Minnesota sports fans of a certain generation have made a cottage industry out of bemoaning their woes. But maybe, finally, it’s someone else’s turn to lament.
Wolves fans have poor lottery luck, poor draft decisions (hello, Steph Curry) and Sam Cassell’s balky back in the 2004 conference finals.
Vikings fans have the Herschel Walker trade and a take-your-pick menu of heartbreaking playoff what-ifs to keep them awake at night.
Twins fans lament Phil Cuzzi’s call, Corey Koskie’s double bouncing into the stands and pretty much everything that has happened beyond the first year of Target Field’s existence.
The other side of the ledger — those moments in which Minnesota teams have caused another market’s fans to lament — are far more rare.
However: Minnesota might have turned the tables in the past year with two key moves. Maybe it was just a matter of dealing with Cleveland — another city with an even sadder history of sports lament.
• We’ll start with a story that appeared Monday on Bleacher Report, authored by veteran NFL writer Mike Freeman. It’s a deep look at Browns QB Johnny Manziel, and it opens with an anonymous current Cleveland player telling a teammate, “Think of where we’d be now if we had drafted Teddy Bridgewater.”
The Manziel/Bridgewater debate has several acts left, but the opener wasn’t even close. Teddy won in a landslide on and off the field. Both teams had chances to pick the other quarterback, so it’s a comparison that will keep coming up for years. If current trends continue, Minnesota fans will look back on the 2014 draft fondly, while Browns fans curse it.
• We’ll move on now to another piece that appeared Monday, from Grantland’s Zach Lowe. He offered a reminder of the impact of the NBA’s massive new TV deal, which is set to kick in for the 2016-17 season and have a major impact on the salary cap. Lowe notes that “Young players will get proportionally cheaper every season,” yet another reason to believe the Wolves made the absolute best trade at the absolute best time with the Cavaliers.
Andrew Wiggins, a standout NBA player in the making, will be under team control for several years while Kevin Love will cash in with a massive payday. Even if Love was everything the Cavs hoped he would be, this trade would look good for Minnesota.
With Love struggling to fit in and produce, it looks even better from here — and looks like a Cleveland lament that will grow each year.