This land is our land: The bitter debate over America’s public spaces






A debate over the fate of federal lands has intensified. It’s an ideological battle with all the Washington, D.C., hallmarks—behind-the-scenes political maneuvering, influence peddling, and media wars. One side slanders their opponents as short-haired women and long-haired men—elitists who are impediments to progress. Their adversaries, who contend they are dealing with none other than Satan […]

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Minnesota Brewery Running Series announces 2017 schedule






Even for the most avid, health-conscious runners, a carrot on a stick is probably not the most enticing form of motivation. But a beer? That’s another story. The Minnesota Brewery Running Series is back for 2017 with 25 events across the state (see the full list below). Now in its sixth year, the events are […]

Anglers are tying flies (and tying one on) at Twin Cities taprooms






Minnesota fly anglers can always go to the liquor warehouse, buy a six-pack of domestic, and go to the big-box outdoor store and buy a blister pack of mass-produced flies. And sometimes we do. Sometimes that hits the spot. But on some rare special dark winter nights in the Twin Cities—cold, clear nights with blazing […]

Meet Adrian Heath: Minnesota United FC’s new head coach






New Minnesota United FC head coach Adrian Heath put down his pint glass, left the table of United supporters he was chatting up, and mounted the stairs of The Local on Tuesday night to address the entire bar. The Growler’s Joe Alton and I debated if any other coach in town would be caught dead […]

When the NFL came to Duluth: The story of the Eskimos






Minnesota has a long and rich history of professional football. For most of the state’s fans, the mention of pro football immediately conjures images of the icy breaths of the Purple People Eaters suspended in the chilly Metropolitan Stadium air, of Randall Cunningham firing off 60-yard touchdown passes, of missed kicks and four Superbowls. But […]

Kings of the Ring: Local professional wrestlers share their greatest war stories






It’s a brisk Saturday evening on First Avenue, and there are bodies lining the sidewalks, waiting to push their way into one of the bars and nightclubs. While the booming of music and people screaming is enough to cause sensory overload, there is something happening inside of Mill City Nights that is more insane than […]

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A bike route for every personality






Minnesota: the land of ten thousand miles of bike trails (probably). Sounds like a biking aficionado’s dream come true, right? Right. But what about for us normal people? Us, we-love-biking-but-don’t-have-kids-named-Trek, people? We have some of the most beautiful bike routes around, but they can be pretty intimidating—not to mention, poorly mapped. Who has time to […]

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Golden Rivalries: Gopher football’s most storied trophy games






Autumn in Minnesota. Gold in the changing leaves, gold in the fields and prairies, and of course gold on the gridiron. It’s the time of the year that for autumnal traditions provided by college football at the University of Minnesota: reveling in the camaraderie of tailgating, raking leaves to the rhythm of radio play-by-play, the […]

Raising hackles: The prized chickens at the center of fly fishing






Nine hens and a rooster scuttle through the straw in a large pen in Steph and Eric West’s backyard in Grant, Minnesota. These are three-month-old Whiting True Blues—a breed that’s been selected to lay gorgeous blue eggs. The birds give a cockeyed warble to the Buttercup chickens rooting through the grass on the other side of […]

Field and revenue stream: How hunting contributes to wildlife conservation






In some parts of Minnesota, it’s no big deal to see trumpeter swans flying overhead, their black bills in stark contrast to their white bodies. It’s exciting to hear the trumpeting sound they make and exhilarating to feel as much as hear the thumping sound their wings make as they fly overhead. And while trumpeter swans […]

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Sepak attack: The sport of takraw is gaining a foothold in Minnesota






Thirty people are are dispersed between two nets on a near perfect August night outside Olson Middle School in North Minneapolis. Younger players, roughly between 20 and 40, play at one court, 50-and-60-somethings at the other. The courts are twined-off, the grass worn. Spectators cheer from the sidelines. From a distance, this might seem like […]

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The first cast: A fly fishing essay






7am • Friday The coffeemaker does its thing just like every other Friday morning, perking away automatically at seven. But this is not any other Friday. There’s work ahead of us, of course—unloading, paddling, at least one serious portage—but this work is eagerly anticipated. Work that brings sweat, physical progress, distance made from city and […]

Forward, forward, jab! Inside the world of competitive gaming






A fighter fastens his long red bandana, tightens his leather gloves, and stares down his opponent. As though a Roman sculpture, the man before him is a mountain of muscle, a feral look in his eyes. The fighter wipes sweat from his brow; he has been in this position before. Nerves and sweat conspiring against […]

When the games don’t matter: The joys of bad baseball






The smell fills my nose from blocks away before my eyes can even see it. Despite the exhaust from downtown’s late afternoon traffic and the aromas of a dozen different cuisines from nearby restaurants, the smell of the ballpark—the salted peanut shells, hot dogs and grilled onions, and the stale scent of beer soaked into […]

Play ball: Returning to the roots of America’s pastime






Across the northlands each summer people flock to ballparks big and small to revel in the American tradition and pastime of the game we call baseball. They set up their folding chairs along grassy third-base lines, settle into cushioned seats under flashy jumbotrons, or relax on rickety bleachers behind home plate. This tradition dates as […]