Archive for November, 2012


Pretty hectic week for everyone at TVFury. I had to get up at 7:30 one morning while Terry welcomed twins into the world. Pretty similar, right? On to the links:

* Puckheads, especially Minnesota puckheads, will enjoy Katie Baker’s trip to the state. The Grantland writer finds that hockey is still alive in some places.

* Boxing legend — he was a legend, right? I don’t think that’s hyperbole — Hector Camacho was killed in Puerto Rico and this week his wake descended into a bit of chaos when girlfriends (plural) clashed with sisters.

* Maybe this is inside baseball but an interesting discussion. Michael Wilbon said that there’s not as much good sports writing in the world today. On sportsjournalists.com, many disagree (I think he’s wrong too).

* I like watching Paul Pierce flail on the basketball court. It keeps happening.

* No, you’re not getting out of here without a Gagliardi link. Here’s one of his old players — and by that I mean the guy is now 80! — talking about his former coach. The former player himself became something of a legend.

* Belly putters are going away and it’s proving controversial. Sports Illustrated’s Gary Van Sickle is not a fan of the ruling.

* A nice piece on what it’s like playing against Ricky Rubio.

* The New York Times had a piece last week (yes, last week – I’ve been busy; sue me) about teenage boys becoming more interested in getting yoked and willing to take risks to get there. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dabble in supplements during college, and that my desire to continue on that path dwindled after meeting the future Mrs. V.

* And, finally, the podcast of the week: Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend. She’s probably not, of course. But that’s the name and the gist of the show hosted by Rosen, best known as the news girl on the Adam Carolla Show. This pod is, well, different than most in my rotation for several reasons – primarily that it has a tendency to feel like a therapy session. But I think that’s what I like about it – it’s not just jokes or sports or commentary or opinion.

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Rutgers and Maryland to the Big Ten? Tulane and East Carolina to the Big East? Grand Canyon … what’s Grand Canyon?

Anyway, it’s a mess. TV is turned off by the whole thing – it’s making him less likely to watch a random college games. That’s the subject of this week’s podcast.

Here’s the link.

Superfans

Posted: November 28, 2012 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
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On Tuesday afternoon my parents made the two-hour drive from Janesville to Fulda to watch my 7th-grade niece’s basketball game. After that they made the short drive to Worthington to watch my uncle coach his women’s college basketball team. They saw my niece lose, my uncle win and then made the two-hour drive back home.

The thing is, they would have made that same drive even if they’d only gone to watch my niece play. Four hours of driving for 30 minutes of basketball, more turnovers than points.

There are people in Minnesota with more kids and grandkids who have seen more high school and college sports than my mom and dad and those people have also driven more miles. But when it comes to the percentage of games they’ve seen for family members, Pat and Cees Fury might be tops in the state.

It’s something of an illness.

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NICU: Part II

Posted: November 27, 2012 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
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My hands are about to be hella clean. And, yes, I’ve been waiting a long time – a hella long time – to drop a hella bomb.

Why? Because I’ve got offspring in the local NICU again. It was surreal to say the least, walking through those secured doors again Sunday night, putting on my purple parent lanyard, washing up to my elbows at the scrub-in sink, being bombarded by beeping monitors. (more…)


Remember those late afternoon games in Texas Stadium, when Madden and Summerall were calling the game, Danny White was blowing it and the artificial turf was stained with water marks around the 20-yard line? Or how about those old AFC West battles on NBC, when the Raiders played the Chargers on a dirt-covered field, left over from a Padres team that still had a month left in its season?

Sports stadiums and arenas don’t just present different atmospheres for those in attendance. Each arena adds something different to the viewing experience. There’s an old saying — which pops up whenever ABC/ESPN courts Dennis Miller, Tony Kornheiser or a retired coach looking for a resthome until they return to the sideline — that people don’t watch games for the announcers. And I’m not saying I’ll tune in to watch two bad teams play simply because I like how the stadium looks on my antique television. But there are some stadiums that stand out. I like how they look on television, whether it’s the turf, stands or lighting.

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Happy Day after Thanksgiving. Hopefully everyone had an enjoyable with family squabbles kept to a minimum. As this intro was typed, the Patriots just scored another touchdown. On to some links:

* What, you think we’re done with St. John’s links? Here’s Patrick Reusse’s column, the day after John Gagliardi’s retirement. In the St. Paul paper, longtime columnist Bob Sansevere, who talks to Gagliardi a few times a year, spoke to him on the day he left. And Sid Hartman talked to Mike Grant about the possibility of replacing Gagliardi.

* Grantland’s Jonathan Abrams with a really interesting piece on Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph.

* Back to Reusse. Here’s his Turkey of the Year column.

* Here’s a Smithsonian magazine piece on a man who has 3,300 patents to his name. Quite the inventor.

* Remember when we did a podcast about the whole Jack-Taylor-scores-138-points situation? Well, Deadspin did an excellent job of unearthing some uncomfortable truths about the matter. Turns out we weren’t all that far off in wondering if Taylor ever crossed halfcourt.

* This week’s podcast of the week: Mohr Stories, as in former Saturday Night Live cast member Jay Mohr. On the surface, this is your run of the mill comedian-driven interview show. And I’m fine with that. It’s entertaining enough, and the fact that it’s easy to forget about a guy like Mohr indicates how deep the talent pool is in comedy. But what got me to tune in for the first time was a couple of guest spots Mohr did on other people’s podcasts. Turns out he’s married to actress Nikki Cox, has given up general debauchery and is devoted to an almost Doug Christie level – not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just … unexpected.

* So, um, Les Miles really knows how to take the monotony out of the opening comment bit at a postgame press conference.

Family matters

Posted: November 22, 2012 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
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Dear diary,

Team Vandrovec is on the verge of making a couple of roster moves, bringing two babies – one boy and one girl – into the fold sometime in the next three weeks. It’s going to get weird. Actually, it already has.

My wife, labeled high risk because of issues with a previous set of twins (I’ll spare you the internal details), is being required to stay in the hospital until she delivers via c-section sometime on or before Dec. 10. That means I’m running the show, although it feels more like stumbling than running. I’m swamped at work due to an extended football-basketball overlap, our oldest daughter has time off from school, it’s a holiday weekend, the little one is out of sorts because mom isn’t around, my narcolepsy is acting up. It’s all about survival. (more…)


Another day, another NCAA Division III sports story stealing headlines.

This time, guard Jack Taylor of infamously high-scoring Grinnell College broke the NCAA record for single-game scoring at 138 points on Tuesday night against Faith Baptist Bible. Yes, 138 points. And he didn’t play the entire game, although he did hoist 108 times.

Good grief. Needless to say, TV and Fury felt compelled to hash this out in podcast form.

Here’s the link.


John Gagliardi lost the first game he ever coached at St. John’s University and the last one. If not for the 60 years of coaching in between those two defeats, the guy might have been run out of town.

The legendary football coach announced his retirement on Monday afternoon and said goodbye in a quip-filled press conference on the St. John’s campus in central Minnesota. Undaunted by that first defeat as St. John’s coach, he retires as the winningest coach in college football history, with a career record of 489-138-11. It’s not quite right to say it’s a record that will never be broken. Mount Union’s Larry Kehres — head of the all-powerful Purple Raiders machine — has 328 victories and counting and is the one guy who could threaten the mark, if he wants to stick around long enough to track it down.

It’s uncertain if the record will fall in 10-15 years or last forever. But one thing is for sure — there will never be another coach like John Gagliardi.

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Frank Rajkowski of the St. Cloud Times reported this morning that St. John’s coach John Gagliardi is retiring after 64 seasons as a head coach and 489 victories.

I’ll have a post tomorrow and there will also be some great stories written about Gagliardi that we’ll link to later (especially can’t wait for Patrick Reusse to weigh in). But for now, just want to put some links to past stories on Gagliardi, some I’ve done.

From 2010, my annual St. John’s/John Gagliardi propaganda post.

From 2011, a piece I wrote after the Johnnies lost to the Tommies 63-7.

My 2011 Q&A with former Johnnie great Tom Linnemann. Lots of great Gagliardi insight here. 

D3football.com’s early piece on the retirement, with some quotes from Gagliardi and SJU folks.

D3football.com writer Keith McMillan wrote about Collegeville and Gagliardi in 2007. 

A 2003 piece from Jim Caple for ESPN.com about Gagliardi.

Here’s the Star Tribune’s early story on his retirement.

Reusse was at what turned out to be Gagliardi’s final game.

A 2003 piece by the great Ira Berkow in the New York Times.

A 2012 interview with Gagliardi for League of Fans.

Austin Murphy’s 1992 piece for Sports Illustrated on Gagliardi.

And how about a classic Gagliardi speech: