“Over the Back!”


I hear this phrase almost every game that I officiate at all levels. Today while I was officiating a youth tournament I decided that I would help parents, grandparents and maybe some coaches understand the rules according to the Minnesota State High School League. These posts are intended to help, inform, and educate fans so they can be more knowledgable about the rules of basketball.

The topic for this article is, yes you guessed it, “over the back.” Just to make this as plain and simple as I can, there is no such phrase or call according to the Minnesota State High School League rule book. So what does this mean? It means no official should ever make a call and say, “over the back.” There is no foul in basketball for over the back.

As an official for the MSHSL I receive a copy of the updated rule book. Rebounding is a point of emphasis this year. Here are the examples of illegal rebounding as quoted from the Basketball Rule Book.

1. Displacing, charging, or pushing an opponent.
2. Extending the arms or elbows to impede the movement of an opponent.
3. Using the hips or knees to hinder or impede an opponent.
4. Violation of the principle of verticality.
5. Contact between players in free-throw lane spaces prior to the ball being released by the free thrower.

So, please pass this on to all your basketball fans and let’s spread the word to get rid basketball games of the phrase, “Over the Back.” Let’s make it our mission to rid the yelling of “over the back” by fans across the state of Minnesota.

Opinion: UMD Coaches Show Support

I just got done reading the letter submitted to the Duluth News Tribune by all 16 coaches at the University of Minnesota Duluth expressing their support for Athletic Director Josh Berlo. If you missed the letter here is a link to the Article.

Reader’s View: UMD coaches united in support of department

This united support should be enough evidence that Shannon Miller was on her own mission at the university and makes me think about a previous post when I posed the question if Miller actually got along with anyone at the university?

Everyone should see this letter as a sign the athletic department is united and all on the same page. I believe the coaches wouldn’t put their name on something they don’t believe in. This also puts into question the validity of the allegations of the three coaches.

Bikers Don’t Need Their Own Lane










I know bikers want their own space on the road but sorry bikers I have to disagree with you on this one. It is not that I am against bikers on the road but I am strongly against reworking lanes of traffic just to make room for you. I am very happy to share the road with bikers but what I would like to see from bikers is for them to follow the rules of the road. Simple rules like stopping for stop signs, stopping for red lights and yielding when they are trying to merge into traffic. How about some other simple common sense like riding with traffic, wearing light clothing if riding at night or having some sort of light on your bike for night time. As of right now the road is generally for vehicle traffic so if you want to bike, sorry, you better use more caution if you want to bike in the road.

To totally rework the traffic lanes in downtown Duluth, specifically Superior Street, to accommodate bike travel I think is completely unnecessary. Sorry bikers just do your best to share the road.

Discrimination Does Have A Price

Miller, Banford, and Wiles will file a discrimination law suit against UMD on Monday isn’t surprising news to me. As stated in previous posts, it was my thought all along Miller would file this lawsuit it was only a matter of time. As reported by the Duluth News Tribune the three coaches will hold a news conference on Monday to make it official. I can’t wait.

One thought before the news conference, and maybe I am jumping the gun but if this discrimination happened while she was employed by UMD why is it coming out now after she was let go? Was the discrimination not a big deal while she was getting her monstrous checks from UMD? Maybe $220,000 was enough money that Miller didn’t think the problem was that big of a deal? Funny how all this comes out only after UMD decided not to renew her coaching contract after 4 years of sub par results. I wonder how much money will make the three coaches happy after all this discrimination they encountered while at UMD. How big will the check have to be to make them happy? Will the millions of dollars they request be sufficient? I can’t wait.

There’s a Bear in My Porch

It's a bear hole in my porch
It’s a bear hole in my porch

It was a quiet Thursday night around 11PM when I heard what I think is something breaking in my kitchen. I paused my show and listened again. Yep that was a clunking noise coming from my kitchen. I headed to the kitchen to investigate. The noise continued and it was coming from my screened in porch. In the darkness of night I couldn’t see in the porch so I turned on the light and what do I see? It was a big black bear.

Earlier that night we had filled up our garbage and when I’m lazy and don’t want to make the trek to the garage I just put the garbage in the porch. It’s safe there, the porch is screened in. I always take the garbage down in the next day or two so what was there to worry about?

Obviously a screen isn’t going to stop a bear but we had never seen a bear in our yard before, so bear was the last animal I thought would make an appearance in our yard let alone rip through the screen to get a bag of garbage.

I turned on the porch light and saw the bear. There is was just 1 foot away from me and just a pain of glass separating me from the bear. I begin to pound on the glass to get the bear out of my porch. I felt pretty helpless, I mean what am I really going to do to scare a bear away. The bear halfway in my porch reaching up with it’s mouth and picks up the bag of garbage with ease and takes it into my yard. The bear stops and begins to eat up. For the next 10 minutes I watch this bear pick through my garbage and then goes on his way back into the woods. Of course the one time I don’t have my phone handy to get a picture.

Two lessons I learned that day. One, my laziness created more work for me as I had to pick up the trash in my yard and now I have to replace some screen on my porch. Second, I should never be surprised what I see living on the outskirts of town with 5 acres of woods behind me.

Week 1 For the Vikings Was Ugly

I was very excited for the week 1 matchup of the 49ers for the Vikings and thought it wouldn’t be a blow out but would certainly be a winnable game for the Vikings. Watching the Vikings on Monday night I never thought the Vikings had a chance to win. There are so many things on my mind to vent about but here is my number 1 issue with the game on Monday night.

Where the heck was AP?

Watching the game on Monday night and seeing AP not touch the ball on the Vikings first possession was maybe one of the most frustrating parts of that game. With a restructuring of his contract, with a year to rest, with no participation in the preseason, the Vikings should have used AP on every single offensive possession. AP is being paid very well by the Vikings and I don’t care if he was rusty or not, he needs to touch the ball. AP is the work horse of this offense, AP is the reason the passing game will be effective, and AP is the reason teams fear the Vikings. To not use AP I blame coaches, I mean who else is to blame?

Week 2 is and I hate to use the term must win but the Vikings can’t start 0-2. Team rarely make the playoffs if they start the season 0-2 and I didn’t spend all offseason to dismiss the season after week 2.

Woodland Ave Shouldn’t Take This Long

As I drive on the upper part of Woodland Ave everyday I continue to be frustrated with how long this project is taking. The project began over 3 months ago and it sat idol for almost that long as well. The road was dug up and dirt was put down and then nothing. There was pretty much no work done on the road for 2 months and now they do some digging, and on days like Friday when it is really nice out they don’t work. Can someone please explain to me why this project is taking so long?

Recently as I drove down Woodland Ave after the recent rain I saw almost every driveway washed out and a big 3 foot drop from the curb to the dirt road. I saw many residents, including myself, out there with a shovel taking dirt from the road to fill the gap so their vehicles don’t bottom out when they leave their house. This should not be happening. The construction workers should be out there fixing out driveways. The best part is, us residents of Woodland Ave get to pay for this new road when it’s done.

I didn’t buy a house on Woodland Ave to drive over a dirt road. I didn’t buy a house on Woodland Ave to have to shovel dirt to fill a gap at the bottom of my driveway. I am not happy to pay what I think is an outrageous amount of money for a new road that took all summer. It is not even 1 mile of road they are fixing.

Here’s what I would like to do. After the road is complete, I would like to take my new van in to the body repair shop and find out what the damage was from driving over a dirt road for the past 3 months. I would like to take that estimate and subtract that total from the bill the city is giving me for my new road. Oh but the city says I can make payments and they will only charge me 10% interest. What a joke.

Mayor Ness Please Don’t Leave

As the paper reported all the candidates filing to run for Mayor I am not very excited about the list. With that in mind I hope it’s not too late for Mayor Ness to maybe reconsider and put his name in the running for mayor of this great city.

This city is too big to have someone with no or hardly any political experience running it. Even though Emily Larson and Howie Hanson have some city council experience it is nothing like the experience Mayor Ness had before he was mayor. I hope through the whole process these two candidates, who I would consider the front runners, will do their part and convince me to vote for them.

But with that in mind I will do my part to perhaps convince Mayor Ness to do four more years! We need him to run this city and keep it on the right track. I haven’t agreed with all his decisions but I would consider his 8 years in office very successful. I know the population of Duluth hasn’t grown like he had hoped and planned but I like his ability to make the tough decisions when they arise despite the popularity of said decision. I like his leadership, I like his love for this city, and I like his experience.

Even though Mayor Ness is a bit too liberal for me at times, I would be happiest if he would run again. I believe he would have no problems getting reelected for a third term. Maybe we can start a write in campaign.

Mayor Ness please don’t go!

Vikings Have Promise for 2015

As the season comes closer with every passing day, I continue to be very optimistic about the Vikings chances to return to the post season.

Vikings fans have several things to look forward to this season.

1. AP is back. I personally thought he would be traded but glad the Vikings did not trade him just to trade him. I know he may not be well liked for his personal life but there is no question he is one of the best pure running backs in the league. With AP in the backfield this makes the Vikings better already.

2. No sophomore slump for Teddy. Teddy had a good rookie season without AP so how could he not be better this season with AP in the backfield. Teddy has a new option to throw to with Mike Wallace and with the return of all the other WR minus Greg Jennings, he has many weapons. WR position has improved this off season.

3. Great defensive additions through the draft. I love the pick of Trea Waynes. I watched him play a couple of times at Michigan State and the Vikings desperately needed another CB. I like what Coach Zimmer is doing wit his defense and this move only improves the defense. Our CB can now cover the other good WR in the division.

4. Last the coaching staff is coming back and had even more time this year to get the proper people they want to play the positions. Coach Zimmer is a no nonsense guy that is making this team into a contender. I like what he is doing.

I am excited for the Vikings to open the season at San Francisco!

Early Morning Golf is Best

I am impressed with the working being done by The Billy Casper team at Lester Park Golf Course. Living only 10 minutes away I would consider it my home course. I would also say I really love to play the front 9 since most days I only have time to only play 9. My favorite time to play is at 5:30 in the morning. I am not a huge fan of hearing my alarm go off that early but once I am up and moving around I am sure glad I did get up.

I have seen improvement to the course and purchasing the Skyline Pass has given me extra motivation to get out on the course to take advantage of the deals the pass provides. During the month of June golfing early in the morning was only 5 dollars and 10 dollars the rest of the day.

With the small improvements I have seen already I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Lester Park Golf Course.