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AquaJam, a Minneapolis skateboard classic, returns to Aquatennial

aquajamI don’t profess to have lived in Minneapolis during the era of the Aquatennial that featured AquaJam — a skateboard extravaganza that reached the height of popularity in the late 1980s/early 1990s before fading away — but I’ve heard from enough people to know that 1) it was pretty awesome. 2) It’s even more awesome that it is making its return this year.

Don’t believe me? Well: 1) there’s photo (to the side) and video (below) evidence that this used to be a thing; and 2) It is most definitely coming back — from 3-8 p.m. Saturday, in fact, at Boom Island Park.


Tucker Gerrick, director of marketing for Fulton Beer, and a longtime skateboarding enthusiast who remembers AquaJam from his youth, was instrumental in getting the event back on the schedule this year.

Gerrick, 36, said he moved with his family to the Twin Cities from Iowa in 1988 and it “blew his mind” that such a thing as AquaJam existed. He’s hoping this year’s event will provide a similar jolt for the thriving local skateboard scene.

“It was quite popular and super impressive,” Gerrick said. “Remember, this is pre-X games, pre-video games, anything that the general public is associating now with skateboarding being in the mainstream,” said Gerrick, noting the good timing of this year’s AquaJam after Minneapolis was just awarded the X Games for 2017 and 2018. “Not only to have be so well-attended but to have it happen outside the California context, that was pretty killer. On a lot of levels, It’s a testament to just how strong the scene here has been for decades.”

He was who we thought he was: the best Dennis Green quotes

dennyFormer Vikings coach Dennis Green, who died Friday morning at age 67, was known for his colorful quotes, expression and moments almost as much as he was known for winning football games.

Here is a sampling of some of the best quotes from Green over the years — many of which give a keen insight into his personality:

“There is a new sheriff in town.”– From Green’s introductory news conference with the Vikings in 1992, indicating he was going to clean up a team that had acquired a reputation over the years.

“Plan your work and work your plan.” — An oft-repeated message from Green, a testament to his unflinching belief in his system. He was 97-62 in his Vikings career, so he was clearly doing something right.

“Faith, family, football” and “When we play like we play when we play.” — Two contributions from former Star Tribune Vikings beat writer Kevin Seifert, now at ESPN.com, when asked for his favorite Green-isms.

“I understand the weather pattern picks up the Calcutta Clipper — swings down, swings up, lake front influence, then out.” — Green, as coach of the Cardinals in 2004, talking about the weather patterns before a game in Buffalo. He meant “Alberta Clipper,” but the unintentional faux pas remains magical to this day.

“They are who we thought they were.”Part of Green’s infamous rant, again as Cardinals coach, after Arizona melted down and lost a game against the Bears.

“There’s no way you’re going to think we will give up 400 yards passing and that we won’t score any points. You don’t think there’s any way that will happen.” — Green, after the Vikings lost 41-0 to the Giants in the 2000 NFC title game.

“I’m always going to be on the high road. If you’re looking for Denny Green, you want to find out where Denny Green is, whether I am in California, New York, or wherever, look on the high road. That’s where I’ll be.” — Green, after he lost his job with the Vikings with one game left in a disappointing 5-11 season in 2001.