Each week commenter Clarence Swamptown isn't in a deer stand or otherwise occupied, he provides his fresh and unique perspective on life. As usual, his opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the Star Tribune.
Just when you thought the Minnesota sports scene had nowhere to go but up, it hasn’t. This town’s sports malaise has flat-lined indefinitely, with little sign of improving. The Vikings continue to free fall, with their best offensive player hurt and their best defensive player forced to long-snap.
The Minnesota Twins lost free agent Joe Nathan - he who was given a $48M contract, and later the closer role immediately off of Tommy John surgery – but still chose to ignore that goodwill and instead refused to waive his no-trade clause at last season’s deadline because it was offered “too late," ultimately leaving the team with nothing to show for his departure. (I don’t blame Nathan AT ALL for leaving, and I will remember him as the best closer in Twins history, but the way he left still leaves a sour taste in my mouth).
The Wild and Gopher hockey teams have shown early flashes, but it’s a long season. Trevor Mbakwe tore up his knee, effectively ending the Gophers' NCAA tournament hopes before the conference schedule even started.
And to top it all off, now the Timberwolves are back.
So maybe this week we should just disregard the customary sports component of Clearance Clarence and instead focus on the other goofy things we normally talk about here – drinking and drinking songs. Here we go:
* Country & Western Song of the Week: The Broken Promise Land
by Waylon Jennings. This song was recorded in 1985, at a time when most country radio stations had completely forgotten about Waylon Jennings. Waymore never released it as a single and the song was mostly forgotten until Mark Chesnutt covered it in 1990, where it peaked at number 10 on the charts and was essentially forgotten again. That said, Waylon Jennings is the all-time greatest at singing about cheating and lying and drinking and for my money this is his most underrated track. And considering that the Twins are already talking about dropping payroll after only 2 seasons into Target Field and the Vikings are hinting at leaving, perhaps this song is appropriate.
* Outstate Bar of the Week: The Crossroads Tavern
, Schafer, MNWhat is the bar famous for?
Located on Highway 8 between Center City and Taylors Falls, it’s conveniently located right on the way to your buddy’s cabin in Wisconsin. You should stop in next time. Also, according to this website
, it’s for sale for the rock-bottom price of $390,000. My family has owned bars from Bemidji to Seattle and the old saying is true- The two best days of owning a bar are: (1) The day you buy it and, (2) The day you sell it.
Can I watch the game there? Yep. They have a few old televisions hanging on the wall.
Can I watch the NASCAR race there? You’re in the heart of Minnesota’s NASCAR-Belt. You can’t not watch a NASCAR race here.
Do they have a website? Yes.
What bar games are available? They’ve got outdoor horseshoe pits and a sand volleyball court, thankfully not in the same spot or that would be totally unsafe. There’s also a pool table in the center of the bar and two dart boards along the wall. And you’re less than 3 minutes from Hazelden, so it’s always fun to scan the clientele and play “Guess who’s on one last raging bender before Spin Dry?”
Anything else I should know?
If you tell the bartender “I’m here to meet Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
,” he won’t get it. Solid joke though, well done.
Look, I really am sorry about this post. They can’t all be winners, I guess. If you really want to talk about the current sports malaise, have at it. Otherwise, your thoughts on Waylon Jennings and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are welcome in the comments below.