Daily clips monday, january 7, 2019 - Amazon S3
Daily clips monday, january 7, 2019 - Amazon S3
LOCAL NEWS: Monday, January 7, 2019 Pioneer Press For 50 years, WCCO’s Mark Rosen brought sports into our homes By Kathy Berdan https://www.twincities.com/2019/01/06/wcco-mark-rosen-retiring-sports-for-5 0-years-into-our-living-rooms/ Vikings.com Monday Morning Mailbag: How Can The Vikings Become More Consistent? By Mike Wobschall https://www.vikings.com/news/monday-morning-mailbag-how-can-the-vikings-bec ome-more-consistent VIKING Update Sunday Slant: Colts show Vikings the way to quick fix By Tim Yotter https://247sports.com/nfl/minnesota-vikings/Article/Colts-show-Minnesota-Vi kings-the-way-to-quick-fix- 127383631/
For 50 years, WCCO’s Mark Rosen brought sports into our homes By Kathy Berdan The deep, friendly voice and black frame glasses that have meant sports for Minnesotans for 50 years is retiring from WCCO-TV. Sports broadcaster Mark Rosen started at the television station when he was a junior in high school. That’s long before Twins favorite Joe Mauer was swinging his baby bottle. Before the Timberwolves and the Wild were found in Twin Cities arenas instead of in nature. Before the Twins scored World Series victories in 1987 and 1991. Before the Vikings were wearing Super Bowl rings (oh, wait ...).
Rosen is in the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame and leaves as the longest-tenured sports personality in any major U.S. city.
Minnesotans have seen him on their Magnavox home TV consoles with built-in hi-fi, on black-and-white portables with rabbit ears on the porch at the cabin, on thin, flat-screen HD TVs in the living room and on the phone in their hand. He’ll continue to talk sports on the radio, but jokes he can get rid of his sport coats and ties, grow a beard or get a tattoo. “Well, I guess I could have a tattoo now,” he laughs. “Oh, Mark Rosen! How are you?” A woman greets Rosen like an old friend in the lobby of the St. Louis Park building that houses the KFAN radio station where he’s headed to do a show.
He greets her warmly. In the elevator he admits he doesn’t know her, but when you’ve been around as long as he has, people think they know you. He doesn’t mind. “It’s a good way to get to know people,” he says. “Everybody is pretty nice.” Sports is the great common denominator, Rosen says. There’s always something to talk about. “I don’t mind, other than when the kids were little and we’d be out to dinner.” Or when he’d be leaving a movie and someone who had spent the last two hours in the dark with him would ask how the Twins game went that day.
(A movie buff, Rosen agrees with a photographer’s suggestion that Kevin Costner should play Rosen if there was a movie made about Rosen’s life. “Yeah, I like everything he’s done,” Rosen says of the actor, “even ‘Waterworld.’ “) It’s Rosen’s second trip to KFAN on this weekday. He’s here at 8 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to talk sports on “The Power Trip” morning show, heads home for a bit, then returns to join Dan Cole, “The Common Man,” for his show from 2 until 3 p.m.
Mark Rosen watches the 6 p.m. newscast while waiting for his sports segment to begin at the WCCO-TV studios in Minneapolis on Thursday, Dec.
27, 2018. Rosen is closing out a 50-year career with WCCO-TV but will continue to be a regular presence on radio and online. (John Autey / Pioneer Press) In the car and downtown Minneapolis to WCCO-TV after that, where he’ll write the 6 p.m. sports news, go on air and stick around to rewrite, prep and read the 10 p.m. sports news. Days off are Friday and Saturday.
It’s too much,” Rosen admits. “Even in the best of times, a body gets tired.” PUBLICATION: PIONEER PRESS DATE: 1/7/19
But the work has never gotten old, he says. Every season there are new players, coaches, management to get to know, relationships to build — from the front office to the locker room. Stats and plays to rehash and relive. “There’s no offseason in sports,” he says. “You never take it for granted, but you can’t get caught up in it, either,” he adds, even during sweeps and ratings periods. “What’s on Mark Rosen’s mind today?” Brandon Mileski is filling in for the Common Man on this Thursday show.
There’s plenty on Rosen’s mind, no notes or outline for today’s chat needed. There’s a big Vikings game ahead and the Twins just signed a hotshot hitter.
Mileski and Rosen toss stats and comments back and forth, remembering games with a near play-by-play accuracy. (Though off air, both admit they can easily forget where they parked the car.) And they talk of Rosen’s pending TV retirement. There will be an on-air segment on WCCO-TV on Rosen’s last day, Jan. 10, and there’s no shortage of material. “When you’re on TV, literally your entire life is on tape,” Rosen says. Mileski tells Rosen he won’t have to go to the State Fair any more. “Oh, I’ll be there,” he says. “But I’ll get to leave at 3.” There are lots of things he’ll do differently after retirement, Rosen says.
I’ve never been to Fort Myers (Florida home of the Twins’ spring training) without working.” He might even get in a round of golf next year in Florida.
Rosen plans to add more time on the radio and do a podcast after his TV career ends. Rosen says he always loved sports and was “fascinated” by his St. Louis Park neighbor Phil Jones, coming from and going to his job at WCCO-TV when Rosen was a junior in high school. Though TV news wasn’t “a big, big deal then,” he asked Jones if there was any way he could hang out at the station. Jones cleared it with then-sports editor Hal Scott (“There were no internships then,” Rosen says), and in April 1969, Rosen took the bus downtown to WCCO. The first person he ran into was broadcast icon Dave Moore, which left him a bit starstruck, he says.
Scott didn’t have anything for Rosen to do, but the teen made himself useful and told his parents he had to go back the next day. He’d been working at a local drugstore, delivering prescriptions and stocking shelves. Rosen returned to the station and did “whatever they needed me to do.” He got coffee, he emptied ashtrays, he rewrote Associated Press wire copy that came in over the teletype machine. “I just kept hanging out there,” he says. “They never asked me to leave.” In August that year, they gave him a part-time job.
WCCO-TV sportcaster Mark Rosen, center, interviews Minnesota Vikings coaches and players, from left, Les Steckel, Bud Grant, Jim Marshall, Bill Brown and Tommy Kramer in January 1984.
(Courtesy of Mark Rosen) He has gone from getting coffee to lead sports anchor. For 35 years, Rosen hosted a Sunday night sports show after the late news, first with legendary Vikings coach Bud Grant, then with wide receiver Ahmad
Rashad (who has gone on to national sports broadcasting. “I kickstarted his TV career,” Rosen says). Cohosts included a stint with Vikings Scott Studwell, Darren Nelson and Greg Coleman (one of Rosen’s favorite lineups for the show), plus Randall McDaniel, Cris Carter and John Randle. Defensive tackle NFL Hall of Famer Randle, who played for the Vikings for 11 seasons (1990-2000), laughs when he talks about appearances on Rosen’s show. He and linebacker Ed McDaniel would often appear on the Sunday night show together and had “little spiel” where one of them was going to get angry at a Rosen question and the other would try to control him.
Rosie would go along with it and it would transition in something funny,” Randle says. Rosen asked the questions that Minnesota football fans would ask if they had a chance to talk directly to players, Randle adds. “He loved sports and loved the Vikings,” Randle says, calling Rosen “straighforward, smart” and “a unique and gentle guy.” The Sunday night show ended in 2016, as staff and budget dwindled “and I kind of hit a wall,” Rosen says. HUMBLE, MADE HIS INTERVIEW SUBJECTS COMFORTABLE A conversation about 50 years on the Minnesota sports beat is, of course, thick with mentions of players and coaches, but there’s never a sense of name-dropping.
Rosen remembers the first time he talked to Grant: “I was petrified,” he says. “Those steely blue eyes.” Twins legend Kirby Puckett was the first to call him “Rosie.” (The Timberwolves’ Kevin Garnett just called him “Rose.”) Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew was on Rosen’s show just after he hit his 500th home run. “I was in awe of Harmon. He’s Paul Bunyan. Such a great man.” There was Fran Tarkenton, Joe Kapp and Jim Marshall, who used to visit Rosen’s mom in assisted living. “You come full circle,” Rosen says. “It’s amazing the relationships with people you’ve grown up with as sports idols.
How do you beat that? You don’t. You just don’t.” Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren calls Rosen “a special and incredible human being.” Rosen makes his interview subjects feel special. “When HE interviews you, you feel like it’s his first interview and his last interview,” Warren says. “We all respect and truly love and appreciate him.” GOOD RAPPORT, GOOD INTERVIEW “How was the trip?” asks WCCO-TV anchor Frank Vascellaro. “Looks like you got some sun.” Rosen and his family just returned from a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He and Vascellaro talk of family and the holidays, what’s ahead for the 6 p.m.
Rosen confers with his longtime cameraman Tom Ryther Jr. (Yes, Ryther’s dad was a longtime sports broadcaster on another Twin Cities channel.) Ryther has footage of Gophers basketball coach Lindsay Whalen, newly signed Twin Nelson Cruz and Viking Adam Thielen to use in the sports segment. Rosen writes his copy and takes a break to chat before he goes on air. He says he was asked to transition to news at one point, but chose to stay with sports. “Everything always progressed. If there’d been a sameness to things (it might have been different). ... I like the success stories. There are some fascinating stories in sports.”
News reporters can’t write with the same edge that sports reporters can. “I can write with an attitude. I can write with an opinion. That’s the kind of autonomy anybody would love.” Though there was always the challenge of weather and sports. Rosen remembers covering some games at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field where his face was so cold he felt like he couldn’t form words. And gloves? Forget it. Notes and paper and mittens don’t work together. But there was a camaraderie among the crew working together in tough situations — laughs and a shared experience over a butter burger at Kroll’s outside Lambeau at the end of the game.
Worst sports loss? The Vikings’ 1998 loss to Atlanta that kept them out of the Super Bowl in Miami that year. Rosen had plans to bring the family to Florida. It as a crushing defeat. “That one hurt. It physically hurt,” Rosen says. He’s seen the media business change through the years at WCCO. Reporters such as Susan Spencer and Al Austin who left for national media fame; an award-winning investigative team that dug into Twin Cities issues, local legends like Moore, Bud Kraehling, Don Shelby. “I grew up in the best newsroom in the country.” He says he never thought much about his distinctive voice until he started listening to his own tapes.
Shoppers in the grocery store don’t even need to see him, but hear that voice and come around the aisle to say, “Oh, I thought that was you.” “I’m still surprised,” he says. “I would have never, ever, ever thought that’s what it would turn out to be.” Rosen asks not to dwell on the main reason behind his departure. His wife, Denise, is battling brain cancer.
He would rather discuss their life together. They met in the mid-1970s when both were working for WCCOTV. She was an artist who worked on graphics and went on to work at ad agencies in the Twin Cities. They married in 1977. “She wasn’t even a big sports fan,” he says, “which is probably good.” Their son was born in 1985 and they adopted a daughter from Korea in 1990. “What she’s done for me and with me as a partner, everything in my career comes from her.” Rosen has to take a phone call. He’s been told to watch for a “201 area code.” It’s Vikings owner Mark Wilf on the other end of that New Jersey area code, asking Rosen to be the honorary team captain for the Vikings’ final regular-season game against the Bears.
After 50 years. After World Series games and covering Super Bowls. After Puckett, Grant, Killebrew, Rosen still beams with the thrill of the game. “I’ve got goosebumps,” he says. THEY’RE STILL WORKING WITH MARK ROSEN WCCO-TV’s Mark Rosen retires after 50 years with the station this week, but he’ll continue to do sports talk radio on KFAN 100.3 FM, and will likely increase his presence on shows there. Rosen has been doing a stint on “The Common Man” show for about 15 years, figures Dan Cole, aka Common Man. Here’s what he and producer Brandon Mileski had to say about Rosen.
Mileski (aka Tenna B, who is also a sidekick on the show) says his favorite part is when Common Man tries to get Rosen agitated.
What I like about Mark most is he’s got thick skin. He takes a beating and comes back with a smile on his face. “He’s a secure person. Anyone who’s been around that long would have to be.” Cole (Rosen’s verbal sparring partner when Rosen is on the show Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) likes to open the show with, “What’s it like being Mark Rosen?” It’s a running gag, Cole says. “He plays along perfectly. He knows it’s all in good fun.” After 15 or so years on the air together, the two don’t need an outline or rehearsal for the show, Cole says. “It’s a good pairing,” he says. “Almost immediately we hit it off.
He’s so easygoing. Easy to work with. Just easy to work with.”
PUBLICATION : Vikings.com DATE: 1/7/19 Monday Morning Mailbag: How Can The Vikings Become More Consistent? By Mike Wobschall Who would you like to see be our next offensive coordinator? -- Kathy Briesemeister St. Louis Park, MN I believe Kevin Stefanski has earned a chance to be a coordinator in this League. With his experience working with both head coach Mike Zimmer and quarterback Kirk Cousins, I feel having that opportunity right here in Minnesota is a good fit. I’m hopeful Stefanski is hired but I also realize there are other qualified candidates and I will support whoever is hired.
What changes can be made to make this team more consistent and successful? I've been a fan for more the 50 years and am growing tired of the same old cliché response of “There's always next year." I love the staff and ownership of this team, but there needs to be an urgent response to the mediocrity of this team to make our team more consistent/successful.
Dave Myers Blackwood, NJ Handling success. That is one responsibility a good team has that I don’t think the Vikings demonstrated heading into 2018. There will be an urgent response. One moment of coach Zimmer’s season-ending press conference that hit home with me was when he acknowledged the 2018 Vikings played without an edge and didn’t have a vibe that previous teams, particularly the 2017 Vikings, had. Zimmer followed that up by saying he had a plan to restore that edge and vibe.
Being a Vikings fan and not having them in the playoffs this year, what team should we be watching play to inspire some hope for 2019? -- Zachary Zweber Prior Lake, MN It’s the Indianapolis Colts. Not because the teams are built similarly from a personnel or schematic standpoint, but because of how the Colts so quickly and diligently improved a major weakness – their offensive line. Indianapolis used a 1st-round and 2nd-round picks on offensive linemen in 2018 and both players – Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith – started and helped generate significant improvement in both run blocking and pass protection for the Colts offense.
The Colts already had talented players (and former 1st-round picks) at left tackle and center, and the two early-round picks from this year’s draft fortified the group and helped them improve dramatically in just one offseason. I would like to see us go in a different offensive direction than other teams and go back to playing serious smash-mouth football at the line of scrimmage. A huge offensive line that just blows people off the ball instead of all these outside runs that string out. Let's plow straight ahead and create openings right away. It would also force defenses to play us differently than they play everyone else.
This league copies too much...1980s Washington Redskins football is what I would love to see. -- Patrick Flach Altamont, IL There is a lot of validity to this argument. I can’t say I disagree with it and I’m also not sure the Vikings won’t actually try to do this. Finesse linemen who could get out in space and block for screens and perimeter runs seemed to be valued a year ago, but maybe sacrificing that quality in favor of brute strength and toughness is a better fit for the Zimmer mold/brand of offense. It might also be a better fit for Cousins given how well he typically performs when using play action.
I'm sitting here watching the Colts-Texans playoff game and I can see just how much of a leader Andrew Luck is on his team. I feel like it's been a long time since the Vikings had a leader on their team. I feel like we need a Vikings player to step up and be that leader on the team. Who do you think is capable or likely to step into that position where he can motivate and lead this team when they're down? Skol! -- Nate Leadership is not a problem for the Vikings. Particularly on the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings roster is full of players with great competitive and personal integrity.
Linval Joseph, Eric Kendricks, Harrison Smith and Adam Thielen are just three examples of players who are team-first in their mentality, who love the game and who hold their teammates accountable.
Has our Super Bowl window closed? Cap space is limited, Kirk Cousins is not the answer and our team, even at home, didn’t live up to ANY expectations this season. -- Jerry Provost Not at all. Quite the opposite, really. The Vikings have done a great job of developing and locking down a young core of players. The aforementioned players in the leadership question plus players such as Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs, Pat Elflein and Danielle Hunter are all under contract for several more seasons. The Vikings roster is loaded and this is a team that should be able to compete consistently for years to come.
The roster isn’t perfect and there are several areas that need significant improvement, but the foundation is young and solid.
PUBLICATION : VIKING Update DATE: 1/7/19 Sunday Slant: Colts show Vikings the way to quick fix By Tim Yotter The fix is in. No, this isn’t some far-fetched conspiracy column purporting that the NFL, or its officials have conspired against the Minnesota Vikings. The fix, in this case, is a very basic recipe to fixing what ailed the Vikings in 2018 and realizing they may not be that far away. It shouldn’t take years of rebuilding or retooling or whatever level of descriptor one desires to place on a roster makeover. In fact, this should have been the same formula applied last year. Now, however, the appropriate amount of humble pie appears to have been served to the decision makers at the opulent new facilities the Vikings call home in Eagan.
No $750,000 draft board is needed. No indepth study of personnel and draft picks is required to come to the conclusion that higher draft picks on the offensive line work out better than lower ones.
Let’s just call this the post-holidays, no-postseason, common sense, humility-required recipe to success. The primary ingredient has to be humility. It’s a spice that often burns, but acts like a truth serum. It will have to be applied to the front offices and coaching staff. When added to the recipe, it should provide a sour taste that shocks the palate to the realization that the past several years weren’t good enough. For the front office, especially ultimate draft decision-maker Rick Spielman, it should provide clarity that if he is to be held accountable for draft picks, then they are his picks.
There is no great need to acquiesce to the defensive-minded head coach. The jobs of both the general manager and the head coach are – or should be – on the line. The Wilfs have given both of them everything they could have wanted, from a real home-field advantage in U.S. Bank Stadium, a real free-agent draw with the TCO Performance Center and a willingness to spend to the salary-cap limits.
But if the end product is to provide the sweetest of tastes, humility has to be added first as a bitter bite back to common sense, providing the clarity to see what fans have requested for at least a year or two – a quality offensive line. The Vikings’ actions say they believed Kirk Cousins and John DeFilippo could combine forces and turn the offense from solid into elite. But perhaps it was the higher-ranking Eagles assistant from 2017, Frank Reich, that can show the Vikings how it should be done. Reich, the former coordinator whose Eagles offense humiliated Zimmer’s defense in the NFC Championship, is now the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
In the NFC Championship, the Vikings’ vaunted pass rush couldn’t get home often enough, allowing backup QB Nick Foles to shred Mike Zimmer’s defense, turning the Zim Reapers into Reich’s Reward. But when Reich became the Indianapolis Colts’ head coach, their 2018 draft focused on the offensive line, not an Adrian Peterson-type running back or another defender. In 2017, the Colts had the 22nd-ranked pass-blocking offensive line, according to Pro Football Focus’s grades, and were 29th in run blocking. Jacoby Brissett, playing for the injured Andrew Luck, was pressured 225 times, third-most in the league.
In 2016, Luck was the most pressured passer and tied for taking the most sacks (41). With that stacking up against Brissett again in 2017, the Colts finished that season with a 4-12 record.
In April, they used the sixth overall pick on a guard, Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson, and a second-round pick on another guard, Auburn’s Braden Smith, who is now their right tackle. They knew Luck, who took a pounding two years earlier and wasn’t available in 2017 because of it, needed protection for anything to work. This year, the Colts have moved up to ninth in PFF’s pass-blocking grades and fourth in run blocking. Luck was pressured 200 times, 10th-most, but sacked a miniscule 18 times. By comparison, Cousins was pressured 260 times, second-most, but sacked 40 times, 10th-most. The Colts took it to Houston’s vaunted defensive front on Saturday while the Vikings were mere observers of postseason football.
Guards haven’t always been considered a premium position, but Steve Hutchinson made a massive difference for the Seahawks and Vikings. Quarterbacks are considered a premium position, and the Vikings undoubtedly paid Cousins as such. But they haven’t protected him as such. Nelson had the 10th-best pass-blocking grade among guards in 2018, allowing only two sacks and 23 pressures. For the Vikings, Mike Remmers is 41st, giving up seven sacks and 43 pressures. Tom Compton was graded even lower. The Colts’ other rookie lineman, Smith, gave up three sacks and 28 pressures.
And if Mike Zimmer wants to run the ball better, it’s not a matter of addressing the running back position. Dalvin Cook is more than suitable, dare we say elite if given adequate blocking. For the Colts, Nelson has the fifth-best run-blocking grade among NFL guards. Compton is 15th and Remmers is 25th. One way for Zimmer to improve his defense is to have a better offense that stays on the field. One that doesn’t go three-and-out four straight times to start a game, like they did in two of the last three games. Zimmer said at his season-ending press conference that the offense has to be better in the red zone, and they do.
He also said throughout the offseason that the key to red zone production is a strong running game.
Asked if a “premium” needs to be put on the offensive line, Zimmer said improvement has to come throughout the team. But, let’s be honest, if he wants a “nasty” attitude on offense, it has to start with the offensive line. The car goes nowhere without the engine to move it forward. “Drafting and building any position is really hard. Obviously offensive line is a tough spot, but there’s plenty of them. I would not say that it’s as simple as that. I think there’s a lot of things that go on and we have to do a better job there,” Zimmer said. “If you look at the five years that I’ve been here, defensively we kind of were going up and maintained where we were, and offensively we’ve been down here.
I have to do a better job of creating the defensive mindset and attitude, for the most part, on offense. It’s probably as simple as that.” It’s probably as simple as committing real resources to the offensive line.