Jon Marthaler bakes up a batch of delicious links just for you. Other times, you can find him here and here.


Happy Super Bowl Saturday! When I was a kid, today was the day for "Oh look, the pregame show is on!" jokes. I suspect that if you check out the comics page of the newspaper, one or two of today's strips may make this reference. These jokes are similar to any and all jokes made about there being too many college bowl games, in that the very same jokes have been made for decades, and yet still people won't quit. The truth is that any joke about "too much football" is clearly ludicrous, because the Pro Bowl - by all accounts, the single worst football game televised at any time during the year, including the Pop Warner championships - drew the most viewers it's had in eleven years, and got better ratings than the average rating for the World Series.

With that in mind, then, on with the links!

*We start with an update on the ever-more unbelievable saga of St. Paul native Dean Johnson, who ran the local Thunder into deep debt and eventually out of business. He popped up a few months ago, riding in to "save" FC Liege in Belgium. Brian Quarstad at Inside Minnesota Soccer has the story of what happened next, which sounds like something from "60 Minutes." It's a fascinating read. In a train-wrecky sort of way.

*Parker Hageman has some theories on why Scott Baker got hit so hard last year - as well as the graphs and video captures to back them up. He's also got some reasons for optimism, as well. Great stuff from Hageman.

*Every time the Vikes Geek writes about the Vikings' stadium campain, I sit up and take notice. This edition's key quote: "The Vikings' claim [about their financial woes], while true, tells not even one-tenth of the revenue story for the team." Just a reminder: the Vikings make plenty of money, but not as much as they maybe could, and that is why they want the public to spend an enormous amount on a stadium.

*And finally: Nick Nelson points out that, if Joe Nathan hits his goals of pitching six or seven more years, he could well be on the road to a very, very exclusive club.

That'll do it for me. Enjoy the warm weather today; if you're like me, your brain has now shifted into "spring is right around the corner! WHOOOO!" mode. Which makes it even worse when the temperature drops back below zero, like it will this week. February: a month for depression.

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TFD: The Friday apology list and an idea for a new feature -- Brushes With Greatness

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Monday (The final NFL indignity) edition: Wha' Happened?