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Patrick Reusse

Columnist | Sports
Phone: 612-673-7129
Recent content from Patrick Reusse
P.J. Jones Jr. with a No. 12 jersey from his grandfather, Cesar Tovar. He wears No. 12 for Cretin-Derham Hall and the Little Caesar’s national 16-an

Reusse: Finally, 'Pepito' gets Hall of Fame recognition from Twins

Cesar Tovar's selection to the Twins' Hall of Fame may not register with many fans in the same way as Dan Gladden's. But it will bring special joy to a teenage baseball star in the Twin Cities.
Jared Olafson used a machine donated by Ironhide Equipment to clear the skate path.

Reusse: Warroad's hockey folks keep five-mile skating path safe and growing

The Riverbend Skate Path along the Warroad River now extends for 5.2 miles, connecting the east and west sides of the Canadian border town, as well as generations of hockey players.
Minnesota State Mankato coach Mike Hastings led the Mavericks to the Frozen Four last season.

Reusse: College hockey season has become 190 days of constant uncertainty

Roster depletion from the Olympics and, of course, COVID-19 have only added to the concerns.
Former Gophers wrestling coach J Robinson

Reusse: Revered yet embattled, Robinson to be honored by Gophers wrestling

There will be a reunion this weekend and a reconciliation of sorts with former coach J Robinson — although it's an accord not needed with the athletes and most college wrestling fans.
Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett (96) knocked the ball away from Vikings quarterback Case Keenum for a second-quarter fumble in the NFC Championship

Reusse: Missed home Super Bowl was a sign of Vikings to come under Zimmer

The no-show in Philadelphia was the beginning of the end for his tenure, which appears to have reached its conclusion.
Will Ramberg (25) went to work during a preseason Gophers practice.

Reusse: Once far removed, U's Ramberg is undersized, unlikely contributor for Gophers

Will Ramberg came to the Gophers men's basketball team by way of Cook County High School and McGill University in Montreal.
Gophers coach Ben Johnson talks to guard Payton Willis during the team’s game against Illinois on Tuesday

Reusse: Gophers met their match, but Johnson looks like an upgrade

Although Illinois dominated Tuesday, Gophers men's basketball coach Ben Johnson has generated optimism, while his predecessor Richard Pitino finds himself in a predicament.
When Bud Grant talks football, it’s wise to listen.

Reusse: Football doesn't need fixing, but that doesn't stop Grant from imagining improvements

Bud Grant is 94, still in love with the game and full of ideas.
Target Field is ready for Saturday’s Winter Classic.

Reusse: Minnesota outdoor hockey, from Marvin to Motzko to Micheletti

Saturday's Winter Classic at Target Field will be the marquee event for the NHL.
P.J. Fleck and Lou Holtz were two football coaches on the rise who made the Gophers a winner.

Reusse: Fleck's sustained success at U separates him from Holtz's legacy

P.J. Fleck has three Gophers bowl victories now and could take the program down a path that Lou Holtz might have paved, had he stayed.
Coach P.J. Fleck got doused after the Gophers’ 18-6 victory in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl on Tuesday night. The Gophers might have deserved a better b

Reusse: How Gophers ended up playing in Phoenix is mysterious

This is the first Guaranteed Rate Bowl, but the Gophers have been in this game several times before.
James Clark doesn’t like bad guys.

Reusse: No 'monster' at all, Clark goes from fighting bad guys to training fighters

After a colorful and eclectic journey through the decades and several countries — a life which might be made into a movie, based on his autobiography — James Clark trains fighters of all kinds in his Fridley gym.
Wisconsin’s Sydney Hilley (2) set the ball in an eventual win against the Gophers on Dec. 11 in an NCAA regional final.

Reusse: Minnesotan Hilley reaches top of NCAA volleyball with Badgers

Champlin Park graduate Sydney Hilley is a three-time All-America selection for Wisconsin and played a key role in the team's recent NCAA championship.
North Dakota State coach Matt Entz raised the FCS championship trophy alongside quarterback Trey Lance as they celebrated beating James Madison 28-20

Reusse: Is it best for NDSU to be the biggest fish in an even smaller pond?

The Bison have been an FCS force since their arrival, but the subdivision continues to shrink with programs chasing FBS "glory."
Lakers forward LeBron James works to the basket around Timberwolves forward Jarred Vanderbilt on Friday

Reusse: Topping ridiculous early hype is among LeBron's many achievements

Sam Mitchell remembers hearing "crazy" talk about the high school kid in Akron, Ohio. Then LeBron James changed the game — and the debates about "the greatest."
David Morrell worked out at the Circle of Discipline gym in Barnum on June 4.

Morrell-Fox bout headlines Saturday's national TV card at the Armory

David Morrell Jr. and veteran Alantez Fox are the main draw while VeShawn Owens of Minneapolis meets Alberto Puello in the undercard battle of super lightweights.
Coach Dean Evason is the man behind the Wild bench — and the catalyst behind speeding up the team’s offense.

Reusse: From Kamloops to St. Paul, Wild's Evason feels a need for speed

Coach Dean Evason showed instincts for teaching the game while still a player, and his development of a free-wheeling offense — and the addition of superstar-in-the-making Kirill Kaprizov — elevated the Wild to among the NHL elite.
American League President Joe Cronin presented Twins star Rod Carew with a silver bat for winning the 1969 AL batting title in June 1970. That bat was

Reusse: 1970 Twins featured five Hall of Famers, zero luck

They also had the AL Cy Young Award winner, but that wasn't enough to prevent another sweep at the hands of the Orioles.
Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns looke to pass the ball while covered by former teammate Ricky Rubio in the second half Friday.

Reusse: Even NBA play-in tournament hopes too high for Timberwolves

The team disgraced itself again with another uncompetitive loss Friday night after raising fans' hopes.
Ben Johnson and the Gophers have received praise for their 7-0 start, but the first-year head coach is making sure his players know tougher battles li

Reusse: Johnson won't bask in U's success or ignore challenges ahead

Ben Johnson and the Gophers have received praise for their 7-0 start, but the first-year head coach is making sure his players know tougher battles lie ahead.
Minnie Minoso in 2004.

Reusse: New Hall of Famer Minoso was Cuban star, American showman

Minnie Minoso will go into the Cooperstown shrine next summer with Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat and Gil Hodges from the Golden Baseball Era.
Tony Oliva in 1968

Reusse: Oliva's prime a magnificent thing for a young man to watch

It was an April afternoon in 1964, when games on television were rare, that a young Tony Oliva made a lasting impression by showing he wouldn't be intimidated in the batter's box.
Stephanie Samedy

Reusse: Samedy shows All-America tools in final game at U's Pavilion

Stephanie Samedy, in line for her fourth first-team All-America nod, leads the Gophers. After sweeping Stanford, they advance in the Madison NCAA volleyball regional.
Jerry Kill coached TCU to a 2-2 record as an interim head coach. His next challenge will be at New Mexico State.

Reusse: 'Changed' Kill a head coach again, and we'll see him vs. the U

When Jerry Kill stepped down from the Gophers job, he thought he was done as a football coach. But he'll be back this fall at New Mexico State. His Aggies play the Gophers in September.
At a Target Field news conference Wednesday, Twins center fielder Byron Buxton said he tries not to overthink each trip to the plate. That’s what ML

Reusse: Buxton's hitting theory goes against MLB's lethargic pace

With MLB's mind-numbing march of pitchers, and minute after minute without seeing a ball in play, it was refreshing to hear Byron Buxton on hitting: "See the ball, hit the ball."
Byron Buxton hugged Paul Molitor, his first Twins manager, after a press conference Wednesday at Target Field.

Molitor, Buxton's first Twins manager, still shares lessons on overcoming injuries

"You deserve this,'' Paul Molitor said to the Twins' $100 million center fielder Wednesday.
St. John’s football coach Gary Fasching, seen here in 2018, did not coach Saturday while dealing with COVID-19.

Reusse: Johnnies stopped on ground, erratic on special teams in playoff loss

Playing without its head coach, St. John's could not sustain an effective run game Saturday vs. Linfield and gifted the Wildcats opportunities to score.
The Slab of Bacon trophy was presented to the Minnesota-Wisconsin winner in the 1930s and 40s.

Reusse: Slab of Bacon mystery unsolved, but Gophers-Badgers still served annually

Before they battled for Paul Bunyan's Axe, the Gophers and Badgers spent more than a decade playing for the 'Slab of Bacon' trophy that's still in Wisconsin — when it shouldn't be.
Turkey of the Year: Time to sharpen the knives.

Patrick Reusse's 2021 Turkey of the Year winner is ...

Last year, we demanded the Turkey make a comeback. This year, The Chairman agrees: The Turkey of the Year is here to stay.
Willians Astudillo played in only 167 games for the Twins over four seasons, but he made appearances at every position except shortstop, including cen

Reusse: Willians Astudillo might be gone, but he absolutely won't be forgotten

Whether it was running around the bases with his hair flying or making no-look pickoff throws, La Tortuga made an impression on fans and teammates in four seasons wearing a Twins uniform.
Chris Engler then and now, shown in a family photo with his wife, Cara, and daughter Carina.

Reusse: Athletes then, ALS warriors now. Honoring 3 Minnesotans fighting a good fight

Chris Engler, Mike Bruss and David Tomassoni will be honored during the Gophers women's hockey game on Saturday afternoon.
Soon-to-retire Southwest Minnesota State volleyball coach Terry Culhane might have a laid-back manner about him, but his past volleyball and basketbal

Reusse: 'Don't sell yourself short' a blueprint for decades of coaching success

Southwest Minnesota State volleyball coach Terry Culhane is retiring soon with a collection of championships.
Joey Kidder jumped up to catch pass for Bethel against St. John’s defensive backs Mateo Cisneros (10) and and Cayden Saxon (24) on Saturday.

Reusse: St. John's winning TD with 1 second left another for the books at Bethel

This was Bethel's second loss of the season, both narrowly to St. John's, and is likely to cost it a berth in the 32-team NCAA Division III bracket that will be announced Sunday.
St. Thomas men’s basketball coach Johnny Tauer congratulated his team after they scrimmaged as part of “Hoops Hysteria” on Nov. 4.

Reusse: St. Thomas' D-I men's basketball journey begins with a history lesson

The Tommies will quickly tour some of the sport's fabled courts at St. Francis Brooklyn, Fordham and Seattle U.
Emerson Carr played college football for the Naval Academy after starring at Minneapolis Central in the 1960s.

Reusse: Trailblazing star called 'Truck' rekindles memories of Minneapolis prep sports

Emerson Carr, who died last week at age 75, was a star for Minneapolis Central High School in the 1960s and went on to play football for Navy and be an aviator in the Marines.
Reusse: Win one, lose one. Scenes from a long day at the Barn

Reusse: Win one, lose one. Scenes from a long day at the Barn

Fans hardly filled Williams Arena for either game, but they had more to cheer about at night when the men gave coach Ben Johnson his first victory.
Removing umpires from calling balls and strikes would be a time-saving measure in more ways than one, including less bickering over calls, such as whe

Reusse: This baseball traditionalist has had enough; bring on the robot strike zone

The amount of time between pitches is dragging the grand old game to a halt.
In 2010, Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster, left was upset during the traditional midfield shaking of hands with Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema.

Reusse: All-time Gophers villain Bielema returns to Minnesota unchanged

Former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema now leads the Illini, big underdogs Saturday vs. P.J. Fleck's West-leading Gophers.
Minneapolis North coach Charles Adams III and standout senior running back Jaylon Washington talked at Tuesday’s practice.

Reusse: In divided Minneapolis, sports and life and sporting lives endure on Election Day

Patrick Reusse toured the city on Election Day to listen to what's being said at the intersection of life and sports.
George Nagobads will celebrate his 100th birthday on Nov. 18.

Reusse: Miracle on Ice's Doc Nagobads — 'greatest suture man of all time' — turning 100

The Latvian-born physician caught on with the Gophers hockey team in 1958 and traveled the world with Olympic teams as well. 'Doc' Nagobads turns 100 next month.
Worthington soccer captains Menkem Mehri, Isaiah Noble and Ulises Barrera.

Reusse: Small-town soccer power seeks to answer the doubters at state

Worthington is undefeated and has outscored opponents 123-5. Now, the Trojans — featuring a roster with family roots throughout the world — want to show they're better than their No. 5 seed in Class 2A.
Atlanta Braves left fielder Eddie Rosario kisses the Most Valuable Player trophy after winning Game 6 of baseball's National League Championship Serie

Reusse: Cheaply acquired Rosario goes from Twins to Cleveland to playoff MVP

Two years after hitting 32 homers and driving in 109 runs for the Twins, Eddie Rosario was traded from Cleveland to Atlanta for a player who was released a few hours later.
Volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon (shown in December 2019) and the Gophers bounced back from getting swept by Penn State by regrouping and defeating No

Reusse: U volleyball, fans take a while to get heated up this season

A victory over No. 6 Ohio State gave visitors to the Pavilion a reason to get rowdy again.
coach Mohammed Kayongo, left, encouraged some youngsters during a class at Northside Boxing Club last year.

Reusse: Northside Boxing Club has some big names in its corner

Prominent business people are promoting an event next month in Minneapolis to support a gym looking to keep youth off the streets.
Fans cheered during the first period of Tuesday’s Wild home opener at the Xcel Energy Center.

Reusse: State's most loyal sports audience gets a brilliant return to hockey

Wild fans have to prove their loyalty a minimum of 41 times, with the largest share of those on cold, dark nights of winter here in our Frozen Wasteland. Yes, they're even better than Vikings fans.
Minnesota Wild fans crossed Seventh St. ahead of the home opener at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Tuesday.

Reusse: Resilience — for Wild, and St. Paul — marks home opener

Despite a nearby tragedy 10 days earlier, St. Paul and Xcel Energy Center were buzzing, and the home team won.
San Francisco Giants’ Darin Ruf hit a home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning of Game 5

Reusse: Lightly regarded Giants started hitting home runs, and changed baseball

Pitchers have held the advantage, but San Francisco's changed approach could offer promise to Twins hitters.
Herbie Husker joins Nebraska fans as they crowd together to watch players arrive at Memorial Stadium

Reusse: Cornhuskers better, but still struggling to return to glory

Nebraska, under coach Scott Frost, is 15-24 including 3-4 this season. He has a ways to go to turn the program into a national power again.
The St. Thomas student section reached out for a free T-shirt during the Sept. 25 home opener against Butler.

Reusse: St. Thomas football stays competitive, but the MIAC doesn't

The Tommies seem to be adjusting to Division I just fine, while the D-III MIAC is ironing out things after taking in new members.
Minnesota State Mankato’s Mike Hastings (shown coaching against the Gophers in the NCAA West Region final in March of 2021) has been building the Ma

Reusse: MSU Mankato, little hockey power on the prairie, is making big impression

The Mavericks emerged with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over St. Cloud State on Friday night, drawing the kind of crowd others look to emulate.
Gophers baseball coach John Anderson

Reusse: After shocking 6-31 season, U baseball coach John Anderson picks up the pieces

Anderson's 40th season as Gophers baseball coach was like none other he'd been through — and it forced him to do something he'd never done before in hopes of restoring the team to success.
Albert Lea was home to the Jeans, wrestlers who made the southern Minnesota town proud.

Reusse: Albert Lea's Chuck Jean leaves behind tall tales of wrestling lore

Jean, who died on Sept. 29 at 72, was a four-time college champion whose bout with a big buck still has people chuckling in awe.
A mosaic mural nicknamed “Touchdown Jesus” is on the facade of the Hesburgh Library at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.

Reusse: 'Touchdown Jesus' is from Minnesota? You betcha

Notre Dame's famous, 132-foot Jesus is actually from Minnesota and many other locations. But the hardworking "detail guy" who made it happen was from Cold Spring.
Louie Varland made 10 appearances at high-Class A Cedar Rapids and had a 2.10 ERA — after he had a 2.09 ERA in 10 appearances at low-Class A Fort My

Reusse: Louie Varland makes himself next Twins pitching prospect to watch out for

The North St. Paul product was a 15th-round draft pick who put on weight and piled up strikeouts.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer

Reusse: Warming up to Vikings' Zimmer and his rare coaching candor

Here's hoping Mike Zimmer has success this season and sticks around since coaches offering candor are endangered species around here.
Reusse: A smattering of late-summer thoughts for the start of October

Reusse: A smattering of late-summer thoughts for the start of October

From the Twins' forgettable season to a touching gesture from the late Mick Tingelhoff and more items in between, our columnist empties his summer notebook as fall approaches.
Kevin Gausman, rear, celebrated with Brandon Belt (9) after hitting a sacrifice fly that scored Brandon Crawford (35) during a Giants victory in Septe

Reusse: Thrilling baseball season is out there, if you look beyond Twins

In San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Tampa and so many other cities across the country, major league baseball teams have been a joy to follow this summer.
Ravi Alston, a St. John’s star as receiver Saturday, with mom Tyrisa & girlfriend Kiana Reedy on the field after Saturday’s game.

Reusse: MIAC turns a page, with familiar script in St. John's and Bethel

The Johnnies edged the Royals 31-25 at Collegeville in an entertaining game that concluded with a shootout.
Blue Jays righthander Jose Berrios pitched six innings against his former team Friday night, but gave up three runs in a 3-1 loss to the Twins at Targ

Reusse: Blue Jays' Berrios might still be the Twins' pitcher of the year

Jose Berrios started Friday against his former team at Target Field, with numbers better than anyone on the remaining Twins staff.
“What happened is the worst that can be,” Bob Motzko says “The outpouring of love and support, from Minnesota, from hockey and its people, has b

Reusse: 'There is no end to this loss.' Motzko shares pain, support after son's death

The death of 20-year-old Mack Motzko, who died in a car crash in July involving an allegedly impaired driver, brought an outpouring of love that the U hockey coach has cherished.
Paul Krause, seated in his powder blue convertible, is still looking good after all these years.

Reusse: Old Vikings mourn their pals, and badly want one more victory

There's one more injustice out there, Paul Krause says. While they deal with aging and the deaths of friends, they gather with good memories, good food, good times ... and one very specific Hall of Fame hope.
If Mychal Thompson was signing autographs at the State Fair in 2021 instead of 1978, he could have made money off the exercise.

Reusse: Seeing today's new rules, extras for ex-Gophers don't look bad

University alumnus and Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson is now part of a team reshaping the College Football Playoff. He's seen a lot over the years.
Shawn Hochuli, the referee during Thursday’s season opener between Tampa Bay and Dallas, makes a call during the first half of a preseason game bet

Reusse: Predictably, NFL opened season with too much attention on officiating

From referee Shawn Hochuli as a center of attention to controversy over taunting, there were too many unnecessary distractions.
NBA coach Tom Thibodeau, with the New York Knicks in 2001: “It was shocking for the whole country, the whole world, but here in New York, on the Eas

Reusse: Remembering New York City years before and days after 9/11

Tom Thibodeau said it best of this beautiful city and what happened there 20 years ago: "Here in New York, on the East Coast, it was devastating emotionally."
Dick Bremer with Darlys Forcier, his fourth grade teacher in Dumont, Minn. They were supporting Dumont Saints on Saturday in Waconia in the state amat

Reusse: Dick Bremer's hometown doesn't have a field, but still supports its townball stars

The Dumont Saints had their state townball tournament run ended by another tiny town's team as Bremer and dozens of others gathered in Waconia.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck was given plenty of credit by the broadcasting crew when Minnesota had a lead on No. 4 Ohio State.

Reusse: Fleck was TV's focal point vs. Buckeyes until things went south

Fox's college football announcing crew was quick to declare P.J. Fleck had Ohio State's sideline "confused" on Thursday but in the end the Buckeyes had the upper hand.
James Laurinaitis (33) of Wayzata was a three-time All-America linebacker at Ohio State from 2005-2008.

Reusse: Ex-Wayzata star Laurinaitis still big deal to Buckeyes, Big Ten

James Laurinaitis was a part of an amazing run of linebackers at Wayzata High School and committed to the Gophers before Ohio State called. It changed his life.
Glen Mason, the Gophers head coach in 2000, gets a high-five from a fan after the last time Minnesota defeated Ohio State. The Buckeyes have won the l

Reusse: Beating Buckeyes is possible, but have perspective if it happens

If the Gophers win their football opener Thursday, it would break a string of 10 straight losses to Ohio State. Bud Grant has some wisdom about what beating the Buckeyes would — and wouldn't — mean.
Old school wrestlers like Nick Bockwinkel are likely entertainment of the past.

Reusse: True 'old school' pro wrestling topped anything the new AEW has to offer

It was suggested that All Elite Wrestling could bring back the idea of villains and heroes. But we're not having it.
D.L Smith

Reusse: The 'great character' of Gustavus hoops, D.L. Smith, was one of a kind

We might never know if that half-court hook shot went in.
LaMonte Wade Jr. is hitting home runs for the Giants after not being seen as a power hitter when he was with the Twins.

Reusse: In Twins season of blunders, one player's absence stands out

Yes, the Twins pitching has collapsed because of an assortment of bad decisions. But another big mistake was made that could have been avoided — the departure of LaMonte Wade Jr.
Tyler Rogers leads the National League in appearances with 60.

Reusse: Twin's twin Tyler Rogers helping to fuel Giants' remarkable success

The righthanded submariner, who is Taylor Rogers' identical twin, and his teammates are leading the powerful Dodgers in the NL West.
Two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to their first NBA championship in 50 seasons this summer, after the Packers played in the NFC Ch

Reusse: Minnesota-Wisconsin border rivalry heavily tilted in one direction

Pick almost any Minnesota team with an equivalent across the border, and that one is almost definitely superior to the version in the Twin Cities.
Funny Car legend John Force added another win to his impressive career in his Chevrolet Camaro to claim the win over J.R. Todd on Aug. 15, 2021, at th

Reusse: 'Grandpa' Force and daughter Brittany still big names as NHRA heads for Brainerd

John Force, the leader of drag racing's first family, has won 11 Funny Car titles in northern Minnesota.
The next time Glenn Caruso leads his St. Thomas football team onto the field they’ll be a Division I program.

Reusse: St. Thomas football at the bottom, and that's just fine with Caruso

Glenn Caruso, the Tommies' high-energy coach, reminds of another such football leader in town, with at least one difference in how to view a first season.