Monday, July 8, 2013

Women Keep Minnesota Sports Bearable

I’m a sports fan. It’s not everything to me, but it’s an important part of my life. Lately, around here, the stink has been nearly unbearable what with the way the Timberwolves, the Twins, the Vikings, the Wild and the Minnesota Gophers main sports teams have been failing. The Lynx and the Gopher women’s hockey team have had enormous success, however, and I find myself becoming more dependent on these women to salve the ego injuries I receive from all the other teams.
by Charlie Leck

It’s difficult to find the Lynx games on television. Y’all – even those of you in New Mexico and South Carolina – know who the Lynx are don’t you? I watched most of the Lynx game on television yesterday. They destroyed the Mercury by 32 points. Maya Moore had 23 points and Linsay Whalen was her usual, brilliant self running plays and distributing the ball.

As a result of yesterday’s fine game, the Lynx remain snuggly and smugly in first place in their conference. They’re playing championship type basketball. Thank goodness.

Only the miserable Chicago White Sox keep the Twins out of last place, but the Twins are battling them with everything they’ve got to take over that spot.

The Vikings, Minnesota’s most popular sports attraction, languish and have been for a decade or so. They appear to be rebuilding with some semblance of success, but that’s only in the eyes of a die-hard fan. There is every chance they’ll sink again this year without the kind of quarterback leadership they must have.

The Timberwolves have a couple of players (Rickey Rubio and Kevin Love) who keep the fans coming to games so that they have reasonably large crowds at Target Center. Another bad year and that will come to an end and they’ll be playing to nearly empty seats.

The Wild had a moment of glory when they made it to the playoffs last season. The Chicago Blackhawks put an end to that run very quickly by pummeling our national hockey team. That’s the first time the Wild have been to the playoffs in years.

Friends of mine around the country – other sports junkies – are starting to snicker at me about my faithfulness to something less than excellence.

These are dog-days around here when it comes to sports. The University of Minnesota women’s Gopher hockey team brought us a great degree of pride this past season. They won the national championship and lost only one game in the entire season. They won 49 consecutive games behind their star, Amanda Kessel. The women outscored all their opponents last season 216 to 36. Man, that’s impressive. The problem is, the team is rarely on television and, therefore, one can’t even watch them closely and get in on the back-thumping nor onto the pride-fulfilling bandwagon.

The Gopher football team? Ugg! The national sports commentators are picking the Gophers for last place this season.

The Gopher men’s or women’s basketball teams? Yuk!

Well, yesterday, the Twins lost to a Canadian baseball team and dropped further down in the standings and raised the level of stink to an almost unbearable level. Very soon, in one of the most beautiful ballparks in the world, they’re going to be playing to mostly empty seats. We’ve begun to call them the Twinkies again. Most recently they dropped four home games in a row to the hated and evil N.Y. Yankees. Doing that tends to leave many Minnesotans in a state of depression and skunkieness.

These are terrible times to be a Minnesota sports fan. However, Vikings training camp opens in a couple of days and I’ll read every line of the reports that flow in to various newspapers and I’ll get my hopes up for awhile. You have to remember, the Vikings have gone to the Super Bowl four times – yes, four times – and they managed to lose all four of them.

It’s tough being a Minnesota sports fan. The Lynx won the national championship two years ago and the Gopher women’s hockey team won the NCAA championship this past season. That’s all we’ve got to hang our hats on.

Even my favorite tennis player got thumped yesterday at Wimbledon. No joke!

I’ve started to read Proust as a substitute for watching sports.

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  1. You brought tears to my eyes. I'm sure things will get better once Bachmann leaves the state.

  2. Brilliant, Tony, brilliant! I should have know whose fault is was (is)!