Wild Friday: Parise staying home, and mumps shots for all

Star Tribune Sports - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 14:19
Zach Parise won't play at Dallas on Saturday, but could return Sunday for a team dealing with more cases of the mumps.
Categories: Local

Zimmer not nostalgic about return to home state

Star Tribune Sports - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 14:06
Sunday will be a homecoming of sorts for Mike Zimmer, not that he cares about that sort of thing. The 58-year-old head coach was born in Peoria, Illinois and grew up watching the Bears. He played high school football at Lockport Township High School and played his college ball at Illinois State. But Zimmer doesn’t anticipate feeling even a tinge of nostalgia when he walks onto the sideline with the Vikings on Sunday afternoon for his first game at Soldier Field as an NFL head coach. “Well, I’ve been there a few times previously,” Zimmer said today. “I don’t think so. I don’t have anybody coming to the game or anything like that. I was a Bears fan growing up. I spent a lot of time with Buddy Ryan and his defenses, growing up watching them. But the Vikings are my team now.” When he first began coaching, the Bears were in the heyday of Mike Ditka and Ryan, his defensive coordinator. Zimmer looked up to Ryan from afar and eventually got to meet him through coaching. “Anytime you’re around great coaches and guys that in a lot of ways reinvented the game back then in 1985, I think you always try to take some of it, whether it’s the mentality that he had,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to sit in some of their defensive meetings. I had him come out when I was coaching at Weber State. I had him come out and do a clinic for us, sat down and had a couple of beers with him. But I think you always try to learn from the guys that are really, really good.” And while Zimmer probably won’t be thinking about it Sunday, he does have a soft spot for Chicago. “I used to love watching when Buddy Ryan was there as a defensive coordinator and Ditka, the ’85 Bears and all those things. That’s kind of when I was growing up,” Zimmer told Chicago reporters on a Wednesday conference call. “You know, the Bears fans and the Chicago people in general are great, great people. They’ve always been very, very passionate about the Bears and the Cubs and the White Sox. But I don’t put a lot of time and effort into worrying about them right now.”
Categories: Local

Bennett, Hummel get an opportunity with Young gone

Star Tribune Sports - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 13:48
Both will likely see extended minutes while Thaddeus Young is away from the team
Categories: Local

Kevin Garnett: 'I want to buy the Timberwolves'

Star Tribune Sports - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 12:16
Kevin Garnett has made more than $300 million, solely in salary, during his NBA career. And he has a plan for what he’d like to do with that money.
Categories: Local

Munnerlyn's constructive criticism helping Vikings

Star Tribune Sports - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 12:08
In case you didn’t pick up the newspaper this morning, today’s Vikings story was on their young secondary growing up this season. Their five defensive backs in their starting nickel package have an average age of 24.6, making them one of the youngest secondaries in the NFL. Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, who was signed after five seasons with the Panthers, is the oldest of the regulars at 26, and he has embraced a leadership role with his younger peers, such as Xavier Rhodes and Josh Robinson, even though they playfully give him grief about his age. “I’ve been the old guy in the room before and I’ve played a lot of football,” said Munnerlyn, who has two interceptions the past two games. “So I’ve had to help teach those guys while I’m learning.” Munnerlyn wasn’t the oldest guy in Carolina last season, when the Panthers finished sixth in the league in pass defense. But the Panthers did rely on some young players in the secondary, so his first season in Minnesota reminds him a little bit of his final season in Carolina. Fellow Vikings defensive backs speak highly of the character and leadership he has brought here. “Captain is a vocal guy. He’s the guy that lets you know, ‘OK, that wasn’t me. That was you. So get it right.’ And that’s OK,” Robinson said. “It helps you know that, ‘OK, I have to do my job,’ because he’s going to point it out when you don’t.” That leadership style might seem a little abrasive — and trust me, Munnerlyn will readily admit when he was the one who screwed up — but accountability was needed after the Vikings were 31st in the league in pass defense in 2013 and allowed a league-high 37 passing touchdowns. This season, the Vikings rank fourth in the league in pass defense through 10 weeks. There are many reasons why that is the case, and Munnerlyn’s presence is one of them. “It’s all about getting experience together,” he said. “When you can have the same guys on the field, that’s always a great thing. So we’re just getting better each and every day with each other. That’s the key. Being a young secondary, working our tail off out here on the practice field then going into the film room and talking plays out. Being a younger secondary, you guys have to put in the work.”
Categories: Local

The making of the matchup in Puerto Rico: Minnesota vs. Louisville

Star Tribune Sports - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 11:49
At first, Gophers coach Richard Pitino said he wanted to wait a few years to play his father, whom he talks to every day. ESPN immediately tried to tempt the father-son coaching duo otherwise
Categories: Local

Timberwolves' Thaddeus Young to miss games after mother's death

Star Tribune Sports - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 11:41
The forward will be out for games at New Orleans and Dallas.
Categories: Local

TwinsCentric: Twins pitching philosophy could use adjustments

Star Tribune Sports - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 11:28
Should the Twins adjust their pitching methods?
Categories: Local

Opening Tipoff: Louisville- Minnesota season opener is finally here

Star Tribune Sports - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 09:41
A few notes on tonight's long-discussed father-son matchup.
Categories: Local

Rubio injury alters Wolves' season course

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 23:08
Ricky Rubio’s injury has altered the season’s course.
Categories: Local

Gophers' Maye finds sweeping success

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 23:02
Coaches call on patient receiver, and he answers in sweeping fashion.
Categories: Local

Father-son Pitinos a lot alike as basketball coaches, but different

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 22:15
Richard Pitino isn’t afraid to go his own way, even with a famous father
Categories: Local

Niederreiter's hat trick vs. Buffalo gets Wild back on track

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 21:58
Stuck in a slump, the Wild returned home Thursday and took it to the NHL’s worst team.
Categories: Local

Vikings roll the dice with young defensive backs

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 21:55
The oldest starter in the secondary is all of 26.
Categories: Local

College hockey battles inside Minnesota borders heat up

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 20:56
This weekend’s Gophers-Bulldogs series is one of the highlights of the newly shaped in-state rivalries.
Categories: Local

College Football Insider: Huskers-Badgers winner could claim Big Ten West

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 20:53
If the Buckeyes beat the Gophers, Ohio State will be rooting for the Nebraska-Wisconsin victor to run the table.
Categories: Local

Anderson: More in Minnesota keep hunting into their golden years

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 20:13
The number of elder Minnesotans who are still active soars in 10 years.
Categories: Local


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