.

Reader: I think people that call others pompous are pompous. I don't know much about writing but I like reading stuff that makes me laugh. Plus, he makes a lot of obscure pop culture references that I get. Makes me feel "with it".

Fogbot: I think that people who think people are pompous for calling others pompous are pompous themselves. Not you, though, because you'd enjoy someone calling you "pompous" far too much.

Reader: You are starting to get to know me too well; you understand that I secretly get pleasure from such things.

Fogbot: Both of those propostitions may or may not be true.


To be honest, I actually don't mind Chuck Klosterman. I only disagreed to stir it up with dear Reader. And he, of course, obliged. Today is the best day since yesterday.


On other topics:
There's going to be a big bike festival going on in Minneapolis Saturday afternoon. If you own a car, stay off the streets tomorrow. Or else. If you own a camera, be sure to get a picture of me on my new ride. You'll know which one I am.

Also, I'm going to try to write a preview of the Gophs-Ohio State game sometime between now and game time tomorrow, so look for that. If it gets done.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Chas Walters

In today's PiPress, sports/gossip columnist Charlie Walters wrote the following, which sounds sort of familiar:

"Hastings hockey sophomore Derek Stepan, son of former New York Rangers draft pick Brad Stepan, has scored at least one point in each of the 16 games he has played in this season."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Warriors Subdue Mahtomedi

(photo caption) Henry Sibley junior forward Phil Haig and the rest of his Warrior teammates took time before their matchup versus Mahtomedi to work with youth basketball players from the surrounding community (photo: courtesy ISD #197).

Prior to their Tuesday night home game on January 31, the Henry Sibley Warriors boys' basketball team took time out to recognize the faculty and staff of Independent School District #197 with their second annual "Staff Appreciation Night".

The last thing the Warriors wanted to do as they played the part of the gracious host would be to disappoint their guests of honor.

Though they had been defeated by Henry Sibley 79-64 earlier in the season, Mahtomedi's Zephyrs would make impressing the Warrior guests a more difficult task than Henry Sibley might have preferred.

Perhaps responding to the emotions of the pre-game events, the Warriors quickly took control of the game as they built an early six point lead at 10-4.

The Zephyrs, however, were up to the task. Slowly working themselves back into the game, Mahtomedi finally drew even at 24-24. The Zephyrs continued their hot streak, extending their new-found lead to 29-24 at the half as a three pointer from senior guard Harrison Andrews beat the buzzer and found the bottom of the net.

After Mahtomedi scored the first two points of the second half, Henry Sibley promptly went on a 9-0 run, including a three pointer by sophomore guard Peter Leslie.

The Warriors' renewed energy as they began the second half may not have occurred by accident, however.

"We had to get after our guys a little bit at halftime," admitted Henry Sibley head coach Tom Dasovich. "I thought some of our guys were playing pretty soft, playing as spectators in the first half, and we let them know about it."

Mahtomedi refused to fold in the face of the Warriors' surge, keeping the score close before finally tying the game once more at 50-all.

The Warriors and Zephyrs traded the lead a few more times, and the game was still tied at 58-58 with only four minutes remaining.

Unfortunately for Mahtomedi, Henry Sibley would dominate the remainder of the game.

After breaking the tie, the Warriors went on a six point run to build a 64-58 lead with just over two minutes left.

Henry Sibley was able to maintain their lead the rest of the way, largely due to the Zephyrs foul troubles, which allowed the Warriors to be in the double-bonus down the stretch.

Staking a late claim for "Player of the Game" honors was Sibley's Leslie. In a 13 second span beginning with 41 seconds remaining the in the game, Leslie scored a two point basket, stole the ball away from a Zephyr, and converted one of two free throws to seal the game.

Leslie, who scored a career-best 22 points against Mahtomedi in December, continued his hot streak against the Zephyrs with 18 total points on the evening.

Following a Mahtomedi miss, the Zephyr's allowed Henry Sibley to run out the clock on a 72-63 victory.

The Warriors were led on the night by the continued dominance of junior forward Trevor Mbakwe. Mbakwe scored 21 points while collecting 15 rebounds and adding 5 blocked shots. Leslie contributed his aforementioned 18 points, including nine points on three pointers, and junior forward Anders Halvorsen chipped in another 10 points in the Warrior effort.

Mahtomedi got 14 points on the night from smooth shooting senior forward Matt Jeans and another nine from senior forward Alex Jackson.

Henry Sibley improves their overall record to 10-8 and their Classic Suburban Conference record at 6-3. The Warriors will travel to South St. Paul Friday night for a 7:30 game.

With the loss, Mahtomedi falls to 4-12 overall and 2-7 in conference play. The Zephyrs now have a week off before traveling to North for a 7:30 game Tuesday, February 7.