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Sid Hartman

Columnist | Sports
Phone: 612-673-4452

Sid Hartman is a sports columnist. He also can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m.

Hartman writes three columns each week.
Recent content from Sid Hartman
Mike Zimmer celebrated the Vikings’ 42-30 victory at Detroit with Kirk Cousins in October. Both had unclear futures entering the offseason, but now

Hartman: Zimmer, Cousins right duo for Vikings' title hopes

The Vikings' decision to give contract extensions to quarterback Kirk Cousins and coach Mike Zimmer this offseason mean that this club has made its decision on who can lead it to a Super Bowl.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Hall of Fame football coach Tony Dungy told Sirius XM Radio that he sees a lot of similarities between Gophers coach P.J. Fleck…
The sun sets behind a silhouette of the Minneapolis skyline as Vikings plays took the field during a game last season.

Hartman: Coronavirus may shrink Vikings' home-field advantage

Since the team moved into U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016, they have posted a 23-9 record at home, a number matched only by the Eagles and Saints for the best home mark in the NFC.
Cleveland starting pitcher Shane Bieber delivers in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals on July 24.

Hartman: Cleveland's pitching will be tough challenge for Twins

A rivalry pitting a strong Cleveland rotation vs. potent Twins offense could become a highlight of the season.
There might not be any NBA in the Twin Cities today if it weren’t for the efforts of Glen Taylor, here watching a Wolves game with wife Becky at Tar

Hartman: Taylor's local ties saved professional basketball in Minnesota

If Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor finds a suitable buyer to meet his demands and his asking price for the club, it will end one of the most important pro sports tenures in state history.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Giving Mike Zimmer a new contract was a no-brainer for the Vikings. The coach’s new deal will keep him with the team through…
Dave St. Peter

Hartman: St. Peter says focus on playing entire season, winning title

The Twins will play in an environment very different from previous seasons, and that's not lost on anybody within our club, president Dave St. Peter said.
Vikings head trainer Eric Sugarman, during training camp in 2017.

Hartman: Twins, Vikings medical staffs staying on top of virus protocols

The Vikings' protocols and safety measures are already being studied by people around the NFL; the Twins effort is being led by a Mayo Clinic physician.
Getting Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins signed to a $66 million extension was one of Rob Brzezinski’s main offseason goals.

Hartman: Salary cap wizard Brzezinski helps Vikings keep Cousins

The Vikings opened this offseason in one of their toughest salary cap spots in recent memory, with the least cap space in the NFL. Rob Brzezinski led the way as the team made a ton of moves to get some relief.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey said the club has been pleased with the physical strength of the pitchers in camp: “I think…
Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson celebrated after hitting a home run in a scrimmage at Target Field on July 9

Hartman: This Twins lineup is best in franchise history

The Twins have had better hitters on their rosters over the years, with greats such as Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, Joe Mauer and Rod Carew. But from top to bottom, this club is hard to beat.
Gary Kubiak, left, and Dom Capers.

Hartman: Capers, Kubiak help Zimmer evaluate talent, schemes

The addition of experienced coaches give the Vikings a fresh look at how they do things on offense and defense.
Max Meyer was considered the eighth-best prep prospect in Minnesota in 2017. Then he played for the Gophers and became the No. 3 overall pick in the M

Hartman: Meyer likely to go straight from Gophers to majors

The Woodbury native has a chance to do something that very few players in the history of baseball have accomplished: Skip the minor leagues
Alexander Mattison proved to be a capable backup to Dalvin Cook in his rookie season, rushing for 462 yards and one touchdown for the Vikings.

Hartman: Vikings need to develop depth

The backups on the roster are lacking experience.
Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle hasn’t exactly waited patiently for athletes to return: “I wish everyone was back yesterday," he said.

Hartman: Coyle says university is ready for return of athletes

The list of athletic and medical experts the Gophers have to draw on is large because the University of Minnesota has such a well-respected academic roster
Gary Kubiak was doused with Gatorade four years ago when he won the NFL's ultimate prize as head coach of the Denver Broncos, who beat Carolina 24-10

Hartman: Kubiak's history gives Vikings big advantage in virtual offseason

There was no doubt when Gary Kubiak joined the Vikings last season that he was going to play a big part in the offensive game plan, no matter what his title would be.
In this April 5, 2018, file photo, a flyover of four Air Force jets comes over Target Field after the national anthem as the Mariners and the Twins li

Hartman: Twins ready to play ball, St. Peter says

"We left spring training in March with a really good baseball team, a team poised to take an additional step or two toward the pursuit of a world championship," Dave St. Peter said.
Tanner Morgan says the Gophers offense will benefit from having nine of 11 starters return from last year’s 11-2 team.

Hartman: Gophers looking for more Morgan magic this season

Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan is 15-4 as a starter, indicating his importance to the team.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS• There is no better promoter of the game of golf than Hollis Cavner, the executive director of the 3M Open, so you have to be…
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.

Hartman: Vikings can't bank on 2020 free agents for much help

It's hard to think of any season in recent memory when the Vikings brought in such a small free-agent class as they did this offseason.
Twins owner Jim Pohlad took questions from fans during Twins Fest in January.

Hartman: Twins owner Pohlad knows MLB needs to return to play soon

Twins owner Pohlad said communication with the commissioner's office has been steady with the club, but not directly between himself and Rob Manfred.
Tony Dungy’s time with the Gophers and in the NFL has led to awards received, but he’s more of a giver than a taker.

Hartman: Dungy's success story stands atop Gophers list

The former player and coach's voice is clear and forceful on matters of racism.
Garrett Bradbury prepared to snap the ball to quarterback Kirk Cousins during the first day of training for Vikings rookies last July.

Hartman: Vikings growth on offensive line key 2020 factor

Center Garrett Bradbury said that the continuity from last season should put the team at a big advantage when it ends its virtual training camp and gets back on the field in July.
Vikings cornerback Mike Hughes stopped a pass intended for Dallas wide receiver Michael Gallup

Hartman: Hughes, drafted in 2018, has most seniority among Vikings cornerbacks

That Mike Hughes is the most veteran cornerback shows that the group will have a lot of learning to do when Vikings camp opens.
Ifeadi Odenigbo recovered a fumble in December, one play in a season in which the Vikings gave up only 303 points.

Hartman: Vikings set standard high on defense despite big change

Last year the Vikings ranked second in the NFC, allowing 303 points. Still, a lot of people around the club, including Mike Zimmer, felt the team could use a fresh start on defense.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren has created the Big Ten Conference Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition for student-athletes, coaches, athletic directors, chancellors and presidents…
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck

Hartman: U football doesn't sacrifice values while recruiting top talent

The Gophers have five four-star football recruits, and they definitely stand out. But coach P.J. Fleck also looks for high character.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook.

Hartman: Vikings must find a way to pay Cook

Dalvin Cook is signed through 2020, but he'll be looking for a big payday: he's only the 39th-highest-paid running back in the NFL.
Armed policemen watched and waited along Plymouth Avenue in July 1967

Hartman: Unrest in Minneapolis echoes summer of '67

Two Vikings players, guard Milt Sunde and linebacker Ron Acks, were in the National Guard and got called up to help calm the riots in Minneapolis during the summer of 1967.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman on how the team is staying healthy during virtual meetings: “It’s just a matter of staying in communication…
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.

Hartman: Zimmer refreshed for challenge of rebuilding defense

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has faith in the talent the team has to fill the holes left by departed starters.
During this game on December 30, Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders disputed a call against the Brooklyn Nets

Hartman: Wolves might prefer to not have NBA season resume

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will hold an important call with the league Thursday to talk about returning to action. Here's why the Wolves may not want the games to resume.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck can’t wait to line up with his players like he did before their Jan. 1 Outback Bowl victory over Auburn. The NCAA announced

Hartman: Fleck will have Gophers ready whenever practice starts

He doesn't see the pandemic as unfair to his program because it is affecting other football teams the same way.
Gophers baseball coach John Anderson

Hartman: Look for Gophers baseball to quickly rebound next year

The Gophers lost out on a final season with expected MLB top pick Max Meyer, but more prospects will join them next year.
Lightly regarded out of high school, wide receiver Justin Jefferson developed into a star in three seasons at LSU.

Hartman: Thielen, Jefferson both diamonds in the rough

Adam Thielen didn't receive a single Division I offer after graduating from Detroit Lakes. Justin Jefferson was rated 308th among receiver prospects in the Class of 2017. LSU was the only program to offer him a scholarship.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders wrote on ESPN:“Fifth-round pick [Gophers and Minneapolis North product] Tyler Johnson will become Tom Brady’s…
Floyd of Rosedale is a traveling trophy between Iowa and Minnesota, a tradition that dates back to 1936.

Hartman: Gophers-Iowa clash for Floyd comes early this fall

The longtime rivals have faced each other 113 times. If the season goes as scheduled, this will be the earliest date they have ever played for the Floyd of Rosedale trophy.
Grounds crew member Reid Olson attended to the grass at Target Field on March 27. When Major League Baseball begins its season remains a mystery, alth

Hartman: Minnesota team owners will lead way as sports start to return

The Pohlad family with the Twins, the Wilf family with the Vikings, Glen Taylor with the Timberwolves and Craig Leipold with the Wild are all among the wealthiest owners in sports and some of the smartest business minds around.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • The Vikings are tied for the 10th-hardest 2020 NFL schedule based on 2019 winning percentages. Their 2020 opponents went 131-123-2 (.516) in 2019.…
The interior of an an empty Target Field, shown an hour before what would have been the home opener on April 2

Hartman: Twins' TV revenue could still be lucrative in suspended season

Losing gate revenue from fans, even if it's only for part of the season, will have a big impact. But Twins President Dave St. Peter said the club is aware of how important the revenue from television could be.
Mats Zuccarello took control of the puck for the Wild against Nashville on March 3, the Wild’s most recent home game before the NHL season was put o

Hartman: It's a sad state of hockey as Wild, Gophers lose fans

The crowds are down at Xcel Energy Center and 3M Arena at Mariucci, and the on-ice product has not been as good in recent seasons at either location.
Gophers coach PJ Fleck

Hartman: U's 2021 football recruiting among nation's best

Despite the NCAA shutdown of in-person recruiting, Fleck and his staff have secured 14 commitments for the Class of 2021.
Defensive end D.J. Wonnum joins the Vikings as a fourth-round pick after a four-year college career at South Carolina that included three as a starter

Hartman: Vikings' draft picks will be asked to fill big holes on the roster

Everson Griffen and Stefon Diggs both became stars despite being picked in the middle rounds. They're both gone, and new finds will have to replace them.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman pulled off another of his signature moves -- trading down to acquire more draft picks while still acquiring a wa

Hartman: Vikings GM Spielman finds talent throughout NFL draft

Vikings GM often trades down to acquire more picks without losing out on desired players, as he did again in Thursday's first round.
Cornerback Trae Waynes (26) is one of several secondary members the Vikings will be looking to replace in this week's NFL draft

Hartman: Vikings need immediate help on defense from this draft

They got it last season on offense; this year, several players in the secondary and on the defensive line must be replaced.
On April 2, when Target Field should have been buzzing for the home opener against Oakland, the stands were empty. Because of the coronavirus, that ga

Hartman: Twins President St. Peter says team is 'prepared to be nimble'

Dave St. Peter said safety is the No. 1 priority but the Twins are prepared to do anything they can to play games this season.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • The Gophers’ 2021 football recruiting class is ranked No. 7 in the country, according to 247 Sports. The group that P.J. Fleck has put…
The Gophers had the third-largest increase in football attendance in the nation from 2018 to 2019, going from an average of 37,915 fans per game to 46

Hartman: U, local pro teams already battled ticket issues before pandemic

With some ticket sales lacking, pro and college teams have lost even more traction because of the sports shutdown.
Vikings defensive back Anthony Harris

Hartman: Vikings face big call on safety Harris' future

Anthony Harris was retained by the Vikings via the franchise tag, but GM Rick Spielman might be considering trade offers.
Adam Zimmer has been with the Vikings as an assistant coach since his dad, Mike, became coach in 2014. With George Edwards’ departure as defensive c

Hartman: Adam Zimmer ready to make mark as Vikings co-defensive coordinator

Adam Zimmer, 36, said that growing up he was always around football, and even though his dad would try to not talk football when he was with his family, it was all Adam wanted to talk about.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck on incoming freshman running back Ky Thomas, whose 7,703 rushing yards rank No. 2 all-time in…
Wolves rookie Kevin Garnett shoots after practice with JR Rider at the Target Center in 1995.

Hartman: Garnett was risk worth taking for Wolves in '95 draft

There were questions about the transition Kevin Garnett was about to take from high school to the pros. But the Wolves drafted one of the most responsible players in NBA history.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman.

Hartman: Vikings GM Spielman faces unique draft challenges this year

As important as any moves Rick Spielman might make this year during the NFL draft is how coordinated the front office staff will be in making group decisions.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Odds Shark has released its Big Ten football championship odds for 2020 and the Gophers rank seventh at 25-1. Ahead of them are…
The Twins dugout watched action on the field during an AL Division Series loss to the Yankees.

Hartman: 'Lose and Love It' crowd strong as ever in Minnesota sports

Sid Hartman says that one of his mentors told him that as much as fans liked to win, they found just as much entertainment complaining about their favorite teams.
Pete Rozelle, professional football commissioner, works at blackboard at hotel in New York City on March 14, 1967 as he conducts the combined National

Hartman: NFL draft without fans is nothing new

For Vikings fans of a certain age, it might seem impossible that the draft will still be televised and take place without a big audience cheering or booing each pick.
Wolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, addressing the Target Center crowd on Jan. 27 following the death of Kobe Bryant, revealed Wednesday that his mother,

Hartman: Wolves look for hope in midst of another difficult season

The team was undergoing a major makeover without much success either on the floor or at the gate when the NBA season shut down.
Coach P.J. Fleck gathered the Gophers football team for practice in early March, but coronavirus concerns have postponed spring practices for the fore

Hartman: Shutdown providing Fleck more problems than others face

When it comes to Gophers football, coach P.J. Fleck's squad is being put at a real disadvantage for two reasons by the total shutdown of college sports.
Minnesota Vikings' Jaleel Johnson (94) sacked Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers in 2019.

Hartman: Young players need to rise up for Vikings

It's hard to believe the team has lost so many quality players in such a short time. And it also shows how quickly the team is going to have to rebuild.
Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle, left, heads a department that had a graduation rate of 94% last fall, the highest in school history. P.J. Fleck,

Hartman: U shines in athletics, academics

Beyond on-field success, the Gophers have high graduation rates and grade-point averages.
Timberwolves' head coach Ryan Saunders signals to his team alongside ' D'Angelo Russell during a game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Hartman: Wolves owner Taylor hopeful NBA can return to action soon

The reason some remain hopeful for the NBA's return is leagues in Asia have restarted in the past week after taking two months off.
Signing Kirk Cousins to a two-year extension was important for the Vikings. With added cap space, signing more and better offensive linemen to protect

Hartman: Latest roster moves keeping Vikings flexible

Re-signing Kirk Cousins was the right decision by the Vikings, and other transactions are freeing up valuable salary cap space for moves that need to be made.

Sid's Jottings

SID’s JOTTINGS   • Bud Grant’s biggest fans and cheerleaders, the 40 members of his immediate family including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, will…
Sid interviewed Twins infielder John Castino in 1982, when the Twins lost 102 games. Through the Twins’ highs and lows over 59 seasons, Sid has seen

Hartman: Giving thanks at 100 for a long career

There have been a lot of twists and turns in my newspaper career, but this has to be one of the unique moments in all of my years of covering sports.

Sid Hartman is the World's Longest-Serving Newspaper Columnist — officially!

The hardest-working man in Minnesota sports, Sid Hartman, celebrates his 100th birthday today. He can also celebrate history. The Guinness World Records is officially naming…
September 8, 1945: The President throws a strike - President Truman, attending his first major league baseball game since he became chief executive

Hartman: The sports world has stopped before, but it always returns

Sports have many times taken a back seat to much larger concerns in the country, but they have also been a key part of holding Minnesota and the country together during difficult times.
Two longtime friends -- Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman and former Vikings coach Bud Grant -- posed for a photo at the Vikings practice facility in

Hartman: The joy of sports keeps me working

"One of the most important parts of my career as a sportswriter and columnist has been the relationships I have built with sources," writes Sid Hartman, who turns 100 on Sunday.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins

Hartman: Can the Vikings afford to re-sign Cousins?

Kirk Cousins' numbers rank with the NFL's best. He has one year left with the Vikings but it's a deal that has a salary cap hit that leaves little room for other players.
Byron Buxton has not played in a spring training game yet after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

Hartman: Health of Buxton, Kepler are key to Twins success

Byron Buxton and Max Kepler are both working their way back from offseason injuries, and while Kepler has played in three games in spring, Buxton has yet to make an appearance.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • One reason the Vikings could have a chance to re-sign Everson Griffen at a discount is there are a number of great…
Gophers coach PJ Fleck celebrated with his players during a team photo following their Outback Bowl victory against Auburn.

Hartman: Fleck's search for next wave of U football starters begins

The Gophers graduated 15 players from an 11-2 team, including nine on defense and several of the team's top stars on offense.
Kevin Warren, who was named commissioner of the Big Ten last June, is touring all schools in the conference. He said his former job as Vikings chief o

Hartman: New Big Ten chief Warren upbeat and ready to tackle issues

In a one-on-one interview, former Vikings COO Kevin Warren said the job of Big Ten commissioner is everything he expected, but there are changes he wants to make a priority as he starts his new career.
Coach Richard Pitino knows the Gophers are clinging to slim NCAA hopes.

Hartman: Title drought gets longer but Gophers cling to NCAA hopes

Technically, the Gophers' last Big Ten title was from the 1981-1982 season, when Jim Dutcher led a squad that featured center Randy Breuer and guard Trent Tucker
Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson ran to first during a spring training game this week.

Hartman: Offseason moves should keep Twins atop AL Central ran a list this week of the top clubs in baseball and had the Twins ranked fifth overall and the best in the improved AL Central.
Vikings fan Zane Ziebell waved a sword outside U.S. Bank Stadium before a game in October.

Hartman: Wilfs invest more than $1 billion into state of Minnesota

The Wilf family, which owns the Vikings, continues to believe it is doing the right thing by putting its own money into the community, both at U.S. Bank Stadium and in Eagan at the TCO Performance Center.