Viper

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Viper last won the day on February 4 2013

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About Viper

  • Birthday 12/28/1970

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    Male
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    Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
  • Interests
    NLL lacrosse, hockey, football, soccer, fantasy sports, poker, swimming, movies, music
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    Old-school: Montreal Canadiens
    New-school: Minnesota Wild

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  1. Field lacrosse is viewed as a rich kids' sport, perhaps. Box lacrosse, where it's visible at all in the US, is almost precisely the opposite - a predominantly working-class sport which has also been embraced by the Iroquois nations (where the game originated centuries ago) precisely because they saw that the field game had been co-opted by the NCAA (read: an elite white institution). Box lacrosse's problem in the US is that it's hardly visible at all in places that haven't been exposed to the NLL, whose player base is overwhelmingly Canadian and Iroquois National. That said, box lacrosse has long had a presence in places like Colorado and the Pacific Northwest, far from the traditional field strongholds. It has also made significant inroads to the Upper Midwest (particularly Minnesota and Michigan). It also has a large constellation of local and regional semi-pro and beer leagues across the US, most notably the 2-year-old Interstate Box Lacrosse Association which is emulating the Canadian Lacrosse Association model (and most of its rules of play), with a network of smaller statewide and regional leagues. (Minnesota just got an IBLA chapter this year and recently concluded its inaugural two-team best-of-seven "season", played before near-capacity crowds in de-iced high school and community rinks, whose champion Hastings will be playing at the IBLA Nationals in Denver in November against the champs from Colorado and Oregon. There are plans to add as many as four more MN teams in 2018 and perhaps more beyond that.)
  2. North American Pro Soccer 2017

    Well, USMNT did improve by two net goals over the last time they faced the Ticos under Jurgen Klinsmann. Surely that counts for something. Probably. Maybe. I think.
  3. NLL Expansion 2018

    Minnesota and Philadelphia are in more or less the same lurch when it comes to the NLL: Absent an NHL or NBA ownership/arena connection (which doesn't seem to be in the cards for either market), teams tend to thrive best in minor-league hockey arenas that can be cheaply rented, which neither Minneapolis/St. Paul nor Philadelphia has. In Minnesota's case, the U of M has a couple of arenas of suitable capacity, but Mariucci Arena's rink is Olympic-size which may not work for the NLL, Ridder Arena (women's hockey) would have the lowest spectator capacity in the league, and in either case I doubt the university would want to take on an outside tenant on a permanent basis, at least not one that would need a liquor license (which was a sticking point with the Vikings). Outside the U of M campus, the only other local option would be Warner Coliseum, which would be almost perfect capacity-wise (around 6K) and location-wise (on the state fairgrounds, about halfway between the two downtowns and just up Snelling Avenue from where MNUFC is building Allianz Field) if it weren't ancient and falling apart. At this point Minnesota's best chance of returning to the NLL is the New England Black Wolves' route; i.e. if one of the state's Native American tribal casinos decides to take a stab at NLL ownership, and is willing to either build their own arena, finance a Warner renovation, or take their chances as a second- or third-banana tenant at Target Center or even back at Xcel Energy Center. (One of those casinos was the Swarm's jersey sponsor for several years, so that is within the realm of possibility.)
  4. North American Pro Soccer 2017

    A guitar-pick logo for a Nashville team? Gee, where have I seen something like that before?
  5. North American Pro Soccer 2017

    Chicago Fire (with Dax McCarty and Bastian Schweinsteiger, at home, and dominating pretty much all the game stats), 1. Minnesota United FC (without Christian Ramirez, and Miguel Ibarra as only a late sub), 2. Finally, the Loons get their first MLS road win. Suddenly the homestretch of their season has gotten more interesting... In related news, Ethan Finlay and Abu Danladi are becoming a potent combo - the former set up both the latter's goals tonight, and they nearly combined for a third.
  6. International Football 2017-2018

    And Liverpool drew Watford 3-3 earler today. Apparently nobody's backliners have gotten the memo that the season has started. Edit: Now Chelsea are not only down 3-1 but down to 9 men (following a straight red for Cahill and two yellows for Fabregas).
  7. Football and CTE

    At this point basketball seems more likely than any other sport to dethrone football among American sports. It's played more or less year-round, it's the only other big college sport besides football, and the best players on the planet still gravitate to the NBA.
  8. North American Pro Soccer 2017

    Not only do the Loons finally get win #6 tonight, they manage to bring their July goal differential back up to zero (a 4-0 win, after 1-0 and 3-0 losses and a 0-0 draw, not to mention a 1-1 draw in a friendly vs. Atlas FC of Mexico).
  9. International Football 16-17

    Great Gold Cup final so far - albeit painful for Jamaica with Andre Blake going out with a serious hand injury in the first half. First Altidore goes over the Jamaican wall with a cannon shot, but then Je-Vaughn Watson slams home the equalizer early in the second half. Apparently not all the Mexican fans went home after the loss, as they are doing a certain goal-kick chant... for both teams. Also, this is without a doubt the worst pitch I've ever seen in an international tournament final. The grass at NSC was in better shape than this, and that was for NASL ball. UPDATE: Jordan Morris strikes late, and USMNT snags the trophy!
  10. North American Pro Soccer 2017

    As I've stated previously, the most likely pro/rel scenario involving MLS would be a strictly internal one; i.e. MLS creates a second and maybe even a third division within itself, then populates it by expanding like crazy and/or absorbing clubs from the NASL and USL. That way established clubs could be relegated without losing their MLS affiliation (which, as it is, is the biggest sticking point for pro/rel in North America), and eventually the USL would be for reserve teams only and the NASL would either disappear or become soccer's equivalent of the SPHL. On another note, a few months ago I mentioned a report that Minnesota United had struck a stadium naming-rights deal with Allianz; well, yesterday that deal finally got an official announcement.
  11. International Football 16-17

    In 1995, Blackburn Rovers became one of the few non-giant clubs to win the Premier League. After this weekend's results, they have been relegated... not from the Premier League, but from the Championship to League One. They've become England's first former Prem champs to drop to third division.
  12. North American Pro Soccer 2017

    Minnesota's new stadium will have it too. (As a side note, it turns out they have not officially announced the stadium sponsor yet - it's been reported as Allianz but apparently they're waiting for all the paperwork and approvals to go through first.) As for their game today, I'm not sure who should have gotten Man of the Match - Miguel Ibarra for setting up both goals (both on crosses from the right of goal) or goalie Bobby Shuttleworth for keeping the Loons' sheet clean despite playing most of the second half with a broken nose. On the other hand, I'm still not quite sure what Peter Vermes was thinking not starting Graham Zusi. Igor Juliao got the start in his place and Ibarra ate his lunch, to the tune of those two goals he set up.
  13. The last time the Ducks have looked this bad, they still had the Mighty adjective.
  14. That's a long story. Suffice it to say it probably wouldn't have happened without (1) the North Stars moving to Dallas, the Timberwolves almost moving to New Orleans, and the Vikings starting to clamor for a new stadium - and start to flirt with Los Angeles - all within the span of a couple of years in the '90s, and (2) several members of my extended family and most of my college pals also being Packers fans.
  15. The Wild don't need to blow it up and start over, but they do need better finishers up front. Dubnyk did his job, and on offense the Wild did almost everything they had to except finish their scoring chances. Instead of the back of the net, too many shots ended up bouncing off Allen or going into his glove. As for WAS-TOR, I knew the Leafs were doomed the moment NBCSN showed Justin Bieber in the house wearing their jersey.