Welcome to the Wednesday edition of The Cooler, which has never been more appropriately named than it is today. Let’s get to it:
*You might have heard that it is cold outside. Almost everyone with a weather app has taken a screen shot of the current conditions and posted it on social media (hand raised), as if this was the DEFINITIVE PROOF that it is ridiculously cold. If that didn’t do it for you, step outside for three seconds. It’s awful.
By Saturday, though, it will be 40 degrees — which is almost as ridiculous as the “feels like” readings of 50-below we’re seeing now. And to send Minnesota in the proper direction for a thaw, I’ve asked you to post on Twitter your hottest sports takes (instead of your coldest weather app screen shots).
It seems as though quite a few of you cooped up and ready for a distraction, seeing as how there were quite a few responses. Here are some of the best, with my comments (image is one I apparently used in 2015):
Interesting. Overall I’m going to give this one a “no” rating, but this fact remains: The Wild has advanced past the first round of the playoffs three times in its existence. Two of those times came under Mike Yeo, and zero of those times came under Bruce Boudreau. That said, Boudreau has produced better regular seasons and arguably could have achieved similar results had he arrived earlier in the Wild’s window of contention.
Radical. Scorching hot. But if you’re going to make a bold move, do it from a position of depth instead of one that is very thin beyond Thielen and Stefon Diggs. I’m more intrigued with the idea of trading Xavier Rhodes, even if it might send Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer into a rage.
Well, Mauer delivered negative value on his $184 million contract, but he delivered massive over-value before that. FanGraphs says his production was worth $307 million over the life of his career — way more than he earned. If we take the long view, he was absolutely worth the money.
Ouch. That’s probably taking things too far, but average attendance at Gophers home games is down to 8,477 this season — less than 85 percent of capacity. Just a decade ago, they were at 100 percent capacity and drawing 10,000 a game. In 2012-13, the last year before Big Ten Hockey, the Gophers were over 99 percent capacity for home games. Whether you want to blame the new conference or some down years — it’s probably a combination of both and some other factors as well — Gophers men’s hockey isn’t what it once was.
Come on, man. I know this is mostly in jest and speaks more to Wiggins’ recent uptick in production than serious HOF credentials. Even being an All-Star at some point in his career would be an accomplishment given his overall arc.
Oddly specific, though I’m told this Chiken Fingerz guy is in cahoots with former blog commenter and guest post enthusiast Clarence Swamptown, who in 2011 correctly predicted the relocation of the NHL’s Atlanta franchise to Winnipeg. Maybe he knows something?
Usually the expression is “on,” not “in,” though I suppose the latter is even more uncomfortable. Nevertheless, no, Whalen is not on the hot seat after half a season (one that started with an undefeated nonconference run, by the way).
Ruining is harsh. But I think there is a discussion to be had about whether analytics in all sports hurt the on-field/court/ice experience for fans. In baseball, it’s resulted in more walks and strikeouts, which aren’t much fun to watch. In basketball, three-pointers are king. I’m not saying it’s definitively worse to watch, but the more we know about what drives production certainly has an impact not just on results but what we see.