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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We are not like that. Nor is Local Quipster, a noted Friend of RandBall. Let that be the backdrop, then, for something we would like to refer to as the Great Treadmill Race Controversy. We will attempt to lay out the facts and even admit culpability in one area. But in the end, we are pretty sure you will feel the same way we do.
So: We made an appointment last night to run at the Target Center LTF with Local Quipster. The game plan was to meet after work, run, and then watch the Sugar Bowl. LQ upped the ante by throwing down a six-mile treadmill race challenge.
Unfortunately, we were late getting out of work (our fault). We quickly shifted the plan to meet at the treadmills. We fully expected LQ to start first since he had to run home between the workout and the game.
Upon arrival, we found LQ was about 15 minutes into his run. No worries, we figured. These machines are not going anywhere. They are self-timed. We are not making anyone with a stopwatch or cups of water wait any longer if we start at a different time. So we hop on the treadmill, calculate LQ's pace and immediately set a slightly faster pace. We were pushing it -- for us, anyway -- but even within this ridiculous competition we wanted to win.
Around the time LQ hit 4.5 miles, we were around 3 miles. He looks over and says something like, "You better start moving or you're never going to catch me." We replied, "What do you mean, we're already ahead of you." He replied to the effect of, "All I know is that I'm at 4.5 miles and you're at 3. First one to 6 wins."
Whoa, whoa, whoa. That's crazy. In fact, a good 80 percent of us was pretty sure LQ was just trying to mess with our head. But still, for the final 1.5 miles, he could talk about nothing except his impending victory, how it wasn't his fault we showed up later than expected, etc. Our counter was basic logic: That the person who finished six miles in the fastest time should be the winner and that such a ground rule -- while never made explicit -- was at least implicit and any waiver would have needed to be agreed upon before competition began.
Still, LQ finished -- in 51 minutes, 51 seconds -- hopped off the treadmill, declared victory, even asked a nearby woman on an elliptical which one of us appeared to be done while the other was still running, then left. We finished a little while later -- in 50 minutes, 32 seconds -- also smugly assured of victory. Neither one of us has permanently acquiesced since, although LQ did slip up later last night in saying "when you beat me," before quickly demanding that the remarks be stricken from the record.
What we ask of you, dear reader, is not to solve this race dilemma. We're pretty sure it is not a question that needs solving. Rather, we ask:
1) Are you still so ridiculously competitive that you would do something like this, and if so would you be so kind as to provide an example in the comments?
2) Is there something wrong with us?
Exactly four people have sent us this link. And now you get to watch it as well. Awesome.
Commenter Clarence Swamptown will delight you with his borderline inappropriate takes on just about anything in life. He's been doing this for almost exactly a year now, and we have to think almost everyone agrees his weekly segment has been a great addition to this blog. As always, his thoughts on sports and life in general do not necessarily reflect those of RandBall or the Star Tribune. Clarence?
Some Minnesota soldiers based in Afghanistan brought the spirit of the boys' hockey state tournament to Bagram Airfield, organizing and playing a hockey tournament on March 7 in honor of the hallowed event. The game consisted of members of the Duluth-based 148th Fighter Wing and St. Paul-based 372nd Engineering Brigade, an Army Reserve unit. Here is a snippet of a story posted on the 148th's web site. Click this link for a few more details and for pictures:
The tournament was held on a concrete basketball court, with nets made of lumber and bed sheets. The round-robin style tournament consisted of three teams with each team playing two games of two 15-minute periods. 148th Civil Engineer, Master Sgt. Doug Ion acted as the tournament referee. The 148th fielded two teams named the "Bulls" and the "Dogs", while the 372nd had one team called the "Wolves". Tournament highlights include a hat trick by 148th player Chief Master Sgt. Mark Rukavina in Game 1, and a shut out in the second period of Game 3 by 372nd goal tender Specialist Malachi Kennedy. The "Dogs" ultimately won the tournament, but the memories of the camaraderie are what the players will remember most.
Lt. Col. Kurt Wagner from the 372nd Engineering Brigade said that "being able to bring a piece of Minnesota to Bagram by playing hockey in conjunction with the State Tournament had done wonders for troop morale. We need to do this more often!"
148th Civil Engineer and tournament planner, Staff Sgt. James Foster thought "it was great to be able to celebrate the State High School Hockey Tournament while we were here. It is such a big event back home that even though we missed it due to deployment, we could still feel a part of it."
As commissioned by commenter SuperRookie, here is Stu's Hunt Down of Khalid El-Amin. Stu?
Name: Khalid El-amin
Claim to Fame,
Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: remembered fondly by fans of UConn for helping them to the 1999 NCAA men’s championship (two warnings: video auto-starts and Jake Voskuhl’s haircut JUST DOESN’T STOP). Remembered fondly by me for helping me win my work bracket that year. Remembered fondly by fans of decency, goodness and light by beating Duke in the finals. El-amin’s NBA career wasn’t nearly as spectacular, playing in just 50 games for the Chicago Bulls. Since then, he’s played in such exotic locales as
Where They Are Now: living the professional basketball dream abroad while still calling
Glorious Randomness 1: while both delicious and horrible for you, chicken Kiev has no meaningful ties to the city of the same name.
Glorious Randomness 2: North has to have the best random list of famous alums in the state. A sampling: Sid, Floyd B. Olson, Tom Barnard, the Andrews Sisters, Terry Lewis, and Morris Day (and Jerome!). On that note: The Time’s Jungle Love.
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