Posts Tagged ‘Fargo’

This week on the pod, TV and Fury discuss all things college football – or at least some things college football. Namely: ESPN College Gameday going to Fargo, N.D., where the guys met.

Also, one Big Ten coach (Minnesota’s Jerry Kill) deals with health issues, while another (Nebraska’s Bo Pelini) fills up the swear jar.

Here’s the link. 


On Monday the day job presented some deadline drama, a common Monday night occurrence in the magazine world, although it was an every-night event in newspaper land.

The phrase “What will production say?” was tossed out more than once and we all imagined the curses and sighs that awaited us from that side of the publishing family, which always waits impatiently for the pages, whether at a weekly glossy or a daily tabloid. The whole thing brought back memories of the paragraph factory.

Know this about newspaper people, specifically those on the copy desk: They live in fear of production staff, sometimes known as the camera plate crew or various other titles. These people wield remarkable power, though they operate completely out of the spotlight. Sort of like copy editors in that way, which perhaps makes it strange the two parties are often involved in verbal combat that sometimes threatens to turn physical. Oh how I have feared these men.


We start off this week’s links with a piece former TVFury subject Tom Linnemann penned for the Star Tribune‘s Randball. It’s about the night Linnemann and former Laker Devean George combined for 65 points in an MIAC game between St. John’s and Augsburg – 46 of them from Devean.

* Major League Baseball ignored the steroid problem for far too long. It’s good to see the league taking action against an even uglier threat to the game – sloppy-looking media members. MLB has issued a dress code for reporters, which includes no visible undergarments. Terry’s a sharp-dressed dude. Me? Not as much. Good thing I don’t cover MLB.

* New Yorker film critic David Denby got into a bit of trouble with his review of the upcoming movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Denby loved the movie, that’s not the problem. The issue, according to enraged producer Scott Rudin, is that Denby broke an embargo, writing about the movie well before its release, despite signing a statement saying he wouldn’t. Hollywood fight!

* Here’s an uplifting tale of Nick Saban stepping over a convulsing player when he coached the Dolphins, all because he needed to show leadership to his men.

* In light of the Albert Pujols deal, a look back at when salaries were really out of control in baseball. This SI cover is from 1985. And here’s the story, which talks about Tim Raines becoming baseball’s 36th million-dollar-a-year player.

When baseball players really made big bucks.

* Another fun piece by Michael MacCambridge, where he looks back on classic sports stories for Grantland. This time, Johnette Howard’s “The Making of a Goon.”

* Although hardly a list guy in general ala John Cusak in Hi Fidelity, I’m willing to admit city-based lists do interest me. The latest: The 25 coldest cities in America. Not surprisingly, the Upper Midwest is well represented, including my current home, Sioux Falls, at No. 8, and my former home, Fargo, at No. 4.
What’s interesting, is not that it’s cold in the Dakotas, but that many of these same, seemingly nondescript cities seem to pop up on so many lists. In the last couple months alone, Sioux Falls and Fargo have been named among the 10 happiest places, the 10 unluckiest places and now the 10 coldest places. Both also show up on all sorts of business and quality of life lists.
My take on that: These two towns (I’m not even sure they’re cities) are like the basketball player who plays taller than he is. There are plenty of others in the country with similar size and services, but not many of them stand out the way that Sioux Falls and Fargo do, largely because they’re the largest (and best) in their respective cities.

There are plenty of ways to rank cities, but Men’s Health seems to have come up with a new one.

On Monday, the mag came out with its list of the luckiest – and unluckiest – places in the U.S. and A. The criteria: lottery success, holes-in-one, lightning strikes, deaths by falling objects and betting gains.

My interest is not so much at the top of the list (San Diego, go figure) as the bottom. Fargo, N.D., comes in at 91st out of 100 and Sioux Falls is 96th. Yes, the two places I’ve lived during my adult life are amongst the most cursed in the country.

What to make of this aside from wondering if this might be might fault …

For starters, let’s not take this too seriously considering how well both cities – the largest and most progressive in their respective rural states – grade out in more important studies like best places to live and best places to conduct business. Plus, it’s hardly any wonder that the Dakotas would score poorly on a test conducted by a publication that’s all about abs.

But it is an interesting talking point in that it’s not something I’ve put a lot of thought into. Has my lot in life been negatively impacted by living in Fargo and Sioux Falls? For example, might my middle daughter not have died – the only real tragedy in my life – if I lived in a luckier place? I don’t buy that, especially given the level of health care available here. But I have often wondered if I’d be a happier and/or more productive person if I lived in, say, San Luis Obispo, Calif. Then again, that’s science, not luck.

More to the criteria, I’ve never won any money gambling and I haven’t lost any either. I’ve never had a hole-in-one, despite being (at one time) a serviceable golfer. I’ve also never been struck by lightning and haven’t been killed by anything let alone a falling object. Frankly, I’m don’t even know anyone who fits into those last two categories.

Upon further inspection, weather probably factors into the results in the sense that we play less golf than San Diegans due to the lack of suitable conditions and the smaller population base. So it stands to reason we’d score less aces. Same idea with the lightning storms – we have a limited lightning season.

As for the falling objects – maybe that has to with farm accidents? Because we certainly don’t have many 20-story buildings here.

Ultimately, the validity of the study boils down to this: How do you define luck? For example, I don’t bet or gamble. Ever. Hence the lack of gains and losses. Not because I’m morally opposed to it, it’s just not my thing. I’m not much of a risk-taker period. I think there’s something very Dakotan about that. We’re hard-working, God-fearing people, for the most part. We like to think that we have a certain amount of control over our lives, that’s we’re not just pawns in the universe, man.

So maybe that’s the real takeaway from this survey – the good people of Fargo and Sioux Falls aren’t as lucky in part because they put less stock in the concept of luck.

Then again, maybe people just weren’t meant to live on these frozen plains. My opinion on the matter is apt to change come January.

Do not challenge this man to a game of golf.

As you might have noticed, we here at TVFury like us some sports. But there is decidedly less political talk … until today.

On this week’s podcast, Mike McFeely joins the fray. He has successfully pulled off a switch from sports columnist at a newspaper to talk show host on a radio station – KFGO in Fargo, N.D.

That makes him uniquely qualified to compare and contrast the worlds of sports and politics. Plus, he’s a friend and former colleague and therefore willing to do the show. Nonetheless, it turned out to be a genuinely fascinating discussion.

Here goes.