Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could keep lies from conquering the minds of the weak. 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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Goldy Gopher raising awareness for Saturday's "Gold Out" at the Gophers game, dancing to Midnight Star's "Midas Touch" in a clip that cuts in various bits of that 80s video? Yeah, that will work.
You've probably seen Coastal Carolina football coach David Bennett talk about cats and dogs already, but if you haven't ...
Each week Jon Marthaler bakes up a delicious batch of links for you. Other times, you can find him here. Jon?
Happy Saturday! Let's get straight into a few links for your reading pleasure, before you head down to TCF Bank Stadium for a 2:30 kickoff, otherwise known as the kickoff time that God intended when He invented college football:
*We start this week with a five-year-old story that you may have seen before. In 2006, David Foster Wallace wrote a profile of Roger Federer at Wimbledon for Play Magazine. It was, perhaps understandably, immediately one of the more famous pieces of sportswriting of modern times. I have to confess that I didn't read it at the time, because what do I care about tennis? But Friday it was republished at Grantland and I read it and friends, it contains the single best paragraph I've ever read. I won't say which one because I want you to read the whole thing.
*The Rugby World Cup is underway in New Zealand, which you probably haven't noticed because a total of three games are on TV. (Unless you get Universal Sports, which as far as I can tell, no one does.) Anyway, Deadspin has a couple of correspondents there, and their dispatches seem to be focused on what appears to a rugby novice like me to be the two co-most-important things about rugby: playing rugby, and drinking while talking about rugby.
*I'm never too sure what's going on in Spencer Hall's college football season-opening post. I don't ask too many questions. I think Spencer may be a genius.
*As hard as we've wished, the Twins season isn't over yet. Nick Nelson is trying to look on the bright side, such as it is. And John Bonnes thinks he knows a place he can upgrade the team, fast - at catcher. (Note that this is much less anti-Mauer than you think.)
That'll do it for me. Enjoy the sun and the weekend - they'll both be gone before you know it.
You might remember that several months ago, we challenged Gophers-starting-QB-to-be (and now just Gophers starting QB) MarQueis Gray to a Twitter challenge. The original race was to 2,500 followers. We started about 100 up on poor MarQueis (about 2,200 to 2,100), and we actually made it to 2,500 first. But that was the offseason. And we started with the edge. So in fairness, we extended the challenge to a race to 3,000. And folks, it wasn't even close.
Once Jerry Kill mania started sweeping the state and Gopher Nation found its way to Twitter, Gray clobbered us. He topped 3,000 a couple days ago and has about 3,060 right now. It happened so fast that we didn't even notice. Thankfully, MarQueis (as noted by that screen-grab) was there to remind us (it should be said, though, that he also graciously conceded and remembered that we reached 2,500 first).
Nonetheless, the self-defined terms of the final race were to 3,000. As we sit a tick over 2,650 and MarQueis is more than 400 ahead, there can be no controversy here. MarQueis is the guy.
Sadly, NCAA rules -- or at least our confusion over exactly what the NCAA rules might say -- will preclude us from giving him any sort of actual prize other than a hearty congratulations. You will not get to see a sweaty MarQueis holding up a RandBall T-shirt. It's probably for the best, since the last guy to accept a prize for winning a RandBall Twitter challenge doesn't have the same job anymore.
So congrats, MarQueis. Anyone not following him on Twitter -- a number apparently shrinking by the minute -- can find him here.
Sorry for a little shameless cross-promotion, but it's Sept. 1 and that means football is officially on our brain.
The Vikings are playing their battle of the backups tonight. In a week, the NFL season starts for real.
The Badgers/UNLV game opens the college docket. Even if it is Wisconsin, it's nice to see.
And finally, the high school football season begins in earnest. There were a few games last week, owing to a new concept called "zero week," but this is the first big night of games. What if you really want to keep track of scores, but you're out and about tonight? Fear not, friends. The Star Tribune has developed a high school football app with a scoreboard and schedules. Some games will be updated in progress. If all goes well, there will be final scores on all of them, at the very least, shortly after their completion.
Stare enviously if you don't have either of those devices.
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