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BIWABIK, Minn. — Grand Rapids junior Garrett Beckrich confided in fellow ski racer Peter Moore that he wasn't very good as a classical skier, and he wasn't sure if he could hold off the mass of challengers starting behind him on Thursday at the Nordic state championships at Giants Ridge. Moore, a St. Paul Academy junior, told him, "Well, good luck." When you're as talented as Beckrich, you don't need luck.
BIWABIK, Minn. — Austin Danelski made history Wednesday afternoon at Giants Ridge, but his ski story began 75 miles to the south on the slopes of Spirit Mountain in Duluth. That's where Danelski grew up, strapping on the ski boots when he was only 3 or 4 years old. By seventh grade, he was on Hermantown's varsity, dreaming of one day becoming a state champion. On Wednesday, that dream became a reality. Danelski, a senior, captured the Minnesota Alpine skiing championship with a dominating second run on the Helsinki course, charging across the finish line.
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota native Nick Bauman purchased Super Bowl LII tickets shortly before the Jan. 14 "Minnesota Miracle" touchdown reception lifted the Vikings past the New Orleans Saints and into the NFC championship game. The euphoria was short lived, however, as the Philadelphia Eagles' convincing victory over the Vikings two weeks ago hit Bauman like a gut punch. Only one thought crossed his mind. "Sell 'em," Bauman said.
MINNEAPOLIS—The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the cursed NFL franchise they call Minnesota. The legend it's said came from 1969, when the Vikings won the NFL championship, only to lose the NFL Ed Thorp Memorial Trophy that went to the victor. The spirit of Ed Thorp, a former NFL referee, continues to haunt the Vikings, the most tortured franchise in the history of sport. Baloney. "There is no curse," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has said.
MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minnesota Vikings coach Jerry Burns was at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 17, to watch his team. "Burnsie, you're looking good," a reporter said. "You should get your eyes examined," Burns said, cracking his Burgess Meredith-like grin. At 90 years old, there isn't too much Burns hasn't seen, especially from a Vikings' perspective, with hopes pumped up, only to be quickly deflated. He offered his sage take on the Vikings' 34-7 bludgeoning of the hapless Cincinnati Bengals. "I think the other team made it easier for them," Burns said.
MINNEAPOLIS Six years ago almost to the day, the Minnesota Duluth football team closed the regular season with a 31-19 victory over Minnesota-State Mankato. A crowd of 3,458 gathered at Malosky Stadium on a sunny and mild afternoon to watch as the defending national champion Bulldogs secured a berth in the NCAA Division II playoffs for the fourth straight year.
MINNEAPOLIS—As 90-degree temperatures descended on the North Star State over the past week, allergies soared as people mowed yards in late September. What was going on here? How could this be? Our world was turned upside down. It was the end of tater tot hot dish as we knew it. Pandemonium began to set in as the first signs of epidemic began trickling out of Minnesota Vikings' headquarters on Saturday, Sept. 16, when the team signed somebody named Kyle Sloter, a quarterback, off the 53-man practice squad.
MINNEAPOLIS—The Minnesota Vikings appeared to downplay the return of former running back Adrian Peterson, not so much by what they did, but what they didn't do. In the buildup to Monday night's season opener against the New Orleans Saints, the Vikings sent out releases detailing a 9/11 tribute and former receiver Randy Moss' induction into the team's Ring of Honor, but there was nary a mention of Peterson's return.
BRAINERD — Drag racer Greg Anderson was asked what's different with Pro Stock after qualifying Saturday at the 36th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, and his answer, announced over the track PA system, was something the announcer called the most honest interview he'd heard in a while. "We're not having fun anymore," Anderson said. Anderson was referring to the good old days of Pro Stock, but it could have been a metaphor for a season of struggles for him and his Summit Racing teammate Jason Line.
DULUTH — Dr. Fahd Arafat of Rainy River Medical Center understands the power of positive thinking, lessons he applied in his conversation with Father Ben Hadrich on Aug. 8, 2015. "The doctor came in with a picture of my brain and said I was having a stroke," Hadrich said. "I remember just asking, 'Am I going to die?' And he said, 'No, you'll be just fine.' I was kind of peaceful at that point." The rest of Hadrich's journey was anything but, including being read his last rites by a fellow priest, but he survived the massive stroke to return leading a remarkable life.