Bison and Coach Phillips making it fun!

Great example of why it’s so much fun to cheer for the Bison and Saul. This quote in today’s NY Times : “On Friday, Phillips went to the spot on the Spokane Arena floor where Alexander released his shot. Phillips bent down and kissed it.

“Two big lip marks right there,” Phillips said.”
~End Quote~

I’m picking the mighty NDSU Bison to dunk the San Diego State Aztecs 71 – 65 tonight. Go BISON!!

Below is an excellent article in today’s New York Times. Thanks for the fun Bison and let’s all enjoy the Big Dance!

 

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

North Dakota State Thinks Big, Has Fun, Earns Attention

By 

 

Photo

Lawrence Alexander of North Dakota State forced overtime on Thursday with a 3-pointer.CreditKirby Lee/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

SPOKANE, Wash. — The fun began long before North Dakota State Coach Saul Phillips, in the middle of a news conference Friday (the man has turned scripted drudgery into performance art), asked his boss for a raise. Phillips joked that he got the job in the first place because he “had pictures” of his boss, the athletic director, who just laughed.

“I can rip them up now,” Phillips said in the afterglow of the university’s first N.C.A.A. tournament victory, an 80-75 overtime win over Oklahoma on Thursday. “I’m safe.”

It truly began seven years ago, when Phillips was a North Dakota State assistant and the head coach, Tim Miles, left for Colorado State. (He now coaches Nebraska.) Phillips went to the office of the athletic director, Gene Taylor.

“ ‘Please, please, give me the chance,’ ” Taylor recalled Phillips saying. “He literally pounded on my desk.”

 

 

Every spring, it seems, a little-known team and a big personality emerge from the chaos of the N.C.A.A. tournament to capture more than an equal share of attention. This year, the first candidates are North Dakota State and Phillips, 41. The Bison, seeded 12th in the West Region, play the No. 4 seed San Diego State on Saturday.

 

Photo

“I could try to be ornery and negative, and that would be fake,” said Saul Phillips, whose Bison will play San Diego State.CreditSteve Dykes/Getty Images

 

No one, at least this side of Mercer, is having more fun than North Dakota State. And no collegiate athletic department is riding a bigger crest of momentum.

“About as good as it gets,” Taylor said.

The football team has won three consecutive national championships in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision — the one with the playoffs, not the bowls. The past four years, the Bison have beaten upper-division Kansas, Minnesota, Colorado State and Kansas State.

But Thursday’s basketball victory was bigger, Taylor said. Such things are hard to measure, but Taylor told the story of a friend who wore a North Dakota State jacket into a Washington, D.C., bar to watch Thursday’s game. The bar erupted in excitement when guard Lawrence Alexander made a 3-pointer to force overtime, and patrons cheered the Bison to victory, 3,000 miles from Spokane and a world away from the college’s campus in Fargo.

“He told me, ‘The next thing I know, I had 17 beers in front of me for free,’ ” Taylor said of his friend.

The victory gives North Dakota State unusual and unexpected attention. And no one handles attention better than Phillips.

“I mean, he’s goofy, crazy at times, but a great coach to play for,” Alexander said.

On Friday, Phillips went to the spot on the Spokane Arena floor where Alexander released his shot. Phillips bent down and kissed it.

“Two big lip marks right there,” Phillips said.

Phillips, married and the father of three, was raised in Wisconsin and played at Wisconsin-Platteville for Bo Ryan, now the head coach at Wisconsin. He spent two seasons as an assistant to Ryan and, later, three years as his operations manager. He came to North Dakota State in 2004 as an assistant to Miles.

What makes Phillips different is that he is the rare basketball coach who appears to have fun coaching. He credits that to his time with Miles, during lean years as North Dakota State transitioned from Division II to Division I. During one game, players were a bit out of control, and Phillips recommended they slow the tempo. Miles disagreed.

“We’re not very good right now,” Phillips recalled Miles’s saying. “But we’re not going to be bad and boring. Let’s have some fun.”

For Phillips, who said that he came out of the womb “with a smile on my face,” it has been a core coaching philosophy.

“I could try to be ornery and negative, and that would be fake,” Phillips said. “I can’t do that. In the very corporate, cold world of college basketball, that’s just not my personality. I get the fact there’s a business attached to it, but I don’t deal with that. They have athletic directors that deal with the money side of it. I deal with a bunch of kids running around in shorts. And that’s a pretty good place to be.”

It was one of his more serious responses on Friday. Phillips uses reporters like straight men (and women). Among his more notable responses to a string of serious questions:

■ On the San Diego State star guard Xavier Thames: “I’m hoping there’s an elevator malfunction, and he gets caught in the elevator.”

■ On the physical play against Oklahoma: “Last night, the locker room looked like Chuck Wepner after a fight.”

■ On the team’s battered faces, including that of Marshall Bjorklund: “Marshall’s got a nose; he can smell around corners, man.”

■ On competing against San Diego State Coach Steve Fisher: “He gets to recruit to San Diego — beaches, weather. It’s just not fair. I mean, they should spot us 10 points. We’re in Fargo. We have got beaches, but the lake’s frozen over the whole time, so it doesn’t make any difference.”

(Later, he extolled the virtues of Fargo, with its young population and energy. “Now, it’s cold,” he said. “Bring a jacket. You can take it off when you get inside.”)

The humor is contagious among the players, none of whom had scholarship offers from bigger, better-known basketball programs. (“We’re the great unwashed,” Phillips said.) After the game, when Phillips said of Alexander, “I love him and he’s a winner,” Alexander replied, “I love you, too, Saul.”

Guard Taylor Braun, the Summit League player of the year, joked that the game was no big deal. “Honestly, I don’t know what all the hype is about,” he said. (He quickly conceded that it was “unbelievable” and that “the atmosphere was 100 times greater than expected.”)

Bjorklund, whom Phillips takes great pride in announcing is a pig farmer, was asked about the rough play against Oklahoma.

“I guess down low it was almost like a bar fight,” Bjorklund said.

“So you hear,” Phillips said. “So you hear.”

Taylor, the athletic director, knows that bigger programs may soon be trying to lure Phillips. North Dakota State’s football coach, Craig Bohl, recently left for a bigger opportunity.

“We re-upped Saul last year,” Taylor said, referring to Phillips’s contract. “But I just re-upped my football coach last year, too, and he went to Wyoming.”

~End Article~

Let’s go Bison!….. Let’s go BISON!!….. Let’s GO BISON!!………LET’S GO BISON!!!

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Bison tough out win in OT! Bye, bye Sooners, hello Aztecs

What a game! The Bison proved their physical and mental toughness and came through in the clutch with poise and key free throws to defeat the #5 seed Oklahoma in overtime.

While my pick for the Bison to advance to the Sweet 16 is looking great, I won’t be a billionaire as Harvard and Dayton blew my chance early. Hope they both advance too!

Can hardly wait to for Saturday to see the Bison take on the #4 seed San Diego State Aztecs. GO BISON!!!

The Bison upset deserves the AP’s “Big Story” classification by Tim Booth:

NDSU PULLS 12TH-SEED STUNNER BEATING OKLAHOMA

— Mar. 21, 2014 12:11 AM EDT

Home » Lawrence Alexander » NDSU pulls 12th-seed stunner beating Oklahoma

 

Here’s a synopsis of the Bison victory by ESPN:

SPOKANE, WA – MARCH 20: Lawrence Alexander #12 of the North Dakota State Bison drives the ball..

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Around The NCAA Tournament

Deciding factor: North Dakota State needed an extra session to get it done, but the Bison picked up their first NCAA tournament win.

Player of the game: Lawrence Alexander. He went 10-for-15 from the field and hit 4-for-7 on 3-pointers for a game-high 28 points.

Key stat: Oklahoma tried to live by the 3. It made 12, but it also took 30. The Bison, meanwhile, did their damage at the foul line, where they went 20-for-22.

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Bison will be flying high tonight! Go BISON!!

Bison are DANCING!! It’s fun to see folks around the nation rooting for our high flying Bison.

Here’s a fun article in the Dallas Morning News about it:

 

National analysts nearly unanimous: North Dakota State will beat Oklahoma

Basketball analyst Dick Vitale answers questions from the media after filling out his March Madness bracket against Joel the longhorn at the Fort Worth Stockyards in Fort Worth, on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. If Vitale loses to Joel, he will become Joel’s personal wrangler. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News)

On ESPN’s Selection Sunday special, every analyst picked Michigan State to win the National Championship in Arlington. Rarely is there consensus on any sports topic. However, analysts have found one more thing they agree on.

North Dakota State will upset the Oklahoma Sooners in the first round. All but two ESPN/CBS analysts believe the Sooners will bow out of the tournament on Thursday when they face the Bison.

Many are pointing to the defense of the Sooners as the reason they are vulnerable. The Sooners rank 302nd nationally in scoring defense, and they will face the 20th most efficient offense in the nation when they face the Bison.

Even the President of the United States, Barack Obama, believes the Sooners will stumble to NDSU.

Below is the prediction of all ESPN and CBS analysts for the Sooners:

  • Barack Obama: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Nate Silver: Oklahoma will win 63.8 percent of the time
  • Jay Bilas: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Dick Vitale: Lose in round of 32 to San Diego State
  • Jay Williams: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Gary Parrish: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Matt Norlander: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Greg Doyel: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Jerry Palm: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Jeff Borzello: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Dennis Dodd: Lose in round of 32 to San Diego State
  • Timothy Rapp: Lose in round of 32 to San Diego State

Oklahoma and North Dakota State tip off in Spokane, Washington, Thursday at 6:27 central time; truTV will televise the game.

~You can follow Alex Apple on Twitter @AlexAppleDFW.~

 

 

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Spring is coming! Sign up your garden and fruit trees at FM Gardens Alive! 1 million square foot challenge

You can help meet this challenge by going to FM Gardens Alive! and simply input the size of your food garden area no matter the size.  You can also submit the number of fruit trees or bushes you have or will be planting this season.

Don’t think of yourself as a gardener? Think again, even our small rhubarb patch and tomatoes planted in containers add to the tally!

Thanks to all the great folks that have been working together to promote growing more tasty, healthy local food.

Thanks to Erik Burgess of the Forum and all the other great media that came for the challenge announcement Thursday.

Here’s Eriks article:

Community leaders issue challenge for 1 million square feet of gardens by 2015

FARGO – Community leaders planted seeds Thursday for a metro-wide challenge to have 1 million square feet of gardens by the end of the year.

By: Erik Burgess, INFORUM

 
Rory Beil, CassClayAlive director, speaks Thursday at Baker Nursery in Fargo to announce the Gardensalive! Challenge to plant one million square feet of gardens in the metro area. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

FARGO – Community leaders planted seeds Thursday for a metro-wide challenge to have 1 million square feet of gardens by the end of the year.

City Commissioner Mike Williams, who helped kick off the challenge at a news conference at Baker Nursery in south Fargo, said that’s enough fresh fruit and vegetables to cover the Fargodome floor about 13 times.

“We’re going to blow this out of the water,” Williams said of the challenge.

The goal behind the challenge is to encourage healthy eating for children and adults and make Fargo, Moorhead, Dilworth and West Fargo the healthiest metro in the country, said Rory Beil, director of CassClay Alive, the Dakota Medical Foundation’s healthy eating and active living initiative.

Adults that grow gardens eat more fresh produce throughout the year, and the same applies for kids who grow up gardening, Beil said. Another goal of the challenge is to make healthy eating routine for young kids, he said.

“Our eating habits are largely based on convenience and habit, and if we’ve got apples growing in our backyard and we’ve got vegetables in our garden, it’s much more likely that it’s going to become a reality,” Beil said.

The metro had around 318,000 square feet of gardens in 2013, so those are already being counted toward the 1 million square foot goal, Beil said.

An additional 34,000 square feet have been logged this week, bringing the total up to 352,000 on Thursday afternoon.

People can register their gardens online or by picking up a “Gardens Alive!” card at participating local nurseries and garden stores, said Anita Marocco, the challenge coordinator.

Any size operation is counted – from a fully-fledged garden to a single apple tree, berry bush or pot of produce, she said.

“Even containers count. We’ll count your potted strawberries,” she said.

The website will also track food donations. Beil said he hopes the challenge will “overrun our food shelters with healthy food.”

The initiative was inspired by healthy eating challenges in other parts of the country, but Beil said they wanted the challenge for the Fargo-Moorhead area to be “a little more contagious.”

“You can drive down the street and you can see a garden. And that will live on year after year,” he said. “So we think it has the potential to create a little bit of a social movement.”

If the challenge is successful in the immediate metro area, Beil said it could expand into greater Cass and Clay counties.

To register a garden or track the community’s process, visit www.fmgardensalive.org, or call (701) 241-1367.

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Where are folks moving to from the Twin Cities? US Census says……….Fargo!

No surprise to some of us that have seen these trends evolving as we become a more active, attractive, diverse, and interesting community! We’re not only attracting people and talent from the Twin Cities, but several other counties spread around the US.

In several earlier posts, Fargo has received high marks for quality of life. One of my favorites is this “Best places for 20 somethings” 

Here’s a recent article in Minnesota Public Radio ~

“Outside the state of Minnesota, the biggest net recipient of Hennepin County residents was not Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix), not Harris County, Texas (Houston), not Broward County, Florida. It was Cass County, N.D., home of Fargo.

You can see these net gain and loss population statistics with this cool tool from the Census using the Census Flows Mapper. Click on any county in the country and see where everybody’s going.

http://blogs.mprnews.org/ground-level/2014/02/where-did-everybody-go-literally/

~ End MPR article ~

We also have more folks choosing to build their lives in our Fargo area like the 143 people that moved here from Washington County Oregon, and 90 from Weld County Colorado for example.

The trend of outmigration has changed 180 degrees over the past decade. At the last Commission meeting, I mentioned some of these very positive changes from our area students to Jim Gartin of the FM EDC.

In annual Fargo Public Schools surveys asking students if they plan to stay in the Fargo area, the student responses have changed from about 35% 8 years ago saying they want to build their life here, to now around 65% with more wanting to live, work, learn, and play in our region.

Our culture is evolving and we’re becoming a more active and interesting community where people can engage and reach our potential.

It’s fun to see people realize our excellent quality of life and the many opportunities to dream and work together as we design our community for happiness.

Let’s keep growing well!

 

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Where are the folks moving to from the Twin Cities? Census says………Fargo!

No surprise to some of us that have seen these trends evolving as we become a more active, attractive, diverse, and interesting community! We’re not only attracting people and talent from the Twin Cities, but several other counties spread around the US.

In several earlier posts, Fargo has received high marks for quality of life. One of my favorites is this “Best places for 20 somethings” 

Here’s a recent article in Minnesota Public Radio ~

“Outside the state of Minnesota, the biggest net recipient of Hennepin County residents was not Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix), not Harris County, Texas (Houston), not Broward County, Florida. It was Cass County, N.D., home of Fargo.

You can see these net gain and loss population statistics with this cool tool from the Census using the Census Flows Mapper. Click on any county in the country and see where everybody’s going.

http://blogs.mprnews.org/ground-level/2014/02/where-did-everybody-go-literally/

~ End MPR article ~

We also have more folks choosing to build their lives in our Fargo area like the 143 people that moved here from Washington County Oregon, and 90 from Weld County Colorado for example.

The trend of outmigration has changed 180 degrees over the past decade. At the last Commission meeting, I mentioned some of these very positive changes from our area students to Jim Gartin of the FM EDC.

In annual  Fargo Public Schools survey students asking if they plan to stay in the Fargo area. Those surveys have changed from about 35% 8 years ago saying they want to build their life here, to now around 65% with more wanting to live, work, learn, and play in our region.

Our culture is evolving and we’re becoming a more active and interesting community where people can engage and reach our potential.

It’s fun to see people realize our excellent quality of life and the many opportunities to dream and work together as we design our community for happiness.

Let’s keep growing well!

 

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Broadcast times for Food glorious Food! Focus on local foods and gardens

In case you missed the Valley Chefs Association, Northern Plains Botanic Society, and Prairie Roots Food Coops fun local foods and gardens presentations on Monday, you’ve got a chance to catch it on Fargo cable access channel 12 at these times.

Thanks again to all the presenters and it’s wonderful to see so many groups working together toward more fresh and tasty local foods. Save the date for the Cass Clay local food initiative events March 14th and 15th and watch for the 1,000,000 square foot food garden challenge.

February              5              9 p.m.

February              6              8 p.m.

February              10           6 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.

February              12           9 p.m.

February              13           10 a.m.

February              14           10:30 a.m.

Check out Monday’s presentations featuring Prairie Roots local food market, incredible local chefs and their association, and a possible Japanese Garden and Conservatory. Here’s a quick review of the event thanks to KFGO’s Jack and Sandy 

At 8:35 we’ll hear from Kaye Kirsch and the Prairie Roots Food Coop.

Their goal is to open a retail food co-op in the Red River Valley that will be a one-stop shop for all your natural, organic and local food and product needs.

They’re structured as a co-op, which means that members are the owners of the grocery store and they are accountable to them.

9:00 a.m. Jackie Williams of the Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society.  Jackie will share about projects they’re working on including; a beautiful Japanese Garden (Photo is of the Huntington Garden in Pasadena), a fruit tree forest, and a living conservatory

At 9:25 Chef Watson of Mezzaluna and leaders of The Red River Valley Chef’s Association will share about their local chapter of The American Culinary Federation founded in Fargo, North Dakota and how they work with local growers for more fresh, local foods in their recipes.

9:45 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. Questions from the audience for the presenters.

– See more at: http://renewnd.areavoices.com/2014/02/02/food-glorious-food-focus-on-local-foods-and-gardens/#sthash.f3bTHaCU.dpuf

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Food glorious food! Focus on local foods and gardens

Check out Monday’s presentations featuring Prairie Roots local food market, incredible local chefs and their association, and a possible Japanese Garden and Conservatory.

At 8:35 we’ll hear from Kaye Kirsch and the Prairie Roots Food Coop.

Their goal is to open a retail food co-op in the Red River Valley that will be a one-stop shop for all your natural, organic and local food and product needs.

They’re structured as a co-op, which means that members are the owners of the grocery store and they are accountable to them.

9:00 a.m. Jackie Williams of the Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society.  Jackie will share about projects they’re working on including; a beautiful Japanese Garden (Photo is of the Huntington Garden in Pasadena), a fruit tree forest, and a living conservatory

At 9:25 Chef Watson of Mezzaluna and leaders of The Red River Valley Chef’s Association will share about their local chapter of The American Culinary Federation founded in Fargo, North Dakota and how they work with local growers for more fresh, local foods in their recipes.

9:45 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. Questions from the audience for the presenters.

The program is open to the public and will be broadcast live on Fargo cable access channel 12. Invite your friends and hope to see you there!

 

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Bison Nation

Congratulations to the North Dakota State University Bison on winning their third consecutive FCS D-1 National Football Championship!

The FBS schools should ditch the polls and institute a play off program similar to the FCS to determine an undisputed championship team.  One of the most exciting aspects of NCAA Basketball playoffs is that any D-1 team has a shot at the championship.

Who know’s, maybe even some kind of hybrid that would allow the championship FCS  team in a bracket to compete in playoffs with FBS?

Either way, thanks for another fantastic year for the Bison and all the folks that cheer them on!! Go Bison!!

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Uplift Fargo Moorhead. Give the gift of a lift

It’s cold outside. There are people in our community that need to get to their doctors appointments, to their job (yes, many homeless people do have jobs), to their social workers and our homeless children need to get to school.

Uplift Fargo Moorhead is the brainchild of Del Rae Williams. Here’s the story in her own words: “I asked John Roberts at Churches United For The Homeless what would be the most helpful to their organization that we, as a community, could help with. John said ‘bus passes’! Transportation is a key problem when individuals need to go to a doctor’s visit, get medication, apply for jobs… the needs are many. For this Holiday season, I would like to ask that you consider a gift of $1.50 or more. (hint, hint, to my family, THIS, and only this is what I’d like for Christmas this year). :-) Happy Holidays to you!!! (Thank you to Mara Morken Fogarty, Kailyn Allen, Kelli K KlineLillian JonesCarrie Leopold, and Anna Stenson for your insights and for your work towards this!)”

~ End Del Rae’s quote ~

Thanks to Del Rae, Mara, Kailyn, Kelli, Lillian, Carrie, and Anna and all involved that helped plan and implement an easy way for people to make direct online donations to purchase bus passes to help our neighbors in need.

All donations go directly to purchase bus passes and are distributed by the Churches United. To donate at this secure site, go to: http://upliftfargomoorhead.com/

Thanks to all of you that have already given the gift of a lift. In less than a day, they’ve already generated over $900 in bus passes. Please consider the opportunity and share the good word of this wonderful grass roots community effort.

We are truly blessed to live in this wonderful community. Thank you all and let’s share our many blessings to make this a Merry Christmas for all!!

 

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