Welcome to the latest installment of Clearance Clarence, the wildly popular Internet sensation sweeping the nation. As usual, commenter Clarence Swamptown's views on UND hockey, local architecture and other matters don't necessarily reflect those of RandBall or the Star Tribune. We can probably all agree, though, that his powerpoint slide (below) is out of sight. Clarence?


  • It's the Most Wonderful Time, Of the Year: Major League Baseball’s winter meetings are upon us.  I will be refreshing MLB Trade Rumors and Twinkie Town often.   I also politely request that you read Jon Marthaler’s post summarizing the Twins’ most important dates in December.  Print it off, laminate it, and put it in your wallet. Or if you are a University of North Dakota hockey player and your wallet is stuffed with your Canadian ID, AARP card and/or counterfeit money, please feel free to put it in your shirt pocket .


  • Country and Western Song of the Week:  Despite Sunday night’s Vikings loss, I am trying to remain positive.  Optimism is a club I do not carry in my bag, but I am trying.  In honor of the Vikings’ Super Bowl aspirations, this week’s Country and Western Song of the Week is Keith Whitley’s “Miami."  Keith Whitley died from alcohol poisoning in 1989.  I am simply offering this fact as a warning to myself if the Vikings somehow win the Super Bowl.


  • Potential Twins’ free agent target Placido Polanco recently signed a 3-year, $18M deal with Philadelphia.  His forehead is still available, but his forehead is a Type A free agent and would cost the Twins their first round forehead draft pick.


  • Eavestweeting Department:   I like to eavesdrop on the Randballer’s Twitter List to find my favorite Randballer tweet of the week.  This week’s winner is @FearlessP (aka lattewarrior): Seriously, Sheriff Seth Bullock and Det. Shane Vendrell on the same show? #justified Lattewarrior is referring to the television show “Justified," which premieres in March on FX.  It stars Timothy Olyphant, who played sheriff Seth Bullock on HBO’s “Deadwood” (my favorite show of all time).  If “Justified” is anywhere near as good as FX’s “Sons of Anarchy," I will be very happy.


  • A Little Known Fact About Local Architecture:  The sculpture of four gold horses on the roof of the Minnesota State Capitol building was designed by Daniel Chester French and Edward Clark Potter in 1906 to represent the four classical elements of nature: Earth, Water, Fire, and Sarah Jessica Parker.


  • Outrageously Early and Under-Researched Prediction:  The Minnesota Vikings will select University of Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.


  • Entirely Amusing and 100% Accurate Prediction:  Because of the Jay Cutler trade, the Chicago Bears will not select anyone in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.


  • My mother recently visited Chicago.  She purchased some “I Love Chicago” t-shirts for my daughters, which was a nice thing to do.  She also purchased a Chicago White Sox windbreaker for my son.  My aunt in Door County always buys Packers clothing for my kids.  Our friends in Grand Forks sent a UND Hockey outfit as a birthday gift for my son.  Honestly, none of these people intended for these gifts to be practical jokes.  When I told my mother that I cannot let my son wear a White Sox jacket, she said “But I thought you like baseball?”  Guh.  The White Sox?  She really does not know that the White Sox are the Twins’ biggest rival?  Is this phenomenon limited to my family and friends, or do you also know people who are completely oblivious to sports rivalries? 


Thanks.  Skol Vikings.




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