Flipnosis is no more.
The nickname KFAN’s Paul Allen coined for Timberwolves exec and coach Flip Saunders was the most creative ever. Saunders, who had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, died after being in a coma for nearly six weeks, sports legend Sid Hartman reported.
On Monday, PA remembered Saunders, “my first local sports friend,” with some Barry White music and a couple of great sound bites. Saunders always requested Barry White bumper music for his scheduled radio appearances with PA.
“I love you, and everything else, but you are not our personnel director,” Saunders said in one clip. Saunders was famous for calling the station’s hot line and blowing up when PA said something with which the coach disagreed. In the another clip, Saunders was bleeped as he remarked he didn’t want to hear any more crap from, I assume, know-it-all sports reporters.
PA got word of Saunders’ death while doing a play-by-play of the Vikings-Lions game in Detroit.
“Sports, no matter what is happening personally or professionally, is designated as the ultimate diversion. And that’s really what it was for me. The Vikings won. It was a joyous locker room and then we got on the airplane and we started soaring back to Minneapolis and it just really hit me, all of the intimate personal stories with Phil from Minneapolis.”
That was Saunders’ first KFAN nickname when the station wanted a framework in which to deal with the coach’s unexpected calls to the hot line, said PA.
As for the origin of Flipnosis: “When he would call the radio show ‘PA & Dubay,’ at that time, as frequently he did, the Wolves were playoff-bound basically every year, Flip was Flipnotizing the audience, and his nickname here became Flipnosis,” said PA. “As one of my bosses here, Gregg Swedberg, told me right before the show: When your nickname is Flip, you’re probably a fantastic guy. … [comedian] Flip Wilson seemed to be a super affable guy, as was Phil from Minneapolis.”
“I’m not saying Flip is overall basketball immortality,” said PA, refreshingly refraining from canonizing someone just because they are dead, “but he’s local basketball immortality.” Saunders had a “giving nature in the hyperprotective world of professional sports,” said PA. “You don’t come across people like that on a daily basis. Egos are too big. People have too much to hide and protect. Flip didn’t.”
PA will miss having the hot line lit by calls from Phil from Minneapolis.
Will NFL zap Zimmer?
NFL Fox Sports cameras captured Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer digging something out of his mouth and chucking it into the background at the end of Sunday’s game. Looked like a big wad of yellow gum on my very old TV.
“No that was chew he put in his mouth,” tweeted @JeffAbrahamson. Twitter’s @marcam65 tweeted to me, “Who cares?”
The NFL will, according to CBS Sports NFL writer Will Brinson: “Here’s some irony. Just a few hours after it was reported running back Adrian Peterson got nauseous on a plane after swallowing chewing tobacco Zimmer was spotted on the sideline popping in chew. And it’s probably going to end up meaning a fine for Zimmer.”
Peterson later denied that he swallowed chew on the plane, as a Fox announcer disclosed. No word from the Vikings on whether the NFL has tapped Zimmer’s wallet.
MSP celebrity watch
Word has it Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg created a hubbub Friday at MSP International on the way to their limo.
McCarthy was here for a Saturday appearance at Treasure Island, and it looked as if her CBS “Blue Bloods” star husband traveled with her. Via Twitter I asked McCarthy to tell Tom Selleck he’ll still look sexy if he lets more gray in the unnaturally dark mustache he wears on “Blue Bloods.” She did not respond.
Years ago I stopped McCarthy dead in her tracks on some famous steps in Italy when I called to her that I knew Neal Karlen, the Minneapolis writer who co-wrote McCarthy’s bio “Jen-X.”
C.J. can be reached at email@example.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Jason Show” and sometimes the “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.