20 Reasons Why You Know You’re a Sports Fan From Minnesota
20 Ways You Know You're a Minnesota Sports Fan
If you're a Minnesota sports fan, there are a wide array of options to enjoy. All the major professional leagues are represented, there’s a Big Ten school with relevant programs on both the men’s and women’s side of things in virtually every sport imaginable, and even niche sports like lacrosse (the Minnesota Swarm) and Northwoods League minor league baseball (the St. Paul Saints) give fans other options.
But the only Minnesota pro team, other than the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, to win a championship since the Lakers moved to Los Angeles, is the Twins and even their last World Series win was back in 1991. The Minnesota Vikings in particular have broken fan’s hearts on multiple occasions, from four Super Bowl losses to close calls in conference title games and last-minute losses to take away playoff berths more recently.
We lost our NHL team to Dallas (!) in the early 1990’s as the league looked to move into warmer states in earnest, but the league made the right move by giving the Twin Cities an expansion team and the Wild played their first regular season game at Xcel Energy Center in October of 2000. I have to admit I’ve never become a full-on hockey nut despite being born and bred in the “State of Hockey”, which I still chalk up to not having an NHL team in town during the time that I began to take a more serious interest in sports as a whole.
Being a sports fan from Minnesota involves a unique mix of pride, envy and indifference along with a touch of inferiority complex due to the label nationally of being a “small market” or in “flyover country.”
In case you've been given such an affliction, here are 20 signs that you’re a sports fan from Minnesota.
20. You Look Forward to Former Twins' Manager Tom Kelly's Turns as a TV Analyst Every Year
Nothing against regular Fox Sports North analyst and Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, but when “T.K.” is on a game telecast even the most knowledgeable baseball fan will learn something from the manager who led the Twins to their only two World Series titles up to this point.
19. You Affectionately Refer to Williams Arena as "The Barn"
The Golden Gophers’ basketball home court is one of the oldest arenas in the United States, and when the men’s team is good there is perhaps no greater home court advantage in the entire Big Ten.
18. Ron Gant Totally Went Off First Base on His Own During Game 2 of the 1991 World Series
A controversial play during the 1991 World Series occurred when Minnesota Twins first baseman Kent Hrbek may have helped Atlanta Braves outfielder Ron Gant off of first base before tagging him out. Did simple physics lead to Gant being unable to keep his foot on the base?
17. You Know What "The Twins Way" Is
The last three seasons have not resembled what became known as the “Twins Way”, but prior to that the term essentially meant cultivating major league-level talent in an excellent farm system, playing good defense and generally playing the game in a fashion that baseball people would call “the right way.”
16. You Thought Joe Buck Overreacted to Randy Moss' "Fake Moon"
During a playoff win at Lambeau Field in January of 2005, Vikings' wide receiver Randy Moss pretended to pull his pants down to “moon” the crowd after scoring a touchdown. Fox play-by-play announcer Joe Buck then went off, calling the act “disgusting.” Way to keep things in perspective, Joe.
15. You Have Used the Phrase "Straight Cash, Homey" In Casual Conversation
After he was fined for the “mooning” incident, Moss was captured leaving the Vikings’ facility and asked about how he pays his fines. He responded, “The rich don’t write checks.” When further prompted and asked again how he pays his fines, Moss said, “Straight cash, homey.” An early piece of YouTube gold if there ever was one. Go ahead and go search for it, I’ll wait…
14. You Bought a Brett Favre Jersey the Day He Landed in Minnesota
Favre may have spent most of his career playing for the rival Green Bay Packers, but I bought a #4 Vikings’ jersey soon after he became part of the team in 2009 and I know I was not alone.
13. You STILL Hate Norm Green
Green became known as “Norm Greed” when as owner of the Minnesota North Stars he moved the team to Dallas in the early 1990’s. It would be close to a decade after that before the Minnesota Wild played their first game, and for some fans they will never have the appeal of the North Stars.
12. You Have Irrational Hatred For Boston's Pro Teams
The stature of players who have left Minnesota teams and had success in Beantown is fairly startling, as Randy Moss, Kevin Garnett and David Ortiz all had to leave the Twin Cities and head east to realize their championship dreams.
11. You Attended the Same High School as a Former Professional Wrestler
The list of professional wrestlers, particularly of the past when the WWF and AWA ruled, that have called Minnesota home is quite extensive. We even elected one, Jesse Ventura, governor in 1998.
10. You Would Willingly Attend an Outdoor Hockey Game in January
45,000 people showed up at TCF Bank Stadium last Friday night to watch the Golden Gophers’ men’s hockey team play Ohio State, despite chilly temperatures even before accounting for wind chill.
9. You Embrace the "One of Us" Concept
As a Minnesota sports fan, you automatically have a built-in affinity for athletes that were born in the state and went on to have success. Among those we can call our own are Kevin McHale, Paul Molitor, Jack Morris, Dave Winfield and Joe Mauer.
8. You Know Who Nathan Poole Was/Is, and Had Heard of Josh McCown Before the 2013 Season
Poole had 34 catches in four NFL seasons, but none was bigger than a game-winning touchdown catch he had from McCown with the Arizona Cardinals on the final play of the finale of the 2003 regular season to knock the Vikings out of the playoffs. Worse yet, the rival Packers earned a playoff berth with the Vikings’ loss.
7. You Have Seen a Minnesota Team Play In Another City
Now I’m not just talking about cities that are a reasonable drive away, like Chicago, Green Bay or even Kansas City and St. Louis. I’m talking about fans that have relocated to say, California or Texas and manage to see a Minnesota pro team play in that location.
6. By the Way, It's Metrodome, Not Mall of America Field
Once the Twins moved to Target Field, the Mall of America sponsored the football field at the Metrodome. But no amount of sponsorship money can change the name fans will call the soon to be completely demolished building.
5. You Simultaneously Love and Hate Joe Mauer
Mauer falls under the “one of us” concept, but he has been the subject of a lot of vitriol from fans since he signed a big contract and the team has struggled over the last three seasons.
4. You Believe the Minnesota Timberwolves Are Cursed
From having the third pick in the 1992 draft when Shaquille O’Neal and Alonzo Mourning went first and second, to a rash of injuries to key players more recently, the local NBA franchise simply has to have some higher power working against it. Right?
3. You Have a Healthy Hatred/Envy for Anything Wisconsin Sports
Minnesota teams, college or pro, seem to be the inadequate little brother to Wisconsin teams that regularly contend for conference and division titles while occasionally making deep postseason runs.
2. A Part of You Will Miss the Metrodome
A Facebook friend stated this perfectly ahead of the Vikings’ final game at the Metrodome at the end of this past season-“It may be a dump, but it’s MY dump…it’s my generation’s dump.” Enough said.
1. "Chicken Little Syndrome"-Re-Imagined a Bit
Simply put, the sky will fall no matter how good things may seem to be going. Case in point? The 2010 NFC Championship Game.