Archive for March, 2012

It’s been an exemplary week at TVFury in terms of traffic. If you’re reading this, you’re a part of that. So, thanks. Let’s keep the momentum going. Woo!

Sorry. Too many sugar-free Red Bulls again. Furlough did nothing to slow my caffeine intake.

And, now, The Tapes, our week in (other people’s) words:

* Proving that the power conferences don’t have a monopoly on scandals, the University of Montana canned its successful athletic director and football coach Thursday. The story is still playing itself out, but many are connecting the firings with a rash of sexual assault allegations against football players.
A couple outside thoughts on the matter: First, the Football Championship Subdivision programs in that (somewhat renegade) state have had questionable cultures for years. Lots of success and no shortage of legal issues. Something like this was bound to happen. Second, the more time I spend around FCS programs, the more uncertain I am about their cleanliness. Too many incidents involving too many high-level teams in the last few years to give anybody the benefit of the doubt.

* Disgraced. That’s one way to describe outgoing L.A. Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. Another? The most successful owner in baseball history. That’s what this piece asserts. His rate of return will come out to 26-percent per year. I realize this is just how business works sometimes, but, holy Moses, can’t he be arrested for grand larceny or something? It’s unconscionable to think that anybody – especially an already rich and poorly thought-of man – could turn this kind of profit for essentially being terrible at his job. The guy can’t even pick a decent hot dog, according to Adam Carolla. (Related note: TV is going to see Carolla do some standup Saturday in Lincoln, Neb. He’ll have a review next week. Yeah, he will.)

* Fury here. My chairmanship of the Tiger Woods Will Break Jack Nicklaus’ Record For Majors Fan Club had its best day in, um, four years last Sunday, when Hank Haney’s muse finally won a tournament. Who knows how the Masters will turn out – although it’s going to be incredibly fun to watch, even with Chris Berman broadcasting from Augusta – but in preparation, Michael Bamberger had a great piece on Tiger and Rory McIlroy in this week’s Sports Illustrated.

* The Star Tribune’s Amelia Rayno looks back at the Gophers after their close defeat in the NIT championship game. The verdict: There was improvement at the end of the year and things aren’t as disastrous as they looked Thursday night. Still, I’m glad I went to Tuesday’s semifinal game at Madison Square Garden and not the championship.


I have been to the Big Dance and back. But I’m not sure how to feel about it. Or rather, I’m not sure how others in the sports journalism biz expect me to feel about it.

So I’m just going to put my cards on the table.

My primary beat in the sports department at Argus Leader Media (we’re no longer just a newspaper) is covering South Dakota State, a gig I’ve held since 2006. This year, for the first time and not long removed from dire straits (the first SDSU game I covered was a 55-point loss, the start of a 6-24 season), the Jackrabbits qualified for the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament. And, yes, the full name is necessary in that South Dakota was the last state in the U.S. and A. to get Division I sports. For the longest time, “national tournament” meant something very different around here. (more…)

We’re back … in audio form. Did you miss us?

On this week’s podcast, TV and Fury discuss the latest quarterback moves – and strategies – in the NFL. Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez, Andrew Luck, RG3. Who’s where and what’s right?

Also, stick around for bonus Dancing with the Stars coverage. (We’re talking to you, Fury’s dad.)

Here’s the link.

Possessed? Or the devil?

By Greg Downs
Guest blogger 

Most people misunderstand Kentuckians’ particular feelings for Rick Pitino. But then people misunderstand most things, especially the important ones. If you don’t get a couple of old chestnuts—love and greed—you will never really get the way Kentuckians feel about Rick Pitino.

The particular hate that Kentuckians feel for Rick Pitino is not a hate at all but one of the less happy variants of love, a variant so vital to the word’s meaning that to excise it would be to leave love in the corner, weeping into its sentimental sleeve. But love is anxious; love is unkind. Love envies, love boasts, love records wrongs on the heart’s stone tablets. Love delights in evil. And, mostly, love—like King James’s charity—“suffereth long.” What does not last is not love. What lasts is, in the end, a kind of love, even if we would prefer not to sully our sweet hearts by thinking so.


“Today Facebook, Twitter and text messaging allow teenagers and 20-somethings to connect without wheels. High gas prices and environmental concerns don’t help matters. “They think of a car as a giant bummer,” said Mr. Martin. “Think about your dashboard. It’s filled with nothing but bad news.”

– New York Times, March 22, 2012

Kids these days. They don’t drive. They don’t really care about driving or cars or having wheels to impress a girl. That’s what this New York Times story reports, along with carmakers’ efforts to make four wheels sound cool again. To that end, the story reports, consultants are working to bring the youth back to their cars and “the strategy is to infuse General Motors with the same insights that made MTV reality shows like “Jersey Shore” and “Teen Mom” breakout hits.”


Terry’s back in Sioux Falls, I’m back in NYC, things are getting back to normal in the TVFury bureaus. So during this period of stability, let us present this week’s links.

* Longtime magazine writer Pat Jordan profiled Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma for Deadspin. It’s an entertaining read about one of the most successful coaches in sports history, but a guy who seems to lose fans as fast as he wins titles.

* Jim Souhan spent a week with Ricky Rubio for a Star Tribune feature. Unfortunately, it was a week that ended with Rubio tearing his ACL. But the Timberwolves have been just fine in Rubio’s absence, right? Moving on.

* profiled Stephon Marbury, who wanted the SI cover before agreeing to speak. I could read Marbury stories all day.

* Obviously lots of stories on the Saints bounty scandal, although as far as I know none of them have addressed whether the Vikings will be retroactively awarded the NFC’s Super Bowl berth from 2010, setting up a big game against the Colts, who will have to take Peyton Manning back. But this story from Slate’s Josh Levin focuses on Sean Payton’s responsibilities in the fiasco.

* Our boy, Brandon Sneed, if we can call him that, made his debut in GQ this week with a piece about a rabid North Carolina fan. Sure, you could mock the guy. But that’s too easy. What’s more interesting is how sincere he is about everything, professing that seeking love never really crossed his mind because it would forever alter his fanhood. Some people are just wired differently.

* The flag is flying at half-mast this week at TVFury in honor of Chaleo Yoovidhya. The Red Bull co-founder passed away this week of natural causes. Again, natural causes and not a caffeine overdose. The Washington Post chronicles his background. Among the fascinating facts: The energy drink has (sort of) been around since 1962, initially flopped and now sells 4.4 billion cans per year.

If it seems like Uncle T-Bone has been out of sorts lately, it’s because, well, he has been. In fact, he’s not even sure he can keep up this third-person charade. So enough of that.

Basically, my job took me to two (almost) simultaneous segments of the NCAA Division I basketball tournaments – one in Albuquerque, N.M., and the other in West Lafayette, Ind. One men, one women. One Mountain Time, one Eastern. One 1,300 miles and less than 48 hours away from the other.

Some of the highlights from my last real road trip of the school year: (more…)

When you spend 36 hours in the air and about half that many driving to airports and waiting around at the gate, you find plenty of time to read. During my just-completed trip to South Africa, I rolled through numerous books I had packed and have recently finished a few more I picked up during our time in Cape Town. TVFury is committed to promoting literacy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise and, honestly, some of our competitors are actually anti-literacy.

To that end, we bring you a little book time. Follow along, visit your library or buy the books yourselves, because I will be expecting detailed book reports on the following selections.


They say you never forget your first … encounter with a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. And I’m not going to dispute that.

I was in Manhattan, wandering around Times Square with the South Dakota State women’s basketball team, doing research for a road-trip piece. Some of us wound up in the ESPN Zone (may it rest in piece) and on the same set of stairs as Method Man. I pointed him out, someone chased him down. Pictures were taken. History was made.

And now I’ve got two encounters with the Wu. (more…)

Minnesota is the state of hockey, at least according to the marketing folks. High school hockey, in particular, has always reigned in Minnesota. But neither of those two sentences are completely accurate. Hockey rules in the Twin Cities and it rules in northern Minnesota. But in southern Minnesota, where I grew up? It’s basketball country.

This week is the 100th state tournament in Minnesota boys basketball. For a long time – when it was just a fabled one-class tournament – there was no bigger event in the state. Crowds packed Williams Arena. By the time I played for Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton, it had long been a two-class system, and since 1997 it’s been four classes. The old-timers thought two classes were ridiculous and the next generation thought the same of four. The tourneys are bigger now, but the crowds are smaller.