Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times journalist, began his Thursday, Jan. 7, column with a quote from Donald Trump on Aug. 28, 2020. It read like this: "If the Democratic Party wants to stand with anarchists, agitators, rioters, looters and flag burners, that is up to them.  But I as your president will not be part of it. The Republican Party will remain the voice of the patriotic heroes who keep America safe."

On Wednesday of this week Trump's daughter Ivanka called the people who broke into the U.S. Capital "patriots," and Trump's lawyer buddy Rudy Giuliani mentioned "trial by combat" as  the insurrection — not a protest — was on the horizon. Completing the ridiculous triumvirate was Donald Trump Jr. who said of those opposing his father, "We're coming for you and we're  going to have a good time doing it." 

The quotes by those four people, as well as the votes by seven U.S. senators and more than 100 U.S. representatives later that day objecting to the certification of the election of Joe Biden as president, are all you need to know about who's responsible for the horrible happening at the Capitol on Wednesday. I know that Jim Hagedorn and Michelle Fischbach, Minnesotans who are U.S. Representatives, come from conservative districts. But for them to vote not to certify Biden's election was, at best, a stain on their reputations that should never go away. 

In a way, what happened Wednesday was worse than 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, simply because it was done by U.S. citizens, not someone from another country. It was almost unbelievable to watch, although we've seen and heard so many unusual things the past four years that  the word "unbelievable" no longer applies. Some have made reference to the historic statement by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941 when he said that the attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor was a "day that will live in infamy." Jan. 6, 2021, will also be a day that sadly will live in infamy but this time it was not an attack by people from outside the U.S.

With only 12 days left of Trump's time in office, it may be too short a period to proceed with impeachment, or to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. I'm not a scholar concerning those two options being talked about by many who want to see Trump drummed out of office. But it has become increasingly evident that even members of his own party acknowledge that Trump has gone over the edge.

One thing is sure: If we are to remain the longest-standing democracy on the globe, we must move forward purposefully from the happenings this week. The world will be watching as Joe Biden takes office with a Senate and a House controlled by his party. There will be no legitimate excuse that he doesn't have the wherewithal to get things done.  We can only hope as a nation that things are done the right way.

Meanwhile, the U.S. will be a better place with the likes of Donald Trump out of office, be it 12 days from now or earlier than that. The two parties — one drifting farther and farther to the right and the other drifting farther and farther to the left — must find a way to work together and, while disagreeing how to do that, be more respectful of the opinions of each other. I know, that's easier said than done. But it's badly needed. 


Sports shorts

Perhaps lost in all the other goings-on this week was that high school athletic teams in Minnesota began practicing, with games and meets scheduled to begin next week. That's a good thing, although limiting the size of the crowds attending those events to so few  spectators will be difficult for many. Some grandparents and good friends will be left outside the gyms and arenas because of limitations on the number allowed to attend. And COVID will likely cause events — perhaps many of them — to be postponed or canceled . . . There was an unusual happening last week when the men's hockey teams from the University of Minnesota and Arizona State University played a two-game series in Minneapolis. That's because one player on each team is the son of a former Princeton High School hockey player. Jax Murray is a sophomore forward for ASU and is the son of Jeff Murray who played at Princeton. Jack Perbix is a sophomore forward for Minnesota and is the son of Jay Perbix who played high school hockey at Princeton and then played at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. (Additionally, Nick Perbix, a junior defenseman at St. Cloud State University, is the brother of Jack. Minnesota and St. Cloud State normally play each other but not during this season's abbreviated schedule. Minnesota and ASU have another series in Minneapolis on Jan. 21 and 22 . . . I took at look at scoring statistics from the National Football League after the regular season ended last Sunday and found that the Vikings, even with Dalvin Cook out for two games this season, still ended up 10th in the NFL in points. Averaging 27 points a game, the Vikings had more points than the Bears, Rams and Washington, teams that are in the playoffs from the NFC. Teams from the NFC that averaged more than the Vikings were New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Seattle and Green Bay, all of them in the playoffs. And five teams from the AFC that are in the playoffs scored more points than the Vikings. The telling statistic, besides the Vikings being that high in the NFL in scoring,was that the Viking defense was 29th out of 30 NFL teams in giving up points (475). That was 179 more than the Rams surrendered, 106 more than Green Bay and 153 more than lowly Washington, which, at 7-9 (same as the Vikings) is in the playoffs. The Minnesota problem is the defense, not the offense as some seem to think. Kirk Cousins ended the season last Sunday throwing for 405 yards and, for the sixth time in the last 10 games, three touchdowns . .  . Last week before the Vikings' final game, Star Tribune writer Mark Craig suggested the Vikings hold Cook out of the game so he didn't get hurt in a meaningless game. He got his wish because Cook missed the game because his father died unexpectedly, not because the Vikings held him out. I've never bought into that thinking. My take is that what Craig was saying, by omission, was that it was OK if Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson and Cousins, all offensive stalwarts, played and got hurt, meanwhile holding out just Cook. That doesn't make sense to me.  That's especially true when fans are in the stands after paying high-priced tickets and then have to watch back-ups in a starting role.


PRINCETON SPORTS MEMORIES

Jan. 19. 1951 — Princeton employed a stall offense in a 28-14 win over Cambridge during which the Bluejackets didn't score in the second half and had only four possessions. Bob Paulson led with nine points.

Jan. 19, 1956 — Princeton beat Elk River 57-54 as Roger Wahlquist had 22 points and Corky Hatch 21.

Jan.12,1961 — Jim Knutson and Bob Nick each had 25 points in a 64-59 win over Braham, and then Nick had 25 points, 15 on free throws, in a 63-62 win over Fridley . . . Cedric Meixell registered his sixth pin in eight matches but Princeton lost 27-21 to White Bear Lake.

 

Jan. 20, 1966 — Art Skarohlid and Dave Duncan scored 15 points apiece in a 62-58 win over Spring Lake Park . . . PHS, which the year before had the first track invitational ever in the area, was to host the first-ever wrestling invitational with eight teams. Jerry Peterson was the coach.

Jan. 20 1971 — Princeton beat Foley 73-57 as Pete Metcalf had 14 points, Bob Hedenstrom 13, and Mike Barg had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Fourteen PHS players scored.

Jan. 14, 1976 — Scott Kelley had 14 points and Scott Erickson 12 in a 56-47 win over Braham . . . Barb Northway had 19 rebounds and 15 points and Patti Beck 14 rebounds and 9 points in a 39-33 win over Elk River.

Jan. 15, 1981 — Princeton State Bank, with Mike Lant scoring 24 points and Curt Jenson 18, ended Credit Union's 64-game winning streak in city league basketball that dated back to 1977.  Bob Koelman led Credit Union with 15 in the 62-60 game . . . Les Nelson had 14 points and 12 rebounds in a 47-43 win over Mora.

Jan. 16, 1986 — Dan Voce had four goals in only seven minutes in a 8-3 win over Chisago Lakes . . . Chris Williams had three firsts, one of them a school record in the 100 freestyle, as Princeton beat Sauk Rapids 107-65 in swimming.

Jan. 17, 1991 — The girls basketball team lost 49-47 to Mora and it was the last Rum River Conference loss until early in the 1993-94 season, a streak of 30 straight conference wins that lasted 35 months from Jan. 17, 1991, through Dec. 16, 1993, when Princeton had 35 turnovers in a 47-44 loss to Sauk Rapids. Tiger teams were 55-18 for the previous three seasons as part of a 10-year dominance of girls basketball in the Rum River. the 30-game streak was also likely a conference record.  A couple years earlier Princeton teams had a streak of more than 20 straight wins in the Rum River . . . Jim Linder and Eric Secord won titles at the Hopkins wrestling invitational . . . Zac Miller and Craig Wills each scored twice in a 9-4 hockey win over Cambridge.

Jan. 18, 1996 — Sarah Cartwright had 17 points and 9 rebounds in a 55-43 win over Cambridge . . . Chad Olson scored 30 points in a 74-59 win over Foley and then had 25 in a 70-67 loss to Milaca after the Tigers led for most of the game.

Jan. 11, 2001 — Tony Peltier (9-1)  won at 132 pounds in an invitational at Royalton as the wrestling team placed fourth among eight teams . . . Fred Schossow rolled an 821 series, best ever at Princeton Lanes, with a 296, 246 and 279 as he beat the previous best series of 783 by Bud Usher the previous year . . . The boys basketball team beat Grand Rapids 56-55 as David Myers had 23 points and Eric Strandberg had his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and 17 rebounds, as well as 7 assists and 6 blocked shots.

Jan. 12, 2006 — Tessa Gronli scored 31 points as Princeton beat Cambridge 69-55 in girls basketball. Clara Lundgren (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Katie Loberg (14 points, 10 rebounds) each posting a double-double . . . Tom Peterson, longtime girls golf coach at PHS, died of a heart attack. Peterson held the course record at Rum River Golf Club (now Princeton Golf Club) for many years with a 30 for nine holes. He was the coach when Princeton won the girls Class AA state title in 1989 and had a golfer in the state tournament for seven straight years. He also coached Greg Braford who won the boys individual Class AA state title in 1984.

Jan. 13, 2011 — The boys basketball team beat Becker 55-53 as Joss Jondahl led with 21 points and John Jedneak had 17 points, 9 rebounds and 7 blocked shots . . . Goalie Ryan Carlson stopped 30 shots in a 1-1 tie with Monticello as James Pyle scored the Princeton goal.

Jan. 14, 1016 — Princeton (5-9, 2-3 in the M8) beat Cambridge 93-83 in boys basketball as Reed Mitchell had 30 points, Brady Peterson 28and James Flicek 17 . . . The girls basketball team (6-4, 2-0 in the M8) beat Monticello 56-39as Julia Bjurman had 28 points and Taylor Laabs 10.

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