"Ive enjoyed myself more in one week here than I did the past three years in Minnesota." -- Dan Monson, Long Beach States new mens basketball coach, to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Another failed excuse
The Wild was whipped twice in Anaheim to start the playoffs. Coach Jacques Lemaire offered this excuse -- the Ducks were getting away with interference -- and asked the St. Paul fans to hoot at the officials when they spotted those tactics.
It didn't work, and the Ducks cruised to a five-game victory.
And now this is the excuse offered by Lemaire: He had a bunch of fuzzy-cheeked lads not experienced in the playoffs.
Among the players mentioned was Nick Schultz, who was in the Wild lineup during the 18 games played on the run to the Western Conference finals in 2003.
Here was the playoff experience for other Wild players entering the Anaheim series:
Marian Gaborik, 18 games as the star of the Wild's '03 run; Keith Carney, 80 games and led Anaheim in ice time on the way to Stanley Cup Finals in '03; Martin Skoula, 68 games; Pavol Demitra, 66; Brian Rolston, 47; Todd White, 39; Kim Johnsson, 33; Wes Walz, 27; Branko Radivojevic, 24; and Mark Parrish, 21.
Bottom line: The Wild skaters logged 1,469 minutes in the five games with Anaheim, and 913 minutes (62.2 percent) went to players with 18 or more games of NHL playoff experience.
Missing piece: $734 million
The interactive display and drawings for a new Vikings stadium were very impressive. There remains one small issue with this vision:
There's absolutely no funding plan to cover the estimated $734 million needed after Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and the NFL make their contributions.
Wilf has suggested he is willing to combine with the NFL for one-third of a roofless stadium's cost. When you look at the projections released last week, a roofless stadium with construction starting in 2010 would cost roughly $660 million. That would put in Zygi and the NFL for $220 million.
The retractable roof (as envisioned in the plan) runs the stadium price to $880 million. Throw in $70 million plus for parking and street development costs and you have the current estimate of $953,916,000 for a Vikings retractable-roof stadium that would open in August 2013.
So where is the $734 million that Zygi and the NFL aren't going to pay going to come from?
The only logical approach would be to try to get approval for a metro-area sales tax of a quarter-cent, minimum. A bill calling for that isn't going to get through the Legislature without a referendum provision. And with Wilf having made all those enemies in Anoka County, a seven-county referendum has no chance.
BTQ called three local politicians and bureaucrats and asked: How does this happen? The answer was the same: No earthly idea.
Big man for Wolves?