Getting wrapped up in sports rivalries is inherently impractical, both for fans and players.

As a player, rivalries shift focus from basic tasks: Playing within yourself, executing the system or specific plays you have been taught, and simply trying to win. As a fan, they create a distorted sense of good vs. evil that largely amounts to getting irrationally upset about colors and laundry.

But the impracticality of rivalries is really what makes them fun. It's usually absurd to hate a certain team. It adds color, however, to a monotonous black-and-white pattern and awakens the competitive spirit that makes sports so wonderful.

As such, even as they saw the Wild's road winning streak end at seven games with a 2-1 loss in Winnipeg on Tuesday, Minnesota fans should be rejoicing. That game felt like it could be the start of a new rivalry. It was the first game ever between the Wild and Jets. It certainly won't be the last, as the teams likely will be regular foes in the NHL's realigned conferences.

If Tuesday night was indeed a spark that can carry over, it could be arriving just in time on the Minnesota sports scene. The question of the best current major Minnesota sports rivalry was asked to our Twitter followers. Nearly 30 replies later, a definitive answer is far from clear (though the comment that said, in essence, "St. John's and St. Thomas vs. everyone else who just couldn't begin to care" still produces a laugh).

There were a few votes for Vikings vs. Packers. That one has longevity and was off the charts in 2009, but it comes and goes. It started to fade in 2010 and really is suffering now with both teams going in completely opposite directions. Gophers/UND hockey was a worthy mention, but it will lose some of its flavor when Minnesota joins the Big Ten in that sport.

Gophers/Badgers always will have some juice, but again the football rivalry has been so lopsided that it's hard to make too much of it. The Wild has tried to pretend Vancouver is a rival, but that worked better when Todd Bertuzzi played for the Canucks. His last season there was 2005-06. The Timberwolves never have had a sustained rival. Twins/White Sox was a blast in the 2000s, but that too needs both teams to be relevant in order to be sustained.

Maybe the memory of Tuesday night's game was simply too fresh to ignore, but a couple folks suggested Wild vs. Jets is already right up there. It's a bit too early to crown it, but we will say this: It would be wonderful if that could be a great, sustained rivalry. We could really use it, as impractical as that might be.