While watching the Twins invariably blow their 3-0 first inning lead to the Yankees last night, it got me thinking of how horrible it is to be a Minnesota sports fan. As I’m sure you know, the majority of sports fandom is based on where you’re from. A person who grew up in St. Louis, will obviously be more drawn to the local teams. Unfortunately, I was born in Minnesota and spent my formative years in the 90’s. I will argue that no fan base has had their heart ripped out more over the last 25 years than Minnesota. I was so distraught yesterday, I started compiling a list in my head…. which led to this post. Below is a blow-by-blow account of everything Minnesota has done to be horrible since I’ve been old enough to keep track….
1989 – Vikings trade half their franchise for Herschel Walker – This trade was so bad that it has its own wikipedia page… So bad that it has its own 30 for 30 titled ‘The Great Trade Robbery’… The Vikings got a 27 year old up running back and the Cowboys ended up with 3 Super Bowl titles. The Vikings gave up 5 players and 8 draft picks (Emmitt Smith, Darren Woodson, etc.)…. seriously…. Fun fact… Herschel never ran for 1000 years in a season for Minnesota and averaged 4.2 yards per carry. This is my first Vikings memory and they only go downhill from here…
1993 – Minnesota North Stars move to Dallas – The US Hockey Hall of Fame is literally in Minnesota… almost half of the 1980 miracle on ice team was from Minnesota…. They were two years removed from the Stanley Cup Finals…. Ugh, I’m still pissed.
1996 – Twins – Kirby Puckett goes blind – Kirby woke up one day in March and found he couldn’t see. After some tests it was determined he had a glaucoma. After multiple surgeries, his vision didn’t return and he was forced to retire. The sad part is that this might have been able to be prevented with regular eye exams. The Twins haven’t been the same since he left. After he retired, he had sever domestic issues that called into question his character. I will say this… I miss Kirby the ball player. Such a giant part of my childhood, over in a day by something that may have been preventable.
1998 – Vikings lose NFC Championship Game in Crushing Fashion… The Vikings rolled all year to a 15-1 record. Their kicker had not missed a kick all year (perfect on field goals and extra points)…. of course… all the Vikings have to do to go to the Super Bowl is to make a 39 yard field goal… What happens… he misses it. Of course. However, the Vikings got the ball back with 49 seconds left… instead of playing to win… the Vikings take a knee on 3rd and 7… and then promptly lose in overtime. I could write a million words on this… No Vikings loss has hurt more and was my first exposure to what it means to be a Vikings fan. It hurt too much to look up the actual video so this will have to do…
2000 – Glen Taylor gets caught making a secret contract with Joe Smith (JOE FRICKING SMITH) – The Timberwolves were fined a record $3.5 million and were stripped of their next 5 first round draft picks… this wasted the prime of Kevin Garnett. The Wolves are just now starting to recover.
2001 – Vikings lose 41-0 to Giants in NFC Championship Game – After starting the season 11-2, Super Bowl fever was in full effect. The Vikings then promptly lost the final 3 games and lost home field advantage for the entire playoffs to the New York Giants who finished 12-4. After taking care of New Orleans in their first playoff game, hopes were high that the Vikes had righted the ship and even came into the game favored on the road… Unfortunately, they promptly suffered their first ever playoff shutout loss and worst playoff loss in franchise history. I quit watching at halftime when it was 34-0. For context, at halftime… the 34 points by the Giants were their season high.
2002 – MLB tries to contract the Twins – The Twins were so ineptly run by owner Carl Pohlad (who started his fortune by foreclosing on people during the depression) that MLB thought they were better off by shutting down the franchise.
2003 – Vikings miss the playoffs on final play versus Arizona – The 2003 Vikings started 6-0 and were the clear Super Bowl favorites… However, the season started going pear shaped as they kept losing to bad teams (fun fact, they lost to every team that finished 4-12 that year). Coming into the final game, all the Vikings had to do was to beat the 3-13 Arizona Cardinals and they were playoff bound… Well, of course… Arizona wins on the last play of the game. The receiver clearly didn’t get two feet in-bounds on the catch, but was ruled that he was pushed mid-air by the defense so a touchdown was awarded… this was such garbage that the NFL has since changed the rule… Only the Vikings could lose this way.
2003 – Present – Twins lose to Yankees in the playoffs – Here is a quick history of this series in the playoffs…
- 2003 Twins lose to Yankees 3 games to 1
- 2004 Twins lose to Yankees 3 games to 1
- 2009 Twins lose to Yankees 3 games to 0
- 2010 Twins lose to Yankees 3 games to 0
- 2017 Twins lose to Yankees 1 game to 0
All told, that adds up to the Twins going 2 – 13 versus the Yankees. Ugly. Then to make it worse, the great Joe Posnanski has these fun facts…
“The Yankees’ record against the Twins since 2002 — and this includes four soul-crushing postseason series for Minnesota — is now 89-33.
Repeating: New York is now 89-33 against Minnesota since 2002. That’s a .730 winning percentage — basically three wins out of four. That would calculate to 118 wins in a 162-game season.”
2009 Brett Favre Interception in NFC Championship Game – Again, the Vikings started out hot on their way to a 10-1 record. The started to slow at the end of the year going 2-3 over their last 5 games, but still good enough to win their division and get a first round bye. They crushed the Cowboys in the division round 34-3 which activated Vikings fever. They then traveled to New Orleans for the Championship game. The Vikes played horrible with 5 turnovers… but somehow, the game was tied 28-28 when the Vikings received a Saints punt at the 21 yard line with 2:49 left. The Vikings made it within field goal range with 19 seconds left…. in true Minnesota fashion, they quickly got a 12 men on the field penalty which moved the ball back to the 38. The sensible thing to do would be to run a quick throw or run to the middle of the field to set up the winning field goal…. Instead…. the Vikings called some crazy roll-out pass play which led to what is referred to ‘The Brett Favre Interception’… Watch for yourself…. This is inexplicable.
2014 – Adrian Peterson Beats his Child – Minnesota had their next hero in Adrian Peterson filling the void when Kevin Garnett was traded away. He was so revered in Minnesota that they called him ‘Purple Jesus’. I think he may have gotten confused with real-Jesus and the ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ mantra and instead used the rod on his 4 year-old to the extent that he was charged with ‘reckless or negligent injury to a child’. The NFL suspended him for 6 games and we all came to the realization that we were worshiping a false idol.
2015 – Missed 27 yard kick in playoffs vs. Seattle – The Vikings played a hard-fought game with Seattle. Final drive, Vikes find themselves down 10-9… They rally to the 9 yard line with 26 seconds left… A chip-shot field goal…. This is the Vikings so I think everyone knew what was going to happen next… Blair Walsh misses left. Of course he does. Watch here…
2016 – Teddy Bridgewater almost loses a leg – Since this is the Vikings… I came into the 2016 season with decent expectations… Unfortunately, in one of the most freak accidents ever to take place on a football field… Teddy Bridgewater, their franchise quarterback, suffered a non-contact injury where he tore his ACL and suffered structural damage, including a dislocation of the knee joint to the point where there was talk of amputating the leg…. seriously. Thankfully, that wasn’t necessary but as of October 2017, he hasn’t played since.
Others that didn’t make the list….
- Joe Mauer concussions
- Prince dying
What did I miss? Leave a comment below.