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Myles Standish, Me & Thanksgiving

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November 20, 2017

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Thanksgiving has always been near the top of my favorite holidays. Perhaps my feelings were founded during grade school while playing the role of Myles Standish in a stage production about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving. The memory is enduring, although it was my first and last time on stage. Sir Tyrone Guthrie never came knocking on my door.

In this space you won’t find any Grand Turkey winners (see the Strib’s Patrick Reusse for that). Instead, I want to reference individuals who I am thankful for—and please give me a pass for many others I should have singled out.

I begin with my Website readers, some of whom have followed this effort since my 2006 startup. The encouragement and appreciation expressed by them has played a significant role in my continuing to crank out over 115 columns per year. Thank you.

Gratitude also to my amazing wife who cares little about college or professional sports but graciously edits almost every column before being published.

Thanks to all the advertisers, past and present, who have supported my efforts and made it possible for others to enjoy this Website’s reporting and commentary. It’s also satisfying to learn about readers who told advertisers they saw their ads on my site.

When my Website needs code to be written, or the server is down, it’s my go-to guys David and Dan who always pitch in. Gracias!

I battled many times on the court with my tennis buddy and lifelong friend Myron, but more importantly he’s one of the special people who taught me about the importance of family.

Happy Thanksgiving to my oldest son Bill, who despite seldom playing tennis, once beat me on a cold, windy and miserable day on the North Shore, and forever proclaimed himself the “Two Harbors Family Tennis Champion.”

With admiration to my other son, Joel, who is a Father of the Year candidate every year to his young son Chase.

I still feel sad Jerry Kill had to abruptly end his career as the Golden Gophers football coach two years ago but Minnesotans should give thanks for how he revitalized the program on the field, in the classroom and in the community. We’re all better for having witnessed his character and commitment.

Count Jim Carter as one of Kill’s friends and mine, too. I love Carter’s passion for making the University of Minnesota extraordinary in every way.

How do I not root for Paul Molitor? He went through some rough times decades ago but has emerged as a genuine hero who treats others with kindness and consideration.

Maybe you know someone who’s filled with common sense and wisdom. Jim Dutcher is a treasure to me.

Without Glen Taylor, this town might not have professional basketball. He could be the world’s nicest billionaire.

CORES lunches and programs are always a hit.  I appreciate Jim Dotseth and Phil Frerk for their information and invites.

Thanks to Adam Thielen for almost always being available in the Vikings Winter Park locker room to answer questions—in good times and bad.

WCHA commissioner Bill Robertson provides timely insights about media and sports, and is a pleasure to be with.

They say you find out who your friends are when tough times hit. Al Nuness has been there for me.

Wednesdays are pizza media days at Winter Park and it’s fun times sharing memories and laughs with Charley Walters, while chewing on the “meat lovers special.”

Tre Jones

Part of the fun in covering sports is being around young athletes, and admiring the charisma and passion for life many possess. A favorite is Apple Valley High School’s Tre Jones who has a smile and presence that lights up even a dark gym.

I have known Dave Mona for a long time and I thank him for the opportunities he has extended to me including leading the Twin Cities Dunkers a few years ago.

Thank you Dave St. Peter for unfailingly responding to my emails requesting interviews about the Twins.

My best wishes to a couple of close friends who have lost loved ones this year, and battled physical challenges. Among the redeeming things about sports is that if only for a moment, what we see on ball fields and courts can lessen our burdens.

I want to remember those who have passed from this earth, including the late Frank Jirik from Met Center and the North Stars. He was a great mentor and may have invented Polish jokes. Nobody did them better.

My memories of the late Herb Brooks are enduring, too. He always was so giving and unselfish with his time.

Nobody could send chills up and down the spine talking about the Golden Gophers like the late Paul Giel. “Old No. 10” made friends wherever he went.

Who doesn’t miss Harmon Killebrew? He was the Twins greatest slugger and a hall of fame player and person.

Today’s media news world has a lot of practitioners of “get it first and let’s hope we’re right.” I try to remember the time-proven principles of accuracy, fairness and objectivity. Thankful when I do so.

In a crazy and sometimes cruel world, hope you find peace and happiness this Thanksgiving!

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About Author

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David Shama

David Shama is a former sports editor and columnist with local publications. His writing and reporting experiences include covering the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Gophers.

Shama’s career experiences also include sports marketing. He is the former Marketing Director of the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL. He is also the former Marketing Director of the United States Tennis Association’s Northern Section.

A native of Minneapolis, Shama has been part of the community his entire life. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he majored in journalism. He also has a Master’s degree in education from the University of St. Thomas. He was a member of the Governor’s NBA’s Task Force to help create interest in bringing pro basketball to town in the 1980s.

(3) Readers Comments

  1. avatar
    Patrick Klinger
    November 20, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Great column for the week of Thanksgiving, David! Very appropriate and classy. Happy Thanksgiving to the Shama Family. Patrick

  2. avatar
    Alvin Ray 'Gopher' Hawes
    November 20, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    David and Family, Thanks for a GREAT year of reporting...you know you're a "throw-back" to wonderful reporting of old. Happy Thanksgiving and keep up the good work. Priceless!

  3. avatar
    Jim brunzell
    November 20, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Nice job Dave- I try to remember to count my blessings daily! Happy Thanksgiving - Peace- Brunzy

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