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January 2007

Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Glen Mason Has Been Fired

On January 7, 2007 I created a blog specifically for Minnesota Golden Gopher football called Gopher The Roses, There you will find all of the posts from this site and more in depth coverage on all things Gopher football than I was able to do here on the business blog.

Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Search And Possible Candidates

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers 41 and Texas Red Raiders 44, Review

Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Glen Mason Has Been Fired

Link for my reaction after the game Fire Coach Glen Mason?

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers And Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview


Updated January 1, 2007 at 1:00 pm

In the morning papers:

-Mason: 'I am not going to apologize', Sid Hartman column

-Maturi acts early in getting rid of smug Mason, Patrick Reusse column

-Up Next?, list of potential candidates

-Mason's firing brings out mixed feelings for him, a good like at who did and did not like him

-You're Fired ... And You ..., a list of the outgoing coaches and staff

-Glen Mason Timeline, all of the high points and a lack of low ones

-With Mason gone, Maturi cleans house, a look at the past few months in the athletic department



Updated December 31, 2006 at 7:00 pm

It is interesting to note that it was one year ago today that Glen Mason signed his 5-year extension after what was at best not a pleasant negotiation between the university and Glen Mason.


The buyout is $2.2 million plus $1.4 million in deferred compensation that was already earned., home of the Gopher Athletic Department, has this report and a link to watch the press conference, Glen Mason Dismissed As Golden Gopher Head Football Coach.


Here are updated articles following the press conference:

-Gophers fire mason, St. Paul Pioneer Press

-U fires Mason after Insight debacle, St. Paul Pioneer Press

-Gophers football coach Mason fired, Star Tribune

-Jan. 1, 2006: Mason, U agree to 5-year contract, Star Tribune article announcing deal last year

-Minnesota dismisses head coach after 6-7 season,



Original post December 31, 2006 at 4 pm

Earlier this afternoon the University of Minnesota announced a 5 pm press conference. Sources have told the following that football coach Glen Mason has been fired:


-Pioneer Press, Gophers fire Mason

-Star Tribune, U fires football coach Mason

-ESPN, Sources: Minnesota dismisses Mason after 6-7 season

Fire Coach Glen Mason?

On January 7, 2007 I created a blog specifically for Minnesota Golden Gopher football called Gopher The Roses, There you will find all of the posts from this site and more in depth coverage on all things Gopher football than I was able to do here on the business blog.

Up until this evening I have stated time and again that I was not in favor of firing Glen Mason. Reasons included the running of a clean program, graduating players, zero issues with players getting into trouble, and the slow but steady progress of the program.


I may change my tune.


I am trying really hard to not blog angry. Frankly, I am still shocked at what happened. The Gophers were up 38-7 with 7:47 in the 3rd quarter and fell apart.


My guess is that inside himself, Glen Mason is pretty tore up about this. My problem is that during the game there was no emotion shown by him. I am not asking for Urban Meyer or Steve Spurrier but some fire, some energy, some emotion would be nice.


After Texas Tech kicked the field goal to tie the game with no time left the most Coach Mason could muster was a brief raising of the eye brows as if to say, “Wow”.


I have issues with the ultra-conservative play calling. I have issues with the continued 3-man pass rush. I have issues with the soft zone defense. I have issues with doing the same thing on every offensive and defensive series in the second half.






This is the third major debacle under Coach Mason with the 2000 bowl game against North Carolina State, 2003 against Michigan, and this evening.


Yes a first down here, a naked bootleg there, a pass interference call not going for you, a pass interference call that went against you would likely have changed the game. It was that close.


But your team gave up 31 points in around 22 minutes of game time and you made no changes. You did nothing to help your players. Were you thinking there was no way they could come back with only a quarter and a half to play?


Coach Mason, you cannot blame this on booing fans, students who may or may not have had a beer or two, or the referees. You and your staff need to look in a mirror on this one.


Because you found this blog post you may be looking for sites that deal more with whether to fire Glen Mason or not.


Here you go:


-Fire Glen Mason Blog 


-Gopher Sports Blog


As of midnight Friday none of the sites had an update but I am sure by morning the ranting will have started.


In the mean time you can look at my prediction for tonight’s game here, Minnesota Golden Gophers And Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview. I called the game, the first half pretty well. I still believed. All the way until that 52 yard field goal that tied the game.


Later on Saturday evening I will do a more thorough recap of the game.


Minnesota Golden Gophers And Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview

On January 7, 2007 I created a blog specifically for Minnesota Golden Gopher football called Gopher The Roses, There you will find all of the posts from this site and more in depth coverage on all things Gopher football than I was able to do here on the business blog.


Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Search And Possible Candidates

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers 41 and Texas Red Raiders 44, Review

Link for Minnesota Golden Gopher Football Coach Glen Mason Has Been Fired

Link for my reaction after the game Fire Coach Glen Mason?

Link for Minnesota Golden Gophers And Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview


Original Post:

Here we go, the Minnesota Golden Gophers against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Insight Bowl.

If you go back about two months ago there were the dreamers, some would say insane people, who said the Gophers could close out with three victories and go to a bowl game. I was a little slow to go along with that but I did buy in after the Indiana game.


I think the Gophers are going to win tonight. Maybe I should say they can win tonight.


Things to know about the Texas Tech Red Raiders:

Yeah, yeah, yeah they pass the ball a lot. They average 363 passing yards a game. They are the #3 passing offense in the country.


QB Graham Harrell has thrown 562 passes, a 66.3 completion percentage, 4,110 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions.


9 of their wide receivers have 20 or more completions.


This is very impressive. Watching a Texas Tech game has been compared to watching a video game.


But they have issues. Texas Tech only put up 3 points on TCU and 6 on a crappy Colorado team.


They are not Ohio State, Michigan, or (cringe) Wisconsin who have balanced passing and rushing teams.


Their defense is not all that great.


There is hope Gopher fans…


Speaking of the Gophers, the defense ranks 115th against the pass giving up 254 yards per game. Most of those yards were given up earlier in the season against a defense that had no identity. Giving up 300 passing yards in this game would like bring the Gophers a victory.


I grant that Indiana, Michigan State, and Iowa do not have the passing game of Texas Tech but in many aspects the teams as a whole are comparable.


We did well on defense forcing turnovers, making big plays, and a pass rush. Most of the entire defense became very physical in their play. They became confidant.


My main concern on defense is we suck on third down. We have a hard time getting off the field.


This is a test for the coaches as much as it is for the players. You have had a month to watch videotape. You have had a month to create a plan. You do not need to shut them down, just slow them down.


On offense we need a balanced attack like we had the last three games of the season.


Some comparison should be given between Harrell and Bryan Cupito. This season Cupito has thrown for 2,556 yards, 19 touchdowns, and a 60% completion rate. That’s not bad for a run first offense.


We have a couple of key injuries in TE Matt Spaeth (should surgery) and OL Steve Shidell (broken leg) but their replacements are adequate. The offensive line shifts around a bit and

Jack Simmons replaces Spaeth. Simmons has seen quite a bit of playing time and while not the same player as the NFL bound Spaeth he is a good tight end.


Just about every defense we have faced in the Big Ten is as good as Texas Tech. We should not see anything new.



We need to score first and it needs to take some time. Coach Mason, if we have a choice PLEASE go on offense first.


Our offense should do well. Our defense has had a month to prepare for the track meet. I am still drinking the Kool-Aid. I have my sweatshirt and lucky maroon and gold beads (the ones from Ann Arbor two years ago) with me. I will be at Joe Senser’s in Bloomington.


We will see a Gopher victory.


Minnesota over Texas Tech.

Minnesota Morning

For those reading my posts from an RSS feed I want to warn you that on Sunday and Monday, depending on how involved I get in watching the football games, I may have quite a few posts coming out.


Go Gophers!!!


Minnesota Business Scene:

-Marvin Windows and Doors give company’s third largest bonus, MARVIN WORKERS WILL GET BONUSES AVERAGING $4,505. Not exactly Wall Street but very good for Main Street.


-I received an email this evening wondering why I had not mentioned this, Swarmcast attracts $5M+ in VC. A) I thought I had. B) I make mistakes. C) This proves I take requests. If you know of a local business story that fits what I am doing here send me the information.


After realizing I had indeed missed mentioning some news items I looked through my notes and found two more:


-MN Technology rebounds, plans for growth, legislation, an example of the right leadership at the right time. A link to their web site, Minnesota Technology.


-The Week in Midwest Business: The Return of Regional VC Funding, a brief look into Midwest venture capital deals.



Minnesota Living:

-The New York Times has this article today on Minnesota politics, In Minnesota, Case Study for Political Shake-Up. Considering the current condition of the two local newspapers good thing we can rely on our friends in New York to cover this for us.



Recruiting and Careers:

Many of my blogging colleagues have been on vacation from their keyboard or are doing year end reviews, top tens, etc. I am looking forward to next week when they get back in the swing of things.

-Bosses rate themselves great; employees disagree, does this really shock anyone?



Twin Cities Blogs:


-Minnesota Monitor writes about the article New York Times on Political Shifts in Minnesota.



-Minnesota Golden Gopher Sports Blog has a historical look at Minnesota Gopher Bowl Results.



-I hate ugly web sites too. Thankfully BloggerDesign has some good ideas and links, Your Site Design Reflects Your Company.


-What Would Dad Say has 10 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep.




-College football bowl season

MN Headhunter predictions, 8-4

- Independence Bowl: Alabama over Oklahoma State. My fondness for the SEC led me astray.


+ Holiday Bowl: Cal over Texas A&M. That was the Cal team we expected to see every week.


+ Texas Bowl: Rutgers over Kansas State. A shame most people could not see the game. Thanks NFL Network.


Music City Bowl: Clemson over Kentucky. I know little about Kentucky and am a fan of Clemson.


Liberty Bowl: South Carolina over Houston. I take the ‘ Ol Ball Coach every time.


Champs Sports Bowl: Maryland over Purdue. Maryland a decent team. Purdue inconsistent.


Sun Bowl: Oregon State over Missouri. Beavers all the way.


Insight Bowl: Minnesota over Texas Tech. I have actual reasons for this. Check out my Gopher Football category.

Newspapers In Trouble, Star Tribune And Pioneer Press Are Examples

If you are wondering what the writers at the Star Tribune are thinking you can look at this article for some insight, Nick Coleman: McClatchy's profit-and-loss statement: They profit, we lose.


Clearly the Star Tribune is not the only newspaper in the country in a dicey situation. Look no further than across the Mississippi River at the St. Paul Pioneer Press.


FYI, as of October the Star Tribune is the 15th largest newspaper in the country with a daily circulation of around 359,000.


There is the issue of union workers, With 'Strib' Gone, McClatchy Sheds Another Union Paper -- Coincidence? and staff in general Newspaper to reduce staff and 30 take Pioneer Press buyouts.


There is the issue of losing revenue to the web. Job ads and real estate listings as examples, Newspapers turn Yahoo into ally and Ad nausea hitting newspapers.


There is the issue with the demands from investors and Wall Street, Star Tribune Sold to Equity Group.


And that just gets the conversation started.


Here are a few questions that seem to be asked frequently:

-Do the new owners even know what they are doing in running a newspaper?

-Are the new owners looking to cut the paper up into an even smaller piece(s), grow revenue, and sell again at a profit?

-Will the new owners have the same commitment to the community?

-Will the editorial page and paper in general have less of a liberal slant?


To use a sports analogy I have a feeling that this is only halftime. There is more to play out.

TCF Bank Gopher Football Stadium Update

On January 7, 2007 I created a blog specifically for Minnesota Golden Gopher football called Gopher The Roses, There you will find all of the posts from this site and more in depth coverage on all things Gopher football than I was able to do here on the business blog.


There have been a few news items in the past month on the progress of the stadium. For starters the university web page has a new look. Or at least it has since the last time I was there, TCF Bank Stadium. They have added a construction page to keep everyone up to date on their progress, which includes notes on road and parking changes, TCF Bank Stadium Construction.


There is a blog, Stadium Blog, but it has not been updated in a while.


On December 6th there was good news regarding the bond sale by the state. With a better interest rate taxpayers will $28.4 million less than we had planned, TCF Bank Stadium bond sale saves state $28.4 million.


Then a couple of days later we hear that the stadium could cost 6% - 8% more for a reinforced foundation, Gophers' stadium costs expected to rise. We all knew the water table is shallow in the area but I guess it closer to ground level in that area.


In case you are wondering there is an underground creek(s) in the area and rather than the stadium being dug into the ground it is being built up.


There have been quite a few buildings demolished near the stadium site and adjacent to the Station 19 building.


Finally there is this announcement for an open house next week which I will be attending, Get a Look at the Future Home of Gopher Football at an Open House on January 3. On that page you will see the top link is to a construction web cam. I had not mentioned it yet because the view is only of the stadium site itself, which is still being used as a parking lot. Other than cars coming and going or the occasional squirrel running around there is not much to look at.

Minnesota Morning

A winter storm is coming and it will feel more like one in late March. The prediction is a lot of rain and a little snow. I am helping my buddy Brian move on Saturday. The concern being when a person moves in December how cold will it be. We are lucky. Rain and 40 degrees.


I am working on a couple of posts that focus on links to articles on the UnitedHealth Care stock option scandal and the sale of the Star Tribune.


Minnesota Business Scene:

-This makes sense and would save most of the jobs, Northwest, Mesaba consider merger.



Minneapolis Living:

-Students in an Urban Studies class at the U of M have been working on a project with Dinkytown residents and businesses to write the history of the neighborhood. Yes, it is much more than Bob Dylan and hockey riots, Beyond Dylan.


-Starting Monday the sales tax rate in Hennepin County will move form 6.5% to 6.65% and for those of us in Downtown Minneapolis a move from 7% to 7.15%, Sales tax for new Twins ballpark kicks in Monday. Mmmm, I can smell the burgers and brats already.



Recruiting and Careers:

-Cheezhead wins the Best Blog Award at but his “humbled and honored” photo looks more like a mug shot.



Twin Cities Blogs:


-An update on the growing community, Ruby in the Twin Cities in 2006.


-A great article that shows sometimes less is more, Optimizing your site for less traffic.



(The political bloggers seem to be coming out of their post election slumber)

-A couple regarding the passing of President Ford: The Accidental President, Gerald Ford Passes


-Minnesota's Top 10: Worst Political Persons in the State!!!!, with the #1 being an opposing blogger. Here are his responses, AM I THE “WORST POLITICAL PERSON” IN THE STATE? and AM I THE “WORST POLITICAL PERSON” IN THE STATE? #2.


-John Edwards to announce run for President tomorrow, by the time you read this the announcement may already have happened.



-Woodchipper Wednesday, a nice sports wrap. Quote of the week is priceless.




Minnesota Wild

Lose another one on the road


Minnesota Timberwolves

Lose another one in the 4th quarter


College football bowl season (6-3)

- Emerald Bowl: UCLA over Florida State. I should have gone with my gut and not my brain. Florida State does have pride and the talent decided to show up.


Independence Bowl: Alabama over Oklahoma State. Roll Tide. This is one of those stupid think with my heart picks. My brain says Okie State is gonna put a whooping on the Tide.


Holiday Bowl: Cal over Texas A&M. I saw Cal in person and thnk most days they are a great team. Maybe one season they will live up to the hype. Picking Cal but a huge fan of the Twelfth Man.


Texas Bowl: The state is so big it gets it’s own game now? Yeee Hawwww. Rutgers over Kansas State. This game should not be close. Oops, you know what that means…

Star Tribune Sold To Private Equity Firm

Just about everyone (including me) is surprised at the announcement of the Star Tribune sale. In the last week prior to the announcement I had been contacted by three current employees working in information technology. Did they know ahead of time or just have a feeling? I do not know but I should have figured it out.


There seems to be some sense of excitement from the tech folks that they could be involved in doing some new things. If that does not come true I expect to see a considerable line out the door.


So far the conversations with them have been about what the market is like. I would not say they are ready to leave but that noise you hear is the keys on computers typing updates to resumes, just in case.


Graeme Thickens has some nice links to articles on the growth and decline of circulation and the print and web side of the business, Web Keeps Changing Newspaper Biz.


More local bloggers take on it:

-Sane, Relatively Speaking

-Minneapolis Star Tribune Loses $670 Million In Value In 8 Years

-The Widing Space Between News and Paper

-Star Trib Sold in After Christmas Sale

Minnesota Morning

A belated Ho, Ho, Ho. I started writing this on Monday but decided to take a few days off from the keyboard. This one is a little short but there will be another edition tomorrow.


Our wishes for snow on the ground came through. Well sort of anyway if you count an inch or two of slush. Here we are asking for it and the people in Denver (and those trying to get in or out of there) were shut down for two days and it looks like they are going to get it again.


I need to go back a few days so you can get an insight into my crazy head. December 21st is one of my favorite days of the years. Not because of the holidays. Not because of the college football bowl season. Days start getting longer now. It’s a mind game. We have two real winter months left. March is the snowiest month but it melts right away. Then we are intro spring. Through today we have gained 1 minute and 20 seconds of daylight. Baby steps…


Recruiting And Careers:

-If you are thinking of starting a recruiting blog or portal here are some things to think about, How to Make a Kick-Butt Recruiting Blog Portal. One thing most of my blogging colleagues have not caught on to is the idea of taking on a local area or region. I think there is only one blogger besides me doing that, my buddy Jim Durbin with StlRecruiting.


-There it is again at #10 “Find a new job”, Ten Things to Do When You’re the Only One at Work Around the Holidays. I am not the only giving that advice.



Twin Cities Blogs:

Business and Technology

-Bex Huff with a great idea, Update Your Resume to Include Person Of The Year, 2006. I will do a post and promote the first person that sends me their resume with it on there.


-Charisma 18 has me thinking about Getting paid for results, not services


-Technology Evangelist with the holidays being the season to be a tech support guy, Family Technology Questions.



-Congratulations, 45 days ago you won a seat in Congress and you are already on the most endangered species list, WALZ LABELED POLITICALLY VULNERABLE BY PELOSI AND PARTY LEADERS.




-College Football Bowl Season

Like I did in the Big Ten I am picking the games during this bowl season. As I said then, you should not place any money on my predictions. Some times, many times, my bias and heart get in the way of my brain. In other words, I am a fan not a gambler.


So far I am doing OK, 6-2:

+ Poinsettia Bowl: TCU over Northern Illinois


+ Las Vegas Bowl: BYU over Oregon


- New Orleans Bowl: Rice over Troy


+ Bowl: South Florida over East Carolina


- New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico over San Jose St.


+ Armed Forces Bowl: Utah over Tulsa


+ Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii over Arizona St.


+ Motor City Bowl: Central Michigan over Middle Tennessee


Tonight’s game

Emerald Bowl: UCLA over Florida St.

If UCLA can beat USC they should easily beat Florida St. The Seminoles are having their worst season under Bobby Bowden. Maybe pride steps in but I doubt it.

Former President Gerald Ford Passes Away At The Age Of 93

Updated January 2nd, 5:00 pm:

I have been able to watch much of the coverage of the national day of mourning for President Gerald Ford. This morning I received an email from the Delta Kappa Epsilon (Deke or DKE) fraternity headquarters with this link, Brother Gerald R. Ford, Jr., Omicron '35 Remembered.


It goes to a lengthy article written by a few of President Ford’s Deke classmates. While a little long it has great insight into the student, the lawyer, the congressman and the president. Some great stories and an inside look into the president as a younger man.


Original Post:

I was a young kid when Gerald R Ford went from Speaker of the House to President of the United States and so I remember very little if anything of Spiro Agnew, Watergate, and Richard Nixon.


I have always had a fascination with the history of our presidents. Not so much of their presidency itself but what led them to it and what they do after they leave office. The work they do and the way they are remembered.


President Ford was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon (Deke) fraternity at the University of Michigan. As a student at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Deke fraternity I had a lot of interest in learning the history of the fraternity.


Gerald Ford was actually born Leslie Lynch King, Jr. His parents went their separate ways before he was born. At the age of two his mother married Gerald Ford and the son who would later become president took his name although he was never adopted. If I remember correctly he did change the spelling of his middle name.


He grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After a full high school career of sports and academics he was accepted at the University of Michigan. Where like in high school he excelled both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities.


He was initiated into the Deke fraternity and in order to pay for room, board, books and tuition was the kitchen steward at the fraternity. A position that came with a stipend and this helped him pay for school.


He was also a member of the Interfraternity Council, Student Council, Sphinx (an honor society for men in the junior class) and Michagamua (an honor society for men in the senior class).


I have seen a few pictures the Michigan Deke chapter has of the then college student. He was a stud. He had a reputation for being a well-mannered, hard working, good guy.


This evening I have heard many of the “talking heads” say he was an All America football player for the Wolverines. I think they are incorrect. Not that it really matters.


He did play center and linebacker. He was named team MVP for his play at the center position and played in two All-Star games. He was offered a NFL contract after graduating. Instead he went to Yale University Law School.


The fraternity headquarters, The Shant, is located in Ann Arbor and the library is named the Gerald R Ford Library. He had been a strong supporter of the group throughout his years.


In the ‘90s the fraternity published a book, “A Century and a Half of DKE” and in the introduction of the book Gerald Ford wrote,

"I prize my experiences at the Deke house in Ann Arbor, and on the University of Michigan campus. The friendships I made there and later with Delta Kappa Epsilon Brothers from around the continent have served me well."

Gerald Ford came from a rather modest Midwest beginning. He was not born into a rich family or one that was “connected”. He worked hard through his life and was committed to public service. He may have been the accidental president but he may very well have been the right guy at the right time.


His life story is truly amazing.