Gophers, Vikings and TwinsPublished 8:59am Thursday, September 30, 2010
Jon Laging, Talking Sportsraces
It’s a great time of the year to be a sports fan. High school football, girl’s volleyball, the Minnesota Gophers, Vikings and Twins are all out there. And that’s not even counting hunting and fishing. As I write this, the warm sun is shining, the sky is blue and it’s wonderful to be a Minnesotan.
Our Gopher football team continues to stumble, losing to Northern Illinois. Coach Tim Brewster has gone into a temporizing spin mode. He’s saying, don’t judge our team by one game or even one season. That the program must be judged in its entirety. Brewster is hanging on by his fingernails, but working against him is the U’s president, who stated that a mediocre team is not acceptable. (The way things are going, mediocre is starting to look pretty good.)
President Bruininks has indicated that he will be leaving his post and it could be that he will clean house before he goes. If I was Joel Maturi, athletic director, I’d be worried about my job future, and if I was Tim Brewster, I’d be afraid, I’d be very afraid. The only thing that might save Brewster is his four-year contract extension. Why Maturi gave him four more years is open to question. Maturi may be forced out with Brewster.
The Minnesota Vikings did what they had to do and beat Detroit. It’s been noted by Judd Zulgad that the Vikings are playing this year as they were expected to play last year. You may remember that Brett Favre was to provide experience, but let Adrian Peterson carry the load and run a conservative offense. That soon changed as the gunslinger had one of his finest years. This year the win over Detroit was what was expected last year with Peterson and the defense carrying the load.
I suggested in last week’s column that the bye week couldn’t have come at a better time. The Vikings now have two weeks to hone their passing game. I read that Brett Favre will not leave the Twin Cities, but rather will stay and study film. That’s big of him. If I were Favre I’d have my receivers with me in the film room and go over the routes they are suppose to run. And once that’s down, perhaps they could go out on the field and practice a little bit. After all, the Twins aren’t using the Metrodome. I don’t know if the above is going to happen and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Favre out bird hunting near his land.
Our Minnesota Twins are rapidly approaching the playoffs and the hopes and prayers of the fans go with them. Now that the division is clinched, other worries crop up. Can the Twins achieve the best record in the American League and secure home field advantage for the pennant playoffs? Will they play the Yankees or the Tampa Bay Rays in the first round? Some fans are saying: “Let’s play the Yankees. We’ll probably have to play them anyway to get to the World Series.” Others are saying: “Let the Texas Rangers beat the Yankees in the first round.” There is also the revenge motive. Let’s do to the Yankees what they have done to us the past decade. There is no doubt about it, beating the Yankees would be almost better than winning the Series.
If the Twins do play in the World Series, it is possible there will be some games played in November. Perhaps the Twins can take a page out of Bud Grant’s Viking playbook and use the weather as an ally.