My best guess for columns that I’ve written that have been printed in Twin Cities dailies would be around 8,000. This would not include blogs offered in the past few years for websites.
The wonderful part of the pre-internet age of sportswriting was that columns were like waves on a seashore: They would roll in, settle briefly and disappear. You could remind people when correct in an opinion, and ignore it when wrong.
Yes, there were times even in the golden days of minimal accountability when a column became so off the mark as to become memorable. Tops on my list for columns that were swallowed whole were several after the 1987 Vikings backed into the playoffs.
Jerry Burns’ crew required a bad Cowboys team to upset the St. Louis Cardinals on the final Sunday to reach the playoffs. I wrote with relish of the back-in angle in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and the Vikings then demolished the Saints in New Orleans, caused Joe Montana to get booed off the field in San Francisco, and almost reached the Super Bowl.
Hey, 8,000 columns, you’re going to eat some. Why do you think I’ve been a fat guy all these years? Too much pizza and newsprint.
We had another of these this past Thursday. I opined about the complete lack of energy Tom Thibodeau had brought to the Timberwolves in his 14 months in charge of basketball.
The phrase wasn’t used directly, but the idea was Thibs had operated as an aloof do-nothing.
The Star Tribune is plucked off the door step by 7 a.m. for an average subscriber. Twelve hours later, the word was out Jimmy Butler had been plucked from Chicago by Thibs.
I’m often reminded of deriding the future of Kevin Love after seeing him for the first time in an NBA exhibition. False. I also had been there to see him turn to Jell-O against Memphis’ Joey Dorsey in the Final Four.
And, hey Reusse, how about Richard Pitino?
He put the worst team in 120 years of Gophers basketball on the court in 2015-16. He’d have to win a national title to make me eat those columns.
PLUS THREE FROM PATRICK
Recent cases of too much optimism:
• Twins in March 2016. “What’s not to like?’’ was theme of column. Final answer: “Everything.’’
• Wild in late April 2015. Skating W’s had beaten Blues; now, they were going to whip the Blackhawks and go onward to win the Cup. I had “Dubs fever’’ … so shoot me.
• Vikings in late July 2010. Guaranteed, Favre was coming back and the Vikings finally would win a Super Bowl. Another example of a long-term issue for me: too much Purple optimism.
Read Patrick Reusse’s blog at startribune.com/patrick. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.