To anyone outside Minnesota reading this, the radio name Dark Star won't mean a damn thing. Although to plenty of Minnesotans, especially those who are sports fans, Dark Star is the name they think of when you mention sports talk. On the air for over twenty years holding down late nights at WCCO-AM in Minneapolis and carrying on after his firing there at KFAN-AM and following along with their transition to the FM dial.
Dark Star wasn't a sports caster in the traditional sense. I heard him described as the truest definition of a fan today. He was a personality and he had an opinion about the teams he loved. And when it comes to the teams he loved, he loved them all. He was one of the earliest and most die-hard supporters of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He rooted hard for the Minnesota Wild in the team's formidable years and was one of their biggest supporters in 2003 when they went deep into the NHL playoffs.
But it went deeper than that. As an avid listener to KFAN in Minneapolis, I could tell how much Dark Star loved his weekly hour he spent with Dan Cole the Common Man every Friday. The duo loved to rib each other and it was obvious that they were great friends -- even before pairing up on KFAN. Together, the show got deep into discussing golf, boxing and horse racing. The horse racing, though, was where Dark Star cut his teeth in the Twin Cities. He put together a TV show in Canterbury Park's earliest days (it was Canterbury Downs when it opened in the 1980s) promoting the newest entertainment venue to call Shakopee home and he continued to this day to be a fixture at the track.
Through that gig alone, Dark Star brought many members of the Twin Cities sports community together. I heard Vikings and KFAN personality Paul Allen in tears as he talked about Dark to co-worker Dan Barreiro this afternoon. Guys -- especially sports guys -- don't cry unless something truly effects them and the passing of Dark Star has obviously effected many at a very deep level.
I only had a few years of listening to Dark Star to build an opinion on the man but when someone who is obviously a valuable and knowledgeable personality is welcomed so warmly and eagerly by a new employer and his new co-workers (KFAN), he isn't just seen as a valuable asset -- he was viewed as a legend on the Minnesota sports scene and he leaves the world today as a true legend and a true fan of the teams he discussed.