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Find breaking sports news and commentary on Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Wild and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and high schools from Minneapolis, St. Paul, the Twin Cities metro area and Minnesota.

Controversial hockey commentator Cherry fired in wake of rant

Don Cherry, a longtime hockey commentator in Canada, has been fired by Sportsnet after a recent on-air rant in which he implied that immigrants don’t respect Remembrance Day in Canada while referring to those in racially diverse areas as “you people.”

“I live in Mississauga,” Cherry said during his “Coach’s Corner” segment this weekend. “Nobody wears, very few people, wear a poppy. Downtown Toronto, forget it. Downtown Toronto nobody wears a poppy … Now you go to the small cities and you know, the rows on rows. You people love — that come here — you love our way of life. You love our milk and honey. At least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price.”

Cherry’s comments were condemned by the NHL for being “offensive,” and on Monday he has been fired by the station — ironically, perhaps, on Remembrance Day.

It was hardly the first controversy for Cherry, 85, who has had numerous run-ins during three-plus decades of Coach’s Corner — most recently in 2018 coming under fire for denying climate change.

A lot of fans had already moved on from Cherry, and now Sportsnet has as well. Perhaps Brian Burke, who is being pushed as a successor, will take over the role?

Gophers and Vikings: How two defensive stops changed narrative

Have you recovered yet from the rigors of watching two of the most dramatic big Minnesota football games in recent memory, played on back-to-back days?

I can’t remember the Gophers and Vikings winning in such a way in such meaningful games on the same weekend in a very long time. Gophers 31, Penn State 26. Vikings 28, Dallas 24. I have to imagine it’s going to be a skyway full of smiles today.

In thinking about both last night, this struck me: The endings and outcomes were so similar that it makes sense now to think about them in tandem. So let’s take a spin through the final game-turning defensive stops in both games.

The set-up

Gophers: The undefeated Gophers were trying to knock off similarly undefeated and favored Penn State for a signature win. After jumping out to a 14-point first half lead (24-10), things tightened considerably in the second half. A late touchdown brought Penn State within 31-26, and a fumble gave the Lions the ball near midfield. From there, Penn State drove with relative ease to Minnesota’s 11 and looked poised to score the go-ahead touchdown in the closing moments.

Vikings: Prime time games on the road against teams with winning records are not exactly easy for anyone, but they’ve been particularly harsh for the Vikings and QB Kirk Cousins. And after jumping out to a 14-point first half lead (14-0) against favored Dallas, things were tight in the second half. Minnesota still led 28-24, but a punt gave Dallas the ball with 4:34 left and a chance to take the lead. The Cowboys moved the ball with ease, getting to the Vikings’ 11 without even needing to convert so much as a third down, and looked poised to score the go-ahead touchdown.

The break

Gophers: On 2nd-and-9 from the Gophers’ 10, Penn State appeared to have an 8-yard completion to Minnesota’s 2. But instead of third and short, the play was flagged for offensive pass interference, moving the Lions all the way back to the 25. It was the kind of call that would have had Gophers fans howling had it happened to them.

Vikings: On 2nd-and-2 from the Vikings’ 11, Dallas decided to try a run play with Ezekiel Elliott even though he’d been bottled up all day and even though Dak Prescott — often with tons of time to throw — was shredding the Vikings’ defense. After he was stopped for no gain, the Cowboys tried ANOTHER run, this one losing three yards to set up a critical fourth down. It was the kind of play-calling that would have had Vikings fans howling had it been their team (and in fact was questioned in Dallas).

The big play

Gophers: With Penn State pushed back and facing third-and-24, QB Sean Clifford threw toward the end zone. But Gophers defensive back Jordan Howden stepped in front of the pass and snagged a season-changing interception.

Vikings: Eric Kendricks made a fantastic, season-turning play on 4th down, tipping away a pass intended for Elliott that would have been enough for a first down.

The nightmare that didn’t happen

Gophers: The post-INT aftermath only involved two kneeldowns, but anyone who has watched the Gophers long enough needed to make sure nothing bad happened before the clock hit zero.

Vikings: On the first play after the turnover on downs, the Vikings tried a TOSS PITCH that Dalvin Cook turned into an exercise in juggling knives, finally corralling the ball after 80% of fans had passed out. And then, after Dallas forced a punt, Minnesota had to survive a Hail Mary — never been a problem with one of those against Dallas, right? — on the final play.

The aftermath

Gophers: If Penn State had scored and gone on to win, we would be talking today about how the Gophers choked again in a big game in front of a sellout home crowd. Instead, we’re talking about how the narrative with the program has changed and we’re imagining scenarios where the Gophers could make the College Football Playoff.

Vikings: If Dallas had scored and gone on to win, we’d be talking about how Cousins couldn’t put a team away with a fourth quarter drive when he had the chance and we surely would have invoked all of those negative lopsided records of his. And we’d be wondering if Mike Zimmer’s defense was in danger of major slippage. Instead, we’re talking about how Cousins changed the narrative and we’re wondering if this mix of offense and defense could make the Vikings dangerous once the playoffs roll around.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Timberwolves at Detroit

    6 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Gophers men's basketball at Butler

    7:30 pm on FS1, 103.5-FM/1130-AM

  • Wild at Los Angeles

    9:30 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • San Antonio at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Milwaukee at Gophers women's basketball

    12 pm on 96.7-FM

  • Arizona at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Wisconsin at Gophers volleyball

    8 pm on BTN

  • Bemidji State at Gophers women's hockey

    6:07 pm

  • Washington at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Penn State at Gophers men's hockey

    7 pm on FSN PLUS, 103.5-FM/1130-AM

  • Gophers men's basketball at Utah

    8 pm on 100.3-FM

  • Carolina at Wild

    1 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Gophers football at Iowa

    3 pm on Ch. 9, 100.3-FM

  • Bemidji State at Gophers women's hockey

    4:07 pm

  • Penn State at Gophers men's hockey

    7 pm on FSN PLUS, 103.5-FM/1130-AM

  • Michigan at Gophers volleyball

    7 pm

  • Houston at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Denver at Vikings

    12 pm on Ch. 4, 100.3-FM/1130-AM

  • Arizona State at Gophers women's basketball

    3 pm on BTN, 96.7-FM

  • Timberwolves at Utah

    8 pm on FSN, 830-AM

Today's Scoreboard

No MLB games today

  • Seattle

    San Francisco

     

    - 5th, 10:00

    24

    24

  • Minnesota

    Detroit

     

    - F

    120

    114

  • Dallas

    Boston

     

    - F

    106

    116

  • Memphis

    San Antonio

     

    - F

    113

    109

  • Houston

    New Orleans

     

    - F

    122

    116

  • Toronto

    LA Clippers

     

    - 2nd, 0:46

    46

    47

  • Utah

    Golden State

     

    - 2nd, 3:06

    57

    44

  • Ottawa

    Carolina

     

    - F

    2

    8

  • Arizona

    Washington

     

    - F

    4

    3

No MLS games today