My fandom needed questioning when I was subjected to a pregame radio segment comparing Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and Raiders punter Shane Lecher before their Nov. 18 matchup.
The Queens were 3-6 and Kluwe was the team’s MVP, so the bit was embarrassingly fitting.
My probing, introspective question was: “Why do you put yourself in such a awful position of watching the Vikings every fall Sunday?”
I then pondered: “I’m gonna change the station. Somehow listening to Avril Lavigne seems more rewarding. At least music would provide fewer opportunity costs.”
Now the Vikings have shown some aptitude and climbed back to .500 with three straight wins. As radio play-by-play guy, Paul Allen, said Sunday, “A return to relevance.”
Granted the wins came against the abysmal Silver and Black, the overrated G-Men and the Paper Lions. But the Purple have had moderate success because of three things. 1. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson being conservative (taking the less lucrative second and third options) and smart (scrambling for first downs). 2. Scoring from the defense and special teams. 3. A reliance on the most basic football principle — running the ball and stopping the run.
Purple Pride is back — intermittently.
The Vikings scored on six straight possessions to start Sunday’s game meaning Kluwe was relegated to the sidelines without a peep. Yet, I’m sure this will end in bleeps. (Read: The Vikings BLEEPIN’ blew it. Again! …)
Fresh air; avoid hot air
All Twins-related attention focused on the pending Johan Santana trade when general manager Bill Smith did something his predecessor Terry Ryan never did — trade away young pitching for a big bat.
The move was a breath of fresh air.
Delmon Young is a promising young slugger, yet possibly problematic. Everybody remembers the bat-tossing incident:
But, moreover, his older brother, Dmitri, was a rabid malcontent who struggled with substance abuse and beat his girlfriend. He was such a nuisance that the Tigers released him during their World Series run. Let’s hope Delmon’s baseball numbers increase without a spike in the numbers on his rap sheet.
It was worthwhile to dump Jason Bartlett with his career numbers from 2006 still fresh in the minds of GMs. Plus, his 26 errors tied for the Major League lead. Peace out, uh-um, piranha.
Matt Garza was tough to lose, but that was the bounty.
Onto the looming blockbuster trade: Any Cytana trade talk shouldn’t mention “untouchables.” If Boston or New York wants the best pitcher in the game, they must give up a lucrative multi-player package that includes Phil Hughes or Jacoby Ellsbury. The perceived leverage is with the buyer, but with Torii Hunter gone, the Twins need to position any trade as a possibility — not a necessity — because of the freed-up funds from Hunter’s departure.
The Sox, reportedly, have included Ellsbury after the Yankees packaged Hughes, but the Sox subsequently removed John Lester. No thanks. What else ya got?
Make ’em wait, sweat. Let ’em compete against themselves at the winter meetings. Mets? Angels? Get in on this.
The player I’d like to see included is Mets shortstop Jose Reyes. He is a proven major-league commodity, unlike Hughes or Ellsbury. Reyes is also deemed an “untouchable.” But the Twins need an anchor on the left side of the diamond and there isn’t one with a bigger upside than Reyes.
1. Reyes; 2. Alexi Casilla; 3. Joe Mauer; 4. Young; 5. Justin Morneau; 6. Michael Cuddyer.
Drop the C
The encompassing parity in college football this season is the most convincing case yet for the Bowl Championship Series to turn to a playoff.
As we all know, that has been the argument for 10 years to no avail.
Their top public argument is that a playoff would lengthen the season, but they’ve already done that with the plus-1 title game. Also, it would increase the season for two of 119 teams.
They say a playoff would detract from the other bowls. Sorry, but the Cotton Bowl isn’t a must-see contest anyway. And, again, they’ve already diminished the other big games when they added the championship game, instead of having it rotate between the four top bowls.
Yet you won’t hear this chorus echoed in Columbus, Baton Rouge or on the Islands.
And in that lies the problem: We still watch. …