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                                            About Sports Columnist, Mike Ankoviak:

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. 

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Mike's Sports Sports Blog Update:

I think itís time I get off my butt and put down a few notes about sports. Itís been months. It was so long ago I was predicting the Penguins to win the Stanley Cup (they did), the Cavs to win the NBA (finished second) and the Twins to suck again! Well two out of three isnít bad! If the baseball season ended today, the Twins would be 3 games out of the playoffs. Itís been many years since they could claim that much relevance any time near the All Star break. Iím not counting them out yet, but it wonít be easy to hang in there. But it sure makes it more fun to visit Target Field when the games have meaning. Letís hope it lasts. A little hot streak at some point and theyíll be right back in it.

Out in Vegas we just finished up the NBA Summer League. The teams all send their collection of draft picks, rookies and other non-rostered players out to the desert to play for nearly two weeks. The Vegas Ďseasoní culminated with the Laker rookie squad led by top pick Lonzo Ball winning the wrap up tournament that finished up last Monday night. On the strength of his performance and general buzz in this Laker heavy territory, the league set an attendance record with nearly 120,000 fans over the course of the 11 days of action. It has grown each year and also helps to fuel speculation that Vegas down the road could land an NBA team some day.

Now you really have to be a sports geek to have been watching the CONCACAF Gold Cup in soccer tonight. But hey, I did catch some of it and for all you non-soccer fans, the USA squad defeated Jamaica 2-1. In soccer terms, thatís pretty much a blowout! But there really wasnít a whole lot of suspense waiting on this championship match, because as my good buddy The Lak said, whenís Jamaica ever beat the USA in any sport involving a round ball, right mon!

In Vegas, poker rules. And the 2017 World Series of Poker just finished up the other night at the Rio down on the strip. I have to admit I donít know too many of the players by name, not even the champ Scott Blumstein. But any contest where the winner walks away with $8.1 million is pretty damn cool! We watched several of the televised broadcasts down the stretch. Its pretty good entertainment with that kind of money at stake.

The biggest things on the horizon in the sports world, and especially here in Las Vegas are the upcoming NHL season (first for the Golden Knights), the NFL opening up barely a couple weeks away and possibly the biggest fight in history with the Floyd Mayweather-Connor Mcgregor fight going down on August 26th. Stay tuned for some previews in my next blog. And oh yeah, Iím picking the Packers again this year!

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