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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A One-on-One Chat With Adrian Battles

Battles went to training camp this past summer with the Minnesota Vikings

As mentioned earlier, MavBlog set up a phone interview with Green Bay Packer practice squad player Adrian Battles who is gearing up for next week’s Super Bowl.  Battles took a few minutes to chat with us Tuesday and this is how the conversation went.
Mavblog:  Has it sunk in yet, going to the Super Bowl?
Adrian Battles:  It really hasn’t sunk in yet.  I have gotten a lot of phone calls from my family.  It is starting to sink in more once we travel to Dallas on Monday.
MB:  So you went to training camp with the Vikings and got cut during the final cut down day.  After that you don’t get picked up until December.  Walk us through that process
AB: When I got released, it was a hard time for me.  A lot people would give up at that time, but I used it as a positive and trained harder each and every week.  I felt like it would come some day that I would get picked up by another team.  I just tried to stay positive during the whole situation, train hard each and every day and always have positive. When the call finally came from the Packers, it was like a dream come true, because they had always been my favorite team growing up.  I live 100 miles from this place and it was unbelievable.  When I got this call, it was a dream come true and I came here just ready to work.
MB:  When you joined this team, did you see a deep playoff run?
AB:  I knew that they had a rough season with some tough losses and players on injured reserve.  When I got here it was clear that it was playoff mode already with the last two games of the season being must win games to get into the playoffs.  I felt like, even when I was a fan of this team that they had the firepower to get into the playoffs, especially with the quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.  Just watching the guys practice and watching how much they wanted it, I knew it was a possibility.  They went out and performed the last two weeks of the season and got a late playoff push and we got a lot of momentum.
MB:  When you got into that locker room for the first time, was it hard to separate yourself as a fan and as a player or did it come naturally?
AB:  It was kind of natural.  Starting with meetings on that first day that I got here, they made it feel like a family.  Everyone was on my side, cracking jokes and stuff like that and it made me feel at home when I got here, so it helped a lot.
MB:  Postseason games, did you get make any travel? 
AB:  No.
MB: But you do get to go to Dallas… What is your mindset going into that?
AB:  I am going to soak it all in.  Every football player, college and even the  NFL veterans, you watch the game from the couch every year with a dream of going there.  If you asked me when I got released from the Vikings, that I would be going to the Super Bowl and be a part of and be on a team that was in it, I wouldn’t even know what to say.  I am going to soak it in, we got a couple of work days but I am going to enjoy every minute of it.
MB:  Is there anything in particular you are looking forward to down there?
AB:  The entire thing.  I am looking forward to being on the sidelines for that game and watching it up close.  All the fans and cameras flashing, it’ll be crazy.
MB:  When you left here did you envision this happening this fast or was it what you thought it would be?
AB:  Leaving MSU, I knew it was going to be an uphill battle coming from a small school. I always felt if I worked hard enough, I felt I would be able to show someone or some team that I was capable of giving it a shot.  When I got the shot with Minnesota, it made even more hungry when I got cut.  I felt like I could find a home in this league.  I feel like I have found a home here.
MB:  Talk about your time at MSU, who had the biggest impact on you
AB:  Mike Cunningham, the offensive line coach.  He has had a great impact on me.  He always treated me like a son, checked on my grades, brought me over for dinner and stuff like that.  He had the biggest impact.  He always had a positive outlook on things.   When I got there, things didn’t go my way right away and he always told me that better days were going to come.
MB:  Talk about Mike and how he helped you prepare to get to this level.
AB:  He is a great offensive line coach.  He is really detailed on what he teaches us.  He learns a lot by going to camps himself in the offseason and he relays the information himself onto us.  A lot of the stuff I learned from him I was able to use that when I got here.  Combing that with my athletic ability, I think that is part of the reason I have been able to excel so fast.  He taught me a lot of technique things that have helped me out a lot.
MB:  Have the Packers given you any indication on the future?
AB:  I am going to be here in the future. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Super Bowl Bound

By virtue of the Green Bay Packers 21-14 victory over the Chicago Bears this afternoon, former Minnesota State offensive lineman Adrian Battles and his employer - the Green Bay Packers - are Super Bowl Bound.

Battles, who is a member of the practice squad, will help the Packers prep for the Super Bowl, which will be held Feb. 6, 2011, in Arlington, Tex.

Look for more on MavBlog in the near future, including hopefully, an exclusive interview with Battles.  Until then, you can follow him on twitter.com/absworld77.

So whether you are a fan of the Packers or not, it will be tough to cheer against a former Maverick and his team in this year's Super Bowl.

As always, it is great to be a Maverick.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Closing the Book on Expansion & More

Another busy weekend of Maverick Athletics.  Men's hockey is on the road at Wisconsin for a big WCHA series.  The Mankato Freep's Shane Frederick previews the series HERE

The women's hockey team travels to Bemidji to take on the Beavers while the Beavers hoops squads travel to Mankato this evening for a date with the Mavericks.  Always great to play Bemidji State, but even better now that former Athletic Communications GA Dax Larson is working for BSU and making the trip down. 

Speaking of Dax, he will be the guest on Maverick Magazine today at 10 am (CST) on KMSU.  You can listen live HERE

The MSU swimming and diving team travel to the UW Stevens Point Invite this weekend while the Maverick Bowlers are in action in the Big Red Invitational hosted by the University of Nebraska.

Track and Field will spill their competition up over three venues this weekend.  MSU will send participants to the Iowa State Open, the UW Stout Invite and the University of Minnesota in what expects to be another great weekend of Maverick track and field.

Last night, the MSU wrestlers, ranked seventh in the nation, survived a dual against MSU Moorhead, earning a 19-18 win.  You can read about the victory, HERE

Thought I would wrap-up the expansion talk with a bunch of links from around the league regarding the addition of the University of Sioux Falls and Minot State.

Mankato Free Press: HERE (There is an additional story in the print and on-line subscriber version as well).

Sioux Fall Argus Leader: Here (Story)  (Blog): Here (Blog): Here

Minot Daily News: Here

St. Cloud Times: Here

Winona Daily News: HERE

Since we are closing the book on some info, HERE is an updated link on the Metrodome and how it could take up to six months to repair. 

Thanks for reading and remember, it is Great to be a Maverick

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oh my, yes....Minot State and the University of Sioux Falls Are Both in

The results have been tabulated and both Minot State and the University of Sioux Falls have both been accepted as the newest members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The addition of the Beavers and the Cougars in 2012-13 gives the NSIC 16 teams.

Plenty of stuff to read on this development including these right here, here, here and here.

The link to Minot State's website is located here and the USF website is located here.

It's great to be a Maverick.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sixteen Candles?

Currently there are 14 members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Come Thursday afternoon it could be 16. Or maybe still 14.

The University of Sioux Falls has announced that it will hold a press conference Thursday to share information regarding the decision by the the NSIC Board of Directors. USF's press release regarding the press conference is located here.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader's Matt Zimmer offered up a fairly lengthy piece detailing the subject of USF's and Minot State's candidacy for the NSIC about a week ago and that appears here.

It's great to be a Maverick.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Brownlee's New Video is Out

Former Minnesota State defenseman Chad Brownlee's new video, which debuted Dec. 26 (Boxing Day for you Canadians out there), is entitled "Day After You" and is now available on youtube.

Brownlee, who played for the Mavericks from 2003-07 after matriculating for a couple of years of junior hockey in the British Columbia Hockey League, is a rising star in the Canadian country music ranks.

Here's the link to Chad's video....enjoy.

It's great to be a Maverick.