HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
November 12, 2007

Deer hunting, among other things

By Aaron Schultz

This is the week I promised all you readers an exciting deer hunting column.

Well, before I even get started, I would like to apologize for that gross overestimation.

Don’t get me wrong. I had a very good time at Cross Lake for the deer hunting opener, but not much to tell on the deer hunting front.

I did remember to bring my rifle this time, but only after we had already left.

That’s right, we had to turn around, head back home, and pick it up.

It isn’t as bad as it sounds since we were less than five minutes away when we realized I had forgotten my gun.

The best part of the deer hunting opener, at least for me, was the same as it is every year – just hanging out with the family at the cabin.

Deer hunting brings our family together, and is one of few times each year I get to see a few of my cousins from Gaylord.

What made this year better than most, in that aspect, was the fact that I actually won at cards.

Most years, I unwillingly donate a nice chunk of change to my family, playing sheephead.

Not this year, as I was the one receiving donations from various family members.

What can I say – I was getting the cards, which usually never happens.

Oh yeah, as far as the hunting goes – I didn’t get a deer.

Enough about another poor hunting effort on my part – let’s move on.

There have been various other sports-related items that have caught my eye over the past few weeks, and below, I will voice my opinion on several of them.

• Any conversation about Minnesota sports has to start with Vikings’ rookie running back Adrian Peterson.

Are you kidding me? I haven’t been this excited about watching the Vikings in a number of years, and it has nothing to do with wins and losses.

Peterson, as you all must know by now, is pretty good.

He entered this past weekend with over 1,000 yards rushing midway through the season, and is on pace to break not only the rookie rushing record, but the overall single season rushing mark.

Can you imagine just how good the Vikings might be if they had anybody that resembled a NFL quarterback?

This would definitely be a team that would make the playoffs, and also challenge for a Super Bowl berth if only they had a signal caller that was even just a little bit below average.

Instead, the Vikings have a stable of quarterbacks that, if you took the best features from all four – yes, four, now that they signed Koy Detmer – that might just add up to one decent QB.

That is just what makes everything Peterson has done so far even more amazing.

If head coach Brad Childress doesn’t make a major move this off-season to get a real NFL quarterback, he should be fired before the season even starts.

• Flying under the radar with all the talk of Peterson lately, has been the Minnesota Wild.

After getting off to a very fast start, the Wild went through a little slump, but are back on track.

Despite injuries to some of their key players, i.e. Pavol Demitri and Marion Gaborik, the Wild are still in first place in their division, and are tied for second place in the Western Conference.

I have a funny feeling that this is going to be one of those special seasons for the Wild.

Come playoff time, be ready to follow this exciting Wild team deep into the playoffs.

• The Minnesota Timberwolves have started their season, and shocking no one, are winless to this point.

I have watched one-half of one Wolves game, and it wasn’t all that bad.

Of course, it wasn’t the fourth quarter, which is when they have had problems this year, but what the hay.

We all knew going into this season that they were going to be bad.

Let’s just hope, for those of you who enjoy watching the NBA, that they play some exciting games while they keep losing.

There is no hope for the Wolves this year. The only thing winning too many games this year would do, would put the rebuilding process back another year.

Keep stinking it up Wolves, hopefully get lucky in the lottery, and before we know it, it will be 2010, and they will be good again.

• What has happened to my Gopher hockey team?

Heading into this past weekend, they were 0-4 in the WCHA, and haven’t looked very good, at all.

Worried? I’m not. Last year they were unbeatable early on, but failed to make it even to the NCAA Frozen Four.

I think the slow start this year will help the Gophers in the long run – at least that is what I keep telling myself.

• For the first time in many, many years, I am kind of excited to watch a Gopher men’s basketball game.

Sure, I can’t tell you the starting five, but I sure do know who their head coach is – Tuby Smith.

After years of watching Dan Monson teams run around the court like chickens with their heads cut off, it should be fun to watch a team that actually knows what they should be doing.

Do they have enough talent to make a huge difference this year? Probably not, but at least we all now have some hope for the future of Gopher basketball.

• Finally, while I wasn’t going to go here, I feel I have to. What is going on with Gopher football?

I don’t know, but I know I can’t watch them anymore, at least this year.

Let’s hope head coach Tim Brewster is as good of a recruiter as he tells us he is; otherwise, I’ll have to find myself a “Fire Brewster” shirt by the end of next season.