RandBall

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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You can buy a jar full of pieces of the Metrodome at TwinsFest

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated January 22nd at 3:09pm 289462201

domepourriThere was a market for the Metrodome urinal troughs. So why wouldn’t there be a market for other Dome leftovers?

Nick Vetter and Joel Bradley are counting on it and will be selling their “Domepourri” featuring bits of the now-demolished Dome this weekend at TwinsFest. A 4-ounce jar of scraps is $5, while a nicer 8-ounce jar is $15.

“It’s a nice conversation piece and we think it will bring smiles to a lot of faces,” Vetter told City Pages. “A lot of people have a lot of great memories from the Dome.”

If you can’t make it to TwinsFest at Target Field, you can also make a run at one of the jars via eBay. What’s in Domepourri? A hodge-podge of old bits of the Dome, including pieces of the old roof, old turf, cup holders, seats and even bolts.

(Insert joke about 1998 NFC title game tears here).

Thursday (The woeful Wolves at the season's midpoint) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated January 22nd at 9:32am 289442071

flipfansBefore the NBA season started, Bovada and other Las Vegas casinos set over-under win total lines for all the teams. The Wolves’ number was 26.5, which seemed quite reasonable and even tempted those with optimism to make a sprint to Sin City to bet the over.

Anyone who made that bet needs the Wolves to win at least 27 games. We are halfway through the season now, and we can report this much: Minnesota has taken care of the crooked number, the seven. Now all that remains is the 20.

This is not exactly impossible — the Wolves going 20-21, basically .500 ball over the season’s second half — but it is improbable enough that we wouldn’t pay anyone more than 1 cent on every dollar bet to buy them out of their over tickets.

The reasons are many, but the primary one is simple: as the season has gone along, a franchise that nearly perfected losing has somehow gotten even better at it.

The Wolves were 2-2 in the season’s first four games; the two losses were by four points at Memphis and by one point at home against the Bulls. In their fifth game, Ricky Rubio hurt his ankle early on. They wound up losing in overtime, and they have only won five times since then. Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin quickly followed Rubio to the injured list, with Pek being the first of the three to finally return Wednesday in a blowout loss to the Mavericks.

Rubio, Martin, Pekovic, J.J. Barea (bought out before the season) and Ronny Turiaf (two games played) combined to play just 26 games in the first half of the season. Put them in a 5-on-5 game against any other 5 on the Wolves’ roster and they probably win 8 of 10 times. Add to the mix that Corey Brewer was traded after 24 games, and you have an almost foolproof losing cocktail.

A 19-year-old (Andrew Wiggins) is the only player to have started all 41 games, while second-year center Gorgui Dieng is the only other player to have played all 41 games. Rubio and Martin will return at some point (your guess is as good as ours as to exactly when), but it also wouldn’t surprise us if those gains are somewhat offset if Thad Young and/or Mo Williams are traded to contenders for more young pieces or salary flexibility.

Our best guess is this Wolves team will at least be somewhat improved in the second half, meaning it won’t stay on the same pace and finish with 14 wins — which would make this the worst team in franchise history. Where it falls on that spectrum — 10 Wolves teams in full 82 game seasons have won between 15 and 26 games — remains to be seen, but if you are still clinging to that betting slip and it says “over” on it … well it is, indeed, over.

TFD: Aaron Rodgers says God doesn't care who wins football games

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated January 22nd at 8:23am 289362711

rodgersgrapeWe’ve teased Packers fans and Aaron Rodgers a bit this week, but let’s end the day with an AMEN for the Packers’ QB for this quote, regardless of whether you believe in God:

CBS Sports transcribed the back-and-forth between Rodgers and co-host Jason Wilde, with the set-up being that Wilde was reading a question submitted by a reader.

Jason Wilde: Melissa says: I always find it a little off-putting when athletes, actors, and anybody says, “This is what God wanted” or “I want to thank God for helping us win today” — anything along those lines when a game or award is won. I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the gist. Personally, with all the chaos in the world, I’m not sure God really cares about the outcome of a game or an awards show. What do you think of statements such as these? You’ve obviously got your faith. Does what happens on Sunday impact your relationship with God or your faith at all?

Aaron Rodgers: I agree with her. I don’t think God cares a whole lot about the outcome. He cares about the people involved, but I don’t think he’s a big football fan.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer weighs in on 'Deflategate'

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated January 21st at 2:10pm 289342011

zimmerVikings head coach Mike Zimmer is a no-nonsense guy who doesn’t look for a lot of excuses when it comes to winning and losing. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that Zimmer — when asked Wednesday at the Senior Bowl about the ball deflation controversy that has emerged in the wake of the Patriots’ AFC title game thrashing of the Colts — wasn’t buying it.

I think it was like 41-7, right?” Zimmer said, according to NFL.com“I don’t think the balls had a lot to do with it.”

Well, 45-7, but point taken. That said, the Vikings were EMBROILED IN CONTROVERSY over a somewhat similar ball situation earlier this season (and by that we mean it passed with barely a whimper aside from a warning and reminder from the league), when sideline attendants were shown heating footballs against league rules during Minnesota’s freezing 31-13 win over the Panthers.

Forbes: Timberwolves' franchise value jumped from $430 million last year to $625 million this year

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated January 21st at 12:59pm 289331231

wolvesForbes Magazine annually compiles sports franchise value data, and the numbers for the NBA came out this week. The league — which announced a massive new TV deal in October, jumping from less than $1 billion per year to more than $2.6 billion per year — figured to see some large gains in franchise values.

But the numbers that came out Wednesday are eye-opening even when accounting for expectations. The average value of franchises jumped a whopping 72 percent from last year to this year, per Forbes.

The Timberwolves’ increase wasn’t quite that dramatic, but it is still quite sharp: a 45 percent increase, from $430 million in 2014 to $625 million in 2015. While that value puts Minnesota 29th among the 30 NBA franchises (only the Bucks are valued lower), it is the continuation of a sharp upward trend for the Wolves.

For most of the mid-to-late-2000s, the Wolves hovered around a $300 million value mark. The recession and NBA work stoppage dropped the Wolves to down to $264 million in 2011 (their lowest value since 2004) and it increased only modestly to $272 million in 2012.

From there, though, it jumped to $364 million in 2013, $430 in 2014 and now $625 million. That’s a 130 percent increase in just three years, which certainly brings a smile to the face of team owner Glen Taylor (who also owns the Star Tribune).

Of course, the valuation doesn’t mean much unless it moves the needle on a potential sale price for the team. Kevin Garnett better start saving his money.

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 102 4th Qtr 0:48
Indiana 88
Cleveland 82 4th Qtr 6:55
Detroit 72
Milwaukee 82 3rd Qtr 0:07
Miami 80
Memphis 41 2nd Qtr 5:14
Dallas 36
Chicago 9:30 PM
Golden State
Washington 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
NY Rangers 0 3rd Prd 6:01
NY Islanders 3
Arizona 3 3rd Prd 7:44
Philadelphia 3
Winnipeg 3 3rd Prd 2:05
Pittsburgh 4
Washington 3 3rd Prd 3:21
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 3rd Prd
Carolina 3
Dallas 2 3rd Prd
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 3rd Prd
Florida 3
Colorado 1 2nd Prd 7:18
Nashville 1
Buffalo 0 1st Prd 9:53
Calgary 0
Minnesota 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Anaheim 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 63 2nd Half 0:21
Kansas State 57
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 44 2nd Half 15:34
Evansville 50
Tabor College 43 2nd Half 8:34
Oral Roberts 80
Florida 10 1st Half 11:13
Alabama 6
Tennessee 14 1st Half 12:10
Arkansas 15
Texas A&M 17 1st Half 12:12
Auburn 8
Baylor 13 1st Half 10:41
Oklahoma State 9
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 8 1st Half 9:51
Utah State 12
Fresno State 10 1st Half 11:40
San Diego St 11
UNLV 9:00 PM
Nevada
SD Christian 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Colorado State 10:00 PM
Boise State
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 44 2nd Half 10:21
Houston 30
(3) Baylor 65 2nd Half 11:52
TCU 48
Navy 42 2nd Half 8:36
American Univ 51
Valparaiso 28 2nd Half 9:04
Illinois-Chicago 40

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