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Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968.

Bob Peterson and Anson Mount's lost meatball

Bob Peterson never tired of telling the story of Anson Mount and the Cocktail Meatball. This was not the Anson Mount well-known today as an actor but his father, the Anson Mount who was an editor at Playboy and the selector of the magazine’s annual Preseason All-America Team.

Mount had the duty from 1958 to his death in 1988. For the first two decades of that, the Playboy issue featuring college football was considered an important source of publicity for the sport.

Playboy was headquartered in Chicago, which was also the site of the College All-Star Game from 1934 to 1976. For you young-uns, the early-August game featured the defending NFL champions against a selection of star players fresh out of college and about to become rookies in the NFL (for the most part).

The College Sports Information Directors of America – CoSIDA – held its annual convention to coincide with the All-Star Game.

I’m guessing the year of Mount and the meatball was 1967. Peterson was the SID at St. Cloud State. Mike Augustin was the St. Cloud Times sports editor and I was his full-time reporter.

We referred to Bob as “Burly’’ and drank many beers in his company. Burly convinced Augie and me to join him in Chicago for the CoSIDA revelry.

There were many hospitality events tied to the convention. One was sponsored by Playboy. There weren’t many young ladies with bunny tails, but the hors d’oeuvres were plentiful.

It seemed that way, anyway, until we freeloaders went to work. Finally, there was a single cocktail meatball left in a tray and Mount moved casually to lance it with a toothpick.

As Peterson told it, I sprung with a quickness belying my bulk and speared it away from Anson Mount, celebrity.

Burly, Augie and I wound up in the Twin Cities, with Peterson as the long-serving SID for the Gophers until his retirement in 1994. He died this week. His ashes were placed inside a game ball he had received from a Gophers’ football victory over Iowa in 1984.

Fantastic.

Burly treasured the Gophers. And he treasured having witnessed Mount and the meatball.

PLUS THREE FROM PATRICK


Three sports traditions lost to the ages:


*College All-Star Game. The NFL’s defending champions played played college seniors from the previous season in an August game at Chicago’s Soldier Field from 1934 to 1976.

*East-West Shrine Game. The must-watch college all-star game when played in San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium from 1925 into the 1960s. It’s now a poor cousin to the Senior Bowl.

*NHL All-Star Game (pre-expansion). The defending Stanley Cup champions hosted an all-star collection from other teams 15 times from 1953 to 1968. The teams split, 6-6-3.

 

Reusse: Brady fighting noble battle against Goodell's crazed power

The inflation level of the footballs had nothing to do with the New England Patriots winning their fourth Super Bowl of the Belichick/Brady Era. This was demonstrated in the second half of the AFC title game, when the Patriots blew away the Indianapolis Colts, and in the Super Bowl, when Brady rallied his offense in masterful fashion.

What was discovered early on in this drama – by me, anyway – was how greatly the NFL has allowed quarterbacks to manipulate footballs to get the feel they want on a Sunday afternoon (or Sunday night, Monday night, Thursday night or almost any time on Thanksgiving).

This was never about performance with Brady. As stated, the idea that a low-pressure football had an effect on the competition was refuted after the footballs were inflated to the guidelines in the second half vs. the Colts, and when the footballs were monitored closely for the Super Bowl.

This was always about feel: Aaron Rodgers likes his footballs fat, and Brady likes them skinnier.

We’ve found out quarterbacks put ‘em in saunas, gave ‘em baths, swath ‘em in oils, might take ‘em to massage parlors … all in the search for the feel that they preferred.

To me, Peyton Manning and Teddy Bridgewater wearing gloves to get the feel they want is as much of a cheating offense as what took place with Brady and the footballs in the AFC title game.

And wearing that glove with who knows what on it is probably more of an advantage …. meaning 0.075 percent (just under the legal limit) to 0.05 percent.

Or, in other words, no real advantage.

As a friend of mine said, Brady got caught for going 10 miles per hour over the speed limit and probably was willing to pay the fine. When the NFL and Roger Goodell went nuts and decided to try to put him in football prison, Brady said the Hades with it and decided to fight the power-mad commissioner every step.

The  NFL should have admitted that the manipulation of footballs had become common practice, that Brady and the Patriots might have gone overboard and, even though it had no impact on results, that a $100,000 fine was being imposed on the team and closer attention was going to paid to game footballs in the future.

Goodell came out with the shocking news in upholding the four-game suspension of Brady on Tuesday that the quarterback had “destroyed’’ his cell phone. Rog the Ego could not have been more outraged if he was talking about an axe murder.

“Brady Destroys Cell Phone’’ – that proves …

Actually, that proves he’s a wonderful rebel as well as one of the two best quarterback of all time and he’s not willing to bow to Goodell’s autocracy.

I’m a bigger fan of Brady today than after any of his magnificent Super Bowl performances. Hopefully, he’ll be the guy to finally slap around Goodell and the NFL in court and get the gutless union to which he belongs to rise up against management.

Memo to players: Goodell hates you. He wants to steal your money and keep it in the owners’ pockets at every turn.

Now is the time to take off the muzzle, drop the “it’s none of my business’’ rhetoric and rally around Brady in this fight. You even have an ally in ownership: the Patriots’ Robert Kraft.

One more note on these evil son of a guns that run and profit from the NFL:

The Star Tribune’s Jim Souhan had a long feature on Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway last week. It detailed all Greenway has done on the field and in the community for the Vikings.

The team was full of praise for Greenway. And with no salary cap issue, the team also forced him to a take a 50 percent paycut for 2015 from what the contract that he signed at the peak of his value called for.

That’s what you call appreciation, NFL-style.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Live racing

    12:45pm

  • Saints at Fargo-Moorhead

    1pm on 1220-AM

  • Seattle at Twins

    1:10pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Midwest Outlaws Car Show and Taco Event

    3pm on Live music, taco eating contest and more.

  • Twins at Toronto

    12:07pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Saints at Fargo-Moorhead

    7pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at Toronto

    6:07pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Lynx at Los Angeles

    9pm on ESPN2, 106.1-FM

  • Twins at Toronto

    6:07pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Minnesota United FC at New York

    6:30pm

  • Lincoln at Saints

    7:05pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at Toronto

    6:07pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Live racing

    6:30pm

  • Lincoln at Saints

    7:05pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at Cleveland

    6:10pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Live racing

    6:30pm

  • Lincoln at Saints

    7:05pm on 1220-AM

  • Lynx at Phoenix

    9pm on 106.1-FM

  • Twins at Cleveland

    6:10pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Live racing

    6:30pm

  • FC Edmonton at Minnesota United FC

    7pm on Ch. 45

  • Winnipeg at Saints

    7:05pm on 105.1-FM

  • Twins at Cleveland

    12:10pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Live racing

    12:45pm

  • Winnipeg at Saints

    5:05pm on 1220-AM

  • Los Angeles at Lynx

    6pm on FSN, 106.1-FM

  • Vikings vs. Pittsburgh

    7pm on Ch. 11, 100.3/1130

Today's Scoreboard

< >
  • Kansas City

    Toronto

     

    - F

    2

    5

  • Pittsburgh

    Cincinnati

     

    - F

    3

    0

  • San Diego

    Miami

     

    - F

    2

    5

  • Detroit

    Baltimore

     

    - F

    6

    1

  • Tampa Bay

    Boston

     

    - F

    4

    3

  • Atlanta

    Philadelphia

     

    - F

    6

    2

  • NY Yankees

    Chicago White Sox

     

    - F

    12

    3

  • Arizona

    Houston

     

    - F

    1

    4

  • Chicago Cubs

    Milwaukee

     

    - F

    4

    3

  • Seattle

    Minnesota

     

    - F

    4

    1

  • Colorado

    St. Louis

     

    - F

    2

    3

  • San Francisco

    Texas

     

    - F

    1

    2

  • Cleveland

    Oakland

     

    - F

    1

    2

  • LA Angels

    LA Dodgers

     

    - F

    3

    5

  • Washington

    NY Mets

     

    - F

    2

    5

  • Phoenix

    Atlanta

     

    - F

    71

    68

  • Seattle

    New York

     

    - F

    62

    78

  • Los Angeles

    San Antonio

     

    - F

    80

    78

  • Washington

    Chicago

     

    - F

    68

    71

  • Connecticut

    Indiana

     

    - F

    70

    83

  • Portland

    San Jose

     

    - F

    0

    0

  • FC Dallas

    Chicago

     

    - F

    0

    2