3-16-09: 10 Questions With...

Hello again everybody...

Yes, it's Monday once again, but it's not just any Monday. It's the Monday prior to my trip to Phoenix! That's right. Just 4 short days away, I'll be winging my way southward, prepared for sun, warm temperatures and all the baseball I can stomach! And in the interest of familial harmony, I'll take this opportunity to mention that I can't wait to see my folks too!

But you didn't click on that link to hear about my trip (though I hope you can live with hearing about it, because I'll be talking about it all week!). You clicked to read some of the best blogging around! Hopefully today's column lives up to that standard.

I say that because I've got a new feature I'm debuting today. If it works as well as I hope, it'll become yet another popular regular feature. If not, well they can't all be gold, right?

Today is the first edition of "10 Questions With...". For the most part, all of my columns have been about my thoughts and opinions. This new segment will turn the spotlight on friends and colleagues of mine and get their thoughts and opinions. So let's get on with it and see how this sucker works out!

"Play: Work that you enjoy doing for nothing."
- Evan Esar (1899 - 1995), American humorist

So is the column "play"? Put it this way, it's a damned good thing I enjoy writing it, because I'm sure not making any money off of it!

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And now, the inaugural edition of "10 Questions With...". For the first edition of this feature, I decided to turn to someone many of you have read about already. Dip the toe in the water from a safe location right? So without further ado, I bring you....

10 Questions With the Hammer

Craig Schroepfer (aka, the Hammer) is a fellow Studio Coordinator at WCCO Radio, and as much a sports fanatic as yours truly. So here are the 10 Questions I thought would best bring out his unique perspective on the world of sports...

1. List your favorite teams from the NHL, NFL, MLB and College Sports and why...

Before I have to answer this question, the one thing you should know about the Hammer is that his love of teams are all over the map. The reason for this is simple, anyone can cheer for the home team. I always felt it is more of a challenge to support a team far away from where you are.

NFL: I have been a Seattle Seahawks fan since 1986. My friends and I knew about football but we never started following it until 2nd grade. The only thing we knew was that the Packers were bad and we all chose different teams to follow besides Green Bay. I remember watching an NBC doubleheader in 1986 where the Oilers beat the Packers 31-3. The late game that day was Seattle vs Pittsburgh. Seattle shut out the Steelers that day 30-0. I found out while watching that game that Seattle QB Dave Kreig grew up in Central Wisconsin and played in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. At that age I couldn't believe someone from my area of Wisconsin could become an NFL QB so I started following Seattle. It was easy because since they were in the AFC NBC showed as many of their games as they could. That is how I grew up a Seahawks fan in Central Wisconsin

College Football: University of Michigan- When I was in High school the Badgers weren't that good yet and while we all wanted to see them do well none of my friends became Badger fans until after their back to back Rose Bowl visits. In high school you were either a Michigan, Miami, Florida State or Notre Dame fan back then. The Michigan & Miami fans always sided with one another against the Notre Dame/Florida State fans. Truth be told I was more of a big 10 fan in general back then so I sided with the Miami/Michigan section. I didn't become a Wolverines fan until around 1997 when my friend and I went to a Michigan/Wisconsin game at Camp Randall. After the game was done my friend and I went down to the locker room area to see if we could see any of the players as they left. I ended up talking to a little old lady about the game while we were down there. It turns out she was the mother of Michigan DB Charles Woodson. That day I got to meet Charles Woodson and a couple other Michigan football players. Since then I have been a Wolverines fan.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers- While I like to see all the teams from my state do well the Brewers are the only team from my state that I will say is my favorite. I grew up listening to Bob Uecker call their games on the radio and every time I watch or listen to them it reminds me of my youth and makes me feel young again. I really miss them being in the American League.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings- I didn't start following the NHL until 92-93 when it returned to ESPN. I started watching a lot of teams and I was drawn to two teams. The Detroit Red Wings & the Minnesota North Stars. I was familiar with the Red Wings because when I started collecting hockey cards Steve Yzerman was one of the 1st cards I had. I followed the North Stars because of their run to the cup in 1991. While I couldn't watch it because we didn't have Sports Channel America in Central Wisconsin I found it cool that a team that was that bad could make it to the finals. I guess the deciding factor for me was when the Stars announced they were moving to Dallas. After that I decided to become a Detroit fan. Four cups later I think I made the right decision.

2. Who would you like least for to Detroit to match up against in the first round?

Minnesota- I still have nightmares of what Jacques Lemaire and the Devils did to Detroit in 1995 and I have no interest in going through that again. Plus I really don't want to cheer against the Wild. They have been very good to me since they came into the league in 2000.

3. List your Top 3 favorite sports moments of all time and why...

A. Detroit sweeping Philadelphia in 1997 to win the Stanley Cup: It's one thing to end a 42 year drought, it's another to do it while embarrassing a team you despise

B. Seattle defeating Carolina in 2006 to win the NFC title and go to the Super Bowl: Just because all the years I followed the Seahawks I never thought it could happen

C. Princeton using the back door play to knock defending NCAA Champion UCLA out of the tournament in the 1st round in 1996: I hate UCLA, after coming close so many times Princeton finally gets over the hump and Gus Johnson was calling this game. That's good enough for me.

4. Would you rather Detroit win the Stanley Cup, or get a date with that good looking intern and why?

Detroit winning the Stanley Cup. I know I will enjoy that for years to come. I'm not sure that I can say the same about the intern and if she doesn't age well I'm not sure if I want to.

5. If you could interview any current or former athlete not named "Steve Yzerman", who would it be and why?

Wayne Gretzky: He was the greatest player to ever play the game of hockey and everyone says he is a better person than he is a player.

6. Do you find Danica Patrick to be "hot", "cute", or "massively over-rated" and why?

I would have to say Danica Patrick is cute. I don't find her hot. I don't think she is over-rated. I'll save that label for Michelle Wie.

7. Have you ever watched a NASCAR race? Why or Why not?

I've tried to watch one. My dad was into it when I was younger and I gave it another shot when NASCAR went mainstream earlier this decade but I can't do it. I would rather listen to paint dry than watch a NASCAR race on TV.

8. Who's your favorite professional wrestler of all time? Explain...

While I have had many favorites over the years my all-time favorite was Ricky Steamboat. He had that mixture of martial arts and high flying moves that just caught my attention when he wrestled. I cheered when he beat Macho Man at Wrestlemania III. I cried when he lost to the Honky Tonk Man two months later.

9. List the professional sports venues you've been in. Of those you haven't been in, which would you most like to see?

MLB: County Stadium, Metrodome, Wrigley Field, Skydome, Coors Field, Miller Park
NFL: Lambeau Field, Metrodome, Soldier Field, Qwest Field, Arrowhead Stadium
NBA: Bradley center, Target Center
NHL: Xcel Energy Center
College Football: Camp Randall Stadium, Metrodome
College Basketball: Williams Arena, Metrodome

As for the venues I'd love to go and see

MLB: Fenway Park- Boston
NFL: Heinz Field- Pittsburgh
NBA: Madison Square Garden- New York
NHL: Joe Louis Arena- Detroit
College Football- Michigan Stadium- Ann Arbor

10. Why are you called, "the Hammer"?

The reason I am called the Hammer is that when I started at WCCO Dark Star gave everyone new there nicknames. He asked me where I worked before I came to CCO. I told him I worked for the Minnesota News Network which was owned by MPR. He thinks MPR are a bunch of communists. The Communist flag is the Hammer & the Sickle. that's too long for him to say so he just started calling me the Hammer. I thought this nickname would just blow over after a few months. four years later everyone at CCO calls me Hammer.

Ladies and gentlemen, that's the Hammer.

Hope you enjoyed a little peek behind his unique curtain. I would appreciate any and all feedback on the idea. What works, what doesn't? Any suggestions for who should be next? I have a few ideas, but I'd love yours as well!

That's all for today. I'm back on Wednesday with an early version of the DFTU. (Remember, the 2009 MLB Preview starts Friday!) Until then, thanks for reading!


  1. So, the Hammer doesn't find Danica Patrick hot???? Has he seen her photo in the SI Swimsuit Edition????


  2. Thanks for the reference to your folks!

  3. I don't think she's hot either. That's why I asked the question.

    Personally, I would've answered "massively over-rated".