Recent content from Michael Rand
Report: Bally Sports North lost more than half its subscribers in 10 years
A Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal report, citing research from S&P Global Market Intelligence, shows a subscriber base that has gone from 2.9 million in 2013 to just 1.2 million now.
Rodgers maybe didn't tell us the whole story. Are you shocked?
Soon-to-be-former Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said two weeks ago he loves direct communication, but one prominent Green Bay executive says Rodgers was unavailable for it.
Times change: Jackson latest example of quarterback volatility
Five years ago, Kirk Cousins was an anomaly — a high quality quarterback changing teams. But big moves among top QBs have become more and more common.
With 8 games left, what is Timberwolves' 'magic number' for postseason?
The Wolves are 37-37 and could easily finish anywhere from in the top 6 in the West to out of the postseason entirely.
Are Vikings fans really more negative than all other NFL fans?
Labels are never 100% accurate and methodology for answering such questions is often sketchy. But regular-season success followed by postseason disappointment adds up to a debate topic.
Will the Vikings hook a quarterback in the first round of the NFL draft?
Mock drafts in each of the last two days have the Vikings taking Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker No. 23 overall. Here's why Hooker is a fascinating — and polarizing — potential pick.
Gophers hoping Plitzuweit is the 'anti-Frese' and sticks around
It was 21 years ago that the Gophers were left in the lurch by Brenda Frese (then Oldfield). Now they're on the other end with new coach Dawn Plitzuweit, who left a high-profile job after just one season.
Gophers men's hockey success an example of how local sports work
There are tiers of interest among various Minnesota sports teams, but the ebbs and flows are most noticeable among those that start out with smaller fan bases.
'C'mon, it will be good!' Mic'd up goalie Fleury was pleading to fight.
In case you thought you had seen it all during the Wild's eventful 8-5 victory over St. Louis, new audio and video on Thursday brought the near battle-of-the-goalies to a higher level.
By the numbers: A look inside the Wild's unlikely 14-game point streak
The Wild has earned at least one point in all 14 games it has played in the last month, going 11-0-3 during a run that is spectacular as it is unlikely.
Diamond Sports bankruptcy: 3 things for Minnesota sports fans to know
Even if Tuesday's bankruptcy filing wasn't a surprise, it underscores just how much change is on the horizon for local sports TV broadcasts.
Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers and a very different NFC North by 2024?
Tuesday's developments were a further indicator that the NFC North could be undergoing a fairly significant transformation at quarterback.
March Madness, but not here: How U's struggles create a disconnect
At 12:40 p.m. Monday, about 18 hours after the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournament brackets were revealed, RandBall got around to taking a look at them.
Reflections on the journey of a lifetime. Bud Grant at 95
Bud Grant turned 95 years old last year and visited with Daily Delivery podcast host Michael Rand. You can listen to it here.
In the end, numbers just didn't add up for Thielen
The Vikings cut receiver Adam Thielen on Friday, ending a 10-year run and an amazing success story. The data suggests it was the right thing to do.
As Jets get closer to trading for Aaron Rodgers, consider these five things
The Jets met with Rodgers earlier this week, and there is reportedly growing optimism that a trade with the Packers will happen. And there's something that will sound familiar about this to Vikings fans.
Vikings vs. Cousins: Team should finally have leverage in contract talks
In a twist on their relationship, the determination about Kirk Cousins' future with the Vikings might evolve into a more level playing field in which both sides have leverage in negotiations.
St. Thomas basketball ascending quickly — and at a good time
Yes, it's natural to make comparisons between St. Thomas and the other Division I men's basketball program in Minnesota. Not all of them are valid — the Summit League isn't the Big Ten — but others have merit.
Being in West is best for playoff hopes of suddenly hot Wild, Wolves
If the Wild and Timberwolves sustain their current momentum into the postseason, they have a chance at deep playoff runs based on the lack of elite teams in the Western Conferences of the NHL and NBA.
Lowest lows, highest highs: Whalen, Johnson show emotional toll of coaching
The last 24 hours have served as the ultimate reminder of the emotional ride — and toll — of modern coaching. All you need to confirm that is how Thursday played out for Lindsay Whalen and Ben Johnson.
How will Wolves finish the year? Trying to predict the unpredictable
An up and down year is exactly square at 32-32, with a full range of four outcomes still very much in play.
Wild's lack of scoring made it easy for Guerin to pull off trades
Their recent results and clear offensive deficiencies gave general manager Bill Guerin a clear directive, which he followed through on Tuesday. Next question: Are there more deals to come?
Evans adds evidence: Fixing struggling program harder than ever
Even if you believe the freedom for athletes to make money and change their situations is good, this is undeniable: program-building in modern college sports is harder than ever.
A rich hockey life leads Nanne into Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame
Lou Nanne is our Mr. Hockey in Minnesota. A Gopher, a North Star and a lifelong supporter and builder of the game.
The pitch clock: Obnoxious and beautiful, it just might save baseball
Anyone complaining about MLB's pitch clock is afraid of change, plain and simple. While it won't fix everything that ails baseball, it is a desperately needed addition.
Big Ten women's basketball at Target Center: Great event, but those ticket fees . . .
Click all the way through to buy tickets to the Big Ten women's basketball tournament starting Wednesday at Target Center and you might want a congressional investigation.
Frustrating mysteries for Wolves, Loons: When will their stars return?
It's late February, and the big questions for the Timberwolves and Minnesota United are the same as they were in early January. The teams probably know more than they're letting on.
Cousins and the Vikings: Is there a contract extension that works?
The Vikings and their quarterback have different priorities when it comes to what would work best. Whether they can find middle ground is still the team's biggest question of the offseason.
If playoffs started now, would the Wild have a goalie controversy?
A fascinating situation is brewing for the Wild. Has the play of Filip Gustavsson be far enough superior to the work of veteran Marc-Andre Fleury that the young goaltender would be the choice?
New Cardinals head coach says Zimmer 'one of my biggest mentors'
Jonathan Gannon, the defensive coordinator with the Eagles before being hired for the head job with Arizona, was an original member of Mike Zimmer's defensive staff with the Vikings
Ex-U coach Jerry Kill pays off bowl game promise with massive tattoo
Kill motivated his underdog New Mexico State team by telling them he would get a tattoo if they won their bowl game. They did, and on Sunday he followed through with his end of the deal.
'Just play, man.' Edwards a fan hero for rejecting 'load management'
Anthony Edwards generated headlines during All-Star weekend with his stance on wanting to play every game while other high-end NBA players get nights off that frustrate ticket-buying fans.
'Aggressive' but 'not reckless': Let this define the Brian Flores era
Blitzing is far from a guarantee of success when it comes to modern NFL defense. Rather, the gold standard is getting pressure with four rushers — and dialing up the right heat or coverages when it matters most.
LeBron James heaps praise on former Wolves turned Lakers teammates
Three former Timberwolves were in the Lakers' starting lineup Wednesday for a victory, and LeBron made his first public comments about the new additions.
RandBall: Vikings mock draft. Is a receiver in their future at pick No. 23?
The Vikings have only four picks in the draft as of now. So that puts on extra pressure to get them right. Does that mean adding a pass catcher with their pick in the first round?
2020 vision: Minnesota's sports landscape was altered by two draft choices
It's hard to imagine Minnesota sports right now without Anthony Edwards or Justin Jefferson, so let's take a moment to reflect on the crucial decisions that brought them here.
Vikings as a Super Bowl favorite for next season? They're not even close
When it comes to the Vikings, even after a 13-4 season, they are heavy underdogs to win it all next season. The oddsmakers have spoken — and their numbers tell us a lot.
Five reasons why the Wild can't score at even strength this year
Thursday's loss to Vegas was the continuation of a season-long trend that has seen the Wild's goal-scoring script flipped from the past. What exactly are the reasons?
Super Bowl QB lesson for Vikings: Good enough isn't good enough
Two things can be true at the same time: Kirk Cousins is a good quarterback who can help the Vikings win, and Cousins is a QB very unlikely to help the Vikings reach the Super Bowl.
'Darkness retreat?' Once again Rodgers keeps himself in spotlight
Aside from being one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers also seems to fit this description: He has a need for people to see him as interesting.
Past, present, future: Five things about Vikings hiring Flores
In firing defensive coordinator Ed Donatell and hiring Brian Flores after one season, the Vikings and Kevin O'Connell have set a course for the future. Now they need to hope they can avoid the past.
Wolves' next six months? Three comments by Connolly offer context
The Wolves find themselves in a fascinating position: Ascending in the standings, but still very much in the murky middle — of the playoff chase and some key personnel issues
It's fun to pretend to be a general manager — but not to be a real one
From the NBA trade machine to a tool that lets you make NFL cuts and additions to reshape rosters, it's a great time to be an armchair GM. But the real moves are much harder.
5 NFL playoff takeaways: Referees, QBs and context for Kirk Cousins
Among other things gleaned from the conference title games, it was hard to watch them and conclude that the Vikings have a Super Bowl ceiling with Cousins as their quarterback.
Five ways bankruptcy could impact Bally Sports North, fans and teams
Bloomberg reported this week that Diamond Sports, which manages all the Bally Sports regional sports networks, is headed for bankruptcy. What happens next will be interesting.
Five ways O'Connell was snubbed from Coach of the Year finalists
Where's the respect for a first-year coach who improved his team by five wins? Even if the Vikings' Kevin O'Connell isn't the NFL's top coach, you can definitely make arguments that he should be among the top five.
Will the Vikings even be favored to defend NFC North title in 2023?
If you answer "yes," then you probably want them to approach the offseason differently than if you answer "no." But however you arrive at either answer is complicated.
'Bomba Squad' days end for Twins as they load up on pitching, defense
Of the 10 players who had at least 13 home runs for the record-breaking 2019 Twins, only two are left on the roster — and it could be down to one soon.
The next O'Connell? Could it be the son of a failed Vikings head coach?
Les Steckel was head coach of the Vikings for one disastrous season in the 1980s. Now his son Luke — with an excellent reputation — is working his way up in the NFL coaching ranks.
'Stand tall!' Tim Brewster back to old motivational tactics. 'We coming!'
A video released this week of Brewster in his new role as an assistant to Deion Sanders at Colorado is reminiscent of his time with the Gophers, complete with colorful expressions and high volume.
Will the Vikings assess their roster honestly after a 13-4 season?
If the goal in 2022 was a competitive rebuild, the evidence of the season was tilted heavily toward "competitive" and not "rebuild." Will that influence Vikings management as it plans for the future?
Gustavsson's spectacular save big, consistent play even bigger
The Wild goalie preserved Tuesday's win over Washington with an improbable skate blade stop, but consistent performance has been an ever bigger part of Filip Gustavsson's success.
'I'm here not to mess it up': Recalling Connelly's first words with Wolves
In late May, Tim Connelly was introduced as the Wolves' new President of Basketball Operations. Some of the things he said that day are worth revisiting now.
Vikings mailbag: How did the Giants shut down Justin Jefferson?
The Vikings star receiver was largely shut down during the critical later moments of Sunday's playoff loss.
Intimate, intense: 'All Access' TV earns strong reactions from Gophers fans
FS1 gave viewers a different look during the Gophers' 70-67 upset of Ohio State, with both head coaches mic'd up and shown throughout the commercial-free broadcast.
What are others predicting for Vikings? (Hint: It's not pretty)
Try finding anyone picking the Vikings to win more than one playoff game. It's much easier finding national outlets projecting a Giants upset Sunday.
Vikings mailbag: Revisiting RandBall's awful season prediction
An Access Vikings podcast listener wants us to re-listen to our season predictions. One of us already knows that it won't be pretty.
When shopping at Dior store (or for Correa), check the fine details
The well-known quote from Twins shortstop Carlos Correa takes on a different life after the circuitous nature of his free agency.
Was Rodgers' final pass for the Packers an interception?
Future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his team are in for an interesting offseason.
Should Twins fans get their hopes up again about Carlos Correa?
Reports suggesting the Twins have re-emerged as a possibility to land Correa are intriguing, but they also must be considered in a larger context.
In praise of the Wild's top combo: Guerin and Evason
The Wild have navigated major transitions in the last few years without sacrificing success. General Manager Bill Guerein and coach Dean Evason should get a lot of credit.
It's never been easier to beat the Bears, but do the Vikings want that?
The Vikings will get to face QB Nathan Peterman and a Bears team with more incentive to lose than win on Sunday. But is going for the No. 2 seed really in their best interests?
Annual tradition: Offensive line problems a threat to Vikings' success
What looked like an improving group has been beset by injuries. Now it seems like the Vikings' offensive line could be its undoing once again.
Vikings attempting the improbable: Ruining this amazing season
A year filled with unexpected joy and unbelievable clutch wins is starting to become overshadowed by dismal performances down the stretch.
Lineups and effort tonight will tell us all we need to know about Wolves
Players declined to get into details about what needs to change in the midst of a six-game losing streak. That's OK because we will know everything based on what happens Monday against the Nuggets.
Vikings in the playoffs: What are the dream (and nightmare) scenarios?
If the Vikings are going to make a deep postseason run, they will probably need some of the same fortune they've enjoyed during the regular season.
Landmark week for access to Bally Sports North and NFL
FuboTV announced a new carriage agreement with Bally Sports parent company Sinclair, while the NFL announced its Sunday Ticket package is going to YouTube.
Paul Allen: 'God kind of wired me to be tailor-made for this'
The KFAN personality, Vikings play-by-play voice and Canterbury announcer has built a unique brand across multiple platforms. He talked about how it all fits together on Wednesday's Daily Delivery podcast.
Carlos Correa's stunning switch to Mets adds to Twins' pain — and relief
The free agent changed alliances from the Giants to the Mets overnight, a sign that the Twins were no better than third in the sweepstakes to get him.
Vikings in midst of rare season: Extremely fun, no strings attached
No matter how this season ends, there have already been enough memories to shape the narrative for years to come.
Gallo sets up Twins for ultimate feast or famine season in 2023
Slugger Joey Gallo strikes out a lot, walks a lot and hits a lot of balls hard when he's at his best. When he's at his worst, he does a lot less of that last one.
Are the Twins setting up for a return to struggles, stumbles of 2012?
A decade ago, the Twins signed pitcher Kevin Correia. This week, the Twins missed out on shortstop Carlos Correa. What could those two things tell us about the past and the future?
Report: Beverley has a 'desire to return' to Timberwolves
The nugget in a recent Yahoo sports report is at least an intriguing bit of information for the struggling Wolves, who could perhaps use a jolt of Pat Bev energy.
Five questions for Twins, including: What's your plan now?
After missing out on shortstop Carlos Correa, it sounds as though the Twins will only be minor players in free agency. If that's the case, they have a lot of work to do to win games — and win over fans — in 2023.
As Vikings mull defensive changes, ask: What took them so long?
The Vikings defense hasn't been very good for much of the season, but it's seemingly only a crisis now because it actually cost them a game.