Commenter Stu enthralls you every week by conjuring up sports figures from Minnesota's past. This week, he takes you back to a simpler time in TV, before anyone would care about someone named Snooki and whether she was with child. Stu?
Names: Craig T. Nelson, Jerry Van Dyke, Shelley Fabares, & Bill Fagerbakke
Claim to Fame, Minnesota: these actors were the core members of the cast of the ABC sitcom Coach, which was about the titular coach, Hayden Fox (Nelson), and the misadventures and hi-jinks surrounding his fictional Minnesota State Screaming Eagles college football program. Shelley Fabares (pronounced “shell-ee”) was Nelson’s girlfriend-then-wife, while Van Dyke and Fagerbakke portrayed Fox’s assistants. If I recall the characters correctly, they both suffered from undiagnosed post-concussion syndrome.
Claims to Fame, Everywhere Else: Nelson has played the Dad/patriarch role in countless films and television shows, and taught us the importance of not building housing projects atop old graveyards without moving the bodies first; Van Dyke is the younger brother of Dick Van Dyke and was in My Mother the Car, which was a real television show; Fabares was the Selena Gomez/Hilary Duff of her day, parlaying a role on The Donna Reed Show into a recording career; and Fagerbakke is the voice of Patrick Star on Spongebob Squarepants.
Where They Are Now: Nelson is the patriarch on NBC’s Parenthood, which has Lorelai Gilmore on it and is therefore OK by me; Van Dyke still makes occasional TV appearances and lives in Malvern, Arkansas (The Brick Capital of the World) with his wife, Shirley; Fabares is still kicking around Hollywood and is married to B.J. from M*A*S*H; and Fagerbakke is the recently deceased father of Marshall Eriksen on How I Met Your Mother.
Glorious Randomness: Per Wiki, Apparently, the year the Screaming Eagles won the national championship, the footage of the ‘national championship game’ (Minnesota State vs. West Texas) was taken from the Gophers beating Wisconsin in 1993, the game that kept Wisconsin from going undefeated and winning the national championship that year.
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