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Michael Rand

Digital sports editor | StarTribune.com
phone: 612-673-7564
Michael Rand is digital sports editor. He also writes the RandBall blog and oversees the sports section's 2Day feature on Page 2.
Recent content from Michael Rand
Page 2: FBI's findings expose an NCAA mired in corruption

Page 2: FBI's findings expose an NCAA mired in corruption

For the second consecutive week, Yahoo.com's Pete Thamel delivered a story chronicling just how widespread the corruption in NCAA college basketball really is.
Watching Olympics on television tiring, but well worth it

Watching Olympics on television tiring, but well worth it

The Winter Olympics this year are exhausting to watch, aren't they?OK, before you answer, let's back up. First and foremost, they're exponentially more exhausting for…
Diggs' TD and Diggins' medal-winning race shared some striking similarities

Diggs' TD and Diggins' medal-winning race shared some striking similarities

Just two weeks into 2018, Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs delivered what seemed like would stand as the signature moment in Minnesota sports for the…
Page 2: Jets' offer to Kirk Cousins may set bar too high for Vikings

Page 2: Jets' offer to Kirk Cousins may set bar too high for Vikings

If you believe the Vikings should at least be considering a run at free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins this offseason — and you will find me…
Andrew Wiggins' improvement hasn't kept up with Wolves'

Andrew Wiggins' improvement hasn't kept up with Wolves'

The Timberwolves defeated the Lakers 119-111 on Thursday, giving them a 36-25 record at the All-Star break.Jimmy Butler filled up the stat sheet, finishing with…
Two views: Trading is the Twins' best bet, and Archer is a great target

Two views: Trading is the Twins' best bet, and Archer is a great target

Star Tribune sports staff Michael Rand and Chris Hine take a stab at assessing the Twins' search for starting pitching help.
Wolves helping to build bridges between youths and police

Wolves helping to build bridges between youths and police

Not long after their practice Monday at Mayo Clinic Square, Timberwolves players Karl-Anthony Towns, Jamal Crawford and Cole Aldrich returned to the court for an…
Winning comes at a cost for Timberwolves ticket holders

Winning comes at a cost for Timberwolves ticket holders

Enticed by the prospect of an exciting season and lured by rock-bottom prices, Melissa Berman took the plunge and bought Timberwolves season tickets this year.Her…
When you shoot for the stars

When you shoot for the stars

Let's assume, for the sake of argument and positive thinking, that the Twins' offseason pursuit of pitching is not akin to Elon Musk's pursuit of…
Two views: No trades is the right move for young Timberwolves

Two views: No trades is the right move for young Timberwolves

Michael Rand and Chris Hine weigh in on this week's hot Minnesota sports topic.
NBA and MLB teams are spending their boatloads of money more wisely

NBA and MLB teams are spending their boatloads of money more wisely

There has never been more money rolling through major U.S. sports, and there has seldom been more of a reluctance to spend it — or…
Even before Ervin Santana's injury, Twins' rotation was fragile

Even before Ervin Santana's injury, Twins' rotation was fragile

Panic isn't quite the right word to describe the reaction of Twins fans Tuesday to the news that Ervin Santana, their best and most dependable…
I'm nearly positive about who should be the Vikings quarterback next season

I'm nearly positive about who should be the Vikings quarterback next season

The goal at the start of Tuesday was to settle once and for all what I think is the best course of action for the…
Where does this Super Bowl rank among other big local sporting events and among all Super Bowls?

Where does this Super Bowl rank among other big local sporting events and among all Super Bowls?

Nothing will give you a lesson in recency bias more than to declare something that just happened is the best of its kind to ever…

Some former NFL players used platform to educate

In the midst of the NFL's weeklong product placement extravaganza that culminated with Sunday's Super Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium, a recurring theme kept putting…
Mall of America is place to be this week for NFL fans

Mall of America is place to be this week for NFL fans

It was a dizzying day at Mall of America. Here is the best of what we heard and saw out walking around and on radio…
Teddy Bridgewater's comeback inspires book by his girlfriend

Teddy Bridgewater's comeback inspires book by his girlfriend

Current and former athletes, marketers and handlers hustled briskly from spot to spot on Mall of America's Super Bowl radio row Thursday, promoting everything from…
Q and A with Vikings great Carl Eller

Q and A with Vikings great Carl Eller

Vikings legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Carl Eller was making the media rounds Wednesday at Mall of America and promoting a few projects,…
Media stars Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen rise above the stresses of Super Bowl week

Media stars Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen rise above the stresses of Super Bowl week

Rich Eisen, Dan Patrick rise above anxiety of big game.
Yep, Super Bowl LII Opening Night was as wild as rumored

Yep, Super Bowl LII Opening Night was as wild as rumored

Tom Brady likes tequila, one Star Tribune reporter might be brothers with an Eagles coach, and Super Bowl LII Opening Night was as crazy as we thought it might be.
Super Bowl fun on a budget

Super Bowl fun on a budget

Plenty to do at the NFL's interactive pop-up museum, the Super Bowl Experience.
Former NFL stars to play wounded vets for charity

Former NFL stars to play wounded vets for charity

Charity flag football game will feature Vikings greats.
It might be tough for Vikings to reach 13 victories again next year

It might be tough for Vikings to reach 13 victories again next year

The disappointment for the Vikings and their fans of missing out by one game on a chance to not only play in a Super Bowl…
It's time to move past sorrow over Vikings and embrace state's other pro teams

It's time to move past sorrow over Vikings and embrace state's other pro teams

It's hard not to wallow in Sunday's Vikings loss, and it's going to be even harder as signs of a Minneapolis Super Bowl between the…
Vikings' offensive line, quarterback Case Keenum both crumbled under Eagles' pressure

Vikings' offensive line, quarterback Case Keenum both crumbled under Eagles' pressure

On Friday, about 48 hours before the kickoff of the NFC Championship Game between the Vikings and Eagles, I spent entirely too much time fixated…
Vikings' most pressing question: Who will be this team's quarterback in 2018?

Vikings' most pressing question: Who will be this team's quarterback in 2018?

Keenum, Bradford and Bridgewater are pending free agents, so the Vikings face a big decision
Kyle Sloter is Vikings' only signed QB for 2018

Kyle Sloter is Vikings' only signed QB for 2018

When considering the Vikings' quarterback situation heading into 2018, much of the conversation — and rightfully so — is focused on Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater…
Pain, on so many levels, for Vikings season

Pain, on so many levels, for Vikings season

The Vikings last went to the Super Bowl following the 1976 season. I was born during that season — a day before their first regular-season…
Buzz about Vikings a positive for Twins as well

Buzz about Vikings a positive for Twins as well

Twins pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers on Feb. 13, just nine days after the Super Bowl in Minneapolis.
Eagles fans could end up worse off than Vikings fans

Eagles fans could end up worse off than Vikings fans

Vikings fans are so well-versed in their favorite franchise's, ahem, difficult playoff history that they sometimes wear it as a badge of honor. Ask them…
This Vikings win tops them all — at least for now

This Vikings win tops them all — at least for now

I don't know the last time a single sporting event — or a single play, even — made the entire state of Minnesota so happy.Maybe…
Wolves guard Jamal Crawford reflects on judging Black History Month essay contest

Wolves guard Jamal Crawford reflects on judging Black History Month essay contest

It's generally a good idea to start an interview with a uncontroversial opening question to get a reasonably friendly dialogue going. With that in mind,…
Five Minnesota teams making the playoffs this year still a possibility

Five Minnesota teams making the playoffs this year still a possibility

Starting in the Year 2000, there were five Minnesota professional sports teams playing in the top league in the United States: The Lynx (debuted in…
Juggernaut … for naught: Vikings fans still haunted by memories of 1998

Juggernaut … for naught: Vikings fans still haunted by memories of 1998

The 1998 Vikings went 15-1 and set a record (at the time) for points in a season. That team's overtime loss in the NFC Championship Game to Atlanta left a mark that remains today.
The Eagles aren't dead yet

The Eagles aren't dead yet

On this week's Access Vikings podcast — available on startribune.com and iTunes, in case you shamefully haven't listened to it before — I was asked…
Amid uncertainty, a new home for Gophers men's basketball practices

Amid uncertainty, a new home for Gophers men's basketball practices

There might not be a perfect word to describe everything that is happening with the Gophers men's basketball program right now, but star forward Jordan…
Vikings have a chance to exorcise two playoff demons

Vikings have a chance to exorcise two playoff demons

If you are the kind of Vikings fan who is willing to look ahead more than one game and also can stomach looking back —…
Dream takes flight for Gophers gymnast/drone pilot

Dream takes flight for Gophers gymnast/drone pilot

Jack Kramer is a senior on the gymnastics team who specializes on the high bar. And he's a certified drone pilot with a burgeoning business that could help finance his ability to fly real airplanes someday.
Vikings' 2018 opponents pose many challenges, especially on road

Vikings' 2018 opponents pose many challenges, especially on road

The NFL regular season concluded a few days ago, which meant all 32 teams pretty much immediately knew their entire 2018 home-and-away schedule.The NFL follows…
Which type of Vikings fan are you?

Which type of Vikings fan are you?

As the Vikings stacked up enough wins to earn a 13-3 record and the No. 2 seed in the NFC this season (and the bye…
Things are falling into place for Vikings, Wolves

Things are falling into place for Vikings, Wolves

Three thoughts from the long sports weekend:
Ten Minnesota sports story lines to watch in 2018

Ten Minnesota sports story lines to watch in 2018

Welcome to 2018. How does it feel to know that someone born Jan. 1, 2000, is now old enough to legally vote? Wait, don't answer…
Are Philadelphia Eagles weakened enough to prefer playing them on road?

Are Philadelphia Eagles weakened enough to prefer playing them on road?

Sports Illustrated's Peter King pretty much nailed it Tuesday morning when writing about how bad the Eagles looked Monday, even in defeating the Raiders 19-10.…
Ideal gift suggestions for the state's six pro sports teams

Ideal gift suggestions for the state's six pro sports teams

Yeah, it's late for Christmas, but it's the thought that counts.
Fleck delivers with new recruiting class

Fleck delivers with new recruiting class

The Gophers football program and head coach P.J. Fleck deserve the victory lap they were able to take Wednesday, when they delivered the most highly…
How valuable is Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers? Ask Las Vegas oddsmakers

How valuable is Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers? Ask Las Vegas oddsmakers

Getting to the heart of the question, "Just how much does Aaron Rodgers mean to the Packers?" can be an abstract exercise that leads to…
Wolves should follow Jimmy Butler's lead in shot selection

Wolves should follow Jimmy Butler's lead in shot selection

Jimmy Butler's 37-point performance Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers in a game in which he was questionable to play because of back issues was…
These are crazy ways to decide an NFL game

These are crazy ways to decide an NFL game

Sunday was a very good day for Vikings fans. If there was lingering tension about a late-season slide following a narrow but troubling loss at…
RandBall: Carolina loss would have helped Vikings - but fans wanted Packers loss more

RandBall: Carolina loss would have helped Vikings - but fans wanted Packers loss more

Vikings fans had a battle between their hearts and minds on Sunday, though if Twitter is any indication the hearts were winning by a landslide.
Talker: Disney buys key Fox assets

Talker: Disney buys key Fox assets

The big business and entertainment headline Thursday morning involved Disney purchasing 21st Century Fox, the Rupert Murdoch media conglomerate. The all-stock price tag — valued…
What's the Vikings' smoothest path to the Super Bowl?

What's the Vikings' smoothest path to the Super Bowl?

Here's a subject we got to toward the end of this week's Access Vikings podcast, prompted by a question from a listener: Who are the…
Wild strives to get the extra point

Wild strives to get the extra point

Extra points have become a sore subject in local sports, mostly as they pertain to the NFL. The Vikings have missed a league-high five extra…
Gophers, among others, are finding out past success doesn't ensure future fortune

Gophers, among others, are finding out past success doesn't ensure future fortune

If Richard Pitino was concerned the Gophers' presence in the Top 25 was creating an illusion among the team has it all figured out, he shouldn't have to worry when the new poll comes out Monday.
Wolves need rest, help

Wolves need rest, help

In Wednesday's 113-107 win over the Clippers, every Timberwolves starter played at least 36 minutes — keeping all five in the top 40 in the…
NFL fans divided on how much violence they want to see in the game

NFL fans divided on how much violence they want to see in the game

In a tweet about as subtle as Rob Gronkowski's late hit Sunday, longtime broadcaster Brent Musburger at least got us directly to the heart of…
Jimmy Butler would be the ideal teammate in pickup basketball

Jimmy Butler would be the ideal teammate in pickup basketball

If I was choosing a pickup basketball team and could pick any NBA player I wanted, there are a handful of players (at least) that…
Don't overlook Vikings' running game for keys to winning streak

Don't overlook Vikings' running game for keys to winning streak

The lowest point in this Vikings season-to-date probably came in Week 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium against Detroit.What was still assumed to be a short-term…
RandBall: Vikings fans tell of terror that it'll all collapse

RandBall: Vikings fans tell of terror that it'll all collapse

Three things in particular seem to be concerning fans, even with the Vikings sitting at 10-2
Wild's talent stream has dried up in recent seasons

Wild's talent stream has dried up in recent seasons

An influx of youth and veteran talent came to the Wild during the labor-shortened 2012-13 season. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signed identical 13-year deals…
Vikings have had good backup QB plans over the years

Vikings have had good backup QB plans over the years

As an organization, the Vikings are known for fearsome defenses and losing four Super Bowls.A sneaky thing that is also part of their organizational lore:…
Playoff history favors Wolves

Playoff history favors Wolves

So here's an interesting look at how the first 20 games of an NBA season have translated into full-season success in recent years via John…
Which young players should Twins keep on long-term deals? Here's a ranking

Which young players should Twins keep on long-term deals? Here's a ranking

There are six players who stand out. All of them are projected to be arbitration-eligible in either 2019 or 2020
Vikings cornerback Terence Newman warns against complacency

Vikings cornerback Terence Newman warns against complacency

The Vikings are 8-2 heading into their important Thanksgiving game at Detroit, and veteran defensive back Terence Newman isn't complaining. It's better than being 2-8.…
Wolves have been good but not great so far

Wolves have been good but not great so far

There might not be a perfect word to describe the first 17 games of this important Timberwolves season, but judging by the reactions of players,…
Case Keenum latest in long line unexpected veteran quarterbacks to lead Vikings

Case Keenum latest in long line unexpected veteran quarterbacks to lead Vikings

If the first 20 years of Vikings history were defined by success but near-misses in the Super Bowl, the past 30 years have been defined…
Weekend rewing: Coaching matters

Weekend rewing: Coaching matters

Three thoughts from the weekend in sports:• Watching the Vikings methodically close out a very good team Sunday to improve their record to 8-2, then having…
Health and good fortune benefits Timberwolves

Health and good fortune benefits Timberwolves

The Timberwolves felt, albeit briefly, the impact of being without one of their best players earlier this season when Jimmy Butler missed back-to-back games due…
After a rough start, Devan Dubnyk is holding happily at zero

After a rough start, Devan Dubnyk is holding happily at zero

It's interesting how streaks get started.For much of the early part of this NHL season, Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk didn't look comfortable. He wasn't exactly…
Five story lines about the Vikings that don't involve quarterbacks

Five story lines about the Vikings that don't involve quarterbacks

Everyone is consumed by the Vikings' quarterback situation, and rightfully so. It's fascinating, and this week's decision — Case Keenum or Teddy Bridgewater? — will…
For Jason Zucker, a milestone has come into view

For Jason Zucker, a milestone has come into view

In its past three games, the Wild has scored six goals — and all of them were scored by wing Jason Zucker. That gives Zucker…
Daunte Culpepper and Teddy Bridgewater rehabbed their knee injuries in much different manners

Daunte Culpepper and Teddy Bridgewater rehabbed their knee injuries in much different manners

Before Teddy Bridgewater, the last time the Vikings lost a long-term QB to a devastating knee injury after they had drafted him in the first…
Sustained success much more important than winning now for Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck

Sustained success much more important than winning now for Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck

Gophers coach P.J. Fleck, with his "Row The Boat" mantra, relentless energy and 4-5 record in his debut season, has made himself a pretty easy…
Harrison Smith is Vikings' midseason MVP

Harrison Smith is Vikings' midseason MVP

The Vikings are 6-2 and coming off a bye week that arrived at the exact midpoint of their season. If ever there was an opportunity…
Wolves' Jamal Crawford tops at long-range shots at the end of quarters

Wolves' Jamal Crawford tops at long-range shots at the end of quarters

When Jamal Crawford banked in a desperation three-pointer from 38 feet away for the Wolves at the end of the first quarter of their game…
Vikings' schedule is a matter of debate

Vikings' schedule is a matter of debate

The narrative at the start of this Vikings season was that their schedule during the first half would be considerably easier than it would be…
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