MINNESOTA SPORTS SCENE-FEBRUARY 2,2010

MVP-Joe Mauer

    There will be a huge, and hopefully true, crescendo to finish today’s comments. We are now in between the two major sports, football, except the Super Bowl, and baseball, pitchers and catcher report in three weeks.  On a national level, its college hoops time. I have watched a lot of games so far, and lots of different teams from different conferences. Based on my observations, the talent has been spread out to more than just the traditional powers. That has really made for a lot of very good teams but, not any real super-power teams like Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, etc. used to be. I think this is good and bad. The old power-house programs are why the popularity of the sport exploded. A  fan’s focus only needed to be on those few teams. With knowledge, that makes for fan fanaticism. Now there are too many good teams, a lot of them getting the one year and out super-star, so its become too difficult to follow with great enthusiasm! This year, I’ve seen a lot of NBA ready underclassmen, so there will be a huge re-rack next year.

    We have spent this fall and winter in Minnesota watching Coach Kurt Rambis try to force the “triangle” offense with the Timberwolves. He learned it from Phil Jackson while with the Lakers. The problem here is simple, it takes a Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant to run the triangle. Last time I looked, the Timbies don’t have anybody that answers to that name or description. The results have been very predictable; they stink! Every once in a while they have a total breakdown game, and I think its their frustration with trying to do something they physically and mentally can’t do. Most games they hustle, and they do work for Rambis, but its the NBA, and they are playing daily against the best athletes in the world!

   The Wild have spent this season in re-building mode, which is good! I’m not sure that many people really understand just how badly Doug Risebrough had run this franchise into the ground. Very poor personnel decisions, tight purse strings, and not watching whats going on in the NHL. How he did this with the second most profitable franchise in the league and the most loyal and knowledgable fans in the league is beyond me.  Anyway, they are moving with the times, actually made personnel moves during the season, unheard of under Risebrough and LeMere, and are planning on the future. Maybe not this year, but certainly next year the Wild will become a force in the NHL!

   The Minnesota Vikings gave us the most entertaining season since the high-flying team in ’98. I attribute this the arrival and leadership of Brett Favre. For years I thought Favre was great, but because I hate the whole Green Bay fan following thing, I couldn’t be verbalize it. Rabid over-the-top fans that are so obnoxious about their teams really ruin it for a lot of people. The Packer fans really are terrible. When will these people figure out they are adults and there is more to your responsible life than living and dying with the Packers? This question can also be rhetorically posed to the fans of the Redskins, Broncos, Red Sox, Notre Dame, etc.  This past season Favre was the difference. This is the first time since the days of the great Fran Tarkenton and the Purple People Eaters defense that I have actually watched, with interest, the Vikings, and to a lesse extent the NFL.  This was an exciting team to watch this year and hopefully, they will have Favre back next year. At the same time, it’s time to give the troubled thug Bryant McKinnie the heave-ho. For the most part, Minnesota sports is clean and trouble-free, and he just doesn’t fit the image.

   The University if Minnesota made a mistake a few years ago when they hired Tom Brewster to be head football coach. His reputation as a recruiter is what got him the job. Joel Maturi, the athletic director, said Brewster will sign the blue-chippers and learn how to coach as he goes. Well, years later, neither of those has happened. His recruits have been just okay and he really is a lousy coach. To compound his problems, he can’t seem to keep coordinators. Now Adam Weber, a Mason recruit, will be quarterbacking the team next fall under his fourth offensive coördinator in four years! With all this in mind, Maturi just gave Brewster a two-year contract extension! Now Brewster is under contract for three more years, and I doubt things will change. I don’t think Brewster will last the whole life of the contract anyway. Oh well, as long as the administration, faculty, student body, and the alumni don’t care, the fifty years of rotten football at the “U” will continue.  The Gopher hockey team got a wake up a few weeks ago when the Star Tribune finally exposed them for what they have become. They are a lazy unmotivated group of athletes that have no sense of urgency. The newspaper story spurred them on to sweep a terrible North Dakota team, but since then they have been swept by St. Cloud State and split a series with perennial cellar dweller, Alaska-Anchorage!  I will repeat my call to fire Coach Don Lucia! Tubby Smith has taken a once promising NCAA tournament calibre team right down to mediocrity at best. I think the legal hassles with a couple of their thug recruits, the loss of Al Nolan at the point, the disappearence of Lawrence Westbrooke this year, and the over-reliance on Blake Hoffarber to score at will from three-point land has really run this team down. They can’t finish a game. If their roster is strong enough to get big leads on a highly over-rated Michigan State team and a really bad Indiana team. and lose both, that’s coaching. Sorry Tubby, but that’s the truth. Maybe the Gophers can make a deep run in the NIT.  John Anderson’s Gopher baseball team is ranked number twenty pre-season. They have a decent line-up and very good pitching. They will be fun to watch. I’ll be at the dome in two weeks for the DQ tournament. The Gophers will play all of their home games in the dome this year. They also will be playing the first competitive game at Target Field in the end of March! Lots to look forward to there.

    In closing, The Twins will sign Joe Mauer to a ten-year contract!!!  This might be the biggest sports story in Minnesota since sports began in the state. This is the most important thing the Twins have to do for the near and future health and success of the franchise. Hopefully, the other small and medium market teams will see this and start keeping their stars. This is how the majors can put the brakes on the Yankees, Mets, Angels, Dodgers, and Red Sox. The Twins also just signed free-agent power hitter Jim Thome. The pitching staff has regained its health, according to team sources, and I think the team will have one of the most dangerous hitting line-ups in baseball. If they can quickly adjust to the new park, I think the Twins are going to great this season! With Twins enthusiasm, thank you.

Cam Obert

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One Response to “MINNESOTA SPORTS SCENE-FEBRUARY 2,2010”

  1. Dan Bennington Says:

    Now this is a blog I can sink my teeth into. I am not a huge sports fan, but, this hits home to me. Enought of all the political bull shit. time for some sports to brighten the day. I hope the Twins get Mauer signed. it is about time we had the team stars signed to long term contracts. It gives the fans something to look forward to year after year. It also helps to build a competitive team.

    GO TWINS.

    Thanks Cam!

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