Mike McFeely is a WDAY (970 AM) radio host and a columnist for The Forum. You can respond to Mike's columns by listening to AM-970 from 8:30-11 a.m. weekdays.
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PHILADELPHIA — Adam Thielen is the epitome of Minnesota Nice. The Vikings receiver from Detroit Lakes, Minn., is a stand-up guy in the team's locker room after wins and, more importantly, losses. He looks his inquisitors in the eye and tries to give thoughtful answers to what can, admittedly, be sometimes inane questions. He appears to be what sports fans seek in their stars, both on and off the field: A genuinely nice guy.
MINNEAPOLIS—One play by Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen was everything the Minnesota Vikings were not. Energetic. Exciting. Athletic. Fearless. Joyful. Entertaining. Allen, the Bills' much-touted rookie out of Wyoming, did his best Superman impression near the end of the first quarter of Buffalo's 27-6 thrashing of the Vikings on Sunday, Sept. 23, at an angry U.S. Bank Stadium, hurdling Minnesota linebacker Anthony Barr near midfield for a first down.
FARGO — Old is new again in Big Stone Lake. The narrow, 26-mile long lake along the Minnesota-South Dakota border about 125 miles south of Fargo-Moorhead recently got another influx of lake sturgeon, a prehistoric-looking fish common to Big Stone's waters for centuries before water-quality degradation and damming of the Minnesota River that flows out of the lake caused their demise.
MINNEAPOLIS—The Minnesota Vikings spent Sunday celebrating a team that broke everybody's heart, which was sort of an awkward way to begin a season with high expectations. The 1998 team was on display, lauded for finishing 15-1 in the regular season. Former heroes like Robert Smith and John Randle were introduced at halftime, there were video highlights galore of Randy Moss, fans were teased with trivia questions of that year. It was a championship-level 20th anniversary party.
STAR LAKE, Minn. — The rallying cry of those opposed to a casino on Star Lake in Minnesota's Otter Tail County proved to be correct. It wasn't a done deal. "It's not a done deal," was the tagline used by groups opposing a massive casino, resort, convention center and RV complex proposed three years ago by then-leaders of the White Earth Band of Chippewa. It was to be built on Indian trust land and other property acquired by the tribe on Star Lake, a large and popular body of water located in a remote area of Otter Tail County east of Maplewood State Park near Dent.
FARGO — Ricky Marquart did the right thing. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of his graduation from West Fargo High School with old friends and classmates on June 14, he found himself in the Silver Dollar Bar early the next morning. So he ordered a Lyft ride from the app on his smartphone. The driver, identified as Travis on the app, arrived promptly and drove Marquart home. The ride took 13 minutes, from 2:21 a.m. until 2:34 a.m. on July 15, according to the receipt Marquart received on his phone.
FARGO—From defending a peeping Tom as "a very good man" to saying that all chain-link fences are created equal, whether they are holding children like caged dogs or simply enclosing a playground, it's been a rough past few weeks for Kevin Cramer.
WHITE EARTH, Minn.—Less than a month ago, Star Lake casino opponent Ty Dayton characterized the status of the controversial project thusly: "The casino proposal is not dead. It's just in a very deep state of hibernation." After the White Earth Nation tribal election on June 12, it might be time to ask a question. Like, what is the next step between hibernation and death? Suspended animation cryosleep? Or, in an ode to "The Princess Bride," mostly dead? Or something else?
Lisa Drafall answered a cell phone call from an unknown 701 area code number after the second ring, for which she deserves a measure of credit. But the general manager of the Redwood Falls (Minn.) Gazette sounded weary in a brief conversation, perhaps owing to the attention her twice-weekly newspaper was receiving from every corner of the world. "On what topic?" she asked when the caller from Fargo wanted to ask a few questions. The Obit, of course, the caller said. "No, I'm not going to make any comments. I'm not going to say anything about that," she said.
FARGO—There will be resistance from the usual corners of paragon and virtue, of course, when it comes to legalized sports betting in North Dakota and Minnesota. But it's coming, and that's about the safest wager a person could make. And sooner rather than later, according to a couple of local legislators.