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Knights and Vikings and Twins, Oh My!

September 12, 2006 at 11:57 am

Carleton’s Fall Athletics in Full Swing

All of the Knights’ athletics are in full swing as the first week of school is upon us. Saturday night was an evening to remember for new head coach Kurt Ramler and the Carleton football squad as they dominated Minnesota-Morris 50-14. The Knights scored four first quarter touchdowns and never looked back. RJ Jackson set a new school record with six total touchdowns and also earned MIAC player of the week for his performance. This weekend the Knights host Macalester College in the home opener. Also last weekend, the Knights volleyball team split four matches at the St. Olaf tournament, pushing their record to 5-3 as they begin conference play with a tilt at Augsburg college tomorrow evening. Look for the Knights to have an easy time in defeating the Auggies.
The unusually cold, damp weather did not stop the Women’s and Men’s cross-country teams and the Women’s golf squad from having great weekends. The Women runners were victorious in the Ele Hansen Invitational and the men finished second in The Opener. Karen Campbell and Kate Meyer finished first and second respectively for the women and John Nowinski led the way for the men, coming in fourth. Women’s Golf also had a successful weekend as Kassie Wells finished in a tie for seventh at the 36-hole Concordia Invitational and the team finished seventh at the 18-hole Cobber Open, beating some Division II teams in the process.
Tomorrow afternoon, the Knights Women’s soccer team hosts Gustavus at Bell Field at 4 p.m. The women won their first match of the season last Sunday, defeating Carthage College 3-0. Also, tomorrow afternoon the Men’s soccer team travels to Saint Peter to battle last year’s NCAA Division III runner-up Gustavus Adolphus. Carleton is coming off a 1-0 loss to Carthage College, which dropped their record to 2-2 overall. The Gusties have opened their campaign at 3-0-1 and were a 1-0 winner last season against Carleton, here in Northfield. Look for the Knights to give the Gusties all they can handle as Saint Peter is a tough place to play, and also drive through at 102mph as a former Viking found out, which leads me to…

How about those Vikings!

Let me make this clear, I am not very fond of Zygi Wilf, Brad Childress, or any of the other hooligans who are attempting to right the Vikings’ ship, which has been sinking for the majority of the past 40+ years. Last night, however, for the first time in nearly two decades a Vikings team played old-fashioned football (defense!) and “bloodied some noses” in their 19-16 victory over Washington at FedEx Field. It looks as though the leadership of the Vikings’ bigwigs has, if nothing else, instilled a team first attitude, which is refreshing to see. What isn’t encouraging is the 34 rushing attempts for just 86 yards behind the highest paid and one of the top offensive lines in all of football. Hold off from buying the bubbly and don’t buy any tickets to the Super Bowl just yet, as I still believe this team is no better than a 9-7 squad simply because of this offensive offense.

NFL Turning into Touch Football
Apparently the NFL referees watched a little too much World Cup this past summer as flags were flying around like red cards in the Portugal-Netherlands match. When did football become tamer than senior citizens bingo night at the VFW? Two calls in particular were disturbing, beginning with the roughing the passer call against Erasmus James, which kept a drive alive for Washington and led to a chip-shot field goal. James pressured quarterback Mark Brunell into an incomplete pass, and then used his two hands to push Brunell down to the turf, drawing the flag. Quarterbacks get pushed harder then that when they are in line at the grocery store. The other questionable flag was thrown at hard-hitting Sean Taylor for unnecessary roughness on outstretched Vikings receiver Marcus Robinson. Taylor, whose arrest record would make most Vikings players proud, drilled Robinson on the sidelines and was flagged. Twenty years ago, if a safety named Lott or Atwater would have made that hit, I guarantee no yellow laundry would have been anywhere but the pocket of the referee. I guess that’s what you get when you were ejected from your last contest after spitting in an opposing player’s face.

Bert’s Back; Twins smelling playoffs
With their 9-4 win over Oakland last night, the Twins moved to within 1.5 games of Detroit for the AL Central lead and maintained their 1.5 game lead over the White Sox in the wild card race. It was nice to see and hear Bert Blyleven back on the air after being suspended for five total games due to his Ozzie Gullien-esque expletives uttered on a broadcast a couple weeks ago. Let’s hope he doesn’t become a hypocrite and bigot like Ozzie as well. Since June 8th, the Twins are 59-26, which is the best record in baseball. I went to two of the four games against Detroit this past weekend and came to this conclusion: The Tigers will not make the playoffs if their pitching was as bad as it was at the Dome simply because they have only two proven major league hitters (Ordonez and Rodriguez) and a bunch of guys who hit 20 homeruns and a .250 batting average and low on-base percentages. Pitching, defense and timely hitting win you pennants, which is why the Twins are such a feared team if they were to make the playoffs. Tonight, the hometown nine go for their major league leading 50th home victory. The adopted catch phrase for this year’s playoff push is “Smell the RBI’s”, but with phenom Francisco Liriano returning from the disabled list on Wednesday, the Twins could be smelling a World Series trophy at the end of October.

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