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Jeff Kolpack, Published December 17 2010

Kolpack: Dragosavich continues to leave impact in community

Mike Kurtz of the UC Davis men’s basketball team wasn’t the only 7-footer on the Bison Sports Arena floor on Thursday night. Halftime brought another giant.

Former North Dakota State football player Mike Dragosavich was 6-foot-5 in his punting heyday. But the gold platform shoes he wore during a 1970s halftime dance put John Travolta’s “Saturday Night Fever” kicks to shame.

He’s still Drago.

It had been five years since Dragosavich’s Nerd Janitor Dance hit the YouTube airwaves. He was trying to make the New England Patriots’ roster at the time and the video got so many hits that a Patriots’ public relations person asked him to remove it because it was approaching Tom Brady popularity.

Earlier Thursday, Dragosavich was sitting in his office at Seventh Street North in downtown Fargo. It’s the kind of place you would expect of a young exec; exposed brick walls combined with a modern look of creative lighting and computers.

It was seven hours before game time and he was getting somewhat nervous about the performance. He was up until

3 a.m. earlier that morning putting the finishing touches on the tape mix. A priority was to do something a little different from the 2005 performance.

“I have a few surprises,” he said. “I’m not going to do the same thing two times in a row.”

Then came the real reason for the minor anxiety.

“I’m going to try and not pull a hammie,” he said with a grin, referring to his hamstring muscle.

That was doubtful because he’s still in shape to kick. The Detroit Lions contacted Dragosavich’s agent about two months ago and told him to be ready. He was with the Cleveland Browns for the last game of the 2009 season just in case the regular punter couldn’t go because of a knee injury.

“I’ll always still try to keep that iron hot,” Dragosavich said.

The hope coming out of NDSU was to make an NFL roster so he could later run his own business. Turns out he didn’t need the NFL.

He started a local magazine a year ago. The focus on the latest project is on the health and fitness industry, of which he says there are 85 places in the Fargo-Moorhead area. A product of Chicago, he’s another example of an athlete who came to NDSU and stayed.

“I’ll never leave,” he said. “I love the area. I love the growth. I love the opportunities I can get. I love everything there is here to offer. And I don’t even mind the weather anymore.”

In the events section of his magazine, he listed the Bison-Davis game with the following emphasis: “Once upon a time in 2005, I dressed up like a janitor and danced like a complete moron in front of 5,000 people.”

The NDSU students were on break and there were not 5,000 people. But Drago didn’t pull a hammie and he’s still Drago.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia