I’ve been a Twin Cities sportswriter since September 1968. The fans of the local teams at that time communicated opinions with calls to the sports desk or through the mail.
Things have changed greatly, and for the better. Fans have message boards, social media outlets and online comments to make public their happiness or disgust.
This makes a sportswriter’s byplay with fans much more invigorating. And there’s another benefit for media types:
There are trails of tweets or online comments or e-mails for us to remind the fans of their misguided opinions, rather than simply the fans being able to remind us.
The ga-ga reaction when the Vikings brought in Mike Zimmer as the fourth head coach in the Wilfs’ 8 ½ years as owners was a reminder of the public adulation for the hiring of another unknown commodity as a prominent football coach in January 2007:
Tim Brewster with the Gophers.
The zealots in maroon garb embraced Brewster as a tireless salesman and a tremendous, tremendous recruiter.
They predicted endlessly that these were the qualities that would allow Coach Brew’s program to ascend well above Glen Mason’s high mediocrity.
Those of us expressing the opinion that the bull slinging seemed more like a cover for Brewster’s lack of coaching acumen were accused of being idiots and “haters,’’ and that was the kind stuff.
When the Gophers were 7-1 in late October 2008, my e-mail was occupied with hostile demands to apologize profusely to Brewster.
If the zealots’ opinions had been validated, Brewster would be here working on a long-term contract and already would’ve taken Gopher Nation to Pasadena a couple of times.
Now, 40 months after his dismissal, those same zealots continue to exchange the lie that they never really were on board with Brewster … that they never did see the substance in him that clearly exists with Jerry Kill, a real football coach.
The maroon sweaters are hypocrites to go to their message boards and engage in this “knew it all along’’ bashing of Coach Brew, because 90 percent were believers. And I was inundated with the electronic communications to prove it.