Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friday Night Lights dimmed

MINNEAPOLS -- I'm sitting here at Schwalbach's house, watching the snow fall ... already? I suppose we used to have lots of snow on Thanksgiving most years growing up, but not lately. Had a nice meal last night at Pepito's with Toren, Schwib, Polzin, Toohey, Eric Werner, and Will, Olson, and Molle showed up later to add to the meaningful discussion.

Shockingly, few wanted to talk about the Wisconsin high school football championship games, except for someone who asked me if I'd even gone to the Iola-Scandinavia game on Thursday. I did, with Mr. Austin and Greg Loescher, but not much to report there. Some shaky early offense and special teams play put the Thunderbirds in a 14-0 hole halfway through the first quarter, and it was a steep uphill climb the rest of the way. Had I-S played a perfect or near-perfect game, Stratford could have been beaten, but there's a reason they've won five gold balls in a row - depth, execution, strategy, experience.

Great season for Iola, though, lots of fun to watch and a terrific galvanizing event for the community.

Sign of the game, held by a Stratford fan: "Iola has the car show, but we have the titles." Clever.

-Another easy win for the basketball team last night. Didn't see it, but looking at the box score, saw the Marcus Landry and Jason Bohannon led the way with 17 apiece - very encouraging. As ajs posted Friday, there's been talk that J-Bo had knee surgery over the offseason and that's set him back. I haven't seen evidence of a lingering injury or recovery, more of a deal where he's not shooting well ... although that could be a byproduct of not having his legs just right.

Never really worried about Landry, no reason for him to force his offense in these cupcake games, but nice to see that he still has it nonetheless. If we can find ways for him - and Jon Leuer - to play the 3, especially on defense, that makes our lineup awfully imposing from an shot-blocking perspective.

-Interesting to be up here in Gopher country and gauge fans' attitudes toward Tim Brewster. I suppose you have to be optimistic, but he is about to be responsible for the worst season in school history. His saving grace is allegedly his recruiting prowess, but given the number of de-commits he's had lately, that prowess is far from a given.

One member of our party wants to see if Brewster and Bret Bielema shake hands before the game, given Bret's words about how "Minnesota has been good to us" lately and Brewster's reaction to that. Hey Tim, it's not a false statement, and Minnesota has been good to Ohio State, Notre Dame, USC, et al in recent years. Do something about it.

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