Get To Know Kyle, Our New InternJune 11, 2014
By Kyle Ratke,
When sitting down for my interview with Fast Horse a few months ago, I did my best to convince them that I wasn’t all SPORTS, SPORTS, SPORTS!
By looking at my resume, that’s probably all you see. I’ve spent time with KFAN Sports Radio, USA Today Sports and with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In my time with those organizations, I’ve helped produce radio shows, write blogs and cover baseball games. Heck, they even let me control the Facebook and Twitter accounts of an NBA team.
Yeah, it’s easy to assume that I’m all about sports. But that’s also why I’m here. I want to do something that’s beyond sports, and while I’ll be helping the folks at Fast Horse with some sports-related accounts, I plan on showing them that I can do a little bit of everything. That’s kind of what this line of work has become, right?
How did I get to Fast Horse, you ask? I guess I don’t really know when that started. In the fall of 2009 I was a dopey freshman at Minnesota State University, Mankato. There I met Andrew Miller, who was the former editor of the school’s newspaper. I’ve stayed in touch with Miller over the years and earlier this year he told me, “Man, I think you’d be a fit at Fast Horse… At least consider it.”
Well, I considered it. And here I am.
I couldn’t be more excited to join this team for hopefully a long time.
Something you probably don’t know about me: I won a Minnesota Newspaper Award (cough, humblebrag,cough) for a column I wrote back in 2009. It was titled “Jersey Girls.” I never won another award. I reached my peak at a young age, I guess. I feel a bit like Macaulay Culkin. Hopefully my future is a little brighter…
The List: Top Five Sporting Moments of My Life
(Since, you know, I was telling you two seconds ago how I wasn’t all about sports. I couldn’t resist. In all actuality, these moments have shaped who I am today, for better or worse.)
Before we get started, let me explain something. You’ll notice the 1991 World Series win from my Twinkies isn’t on this list. I was one at the time. I’m not going to feed you BS and pretend I remembered any of it or I remember my family watching it. I don’t. I remember absolutely nothing. Anyone my age who tells you they remember anything is lying.
Here’s the list:
5. Ratke Leads JV Team in Picks
I was a slow sophomore safety on the junior varsity ROCORI football team. I don’t know how, but I ended the season with three interceptions. Our team as a whole had four. If you have played or watched high school football (No, “Friday Night Lights” doesn’t count) you know that passing is a very rare thing. What’s even more rare is me catching a football with football pads on. Me in flag football? An average player.
4. 2009, Vikings Advance to NFC Championship
The Year of the Favre. Some people say that they wouldn’t take their rival’s best player. The Red Sox, for instance, would never want Derek Jeter at shortstop, or at least they’d never admit it.
I’m a Minnesota fan. I’m in Loserville, USA. Give me Brett Favre and Vince Lombardi. I don’t care. I want to win.
Favre led the Vikings to the NFC Championship, and what a ride it was. Every Sunday at our house was nuts, and rightfully so. Like a failed relationship, we don’t remember the ride that got us there all time. We remember the breakup. That’s why when thinking of this season, I really only think of this:
3. 2003-04, Wolves Advance to Western Conference Finals
KG, Sprewell and Cassell. What a trio. Like all of these items, this ends in failure as well. But the team won 57 games, KG was named MVP and the team beat the Nuggets and Kings to advance to the Western Conference Finals. I was 13 and wasn’t sure if I liked basketball or hockey. The Wild might have had a chance if it wasn’t for this team.
Four years after this, the Wolves won 22 games. That was fun.
2. Game 163, Oct. 6, 2009, Twins Beat Detroit to Advance to Postseason
The Twins and Tigers ended the season tied for the AL Central lead… That meant an extra game had to be played. I was a sophomore in college at the time and we decided it would be a good idea to buy $65 tickets in the left field upper deck. I couldn’t really see anything, but man, the electricity in the place was insane. Alexi Casilla (who always seemed to come up with big plays and hits even though, well, he’s Alexi Casilla) hit a single to right field for the walk-off. It was Orlando Cabrera’s homerun, though, that was my favorite memory. I hugged an old man sitting in the seat next to me for a good four minutes after that.
In Minnesota fashion, the Twins got swept by the Yankees in the ALDS. Sounds about right.
1. 1998, Vikings Advance to NFC Championship
We won’t talk about Gary Anderson’s miss and the hours I spent that night crying. Let’s talk about that season. Randy Moss. Cris Carter. Randall Cunningham. That was the greatest year of my life. I was eight and football players were like superheroes to me. I had a Randy Moss white jersey, a John Randle purple jersey and a Cris Carter throwback jersey.
The next year I was even prompted to buy a Jeff George jersey. I had the football itch and ’98 was the season it all started.
Quotable: “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” – Satchel Paige