The most-read stories on startribune.com aren't about the games as much as they are about the people who play them.
A list of the stories that were the most popular on the web site speaks tio that fact, whether it was the death of a local sporting figure or a controversy surrounding a big event.
Here are five popular stories from 2015 that are worth another look. Well, actually there are four stories and a photo gallery of a local journalism legend who celebrated 70 years in the sports reporting business.
THE DEATH OF J.P. PARISE
J.P. Parise, a standout for the old Minnesota North Stars and a longtime coach and administrator in the state of hockey, died in January after a yearlong battle with lung cancer. He was 73. Parise was a two-time NHL All-Star for the North Stars and a key player for Team Canada in the “Summit Series” against the Soviet Union in 1972. He was the father of Wild winger Zach Parise, an NHL All-Star himself and captain of the 2014 U.S. Olympic team.
DANCE TEAM TOURNAMENT ENDS IN PROTESTS, DISQUALIFICATIONS
The Minnesota State High School League investigated why other teams boycotted the award ceremony after the Faribault Emeralds won the state high school high-kick dance tournament. The Emeralds stood alone on the floor of Target Center in February to accept their first-place trophy and medals. When they went to join the other five teams in the tournament, to share hugs and high-fives, the other team members inched away until the Faribault athletes again stood alone. "I felt really heartbroken," Faribault senior captain Abbie Meehl said. "That kind of hurt me just knowing they're not with us."
SID HARTMAN THROUGH THE YEARS
Legendary sports columnist Sid Hartman celebrated his 95th birthday on March 15. Hartman wrote his first column for the Star Tribune on Sept. 11, 1945, and continues to write and work from the Star Tribune's downtown office several days a week.
JARVIS JOHNSON: LIFE, DEATH AND BASKETBALL
Long before visions of a four-year state title sweep at DeLaSalle, and long before he became a crowning piece of the Gophers’ 2015 recruiting class, Jarvis Johnson lay facedown on the court. The basketball prodigy broke his stride in practice, clutched his chest and hit the floor. They rolled him over on his side, thinking he was having a seizure. Minutes later, a paramedic arrived and felt for Johnson’s pulse. Nothing. He looked up from the motionless player and saw a stunned knot of teammates and coaches. “He’s dead.”
FLIP SAUNDERS: MINNESOTA'S POINT GUARD
The nickname came from his beloved mother, Kay, who heard customers in a hair salon talking about a "flip" and figured that it was a nickname to fit her energetic, sports-loving son. In October, after the death of Minnesota Timberwolves coach and president Flip Saunders, Patrick Reusse wrote about the relationship between Minnesota basketball fans and Saunders.