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Souhan on Sports blog: What an awful weekend

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • September 11, 2011 - 9:09 PM

Let me recap this amazing Minnesota sports weekend:

1. Jerry Kill suffers a seizure.

2. The Gopher football team loses to gawdawful New Mexico State at home one week after inspiring hope (at least for a sucker like me) at USC.

3. The Twins take half-measures, firing two members of the Triple-A staff, while the big-league team continues to bumble around like drunks.

4. The Vikings unveil their new quarterback and offensive coordinator and manage two passing yards in the second half of a 24-17 loss.

Reactions to the four?

1. I wish Mr. Kill well, but please don't try the ``This puts things in perspective'' line on me.

Does that mean that because Kill was stricken in public that we should all pretend the games don't matter, or that sport doesn't matter?

Really? So the University of Minnesota is paying Kill and his staff millions for no reason? The billion-dollar industries that are the NFL and MLB don't matter? Kill's ability to create a great life for himself, his family and the coaches and players whom he values doesn't matter?

Bad stuff happens every day, all over the world. You know how these events help me ``put sports into perspective?'' By making me enjoy and value sports even more.

Sport is not a bunch of kids playing pickup ball while blowing off their homework. Sport is commerce. Sport is human drama. Sport is entertainment. Sport is a means by which many people improve their lives, either directly or vicariously.

Are they overdone sometimes? Certainly. But the only reason they're overdome sometimes is because so many of us care about them, and care about the people who play them.

A man falling ill doesn't ``put sports into perspective'' anymore than it puts theater, or car ownership, or eating donuts into perspective.

I admire Kill because of his story and his gumption. I wish him a speedy and full recovery. And when he's back, I'm sure he'll tell you that his seizure isn't reason to pity him or care less about the games. I'm sure he'll tell you that he's doing what he loves and plans to throw himself right back into the business of trying to win games and influence people.

That's what he's chosen to do with his life. Don't diminish it with this nonsense about ``perspective.''

2. I'm back to what I thought of the Gophers entering the season. They have few outstanding players and will struggle to win five games. Six would be a triumph.

I do believe that MarQueis Gray can help this team more as a slot receiver than a quarterback. I'd make the move now, putting in Max Shortell, and allowing Gray to play multiple roles, including Wildcat quarterback.

Gray was often spectacular at receiver last year. Shortell is the future, for the moment, at quarterback. You're not going to the Rose Bowl regardless of which one plays QB. Play for the future - Shortell's as a quarterback, and Gray as an NFL prospect at receiver.

3. How do you spell ``Bleeechhhh?''

4. I expected the Vikings offense to be somewhat boring. I'm shocked that it was this ineffective in the second half.

Donovan McNabb threw for two yards in the second half. Two. (2). Dos. Brett Favre on his worst day would do better. So would Fran Tarkenton - today.

I don't blame McNabb solely. The play-calling was highly predictable, especially on first down, from the end of the first half until deep in the fourth quarter. I counted running plays called on seven straight first-down plays.

After the game, Percy Harvin hinted and Mike Jenkins came right out and told me that the offense was predictable. (More in my Monday morning column.)

McNabb wasn't the only problem - Charlie Johnson and the lack of speed at receiver were also factors - but he's got to be a lot better than this. The Vikings ran for 159 yards and a 6.1 yard average, and McNabb and his receivers didn't come close to taking advantage.

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I'm hearing the Wolves are negotiating with Rick Adelman. Two things I don't know:

1. Whether they're willing to meet his demands of a long-term deal worth $5 million a year or more, when they're still stuck with Kurt Rambis' contract and the league is in a lockout.

2. Who's their fallback? It's probably either Sam Mitchell or Don Nelson. I hope for Glen Taylor's sake that it's Mitchell. I keep hearing bad things about Nelson's last couple of stints. I think he'd burn out quickly and the Wolves would be going through this again next summer.

Adelman would be a great hire at the right price. Mitchell would be a promising hire and would make sense for this franchise. Nelson? Could be trouble.

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Upcoming: My new slot on 1500espn is 2 p.m. each weekday. My twitter handle is @Souhanstrib.

 

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