Thursday, January 3, 2008

Is it March Yet?

By TwinsWin83

These really are the dog days of winter. The holidays are over, most people have gone back to their regularly scheduled lives and there is no relief from the bitterly cold weather in sight. As bad as that might seem, work and bad weather have nothing on the sports teams in the Twins Cities right now.

The Vikings season ended just like any reasonable Purple fan knew it would. The Wolves are even worse than my 15 win prediction. The Gopher hockey team just lost to RIT. That's the Rochester Institute of Technology for those of you keeping score at home. Tubby looked like he might have the basketball team back on track before they went to Vegas and got it handed to them by UNLV. And the Wild, not to be outdone, are bouncing around in the middle of a mediocre division. The Gopher football team has been done for a while so we won’t mention them on this uplifting list of Minnesota winter sports teams.

Things have never looked bleaker, and I’m not just talking about the weather out your front window. These are trying times for Minnesota sports fans, so is there a light at the end of the tunnel or are we condemned to forever wander the upper Midwest bundled in parkas, mumbling gibberish about a missed field goal by Gary Anderson and a failed diving catch by Torii?

How did things go so wrong so quickly? This century started promisingly for the sports teams in the Twin Cities. All four of the major squads made an appearance in their leagues championship game. The Vikings made it to the NFC title game in 2000. A young Twins squad advanced to the ALCS in 2002 before falling to a red-hot Angels team. The Wild made an improbable run to the Western Conference Finals in 2003 and the Wolves did the same in 04’, coming up two wins short of a trip to the NBA Finals. Oh yeah, and the Gophers hockey team won National titles in 02’ and 03.’

So what happened? Is it all doom and gloom now? It doesn’t have to be you see, because there is always next year or next season. I know I’m swiping a line from Cubs fans everywhere but it really is true. Common sense might tell us that none of our sports teams are going to miraculously snap out of it and jump back into serious contention anytime soon, but that’s why they play the games.

There are plenty of questions for the Twins as Spring Training nears, not the least of which is Johan Santana’s future, but that doesn’t mean they can’t compete this year. There have been plenty of questions surrounding the Twins since 2001, but they’ve found a way to be competitive each year. So who is to say that 08’ is going to be a lost cause?

This winter sports season has not been a memorable one in Minnesota, but spring is just around the corner and with it comes hope for another team and another season. It might end up being a rough year for the Twins and they might follow in the footsteps of the other area teams, but they might not. There is enough talent on the team right now to win some games and if you mix in a couple career years from some key players and a great trade by the front office here or there and the Twins could restore our faith in competitive sports again.

And if not, we could just bitch and moan about everything like Boston sports fans.


haasertime said...

i think we should at least mention how well the gophers looked in the music city bowl. hey, wait a minute...

yay for spring. only two more months.

Tricia said...

Thanks for the post. It's optimistic without being unrealistic. Plus I got the best picture in my head of some guy wandering around in a stark white winder landscape in a huge parka, just walking in circles with nothing to do 'til baseball starts.

Pitchers and catchers report in 43 days!