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

Weekend Links with Jon Marthaler: Looking forward to a great Minnesota sports winter

Posted by: Michael Rand under Gophers, NHL news, Wolves news Updated: August 4, 2012 - 10:25 AM

 

Each week, commenter Jon Marthaler bakes up a delicious batch of links for you. Other times, you can find him here. Jon?

-------

The Twins are mediocre, and despite Zygi Wilf making confident predictions to the contrary, it seems quite possible that the Vikings are headed the same way. If you can wait until the later fall, though, I'm beginning to think that the 2012-13 winter season is shaping up very nicely for Minnesota sports fans.

Let's consider: the Wild made perhaps the biggest free-agent splash in Minnesota sports history, laying out $196 million to grab Zach Parise and Ryan Suter for the next 13 years. After a sterling first two months, the Wild crashed and burned last year, but it's hard not to think that the Parise and Suter additions turn the team into a playoff team. Moreover, you start looking at line charts, you start looking at a few young guys who can contribute, and it's pretty easy to talk yourself into the Wild potentially competing for a top-4 playoff spot.

At the same time, the Timberwolves are making a slightly smaller but no less meaningful free-agent effort in Minneapolis. They've dumped a bunch of dead weight and added two former All-Stars in Brandon Roy and Andrei Kirilenko. Ricky Rubio's recovery from a knee injury is reportedly ahead of schedule. Kevin Love is playing with his fellow superstars in London. Again, it's looking like the Wolves are a playoff team and potentially even a good playoff team.

At the college level, meanwhile, both Gophers men's hoops and Gophers men's hockey have large portions of their squads returning. The basketball team gets Trevor Mbawke back, and adds him to the team that nearly won the NIT. The hockey team returns 15 of the 18 guys that played more than 25 games on a team that went to the Frozen Four. Trips to their respective NCAA tournaments would seem to be on the cards for both sports. There might be other places in America for which a playoff trip would be nothing to celebrate, but considering that only Gopher hockey among the area's seven major sports made the post-season last year (discounting, of course, the NIT's second-tier tournament), four winter playoff spots would have to be considered pretty good.

Sure, there's still plenty that could go wrong. The two basketball teams have five balky knees between them (Rubio, Mbakwe, Mo Walker, and both of Roy's). The Wild looked like they were more than two players short for much of last year. Gopher puck loses Kent Patterson, who played more than 99% of the minutes in goal for the team last year.

All of this said, though, it's just nice to have hope. Even in August, for sports that don't start for months and months yet.

On with the links:

*For the graphically inclined, the Olympics seem to be breeding some fun charts. The Economist published this one, and also linked to a bunch of other Olympics graphics from other publications here.

*Humorist Dave Barry is still in London, and still writing. The best of this week: his tips for visiting London during the Olympics (and afterward).

*Will Leitch at Sports on Earth makes the point that, even though NBC is being pilloried daily on Twitter, they're rightfully ignoring the blowback, because in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter.

*Former NFLer and sometime Deadspin writer Nate Jackson was once on an elite swimming team, and he's here to explain how much it stinks to all of us who don't understand American competitive swimming.

*And finally (and non-Olympically): Even nature knows that this is a Vikings town.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post By Category

Arts (1) Books (1)
Movies (3) Music (6)
Hobbies (1) Fishing (1)
Society (3) Crime (1)
Sports (523) Baseball (1)
Professional baseball (786) Basketball (13)
College basketball (6) Football (1)
College football (118) Professional football (560)
Technology (1) Food and drink (14)
Politics (1) Transportation (1)
Employment (1) Career development (1)
Cooking (2) Pets (1)
Vikings (1075) Men (3)
Games (1) Gambling (1)
Commercial (1) Animals (3)
Dogs (3) Gripes (1)
Newspapers (1) Beer (6)
Minnesota wine retailers (1) Wine retail + marketing (1)
Bad driving (1) Commuting (1)
High School Sports (1) Family activities (1)
Style (2) Pregnancy (1)
Car buying (1) Retirement (1)
Shopping (1) Chickens (2)
Fruit and berries (1) Weather (1)
Internet (2) Twitter (2)
Video games (2) Web pick (1)
YouTube (1) Birds in the backyard (1)
Business trends (2) Loopholes (1)
Problems on the job (1) The rich get richer (1)
Airlines (1) Midwest getaways (1)
Road trips (1) Skiing (1)
Travel deals (1) Wisconsin (3)
Gopher road games (1) TCF Bank Stadium (1)
NCAA: football (124) Basketball on TV (2)
Gophers coaches (1) Frozen Four (11)
North Dakota (1) College hockey (20)
Fantasy football (12) Golf (84)
Minnesota state tournaments (20) Preps (8)
Soccer (93) WNBA (16)
Wild news (8) Wolves news (393)
NFC (2) Super Bowl (1)
Vikings coaches (1) Behind the scenes (3)
Celebrities (1) Dance (1)
Local TV and radio (2) Ex-players (1)
Injury report (2) Baseball wisdom (1)
Target Field (262) Twins fans (807)
Twins game coverage (17) Twins management (3)
Twins offense (1) Twins pitching (3)
NBA playoffs (1) Wolves draft news (1)
Wolves guards (1) Wolves players (9)
Values and morals (2) Miscreants (1)
Wild coaching (67) Wild game coverage (3)
Wild off-season news (1) Wild player moves (3)
Wild pregame skate (1) Wild trade news (1)
Movies (1) Buffalo Lake-Hector (1)
Ortonville (2) Brad Childress (1)
Stillwater (1) Television (2)
NHL news (97) Outdoors Women (1)
Olympics (2) Olympic hockey (1)
Glen Perkins (1) Health + Beauty (1)
Beer (2) Wine (1)
Public safety (1) Gophers (203)
Pen Pals (1)
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT