Commenter Clarence Swamptown will delight you with tales of places to eat and drink in the far-reaches of this world. As usual, the opinions here on conspiracy theories do not necessarily reflect those of RandBall or the Star Tribune. Here we go. Clarence?


I am not a Birther or Truther, and I believe that Oswald acted alone, but I do believe that the NFL hates the Minnesota Vikings and has since 1961.  This morning’s Randball post on the Jared Allen calf-roping celebration was spot-on, but in my opinion Randball buried the lead1.  Ray Ewards is quoted within the post, but the money quote is not shown.  Ray Edwards goes on to say that the NFL hates the Minnesota Vikings.  He says, “I think they just hate the Vikings….We watch our tape -- we get held more than anybody, but we don't get those calls. So, I guess because we're the outlaws, I guess that's just how it goes."  I believe him, and I believe it’s a far-reaching conspiracy that also includes Big Ten referees, WCHA linesmen, and the NBA lottery system.  I finally have someone on the inside who agrees with me.  Ray Edwards can be my Van Jones.  Let’s blow the roof off this thing together.
1 It’s hard for me to use lede or graf or anything else from the list of imaginary terms invented to separate the journalism bourgeois from those in the huddled proletariat.  Let’s work to try and use lead and paragraph more often.  Work will set us free.    
*Country & Western Song of the Week:  Let Me Touch You For Awhile by Alison Krauss & Union Station.
*Outstate Bar of the Week:  Otto’s Feierhaas & Bierstube, New Ulm, Minnesota. 
What is the bar famous for?  The city of New Ulm is very proud of their German heritage.  A statue of Hermann the German watches over the city.  Every year the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce and Otto’s sponsor their version of the German festival “Oktoberfest”, and while the original Oktoberfest was probably not held in the banquet room of a Holiday Inn, any excuse to drink beer and listen to polka music is okay by me. 
Can I watch the game there?  Yes.  Although Otto’s is decorated like an Old World Bavarian bierhaus, it has all the trimmings of a modern sports bar.
Can I watch the NASCAR race there?  Sure. 
Do they have a website?  Yes.
Are they on Twitter?  No, but they are on Facebook
Anything else I should know?  If you’re looking for an explanation for why I am so dim and goofy, this might be it:  This weekend my mother will be travelling to New Ulm with a group of her girlfriends for their annual pub crawl.  She just turned 60 years old.  Please say hello and buy her a drink if you get the chance.
*Outstate Diner of the Week:  The perfect cure for spending too much time in an outstate bar is a greasy breakfast at an outstate diner.  This week’s Outstate Diner of the Week is The Louisburg Cafe in Louisburg, Minn. 
What is they famous for?  A while ago I was doing business at the grain elevator in Louisburg.  I asked the owner where a guy could get some breakfast, and he pointed across the street toward an old, normal looking farmhouse that had no signage indicating it was a restaurant. 
What are the waitresses like?  Praying that the elevator owner wasn’t homicidal or playing a practical joke, I cautiously knocked on the front door of the house.  A middle-aged woman in a bathrobe opened the door and welcomed me inside to sit at the kitchen table.
How’s the food?  Still worried, I noticed a chalkboard on the wall listing four different “Breakfast Specials”.  The woman explained that I can order any of the four specials, as written.  I ordered the blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup, and bacon, and it was delightful.  The woman’s four young children sat with me in their pajamas,  watching Sesame Street while showing no indication that an odd stranger eating breakfast at their kitchen table was anything out of the ordinary.
Do they have a website?  No.
Are they on Twitter?  No.
Anything else I should know?  The family’s toothbrushes hang on a wall of the restroom, proving that this might be the most trusting café in the history of Minnesota.  The food was fantastic and cost about $5 with tip. 
*I am a Dish Network customer who is currently without Fox Sports North, FX, and other channels owned by Fox.  Fortunately the Twins’ regular season is over, but I am a Wild and Gopher hockey fan, so I will miss out on those games if this is not resolved quickly.  More importantly, I do not want to miss Sons of Anarchy on FX and am tempted to send Opie and the rest of SAMCRO into the boardroom to settle this thing.  I am not smart enough to know who is right or wrong in this dispute, but I suspect that both parties are acting greedily. I recently upgraded to a HD DVR so I think I would lose $200 if I switched to Direct TV.  Should I switch anyway?  Should I stick it out and hope it’s resolved soon?  You guys are smart, what should I do? 
*Only a handful of hours remain until the first playoff game at Target Field, and the best way to pass the time until then is to nitpick the Twins’ playoff roster.  It appears that the bench will consist of Butera, Tolbert, Punto,  Casilla, and Repko.    The Yankees have a specific weakness, and the Twins are choosing to ignore that weakness in order to redundantly carry 3 backup middle infielders.  The Yankees catchers are the worst in the league at throwing out base stealers.  Mariano Rivera has blown 3 saves in September and has given up a total of 5 stolen bases in those games. Ben Revere may be the fastest runner in the Twins’ system, but he will watch the games from the Arizona Fall League.  Alexi Casilla is currently the best pinch-running option, but after that Nick Punto will probably be used.  Nick {redacted} Punto.  With Ben Revere pinch running late in the game, a successful stolen base is probable. The Yankees would basically concede the stolen base.  With Nick Punto, who knows what will happen. If the Twins advance to the ALCS, Ben Revere may not make as much sense, but against the Yankees I worry that the Twins are not allowing themselves to potentially exploit a glaring weakness.  But again, it’s nitpicking.  Tomorrow night should be a blast.  Target Field will be rocking.  I can’t wait.
Your thoughts on conspiracies, bars, diners, Dish Network and the playoff roster are welcome in the comments below.

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