Saturday--The Little Brown Jug returns
I have a confession to make: I was sound asleep for the whole first half of Minnesota's romp at the Big House. Absolutely out cold. See, it was Tommie-Johnnie here in St. Paul and as a result, I woke up and drank alcohol violently for about 6 hours that morning and went home to sleep rather than go to the UST game. Watching the Gophers was a priority as well, but that didn't go according to plan as a nap was in order.
Anyways, when I did wake up, it was nothing but pure joy for me for 2 quarters. Gophers defense flying all over the field and Mitch Leidner finally looking like a quarterback made for enjoyable viewing. As did shot after shot of Michigan fans in the stands looking like I've looked watching the Gophers roughly 1000 times. I mean, this is pure gold right here.
As Kevin Malone once said, "it's just nice to win one."
Teddy Bridgewater's first start went according to plan better than almost anything in Vikings history (citation needed). He was very solid and a few times spectacular in a well-planned game by Norv Turner and company. NORV!!!!!!!!!!! In true Vikings fashion however, he was injured late in the game and everyone had some nice Vietnam-like flashbacks as old friend Christian Ponder made his first appearance of the season. That wasn't fun.
As a disclaimer, I think Bridgewater expectations should be tempered a bit. After all, the Falcons defense is not exactly the Steel Curtain and Teddy made a lot of plays in an offense that was designed to ease him into action--lots of short and intermediate passes and a surprising performance by the running game made the degree of difficulty a tad lower. On Thursday, the Vikes have to go and face an actual competent professional defense in a tough place to play. That, coupled with Teddy's bum wheel to me spells a shellacking, but finally having a competent QB has Viking fans going ballistic (and well deserved).
Monday--Ron Gardenhire is fired
After 4 years of completely inept Twins teams, our guy Gardy was let go. I do think that his firing is a step in the right direction, but by no means was he the biggest problem with the team in this streak of 90+ losses. I think that there are a lot deeper problems in the organization and they start right at the top with the Pohlad family and Terry Ryan. That being said, almost no one in the history of baseball has kept a managerial job after a run of such ineptitude.
There were good times and bad times with Gardy. Early on, moderate amounts of success were achieved, but to me the Gardy Era always left me with more to be desired. 6 division titles but only 1 playoff series was won. The 2006 team was the best of my lifetime and it got swept out of the playoffs. Etc, etc, etc.
To me, the big problem still lies with the team's reluctance (or downright refusal) to embrace analytics. Terry Ryan is too old school to do so and the ownership group is too out of touch to know how to run a good, modern baseball team.