Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

Follow Randball on Twitter

Monday (Phil Mickelson vs. the Vikings) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Vikings Updated: June 17, 2013 - 10:20 AM

 

Proprietor note: In an attempt to have a REAL vacation, we have been trying not to post here during some time off. We made it one full week, which is pretty impressive by our standards. Alas, with this week off as well we knew it wouldn't last. So occasionally over the next several days we will drop in with some thoughts.

 

Phil Mickelson's runner-up finish at the U.S. Open on Sunday was as heartbreaking as it was seemingly inevitable. At this event, Phil never gives you the impression that he is going to lock things down -- not even Sunday, when he improbably holed out an eagle from about 80 yards out to take the lead. Even then, there was still the nagging feeling that he could lose it at any time -- either by attempting a shot conceived only of his own hubris or simply by not making the shots a good golfer makes.

As it turns out, it was mostly the latter. Mickelson had his chances. He didn't choke things away with some sort of awful quadruple bogey. He just didn't hit irons in close enough when he had the chance, and he didn't make putts. Justin Rose did. And that's golf.

But it did make us wonder this: Mickelson has now finished second at the U.S. Open a record six times. Is finishing second in the championship of your country -- the equivalent of the World Series or the Super Bowl -- better or worse in an individual sport or a team sport?

That is to say, who has experienced more anguish: Mickelson or a team like the Vikings, which has never won a Super Bowl?

We thought about it a fair amount last night. In each case, on the surface, there would appear to be a moral victory. Out of everyone competing, you were second-best. That's still a high achievement. However, in the battle of moral victories, we say Phil wins. In golf, you can play your absolute best and still lose if someone just happens to be better that day or catches a few lucky breaks. And if you finish second, there are still countless opponents who finished below you on that particular day. If you lose the Super Bowl, there is solace that you made it that far, but on that day alone there is one winner and one loser. And you are the loser.

However, there is this: While the Vikings teams that lost four Super Bowls had many of the same players on them, each were distinctly different teams. The experience of each season and each Super Bowl loss is spread out. While the franchise bears the brunt of four losses, each is experienced in its own way by a different group. In golf, it is the singular person who experiences all of the second-place finishes (six, remember, in Phil's case). Whatever anguish comes as a result is squarely on his shoulders.

Then again, maybe we in the media (and fans in general) make too much of it. Plenty of Vikings players can say they played in four Super Bowls. Mickelson still cashed big checks for each of the six second-place finishes. The reaction, when left to the participants, can vary wildly from the reaction of those watching and rooting from afar.

In Phil's case, though, No. 6 was "heartbreak." In five of the six, he has finished either one or two shots back. Maybe we'll just say he's the Vikings of the U.S. Open and call it a tie. After all, would it really be fair if either had to lose again?

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 1 Top 7th Inning
Washington 4
Baltimore 5 Bottom 5th Inning
NY Yankees 1
Kansas City 5 Top 6th Inning
Cleveland 0
Seattle 2 Top 6th Inning
Toronto 8
Chicago WSox 0 Top 6th Inning
Detroit 1
Philadelphia 0 Top 7th Inning
Miami 2
Pittsburgh 3 Top 6th Inning
Atlanta 2
Milwaukee 1 Bottom 6th Inning
Cincinnati 2
Tampa Bay 0 Top 6th Inning
Boston 1
Houston 0 Top 3rd Inning
Texas 0
St. Louis 0 Top 3rd Inning
Chicago Cubs 2
Arizona 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Minnesota 1
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New England 9/29/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Carolina 0 3rd Prd
Buffalo 2
Pittsburgh 0 3rd Prd
Columbus 1
Boston 2 2nd Prd 10:57
Montreal 1
Nashville 2 2nd Prd 10:15
Tampa Bay 1
Philadelphia 0 2nd Prd 10:48
Toronto 1
Detroit 1 1st Prd 13:48
Chicago 0
San Jose 8:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Vancouver 9:30 PM
San Jose
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Time left for great deals

Bid thru Sept. 29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which struggling team is in the worst shape?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT