The Minnesota Vikings are, for most of us, the most important part of our sports fandom. Sadly, when the season ends in December or January. . .or, hopefully this coming season, in February. . .it leaves quite a void. Luckily, there are lots of other sports to fill that void available. So, we're sort of curious as to what other sports teams that you use to fill the gap in the off-season.
Personally, I'm a Minnesota guy in pretty much every sport, which as made for a lot of ups and downs. . .sort of like the Vikings.
There's the Minnesota Twins, another team that I've followed since my youth. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at what I feel, to this day, is the greatest baseball game ever played anywhere, that being the Twins' 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series (along with the other 8 million people that claim they were there. . .but I have a ticket stub to prove it). Then, I got the other side of that, as part of my part-time job as a teenager working at the mighty KQLX in Lisbon, North Dakota, was running the board for Twins games from 1993 to 1995. Those teams were awful, but the team of Herb Carneal and John Gordon were interesting, at least.
The Twins have had a bit of a rough stretch after a really long run of success at the top of the American League Central. Hopefully they're on their way back up.
I don't follow hockey as closely as a guy from the Upper Midwest should, I don't think. I was a big North Stars fan until they skipped town. . .Norm Green still sucks, if you're scoring at home. . .but when they left, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention until the Minnesota Wild were established. I do love playoff hockey, though, because I think the intensity is unmatched in any sport. I'm trying to get more into the Wild and learn some more of the nuances of the game, but it hasn't taken thus far.
Then there's the NBA. How to put this. . .I want to care about the NBA. Really, I do. I was a huge fan of the NBA growing up, rooting largely for the Boston Celtics until the Minnesota Timberwolves came along. But the NBA has marketed their sport in such a manner that they clearly have teams that they want you to care about. . .and I don't want to care about any of the teams the NBA wants me to care about. I'm clearly supposed to care about the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls, as well as a few others. . .and I just don't.
Over the last 30 years, only seven different franchises have won an NBA Championship, and that won't change regardless of who wins this year's NBA Finals. The NBA is largely becoming the way Major League Baseball used to be, with the haves and the have-nots and a lot of teams simply being out of the running before the first month of the year is up. Since Minnesota is, definitively, one of the "have-nots" of the NBA, my interest has waned quite a bit.
A few other things. . .
-I'm developing an affinity for Minnesota Golden Gophers football, even though I've never attended the University of Minnesota. Probably comes from having covered them for SB Nation's Minnesota regional site for a couple of years.
-I'm at the point in my life now where I'll watch golf on television. Yes, I'm getting old.
-Not terribly big into NASCAR or anything. Although I do join a friend's fantasy NASCAR thing on Yahoo! every year. . .and stop paying attention after about three weeks.
-I'm starting to get into the UFC a little bit, which I'm guessing is at least partially a function of AFN showing all of the pay-per-views for free over here. I'm not to the point of getting a t-shirt with a skull and some random jibberish on it, but maybe eventually.
-Yes, the WWE is "sports entertainment," not sports per se. But I'll watch the heck out of it anyway.
-I keep telling myself I'll get into the English Premier League for soccer. . .and I never do. Followed it a bit when I was stationed in England, but that was over a decade ago.
So, how about you folks? What are your other sporting interests?