October 11, 2004
What do you want?
OK, I've held off long enough. Man does it suck to be a fan of Minnesota sports. Why do I even put up with it? I blame my mom. I mean, I was born in Wisconsin! That's right, I was born just across the border in River Falls, WI and could have easily become of a fan of all things Wisconsin (perish the thought). But my mom grew up in Minnesota and brain-washed me to cheer for the Twins and the Vikings and the Gophers. She brain-washed me I tell you! That and the fact that River Falls only picked up Twin Cities TV stations sealed the deal for me. And even though we only picked up Twin Cities TV stations I was still in the minority. I was surrounded by enemies ...
I remember the day that Jason Simpson dared to mock the Vikings in my presence. Standing in line after recess in the second grade he said to me, "How are the Vi-QUEENs doing this year?" I answered him by making a fist in my Viking mitten and popping him in the nose. They must have lost the day before because I remember just snapping and going into a second-grader rage on his scrawny Packer-fan butt. Beware of the grumpy Minnesota sports fan! We don't like it when our teams lose. It gives us a very bad attitude. Unfortunately for us, just by virtue of being Minnesota sports fans we have a bad attitude most of the time. I don't know what happened to Jason, but I'm sure if he saw me he would probably run to the other side of the street. Especially after this weekend.
So, this weekend ... You'll be happy know that my radio worked at camp. I was able to listen to both the Twins and the Gophers on Saturday. Lucky me. I actually became somewhat of a celebrity at camp as I was one of only about 3 people (out of 3,000) that thought to bring a radio. Everyone was asking me, "What is the score?" "What is happening?" And that was just in the morning and afternoon during the Gophers game. For most of the second half I had good news for them. "24-20 with 3 minutes to play," I would yell. And everyone would cheer and nod their approval. I felt good. I could see little brown jugs dancing in their eyes. We were all happy. And then, just like that, Michigan scored and it was over. I had to tell them the bad news. After the game, I became the guy that ruined everyone's day! The curse of the Minnesota sports fan strikes again.
Michigan ... if that wasn't the same state that is also home to the hapless Lions and Tigers I would really, really despise them. Even in their off years, even in the year the Wolverines start a true freshman at QB, they are still better than the Gophers ... This is unacceptable! There was a time when beating the Gophers really meant something. Now we are nothing but a speed bump. There was a time when students would burn the coach in effigy if he didn't take the team to the Rose Bowl. Now we give Mason $1 million after taking the team to the Music City Bowl. Year after year it is the same thing. The last time we held the jug was 1986. 18 years. Sigh ...
Later in the evening I was able to give all my camping buddies updates on the Twins game. Again, I was the hero through most of the game. Then Ruben Sierra came to bat. After that nobody even bothered to ask how things were going. They all knew what would inevitably happen. And eventually it did. Since I didn't actually watch the game it is hard for me to second guess the manager. It sounded like Balfour was just dominating, and Rincon has performed exceptionally all year so I can't question bringing him in. I hear Lohse was letting A-Rod get a really good lead off of second, but I'll have to take your word for it. Unfortunately we were playing the Yankees. There is absolutely no room for error. None. I thought this year would be different. Now I'll just have to wait until next year. And lest I sound really grumpy, winning three division titles in a row is awesome and worthy of a great deal of praise. I hope we can make it four in a row.
Getting home I honestly thought about not watching the Vikings game. I mean, why would I want to triple my torture? Let me put it another way: we had to count on the Vikings to salvage the weekend. To quote Morpheus, "Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony." Well, they didn't disappoint even though the stars were all aligned to continue our weeked of misery. The offense hummed, and the defense collapsed.
I will stop there. I could go on with some sort of lame analysis, but I am sick of thinking about sports. And thank goodness I went on a Cub Scout camp out this weekend! If I had actually watched the Gophers and the Twins lose, if I had actually wasted 6-7 hours in front of the TV on Saturday watching another banner day of Minnesota sports, I would probably be in a straight jacket bouncing off the walls in a rubber room. Instead, I was with my son under the stars, eating deep fried cinammon rolls, and drinking hot chocolate. Now that is something to write home about. And that is what I'll be writing about in the days ahead. I won't say there won't be any sports commentary, but I need to recharge and write about something else for a change.
Posted by snackeru at October 11, 2004 1:26 PM | Sports
The Badgers are top of the heap now. The faint smell of roses is lightly blowing in the air. It is so tangible that one can almost touch it. A red haze approaches on the western horizon. The call of Camp Randall West beckons. But immediately in front of us lies the powerful Boilermakers, the greatest challenge of this year. Right now the call from the West must be ignored, for the danger in front would silence that call if it is not dealt with quickly and mercilessly. Hope is in full bloom this autumn, the crisp air brings forth goose bumps of anticipation of January. The path is clear before the Badgers, they just must march forward with determination and purpose.
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at October 11, 2004 2:31 PM
Yes, it was an utterly depressing and disgusting sports weekend (even though the Vikings squeaked by). But, hey, we are proud MINNESOTANS--what're ya gonna do? love em anyway...
p.s. I'll gladly take the blame for your love of sports.
Posted by: mom at October 11, 2004 2:37 PM
Minnesota, being the "state of hockey", was a fantastic place to be Saturday:
A 5-2 win over the defending national champs is a great way to start off the season! The rouser 5 times in one game...it must be what heaven is like.
Posted by: 2j at October 11, 2004 5:05 PM
...now that you're back from your Boy Scouts weekend, take a few minutes to review our "solution to MN's stadium conundrum."
Posted by: Tony for TwinDomes at October 11, 2004 5:19 PM
2j-- You've hit the nail on the head. If you are a hockey fan, Minnesota is a wonderful place to be. If there is one thing in the sporting world Minnesotans will not accept it is a poor hockey team. I am also a fan of Golden Gopher hockey. Thanks for pointing out their victory against Denver. It was a great way to start the season.
Posted by: Shane at October 11, 2004 6:04 PM