SEASON: 73 | YEAR: 2021

Game 941 | January 7, 2021 |  David Fhima, Roshini Rajkumar
Chef Fhima talked about the relationship between food and nutrition in professional sports. The Timberwolves, he said, are leaders in improving the food aspect of the fan experience. He said restaurants will play a major role in rebuilding downtown Minneapolis after the pandemic and civil unrest of the last two years. He said the most underutilized element in great food preparation is spices, and the most over-rated is Olive Oil.

(LtoR) Lea B. Olsen, David Fhima, Roshini Rajkumar (moderator), Dave Mona

Game 942 | January 28, 2021 | Rocco Baldelli, Cory Provus
The 2019 American League Manager of the Year expressed high hopes for 2021 after winning the A.L. Central title the previous two years. He talked about the departure of Trevor May and Eddie Rosario and addition of shortstop Andrelton Simmons.  The team, beset by injuries, went on to finish fifth in the A.L. Central with a record of 73-89.

(LtoR) Top row: Lea B. Olsen, Dave St. Peter (physician), Rocco Baldelli; Bottom row: Cory Provus, Dave Mona

Game 943 | February 10, 2021 | Bob Motzko, Brad Frost, Casey Hankinson
Both coaches talked about the difficulties of trying to play a schedule around Covid restrictions. They emphasized the mental aspects caused by isolation. Looking ahead, they both said that their teams were likely to be significant suppliers of talent to the 2022 U.S. Olympic teams.

(LtoR) Row 1: Lea B. Olsen, Bob Motzko, Brad Frost; Row 2: Casey Hankinson (moderator), Dave Mona

Game 944 | February 23, 2021 |  Lindsay Whalen, Lea B. Olsen
Asked about her favorite memory from her Gopher playing days she said it was a chance to compete in the Women’s Final Four. She said that Charles Barkley was her favorite pro athlete and that she looks forward to recruiting the best in-state athletes.

(LtoR) Lea B. Olsen (moderator), Mark Coyle (physician), Lindsay Whalen, Dave Mona

Game 945 | March 10, 2021 | Dr. Joel Boyd, M.D., Anthony LaPanta
Team doctor for the Minnesota Wild, Dr. Boyd, an orthopedic surgeon and founder of TRIA, said there is constant pressure to get players back on the ice as soon as possible. He said that the reduction in fighting has cut down substantially in injuries.

(LtoR) Lea B. Olsen, Dr. Joel Boyd, Anthony LaPanta (moderator), Dave Mona

Game 946 | March 16, 2021 | Amy Olson, Julie Manning
The Fargo native and North Dakota State graduate spoke to us from her Fargo home. She finished second in the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open and has career winnings approaching $2.8 million.

(LtoR) Lea B. Olsen, Julie Manning (moderator), Amy Olson, Dave Mona

Game 947 | April 20, 2021 | Kevin Harlan, Skip Krueger
Growing up in Green Bay, Harlan wanted to be a pilot. His father looked at the 10-year-old’s match grades and suggested broadcasting as a career. He joined the  expansion Timberwolves in 1989 and held the play-by-play job for nine years. He was named the National Sports Broadcaster of the Year in 2019.

(LtoR) Lea B. Olsen, Kevin Harlan, Skip Krueger (moderator), Dave Mona

Game 948 | April 27, 2021 | Derek Falvey, Thad Levine, Cory Provus
The Twins top baseball executives said they were concerned about the team’s slow start but quoted Billy Beane as saying, “In April and May you evaluate your team. In June and July you make adjustments and in August and September you find out how you did.” In their fourth year as leaders, their team finished last in the A.L. Central with a 73-89 record.

(LtoR) Top row: Lea B. Olsen, Derek Falvey, Thad Levine; Bottom row: Cory Provus (moderator), Dave St. Peter (physician), Dave Mona

Game 949 | May 13, 2021 | Kevin Warren, Paul Allen
With the Minnesota Vikings, Warren became the first black chief operating officer in the National Football League.  He became only the sixth commissioner in Big Ten history when he was hired away from the Vikings in June 2019.

(LtoR) Top row: Lea B. Olsen, Kevin Warren, Paul Allen (moderator); Bottom row: Bob Hagan (physician), Dave Mona

Game 950 | May 19, 2021 | Rick Spielman, Paul Allen
Spielman joined the Vikings 16 years ago and was in his 10th year as General Manager.  He said that in advance of the draft the Vikings profiled 1,100 players and focused on 175. At the end of the 2021 season both Spielman and Head Coach Mike Zimmer were fired.

(LtoR) Top row: Lea B. Olsen, Rick Spielman, Paul Allen (moderator); Bottom row: Andrew Miller (physician), Dave Mona

Game 951 | June 24, 2021 | Lynn Holzman, Wendy Blackshaw
Holzman said the NCAA was happy to have the Women’s Final Four in Minnesota for the first time since 1995. Blackshaw, president and CEO of Minnesota Sports and Evens, talked about how the Final Four fits in with on-going efforts to lure major attractions to the Twin Cities.

(LtoR) Lea B. Olsen, Lynn Holzman, Wendy Blackshaw (speaker and moderator), Dave Mona

Game 952 | July 13, 2021 | Ben Johnson
The former Gopher and DeLaSalle star, became the 18th head coach in Gopher men’s basketball history. The youngest head coach in the Big Ten had to build an entire team from scratch. After a quick start, the team finished with a 13-17 record. His appearance marked the return to live meetings for the Dunkers.

(LtoR) Marcus Jenkins, Brad Frost, Ryan Livingston, Julie Sullivan (physician), Jason Kemp, Lea B. Olsen, Ben Johnson

Game 953 | July 20, 2021 |  John Pak, John Harris
Pak, in town to compete in the 3M Open, swept the college golf awards in 2021 while winning the Haskins Award, Ben Hogan Award and Jack Nicklaus  Award. He missed the cut in the 3M event.

(LtoR) Jennifer Hines, Lea B. Olsen, John Pak, John Harris, Dave Mona

Game 954 | August 3, 2021 | P. J. Fleck
Entering his fifth year as Gopher football coach, Fleck said he was disappointed with his team’s finish in 2020 and that he thought the 2021 team had a chance to out-perform early expectations. His team finished 9-4 with a season-ending victory over Wisconsin and a 18-6 victory over West Virginia in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

(LtoR) Dave Mona, Dave Stead, P. J. Fleck, Lea B. Olsen, Mark Coyle

Game 955 | September 21, 2021 | Chris Finch, Alan Horton
A long-time NBA assistant, Finch in February became the 14th head coach in Timberwolves history. Known to be one of the top offensive minds in the NBA, quickly structured his team around veterans Karl Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell plus rookie guard Anthony Edwards. Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas, who hired Finch, was fired hours after attending the Dunkers meeting.

(LtoR) Ryan Tanke, Gersson Rosas, Alan Horton (moderator), Chris Finch, Lea B. Olsen, Ethan Casson (physician), Dave Mona

(LtoR) Chris Finch, Alan Horton

Game 956 | October 26, 2021 | Erik Eskola, Jeff Day, Bud Grant, Bob Hagan, Dave Mona, Patrick Reusse
In a meeting dominated by poignant and funny stories, Sid was remembered by former colleagues Patrick Reusse, Dave Mona, Jeff Day , Bob Hagan and Eric Eskola. Guest Bud Grant, who described Sid as his best friend for more than 70 years, joined into the conversation when prompted by panelist Bob Hagan.

(LtoR) Patrick Reusse, Jeff Day, Lea B Olsen, Bob Hagan, Dave Mona, Eric Eskloa (moderator)

(LtoR) Bob Hagan, Jeff Day, Dave Mona, Patrick Reusse, Eric Eskola

(LtoR) Mike Grant, Bud Grant

Game 957 | October 29, 2021 | Steve Hutchinson, Paul Allen
A legendary guard, Hutchinson entered the NFL Hall of Fame in August of 2021. Signed by the Vikings away from Seattle, he was named NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year in his first season with the Vikings as he cleared the way for Adrian Peterson to become the first Viking player to win a league rushing title.

(LtoR) Lester Bagley, John Hutchinson, Lea B. Olsen, Bob Hagan (physician), Paul Allen (moderator), Dave Mona

(LtoR) Paul Allen, Steve Hutchinson

Game 958 | December 10, 2021 | Shari Ballard, Kyndra de St. Aubin
Over a 25-year career at Best Buy, Ballard was the driving force behind building the company into a major global marketer. Sharing multiple anecdotes and stories, she said what attracted her to Minnesota United was a combination of Resilience, Dedication, Inclusiveness, Teamwork, Winning, Excellence and Respect. She is described as someone who leads by asking questions rather than making demands and admitted to patterning her leadership style along the lines of Ted Lasso.

(LtoR) Chris Wright (physician), Shari Ballard, Kyndra de St. Aubin (moderator), Ross Levin, Dave Mona


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