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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TFD: Minneapolis needs to work on those UND logos

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated March 19th at 6:03pm 296941911

North Dakota used to play all the time in St. Paul back in the old days of the WCHA. Now UND’s hockey team is in Minneapolis this weekend for the NCHC Tournament.

We’re not sure where specifically this picture is from, but Minneapolis is still apparently adapting to the difference between UND and North Dakota State.

Kiper 2009 re-draft shows just how fall Percy Harvin has fallen

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated March 19th at 3:53pm 296920141

harvinWe must be in one of those lulls in the NFL draft speculation calendar — between mock drafts 42 and 43 — so ESPN’s Mel Kiper has a feature on ESPN.com in which he redoes the 2009 draft based on the order players would be selected if we knew then what we know now.

We clicked on the link because we thought, “Oh, 2009. Percy Harvin. The Vikings got a steal with Harvin. He must be higher than the actual draft slot where they picked him at No. 22.”

Wrong. And yes, it’s just Kiper’s opinion. But he has Harvin as the No. 25 pick in the draft, after the Vikings picked. For Minnesota, he picks safety Glover Quinn — who he deems the 22nd-best player/value from that draft now.

Of Harvin, he writes: “Harvin’s name seems to inspire a lot of buzz, which isn’t unfair if you saw him in his prime with the ball in his hands. But the reality is he hasn’t been a big part of an NFL offense since the 2012 season, and he played in only nine games that year. He’s still only 26 years old, but he’ll be with his fourth franchise in 2015. Harvin does have an All-Pro season on his résumé — as a return man in 2009.”

Those of us who watched Harvin when he was engaged and healthy in those four seasons with the Vikings can’t fathom him not being a top-10 player from that draft, but Kiper makes a good point. If anything, it’s a reminder of just how far Harvin’s stock has fallen.

Thursday (Has the NFL lost its mind?) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated March 19th at 12:42pm 296877531

OPRAHTwo pieces of news from this week can only lead to one conclusion: The NFL very well might have lost its mind.

Let’s start with the light-hearted: League owners are going to discuss a whole bunch of rule changes when they meet next week. A lot of the rules are worthwhile considerations, such as amendments to how replay works. In all, the league’s competition committee will present 23 proposed changes for discussion.

One of them, though, is so ridiculous that it seems like satire. Per ESPN.com:

The Indianapolis Colts proposed a scenario that gives teams that successfully convert a 2-point conversion the chance to immediately add another point with a “bonus field goal.” Under the Colts’ proposal, if a team converts a 2-point conversion it would then line up from the 32-yard line to attempt a 50-yard field goal. If the kick is good, the team would receive a total of nine points on that possession — six for the touchdown, two for the 2-point try and a point for the extra field goal.

What? So a nine-point possession would be possible? This is wacky beyond words. The Colts GM is apparently NOT optimistic it will pass. We aren’t optimistic the rest of the owners will make it through the proposal with a straight face.

And now the serious: A neurosurgeon who works for the NFL’s Steelers gave a short interview about brain injuries in the league that, again, feels like satire.

Dr. Joseph Maroon downplayed the safety issues in both youth football and the NFL and said, among other things, that riding a bike or a skateboard is more dangerous than playing youth football.

This is classic NFL, doubling down on its own rhetoric in the face of transition (in this case the Chris Borland retirement) instead of attempting to engage in rational discussion.

This type of defiance and arrogance has served the league well in growing to insane levels of popularity, but this week feels like another drop of poison that will ultimately kill the goose laying the golden eggs.

TFD: Aaron Rodgers is less popular than cheese and less popular than he used to be in Wisconsin

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated March 18th at 5:27pm 296780461

rodgersThe ESPN headline indicates that only cheese tops Aaron Rodgers in a public opinion survey of Wisconsin residents. Cheese gets an 80 percent approval rating, while the Packers QB is just below it at 79 percent.

That’s all well and good, but here on this blog, we have been known to cheapen things from time to time. So we’re taking information from the top of the story and the very bottom to cobble together the real headline: Rodgers’ approval rating has dropped 10 percent in the last four years.

Yes, in 2011 — after Rodgers led the Packers to a Super Bowl title — his approval was at 89 percent in the same poll.

Since then, he’s won two MVP awards … but a return trip to the Super Bowl, let alone a victory in the big game, has eluded his grasp. If you delve into the comments section of Packers game stories, you will find fans hyper-critical of Rodgers (which is crazy because he’s thrown 226 career TDs and just 57 INTs).

So whereby it used to be roughly 9 of every 10 Packers fans who approved of their QB, now it’s not even 8 of 10. Tough crowd. He’s barely ahead of Bo Ryan (76 percent) and Barry Alvarez (71 percent). Everyone is crushing Bret Bielema (17 percent) and Gary Andersen (15 percent), recent defectors from Badger-land.

President Obama, who is listed at 6-foot-1 but in fact might be taller, has almost exactly the same approval rating in March of 2015 that he had in March of 2011.

The secret of Kevin Love's success? Chocolate milk, apparently

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated March 18th at 2:58pm 296765071

kevinloveFor yet another reason, it looks as though the Wolves’ offseason trade of Kevin Love was a good one for all parties involved: there just isn’t enough room in this town for two athletes to sponsor milk, and the plain vs. chocolate debate that would have erupted between Joe Mauer and Love would have been too much to bear.

Yes, we know Mauer and Kemps parted ways after their contract was up at the end of 2013 — and yes, in Mauer’s fictional milk power rankings chocolate came in second — but he’s still associated with dairy delights, most notably 2 percent.

As for Love? He’s part of a new Built With Chocolate Milk campaign that has some rather braggy claims.

Kevin Love dominates the backboards and for years the 6’10” power forward has downed chocolate milk to help him rebound on and off the court.

“One thing I’ve taken seriously over the years is how important recovery is after my training and games,” said Love. “Thanks to my mom, chocolate milk has been my go-to recovery drink since I was 8 years old and it has continued to help me come back game after game.”

[Side note: It probably didn't help him jump here].

[Second side note: chocolate milk is delicious and we have heard of it as a recovery drink for runners].

Still, it’s a pretty intense campaign filled with robot videos and made-up words like “reboundability.

Also, in the bio page, we learn that Love’s favorite movies are “He Got Game” and “Gladiator.” Feel free to peruse the rest of the site/campaign at your own free will.

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Atlanta 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Miami 5 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Nathan 6
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Cincinnati 13 FINAL
Cleveland 2
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
Chicago WSox 6
Kansas City 3 FINAL
Seattle 0
Seattle 1 FINAL
Milwaukee 15
San Diego 3 FINAL
Arizona 3
NY Mets 8 FINAL
Washington 3
LA Angels 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 4
Colorado 0 Top 9th Inning
Texas 6
Oakland 4 Top 5th Inning
San Francisco 4
Indiana 107 FINAL
Milwaukee 111
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Carolina 5
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Washington 3
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 4 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL(OT)
Boston 2
Nashville 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
NY Rangers 5 FINAL
Ottawa 1
Florida 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
Montreal 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Colorado 3 3rd Prd
Vancouver 0
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Notre Dame 81
North Carolina 72 FINAL
Wisconsin 79
Evansville 89 FINAL
Louisiana 82
West Virginia 28 2nd Half 8:58
Kentucky 60
Xavier 28 2nd Half
Arizona 28
St Johns 55 FINAL
Villanova 63
NC State 79 FINAL
Temple 80
Missouri 55 FINAL
Michigan 65
Oral Roberts 64 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Duquesne 39 FINAL
West Virginia 60
Ole Miss 70 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 82
Northern Colorado 57 2nd Half 4:36
UCLA 63
St Marys-CA 68 2nd Half 3:45
Sacramento St 64

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