THUMBS DOWN: We understand Gov. Mark Dayton has a hectic schedule, but we're disappointed he didn't make it to Marshall on Sept. 11 for the dedication of Memorial Park, an event he was invited to. Dayton's office said he attended four Sept. 11-related events that day, and while they were all important, we doubt they carried the significance Marshall's did, as the city unveiled a steel beam from the World Trade Center and was officially named a Yellow Ribbon Community. Dayton's absence from the park dedication is part of what seems to be a trend that has seen him avoid southwest Minnesota; the closest he's come to the area was a visit to New Ulm last week. He didn't include Marshall in a tour during this summer's state government shutdown, opting instead to travel to St. Cloud, Rochester, Winona, Albert Lea and Austin. Only St. Cloud and Rochester are considered regional centers like Marshall is, so it's not as if Marshall's "not on the map." He's also visited Fergus Falls and Winona since becoming governor. It would be nice if Dayton would make a stop in our neck of the woods sometime in the near future - visits by high-ranking officials mean a lot to rural cities and the constituents who live there - because other than his campaign trail swerving through town he's been a no-show.
Down the hatch for homecoming
SIDEWAYS THUMBS: We're not sold on the decision by establishments in St. Cloud to stage an unofficial homecoming celebration this year. The university had cancelled its homecoming festivities, meaning the end of a university tradition called "kegs and eggs" and has replaced them with a number of "Celebrate! St. Cloud State" events. The university's president said the school was not proud of its "kegs and eggs" tradition; why would it be when all it amounts to, as the name implies, is a full day of drinking? But it appears that didn't sit well with downtown bars that don't want to lose out on the business, so they're putting the boozing back in the celebration and reeling customers in with drink and breakfast specials on game day in what appears to be nothing more than a poor man's "kegs and eggs." It's good to have some sort of celebration during homecoming - we would argue it's a must to rile up community and campus enthusiasm and support - but does it have to revolve around drinking? Certainly St. Cloud State students aren't alone when it comes to partying during homecoming, but do college students really need spirits to have school spirit?
Loving the Lynx
THUMBS UP: Go ahead guys, don't be afraid about what your buddies will say if you admit you're paying some attention to the Minnesota Lynx, who are in the Western Conference finals. As sports fans, we should embrace the success this team has had this year. They had the best record in the league, falling one win short of the league record for wins in a season, and, despite what you think you know about basketball, are pretty fun to watch - in some ways, even better than the NBA. WNBA players are fundamentally sound. We know, so are NBA players. The difference is in the WNBA, the players actually put those fundamentals to good use and display them, whereas NBA players seem to be more concerned with highlight dunks, stats, and complaining about calls - if you ask most of them, they've never committed a foul since turning pro. So go ahead and cheer for the Lynx, watch their playoff games during the next week and appreciate the way they play team basketball. It beats trying to stomach a Twins game.