Homework questions

Homework question: The faces of Twin Cities sports

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

A little more than two years ago, this market had:

Randy Moss; Daunte Culpepper; Kevin Garnett; Torii Hunter. You could make an argument that they were the four most visible athletes here – the “faces” of our pro sports market. The first two faces are obviously gone. The third could in two weeks or sometime during the offseason via trade. The fourth might only have a year left here based on his contract. So the question: If you had to rank the “faces” of this market as we stand, in 2007, and you subtracted those four names, what would your list look like? Here’s our top three, and it’s telling:

1. Johan Santana: This year’s Cy Young pushed him over the top, though he’s still somehow a little under-appreciated.

2. Joe Mauer: He’s from St. Paul, you know.

3. Justin Morneau: MVP, can’t argue with that.

Marian Gaborik hasn’t done enough and isn’t “kQuestion_Mark2.jpgnown” enough. Take KG out of the equation, and who is the face of the Timberwolves? Ricky Davis? Randy Foye? Whoever they got in return? And look at the Vikings. Is there any one player with whom people identify? Many of their highest-paid players are on the offensive line. Kevin Williams? Steve Hutchinson? Antoine Winfield? Are any of them really the “faces” of the team — players a fan can latch onto?

Your thoughts, please.

Tuesday edition: Wha’ happened?

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Our mother star crashes; six billion years of darkness to follow: Thanks to a season-high 44 points from Kevin Garnett, the Wolves vanquished the hot Suns 121-112. Phoenix is now 33-3 in its past 36 games, which is just ridiculous.

Mike Singletary to bore a hole through Jerry Jones with his intense eyes on Tuesday: Singletary, the former Bears great with the spooky eyes in his playing days, will interview for the Cowboys’ head coaching job tomorrow. Luckily for Jones, he has many thick, protective layers of skin on his face to prevent scarring.

The Gophers might want to work Iona into their schedule: The Iona men’s basketball team fell to 0-21, blowing a double-digit lead in falling to Canisius 71-61. The victors, by the way, have a nickname of the Golden Griffins, which is fantastic. Here is their logo. Much better than the swaggering little fella who represents the Iona College Gaels.


Top 10 nicknames/logos in college sports? Go!

Your Thursday a.m. talker

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

In the past three months, three coaches in major sports in this market have been fired (Dan Monson, Glen Mason, Dwane Casey). Stretch it to 13 months, and you get to four coaches (Mike Tice). That’s quite a stretch. We’re not sure where it ranks historically with other markets, but that’s a lot of coaches gone in a short amount of time. So, some questions:

1. How important is a head coach to the overall success of a particular team, and is it different based on college/pro?

2. Looking back at the four who were fired, which one got the rawest deal?

3. Do we live in a peculiar market in which demands a certain type of coach than other places would? We only ask that because some of the most well-liked coaches in recent memory here project/projected very little egotism (Ron Gardenhire, Flip Saunders), while some of the best coaches of all-time tend to project an air of cockiness. Saunders and Gardenhire won their share of games, but they also have come up short in the postseason. So: If forced to pick between two qualities, would Minnesotans rather have a coach they liked than a coach who wins?

Dwane Casey fired

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

The Wolves coach is out. Randy Wittman will take over, the entire free world is now reporting (except for Timberwolves.com, which as of 4:30 p.m. still had a lead story of “Spotlight on Courtney,” about a member of the dance team.) Our brief thoughts, as we are hardly experts in the ways of the Timberwolves, are that there were all sorts of rumors this was coming before the Wolves got hot a couple weeks ago. The string of overtime wins delayed the inevitable. Was it fair? Probably not. Casey seemed to be improving, i.e. more consistent rotations and an increased understanding of when to use certain players. He’s less of a McHale fall guy than Flip, but that makes two coaches down, and McHale remains — a fact that will leave no shortage of heads unscratched around the Twin Cities. We’ve also long-believed that KG would be traded this season (a gut instinct, nothing more). It seems even more likely now. We’ll leave this thread up for the rest of the day, even if it did obliterate a fascinating post we had ready about McNuggets. Maybe tomorrow. For now, though, your thoughts. Did Casey get a raw deal? Is McHale’s continued presence perplexing, to put it mildly? Is KG outta here? Let’s hear it.

Homework question: Rank them up

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

We’ve spent an inordinate amount of time trying to discern a sports hierarchy among Twin Cities teams (college or pro) when it comes to fan interest. The top of the list, we think, is pretty easy: 1) Vikings. 2) Twins. From there, frankly, the list falls apart. It can go in any direction. Sometimes we think Timberwolves. Sometimes Wild. Sometimes Gophers football. Once upon a time, even Gophers men’s hoops. For a stretch in 2004, Gophers women’s basketball. Yeah, we think about a lot of things of far too little significance far too often (like the proper etiquette at a trough-style urinal, for instance). But this one is probably at the top. Your thoughts?