Look at it this way. There’ll be huge discounts on those ‘Minneapolis Miracle’ t-shirts. At ESPN, Courtney Cronin says: “Another long offseason awaits the Vikings following their sixth straight defeat in the NFC Championship Game. The days, weeks and months ahead of Minnesota’s 38-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles will be a source of agonizing retrospect as the Vikings try to comprehend what went wrong the night their dream of being the first team to play in the Super Bowl on their home turf was crushed, dashed and discarded. … This wasn’t the worst of last six losses in the NFC title game (that belongs to the 2000 Minnesota team that was blown out 41-0 by the Giants), but given the improbability of this season and all the Vikings had accomplished under adverse conditions, this one may carry the heaviest sting of all.”
In the Strib, Ben Goessling writes: “It’s difficult, so soon after the Vikings’ 38-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, to rank their most recent defeat among their most crushing NFC title game losses. But this one had to sting, both because of the opportunity lost and the manner in which it disappeared, in a game where most of what the Vikings had come to count on evaded them.”
This again? The Wall Street Journal’s Shayndi Raice talks ‘North’ branding: “A growing movement in Minnesota aims to break free of its Midwest roots and embrace its bone-chilling winters with a new identity: the North. Seeking to conjure up images of competitive winter sports, icy lakes and snuggling in front of a toasty fire, these northern evangelists are ready for their moment in the sun when Super Bowl LII comes to Minneapolis on Feb. 4. … Cities across the country are trying to figure out ways to attract millennials. Embracing its cold reputation, and casting off caricatures of Minnesotans like the heavy northern accents in the 1996 movie ‘Fargo,’ is key to attracting young talent, North advocates say. Instead, they want to emphasize wintertime sports like cross-country skiing, skijoring, curling and ice fishing.”
Still cool. A WCCO-TV story says: “It took nearly two years, but three brothers in southern Minnesota have finally completed a Lego masterpiece: a miniature U.S. Bank Stadium. The Benson Family of Faribault posted about the project Saturday on Facebook, adding that it was the ‘perfect weekend’ to show off the boys’ hard work.” At least it was until Sunday night.
Wouldn’t want to offend racists. Newsweek picked up on the Fridley High kid who had “Deport Racists” photoshopped off his t-shirt in a school picture. “A high school in Minnesota has apologized after editing out a slogan on a student’s shirt reading ‘deport racists’ in a picture it circulated online. The message from Fridley High School came after student Chris Vazquez highlighted the move in a tweet on Friday questioning the school’s photo edit that was shared by more than 45,000 people. … Among the comments on the photo included people suggesting it would have had far fewer views if the school had not edited the anti-racist slogan out of the t-shirt, along with those who felt the school had acted poorly.”
We’re a national leader. In the Strib, Andy Mannix reports, “Crime is down in Minnesota, but more people are getting locked up. In an era of policies geared toward reducing prison populations, Minnesota has bucked national trends by incarcerating more people, according a new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which shows how 35 states simultaneously cut crime and prison rates. In contrast to Minnesota, the prison rate nationwide dropped 11 percent, according to the study, which looked at data from 2008 to 2016. … Wisconsin decreased its prison rate by 26 percent. Alaska’s rate dropped 35 percent. Minnesota’s crime rate dropped 24 percent, but the incarceration rate increased 1 percent, making it among only a dozen states that saw prison populations grow in the eight-year period, according to the study.”
Testing. The Star Tribune’s Faiza Mahamud writes: “Concerns about unexplained illnesses in a special-needs school building have led the Osseo Area Schools to spend more than $73,000 to test for mold and study the air quality, heating and air conditioning, among other things. … In an e-mail to the Star Tribune, Osseo Area Schools Superintendent Kate Maguire said the school has exhausted all possible tests. Her note did not say what issues, if any, were found.”
Here’s one for a case study. Tom Olsen of the Forum News Service writes, “A Duluth man dubbed the ‘ball slasher’ will avoid jail time for his latest run-in with the law if he successfully completes two years of supervised probation. Christopher Neil Bjerkness, 40, who recently served six months in the Douglas County (Wis.) Jail for destroying exercise balls at two educational facilities, received his latest sentence Thursday in St. Louis County District Court in Duluth. … Bjerkness was caught in the act early that morning at the high school, where he popped at least 20 exercise balls valued at $40 apiece..”
Chutzpah alert: An AP story says, “In a tack to the left in an election year, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker announced Sunday that he wants a state law that would bar insurers from denying a person health coverage due to a pre-existing condition. He also wants Wisconsin to join Minnesota, Oregon, Hawaii and Alaska in obtaining a federal waiver to offer reinsurance, a move designed to lower premiums for people in the private insurance marketplace. … Democrats accused Walker of hypocrisy. He has been a consistent and vocal critic of the health care law, refused to participate in the federal marketplace and repeatedly advocated for the law’s repeal and replacement. He also previously suggested he might have Wisconsin opt out of the law’s pre-existing condition rules.” Did he get a waiver from the Koch brothers?