Former Augsburg College linebacker Scott Cooper added his voice to the debate of gays in sports on Thursday by sharing with Outsports his tale of acceptance on the field and off with the Auggies football team in Minneapolis.
"Being at Augsburg College was a completely different experience. Not only was I out totally by then, but I was myself. I loved football, and just needed to be on a team. I missed the competition, the camps and the camaraderie. Yes, I was gay and out, but I didn’t want to lead with that fact. I just wanted to be a college athlete, while also being accepted off the field for who I really was. My teammates could not have been any more supportive of me than they were and still are. I don’t feel I was being a hero by being out and being honest about it with them; these guys are the true heroes."
Among the highlights he recounted were standing with his partner on Senior Day in November and being asked by his position coach, Mike Matson, to speak in chapel on National Coming Out Day in October.
Cooper, who graduated in December with a communications degree, wraps up by telling why he wanted to share his story and the power of sport in what has been a controversy elsewhere:
"There are three reasons I wanted my experience to be told. First, I wanted to give confidence and encouragement to anyone who is unsure about themselves; and in this case, especially other gay athletes. Secondly, more stories about gay athletes should be told; because the more we hear about gay athletes, the less of a big deal it is. One day, I hope it is a complete non-issue. Until then, we have to stay vocal.
And last, but in no way least, I want people to know that there are teams out there where this is a non-issue. My Auggies deserve so much credit for breaking every stereotype that male athletes tend to have regarding gays. They accepted adversity, embraced their brother, and stood together. After all, isn’t that what sports are supposed to teach us?"
Outsports also had a video interview with Cooper:
The third paragraph of Jere Longman's story in the New York Times explains why he went to Warroad before the start of the Olympics:
"Warroad, population 1,781, a civic snow globe six miles from the Canadian border, has as many indoor rinks (two) as red lights. The town has sent seven hockey players to the Olympics since 1956 — four of them from the same family, the Christians — and each one has returned with a medal. The hope is for a pair of golds at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia."
Longman tells the story of Gigi Marvin, whose family has lived in Warroad for decades, and T.J. Oshie, who moved there from Washington in high school and now plays for the St. Louis Blues.
If you were to drive through Warroad, Longman describes what you would see: "Olympic posters of Oshie and Marvin decorate the windows of downtown businesses from the T-Shirt Barrel to the Main Street Bar and Grill. Locals can take photographs with cardboard likenesses of the players. Their first names are included among the 46 signs along Highway 11 that salute each man and woman on the United States hockey teams headed to Sochi."
But the story includes other characters who go a long way to explaining what makes Warroad unique:
*The Astrup family, whose four children have hockey-themed signs on their bedroom doors. One is Olympic Players Entrance, another is the Penalty Box.
*Grant Slukynsky, who was named the top 10-year-old hockey player in Minnesota last year and whose backyard rink has a knock-off Zamboni fashioned from a golf cart.
*Mike Marvin, Gigi's father, who explains that age and gender boundaries disappear at the city's rinks. "It allows the average player to be good and the good ones to be great," he tells Longman.
As much as you think you know about Warroad hockey, the guess here is that you'll learn a few things. You can read the entire story here,
Often when those who tell the news become the news story it doesn't have a positive spin. But that wasn't the case this week for our Michael Russo.
Russo took a brief leave from covering the Wild to be in the Georgia with family for the final days of his stepfather, Lenny. A day after the funeral Russo, his mother and little dog Oliver were caught en route to a celebration of Lenny's life in the crippling traffic that choked Metro Atlanta. They faced a decision: Wait in the gridlock or walk the more than three miles to the gathering.
The decision was simple: Lenny deserved to be properly remembered.
So they scooped Oliver into a shopping bag and began to walk. Soon after, Russo snapped a pic for his nearly 53,000 Twitter followers.
Their journey, Trubey wrote, carried the weight of life and love.
The 2010 Class 2A Mr. Soccer Eric Miller of Woodbury got a big introduction this week in the Montreal Gazette as the Impact of MLS opened training camp. Miller, who left Creighton University early, was the Impact's first-round draft pick and a big get in the Impact's plans, so much so that Montreal moved up to take the defender.
Here's how team officials summed up Miller:
As for Miller himself, he said he had trouble before camp opened Monday, saying he was anxious after "the long journey" to join the pro ranks.
Miller also talked to the Gazette about what led him to soccer:
Miller started playing soccer at age 5, taking up the sport after he failed to receive a call from a T-ball team for which his mother had him registered. Had he continued in baseball, Miller’s not sure where that path would have taken him. But it probably would have ended up in a dead end, considering he believes the sport’s boring.
Miller's been a bit overshadowed at camp as Montreal's Matteo Ferrari came out this week and called for the team to add those new players, saying, “Right now, when I think about last year’s team, I think we’re a little bit – how can I say – not as good as before.”
Obviously, Portland is a long ways away from Target Center. But it is the home of Adelman and where Love grew up. And Eggers, a former Oregonian beat writer, wrote the book on the Adelman-era Trail Blazers' rise to NBA royalty and obviously knows Adelman well. They spoke before the Wolves lost to Portland on Saturday.
Adelman's only words on the topic of his future were "We'll take a hard look at it after the season," citing the travel. And Eggers and Love didn't talk about long-range plans, because Love is "smart enough to keep his thoughts on that to himself." (Of course, Love's had some experience in how well that has gone over.) So, consider the source.
Adelman did have some revealing quotes that talk about some frustrating aspects of the Wolves:
"When I took this job, I thought we could turn it around," Adelman says. "The first year was just weeding people out. The second year, we had so many injuries. This year, we've made changes, and it looks better. It is better. But how much better can we be?"
"We're just not that good defensively," Adelman says. "We're more of an offensive team. We get to close games, and we've broken down at the end, not getting stops at the right time.
"We need our perimeter people to be consistent offensively, and we just haven't done it in close games. We've turned it over, we haven't made shots when we needed to.
"Love can't stop anybody. The gaudy stat line he puts up every night looks nice, but it doesn't make a winner. Minnesota continues to plod under .500 this season with Love, a top-five distributor in Ricky Rubio, an efficient scoring banger in Nikola Pekovic, and Kevin Martin playing out of his mind. What makes you think Boston would fare any better with Love, [Rajon] Rondo and [Jared] Sullinger?"
|Baseball (1)||Basketball (1)|
|Football (1)||Vikings (48)|
|People (30)||WNBA (1)|
|Bears (4)||Ex-Vikings (2)|
|Lions (4)||NFC (4)|
|Packers (7)||Super Bowl (6)|
|Vikings defense (2)||Vikings fans (3)|
|Vikings special teams (1)||Off the field (4)|
|On the road (6)||Quarterbacks (2)|
|Vikings draft (3)||Ron Gardenhire (1)|
|Twins game coverage (2)||Twins offense (1)|
|Twins pitching (1)||Edina (1)|
|Vikings players (1)||Adrian Peterson (1)|
|Brad Childress (1)||Brett Favre (3)|
|Bryant McKinnie (3)||Chad Greenway (1)|
|Chris Kluwe (5)||Darrell Bevell (1)|
|Jared Allen (2)||John Sullivan (1)|
|Kevin Williams (1)||Leslie Frazier (2)|
|Percy Harvin (3)||Brad Childress (1)|
|Darrell Bevell (1)||Leslie Frazier (2)|
|NHL news (3)||MLB (2)|
|Twins Players (1)||Glen Perkins (1)|
|Joe Mauer (1)||Twins (5)|
|Lynx (1)||Gophers sports (1)|