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Minnesota sports, as seen elsewhere

Victor E. Viking mascot in Washington might get thrown for loss

This season Minnesota Vikings fans had to say goodbye to mascot Ragnar after more than 20 seasons on the sidelines because of a contract dispute. He was transitioned out by the much smilier Viktor the Viking.

Victor E. Viking

Victor E. Viking

Now comes news from Washington that life might not be so rosey for Viktor's namesake, Victor E. Viking.

A Western Washington University professor and several students are trying to ride Victor E out of town because they see the mascot's likeness as being too aggressive.

“I think this mascot also reflects a sort of hyper masculine, hyper violent sort of image which is doubly problematic,” communications studies professor Michael Karlberg told The Western Front, the university’s website. “I think we really ought to reconsider.”

In addition, a student group is seeking a mascot change in part cause Victor E. doesn’t portray students of color.

The student website quoted Karlberg as saying that all racialized mascots are problematic, regardless of the race.

A student is now creating a survey to help decide the fate of Victor E., which was selected 92 years ago by the student body.

Former Twins star Rod Carew hoping for heart transplant

Former Twins star Rod Carew, a Hall of Famer who has a statue outside Target Field, is hopeful of getting a heart transplant.

Carew, 70, survived a massive heart attack and is the subject of a lengthy profile by Sports Illustrated's Steve Rushin.

Carew was stricken on the golf course, writes Rushin: "He had suffered a massive heart attack, “the kind they call the widow-maker,” says his wife, Rhonda. And though doctors told Carew he was extraordinarily lucky to be alive—his heart had stopped beating on two separate occasions—he doesn’t always feel fortune-kissed. “My wife will tell you I get up in the morning and cry and wonder, Why me?” Carew says, convalescing in a friend’s house in the suburbs of San Diego after seven weeks in five hospitals. “But you can’t say that. I go back to when my youngest daughter was dying. I never asked my friend upstairs, Why me? And He’s the only one who has the answers.”

Carew is considered fairly old for a heart transplant, but has a better chance in the western United States, where waiting lists are shorter.

Among those who have visited Carew, according to the article, is Twins president Dave St. Peter. Carew had advisory contracts with both the Twins and Los Angeles Angels that expired at the end of the baseball season, but both teams have renewed those deals for 2016.

Rushin writes: "Carew has set goals to attend spring training in March and the Hall of Fame induction weekend next July, as Rhonda frequently reminds him. 'She’s like a drill instructor,' he says."


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