Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

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LeBron James picks Cavaliers; time for Kevin Love rumors to heat up

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 11th at 12:01pm

lebronsiThe big domino fell with a bang. LeBron James announced, in his own words and in an exclusive with SI.com, that he is returning to Cleveland after four years with the Heat.

An excerpt from the SI.com piece from LeBron, as told to Lee Jenkins:

When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

One other very interesting thing from the piece:

I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.

As noted by NFL writer Ian Kenyon, there is no mention in there of Andrew Wiggins, this year’s No. 1 overall pick. We would also note that he didn’t mention Anthony Bennett, last year’s No. 1 overall pick.

If you are a conspiracy theorist, you can use that as a sign that talks between the Cavs and the Wolves over Kevin Love are legit, because any trade has to begin, at the very least, with Wiggins coming here. It could just be an omission. Or it could be calculated. Just a little strange in the midst of a very precise message that he would not mention the last two No. 1 overall picks.

In any event, now that this big news is out, Love trade talks — to the Cavs or otherwise — can really begin to heat up.

And yes, Ricky Rubio, this means LeBron is not coming to the Wolves.

Well he is not coming to Minnesota

TFD: Vikings reportedly received $187.7 million in national revenue last season

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 10th at 5:13pm

One nice thing about the Packers is that because they sell worthless stock to 360,000-plus duped shareholders, they are a public team — the only one in the NFL — and must disclose their financial records.

This allows us to know the national revenue they pull in — which is the same for all 32 teams. Per Darren Rovell:

The Packers said they received $187.7 million in national revenue, which is mostly derived from the league’s television rights. The Packers’ total represents 3.1 percent, or 1/32nd, of the overall pie.

Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy said the national revenue rose 4.3 percent from last year due in part to new carriage agreements with the NFL Network and additional revenue from Nike, the league’s official uniform provider.

So yes, the Vikings also made $187.7 million in revenue strictly from national sources. The Packers made $136.3 in local revenue; we don’t have the Vikings’ local number, but suffice to say: this reiterates that there is massive money in the NFL.

What if Twitter existed: Bud Grant's first season coaching the Vikings in 1967

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 10th at 2:49pm

randmid_1403705018_maddogIn case you missed last week’s series debut, we had this idea: create a series of posts based on events in the past and imagine how they might have “blown up Twitter,” as the kids like to say, if Twitter had been around then.

You gave us several very good suggestions for ground to cover. The next step was coming up with a format, and we decided on this: creating a cast of fictional mostly Minnesota-based Twitter characters, with fake tweets, to cover the event.

We decided a fun one would be the 1967 Vikings, who went 3-8-3 — yes three wins, eight losses, three ties — in Bud Grant’s first season as head coach. This absolutely would have happened. Don’t deny it:

Overreacting Vikings fan, Part I: Send this Grant guy back to Canada. #worthless

Overreacting Vikings fan, Part II: At least they got rid of Tarkenton before the year. That guy was a bum, too. #goodriddance

Jon Marthaler: This team is doomed. We’ll never make it to the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl. I’m finished.

Sarcastic Vikings fan: I’ll always remember Nov. 5, 1967: I was at the only home game the Vikings won all season.

Guy who thinks he knows about football because he played in middle school: I don’t like the tackling angles Eller and Marshall are taking. Not sure these guys are going to pan out. #busts

Guy who tries to make it funny but you’re never sure if he’s also kind of creepy: Another tie?! I’m tired of kissing my sister! (Or am I?)

Understated negative guy: We played 14 games. We scored 10 points or fewer in 7 of them. I’m thinking that’s not good.

Amateur play-calling guy: Run on first down. Run on second down. Pass on third down. Punt. Repeat. #genius

NFL is not for me guy: Vikings? Who cares? The Gophers won the Big Ten. This is a college football town. #skiumah

Please feel free to add more in the comments.

RandBall's Stu guest post: After the huge crane leaves, what's the next big thing at new stadium?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 10th at 12:09pm

negavomIn case you somehow missed it, RandBall’s Stu, a longtime commenter here in these parts, was recently hired by American Public Media/MPR as a digital producer. This is awesome, and it also means he gets to use his real name, Steve Neuman, when doing all the fine work he does.

That said, pretty much everyone we know still calls him Stu. He has crafted a piece of fiction for us on the next big things to hit the Vikings stadium site after the huge crane leaves.

As always, remember this is satire. The characters, products and scenarios presented within are fictional.



Monday saw the arrival of one of the world’s largest cranes to help build the new Vikings stadium.  Once its work is done, the Negavom Group’s job is just beginning.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is expected to announce a partnership later this week with the Dallas-based company, which bills itself as the “premiere (sic) vomit and stadium detritus removal firm in North America.”

Thad Johnsrud, Negavom’s founder and CEO, says he’s thrilled to be a part of the new “people’s stadium.”

“We started this company with a pressure sprayer and a cash-only gig at the Oklahoma State Fair.  Now, we’re working with our fourth National Football League team.  It’s a dream come true.”

Johnsrud says that Negavom is uniquely qualified to handle the workload provided by a fan base that can sometimes get overenthusiastic about its tailgating.

“Today’s modern fan vertical is predicated on 12-15 domestic beers, 2-4 mixed drinks, Jell-O shots, tenuously cooked red meat, salty snacks and probably some tussling with friends or fisticuffs,” says Johnsrud.  “This is before they get through the turnstiles.  The Vikings recognize that some of these fans aren’t going to be able to keep all that down for three or four hours.  That’s where we come in.”

The company’s website claims that on an NFL Sunday, they’ll have 200 response agents at the ready with “next-gen” water cannons, mops, shovels, disinfectants and moist towelettes.  The number grows to 350 for mid-afternoon starts and 500 for Sunday or Monday night kickoffs.

“Oh, man, the night games are like one long Mr. Creosote sketch,” says Johnsrud.  “We have a saying in the business: an empire in decline is our time to shine!”

The MSFA is also expected to hold a Friday press conference to announce the hiring of Ken, an artisanal soft-serve ice cream consultant, to develop the stadium’s sundae and twisty cone concepts.

Thursday (Cris Carter in other receivers' business) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 10th at 9:43am

carterFormer Vikings WR Cris Carter has never been shy about talking, whether it was on the field or now that he is retired and working in television. It is also a well-known fact that Carter struggled with substance abuse early in his NFL career, a fact that helped lead him to the Vikings, where he not only salvaged his career but became a Hall of Famer.

With that as a backdrop, Carter was asked recently about Cleveland WR Josh Gordon, a talented player who is struggling with similar issues as Carter did early in his career.

Carter encouraged the Browns to cut Gordon; another outspoken former NFL WR who has had substance abuse problems, Michael Irvin, didn’t like that. He talked not only about that on the radio this week, but also dropped a revelation about he and Carter that goes back many years.  From a Palm Beach Post transcription of Dan Le Batard’s ESPN radio program:

Dan, this is a brain disease. Addiction is a brain disease. You know, we act as if someone should…How can you make that decision? You must be stupid. He’s not. That’s why they call substances dope. Because it makes you less intelligent and you make the poor decision. It’s a brain disease. And it affects everybody differently. Dan, I was so hot when I heard it. I was so hot.

Oh, but wait, there’s more:

[Carter] said to my wife – he said to my wife –you know, Michael would never come out of this problem until you leave him. Till you leave him. For years, I’ve held it. I’ve never shared that with anybody. I’ve never in my life shared that with anybody. I was so irked with Cris because he was out of line then. His [redacted] is out of line now.

To recap: Carter thinks the Browns should cut Gordon to help him out. He also apparently told Irvin’s wife to leave Irvin if she wanted to help him out. Get all three guys in a room and we’d have some real interesting conversations.


Atlanta - A. Wood 3:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - A. Burnett
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda 6:05 PM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Latos
Miami - H. Alvarez 6:10 PM
NY Mets - Z. Wheeler
Toronto - M. Buehrle 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
LA Angels - G. Richards 7:05 PM
Texas - N. Tepesch
St. Louis - J. Kelly 7:10 PM
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo
Boston - J. Lackey 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Detroit - A. Sanchez 7:10 PM
Kansas City - D. Duffy
Minnesota - K. Johnson 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. De La Rosa
San Diego - J. Hahn 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Oakland - J. Samardzija 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Arizona - M. Bolsinger 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Lincecum
D.C. 10:00 PM
San Jose
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Ottawa 9:00 PM
Calgary 7/12/14 5:30 PM
Brt Columbia 7/12/14 8:30 PM
Edmonton 7/17/14 7:30 PM
Toronto 7/18/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 7/18/14 9:00 PM
Montreal 7/19/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Los Angeles 6:30 PM
New York
Seattle 7:00 PM
San Antonio
Phoenix 7:30 PM



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