PJ Fleck

P.J. Fleck, Gophers head coach (⬆️ UP)

Fleck’s “row the boat” culture is often criticized and mocked by rival Big Ten fans, and sometimes even coaches (we’re talking to you, Scott Frost). But there’s no arguing results. Through five complete seasons at Minnesota, Fleck owns a 35-23 record and is 3-0 in bowl games. Since 1906, the Gophers have won 9+ games in a season four times: 2003, ’16, ’19 and ’21. Fleck has been the head coach for half of them.

Minnesota weather (⬇️ DOWN, ⬇️ DOWN, ⬇️ DOWN)

The Minnesota Wild are set to take on the St. Louis Blues in the annual Winter Classic on Jan. 1 at Target Field. Apparently, Mother Nature didn’t hear about it. As of Wednesday, the high temperature for New Year’s Day is -3°F. The low is -16°F. If those temperatures hold, it’ll set a record for the coldest NHL outdoor hockey game in league annals. When the puck dropped in a game between Edmonton and Montreal in the 2003 Heritage Classic, the temperature was 0°F. Bundle up, State of Hockey!

Daniel Faalele, Gophers right tackle (⬆️ UP)

The 6-foot-9, 380-pound offensive tackle ended his collegiate career in a dream fashion for any offensive lineman: With a touchdown. In the second quarter of Minnesota’s 18-6 win over West Virginia in the 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bowl on Tuesday night, Faalele -- the starting right tackle -- lined up at fullback and plunged into the end zone from two yards out. Like most big-man touchdowns, the highlight went viral immediately on social media. Faalele will play at the 2022 Senior Bowl along with Gophers teammates Esezi Otomewo and Boye Mafe to prepare for the upcoming NFL draft, where many experts think he’ll be taken in the second or third round.

Greg Monroe, Wolves center (⬆️ UP)

The 31-year-old center quickly became a fan favorite after signing a 10-day contract with the Timberwolves on Monday. Due to flight troubles, Monroe arrived to the gym just three hours before the Wolves tipped off against Boston on Monday night and logged 11 points, nine rebounds and six assists. He was solid again Tuesday night with seven points, six rebounds and four assists. After nearly 2 1/2 years out of the NBA, “Moose” is proving he’s still got it.

Minnesota Vikings star players (⬆️ UP then ⬇️ DOWN)

The Vikings received good news Wednesday afternoon when star running back Dalvin Cook was activated from the COVID-19 list. Unfortunately, about 40 minutes later, it was announced that Adam Thielen has been shelved for the rest of the season due to an ankle injury. In a way, it perfectly represented Minnesota’s roller-coaster 2021 campaign. Like the Vikings beating Green Bay, arguably the league’s top team, only to lose to the previously winless Detroit Lions two weeks later.

Jaylen Nowell, Wolves guard (⬇️ DOWN)

Nowell was the hero in Monday’s win over the Celtics, scoring 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting. He became the first player in Wolves history to score 29+ points and nail 6+ 3-pointers off the bench. However, Tuesday night was a heat check for the 22-year-old. He made just 1 of 7 attempts from downtown and committed two turnovers in the loss to the New York Knicks.

Featured Podcast

See all