Posts Tagged ‘John Gagliardi’

November? Yeesh. This week’s links:

* Today’s John Gagliardi’s 87th birthday. Frank Rajkowski of the St. Cloud Times caught up with the retired legend. And KSTP has a chat with the former St. John’s coach.

* Patrick Reusse went to the Phoenix Suns game. At least, that’s where he thought he was headed. A classic bit of Reusse storytelling.

* Interesting old profile of Osama bin Laden.

* Grantland takes a look at where the Oscar race stands.

* Remembering a time when Tim McCarver was really, really good.

* Are Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn losing viewers? If they are, could it be because there’s not enough screaming?

* The sexy sexually active men of erectile dysfunction ads.

* The Milwaukee Bucks have not started their season at home in 29 years. That’s the way they want it.

* A person who had never seen a horror movie reviews Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 

* The Indy Star dives deep into the day that beloved Butler basketball coach Brad Stevens decided to leave for the Boston Celtics.

* Packers tight end Jermichael Finley penned a piece about his experience suffering a spinal injury in a recent game.

* Allen Iverson officially retired this week with an emotional press conference. The Answer said he has no regrets.

I wasn’t able to watch or listen to the St. John’s-St. Thomas game on Saturday so I spent much of my afternoon refreshing Twitter on my phone, searching for updates from St. Cloud Times writer Frank Rajkowski and a handful of fans at the game. It’s not an enjoyable way to follow a football game; the only thing worse might be attending an NFL game and being surrounded by drunks, felons and drunk felons.

And so I learned on Twitter that the Johnnies upset the No. 2 team in the Division III rankings, holding on for a 20-18 victory when St. Thomas missed a field goal on the final play of the game. It was the Johnnies’ first victory over the Tommies since 2009 and followed two straight routs at the hands of their rivals. A month ago, when I wrote about Gary Fasching taking over for John Gagliardi, I included a line about simply wanting St. John’s to beat St. Thomas and nothing else this season would really matter. The Johnnies did, and suddenly every game from here on out does matter.


Most everything looks the same on the St. John’s football practice field. There are still nearly 200 players and they’ll still run around in shorts and shoulder pads. The defensive coordinator who’s been on the staff for nearly 40 years remains. The Collegeville setting is as picturesque as ever, even with the lights.

But for the first time since the 1952 season, John Gagliardi won’t lead those practices. Gagliardi retired at the end of the 2012 season, after 60 years on the St. John’s sideline and 64 as a college coach. And as Frank Rajkowski wrote in the St. Cloud Times, if you go back to the time he spent coaching his high school team, Gagliardi has been on the sidelines since he was 16.


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.

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.


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.’s early piece on the retirement, with some quotes from Gagliardi and SJU folks. writer Keith McMillan wrote about Collegeville and Gagliardi in 2007. 

A 2003 piece from Jim Caple for 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:

On Wednesday afternoon New York City got hit with its first snowfall of the winter. I drove home with a co-worker who lives in our neighborhood. Before getting in the car, the 37-year-old told me she hadn’t driven in snow since college. I told her she had to get us home safely, for our Friday links on TVFury must live on. She did.

* Former Fury Files guest Chris Jones wrote an intriguing piece about the New York City marathon and why Bloomberg should not have canceled it.

* ESPN’s Jeff MacGregor writes about his experience in the wake of Sandy, and how sports – its myths and traditions – played a role as he lived in the dark.

* There’s a chance Saturday could be the final game for St. John’s coach John Gagliardi. St. Paul Pioneer Press writer Bob Sansevere – who has interviewed Gagliardi countless times – chats with the legend once again.

* I admit I’m a Denzel Washington fanboy. And I just saw Flight and loved it. Here are a couple of Denzel pieces from Grantland. This one is an essay. And here’s a really fun interview with the actor.

* Cool story on how Truman Capote went about profiling Marlon Brando for a famous New Yorker story in 1957.

* From the journalists-on-journalists files, it turns out that genius political predictor Nate Silver got his start in sports. Conversely, the profession tends to attracts psychopaths, according to the Business Insider. And here I just thought we were free-food mooches.

* The podcast of the week: The Basketball Jones. Why? Because I will never – never – stop loving the sound of hoops being broken down by men with Canadian accents. To be clear, they know their stuff and are often entertaining. But there’s no question that I listen longer than I otherwise might just on the off chance that something delightfully Canadian will happen, that one of the regular panel members will drop an “aboot” or dig way too deep into the Toronto Raptors. It’s the good kind of strange, the exact opposite of listening to Americans announce soccer.

Welcome to the latest edition of the world-famous Fury Files, where we chat with writers, athletes, former newspaper reporters, current media critics and others who respond positively to my requests for their time. The entire collection will be available in book form just in time for Christmas (not really). Check out previous versions with Tom Linnemann, John Millea, David Brauer and Joe Posnanski.

This week’s guest is quite unique: He doesn’t sleep. At least that’s what I suspect, and it’s really the only explanation for how he does what he does.

The Guru. (Courtesy

Pat Coleman is the Executive Editor of, but that title doesn’t do him justice. He’s a passionate champion of Division III athletics, an outstanding writer who shines some light on a corner of the sports world usually ignored by major media outlets, a go-to analyst for playoff questions or hard-news items about schools that are dropping programs, and the leader of a team that now includes,, and, most recently,

Coleman and the crew also produce the annual Kickoff, an online publication that previews every D3 team in the country – all 239 of them. It analyzes the conferences, ranks the teams and profiles the players.

During the fall, the D3Sports sites get more than a million visits a month. Many of the people who come to the site also interact on the sites’ message boards. Remarkably – and thanks to the efforts of Coleman (who has a mere 28,000-plus posts on the boards) and the others who work for the sites – the message boards are unlike most Internet forums. The well-moderated boards remain free of mindless insults, racist comments and cruelty. People gather to talk Division III sports, beer and tailgating, and in doing so often end up meeting people who become great friends, even if they’re from hated rivals. A certain poster with a name similar to mine spends some time there chatting about St. John’s and its inevitable victory in the 2012 Stagg Bowl.

Coleman started on this odyssey when he took over the site that became in 1997 and created in 1999. Fans of Division III sports have plenty of memories of being unable to ever find scores on their favorite teams, forced to scour the Sunday newspaper’s agate section results. Division III is filled with small schools. But Coleman’s work means the teams and players receive big-time coverage.

And he basically does all this as a volunteer  – while working media jobs in the real world. Again: Does he sleep? Coleman grew up in Minnesota but graduated from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. in 1994. He has worked at USA Today, USA Today Baseball Weekly, USA Today Sports Weekly, and Verizon Headlines. After spending years on the East Coast, Coleman is back in Minnesota, where he lives with his wife, Cate, and three kids.

With the D3 football pairings being announced this weekend, it’s a perfect time to chat with Coleman. Here, Pat talks about the Mount Union-Whitewater rivalry, how he ended up at Catholic, how to improve the D3 playoffs, the 1936 Orange Bowl, the best game he’s ever seen and a lot more. Thanks a lot for your time, Pat.


We started TVFury in July, with a dream and $10 million in seed money. Since then we’ve written about New York City streetball, mushing, Book It, Aw, verr, the sexy homepage, The New Yorker Festival, New York City hurricanes and earthquakes, Dumb and Dumber, Wikipedia and more. We’ve had guest posts on Irish sports, Big Ten mascots, amateur baseball and more. We’ve had podcasts, some where you couldn’t hear either of us, some where you could hear both of us talking about the NBA, several with creative types and entrepreneuers.

Last week we celebrated our 100th post. The party was held in Manhattan, over Terry’s strong objections. He lobbied to hold the event at Fuddruckers in Sioux Falls and while I thought that would be a fine venue, I wasn’t sure if we could get the celebrities to attend. So we went with New York City. It took place in the Boom Boom Room. All the pretty people were there, and a surprising number of ugly people; our doormen failed. Still, we toasted with Yuengling and dined on goodies shipped over by Sioux Falls’ Queen City Bakery.

Well, that’s what we would have done. If we had $10 million. And if Terry could ever leave South Dakota.

Instead, we’ll commemorate by highlighting some of the ways people have found our little site in the past three months. These are some of the real searches folks use that have led them to TVFury. Some of them are questions, and we’ll answer those. Some searches are statements, and we’ll reply to those. We’ll also provide links to the relevant posts. These aren’t all of the searches, just some of the more popular  – or bizarre – ways people have stumbled upon our site. Searches below in bold.


A rare sight: Joe Posnanski...not writing.

It’s time for another edition of The Fury Files, the semi-regular Q&A where I ask questions that end up being longer than the answers. Fortunately, those handling the A part of the Q&A are always entertaining and insightful so people don’t notice me droning on.

If you want to stick around and browse, please check out previous editions with Tom Linnemann, John Millea and David Brauer.

This week’s guest is Joe Posnanski, a Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated, a job title that retains a magical quality for anyone who’s ever written a sentence about a game or an athlete.

When people draw up lists of the best sportswriters working today, Posnanski’s name inevitably ends up on it, often near the top. And it’s been like that for a long time. Before taking a dream job with Sports Illustrated in 2009, Posnanski worked as a sports columnist for the Kansas City Star for 13 years. He also worked at the Cincinnati Post, the Augusta Chronicle and the Charlotte Observer. The Associated Press Sports Editors twice named him the top sports columnist in the country and he’s won numerous other awards for feature and project writing. He’s got the kind of resume that would need two pages.

Posnanski is also a prolific and popular blogger. All told, on any given week, he probably types up a word count that equals that week’s New York Times.

And while Posnanski – a Cleveland native – broke in with newspapers and made his name there and has now expanded his national reputation with his feature work for Sports Illustrated, he’s also a successful author. He wrote The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America and The Machine, the story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds. There’s also a collection of his columns called The Good Stuff, which you should buy if you love great writing and big cover pictures of sports writers. Plus, he runs occasional podcasts – Poscasts – with everyone from Al Michaels to Hollywood’s Michael Schur, though he is likely working on 500-word blog posts while talking to guests.

Joe Posnanski will always be linked to the late, legendary Buck O'Neil.

He’s now working on another major project. This fall, Posnanski is in Pennsylvania, researching and writing a book on Penn State legend Joe Paterno. Paterno’s been the subject of numerous books – that happens when a guy’s at an institution for 60 years – but those who read Posnanski know he’ll offer a unique take on a well-known subject. It’s what he does.

Countless people write about baseball but Posnanski is among the best. Countless people have written about LeBron James’ departure from Cleveland, but Posnanski’s takes were among the best. Countless people wrote sports columns but Posnanski was one of the best – and, according to the APSE, the best. Several authors have written about Joe Paterno. Posnanski’s book? It’ll probably be the best.

Here, Posnanski talks about the differences between writing a column and a book, some classic Sports Illustrated stories, Joe Paterno, the managerial struggles of Pop from The Natural, an alternative history of Cleveland sports, and more.

Thanks a lot for your time, Joe.