I see you, everywhere.
I see you in airports, flying home adorned in the jersey number of the guy who dropped that touchdown pass, looking a little worse for the wearing of it.
I see you spending money on front-row seats for a team that hasn't won since you were wearing Zubaz to school.
You buy the tickets and the gear and pay ridiculous fees for parking and sit between the angry guy who spills beer on your right leg and the drunken guy who screams into your left ear.
The Minnesota sporting public could use some gifts. Here is what I'd like to wrap up for you all today:
Gophers football: A big bowl of big bowls. Playing in the Montezuma's Revenge Bowl in Phoenix is fine, but seeing maroon in the stands of the Outback Bowl, when the Gophs beat a power program on New Year's Day, was the kind of payoff Gophers fans deserve.
The Timberwolves: Peace of mind for Karl-Anthony Towns. He's a good-hearted guy and a remarkably productive player. He lost his mother to COVID and is now in COVID protocols himself — for the second time in 2021. Give the man a break, and let's see what he can do with a healthy team that doesn't include Jimmy Butler.
The Wild: A playoff run that isn't a miracle. The only true playoff "run'' in franchise history was a mini-miracle on ice in 2003. Let's see what this franchise can do with a rising star leading the way.
Vikings: Health and safety for any vaccinated players forced to work near unvaccinated players.
Gophers women's basketball: A full barn. My best memories of my children as sports fans were produced when we watched Lindsay Whalen play in a packed Williams Arena.
Gophers men's basketball: A full barn. Ben Johnson and his team are easy to like, and a packed Williams Arena remains the most evocative sporting experience in town.
The Twins: A healthy career for Byron Buxton. He's that rare six-tool player. He can run, hit, hit for power, throw and field at exceptional levels. The sixth tool? He improves everyone around him in what is constructed as a game of individual skills.
The Lynx: Better timing. Last year's team was well-constructed, but two key players missed training camp and two were injured at critical times of the year, and then the Lynx played one of their worst games against eventual champion Chicago in a one-game playoff.
The Loons: More from Emanuel Reynoso, the kind of player who can draw in the casual fan when he's at his best.
Prep sports: More officials, which means more high school fans treating officials decently. They're not making much money and they're allowing your kids to play games. New rule: Anyone who taunts an official at a high school game must officiate the next game for free.
Gophers men's hockey: Whatever peace this season can bring to Bob Motzko, a good man and an excellent coach living with tragedy.
Gophers women's hockey: A Whalen of your own. The program is always good but could use a Minnesota-born superstar to elevate visibility.
Gophers volleyball: A push for name, image and likeness (NIL) money. Volleyball is a wonderful sport, and yet even the best players remain relatively anonymous. The Gophers routinely have star players and, with more support, they could earn NIL money, become more visible and help make volleyball feel a little more like basketball, where the players are instantly recognizable.
Rising women's sports: Open minds for ticket buyers and TV bosses. Minnesota Women's Soccer will be the latest entry into the marketplace, and it arrives as all of the most important metrics indicate that women's sports are undercovered and undermonetized. Maybe someday soon television executives are going to discover those studies that say that women's sports can make a lot of money if treated the way men's sports are.
The NCAA Women's Final Four will be played in Minneapolis this April. I guarantee that if you attend or tune in, you will see exceptional basketball.
Finally, to Minnesota sports fans, I wish upon you a world in which the games you love are easy to access, and not chips in a cynical game played by television executives, who, were this the subject of a movie, would be played by a green-painted Jim Carrey.