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Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968.

There's wide contrast in Teddy's popularity and performance so far

The true major league era for Minnesota started in 1961. All these years later, I can’t remember a more popular player with less in-game excellence than Teddy Bridgewater, the now-injured Vikings quarterback.

Certainly, it is nothing more than human to be hopeful of a comeback for Bridgewater, after his severe knee injury in August 2016 came out of nowhere while he was dropping into the pocket in practice.

It caused a stir last week when vikings.com released a video of Bridgewater throwing passes during an offseason practice. There was considerable discussion in public forums as to what was the motive for the Vikings with this video.

My guess is the motive was the same as with every Website: “This will get a lot of hits.’’

The motive I haven’t been able to figure out since August of 2014 is this: “What has caused the Vikings faithful to be exuberant over Bridgewater with mostly mediocrity shown on the field?’’

Originally, some of it was hope after the failure of Christian Ponder. I get that. Bridgewater also offered a winning smile along with his boring quotes, and he was said to be excellent at signing autographs for the youth gathered in Mankato and other public settings.

Yet, his best play was down the stretch of the lost 7-9 season of 2014, and he was more along for the ride with Adrian Peterson and a stout defense than as a major playmaker in the 11-5 playoff season of 2015.

You can say Blair Walsh would not have had a chance to miss the field goal to lose the playoff game vs. Seattle without Bridgewater putting together a late drive. Of course, if Teddy had made even a couple of plays in the first 3 1/2 quarters, Seattle would have been beaten well before Walsh’s miss.

Bridgewater averaged 224.5 yards passing in his 13 starts as a rookie and 201.9 yards in 16 starts in 2015. “It was a conservative offense,’’ explain the Teddy zealots, without adding it was conservative because he was the quarterback.

The theory now is Teddy was ready to take off in his third season before the injury. Video aside, we won’t know about that until 2018.

PLUS THREE FROM PATRICK

No. 7 would be fine for the Wolves in the draft, if one of these freshmen is left:

*Malik Monk, Kentucky. He’s a 6-4 shooter who can get unstoppably hot. No weapon would better assist our unloved losers.

*Jonathan Issac, Florida State. He’s 6-foot-11, can shoot and handle the ball. Where do athletes of this size come from? Amazing.

*Dennis Smith Jr., N.C. State. If you watched the Wolfpack at all and saw Smith carrying them, you would be OK with this explosive 6-foot-3 point guard.

Reusse: Wilfs lauded for paying for their own 'iconic' practice complex

Kevin Warren is the chief operating officer for the Vikings. The team offered another preview of its upcoming practice complex on Wednesday, apparently, and Warren gave several quotes to Sid Hartman, including this:

“As far as the overall development, it will be a major investment … The Wilfs have decided to put their own personal money in to make sure they bring an iconic venue to Eagan and the Twin Cities.”

To cite the Church Lady: “Well, isn’t that special.”

Zygi Wilf and relatives have been presented with a stadium costing $1.13 billion. Public funds were used for $498 million, seat licenses put $100 million in the coffers, U.S. Bank will come up with $220 million for 25 years of naming rights, and the NFL is throwing in $150 million (as grants, not a loan).

That takes care of $968 million, and we won’t talk about the other sponsorship giveaways the Vikings were handed inside and outside of the stadium.

At maximum, you can give the Wilfs credit for reaching into the team’s coffers for $162 million for the cost of the stadium — or 14 percent of the tab for the football shrine that now has their franchise value estimated at $2.2 billion.

Part of the bonus for the enormous public investment was a strong hint from the NFL that building such a stadium would allow the Twin Cities to host a Super Bowl. After spending hundreds of millions to do this, a local taxpayer not aware of the NFL’s pathetic greed might have thought that was enough.

No chance. The NFL also demands an estimated $50 million to be raised for freebies for owners, sponsors and other entities. I mean, you can’t expect a guy like Jerry Jones with a team valued at $4.2 billion to come to town and slap down a credit card to cover the cost of hotel suites for his collection of hangers-on.

The Super Bowl Host Committee in the Twin Cities is so embarrassed by the fundraising it has had to do to cover the $50 million that it won’t confirm the number, nor list the NFL freebies and the corporations that have donated to this billionaires assistance program.

Let’s face it: We would all rather see a corporation’s charitable giving go for hotel suites and limos for Jerry Jones and Stan Kroenke than for something as frivolous as a Ronald McDonald House.

Plus, we haven’t seen the list of donators, so there’s a possibility that Zygi might have tossed 25 grand into the host committee’s pot to maintain his standard for generosity.

After this double-barreled gouge, stadium and paying the NFL’s ransom demand for a Super Bowl, it’s amazing that even COO Warren would try to make the Wilfs look like magnanimous folks for paying for their practice complex.

Actually, it’s such a hunk of land that it’s basically another real estate investment for the Wilfs — and there’s still nothing official on what arm-bending has been done with Eagan politicians to shelter the Vikings from full costs.

If those folks even put in a new street light without it being covered by the Vikings, and the profiteering Wilfs, they are saps.

Finally, a note to Warren:

There’s never been an “iconic” practice facility and there never is going to be. Do yourself a favor and remove that horrid cliché when trying to make the ridiculous case that the Wilfs are being grand citizens by using some of their immense Vikings’ profit to build their own practice complex.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Houston at Twins

    1:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Saints at Cleburne

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Saints at Cleburne

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Houston at Twins

    7:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Houston at Twins

    12:10 pm on MLBN, 96.3-FM

  • Saints at Cleburne

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Saints at Cleburne

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at L.A. Angels

    9:07 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Saints at Salina

    3 pm on 1220-AM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • Twins at L.A. Angels

    9:07 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Saints at Salina

    12 pm on 105.1-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Minnesota United FC at Sporting K.C.

    4 pm on ESPN, 1500-AM

  • Lynx at Seattle

    8 pm on 106.1-FM

  • Twins at L.A. Angels

    9:07 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Saints at Salina

    12 pm on 1220-AM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Twins at L.A. Angels

    2:37 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

Today's Scoreboard

  • Oakland

    NY Yankees

     

    - F

    5

    9

  • Texas

    Toronto

     

    - F

    3

    1

  • Kansas City

    Cleveland

     

    - F

    1

    10

  • LA Angels

    Miami

     

    - F

    2

    9

  • Seattle

    Boston

     

    - F

    5

    0

  • Cincinnati

    Philadelphia

     

    - F

    8

    4

  • San Diego

    Washington

     

    - F

    5

    3

  • Detroit

    Chicago White Sox

     

    - F

    3

    7

  • Baltimore

    Houston

     

    - F

    4

    8

  • Arizona

    Milwaukee

     

    - F

    5

    9

  • Tampa Bay

    Minnesota

     

    - F

    8

    6

  • St. Louis

    Colorado

     

    - F

    4

    8

  • Atlanta

    San Francisco

     

    - F

    1

    7

  • Chicago Cubs

    LA Dodgers

     

    - F

    4

    9

  • NY Mets

    Pittsburgh

     

    - F

    7

    2

No NFL games today

No NBA games today

No NHL games today

  • New York City FC

    Atlanta

     

    - F

    1

    3

  • Houston

    FC Dallas

     

    - F

    0

    0