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 NHL news

Monday (So, what did we miss?) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: April 14, 2014 - 9:46 AM


So, as some of you might have noticed, we haven't posted in these parts for a while. And as some of you might know, the reason is pretty simple: we had two weeks off after the March 30 birth of our first child, a daughter named Anabel.


She arrived after a somewhat lengthy process, but she did arrive right on her due date -- which also happens to be the same birthday as our wife Julie (aka the RandBall Better Half). She is healthy, sweet, and generally good-mannered (both of them are, we suppose), though Anabel did have her first rough night last night by keeping us up until about 3 a.m. with unexplained crying.

Babies are going to do baby things.

The past couple weeks have been somewhat of a blur. They also happened to be two pretty crazy weeks of sports. As such, here are very brief recaps of what we missed out on posting on, even if we barely remember a lot of it happening:

*UConn won the NCAA men's hoops title; the Gophers won the NIT title. Wisconsin lost in the Final Four. We were watching "Say Yes to the Dress" in the hospital during a couple of Elite 8 games since the person delivering the baby gets the remote, so don't come back to us for much more insight than that. (Side note: What is the point of that show? Nobody wins anything. There's not really a host. It's just basically watching people shop for a wedding dress.)

*Small sample size, but the Twins can hit but can't pitch? Is that right? As expected.

*Corey Brewer scored 51 points in a game? Also, the Wolves have defeated the Grizzlies, Heat, Spurs and Rockets while we were away, but they also lost to the Magic and Kings? Yeah, that sounds just about right for a season that makes no sense.

*Justin Holl. Seriously, one of the most amazing finishes to a game we have ever seen. No other way to describe a short-handed tie-breaking goal with 0.6 seconds left in an NCAA semifinal against a bitter rival.

*And the Wild will face ... Colorado in the playoffs? We can only hope coach Patrick Roy comes out of retirement to let in another Game 7 overtime goal.

OK, there was tons more that happened. But we need to save some of it for some longer posts on what figure to be plenty of long nights.

Friday (Justin Bieber played hockey in gold chains and skinny pants) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: February 7, 2014 - 9:50 AM

Justin Bieber plays hockey? Who knew? Does this mean the State of Hockey has to start liking him more?

He recently crashed a club hockey practice in Atlanta, Puck Daddy notes. Here is that writeup, and here is 22 seconds of Bieber kinda sorta skating and playing hockey?

Wednesday (No questioning grit of Love, Parise, Suter) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: February 5, 2014 - 8:17 AM

On one of those pleasant (and seemingly rare) nights in which the Wild and Timberwolves were both at home, and both won their games, we were reminded that the heart-and-soul players on both teams have a certain amount of admirable grit.

For the Wild, Ryan Suter logged nearly 35 minutes of ice time after Marco Scandella left the 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay with an injury. It was nothing new for Suter ,who dominates the NHL leader board in ice time, but he even went above and beyond his typical game of around 30 minutes. Zach Parise didn't score in the game, but he's coming off a week in which he was the NHL's First Star. It's safe to say he's back to being the player he was before he attempted to play on a broken foot.

For the Wolves, Kevin Love was knocked every which way in a 109-99 victory over the Lakers. It continued a recent trend for Love, who has fought through numerous bumps and twists in recent games to help carry Minnesota through a stretch without Nikola Pekovic.

This is what we primarily expect from our superstars, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be acknowledged.

Mid-day talker: Timberwolves, other Minnesota teams, lag in franchise values

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: January 22, 2014 - 12:10 PM


Forbes does valuations for teams in all four major U.S. pro sports leagues, and the figures for the NBA were released today. As we know by now, we whisked quickly through the slide show, almost all the way to the end, in order to find the Timberwolves.


That's status quo with the chief tenants at Target Center. And it's status quo with all Minnesota teams.

The Wolves rank 26th in the NBA with a value of $430 million. Maybe that will improve a little once renovations to Target Center are complete, but they will still be playing in one of the NBA's oldest buildings.

What about the rest of the Forbes rankings, all from within the past year? The Wild? That squad ranks 19th in the NHL. The Twins? 20th. The Vikings? 21st.

In other words, all four squads are below average ... and none of them eclipse our TV market size rank (15th).

There are people more qualified to discuss what this means when it comes to overall economics as well as how it correlates to winning and losing. Certainly low-value teams have won titles while large-value teams have struggled.

But we're willing to bet there is at least some connection between those low numbers and this one: 1991. That's the last year a Minnesota team even played for a championship, let alone won one.

TFD: Minneapolis/St. Paul sports fans rank ahead of Chicago and New York, study says

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: January 8, 2014 - 5:27 PM

It seems like a lot of places have ways to rank sports markets and fans, but the Emory Business School and its Sports Market Analytics program have found a way to rank them that makes Minneapolis/St. Paul look very good, so we're going to pay attention.

From its blog:

Today we reveal our rankings of the four-sport cities, and a summary of the best and worst markets in the other categories (one, two, & three-sports cities).  Before the actual rankings, a couple of clarifying comments are in order.  The key to our rankings is that we are looking at fan support after controlling for short term variations in team quality and market characteristics.  Basically we create statistical models of revenues as a function of quality measures like winning percentage and market potential factors like population.  This allows our results to speak how much support fans provide as if market size and winning rates were equal.

Using that way of measuring, Boston was No. 1 among the 12 markets in the U.S. that have franchises in the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. Philadelphia was No. 2.

And ...

The city in third place is likely going to generate Twitter complaints about how clueless we are, and how academics should stay away from sports.  We rank the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul as having the third most supportive fans among the four-sport cities.  Minneapolis/Saint Paul show great support of the Twins and solid support for the Vikings.  The Wild also do surprisingly well in the NHL.

How could Minnesota finish in front of New York and Chicago?  It’s because these cities don’t do a great job in terms of supporting all their teams.  For example, The Brooklyn Nets perform poorly when market size is considered and the White Sox have very poor support on all metrics.  We can hardly wait for the semi-literate Twitter attacks to commence.

We're No. 3! Discuss.


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