nobody did it better
For almost every year in the 2010s, I did a ranking of the top 10 stories of the year in Minnesota sports — a broad definition that could encompass the good or the bad, a moment or an entire season. To properly frame the entire decade, it felt like picking one story or athlete was too broad. It was more plausible to do this: choose a top moment and a top team.
Team of the decade Minnesota Lynx
With apologies to the Gophers women's hockey team (four NCAA titles in five years, including an unbeaten 2012-13 season), the Minnesota Duluth men's hockey team (three NCAA titles this decade, including the past two) and countless others from preps to pros, the team of the decade is the Lynx. From 2011-17, they won four WNBA titles, made two other Finals and amassed a record of 182-56 in the regular season plus 40-15 in the playoffs. That's a dynasty, and a franchise that could be primed for a resurgence after quick playoff exits in 2018 and 2019.
Moment of the decade Minneapolis Miracle
This was harder than I thought it would be. But after thinking about signature moments like Justin Holl's goal with 0.6 seconds left to give the Gophers a win over UND and a berth in the NCAA men's hockey title game ... and Kevin Garnett's emotional first game back with the Wolves ... and Maya Moore's buzzer-beater in the 2015 WNBA Finals ... and Nino Niederreiter's Game 7 overtime goal ... there was a moment of clarity. No other 10 seconds made you scream "I can't believe that just happened!" louder than Stefon Diggs' walkoff touchdown against the Saints. The script that followed could use a Hollywood rewrite, but the moment itself was the best.