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Minnesota sports, as seen elsewhere

Hey, Minnesota: Who's your Sportsperson of the Year?

The Star Tribune Sportsperson of the Committee gathered last night for the first time, with the lively, caffeine-and-sugar-fueled debate keeping us 30 minutes past the meeting’s purported end time. Some years, the committee moves pretty quickly, goes about its business fairly easily. I wouldn’t call this one of those years.

This year, like every year in a market our size, there are many worthy nominations, many great stories worth revisiting this time of year. We had over 40 nominations from Star Tribune staff members ahead of last night’s committee meeting. But we (a group of Star Tribune editors, reporters, columnists) walked into Meeting No. 1 without a clear favorite on the list of noms, as our friends in Variety might say.

In late December, you’ll see our pick.

In early December, I’m curious: who’s your choice?

Need ideas? Without naming names …

The student-athletes at the U of M collected some serious hardware – Big Ten players of the year in multiple sports, at least one national championship trophy (women’s hockey), with possibly more to come (volleyball back in action Friday).

Some medals made it back home from Rio.

Many home runs were hit (including a record for A.L. second baseman), many buckets were made (60 points in one night last March), many goals scored (has Hermantown stopped celebrating yet?).

There’s a high school champion with a good story behind her or him in every corner of the state.

This wasn’t Minnesota finest year, but you don’t have to work that hard to find a good nomination or 40.

Who's your pick?

Another fun exercise this time of year is to look back at past winners.

Last year, Maya Moore hit a buzzer-beater for the ages that helped seal her Sportsperson honor. Although more notable than that one sweet shot is just how good she is, and how often she wins.

Mike Grant’s 10th state title at Eden Prairie, and fourth in a row, made him our 2014 pick.

When you win 62 in a row … you get a Sportsperson nod.

And all Adrian Peterson did in 2012 was rush for 2,097 yards.

The list goes on and on, all the way back to Randall Cunningham in 1998.

A Viking again this year? It would take quite a December from somebody. But the committee is watching. We’re always watching.

Title hopes? Vikings have North's easiest schedule in final weeks

Detroit advanced its lead in the NFC North to two games and Green Bay improved to 6-6 Sunday. The Vikings dropped to 6-6 after Thursday’s loss to Dallas.

The race for the division championship will leave little room for error in the final four weeks of the regular season.

The Vikings and Packers will most likely have to win their final four games and the division to claim a playoff berth. The Lions have a difficult final stretch, but own the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Vikings. Detroit lost its first meeting with Green Bay and they won't meet again until the season finale.

The Vikings have 1-in-3 odds of making the playoffs and 1-in-6 odds of winning the division according to makeNFLplayoffs.com, arguing the likely path to the postseason would be through the wild card. The Lions are currently the No. 3 seed in the NFC, the Vikings are No. 8 and the Packers No. 9. 

Here is a look at the three team’s remaining schedules:

Vikings
The Vikings arguably have the least-difficult schedule of the three teams.

Away: Jacksonville, Dec. 11, noon
The Jaguars are 2-10 and the second-worst team in the AFC. They have lost seven straight games.

Home: Indianapolis, Dec. 18, noon
The Colts are 5-6, but won two of their last three games.

Away: Green Bay, Dec. 24, noon
The Packers have won their last two games to put themselves back in the race for a postseason berth.

Home: Chicago, Jan. 1, noon
The Bears are one of the worst teams in the league, but have wins against the Lions and Vikings.

Vote here: How many of their final four games will the Vikings win?

Detroit
The Lions have the toughest remaining schedule of the three NFC North contenders.

Home: Chicago, Dec. 11, noon
The Bears’ first win, and only one of three this season, was against the Lions.

Away: New York Giants, Dec. 18, noon
The Giants are 8-4 and in the playoff hunt, however, two of their four losses have come against the NFC North.

Away: Dallas, Dec. 26, 7:30 p.m.
The Cowboys are 11-1 and the best team in the NFL.

Home: Green Bay, Jan. 1, noon
The Packers are 2-1 in the division and already have a win against the Lions.

Green Bay
The Packers will have to get past all three division rivals if they hope to rally for the NFC North title.

Home: Seattle, Dec. 11, 3:25 p.m.
The Seahawks are 8-3-1 and have won four of their last five games. They have yet to face an NFC North opponent this season.

Away: Chicago, Dec. 18, noon
The Bears will try to play the upset role in the NFC North in the final month of the season. Though they are 3-9 overall, they are 2-1 in the division.

Home: Vikings, Dec. 24, noon
The Vikings beat the Packers in primetime on Monday Night Football in Week 2, but the stakes will be much higher for the rematch.

Away: Detroit, Jan. 1 noon
The Lions will look to avenge an early loss to Green Bay with potentially a division title and playoff berth on the line. 

TV Listings

Local Schedule

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  • NJIT at Gophers men's basketball

    7 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • San Antonio at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, NBATV, 830-AM

  • Gophers women's basketball at New Mexico

    8 pm on 88.5-FM

  • Wild at Toronto

    6:30 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at Toronto

    6 pm on TNT, 830-AM

  • Army at Gophers women's basketball

    8 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Gophers men's hockey at Michigan State

    5:30 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Boston U.

    6 pm

  • Edmonton at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Detroit at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN PLUS, 830-AM

  • Georgia Southern at Gophers men's basketball

    8 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Boston U.

    2 pm

  • Gophers men's hockey at Michigan State

    7 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Vikings at Jacksonville

    12 pm on Ch. 9, 100.3/1130

  • Gophers women's basketball at South Carolina

    2 pm on SECN, 88.5-FM

  • Northern Illinois at Gophers men's basketball

    4 pm on 1500-AM

  • St. Louis at Wild

    5 pm on FSN PLUS, 100.3-FM

  • Golden State at Timberwolves

    6 pm on FSN, 830-AM

Today's Scoreboard

No MLB games today

No NFL games today

  • Orlando

    Washington

    6:00 PM

  • Chicago

    Detroit

    6:30 PM

  • New York

    Miami

    6:30 PM

  • San Antonio

    Minnesota

    7:00 PM

    NBA

  • Philadelphia

    Memphis

    7:00 PM

  • Phoenix

    Utah

    8:00 PM

  • Edmonton

    Buffalo

    6:00 PM

  • Vancouver

    New Jersey

    6:00 PM

  • NY Rangers

    NY Islanders

    6:00 PM

  • Florida

    Philadelphia

    6:00 PM

  • Colorado

    Nashville

    7:00 PM

  • Montreal

    St. Louis

    7:00 PM

  • Detroit

    Winnipeg

    7:00 PM

  • Arizona

    Chicago

    7:30 PM

  • Calgary

    Dallas

    7:30 PM

No MLS games today