Sioux Falls soccer supporters appear in Sports Illustrated

When the United States got eliminated from the 2006 World Cup by Ghana, I watched it in a sports bar with six other people.

Four years later, I watched the United States get eliminated – again by Ghana – in a packed bar with a number of American Outlaws supporters.

The Outlaws started in Lincoln, Neb., as a way to organize and energize the United States soccer supporter fan base, and it quickly spread across the country and into Sioux Falls, where it counts between 70-80 people as members, including me. 

More than 20 of those members went down to Kansas City last week for a World Cup qualifier against Jamaica, and three of them were featured in a photo in this week’s Sports Illustrated.

The photo shows Justin Vanden Bosch in a Captain America costume, Jackson Rentschler on the left and Shawn Zuraff on the right.

Below the article, the magazine picked out some of its favorite American Outlaws logos, and Sioux Falls’ is first. The logo, which was designed by Uprise Design in Lincoln, Neb., features Mount Rushmore with the Outlaws’ trademark American flag bandannas covering their faces.

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It’s some much-deserved recognition for the Sioux Falls chapter, which is run by soccer aficionado Clint Krahn.

“We have really picked up a lot of new members during the exciting HEX cycle,” he said. “It seems every watch party we have existing members bringing friends that are interested in checking out AO Sioux Falls and many of them sign up to be a member that night. I think a lot of people come expecting 90 minutes of players running up and down a field, but they leave bitten by the addictive bug know as the USMNT.”

The Sioux Falls American Outlaws’ chapter home is at the Gateway just off 41st Street west of I-29. The place was packed during a recent U.S.-Mexico game, and dozens show up even for the lower-profile matches.

The Sioux Falls chapter has its own scarves, shirts and even pint glasses with their logo on it. At the two recent games in Kansas City, the chapter arrived early and put their sign up in prime position behind the goal, showing up in photos and in TV coverage. 

Krahn and other members were also featured in an online gallery of the Kansas City Star. You can see one of the photos below: 

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American Outlaws Sioux Falls chapter president Clint Krahn waves the U.S. flag as other Sioux Falls members sing the national anthem before the start of the United States’ game against Jamaica in Kansas City. (Kansas City Star) 

A wild crowd got to see the United States beat Jamaica 2-0 with two second-half goals. For the first time, Sporting Park had to open both ends behind the goals for the American Outlaws because of high demand. In the supporter’s sections, fans all stand, chant and cheer. 

“KC this year was the biggest gathering I have ever seen at Sporting Park,” Krahn said.

And with the World Cup only eight months away, support for the team — and interest in the Outlaws — will only grow. 

A memory caught at Falls Park

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: The photographer wrote on their Facebook page that they found out who it was.

EARLIER POST

Most couples don’t have a picture of the moment they got engaged. That’s why Hope Logue of Sioux Falls is on the hunt for the two people who shared a happy moment together at Falls Park over the weekend. 

Logue shared the below photo on Facebook on Sunday, and it already has almost 400 shares as of Monday at 3 p.m. Her goal? She wants to find the couple to give them the photo.

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"I caught this beautiful moment at Falls Park in Sioux Falls yesterday and if anyone knows them, please let me know!" Logue wrote on Facebook. "I feel as if no one really catches these real life moments, like asking your girlfriend to marry you, unless you hire someone to be there."
So, sleuths of Sioux Falls. Do you know these people? Let Logue know here.

Government shutdown makes five elementary school kids sad

To a group of five Sioux Falls elementary school kids, the most important aspect of the government shutdown is that they won’t get to learn about tornadoes Tuesday evening.

The first- and second-graders from Oscar Howe Elementary School (full disclaimer: two of them are my own) were going to tour the National Weather Service to learn about tornadoes as part of their study of natural disasters in their Lego League club. The goal of the league: learn more about their chosen subject and use that information to build an awesome Lego set.

How is the shutdown affecting you? Let us know here.

The tour was scheduled last week for Tuesday night and was going to include a short video about tornadoes, a walk-through of the building’s equipment and facilities as well as a question-and-answer session. That is, until a friendly NWS worker called to inform me that the tours were “non-essential activities” and that the shutdown limited the department to all but “essential” activities, such as storm warnings.

Yeah, I suppose storm warnings are pretty important, but try telling two 7-year-olds that learning about tornadoes and seeing cool equipment isn’t “essential.”

How does Ian, 7, feel about the whole situation?

"How does the government close all the places?" he asked. "How do they close Mount Rushmore?"

"They don’t have any money to stay open," I replied.

"Oh," Ian said. "I want to go, and I want to wear my Lego League shirt."

See what you did, Congress? Won’t you please think of the children? 

VIDEO: 9/11 Memorial construction timelapse

The National September 11 Memorial officially opened last year. View a video of the progress from 2006 to 2012 from EarthCam.

Fantasy football video: Who to sit/start

The NFL season starts tonight. Help set your lineup with the above tips provided by KFFL.com and USA Today.

Man in monkey suit was actually man in bigfoot suit as part of ‘guerilla marketing’


Above: A bigfoot can be seen in the background of a photo taken at Fawick Park on Thursday night. (Picture by Joe Kucera / Submitted)

The man in the “monkey suit” at Fawick Park on Thursday night was actually a man in a bigfoot suit, according to a local business owner who says he may or may not have had something to do with it.

“To the best of my knowledge, I will go on record as saying that it was someone’s idea of guerilla marketing,” said Tony Keller, owner of the Acoustic Restaurant. “What I can confirm is that we do have an item called the Bigfoot Burger. We are currently promoting it.”

Police said they received a call at 7:45 p.m. Thursday night about a man who was wearing a monkey suit during the Jazz at Fawick Park event. No citations were issued.

“Maybe it was really bigfoot,” Keller said. “He might have some propriety guardianship of the Bigfoot Burger. Maybe he just likes jazz. I can’t confirm or deny.”

Keller also refused to confirm or deny whether it was him in the suit.

“If it wasn’t me, it would be very convenient for my Bigfoot Burger promotion,” he said.

Keller said he heard that police responded to the incident and met with bigfoot.

“From what I heard, they were good-humored about the situation,” he said. “They just wanted to ensure public safety. The officer who responded was just looking out to make sure that we have the best burger in town. I am pretty sure that the responding officer did get a photo (with bigfoot) for his personal collection.”

Keller also said that bigfoot might appear at RiverFest on Saturday night.

“From all the stories I remember in Boy Scouts, where there is one bigfoot, there is bound to be more,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if one shows up at RiverFest. If I had to guess, tomorrow night at about 5:30-6 p.m. The moon is about right at that time.”

Sioux Falls Police Capt. Greg Vande Kamp joked Friday morning that wearing a monkey suit – or any suit – in a park or downtown is not illegal, in case you didn’t know that.

Vande Kamp said police didn’t file a report about it – again, because a crime wasn’t committed – and didn’t have any further information.

We are also attempting to get the audio from the 911 call. Why? Well, why not?

Is this breaking news? Certainly not, but it’s fun. Even the police are in on it.

“The Sioux Falls Police Department wants to go officially on the record and say there was no bigfoot sighting in the city limits of Sioux Falls,” Vande Kamp said during briefing.

We have compiled some of the best responses to our tweets about the man in the monkey gorilla suit below. The initial tweets have been retweeted several hundred times. See it below the video.



How did you propose to your girlfriend? Chances are, it wasn’t as creative as this Colorado man in the video above, who spelled out “Will you Marry Me”? in 8,000 sticky notes.

If you have a creative proposal, post it in the comments below.

Charles Ramsey, our favorite interview





Charles Ramsey took the Internet by storm on Tuesday thanks to his efforts in helping to save three women who were trapped in a Cleveland home. His love of colorful language and Big Macs ensured that he will go down in history as one of the greatest interviews ever, along with Antoine Dodson.

Ramsey made dozes of media appearances on Tuesday, and in a few of the clips his recollection of the rescue didn’t quite match. Still, it’s probably easy to lose track of what happened when you are asked to repeat the same story hundreds of times in one day. We’ll forgive him this time.

Watch the best of Charles Ramsey - and his inconsistent storytelling - in the video player above.

Video: Iowa Boy Scout troop blows up watermelon with ping pong ball



When I was in the Boy Scouts, we carved sticks and sold popcorn. This troop in Iowa blows up pop cans and watermelons with supersonic ping pong balls. Even the MythBusters are jealous.

It’s come to this: Minnesota school district gets bulletproof whiteboards



A Minnesota school district has found a creative way to help protect its students and teachers from a potential school shooting.

In 2003, a 15-year-old student shot and killed two fellow classmates at Rocori High School before he was convinced to put the gun down.

To help protect students and teachers in case of another incident, the school district in Cold Spring, Minn., (northwest of Minneapolis) acquired nearly 200 bulletproof whiteboards, which, according to the manufacturer, are stronger than that used in police-issued bulletproof vests.

The boards can be used in class as actual whiteboards and then pulled away and used as a defense against bullets or an oncoming attacker. In the video above, the device is shown to stop bullets by the manufacturer.

What do you think? Good idea or bad idea? Post in the comments below.

More from the Associated Press:

Police Chief Phil Jones demonstrated the whiteboards Tuesday in a school gym by leveling a karate kick at one, whacking it with a police baton and stabbing it with a knife — all with no apparent effect.

Jones didn’t fire his gun at the whiteboard, saying it would have been unsafe and inappropriate at the school. But he said he’d tested it earlier by firing several rounds at it.

“We put this board to the test, and quite frankly, that was the day I became a believer,” Jones said.

The manufacturer, Maryland-based Hardwire LLC, has been working on armor protection devices for military vehicles and personnel for years. The company turned its attention to school security after the Connecticut elementary school shootings in December that killed 20 children and six educators.

Company officials said the whiteboards are already in schools in North Dakota and Maryland, and are being rolled out in Pennsylvania and California. Jones said Rocori schools are the first to use them in Minnesota.

At least one security expert questioned whether the boards would be effective. Bill Nesbitt, president of school security consulting firm Security Management Services International, wasn’t familiar with the whiteboards but said his initial reaction was that they may provide a false sense of security. The prudent thing to do would be to retreat from danger rather than hide behind a whiteboard, he said.

Jones and Scott Staska, the Rocori superintendent, noted that the boards are a supplement to a broad plan that includes lockdown drills and school resource officers.

In 2003, a 15-year-old boy brought a gun to Rocori High School and fatally shot 14-year-old Seth Bartell and 17-year-old Aaron Rollins. The gunman, who is serving a life sentence, was convinced by a teacher to put the gun down.

Rollins’ father, Tom Rollins, said he doesn’t believe the whiteboards would have saved Aaron or Seth. But he said it’s a good idea, adding that if the teen gunman had decided to keep shooting, such a board may have helped other students.

“He still had seven more shells in his gun, so who knows what would’ve happened,” Rollins said.



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