Hudson Wisconsin Nightlife

Six fixtures at the bar find their focus, from separate travel forays, is on Phoenix

November 30th, 2015

Three patrons and a bartender met down in Phoenix … and several days later there were two more patrons in a redux.
Turns out this is no joke, and a couple of them found they also are originally from the Manitowoc area, but had to get down to Arizona, or at least talk at length about it, in order to discover that.
One of the Green Mill stalwarts said she was escaping from behind the bar to go on a balls-to-the-wall vacation to Phoenix with her girlfriends. That caused a traveler on the other side of the bar to say he’s also very familiar with that area down south. Which caused the guy sitting next to him to say he once lived in Phoenix-Scottsdale. Which led to the revelation by a third patron that he also knows well of that part of Arizona and like the first guy grew up in the Manitowoc area.
Whew! Got that?
There’s more. The first guy, who loves his golf and was on the famous links down there with some buddies, was approached by a local man about his Badger insignia. “Are you from Wisconsin?”
Turns out that several people in the vicinity at the golf club were from Manitowoc, and the first guy had gone to high school with a couple of them.
A Phoenix-Scottsdale travelogue followed about not only its golf courses, but pro sports stadiums, success rate among the local women with breast enhancement, night clubs — and even the provincialism that exists between different parts of town. It also came to light that much of that area is a lot like downtown Hudson, with relatively small shops that aren’t real corporate, and the quaintness and appeal it brings.
Then days afterward another two men, different people from the first crew, shared stories about how they too loved (for the most part) Scottsdale and Phoenix. Let’s see, that’s six in all with connections to Arizona.

The DJ went back to Jersey, he was looking for a soul song to deal

November 15th, 2015

The comings and going continue, of some stalwarts in the local entertainment industry who are anything but greenhorns.
Specifically, they made their mark at Dick’s Bar and Grill and the Green Mill.
There was a lot of buzz just over a year ago when DJ Strong arrived from New Jersey, where he’d successfully honed his skills, and quickly developed a following at Dick’s when he was on each weekend.
Both onlookers and dancers realized right away that this was a guy that despite his Jersey roots really knew country music, despite his strong urban accent. He mixed in, of course, a lot of current stuff that caters to a young crowd, along with some ’70s tunes, and became known for his “all request” nights on many of those Friday and Saturday nights.
Alas, DJ Strong has now packed up and gone back to New Jersey to deal with some medical issues. His replacement is Darren Caster, a longtime local musician who is perhaps best known as the lead singer for the hard rock band Deviant Distraction, going back about a decade. The Double Ds played most often at the former Dibbo’s, where Darren later hosted an open mic night to bring in some additional business on Thursdays. (I remember doing a duet with him to Rebel Yell by Billy Idol that their bassist Tall Paul said was killer). Darren, it seems, will continue the all-request tradition, at least at certain junctures, and his sets also bring in old music such as that from the ’80s.
Also going strong as a deejay at Dick’s is Brando, who as a drummer also was a former rock band member. He is an occasional fill-in on weekends inside the booth.
Meanwhile, bartender Jenn who has worked at Green Mill for over a decade had an informal party as a send-off for her leaving to take a manager job at another bar and grill, just a ways east of here.
One of her regulars said that with the earlier departure of Kylee, just over a year ago, and Bobbie, this was the last remnant of the Old Guard of longtime bartenders taking their leave.
It’s become a tradition when you are a longtime worker at the Green Mill to get a cream pie in the face on your last night. Some strings were pulled and the pie was set in front of a regular patron, and Jenn, with her usual hustle-and-bustle ability, got to it first and after a bit of teasing threw it in his face rather than taking it herself. She then rubbed it on his glasses and around the outside of his cheeks — which did not prevent the guy from taking the cream that was on his glasses and joyfully ingesting it.
Who knows, maybe that regular of Jenn’s was among the couple dozen to whom she’d on an earlier night referenced with a quip, as some of them sat around the horseshoe, who was really into watching the Golf Channel and also hitting the links — maybe too much. “I have 25 regular customers who are like that,” she said to the main target of her barb. He replied that he doesn’t even like golf, much less be able to put a shot on the green; rather, he goes to the Green Mill.
So, I guess that gaff was the bartender’s equivalent of a three-putt. But considering that it recently was Jenn’s last night, we’ll give her a mulligan.

Many hundred answered Halloween call, and raked in thousands, as props persevered

November 3rd, 2015

As far as the difference between Friday and Saturday costumed revelry, Halloween was a question of quantity vs. quality at nightspots, and also in this case. timing of night proved to be everything. Specifically concerning Friday, it’s apparent that the undead who decked themselves out the best just couldn’t wait until the middle of the weekend, when the costumed ghouls were far greater in number — hundreds not just dozens — but weren’t as consistently ghastly.
Still, most venues were packed to the gills on Halloween Saturday, when the vast majority of parties were held. The crowd came and went depending on the time of night, and the fact that most costume contests were held at about the same time, midnight, but in some cases ranged up to 1 a.m. Some of the almost dozen area venues that featured such contests had first-place prizes under the $100 mark, although most were in the $150 to $200 range, coming in the form of either cold cash or gift cards and certificates, but even the places with lesser amounts drew dressed-up people who sometimes numbered in the hundreds. However, the King of the Hill was the Smilin’ Moose, which offered a first-place payout of $500 on both Friday and Saturday nights, and when it got a bit later on in what actually morphed into early Sunday morning, it was standing room only, with certain of those tight, squeeze-by areas that every bar has, being simply clogged to the point that patrons with bulky costumes had trouble moving around.

All in all, though, the majority of eye-catching costumes were not as captivating as the ones the night before, when attendance was obviously less, but again they made up for that in sheer numbers that largely held firm — although there were notable exceptions — through the extra hour offered by the Daylight Savings Time change. (The way that alteration in hours played out just across the river in Minnesota, with their own notable contests being just a few-minute-drive away in places like Lakeland and Bayport, was more iffy).

With that said, here is my pick of six for Saturday, with the props they used to prop up their foreheads pushing them to the forefront, in some cases:
– One man, the most notably duded up at Seasons Tavern in North Hudson, wore what was a combination of a robot, such as Bender on Adult Swim, and beer keg. What made his costume so intriguing was that on top of the metal spigot that spiked upward from his headgear, were stacked several plastic beer glasses.
– Another was gaudily costumed and wore make-up to the hilt, but this Liberace was also carrying in front of him, not just setting on a piano, a realistic looking big candelabra.
– A French-looking painter was wearing the trademark beret, but that’s not where the act stopped. He actually was carrying a pallet of several colors, and using it to do portraits of patrons he met — or should I say brashly approached — at Dick’s Bar and Grill.
– Speaking of which, (or should I say witch), a woman nearby had her face stuck in the middle of a large picture frame containing a pastoral scene, which was enhanced by flowers on either side.
– This was quite the brat special. A man standing almost eight feet tall was dressed as the sausage that circles the field in races at Milwaukee Brewer games. No mention on the possibility of him having the famed Special Sauce as part of his get-up.
– A contestant who from the stage was called “Blue Balls” was anything but singing the blues, as he won a major prize at the Smilin’ Moose.
– Favorite picks by my friend Tom were Cheech and Chong, Sonny and Cher and The World’s Most Interesting Man. One prominent promised act we could not find at the costume contests was Eggs and Ham. Maybe that late closing ended up being too close to breakfast time.

‘Frankie’ stands tall in Friday eve’s Halloween contests by dressing-up to the nines

November 1st, 2015

Picking one winner among the scores of costumed creatures who were out partying on Friday, the night before Halloween, could be a tall order.
Actually, its a lot easier when the top banana is pushing nine feet tall.
That was the case with the victor in the Smilin’ Moose contest, Frankenstein, who took home a cool $500 in cash for his efforts in walking in a stilted way, just like the movie monster, and clinking glasses with anyone who was average height or above. When asked how he got around without falling on those stilt-like legs, he just shrugged. Some patrons wondered aloud how he could negotiate the much shorter bathroom door, should he feel nature’s call, or should I say that of his otherworldly creator.
As one of only a handful of nightspots having a Friday contest, the Moose had the most costumes, and other venues also had some fairly busy streaks, although they were not steady and tended to be early. People later had to make their way around the downtown without the benefit of the many street lights that were out. So early was good, as it put them where they needed to be when the Moose judging was held, (while the first-place prize was almost CEO style as far as moola, the awards dwindled to much lesser amounts after that, more along the comparative lines of a rank and file worker).
Here are some other examples of interesting garb:
– A storm trooper boasted plenty of hard white plastic, and also had a gun and big backpack that reminded me of Ghost Busters (appropriate for Halloween).
– A bunny-costumed staffer moved over a gate at the Moose to go downstairs, in what I would say was “going down the rabbit hole.”
– A couple came as characters from A League of Their Own, and guy did a good Tom Hanks impersonation.
– A man was dressed in all hot pink, unusual because the outfit even included a great big Texas-size hat.
– One of several sailors in suits, a young man went old school and had a handkerchief tucked in the large pocket-protector-type opening of his lapel.
– Devil-themed hats included both horns that were flaps and built into a red hoodie, and an antelope-style, single-pair-of-tines twisted rack. Some servers sported reindeer horns, but in at least one case these fell off while she was hustling around.
– A woman in uniform wore insignias that said “Sheriff’s Department.” I had to crane my neck to see what other writings were on that badge. Where did she hail from? It said on the bottom, “Reno, Nevada.” Considering that this is Halloween, that seemed appropriate.
– Lastly, a “priest” said that earlier in the day, people kept asking him for religious advice, thinking he was an actual man of the cloth. This took place when he was looking to buy a monkey with whom he could do a parody, ala Jethro Tull, and “bungle in the jungle,” if you know what I mean. His props included a real Bible, between the pages of which he stuck his money and other items such as a cigarette lighter, (which at first to me looked like a severed finger). He also had dangling from his neck one of the biggest crosses you’ll ever see, rivaled only by a guy from the Twin Cities who a while back was at Dick’s Bar and Grill dressed like a gangsta wannabe. The faux father had as his counterpoint a St. Patrick, who tweaked other patrons with his staff, like they were snakes or something.
There were a couple of prominent annual costumes whose owners said they would be no-shows because of other commitments. A techno music fan said that she and her boyfriend would usually dress up in “death punk” helmets, and that winning a prize would almost be a no-brainer, except they felt it would be something like insider training should they take the cake at the place she worked. Another guy who, guess what, is in such a band added he’d normally go as a punker musician, complete with mohawk.

The nod for Halloween party ‘A List’ goes to Seasons, for sheer enthusiasm

October 28th, 2015

Seasons Tavern had their biggest and baddest, not to mention scariest, Halloween costume party in their history last year, and they plan to top that benchmark on Saturday with a party that will be fun in various forms, not a gore fest or “Fright Night,” one of the servers said.
She added that despite the atmosphere of fun that’s good natured, there last year were often multiple layers of people lining up behind the horseshoe bar to get a drink at the North Hudson venue.
Of all the parties on Saturday night, with their music and costume contests for prizes, this one merits mention on the home page just because of the sheer enthusiasm shown.
The Halloween theme this year is Tavern in The Woods. “It is our sixth annual Halloween costume party and we are looking forward to a great time and seeing some great costumes,” said Brad, the owner. “The adult theme costume party really brings out the creative side in the community, and allows the individual to share their ‘inner actor.’ The tavern will be decorated very classy creepy with lighting, fog, creepy things in corners, and so forth.”
Seasons will be serving prime rib, as usual, with the possibility of rare red meat, Brad said partially in jest, along with themed cocktails and jello shots. These, I’m guessing, are in signature Halloween colors, specially priced at $2 apiece, or three for $5, (if perchance a beastie nabbed your first one).
Costume judging will be around 10:15 p.m., with cash prizes for first, second and third places. “The judging is audience participation, so bring your ‘A’ Game and your support,” Brad suggests.
The occasionally reconvened house band, the trio Thirsty Camel, which includes Brad as the drummer, plays from around 8:45 p.m. until midnight, but could indeed go on beyond the witching hour if encores are needed, which has often been the case.
“The building that Seasons is in, has been storied to be a place where spirits like to spend their waking hours, giving the staff some (reason for) raised eyebrows and ‘what the’ moments, but I liken it to just things happening that you can’t explain,” Brad said. After several years of operation, he obviously has not been spooked to the point of giving up on his late night stints of helping the staff serve food and drink. And he certainly is not speechless.
According to Sam Ricci, a past owner of a restaurant on the site, “there are some things buried in walls that would be of interest, but I will wait until I have great success at Seasons Tavern before I even start to look into that, maybe in 15 years or so,” Brad said.
“Enter the tavern if you dare,” reads a current sign on the main door that has a hoot owl surveying a graveyard and its tombstones. Such annual Halloween 8-by-11 greetings have made their mark with patrons.

(For a rundown of other Halloween parties in the Hudson area, see the Picks of the Week department elsewhere on this web site).

With hauntings for humans hung all over area nightclubs, can Halloween be far behind?

October 21st, 2015

Whether displayed on darkened windows, ceilings or bathroom doors, or even guarding the ATM machine, club proprietors hope that all patrons will hail the monsters of All Hallows Eve, as their staffs decorate with the creatures to get ready for one of their hottest nights.
Here are examples of what you already can see at various venues:

– Halloween goes classic Hollywood at Dick’s Bar and Grill, with a nearly lifesize plastic figure of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz plastered on a window, among other caricatures and spider webs. Meanwhile, at the Green Mill, a skull draped up high over a spider web looked much like The Great and Powerful Oz himself. He probably will have dominion over any badly behaving patrons.
– Also seen around area nightclubs are vintage tin-type photos like those from a previous century, which as you pass-by and change the angle of viewing have eyes that roll back and produce a zombie — in one case positioned just a few feet away from a specially designated “zombie crossing zone,” which is just another few feet from a particular kind of fine-boned skeleton — not too tall or too small. Dozens of the latter hang from the ceiling at Dick’s, and they can be seen in smaller numbers elsewhere. The skeletons are in exactly the same style I’ve put on my gently sloped Halloween roof for years.
– On one area bathroom door, there is a sexy vampire ready to suck the life out of you. On another venue’s bathroom door, there is the other end of the hottie spectrum, an old hag ready to, literally, suck the life out of you in a less enjoyable way. (Interestingly, on the bathroom door opposite that first vampire is a mummy which is, obviously, dead),
– All around town are moss-like thicknesses of spider webs, with plastic spiders attached. At the Village Inn in North Hudson, the webs are atop the ATM machine, with the arachnids placed just to the side, in case a cash crunch bites you.
– Also at The Village, a ghost hanging from high over the far-end bar rail is in position to drag its “feet” on your head as you order. Across the way are all kinds of “dead end” signs wrapped around a thick pillar … well, I guess you might end up dead if you run into it hard. Back at Dick’s, there was a similar cautionary police line that sported striking snakes and … mice? Is that vermin actually verbatim?
– On consecutive days and nights, you could see a cashier witch sporting a pointed black hat — with plenty of orange and black feathers. For as it says on the marquee outside Historic Casanova Liquors, “We don’t have cashiers, we have spirit guides.”
– And then there’s the foot-wide orange spider at Dick’s that started living out the season’s activity by crawling downward on a door. Then it gave up the ghost, resting in peace instead. As seen hanging from the ceiling, the joint is crawling with such creatures.
– Is it simply a typo or, to reference a band that befits the coming holiday, an ode to Type O Negative? While you won’t exactly drink blood, signs seen at Dick’s list Schell Oktoberfest as the beer of the month, but say the hard-to-beat special is only “vaild” through 10 p.m. One sign added the beer is spelled Shell — like some of the popular fish they serve. Pardon an additional European reference, but with Halloween fast approaching, that first typo reminds one of Val the Impaler.
Adding to this, a band named Roughhouse that has played a lot locally, especially at the Willow River Saloon in Burkhardt, boasts a member who was with a hard-core metal outfit called Impaler a couple of decades back. Alas, they will not play The Willow on Halloween weekend, although they were there earlier in October, but acts that will perform amongst the cowboy silhouette decor include the Country Outlaws on Friday evening and, much in the same vein, Strangers on Saturday.
– Talk about going from bad to worse, in the style of an old Iron Maiden song, The Number of the Beast, written about a fateful and horrific encounter with the Devil while on an evening stroll. Not to say that a traffic stop is quite that bad, but it can seem like, say, hell on wheels compared to more pleasant trips. There was, one October, an unlucky motorist stopped by the cops on the Lake Mallalieu bridge, and bearing a license number recalling that song that started with 666. Damn the luck! Hope your’s is better when you check out the sights on or before All Hallows Eve.

October 16th, 2015

Keep your eye on the eight dishes of walleye at Seasons Tavern, then dig in

This local food offering is not just bar fare, or your father’s fish, but right now is fully fall flavored — as is especially fitting for what’s fast-becoming a favorite, the walleye jambalaya.
That last dish is only the most recent in a long line of likable walleye at Season’s Tavern in North Hudson. These meals have taken on new luster as the establishment’s signature dishes.
With the walleye, it’s balls to the wall, so to speak, as far as number of choices. And we’re talking stuff that goes far beyond typical bar food. And the walleye cakes, cake sliders and cake benedict really, dare I say it, take the cake.
Different types of walleye served are: deep fried, which is dusted with flour and cracker meal with seasonings; grilled, with lemon pepper and seasoned salt on a flat top grill; and blackened, spiced with Cajun seasoning on such a flat top grill.
The dishes offered are:
– Walleye and wild rice pilaf;
– Walleye basket, in other words fish and chips;
– Walleye dinner with the walleye prepared to guest’s liking and served with choice of potato, vegetable and soup or salad;
– Walleye sandwich with the fantastic fish again prepared to guest’s preferences and served with lettuce, tomato and raw onion on a ciabatta bun;
– Walleye jambalaya of course, served blackened over jambalaya with Andouille sausage on top of wild rice pilaf;
– Walleye cakes, with that offering filled with walleye, and wild rice, vegetables and seasonings, fried and served on a bed of spring greens with bernaise;
– Walleye cake sliders, their cakes topped with lemon dill aioli and served with spring greens and tomato on a slider bun;
– And last but not least, walleye cake benedict, for breakfast only, with the cakes topped with a basted egg and hollandaise and served with choice of potato.
What walleye dishes does the future hold? “We are working on a few things that will be available over the next few months as chef specials, but that is a secret until then,” owner Brad said coyly.
“Our customers have been very responsive to our selection of walleye, saying things like ‘the best walleye in the St. Croix River Valley,’ and ‘best benedict in the Valley,’” he also noted, adding that the somewhat less adventuresome but still tasty walleye with wild rice pilaf attracted a lot of sales and similar comments when served via a booth at the recent St. Croix arts fest.
“The one thing I learned is to not over-season walleye,” Brad said. “It is a wonderful sweet fish that needs little help to be delicious!”

New, enhanced Guv’s Place in NH will benefit triangle of bars, not be obtuse

October 6th, 2015

They’ve been through this all before, about eight years ago, and now the Thompsons and their staff are bringing their act to North Hudson.
After building a good business when at that time establishing the Houlton sports bar Guv’s Place — you know, the one with the Packer and Viking shaking hands on the sign — they are shifting gears and moving to the busy North Hudson business district, teaming with two quite similar venues to create a local go-to triangle for entertainment and cheer. But the places do have their lively and colorful characters, so it might not be completely equilateral.
Guv’s Place co-owners Dan and Jessica Thompson will take over the current Mudds ‘N Sudds location along Hwy. 35 at 726 Sixth St. N, after closing their location smack dab in the middle of Houlton in July, when their lease became unavailable.
The new Guv’s location is little more than a block away from Kozy Korner pizzaria and bar, and across the street from the Village Inn sports bar and grill, in what forms kind of an L shape.
An official opening, although it will likely roll in slowly, is set for the middle of this week, since the new owners will first have to again go before the Village Board in North Hudson, which meets Tuesday night, to shore up some license details.
“We will definitely not be corporate,” Dan said. “That’s what will distinguish us from those on The Hill.” He also said the new place will be “family based,” and will build on what had been done by the previous owners and staff, and especially their patrons. He and his wife will expand the volleyball play that was a hallmark at Mudds, especially the leagues, and add more to their food service, as well as have more tap beers than at the past Guv’s, with a nod to the proliferating crew of brews that are made locally.
Longterm goals are other activities outside, which could incorporate amenities such as more landscaping, as the current set-up doesn’t have a lot of trees except by the sand volleyball courts, and possibly a patio and likely more outdoor seating.
Guv’s has operated for the last eight years at the intersection of Hwy. 35 and County E. It will add to the Mudd’s walk-in and drive-up gourmet coffee and breakfast-treats service, with expanded morning and night hours.
Since the Thompsons officially bought Mudds in late summer, owners of the three close-together bars have thrown around strategies and ideas for beneficial events for the good of them all — including not only North Hudson, but the several-mile perimeter they each serve.
Many neighborhood enclaves are within easy walking distance, and the people who live their make good use of it, such as some of my neighbors in the locale of Cherry Circle and Fourth Street N.
In downtown Hudson, people saunter around and gravitate between all the bars and grills in a similar way, depending on just what they are seeking. Now there will be similar crossing points in North Hudson.
Such patrons making the rounds and checking out offerings here and there, will benefit from things such as games of cards and poker at various venues, including the new Guv’s, Dan said.
Being busy helps out everyone, and they avoid the pitfalls of drinking and driving. Most of the bar owners in the north part of North Hudson know one another and consider themselves friends, as many for years have patronized each other’s places, Dan said.
Though they all will have the top sports on multiple TVs, the new Guv’s Place will continue to be more brightly lit and intimate than the Village Inn and a bit more spacious than Kozy Korner, but with lower-key live entertainment and a “neighborhood bar fare” menu that doesn’t put on airs but is very tasty.
Its drive-up and walk-in gourmet coffee and breakfast-snacks lineup will be available seven days a week, giving people such as Hwy. 35 commuters an option as well as those who want to come very early to get their day going with a cup of joe, with that opportunity beginning at 6 a.m.
All of this is seen as a way to make North Hudson more of a destination place, like is often the case in its neighboring city just to the south.
Dan noted that North Hudson’s family-driven community spirit is legendary, and a very good match for the new Guv’s Place. He added that there will be a definite change in clientele as the morning coffee drinking crowd changes to afternoon, which changes to evening, as more of a bar atmosphere takes over with an offering of expanded hours of operation. But all clients, past and present and no matter what they sip on, will be welcome in this “work in progress,” he said.
Dan added there also will be synergy with the other bars in North Hudson, a few blocks to the south.
Their quite blue-collar bar had found a loyal customer base in Houlton even before it opened eight years ago, when, as its website said, passers-by stopped by to check what was going on and grab a beer — even while the Thompsons were getting their one-great-big-room space ready.
Kind of like what has been going on in North Hudson with them for the past couple of weeks.
New to Guv’s will be the multiple outdoor volleyball courts. But other old-standby attractions, for those who don’t want to get sand in their sneakers, will be fall-to-spring dart leagues, retaining their popular bean bag tournaments, and other such activities, along with live “one- or two-person bands,” many of which will feature local performers. The emphasis will shift, seasonally, from those main three outdoor activities to indoor attractions such as the music of Ella and Wade, Kyle Kohila and Trandy Blue, tried and true performers with whom Guv’s has long had success.
Look for some of those kind of tunes during the grand opening, planned for Halloween weekend, just like when the old Guv’s opened almost a decade ago. It is during this time that Jessica shows her true colors with love of scary decore, especially killer clowns. But that’s not the only holiday and special event they will play up, with Jessica going over the top to do things such as hang decorations from the ceiling.
There will be more TVs then before inside, and sports of all sorts, Dan said, adding that his wife is a huge Minnesota Wild fan, so of course there will be ticket giveaways to patrons who follow the puck. Possibly adding to the diversity is that Jessica is a notoriously big Motley Crew fan, although don’t expect the new Guv’s to rock out to that degree — except maybe for what’s on occasion played on the jukebox, which has a song selection noted for its diversity and pairing of like-styled hits.
Jessica will be Guv’s main bartender and has said that as a regular customer, she’d talked with previous owner Marc Zappa — who will always be welcome — about an arrangement such as the new one.
Many of the Guv’s staffers will remain, as well as those who were longtime stalwarts at Mudds N Sudds. Jo Ellen Steele quipped with her sly trademark candor that she’s not going to opt for an early retirement, rather stay and be a big part of the fun.
Members of the Thompson family were six-year North Hudson residents before moving to the town of St. Joseph in 2002, and Dan as the Guv even served in local government, on the St. Joseph Town Board.
As we talked in mid-September at Mudds, patrons checked out the older art prints that were no longer going to be part of the decore and were being sold, such as a Marilyn Monroe print for $10, and a map of Hudson-North Hudson for a bit more. An oversize print of Frank Zappa was still on the wall in the bathroom.
For information, check the Guv’s Place Facebook page, and its soon to be updated website:

With the TV grid year here, and Vikings winning, can Canton be far beyond for codger?

September 27th, 2015

It may not be Canton, but even the Packer Hall of Fame left one People Eater turning Purple, even though the Vikings have been locally viewed to be at .500, (at least for the time being).

– A local middle-aged man told others at the bar that he had taken his father, who is a longtime diehard Viking fan, to the rival Packer Hall of Fame, at the other end of Minnesconsin. During a tour, the two were similarly introduced and this prompted a tongue-in-cheek remark by one of the hosts that maybe this was an “intervention.”

– The St. Paul Pioneer Press anointed the various area Buffalo Wild Wings franchises as second on their long list of the best places to watch a Viking game and have great eats as well. But what about the branch in Hudson and the Packers that take precedence there? A server said that here in Wisconsin, you will not find the Viking beer challenge, where Purple patrons can taste five different varieties and guess which one is the official brew of that Black and Blue division squad. I’m guessing it would be dark beer. And why, being Wisconsin with our love of beer, is there no such thing here?
– After the big win over Detroit, a really big guy stayed afterward at Dick’s and removed his No. 5 Viking jersey and wrapped it around his neck, using it to wipe away sweat when his dancing got to be too vigorous. One wonders if the player who has that jersey, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, has every had to do the same when the heat is on about his performing, such as after the season opener.
– With Adrian Peterson’s breakout game, as seen on local sports bars, the pregame comments of an analyst, shown repeatedly on typed copy on the lower part of the TV screen, said that fans need not worry about the return to stardom of “A.D.” Was that a misprint, or foretelling the dawning of a new age for the star running back, who now is 30. Days later, it was announced that longtime broadcaster Dick Enberg was retiring. It was noted that he has won the Ford C. Frick Award. Considering the title, is that one you would really want?
– A bartender at Dick’s who is never at a loss for words said that while working during the Republican debate, a trio of people asked that the TV settings be changed to show it. Their request was politely declined, and they reportedly got a little miffed. The explanation given: If people can’t always get along when the debate is simply Packers vs. Vikings, how can you expect alcohol and politics to mix?

Local living Wolves assistant first resided with Saunders, then dished the dirt on Dirk

September 8th, 2015

Amongst the recent coming and goings of venerable people, venues and events, this trio of happenings stand out (without flipping).
– The bad news is that the head coach and director of basketball operations for the Timberwolves, Flip Saunders, has lymphoma cancer. The good news is that his form is termed “highly treatable.”
Maybe this would be a good time for him to contact an old friend who once lived in North Hudson, and was an assistant coach who a decade ago taught the players a newly legalized form of defense, the matchup zone, while at the same time running the NBA team’s camps for kids. When the new assistant was just starting, and in the process of buying a house near the Lake Mallalieu bluffs, he stayed for a time with Saunders and family and the two would stay up all night watching game film. Shortly afterward, we watched a Timberwolves game together at Target Center, as we had gotten to know each other well because of sports coverage, and he gave me what then was then some inside information. A bit that stuck in my mind was that many players in the NBA back away when being dunked on so they won’t look bad on ESPN. And, he gave the dirt on some scoring superstars who can’t play a lick of defense and have to be covered for, like Dirk Nowitzke, the three-point specialist on the opponent that day, the Dallas Mavericks.
– In the north parking lot being redone by Pudge’s Bar, there has been a longtime sign that advertises another business but missing at “R” that therefore reads “Ivertown.” That would seem to indicate that Hudson is actually the homeland of the well-known Eau Claire band Bon Iver, (which was over there for its musical “experimental festival” so obviously could not be present for Hudson reconstruction). None of this stopped a downtown patron from slipping into the porta-potty that was positioned directly below the sign and doing his business. Apparently he couldn’t wait long enough to get a block or two further to an open establishment.
– There were more overnighters than ever when at Pepperfest the royal guard from St. Paul, which is given the task of defending King Boreas and the Queen of the Snows as part of Vulcan lore, camped out in the yard of a longtime Fourth Street North resident. Their presence even was announced on a banner on the side of an oversize truck just onto the grass. At times there was a light flashing to draw even more attention to the visitors. As far as the Vulcan actors, they appear to have revisited the practice of smudging willing womens’ cheeks.