When it comes to professional sports in the United States, it has generally been accepted that there are four major leagues: The NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. Major League Soccer can stake a claim as the fifth major league based on attendance and increasing interest level. But every other pro league, men’s or women’s, just doesn’t consistently capture the attention of a mass audience enough to be considered part of this group.
In this market, we have all four of the accepted major sports teams, with a fifth in MLS scheduled to arrive in a few years. For now, it’s the four. The last three teams to make it to the postseason among those four were:
*The 2014-15 Wild, which clinched a playoff spot last night.
*The 2013-14 Wild, which made it to the second round.
*The 2012-13 Wild, which ended a playoff drought.
The Vikings have won 12 combined games the past two seasons and started over at the two most positions: quarterback and head coach.
The Twins have endured four consecutive seasons of at least 92 losses, and many projections have them headed for a fifth.
The Timberwolves haven’t been in the postseason since 2004, and even though this iteration of a rebuild has some potential, the franchise overall is stuck in the mud.
When it comes to recent success, it’s the Wild … and that’s it. By 2017 or so, that could be a lot different. But for now, local omnivore fans — those who consume all the sports equally and ravenously — should be thankful to at least have the Wild. If the Wild was still mired in that funk of mediocrity it endured during four playoff-free seasons between 2009-12, this truly would be a major pro sports wasteland.