Vikings rookie QB Christian Ponder was pumped to hear that he beat homegrown Twins hunk Joe Mauer in FM107.1's "Who'd You Rather?" listener poll.
With a reverse fist pump, Ponder said, "Touché, Joe Mauer. Taking the city over." When I informed Ponder that it's difficult to make Minnesotans love somebody who's not a native, Ponder said, "That's awesome."
Ponder was the pick of 64 percent of those who participated in the unscientific poll. Mauer came out with 36 percent.
The poll was conducted Tuesday by Jason Matheson and Alexis Thompson, whose show airs from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays.
"We want him on the show!!!" Matheson, who is not a sports fan, told me via text message. In an e-mail sent during Wednesday's broadcast he added: "QB really does stand for QUALITY BEEF. We are using this to start a 'Katie-like' campaign to get Ponder to call into the show."
That's a reference to Matheson's dream-realized when his broadcasting idol, Katie Couric, called in. Matheson and Couric became fast friends, and he now has her cell and private Twitter info. Couric calls herself his "radio wife" in station promos.
Matheson and Thompson both joked on the air that they thought they would "scare" Ponder if he called into the show.Ponder plays hard
Christian Ponder is getting along famously with his Vikings media handlers.
Assistant director of public relations Tom West escorted Ponder to Wednesday's media availability. West, who is not always so friendly, wanted to know why I was making my first Winter Park appearance since the start of the season. Told West I was on a mission to see the dream boat with my own eyes. West pretended not to know that my flattery was aimed at the rookie, who is now the starting QB.
As they were leaving, I advised Ponder against being seen with the best-looking media guy; my eyes didn't know where to focus when they were together.
"My reputation in the Twin Cities is already well-established," quipped the muscular West, adding that Ponder has to build his own.
"Tom's, like, three feet tall," came Ponder's playful rejoinder.
Somebody off camera remarked: "That's brutal."
Not so, said Bob Hagan, director of public relations. "He's a great guy."Misstep at the mansion
Word has it there was a breach of royal protocol at the governor's residence during the royal visit.
The slip didn't come from Gov. Mark Dayton, who was nervous about meeting King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway when they arrived for a reception after a visit to Augsburg College. Dayton had announced that he had never met royalty before, a fact confirmed by gubernatorial spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci.
Dayton, King Harald and Sen. Amy Klobuchar were walking through the mansion with Queen Sonja following 6 feet and maybe 30 seconds behind them. At one point a gubernatorial staffer hurriedly crossed in front of Queen Sonja. The queen exclaimed "Oh!" and looked aghast.
Tinucci said she had no idea who the jaywalker could have been, and I'm told the staffer didn't realize Sonja was the queen.
Don't get the wrong impression of Queen Sonja. She was a sweetheart. At a chilly outdoor ceremony covered on KSTP-TV, there was a little girl in a sleeveless dress who had to be cold. The queen pulled the girl close and under her royal coat for warmth.Cain had a place in the choir
Word has it that members of a Minneapolis church were overheard fondly recalling the time Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain sang here some years ago.
At first, I doubted the tip because Cain never responded to a Twitter message attempting to confirm that he ever lived in the Twin Cities.
"We can confirm that he worked for Pillsbury here in Minneapolis," said Wendy Tai, director of global communications for General Mills, via e-mail. "He held the leadership roles with Pillsbury, Burger King and Godfather's."
Guess it's safe to repeat the church chatter.
Way I hear it, one member of the congregation said to another: What do you think of Herman Cain? The response was: Don't get me talking about him in church.
In other words, her thoughts were not church appropriate.
Both women did, however, agree that He could really sing.
Yes, he Cain, as you can hear from this YouTube clip, www.tinyurl.com/6ajd7uq, where he sings "Imagine There's No Pizza," to the melody of John Lennon's "Imagine."
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