Rand: Freeze fans, no sudden moves

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 3, 2014 - 7:14 AM
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When the Giants and Justin Tuck got a read on Washington’s Kirk Cousins, he became an ordinary backup QB.

Photo: Julio Cortez • Associated Press,

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Three thoughts from the weekend that DON’T relate to the Super Bowl:

• Washington QB Kirk Cousins is reportedly open to being traded, which is about as surprising as someone complaining about the weather this winter. Cousins was drafted in the fourth round the same year Robert Griffin III was chosen in the first round, and the new regime has made it clear RGIII is the future of the franchise (and rightfully so).

If you are the Vikings: Just say no. Repeat: Just say no. Do not make a play for Cousins. He had a couple of flashes of nice play as a rookie in 2012; in 2013, he started the final three games and looked decidedly mediocre. The longer teams had to prepare for him, the worse he played. That’s not a good sign. He’s going to be a career backup, not the answer. No shortcuts here, Minnesota. Just stay away.

• Sometimes in Minnesota we need a good reality check with our teams, and it arrived en masse for three prominent ones recently.

Perhaps we overvalued the Gophers men’s basketball team after a home victory over Wisconsin. After all, it was a team that had shown plenty of flaws previously — problems that resurfaced in losses to Nebraska and Northwestern after the Badgers beating.

Maybe we started to get too optimistic about the Timberwolves when they showed some defensive moxie and finally climbed over .500 last week. They followed that with a deflating home loss to Memphis — a good team, but that was a chance to build momentum — and then watched their defensive shortcomings return in a loss Saturday at Atlanta.

The long view of the Wild’s recent tough five-game stretch (Chicago at home, then a four-game road trip) is that Minnesota came through it in good shape with six points (two wins, two OT losses). The shorter view is they earned just one point in the final two games, giving up nine goals in the process. Their grip on a playoff spot remains tenuous.

• All that said, we have a terrible habit of getting excited about teams when they are just about to crumble and starting to give up on them right when they turn things around.

The Wild has two home games before an Olympic break that could help the squad refocus. The Wolves have five home games in their next seven, followed by a road game at woeful Utah. The Gophers are at Purdue, then home against Indiana in their next two — winnable games, with or without Andre Hollins, who is still recovering from an ankle sprain but will provide a boost when he returns.

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Cleveland - T. Bauer 12:10 PM
Minnesota - A. Swarzak
Cincinnati - M. Leake 1:10 PM
Milwaukee - K. Lohse
Kansas City - J. Shields 1:10 PM
Chicago WSox - J. Quintana
Washington - S. Strasburg 2:10 PM
Colorado - J. De La Rosa
NY Mets - B. Colon 2:40 PM
Seattle - T. Walker
Detroit - A. Sanchez 2:40 PM
Arizona - T. Cahill
Los Angeles - D. Haren 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - A. Burnett
Texas - Y. Darvish 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - D. Phelps
Boston - C. Buchholz 6:07 PM
Toronto - R. Dickey
Miami - N. Eovaldi 6:10 PM
Atlanta - E. Santana
Tampa Bay - A. Cobb 6:15 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Diego - I. Kennedy 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada
Houston - B. Peacock 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Chavez
Baltimore - C. Tillman 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Chicago 9:30 PM
San Jose
Calgary 7/24/14 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Winnipeg 7/25/14 9:00 PM
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Ottawa 7/26/14 6:00 PM
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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