Minnesota Seniors Online

Mike Ankoviak


MIKE ANKOVIAK
- SPORTS COLUMNIST
Mike Ankoviak is a resident of Champlin, MN.  He was raised in Albert Lea, MN where his father, Bill Ankoviak, finished his career as a professional baseball player.  Along with his 5 brothers and sisters, Mike was brought up on a steady diet of baseball, golf, basketball, tennis, football, and mumbley peg. He would spend his evenings scouring the paper for the latest sports box scores.  Today Mike's appetite for sports continues.  He has been a season ticket holder for most of our pro sports teams in the Twin Cities.  He has been a part owner of a race horse stabled at Canterbury Downs, and is an avid golfer and tennis player. You may not agree with all of Mike's opinions but I think you will agree that his insight into the world of sports is always refreshing. 


 

 

September 2019 Sports Blog: Now that Summer is Officially Over

The State Fair and Labor Day pretty much mark the end of summer. And usually about this time there isnít a lot of baseball to talk about. But in my last article I did mention how I thought the Twins were going to hang on to their lead in the AL Central and theyíve done it in magnificent fashion. Setting a major league single season home run record in the process! And theyíre not done slugging away yet. The Twins are sitting on a 5 or 6 game lead depending on what happens tonight. The Twinkies are off today, but the Indians are out on the west coast with a 3-1 lead at this time.

Either way, win the division (which Iím betting on) or getting in as a Wild Card, there will be playoff action at Target Field come October.  My bet is they win the Central Division and their reward is to match up against the Yankees or Astros, pretty much the two best teams in baseball, in the first round of the playoffs. Itís going to be exciting down the stretch and Iím definitely looking forward to the playoffs. Get ready to bundle up for those mid-October home games as the Farmerís Almanac says it will be snowing by then.

There was also some very incredible baseball played in the latter part of August in Williamsport, Pennsylvania as the Little League World Series convened for the 72nd year. What made this one more special is that the team from Coon Rapids/Andover Little League qualified for the World Series after winning the MN State Tournament and the Great Lakes Regional Tournament. With non-stop coverage on ESPN and its affiliates we were able to watch every game. Itís pretty fun walking into a huge sports book in Vegas, and seeing little leaguers on the big screens! But no, you canít bet on those games unfortunately. The CRALL team didnít win it, but they acquitted themselves very well and hats off to the baseball tradition thatís been in place for many, many years in Coon Rapids. Going back to the days when little Danny Horita roamed the infield and outfields at Sand Creek Park on his way to the Coon Rapids Little League Hall of Fame!

But at this pointÖ..does anyone really care about baseball when weíre 1 weekend into the 100th year of the NFL. The sport that dominates all sports! Itís been an exciting first week of action starting with the Packers beating the Bears at Soldier Field last Thursday and including the Vikings smashing defeat of the Falcons at US Bank Stadium on Sunday. This is going to be a fantastic season. I think there are 6-8 teams with a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl. However, Iíve already got my ticket in on the Patriots again to get it done. I know, but as annoying as it is, they are just that good. Letís check back in a month or two and see how thatís going. And by the way, the border battle is Sunday with the Vikings travelling to Green Bay for an early season showdown. I think the schedule makers screwed up as it makes sense to me to send the Vikes there in December to play in cold and snow. But oh yeah, the Vikings are a warm weather indoor team nowÖ.not the stuff of Bud Grant lore playing out in the snow and cold. No real prediction on this one, but Iíll bet on Aaron Rodgers at home every day.

This last piece isnít exactly in my wheelhouse, but since I love underdogs, and I love Bruce Springsteen, I wanted to put this in. Patti and I recently saw the movie inspired by the Bossís music ďBlinded by the LightĒ and we both absolutely loved it. This one is made by the same team that produced ďBend it like BeckhamĒ so itís the type of feel good movie about overcoming odds and following dreams. What makes it even cooler is that itís based on a true story of an aspiring young student who dreams of becoming a  writer and gets inspired when heís introduced to Springsteen music while growing up in London. Itís set back back in the 70ís and 80ís but seems like just yesterday and its loaded with great music from that era. Check out the trailer and for a great time; go see it at a theater near you. Like maybe Champlin Mann theatre, or the Andover Cinema. Maybe Doug can even score some tickets for you!