Commenter Clarence Swamptown will delight you with tales of crazy TV contracts and places to wet your whistle. As usual, the opinions here on curling innuendo do not necessarily reflect those of RandBall or the Star Tribune. Here we go. Clarence?



The Texas Rangers have reportedly signed a 20-year, $3 billion(!) extension with Fox Sports Southwest.  Although the Dallas-Fort Worth market is larger than the Twin Cities, the Rangers’ new agreement will undoubtedly affect the Twins’ future contract negotiations with Fox Sports North (their current agreement is set to expire in 2012).  I wonder exactly how large, and how lengthy, the Twins’ new television contract could be?  I wonder if the Rangers’ new deal is so lucrative that it could put a Twins-centric station like Victory Sports back on the table?  I wonder if Ron Coomer has already blown his anticipated pay raise on popcorn chicken?   Overall, I simply don’t understand how a television contract in Texas could be worth that much.  If anyone has any insight it is appreciated.
* Country & Western Song of the Week:  My Son Calls Another Man Daddy by Hank Williams, Sr.  He was punk before punk rock existed, and he was more punk than any current punk rock band could ever pretend to be.
*Outstate Bar of the Week:  The Extra End, Grafton, North Dakota.
What is the bar famous for?  Unless there is a “Hog Line Saloon” somewhere in Canada, The Extra End may be the only bar in the world that sounds kind of dirty but is actually named for a curling phrase. 



Can I watch the game there?  Yes. 
Can I watch the NASCAR race there?  Absolutely.
Do they have a website?  No.
Are they on Twitter?  No.
Anything else I should know?  I am not sure why curling isn’t more popular.  It seems like a great way to spend a cold Saturday having a few bumps with your friends, and it should be natural replacement for golf during the winter.  Anyway, the Grafton High School nickname is the “Spoilers”, which is pretty cool.  They also have a cheap (~$13/round) 9-hole golf course just east of town.  It’s relatively challenging, but like most of North Dakota, it’s mostly wide open and flat.  From the top of the 3rd tee box you can actually see the back of your own head. 
*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.  The inaugural Outstate Diner of the Week is Charlie’s Cafe in Freeport, MN. 
What is they famous for?  Charlie’s is located off of Interstate 94, halfway between Fargo and Minneapolis.  Just follow their large, unmistakable yellow and red billboards.  
What are the waitresses like?  There are many times when a guy can appreciate a young, attractive, flighty waitress. But when you are hung over, you just want a well-seasoned grizzled old gal who knows what the {redacted} she’s doing.    Most of the waitresses at Charlie’s are like that.  Their life experience allows them to see what you are going through and respond accordingly. With their mentholated thick red lips they will call you “hon” or “sugar”, but they won’t push a conversation.  Strong black coffee is assumed.    Your order is taken and delivered promptly.  A short and direct route to the restroom is always left open.
How’s the food? Mostly homemade, and pretty awesome.  Order the American fries instead of hash browns, unless you have something against America.  In that case you can get the {redacted} out.  Have your eggs basted and get the bacon, as always.  Also, just order the white bread already.  You had 20 vodka-sodas last night.  Whole wheat toast is not going to improve your health or regularity in any meaningful way.
Do they have a website?  Yes.
Are they on Twitter?  No.
Anything else I should know?  Their freshly baked cinnamon rolls are roughly the size of a hubcap and perfect for the road.
Nightmare Fuel:  If you have not seen this already, I cautiously invite you to visit Pat Neshek’s website and see his pictures from the Twins’ Rookie Dress Up Day.   Items of note:  Cuddyer’s wandering eyes and Butera’s wandering hands.
We have 3 kids, ages 2, 5, and 7. Tomorrow night we are bringing the 2 older kids to Target Field for their first ever live professional baseball game.  I don’t remember my first live game, but I am sure it involved one of the unremarkable Twins teams of the early 1980’s.  We hope to make tomorrow’s game much more memorable than that.  While tomorrow night’s Twins lineup probably won’t be any better than those of the early 1980’s, we know that Target Field will be more enjoyable than the Metrodome. Our first smart idea was to leave the squirrelly 2-year old at home with grandma.  Any other ideas you may have on how to improve our kids' experience at their first game is appreciated in the comments below.


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