This is the time of year for a lot of people to rate all the great high school basketball teams. While others rate teams that they read about -- because they weren't born yet -- I can talk about teams that I have seen, including a team that was approached to fix the high school championship game.
The team was the 1937 Minneapolis Edison boys basketball team that went 15-1 and won a state tournament. They beat Crosby Ironton 38-27 in the title game.
Edison had, in my book, the greatest starting lineup of any high school team. Don Carlson, a future Laker, was on that team after playing for the Gophers. Joe Mernik, one of the greatest high school athletes in Minneapolis history, later played for the Gophers football team and was on the 1940 national championship team, kicking an extra point as the Gophers beat Michigan 7-6 in a key game. Willie Warhol went on to play basketball for the Gophers. The Edison center was Walt Andrewski.
Around tournament time it developed that a local fan tried to fix the game by bribing one of the Edison players, something that never happened before in state high school sports. The Edison player reported the attempt to police, and the fan was arrested.
The Edison coach was Ray Parkins, and for years his team dominated the city of Minneapolis when there were only eight schools. The football team, coached by Peter Guzy, was almost as dominant.
In those days, they played every Friday at the Minneapolis Auditorium -- two games in the afternoon and two games at night. All the state tournament games were played at Williams Arena, with crowds of more than 15,000.
Adam Weber, the former Gophers quarterback, will benefit a great deal from all the quarterback changes going on with his current team, the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos signed superstar quarterback Peyton Manning, 35, today.
Weber, who was promoted from the practice squad late last season, has attended Manning's camps. Now he has a chance to be the backup to the future Hall of Famer.
Denver backup quarterback Brady Quinn has signed with Kansas City, and Tim Tebow is likely to be traded, so Weber, at this point, looks to be No. 2 in Denver.
Eric Decker, Weber's top target with the Gophers, is one of Denver's top receivers.
It made my day when I got a package of birthday cards from a third grade classroom in Rochester.
Brian Krenik's third graders at St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School put together the package and mailed it me at WCCO Radio.
Mr. Krenik wrote: "Many of the students did not hear of you, truly a black mark on their generation. A couple students do know their parents listen to you on Sunday morning, so that made me feel a little better. They did enjoy looking you up on the Star Tribune web site, and think it is cool that you get to write about sports for a living."
Mr. Krenik said his students enjoy writing letters, and I had a chance to read them all and really enjoyed them.
Katherine wrote: "I can't believe you were born in 1920!"
Maggie wrote: "Third grade is very fun because you get to learn multiplication and cursive. Do you remember learning that stuff?"
Joseph wrote: "If you fish, what do you fish for?"
Tommy wrote: "Were there cars in 1925?"
Most of the kids wanted to know what my favorite sport was. I always say whatever is in season. When it's football season, I like football. Basketball season, basketball. Baseball season, baseball.
Julio wrote: "Have a good life, Mr. Hartman." Believe me, I have.
Adrian Peterson told me today that he will play in Sunday's game at Atlanta.
Peterson is wearing a walking boot on his left foot because of a Grade 1 ankle sprain, but he was not limping and said he would definitely be in the lineup against the Falcons.
"I still have some pain," Peterson said, "but I can play with pain."
Peterson said it in the presence of Coach Leslie Frazier, who didn't appear to disagree. Peterson indicated he would be able to practice by Friday, when the Vikings next hit the field.
Former Gophers football coach Glen Mason is a candidate for the job at New Mexico.
Joel Maturi, Gophers athletic director, received a call from Paul Krebs, athletic director at New Mexico, for references on former Gophers football coach Glen Mason.
Krebs was getting his masters degree in athletic administration at Ohio State when Mason was an assistant coach there in the early 1980s.
Maturi said he gave Mason a high recommendation and told Krebs that Mason would be a very good coach.
Mason could not be reached for comment. However he has told friends in the past that he was eager to get back into coaching.
He did say via Twitter: "The rumors are not correct. I am honored to being mentioned at NMU however I do not have interest at this time."
Mike Locksley was fired in late September and defensive coordinator George Barlow has coached out the season. The Lobos are 1-9 and have to games remaining.
Mason, 61, was 64-57 in 10 years with the Gophers before being fired after the 2006 season. He is working with the Big Ten Network as an analyst.
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