Dear Minnesota ________________________________ (<– insert favorite MN sports team name here) fans, obviously we are in the midst of more forgettable seasons to this point from, not only your Minnesota Wild, but the Timberwolves as well. I will admit that the Vikings have warmed the hearts of Minnesota fans a little with their 10-2 start, but the window of hope that they provide will be slammed shut like a screen door in a February blizzard. I’m sorry to say it, but I must. The Vikings are not 10-2 because they are good, they’ve just been incredibly lucky and they will once again get embarrassed in the first round of the playoffs. We’ve all experienced that time, and time again over the years. You can’t even deny that.
Being a Minnesota sports fan means that every year we hope for another 1991 World Series where the Twins come from out of nowhere and beat all of the odds to win a championship. Well, 31 years later, Twins fans are still waiting for “our year” to happen again. In fact, our Minnesota Twins are the MLB record-holders for most consecutive playoff losses at 18 games, stretching back to 2004. Read that again, they haven’t won a playoff game in 18 years!!!! Sad fact, but I have as many World Series rings as Joe Mauer.
The last time a NBA Championship was crowned to a Minnesota team was 1954 for the Minneapolis Lakers when they three-peated, before moving to Los Angeles. Finally, Glen Taylor is gone from the Timberwolves ownership group and instead, we now have Alex Rodriguez. At least one guy on the team is a World Champion. The T-Pups haven’t been relevant since KG played for us. No disrespect to Karl-Anthony Towns who is #2 on the all-time T-Wolves list of greats. I’m still waiting for them to be good though.
The Vikings…. what can I say that we don’t all know already? To save you the mental anguish, I will not list the lengthy amount of disappointing and embarrassing performances that we have seen over the years. Again, we hold a record for playoff, and more specifically, Super Bowl record, of ineptitude with four Super Bowl losses ands no wins. We are tied with the Buffalo Bills in that respect. Wouldn’t it be something if somehow the Bills and the Vikings made it to the Super Bowl this year? Maybe they would just allow a tie at the end. It would be our luck.
If championship hockey trophies is what you want, college hockey in Minnesota is the best hope with Minnesota teams appearing in the past five NCAA Frozen Four Championships (Minnesota State, University of Minnesota – Duluth and St. Cloud State. That being said, only UMD (three) and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers (two) have brought home the trophy in the past 20 years.
Which brings me to our beloved Minnesota Wild. Having the incredible all-time best year that we had last year, makes it that much harder to be “suffering” through a season so far in which they are 13-11-2. They had a nice four-game winning streak earlier this month, before dropping two games to Calgary and Edmonton.
The Wild are 7-6-1 at the XCel Energy Center this year and 6-5-1 on the road. They have 83 goals for and 84 goals against. In the last ten games, they are 6-4-0. Obviously, they’re not setting the league on fire, but they’ve have their fair share of great moments, such as Alex Goligoski‘s 1,000th NHL game/thrilling OT winner in the same game. Kirill Kaprizov had scored goals in seven-straight games and extended his points-streak to 14-straight games against Edmonton.
Since bringing on tough-guy, Ryan Reaves, from the New York Rangers in a low-risk, high reward trade, the Wild have kicked it up a notch or two, so who knows, maybe they’ll have a strong finish and go deep into the playoffs. I mean, they’re currently tied for third-place in the division, lots of games to go yet. I certainly hope they find another gear.
If you are a Minnesota-native, there are certain inevitabilities that we must all live with. Potholes in the spring, mosquitoes in the summer, at least one week in which we get both sunburnt and frostbite, unbelievably high taxes and….. year, after year of disappointing sports teams.
I certainly don’t mean to be a Christmas Scrooge or Grinch when it comes to Minnesota sports, but sometimes, we just feel better by admitting our painful truths and letting it go.
Being a Minnesota sports fan can drive us all crazy, to cry, to drink. It can be more disappointing than finding out your Christmas eggnog is just…. eggnog. It can be like hoping for the newest, coolest toy for Christmas and getting a pair of wool socks instead. It can be heart-wrenching as a field goal goes wide left, or we have a great regular season and everyone is stoked for the playoffs, before we get blown out in the first round. Sports can be a beautiful thing, but it can also be cold and cruel – much like Minnesota winters.
Do not fret however, Minnesota fans. There are many months left in the NHL regular-season. The Wild will find their groove, Marc-Andre Fleury will turn into a brick wall, and the magic of last season will return to the X. We will rise above and not only win the Central Division, but also bring home their first Stanley Cup by next summer.
Hope, beg, pray with me, people. If we believe, we will achieve!!!! Where-in-the-spiked-eggnog did that come from? Our suffering has gone on long enough. We need a Stanley Cup, more than anything else in the whole-wide world. Wild players and organization, if you’re reading this, bring it home. Sign me to a contract, if you must, but bring home the Cup. It belongs here, in the State of Hockey.
The next time you go to a Wild game, get loud, get crazy and get nuttier than a squirrel turd. Enough with the mediocrity, and the excuses, and “there’s always next year” crap. This WILL be our year. We need to help our boys. They need us. If you have a voice after a Wild game, you’re not doing your part. Enough with Minnesota Nice. We are the Minnesota Wild!!!! Say it with me “Let’s play hockey!!!!!!”
Every Minnesota sports fan ever