A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal presidential poll came out Wednesday, and for some reason I've decided to take one of the most important decisions in our country and turn it into a vehicle to talk about Minnesota's sports teams.
You'll find no analysis here of Hillary Clinton's six-point lead over Donald Trump. Instead, you'll find the qualities of several of Minnesota's teams put through the wringer. The entities that will be considered here: Vikings, Twins, Wild, Wolves, Lynx, United and Gophers. We'll grade on a scale of 1-100.
All in all, do you think that things are generally headed in the right direction, or do you feel that things are off on the wrong track?
• Vikings: GM Rick Spielman has his critics, and the team has been exposed as being thin at QB and offensive line, revealed by recent injuries and poor play. But overall, there's no denying this is a team on the upswing and that the GM at least deserves some of the credit for a deep roster. Approval rating: 75.
• Twins: If the election was a year ago, the Twins and Terry Ryan would have been right in the hunt. But now, heading toward a 100-loss season in which Ryan was fired and several prospects have stalled? Confidence is low, and the franchise is one David Kahn-esque personnel hire away from deep oblivion. Approval rating: 25.
• Wild: Here's an interesting one. If we consider where the franchise was four years ago — full of optimism after signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter but coming off a slew of disappointing seasons — the on-ice product is certainly better. But are things headed in the right direction? They seem at more of a standstill, or at least a step forward/step back pace under GM Chuck Fletcher. Approval rating: 50.
• Wolves: This is a franchise suddenly full of potential but still waiting for real results. Still, if the question is about heading in the right direction, there's no question the Wolves and new coach/boss Tom Thibodeau are inspiring confidence. Approval rating: 75.
• Lynx: I'm not sure Roger Griffith (the GM and CEO of the Lynx) gets enough credit, but three WNBA titles in five years (as well as a great shot to win another this year) leave no doubt where this franchise stands. Approval rating: 100.
• United: The club's sporting director, Manny Lagos, has a deep well of soccer contacts and is well-positioned to help United in its transition to Major League Soccer. Moving up a division and into a new outdoor stadium is a nice combination even if unknowns remain. That said, the team's uneven play in its final year in the NASL is a little concerning. Approval rating: 70.
• Gophers: New athletic director Mark Coyle showed a firm hand in firing wrestling coach J Robinson, but plenty of other big decisions could be on the horizon. At this moment, it's hard to say with confidence that the department is headed in the right direction — though the vote could be different a year from now. Approval rating: 30.