October 30, 2022

Vikings and Wolves and Todd. Oh My.


Vikings and Wolves and Todd.  Oh My.

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for October 30, 2022

Our weekend was spent following the Minnesota sports scene starting Friday night at Target Center. 

I was excited to have Miss Sheri join me for a game.  She loves to cheer on the Wolves and jeer on the Lakers.

We were excited to have Lebron and the gang in the town.  Ever since he took his talents to Miami and left Cleveland high and dry, he's been our favorite player to root against.

He did bring one of our favorite players from last year with him, though.  We lost Patrick Beverly in the big Rudy Gobert trade and the team has missed him.  He was a great motivator and kept things exciting for all of us.  The team did a nice tribute video for him at the beginning of the game which I felt was a pretty classy thing to do.

Another player that's fun to Boo is Russell Westbrook.  He used to be a triple double machine for teams when he was the leading player, but has struggled the past couple of years with the Lakers.  I almost feel bad for the guy the way he's struggled, but he has the type of personality that feeling bad for him doesn't last very long.  Then you just like to see him miss again. 

The Timberwolves have had a bit of a rocky start to the season.  They were three and two coming in tonight, but expectations are very high for them this season since they traded away much of their future to land Rudy Gobert.  Anything less than a deep run in the playoffs will be a disappointment.

Anthony Edwards led the team with 29 points and Taurean Prince came up big in the end of the game scoring 13 points and getting 3 steals.  Minnesota won the game by a score of 111 to 102 and actually sent the Lakers home with a record of 0 and 5.  Something's going to have to change soon for that team because what they're doing currently doesn't seem to be working.

One of the highlights of the evening was seeing Vikings Superstar, Justin Jefferson, and his fellow wide receiver, KJ Osborn, sitting courtside at the game.  They were snacking on some popcorn which was kind of fun to watch.  As a matter of fact, we were going to get to watch them play their game only a couple of days later.

Miss Sheri joined me again on Sunday to go to US Bank Stadium and help cheer on the Minnesota Vikings to victory!

We like to arrive at the games early and take pictures of the players doing warm-ups.  We waved at Adam Thielen when he started waving at us.  It's possible he was waving at someone else also.

Tight End Irv Smith Jr apparently likes to walk around and show off his belly.  I guess if I had abs like that I'd probably do the same thing.

Za'Darius Smith is a new player for us that seems to bring a lot of energy to all that he does.  We like people like that.  They're fun to be around.

I don't know for sure that this is Patrick Peterson's family, but we enjoyed watching their interactions before the game.  It seemed pretty sweet.

Justin Jefferson seemed like he recovered from all that popcorn he was eating at the Wolves game and was ready to go.  We were excited to see him have a big game against the Cardinals.

Before we knew it, the game was set to begin!

Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals were in town and the Vikings had a bit of a score to settle with them after losing a close game in Arizona last year.  The game went down to the final seconds and the Vikings were behind by a score of 33-32 when their kicker missed a 37 yard field goal that would have sealed the victory.

The Cardinal's superstar wide receiver, Deandre Hopkins, hasn't played most of this year, but made his season debut last weekend.  He was pretty dominant throughout the day gaining 159 yards on 12 receptions and a touchdown.  The guy's pretty good.

The highlight of halftime was getting to celebrate Jared Allen being inducted into the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Fame.  He was one of the best defensive ends the Vikings ever had and also brought a ton of fun energy to every game he played.  He was always a unique dude and punctuated that by riding a horse into the stadium to accept his honor.  It was fun to get to celebrate the achievement with him.

The game itself was another nail biter with the Vikings scoring touchdowns and the Cardinals responding with their own.  It wasn't quite as close as their last game, but Arizona did have a chance to tie it in the end but they didn't and the Vikings ended up winning by a score of 34-26 extending their winning streak to 5 and bringing their overall record to 6-1.  Could this be the Vikings year?  We'll see.

October 23, 2022

The New Look Minnesota Timberwolves are Back in Action


The New Look Minnesota Timberwolves are Back in Action

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for October 23, 2022

On Friday night we went to Target Center in Downtown Minneapolis.  Our Minnesota Timberwolves are Back in Action!

We had so much fun going to games last year that I decided to buy a membership this year.  It is similar to being a season ticket holder except we only go to a quarter of the home games instead of all of them.  I bought two seats and Luke was excited to join me for the first game.

The Timberwolves made a lot of noise in the offseason by trading a bunch of their young players and future draft picks to land All Star Center, Rudy Gobert.  We were excited to see what the big man could do for the team.

It's an interesting strategy as the team already has an all-star center in Karl Anthony Towns.   Karl has been one of our favorites over the past few years, but he really shines when lighting up the scoreboard and dropping threes.  Rudy should help take some of the pressure off him when they're playing against other big guys around the league and let them use their size as an advantage.

We lost a lot of good young players in the trade including Jarred Vanderbilt who has a real solid future in this league.  Rudy looks extremely solid, but it's a big risk if it doesn't work out the way team management has planned.

We also had our first glimpse of rookie, Walker Kessler, who the Wolves traded for during the NBA draft but included in the trade for Gobert.  He would have been an interesting fit for the team.  He's pretty raw, but also a big guy and looked pretty solid for the few minutes he played.  

We love Anthony Edwards especially after seeing him in Adam Sandler's Netflix movie, Hustle, this past summer.  He's always had a great personality, but it was fun to see his comedic side in what we all thought was a pretty good movie.  Hopefully he doesn't go Hollywood on us and demand to be traded to the Lakers in a couple years.

Another new player we were excited to watch was Kyle Anderson.  Unfortunately he left the game before he ever started playing with what we heard later was back spasms.  When I later saw this picture of him in the pre-game huddle with his eyes rolled back in his head, I discovered the actual truth.  He had been possessed by a demon and had to go to the locker-room to receive an exorcism.

The Wolves started hot and dominated the Jazz leading the first quarter by a score of 41 to 26.  It was pretty much all downhill from there.

Halftime was fun.  They had a bunch of puppies racing each other up and down the floor.  I love puppies!

The Wolves didn't look all that sharp during the rest of the game.  I don't know if they're still trying to figure out where Gobert fits in with the rest of the team or if the Jazz were especially jazzed up knowing many of them were all traded for one guy.  They crawled out from their first quarter hole and led much of the game until the Wolves forced the game into overtime.

We didn't do great in overtime and ended up losing the game by a score of 132 to 126.  It was only the second game of the season so too early to read much into anything.  I'm excited to see how good they can be when they start figuring out team chemistry.  They're gonna be hard to beat!

Todd's TikTok of the Week

Stable Diffusion is a digital art tool that uses artificial intelligence to create any image you can imagine.

@toddswank Stable Diffusion is a digital art tool that uses artificial intelligence to create any image you can imagine. #art #digitalart #ai #artificialintelligence #stablediffusion ♬ 4-minute techno for talk background music(1020850) - komorebi-gr

October 16, 2022

An Excursion Aboard the Abandoned Hayride


An Excursion Aboard an Abandoned Hayride

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for October 16, 2022

Sly like a fox, autumn has crept back into our lives and summer seems to be officially over.  

The colors of the leaves changing are beautiful even if it is a sign for us that Winter is Coming.  I'm not a big fan of winter anymore.

I suddenly had an urge to visit Mystic Lake Casino, but I don't know why.

Last weekend we went down to Elko, Minnesota to meet our friends, the Walters Family, for some dinner and a night of debauchery.  We make real good debauchery together.

On Friday night, the boys and I went to Chaska, Minnesota to take a tour aboard an attraction called the Abandoned Hayride.  Miss Sheri isn't a big fan of haunted houses or things like that so she chose not to go with us.  We joined about 30 other strangers and squeezed into a wagon being pulled by a tractor.  It just seemed like the thing to do.

I found it to be a pretty unique experience.  The wagon is pulled down a trail in the middle of a cornfield and eventually we came across different sets.  Each scenario depicts some kind of psychopaths doing naughty things and trying to scare us in a variety of ways.  I did pretty good until one of the actors snuck in a door behind me with a chainsaw and gave me quite the shock.

Some scenes were scarier than others.  This witch doctor was conjuring up some sort of spell and several of the characters seemed to have problems playing well with others.  They all had their own individual charms though which made each stop entertaining.  

The scene with the lady giving birth to an evil creature was pretty creative.  Actually, I found the entire experience to be rather unique and unlike other haunted houses I've visited.  It was a fun way to spend an hour or so with my sons.

On Saturday, we drove down to Waverly, Iowa to visit my old buddy, Ron "Sugarman" Myers and his lovely wife, Kristie.  We hadn't seen them in awhile so we thought it was a good time to take a road trip and pay them a visit.

Miss Sheri's college alma mater, Wartburg College, is also in Waverly and it just happened to be Homecoming weekend.  So we stopped by campus to visit her old stomping grounds.  She regaled us with stories of all the shenanigans she used to get into before we met one another.

We visited various buildings and classrooms and explored places that we probably weren't supposed to enter.  Just another fun way to spend a Saturday.

Ron is a formerly certified firearms safety instructor so we took advantage of the opportunity to visit the gun range and get some new lessons.  I enjoy shooting but prefer to do it in the attendance of someone who really knows what they're doing so I don't end up hurting myself in the process.

For the rest of the evening we hung out with the Myers family, played games, had some laughs, and even had a campfire.  It was a pleasant way to spend the weekend!

October 9, 2022

How About Them Minnesota Vikings?


How About Them Minnesota Vikings?

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for October 9, 2022

Ever since we came back from our Alaska Trip, I've been way behind on creating blog posts.  We've had a busy Fall and many good times with good friends.  I'm going to attempt to get a bit current by combining a bunch of photos into one post.

We always enjoy cruising the St. Croix River with our good friends, Karl & Tina Zitzewitz.  So we were really looking forward to a date night boat ride with these fun couples.

We went from Afton, Minnesota to Hudson, Wisconsin and back.  We had a great dinner, good drinks, and many, many laughs.  Those are my favorite.

I had the opportunity to spend a weekend in Clear Lake, Iowa attending Jason Alexander's Cabin Classic Golf Tournament & Poker Contest.  I always have fun with my buddies from high school.

The Cabin Classic is mainly about the golf tournament, but quite honestly my golf game hasn't really improved in the 20 years or so since we started having this weekend event.  I'm lobbying to get the Poker Contest part added to the title of the weekend.  At least I have a shot at winning in cards.

Our good friends, Tom & Kellie Wolf's son was married and we had a great time at the wedding helping them celebrate.  Congratulations, Thomas & Stephanie!!

I've also spent every other Sunday or so in downtown Minneapolis at US Bank Stadium cheering on the NFC North leading Minnesota Vikings.

This is our second year having Vikings season tickets and it's been a blast.  I bought the tickets so I get to attend each game, while Miss Sheri and the boys alternate joining me for each contest.  Sheri was with me today at the Bears game.

Avery had first pick this year and joined me at the home opener against the team we all love to hate, the Green Bay Packers.

Luke helped me round out the NFC North visiting teams by joining me for the Detroit Lions game.

Our seats are directly behind the smoke breathing dragons near where the players run out on the field at the beginning of each game.  It's a fun view of the field.

We've had a lot of frustrating years being Minnesota Vikings fans, but were anxious for the beginning of the season to see how things would change with first year head coach, Kevin O'Connell.  So far, we've liked what we've been seeing.

Our home opener against the Packers was probably the most satisfying so far.  They've had our number for so many years, it was an awesome feeling to start the season getting a win against them.  

Our quarterback, Kirk Cousins, seems to carry a lot of controversy.  Half of our fans seem to love him and the other half hate him.  I like what he's done for us over the years and glad we have him.  We've certainly had worse quarterback situations in the 30+ years since I've been a fan.  He does seem to struggle with the national spotlight games, but maybe he'll get that figured out this year just in time for a deep playoff run.  I'm hopeful for that anyways.

We also have one of the greatest running backs in the game with Dalvin Cook.  Just look at that hole in front of him!

Justin Jefferson is one of the most dynamic wide receivers in the game and has had a couple awesome home games and one not so awesome.  It's a bunch of fun to watch him griddy around the field when he gets a touchdown or encouraging his teammates after they get one.

Jared Goff and the Vikings came to town and kept us on the edge of our seats.  They opened up the game with a 14-0 lead.  

The Vikings came back and tied it up by halftime.  The Lions responded after the half with 10 more unanswered points and then the Vikings had an exciting comeback and scored two touchdowns in the 4th quarter to win the game.  

We thought things would be different during today's game vs the Chicago Bears.  The Vikings dominated the first half and ran up the score to 21-3 and we thought it was going to be wrapped up early.

Justin Fields proved to be pretty elusive, however, and brought his team back into the game.  They actually took back the lead in the fourth quarter and we were all pretty nervous when the score became 22-21.

Kirk pulled through again though and eventually ran in a 1 yard touchdown to win the game 29-22.  It was a nail biter and thrill ride all in one.

We've had a lot to celebrate so far this year.  Other than a stinker on Monday Night Football against the Eagles, the Vikings are 4-1 and sitting on top of the NFC North.  There's a lot of season left to go, but it's nice for them to get the start they have so far this year and we look forward to watching them the rest of the season and seeing where they can go.