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Patrick Reusse

Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968.

Reusse: Taxed properly, Goodell's raise is one for us all

The common practice for major league athletes is to pay taxes in the states that they are visiting to compete. This means that if the Twins play nine games in Cleveland, the state of Ohio will be able to collect a tax on 5.6 percent of a player’s earnings for that season.

“There are also places that collect city taxes,’’ a former Twins player said. “You wind up with a tax return that looks like a manuscript for a book.’’

The taxes paid in other states and cities are largely deductible when filing in the home state. Dealing as an individual with taxes from 10 or 15 states is more of annoyance that anything.

I’d settle for that when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell visits Minneapolis for Super Bowl week: an annoyance.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could slap a Minnesota tax rate of 9.85 percent on 1/52nd of Goodell’s estimated $40 million salary as he struts about as The Tsar in charge of the NFL’s rip-off of us rubes out here on the prairie?

This suggestion was made by a Twitter acquaintance last week when Goodell’s new contract was announced: Let’s tax the commissioner in the manner we tax pro athletes when they come here to compete.

Roger will be making roughly $770,000 per week. He might pay taxes on one-third of that. And if we get about 10 percent of that one-third, fair taxation says The Tsar should send a check for $25,000 to Minnesota Revenue before he leaves town.

Unfortunately, this is only a dream, because the state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis (along with corporate fundraising of $50 million-plus) gave away the farm to the NFL with this clause:

“The NFL requires a sales tax exemption on game tickets and Super Bowl-related events and game day income tax exemptions on salaries of NFL players, officials and staff.’’


That says “game day income tax exemptions on salaries.’’ How about The Tsar’s salary for the other six days he’s here raking in the dough? Write out the check for $21,424, Roger, and we won’t have to put Minnesota Revenue on your tail.


More Super Bowl notes:

• Dallas had an ice storm during the 2011 Super Bowl. “We’ll be prepared,’’ Minnesota reps have said. Obviously, the preparation includes saving the sand and salt that wasn’t used for last week’s ice storm.

• Average high in Minneapolis for first week in February: 26. Average low: 9. Overcast: 60 percent.

• Final score: Patriots 30, Vikings 27 (OT). If only Kai Forbath hadn’t missed that field goal.

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Reusse: Fleck deserves a chance - and ridicule

Phillip John Fleck was introduced as Gophers football coach on Jan. 6, 2017. As an aside in his rapid-fire remarks, Fleck admitted that he was “not for everybody” with his over-the-top style of salesmanship.

Some of us cringed at the barrage of buzzwords and phrases, and silly acronyms, and fell into the “not for everybody” group. When this was followed later by Fleck’s tributes to his wonderfulness and then relentless excuse-making, that group seemed to become larger.

Those that found themselves in this group — one that Fleck acknowledged would exist during his first cascade of words as Gophers coach — soon were accused of being “haters,” followed by this addendum:

“You have to give him more than one year.”

There’s the true overreaction in the aftermath of Fleck’s first season: Anyone pointing out the failure of 5-7 or making light of the inconsistencies in those word cascades therefore wants Fleck to be the Gophers’ second straight one-and-done as a full-time football coach.

No one of right mind is even hinting at this. We all understand Fleck gets four years, minimum. We also understand no Gophers football coach has walked into the advantages that bless him:

Opulent football facilities opening in January, an academic system at the U that now emphasizes generous grading, and being located in the Big Ten West. Unless Fleck’s all bluster and no substance, he should win more consistently than the nine coaches that have preceded him dating to 1972.

The 2017 season still deserves to be judged. Large publicity was offered in advance. Tickets were sold (although not in numbers imagined).

It was a season of football, all being precious to some, and it ended with a coach sending his team to face the ancient rival with this motivation:

Not to throw caution to the November winds in the search for a monumental upset; instead, with tactics that implied, “Let’s get out there and do everything we can to hold down the score, boys.”

Ridiculing Fleck for that did not make anyone a “hater,” or serve as a call for him to be fired after one year. It was simply ridicule that was deserved.


A variety of opinions:

• The Big Ten has three strong basketball teams. Assuming health for all, the Gophers’ depth issue will land them third behind Michigan State and Purdue.

• Jimbo Fisher is an egomaniac of endless demands. Texas A&M will be regretting that ridiculous $75 million contract by the time it’s $22.5 million (three years) into it.

• It’s D-II and doesn’t get much attention, but Todd Hoffner’s ongoing success as MSU Mankato football coach is a remarkable comeback story.