Posts Tagged ‘media’

Arrested Development is back, returning over the weekend from a seven-year hiatus. And from what I’ve seen in the first three episodes of the fourth season, it’s still excellently silly and biting. Even throw-away lines by extras are fantastic – like the peddler at the Cinco Quatro festival, shouting to potential customers: “Fill the bay with chorizo.”

Maybe you had to be there. (My only complaint: Seth Rogen as a young George Bluth. It doesn’t work, period, let alone in the company of Kristen Wiig doing a killer Lucille Bluth.)

Meanwhile, there’s a new wrinkle that’s captured my attention: The circumstance of the release. Might it be a game-changer for the future of television? (more…)


Serenity now

Posted: May 7, 2013 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
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Bill Walton must be spinning in his grave at the level of earnest overreaction that seems to be sweeping the nation. And by the nation I mean the people who yammer about sports in the media, social or otherwise. (more…)

I almost went to bed on time Thursday. Almost. But then I checked my Twitter timeline, a move that’s become as much a part of the nighttime routine as brushing teeth. (more…)

The NBA Playoffs start Saturday. You didn’t think Fury (or TV) would forget, did you?

They discuss the most interesting opening-round pairings and pick a couple of teams that might be capable of more than one upset.

Plus, they riff on the handling and mishandling of Boston Marathon bombing coverage. Here’s the link.


I had planned to write about the weather today. The stupid weather.

Oh, the Boston Marathon was on my mind from the start – one of my best and oldest friends participated, and I followed his path and times online. Had been planning that out for a couple days. He’d won North Dakota state championships in high school, qualified for NAIA nationals in college and earning a spot in this event – and performing well – seemed on par with that, one of the highlights of his running career. And, let’s be honest, running at that level for that long is a lifestyle as much as a sport. Couldn’t be happier for him.

To think that a few hours later I’d be sending him a poorly written text message to ask if he was safe? That was never part of the plan.


Welcome to the latest edition of the Fury Files, currently ranked 25th in Q&A RPI. If you have time to spare or want to abuse your printer privileges at work, check out previous editions with Tom Linnemann, John Millea, David Brauer, Joe Posnanski, Pat Coleman, Kevin Van Valkenburg, Michael Kruse, Chris Jones, Chris Ballard, Roland Lazenby and Will Leitch.

This week’s guest is Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse, a Minnesota newspaper legend and one of the best columnists in the country. I grew up reading Reusse’s stories and hearing classic stories about Reusse — my parents are of similar age and are also from Fulda, the small town in southwest Minnesota made somewhat famous in countless Reusse columns over the years.

Reusse got his start in newspapers just after high school, when he landed a job as a copy boy at the old Minneapolis Morning Tribune. His boss was a middle-aged guy who’d go on to become a rival, peer, foe, foil, subject, colleague and friend — Sid Hartman. That gig started a love affair with papers that continues 50 years later, even if the business looks nothing like it once did. After stints at the newspapers in Duluth and St. Cloud, Reusse came back to the Twin Cities in 1968, spending 20 years in St. Paul before switching to the Star Tribune in 1988.

Reusse worked as a beat writer in his early years — along with a brief tenure as a morning editor that, he wrote, was a “failure, since it put me in charge of my drinking buddies” — before becoming a columnist in 1979. Reusse’s a versatile writer, but there’s no doubt he excels at those pieces that are the most-read for any big-city newspaper columnist and attract the most praise or vitriol from readers and fans, depending on whether they agree with his view: the rip job. He wasn’t impressed with Gophers football coach Tim Brewster’s intro. He pleaded with the NCAA selection committee to keep the Gophers hoops team out of the tourney. He said goodbye to the Minnesota North Stars, those losers. Today’s Twins are a lot like the miserable Twins of the ’90s. Then there are the Turkeys. Since 1978, Reusse’s picked a Turkey of the Year and the committee’s decisions always spark controversy.

But a one-note columnist would become a boring read, and what sets Reusse apart from so many is his love of the stories that are rarely in the spotlight, along with his ability to spin yarns on everything from John Gagliardi’s retirement to the legendary Edgerton basketball team from 1960 to the Fulda-Slayton Goat to an old Star Tribune copy editor named Bud Armstrong. Read his piece on Walsh Field in Gaylord and his column on Danube legend Bob Bruggers. Or his column on the Vikings’ Weeping Blondes.

These days, Reusse spends more time on the radio than he does at the paper, as he’s a daily co-host on 1500 ESPN with Phil Mackey. Reusse’s an early sports-radio pioneer — he started in 1980 with longtime friend and fellow columnist Joe Soucheray, a combo that’s still on the air today. Anyone who’s heard Reusse tell a tale on the radio — which is often punctuated with his distinctive cackle — knows his on-air style is as unique as his written one.

Check out Reusse’s column archive and blog and follow him on Twitter. And for a great story about Reusse, be sure to read this 2009 piece from David Shama.

Here, Reusse talks about his writing style, Turkeys, Sid, controversial columns, town team baseball, life in newspapers and radio, saying goodbye to Minnesota legends, what motivates him today, and much more. Thanks a lot for your time, Patrick.


A newspaper world without agate

Posted: February 25, 2013 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
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Considering how many big things newspapers have cut back on the past decade — paper width, publication dates…people — plans to eliminate the tiniest type in the paper doesn’t seem like a major thing. But you’d be surprised how sentimental people can be about sports agate — and how much readers miss it when it’s gone.

LA Observed reported that the LA Times will eliminate about eight pages a week from the sports section, and that agate will be a major part of those cuts. NBA boxscores will be reduced, as will boxes for baseball, hockey and college hoops. A memo promises “other significant agate cuts.”


The latest edition of the Fury Files – the most popular Q and A in the history of the InterTubes – debuted Monday. This week’s guest: newspaperman Michael Kruse. It was a fascinating read, one that forced me to dwell on my craft even in a week crammed with the fervor of national signing day and a bunch of basketball games.

A couple of reflections. Oh, and you non-writers might want to turn away; we’re about to talk shop. Unless you’d like a glimpse inside our warped, ink-stained minds …

* Kruse’s writing process is somewhere between mind-blowing and just plain admirable. It’s unfortunate there aren’t more jobs like that out there – the enterprise beat. Sure, I do research, I write rough outlines and I think about my job when I’m not on the clock (which isn’t all that often). But as someone with a daily beat and in an era that’s all about immediacy, I don’t have time to fully digest anything let alone everything. And I dislike that.
Actually, I had a mini-opportunity to try the enterprise thing over the summer, filing a series of stories on sports psychology. It was daunting, despite being chopped into newspaper-sized bites. But it went reasonably well. (more…)

Many people hate looking at old photographs of themselves. Maybe it’s a picture from elementary school, a prom portrait or a family photograph filled with five frozen faces and an infinite number of unspoken resentments.

No one wants to see ridiculous mullets or bizarre crew cuts. If it’s not the hair it’s the clothes – red and black parachute pants, gray moon boots and short-shorts on the basketball court that leave no doubt you played for the boys’ team. And if it’s not the hair or the clothes or the acne or the braces or the stupid grin it’s the company. Who did I hug in that picture? And why? Which prison is that person incarcerated in again?

I actually don’t mind pictures.

But I do have some negative reactions when looking back at my early stories as a sports journalist, when I possessed big dreams and a love of tortured metaphors and similes. I had a lot of questions back then, but also thought I owned most of the answers.


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.