Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

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Posts about Vikings

TFD: Finally, a dating site exclusively for Green Bay Packers fans

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: April 17, 2014 - 4:29 PM

Apparently this is real: a web site devoted to matching up single Green Bay Packers fans.

The full URL is GreenBayPackersLovers.com, and that is a screen shot.

A sample profile from a 26-year-old female from Waukesha with the handle "AirJordy":

Heyyy all I've done this website before and sadly I'm back, but it's almost impossible meeting people when you work 3rd and are avoiding the bar scene (plus, can't really find a decent guy at a bar).

So here I am! My name is Nikki, I'm 26 and I'm a pretty cool gal if I can say so myself!

I love love love football. I'm weirdly obsessed with the Packers and I've come to conclusion that I couldn't ever date someone who wasn't a packers fan (yeah... I'm THAT die hard) so this website is hilarioussssssly perfect!

We sincerely hope AirJordy and everyone else on the site finds the love they are looking for, assuming this is, in fact, a real thing with real profiles.

H/T: Amanda, who would like us to reach out to any male Packers fans.

TFD: A long read on troubled ex-Packer and ex-Viking Darren Sharper

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: April 16, 2014 - 5:07 PM

Bleacher Report has dipped its toes into the world of long-form writing, hiring established writers such as Mike Freeman to produce reads more worthy than slide shows and listicles.

As such, Freeman drops a compelling tale that has plenty of layers about Darren Sharper. Much of the criminal stuff -- Sharper is accused by eight women in five states of sexual assault -- has already been reported, but Freeman attempts to paint more of a whole picture of Sharper's fall and just how unexpected it was.

Per the piece: This isn’t just a story about allegations across multiple jurisdictions. It’s about one of professional football’s favorite sons, a rising media star and one of the NFL's best defensive backs of all time, being accused of truly heinous crimes. Many who claim to have known Sharper well say they never would have suspected he'd be accused of anything remotely like this.

The totality of the accusations has stunned the NFL, leading many to wonder if one of the league’s most visible personalities—a member of the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team and former analyst on the NFL Network—was leading a double life for a career that stretched 13 years, three teams and two Super Bowls.

The Sharper case remains shrouded in mystery as police continue to decipher dozens of pieces of evidence, and consider the fearsome thought that there may be other alleged Sharper victims.

It's worth a read, as is this piece in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Kluwe: Special teams coaches have no clue about placekicking or punting

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: April 15, 2014 - 3:18 PM

In terms of controversial HOT SPORTS TAKES that Chris Kluwe has had in his life, this one falls very close to the bottom of the food chain. Still, if you can sift through all his language dressing and naughty words (yes, that's a NSFW warning ... we learned our lesson tweeting Monday about U.S. Airways), you will find out that Mr. Kluwe believes college kickers are generally bad because their teachers are clueless.

Per Kluwe on Deadspin:

Want to know why your team has a [redacted] kicker? Because your team has a [redacted] coach who doesn't know the first thing about the basic fundamentals of kicking and punting, but figures that a soccer castoff will do just fine so long as he gets screamed at loudly enough.

In my five years of college ball, and eight years in the NFL, I did not have a single special teams coach or head coach who had the faintest idea how it is that I did my job, and that is how it is EVERYWHERE. (I was lucky that early on in high school, I found a couple coaches who did know a thing or two so I could teach myself later). Now a lot of this is due to the fact that people just don't care about kicking, because it's only nine or 10 plays out of the game (whereas the offense and defense GLOREEEEE BOYZ get 35 to 40), but can you imagine if your linebacker coach had no idea how to teach the fundamentals of tackling and assignment responsibility?

We don't imagine Kluwe is making this up. Then again, we don't know if his situation is unique or not. And most certainly, we have no experience being taught how to kick at any level, unless you count being self-taught while taking 15-yard running starts at the ball during random football field trips in high school and college.

But if Kluwe is right, he does make a good point. Why on earth doesn't a special teams coach know how to at least instruct a punter or kicker properly?

Photo: Tearing out the turf at TCF Bank Stadium to heat field for Vikings

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: April 15, 2014 - 12:20 PM

The process of updating TCF Bank Stadium for use by the Vikings is well underway, as we watched construction crews rip out the artificial surface field on Tuesday as they prepare to put heating elements in for the pro season.

The rip-out is expected to be finished by the end of the week, but by this morning there was already substantial progress with about half the turf gone. The new heated field is expected to be ready to go by June. The original field didn't have the heating elements because the regular-season in college is over in November and postseason games are played elsewhere, of course. In the NFL, the Vikings have regular-season games in December and potentially two home playoff games in January. Anyone who watched Brett Favre get smashed to the rock-hard turf in December of 2010 at TCF Bank Stadium after the Metrodome roof collapse knows the danger of an unheated turf field.

In any event, the field looked far different Tuesday than it did Saturday for the Gophers' spring game. Have a look-see:



Giants didn't see enough during MNF debacle, reportedly will work out QB Freeman

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: April 14, 2014 - 3:00 PM

The Giants' search for backup QB help is leading them to two familiar faces, according to a report:

You'll recall Freeman's lone start for the Vikings last season came in an utterly forgettable Monday Night Football game against the Giants that might have been the worst sporting contest we have ever watched. Freeman had roughly 1.7 billion overthrows and never saw the field for Minnesota again. Apparently New York didn't get a close enough look at all the balls sailing into the sidelines.

You'll remember "Money" Matt Flynn from his heroic efforts to rescue Green Bay last season, even as the Packers appear set to part ways with him yet again.


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