Hayden Goethe, Published November 27 2009
Goethe: Area sports fans have many things to be thankful forSomething about Thanksgiving this year brought out the cynic in me. I guess having to go to work on a holiday will do that to even the most wide-eyed of sports fans.
But now it’s time to channel that holiday cheer into something useful. So without further ado, here’s what area sports fans have to be thankful for:
- Restraint. Thanks to this often overlooked attribute, the Minnesota Twins managed in 2009 to avoid signing the typically embarrassing free-agent signings that have held this team back in past seasons. Yeah, Joe Crede didn’t stay healthy, but for the price, it was a worthy gamble. And while there was Luis Ayala, only having one such signing was a sign of progress.
- Outdoor baseball. Can a person be thankful for something they haven’t experienced in the Twin Cities yet? I don’t know, but I’m very much looking forward to an upcoming beautiful June night sitting beneath the stars watching baseball the way it was meant to be.
- The winless New Jersey Nets. If not for the Nets’ 0-15 start, the Minnesota Timberwolves – at 1-14 – would be the laughingstocks of the NBA. Thanks New Jersey for distracting everyone from Minnesota’s rebuilding project.
E The 2007-08 NBA champion Boston Celtics. Kevin McHale might very well still be in charge of the Wolves had Kevin Garnett not won a title so quickly without him. McHale had 12 seasons to figure out how to win a title with “The Big Ticket.” Boston needed only one.
E Eric Decker. The University of Minnesota star receiver elevated his NFL draft status despite being stuck in a program with absolutely no offensive or defensive identity. He’s an incredible talent that often gets lost in a stuck-in-the-mud Gophers program.
E Common sense. Without it, the Minnesota Vikings may not have signed Brett Favre, may not have drafted Adrian Peterson and may not have traded for Jared Allen. Sometimes the best moves a team can make are the most obvious ones. Hey, six teams passed on Peterson in the draft, so common sense isn’t always prevalent in the NFL.
E John Madden. Favre is enjoying his finest season as a pro, which can only be attributed to the fact that he’s not dealing with the pressure of having to play in front of the recently retired Favre-loving former Fox and NBC broadcaster.
E And finally, Vikings fans should be thankful for Jerry Angelo. The Chicago Bears general manager’s assumption that Jay Cutler alone could solve everything that’s wrong in the Windy City made Minnesota’s path to a division title that much easier.
Readers can reach Forum Assistant Sports Editor
Hayden Goethe at (701) 241-5558