Game 890 | January 9, 2018 | Super Bowl Host Committee Preview:
Maureen Bausch, Richard Davis, Lester Bagley
Super Bowl LII was awarded to Minnesota in 2014, long before U.S. Bank Stadium was finished. The event easily found 15,000 volunteers for 10 days worth of activities from a sound stage on the Nicollet Mall to a sold out ziplining adventure across the Mississippi River. The Philadelphia Eagles won the game, 41-32 over the New England Patriots.
Game 891 | January 19, 2018 | TwinsFest: Kyle Gibson, Zack Granite,
Trevor Hildenberger, Cory Provus
The Twins lineup for the meeting consisted of a veteran pitcher, Gibson, and two and younger players, outfielder Granite and relief pitcher Hildenberger. As a starting pitcher Gibson won 10 games in 2018 while Hildenberger pitched in a team-high 73 games. Granite was injured early and missed most of the season.
Game 892 | February 12, 2018 | Don Lucia
The 2017-18 season proved to be the 19th and final season for Lucia. He stepped down after the end of the season, finishing a career that saw him coach teams to the National Championship in both 2001-02 and 2002-03. He finished his Gopher career with a record of 457-248-73, and his career victories are number one in the history of the program.
Game 893 | March 14, 2018 | Richard Pitino
Heading into his sixth year as Gopher coach, Pitino said incoming freshman Daniel Oturu of Cretin was the best player in the state of Minnesota and will play in the NBA some day. He carefully explained the new NCAA Final Four selection criteria that gives heavy credit to victories over teams ranked in the Top 25. He said the criteria is going to have a major effect on the scheduling of tougher, pre-season opponents as 20 victories is no longer a lock to make the Final Four field.
Game 894 | April 24, 2018 | Jack Morris
A Saint Paul native, Morris was the dominant pitcher in the American League for nearly 15 years and finished his career with 254 wins. He was selected to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame in the summer after being elected in his 15th and final year of eligibility. He told Dunkers that as a 6-year-old he told his mother that he would someday pitch for the Minnesota Twins. If analytics had played a large role in baseball in 1991, he said Twins Manager Tom Kelly would have taken him out of the deciding World Series game against Atlanta.
Game 895 | May 1, 2018 | Rick Spielman
The Vikings had just taken defensive back Mike Hughes with the 30th selection in the first round. Spielman, in his seventh year as General Manager, said that head coach Mike Zimmer wanted to take an offensive lineman, but that the scouts really liked Hughes. Spielman said he was nervous when quarterbacks Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater all signed elsewhere before Kirk Cousins signed with (removed extra space that is here the Vikings. “When did you decide to go with Minnesota,” he asked Cousins. “I pretty much made up my mind when I was here for the Super Bowl,” he said. “I wish you would have told me?” Spielman said.
Game 896 | May 23, 2018 | Derek Falvey, Paul Molitor, Cory Provus
Molitor, the Hall of Fame infielder from Saint Paul, was coming off a season in which he had been named American League Manager of the Year. Top prospects Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano were injured and spent most of the season in the minor leagues. The team finished with a 78-84 record, 13 games behind division-leading Cleveland. Molitor was fired at the end of the season.
Game 897 | June 6, 2018 | University of Minnesota Athletes Village Tour
The Gophers invested some $166 million in creating an on-campus performance center to house the schools 750 student athletes. Gopher staff members led Dunkers through the facility in small groups to allow time for photos and questions.
Game 898 | June 8, 2018 | Mike Zimmer
The Vikings head coach was entering his fifth season with the Vikings. He talked about the process of identifying and signing Kirk Cousins as the quarterback to a team with star wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs as well as a healthy Dalvin Cook at running back. The team finished the season one game out of the playoffs.
Game 899 | July 31, 2018 | P. J. Fleck
With a crowd of 174 and peaking without the need of a microphone, Fleck painted an energetic picture of what he’s trying to accomplish with a program that hasn’t been to the Rose Bowl since 1962. “I’m not for everybody,” he said, “and I’m not trying to recruit you. I’m trying to recruit 17 and 18 year olds, and in order to win we need to attract better players.” The team finished 7-6 and won impressively (37-15) in Madison to return Paul Bunyan’s Axe to Minnesota. The team played Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, winning 34-10.
Game 900 | August 2, 2018 | Nancy Lopez
Easily the best female golfer in the world from the late 1970s through the late 1980s, Lopez won nine events in her first year as a pro golfer, five of them in a row. She won 48 times in her career, three of them in major events. She told Dunkers that when she was just short of her ninth birthday her father entered her in a three-day tournament in Albuquerque. “I won my flight by 110 strokes and thought to myself, ‘hum,’ this could be fun,” she recalled.
Game 901 | August 28, 2018 | Adrian Heath, Manny Lagos, Kyndra de St. Aubin
Minnesota’s expansion team in Major League Soccer was playing to large crowds in TCF Bank Stadium as construction was underway at the 21,500 Allianz Field along Interstate 94 in the Midway area of Saint Paul. Head Coach Adrian Heath and Sporting Director Manny Lagos talked about a multi-year plan to make the team competitive. Kyndra de St. Aubin, part of the team’s broadcast crew, served as moderator for the panel.
Game 902 | September 6, 2018 | Craig Leipold, Paul Fenton, Anthony LaPanta
It was the start of a new season and team owner Craig Leipold and new general manager Paul Fenton were interviewed by broadcaster Anthony LaPanta. Leipold said he had known Fenton for a long time and that he was his first choice to replace fired General Manager Chuck Fletcher.
Game 903 | September 18, 2018 | Tom Thibodeau, Alan Horton
Appearing a week before the start of training camp a lot of the discussion was around Jimmy Butler’s future with the team. Head Coach Tom Thibodeau pointed out that the team had improved by 17 victories last year and that everything would be sorted out in the near future. It didn’t work out for either Thibodeau or Butler. On November 12 Butler was traded to Philadelphia, and Thibodeau was fired less than two months later.
Game 904 | September 25, 2018 | Bob Motzko
A native of Austin, Minnesota, Motzko was named to succeed Don Lucia as Gopher hockey coach on March 17. A graduate of St. Cloud State, Motzko began his coaching career as a player-coach in 1979-80 with the Austin Mavericks. He was an assistant at Minnesota from 2002-04 and left to become the head coach at St. Cloud State in 2005. In 2017 he coached the U.S. National Junior Team and led that team to the World Championship later that year.
Game 905 | October 9, 2018 | Kate Mortenson
The games are coming to U.S. Bank Stadium on April 6 and 8. The estimated economic impact on the state is $142 million. The game will be played in the middle of the field of the stadium and the capacity will be 72,000. In response to questions, Mortenson said that the region will certainly apply for future Final Fours and other events on the local target list include the NCAA National Championship Football game and WrestleMania.
Game 906 | November 16, 2018 | Lindsay Whalen
With Minnesota Lynx Coach Cheryl Reeve in attendance, Whalen thanked Coach Reeve and the entire Lynx organization for their guidance and support. She said she was humbled by the recent naming of the Hutchinson High School gymnasium after her. She said the new Gopher facilities were extremely important in her early recruiting and that she was eager for the season to begin. Asked about the biggest recruiting disadvantages, without missing a beat, she said, “None.”
Game 907 | November 27, 2018 | Hugh McCutcheon
With his team rated number two in the nation at the time of the meeting, he talked about team-building and coaching philosophy. “Everyone has a voice. This is not a dictatorship. That style doesn’t work anymore,” he said. “But we’re very serious about what we do. There is no room for drama. I remind them that this is a volleyball team and not a theater group.” He said he is very excited about the introduction of boys’ volleyball into Minnesota High Schools and that he quickly expects it to become a major sport.
Annual Meeting | December 13, 2018 | Dave Mona and Sid Hartman
and Twin Cities Sports Community Leaders
Taking a page from their weekly WCCO Radio Sports Huddle, Sid Hartman and Dave Mona conducted a series of rapid-fire interviews with various Twin Cities sports leaders. This year’s panelists included Kevin Warren, COO, Minnesota Vikings; Cheryl Reeve, Head Coach and General Manager, Minnesota Lynx; Dave St. Peter, President, Minnesota Twins; Bill Robertson, Commissioner , WCHA; Chris Wright, CEO, Minnesota United FC; Ethan Casson, CEO, Minnesota Timberwolves; Tom Kurvers, Assistant General Manager Minnesota Wild; Ben Leber, Minnesota Vikings Radio Color Analyst; Jenny Hansen, Head Coach, University of Minnesota Women’s Gymnastics, and John Cunningham, Deputy Athletics Director, University of Minnesota.