Browsing Posts tagged Matt Hendrickson

Matt Hendrickson is the sports director at KJAM Radio in Madison and a Die-Hard Vikings fan… which means he’ll need a Die-Hard Battery to jump-start his heart if the Vikings ever win the Super Bowl.

Well, after all the hard-feelings, name-calling, and generally Congress-like attitude, the NFL players, who somehow think they are “Labor”, and the NFL owners have come to an agreement to end the 132-day lockout. Which means we’ll see a flurry of free-agent signings, training camp and much more before pre-season games begin next month. It also marks about 6 weeks before my Vikings start sucking wind again.

Frankly, I could have cared less about the plight of the owners or the players… the players talk about the long-term damage to their bodies after making millions of dollars in their career. They should talk to firefighters, paramedic/EMTs, and police officers. Their careers (and lives) could end like that. And none of them will ever make a TENTH of what you spoiled crybabies will ever make.

The owners talk about losing money… how the HELL can you lose money when the taxpayers are paying for your brand new stadiums with retractable roofs? Or when you’re charging TEN FRICKING DOLLARS for crappy-a$$ beer? Or when it costs about as much to go to ONE GAME as it does for me to put new tires on my car? With licensing fees, concessions, TV revenue, revenue-sharing, salary caps, corporate sponsorships and ticket sales, you’d have to be a COMPLETE FRICKING MORON to lose money like that!

Both sides came out of this situation as complete TOOLS. And they almost cost themselves not only a season, but a lot of fans, too. Good job, you guys–you nearly killed the golden goose… IDIOTS.

Despite my whining, I’ll still tune in this to watch my Vikings break my heart for the umpteenth time. I’ll shell out the couple-hundred bucks this fall to go with my brothers and dad on our annual NFL sojourn to Minneapolis (though my sister-in-law might insist on Green Bay this year). And I’ll still wear my Jared Allen jersey with hole in it when I tried to burn off loose threads.


Because, despite all this B.S. and drama, I’ve come to this conclusion….

It’s a hell of a lot better than watching soccer.

Matt Hendrickson is the Sports Director at KJAM Radio in Madison, SD… or at least he likes to think he is… We’re increasing his medication next week.

With the hot weather we’ve had, it’s hard to believe that the end of the summer is just around the corner… at least for amateur baseball!

For the past 21 season, we’ve carried the Cornbelt League on KJAM… and this year was a bit trying with all the rain, storms, and forfeits! But the final games have wrapped up and here are the final standings.

#1 ~ Dell Rapids Mudcats 21-1
#2 ~ Madison Broncos 18-4
#3 ~ Canova Gang 17-5
#4 ~ H-M-H Gamedogs 15-7
#5 ~ Dell Rapids PBR 13-9
#6 ~ Harrisburg 12-10
#7 ~ Lennox 10-12
#8 ~ Flandreau Cardinals 9-13
#9 ~ Salem Cubs 9-13
#10 ~ Colman A’s 6-16
#11 ~ Tea Toros 2-20
#12 ~ Canistota Rebels 0-22

Now the busy part of our schedule begins!

Starting Friday night, we’ll be broadcasting the Cornbelt League District Tournament live from Lennox. Seven teams from the Corn Belt will move on to the State “B” Amateur tournament, which starts August 3rd.

Now this means we’ll have to pre-empt “Calling All Sports” for the next week or so, which is unfortunate. But we will be back airing Mark O and Mike H on a regular basis once everything wraps up.

By the way, here is our broadcast schedule for the district tournament.

See ya at the Ballpark!

Matt Hendrickson is the sports director for Calling All Sports affiliate KJAM Radio in Madison. He figures he’s torpedoed his chances of ever working in Bristol, Connecticut with the following article.

A person once wiser than me said “If you find yourself in a hole, the best thing to do is stop digging.”

Sage advice… let’s see if ESPN follows it.

The so-called “Worldwide Leader in Sports” has been taking in the shorts lately, and has stumbled mightily. It started last year with the ill-advised “The Decision,” which was basically an hour-long spectacle surrounding LeBron James and his decision to go to Miami. Earlier this year, the book “These Guys Have All The Fun” describes the inner workings of the network as not so much a professional broadcasting network, but something that would fit in with Caligula or Sodom and Gomorrah.

These things may have dinged ESPN’s reputation a bit, but nothing too serious. After all, as a fellow broadcaster once said, “Sports is basically the toy department of the media.” After all, there was really nothing to really seriously harm its integrity.

And then there was Bruce.

Bruce being Bruce Feldman. A pretty good writer… a guy who makes his living at ESPN writing and reporting on College Football. So in other words, a pretty knowledgeable guy. However, Bruce has found himself in hot water for co-authoring a book with former Texas A&M head football coach Mike Leach. So much so, that ESPN is to have given him an indefinite suspension.

Why, you say? Well, it all goes back to Leach’s firing at Texas A&M. Leach was a fairly respected coach for the Aggies, helping the team become successful during his tenure. The bottom fell out when there was allegations from ESPN College Football Reporter Craig James that Leach and his staff was abusive to his son, who was a member of the team. All in all, the school fired Leach, who then filed lawsuits against the school, James, and the Public Relations firm James had allegedly hired to smear Leach’s name. Also named as a defendant? You guessed it… ESPN.

Looking at this from a business standpoint, I would think it foolish to allow one of my employees to work on a book with a person who has a lawsuit pending against my company. Granted, ESPN would have taken some flack if they had put the kibosh on Feldman’s partnership before it even began, but at the same time it would be considered understandable in some circles.

But here’s the kicker… Feldman asked for and was given permission by ESPN to do the book. Pretty boilerplate stuff, really. But then some higher-up decided that Feldman had to be punished so they supposedly suspended Feldman indefinitely….for doing something HE WAS GIVEN PERMISSION TO DO.

Needless to say, this has the sports media world all up in arms. Dan Patrick is asking why ESPN hasn’t fired James, there are now Facebook pages and Twitter Feeds, urging the network to “Free Bruce Feldman”… and all the while, ESPN had remained silent.

Finally, the network released this milquetoast statement.
“There was never any suspension or any other form of disciplinary action. We took the time to review his upcoming work assignments in light of the book to which he contributed and will manage any conflicts or other issues as needed. Bruce has resumed his assignments.”

Really? Where were you five hours before when all of this was coming down? AND… if he wasn’t suspended, why was is necessary to say Bruce has resumed his assignments?

I don’t know whether ESPN is suffering from heavy-handedness, incompetence, or both. But it seems to me this network had better take a long, hard look at what they’re doing. A charge of violating journalistic integrity–perceived or actual–is a serious wound to a news-gathering organization’s integrity and reputation.

ESPN has had a LOT of PR foul-ups lately… and it better shape up unless it wants to end up a pariah…. unless it already has become one.

Cross-posted on my personal sports blog, Just Another Damn Sports Blog–MH

This weekend, I was reading Matt Zimmer’s excellent piece on the fiscal troubles of the Sioux Falls Pheasants baseball team, and how the team is struggling to get fans to the gate. Of course there are a lot of reasons for the downturn: a sluggish economy, not nearly enough corporate sponsorships, high gas prices, you name it…

Yet it seems that one of the biggest reasons people are staying away from the Birdcage? A name change. Seriously!

For those of you who are wondering what’s going on, here’s a recap… the former Sioux Falls Canaries was sold last season to a local ownership group. Previous to that, the Canaries had been pretty much a second-tier team in the Northern League and American Association. The team finished consistently near the bottom of the league standings and went through more managers than George Steinbrenner on a cocaine binge. So the new group decided to clean house… new office staff, new commitment to making a winning program, heck they decided to even change the name of the team and the uniforms!

Last year was one the best in the team’s nearly 20-year old history. The newly-christened Pheasants tore through the American Association like Kanye West at a Taylor Swift concert, falling just short of getting their second American Association championship in three years. Sounds like a pretty good start, right?  Only one problem… no one came to the games!

Granted, the new owners didn’t help out their cause early on… firing a popular general manager, refusing to honor a popular Canaries tattoo promotion, and cancelling several other popular promotions didn’t make them any fans. But it seems the owners did make some corrections and made other improvements, including better concessions. But the important thing is they invested IN the team. Because when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, the way you have a successful professional baseball team is to have a quality product on the field that people will come and pay money to see. And it seems like that’s what the owners are now doing.

But a stubborn group of people are saying that isn’t good enough… they want the old name back and they want the new owners run out on a rail. SERIOUSLY?!?!

According to some of these folks, the new group is messing with the “Tradition” of the team. Really? Well, let’s look at that tradition and some of the “highlights”…

1)      The original owner was the second coming of Steinbrenner. Only instead of simply hiring a new manager, he pulled a Henry VIII and made himself the boss. And got tossed out of many games because, simply, he was an idiot.

2)      The next group of owners owned several other teams in the Northern League, including the St. Paul Saints. Seriously, between a team in a market of over 300,000 compared to a team in a market of just over 150,000, where do you think their emphasis was going to be? Which explains why the Canaries had a bunch of unpaid bills and a lot of ticked off businesses before the current group paid all the bills.

3)      The managers and coaches in the past… one manager made his bones by walking over hot coals to motivate his teams… like Lou Holtz’s magic tricks for the 1976 Jets, only… stupider. Oh, and let’s not forget the pitching coach that was banned by Major League Baseball for being suspended for using cocaine…. SEVEN TIMES! Boy those were some banner years, weren’t they?

4)      One playoff appearance prior to winning the AA title in 2008.

Boy, some “tradition”, huh?

Of course, some complain that because of the name change, they feel “disrespected”. Well, if you’re going to feel disrespected because some independent minor-league baseball team changes its name, then you’ve got bigger issues than Charlie Sheen. As Matt Zimmer points out, this isn’t the New York Yankees. Now if the Yankees decided to change their name to the New York Silly Ninnies and wear pink and teal for their uniforms, then yeah, I could see people getting torqued off. Because that’s tradition. A minor league baseball team that isn’t even old enough to go into a bar doesn’t have enough years to even be considered to HAVE tradition.

Here’s the gist of it… Sioux Falls is in danger of losing one of its premier drawing points of the summer… besides the heat, humidity and mosquitoes. And I bet you dollars-to-donuts that the same yahoos that are having this temper tantrum about the name change are going to be the first to whine and caterwaul when this team either folds, or the owners are forced to sell to a new group which relocates them to the middle of Iowa.

And if that happens, I PRAY that a potential team owner looks long and hard at the situation going on now before he or she decides to start up a team in this area. Frankly, I wouldn’t blame them for not setting up shop… it’s just not worth the headache.

Well, since Mike asked me to be a contributing blogger for “Calling All Sports”, I figured what the heck and do it.

In case you’re wondering who I am, allow me to introduce… myself. My name is Matt Hendrickson. I’ve been the sports director at KJAM Radio in Madison since 2005. I love sports, whether it’s Little League or Minnesota Twins. Yep… eternal optimist, I know.. but hey, they just swept Mike’s Royals so *thumbs nose*

I’ve been having a dilly of a time trying to figure out what this first post should be about. The Twins? The Pheasants struggles to get fans to the games? My first time at a Roller Dollz bout? Corn Belt League baseball? The possibilities are endless!

Of course, I could write about ALL of them. And if no one else comes aboard, I just might! But if you have any ideas, feel free to drop me a comment and let me know what you think!

Until next time!