Five thoughts from the weekend in sports:
1 You can tell how much fans care about the Timberwolves this season by how much they’re losing their mind over two road defeats to start the year.
After losing big leads at both Memphis and Sacramento, Minnesota sits at 0-2 heading into Tuesday’s home opener. That apparently has been enough evidence for the reactive folks on Twitter to declare that these are the same old Timberwolves.
Were those bad losses for a team looking to take another step forward this season with an emerging young core and a new head coach? Absolutely.
Does it prove these Wolves were overhyped and doomed to the same fate as previous seasons? Not even close. Those were two games out of 82. Check back in mid-December and we can start to form a proper evaluation.
2 Same goes for the Wild, by the way, on the evaluation. Devan Dubnyk has been great and the balanced scoring attack is wonderful, but let’s check back in 45 days for a better idea of just what this team is heading toward under Bruce Boudreau.
3 Maybe Seattle and Arizona read everything that was written about how bad they looked in last weekend’s 6-6 tie. At the very least, they lived up to those dimmed expectations Sunday.
Seattle, with QB Russell Wilson still playing through an injury, lost to the Saints. Arizona, meanwhile, dropped its game to Carolina.
Seattle, Arizona and Carolina were among the top preseason contenders in the NFC. The struggles of all three have made the conference wide open — part of the reason, along with their own strong play, that the Vikings have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.
4 Minnesota United’s ascendance into Major League Soccer next season — playing temporarily in TCF Bank Stadium until its own stadium is finished — will be a major milestone in local soccer.
But there is also a bittersweet part of this as well. United played its final game Saturday at the National Sports Center in Blaine — a venue that has hosted many iterations of pro soccer and plenty of memorable moments.
Having covered one of those teams, the Thunder, for several seasons — including when it won the A-League championship on its home field in 1999, setting off a wild celebration in Blaine — here’s hoping that history is remembered even as progress continues.
5 The glass is half empty segment of Gophers football fandom will point to some narrow home victories over inferior opponents and narrow defeats against Penn State and Iowa, but here’s the reality:
Minnesota is 6-2 after three consecutive Big Ten wins — two of them on the road, with both of those victories coming by at least 21 points. A home game against Purdue will offer a great chance to push that streak to four games next week.
After that, there are three conference games left: Nebraska, Northwestern and Wisconsin. Victories in all three of those games would guarantee the Gophers at least a share of the Big Ten West title. And wins in two of those three would make this a truly successful season.