Column: The unexpected return of Old Foolish FanPublished 12:00am Thursday, July 5, 2007
Jon Laging, Talking Sports
I was a little worried about the old boy. I hadn&8217;t seen Old Foolish Fan for a while and had heard he went through a rough patch this winter. I had missed him for he seemed to be able to get to the bottom of overdone, politically correct, say nothing, statements by merely saying the magic words &8220;you mean&8221; during his interviews.
I had just mentioned to my wife that I was concerned, when I ran across him the other morning at Chic&8217;s restaurant in Preston. I invited myself to his table, welcomed him back and asked if he had any recent interviews. He said that he had. I asked him if he would share them with me? He was a little reluctant, but after I covered special No. 3 on the breakfast menu, he agreed and began. The following is a fictitious account of Old Foolish Fan&8217;s interviews.
Old Foolish Fan: &8220;Tell me Mr. Gardenhire, what are the Twins chances of winning the Central Division?&8221; Ron Gardenhire: &8220;It&8217;s a tough road, but if everything breaks right and we avoid injuries, we have a good chance. A lot depends on the teams above us and how the fates treat them.&8221;
Please know that Terry Ryan, myself and the team will do its utmost for our fans of the Upper Midwest. Keep supporting us for I think we have a good chance.&8221; OFF: &8220;You mean?&8221; RG: &8220;I honestly don&8217;t know.&8221;
Old Foolish Fan: &8220;Do you need a good stick at third base?&8221; Ron Gardenhire: We continue to expect Nick Punto to rebound from his present batting average and play a vital role in our run for the division title. Also as Jeff Crillo&8217;s knees respond to treatment, he will become available on a more regular basis.&8221; OFF: &8220;You mean?&8221; RG: &8220;God, yes.&8221;
Old Foolish Fan: &8220;Do you anticipate the return of Rondell White?&8221; Ron Gardenhire: Yes, we do. Rondell has played innings in a warm weather city and we are hoping for the best. He would be a welcome addition to our team.&8221; OFF: &8220;You mean?&8221; RG: &8220;Are you kidding? Do you think I enjoy starting Jason Tyner on national television?&8221;
Old Foolish Fan: &8220;Who is the best pitcher in the Major Leagues?&8221; Ron Gardenhire: &8220;That&8217;s a tough question. I&8217;m not that familiar with the National League, but I do know there are many all-stars in our league. Roy Halliday, C.C. Sabathia and Justin Verlander to name just a few.&8221; OFF: &8220;You mean?&8221; RG: &8220;Johan Santana, hands down.&8221;
Next, we turned to basketball and OFF related his recent interview with Kevin McHale of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Old Foolish Fan: &8220;With the recent additions of Cory Brewer and Juwan Howard, do you feel the Timberwolves will be a force in the NBA?: KM: &8220;Well, they are a welcome addition and should provide some help for areas of concern.&8221; OFF: &8220;You mean?&8221; KM: &8220;I don&8217;t know.&8221;
Old Foolish Fan: &8220;Do you anticipate a trade offering Kevin Garnett?&8221; Kevin McHale: &8220;Kevin is an integral part of the Timberwolves for the foreseeable future as long as we continue to rebuild.&8221; OFF: &8220;You mean?&8221; KM: &8220;I don&8217;t know.&8221;
I felt it was time to go and left Old Foolish Fan shaking his head and drinking his third cup of coffee.
Jon Laging writes a regional sports commentary from his home in Preston.