Tuesday night, we headed over to the Black Sheep Pizza in the North Loop to meet with Jim Bickal and his friend, and colleague, Howard Sinker. Bickal, an alumnus of Grinnell College who works for Minnesota Public Radio, had a lot to say about his career’s evolution. He found that sports reporting, especially during the 1987 World Series the underdog Twins won, showed him how news can capture a community’s attention.
It was interesting to hear his views on topics we had discussed in depth, like stadium financing. Bickal discussed the impact his work on Morning Edition might have on the people making these decisions, especially since the demographics of those listening to public radio don’t always intersect with sports fans. He brought up the idea of a cycle of outrage over long projects like US Bank Stadium and Target Field, and what the media does to cover it. Hearing from a seasoned reporter and producer in an informal setting was another fascinating perspective on the wide impact of athletics.