Once again, Eric Strand embarked on the 52.4-mile journey from the finish line to the starting line and back to the finish line of Grandma’s Marathon. The annual video is usually released in June, but hey, it’s not a race, it’s a marathon … an ultra-marathon.
I was on the UMD football team for two years. I had a locker and got equipment that wasn’t as nice as what important players got. I received most of the on-and-off-campus benefits that came with being in the football fold. I made it onto the lower tier of the second-string roster for a few practices by the end of my sophomore season in 1990. I was a legit but inconsequential member of the team. I never really played. I haven’t actually played football since November 1989, when my senior season as a Rochester John Marshall Rocket ended with a loss to the Winona Winhawks.
Some fellow seniors cried on the sideline of Winona’s stadium as our high-school football identities ticked away. I felt bad about not being able to muster that emotion. I couldn’t have said it this way then, but now I know I just didn’t much care. I mean . . . I suppose I would have preferred to win. It’s just that losing didn’t really bother me and I wasn’t bereft about that season ending.
No part of football for me had to do with feeling driven to win or averse to losing. Somewhere in my dudebro teenage brain I already knew that many aspects of football are stupid and creepy and “winning” and “losing” are illusory stories we tell ourselves to create meaning we can understand in an existence we can’t.
Duluth’s Jay Sonnenburg found these photos among his grandfather’s collection. They depict scenes from 95 years ago today at Athletic Park in West Duluth, where Duluth Central and Denfeld did battle on the gridiron.
Duluth native C.J. Ham took a handoff from backup quarterback Case Keenum and surged into the end zone for a 2-yard score against the Pittsburgh Steelers today. It was Ham’s first regular season touchdown in the National Football League, on his first carry. The Vikings lost the game 26-9.
Thirty years ago today the World Wrestling Federation — now known as World Wrestling Entertainment — held its second-ever card at the Duluth Arena. Above, Dino Bravo threatens Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, saying “I’ll break both your legs in Duluth!” Below, Ken Patera promises “lumps and bumps” for Hercules Hernandez and Bobby Heenan.
Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Clare Means was in Duluth recently for a performance at Wade Stadium. While here she recorded a “Duluth Song” and released this video, set to images of the Western Duluth Little League Intermediate Division District Tournament Team, which defeated Lake Park 15-5 on July 11 to claim the 2017 Minnesota state championship.
WDSE-TV‘s recent documentary about hockey culture in northern Minnesota — from the mini-mites learning to skate for the first time, to accomplished high school and college players striving to take their game to the highest level — is now available to view online … right here.
Fill me in; educate me. Local FM sports station, 92.1 WWAX, a KFAN affiliate known as “The Fan,” recently sold. Before and after the sale the station’s Duluth airspace remains stale with on-air talent imaging bites that are very old. After sale, IDs are played saying the station is owned by Red Rock Radio Corporation … but it was sold. Finally, too many dead, off-air minutes or hours. What gives? I wrote to both owners when they were in charge, no responses. I like radio, I’m a dinosaur in that respect. Even dinosaurs don’t like listening to “old-time radio” imaging bites over and over and over again.
Duluth’s Damage Boardshop is one of 16 shops in the United States competing in the TransWorld Skateboarding Shop Showdown video contest on skateboarding.com. Over the past three weeks, TWS has posted videos by four shops each week. Damage’s video is part of round four.
The videos are bracketed against each other until the final four videos are determined through a blend of audience voting and analysis by TWS staff and pros from the sponsoring Mountain Dew skate team. To vote go to … skateboarding.transworld.net/shop-showdown.
The World Wrestling Federation brought its first card to Duluth 30 years ago — May 14, 1987. The main event featured Billy Jack Haynes losing a chain match to Hercules Hernandez. The syndicated TV program Superstars of Wrestling featured two promos for the Duluth Arena card tucked into the commercial breaks of local broadcasts. One featured Haynes (above) and another starred Adrian Adonis (below).