I'm from Minnesota, where sports used to be a big deal. In '04, the Wild went on a stunning, memorable playoff run to the Western Conference finals. In the same year, The Timberwolves rode their 3-headed monster (Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell) to 58 wins, the top seed in the West, and the conference finals. The Vikings were home to the league's most explosive offense during Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper's tenures, and in '04, Daunte threw for over 4,700 yards and 39 touchdowns, MVP stats if not for Peyton Manning's 49 TD's. The Vikings stomped all over the hated Packers in the playoffs that year. And the Twins dominated the AL central thus far in the 2000s. Things were good in Minnesota sports.
The Wild made it back to the playoffs for the first time this year, but were spanked out of them in round 1.
The Twins came back from 14 games down to win the division last year. That was fun, but they were swept out of the first round by Oakland. To win the division this season, they'll have to make 14 games down seem like a cinch. Cy Young winner Johan Santana has pitched more like Ryan Seacrest than Nolan Ryan. Other than Torii Hunter, the Twins have produced less hits this year than Michael Jackson. Doesn't look good for Minnesota's darlings this season.
The Timberwolves couldn't be any farther from their '04 playoff run. Behind KG, they have less depth than Johnny Bravo. Every member of their over-crowded backcourt (Mike James, Troy Hudson, Marko Jaric, Randy Foye, etc.) plays like they're payed by the shot. The Wolves are headed nowhere but the lottery in the forseeable future, and I hope for Kevin Garnett's sake that he's traded to a contender this summer.
Don't even get me started on the Vikings. New coach Brad Childress' philosophy seems to be something like this: "Maybe if we get rid of every exciting player we have, act really disdainful and aloof towards the fans, and never throw the ball farther than five yards, we'll suck enough interest out of the franchise that we can move it to L.A."
Their top receiver is Troy Williamson, who couldn't catch an STD from Lindsay Lohan. Rosie O'Donnell would be an upgrade at quarterback. Tarvaris Jackson? Yeah, I don't know who that is, either. Other than rookie running back Adrian Peterson, the Vikings don't have a single player capable of getting the fans onto their feet. The franchise is headed in the right direction, though. They just gave 7 million dollars each to WR Bobby Wade and TE Visanthe Shiancoe. Whoopee.