The 2013 championships for the Lynx and the Gophers women's hockey team were wonderful things that very well might be repeated in 2014. As for their male counterparts ... well, let's just say 2013 can't end enough and 2014 can't start soon enough.

We entered 2013 thinking the Twins couldn't be any worse. Well, they weren't worse. But they weren't better. They were exactly the same at 66-96.

The Wild and Vikings started their 2013 seasons coming off of playoff berths. The Wolves had loads of optimism. Now the Vikings have fired a coach, the Wild might not be far behind and the Wolves are ... well ... the Wolves.

Gophers football? A genuine feel-good story, albeit one with an unhappy ending. Gophers men's basketball? Anticipation is building, but we know nothing until Big Ten play starts Thursday.

But with 2014 upon us, all we can feel at this moment is optimism. It is the only note to strike when a new year begins. None of our four major men's pro sports team has even PLAYED in a World Series, Super Bowl or NBA/NHL final since the Twins won it all in 1991. That's a generation ago.

But maybe 2014 will be different. Right now, we have to believe.

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