Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rebuttal From a Twins Fan

(Editors Note: Every so often an email comes across my desk that makes me either laugh, makes me wish to commend someone, or makes me want to reconsider something I've written. The email I got yesterday from a reader named Erik encompassed all these of those things. Erik is one of those sports hybrids, as he is a Packers fan and a Twins fan. He also hates the Vikings, so that's good.

He shared his perspective with me on the nature of Vikings fans and Twins fans in response to an article I wrote where I was upset at all the good fortune Minnesota fans were falling into. It's a great rebuttal, and I'm more than happy to share it with you now.)

Hey there Winks,

I've enjoyed reading your blog for the last several months because I appreciate the "Joe Fan" perspective you bring as it regards to Wisconsin sports, specifically the Packers. I actually find myself agreeing with you quite a bit when it comes to the green and gold. I'm 31 years old and I live in Minnesota but I was raised a Packers fan thanks in part to my dad who is originally from Wisconsin.

But then I read your post from earlier where you were hating on the Minnesota Twins. I admit, I am an avid Twins fan (but the Packers are by far and away my first love). You might be asking how a person can be split like that. Well, the way I see it, in order to call myself a fan of any team I have to be able to attend the games on a fairly regular basis. It's easy for me to go to virtually every Packers home game since there is only 8 of them over the course of four months. But I feel you need to get to at least 10-15 baseball games before you can begin to call yourself a good fan (provided you live in close proximity of the stadium). I'm not gonna travel to Milwaukee multiple times over the course of the summer when the Metrodome is right down the road. If I ever moved to the eastern part of your great state I could easily see myself going to Miller Park and supporting the Brewers by taking in several games.

Here is what I'm getting at: I know it's easy to associate Twins fans with Vikings fans but they are night and day. First of all, the Vikings, as a fan base and as an organization, have very little pride and are extremely insecure. You're absolutely right...I don't know how you call yourself a true Vikings fan and still embrace Favre. It's a level of fraudulence that I've never seen before. Additionally, Vikings fans live to see the Packers lose more so than seeing their own team win and it's all a function of jealousy. Without the Packers the Vikings would have vanished into obscurity a long time ago. Hell, you can't buy a single game ticket to see the Packers play in the Metrodome unless you buy a pre-season game to accompany it. I don't even think the Bears stoop to that level. And the Vikings just have no real tradition to speak of. They are the annoying kid brother begging for attention in a conference that includes two teams, GB and Chicago, that played a significant part in making the NFL what it is today.

Now lets examine the Twins for a moment. They have been around since the early 60's and have actually won a couple of World Series titles. Now granted it was several years ago in an era where being a small market team wasn't as a decided disadvantage to the extent that it is now, but still, they were no fluke and you can't take away what those teams accomplished. And they did have some star power along the way also. Kirby Puckett is to Minnesota what Brett Favre was to Wisconsin before BF became a category 5 deuchebag.

Bear in mind that virtually my whole life the Twins have had to play in that god forsaken Metrodome (a.k.a Metrodump). You think it's bad for football? Magnify it by a factor of 10 and thats what the misery factor is for baseball. But when the day is done, Twins fans have supported their team. And the Twins as an organization do really deserve some credit. They have now won their 5th division title in 8 years. And make no mistake about it, they have done so without signing players to the huge contract. We've had to let go of the likes of Torii Hunter and Johan Santana because we're essentially a AAAA team that has to take advantage of whatever young talent we have before they are gobbled up by the larger market teams on the east and west coast. Twins fans are a frustrated bunch. Who knows, our own hometown boy, Joe Mauer, could very well be in a Yankees or Red Sox uniform because our ownership may be too stingy to pick up the tab and thats WITH a bucket load of new revenue coming by means of the new stadium.

You also have to factor in that Twins fans travel well. They really do. I'm sure you see that first hand when they come to Milwaukee. No, it's probably nothing like those obnoxious pricks from Chicago, but we still come in very solid numbers. We're starving for outdoor baseball and we know a great atmosphere when we see it which is why I go to Milwaukee and Kansas city year after year. It's a quality that I appreciate because it's exactly what I see with the Packers. No, Twins fans will never run the opposition out of their own stadium like Packers fans have been known to do, but given the nature of baseball, the longevity of the season, and the relative unimportance of every game when compared to football, the Twins fans are a well represented bunch.

I doubt I have changed your mind but I just wanted to present a few arguments and give you some perspective from someone who knows what a great fan base and organization is -- the Packers. To be honest, I think the Twins and their fans really do share far more qualities with the Packers and their fans than they do with the Vikings. Don't judge Minnesotans on their pumped in crowd noise, blind faith in a washed up QBs, stupid Viking horn noises, collapsing freeway bridges or voters who turned a pro wrestler into a governor. Rather, embrace the fact that there are loyal, rational Minnesota fans out there who appreciate and support a good baseball product and have done so in an environment that is not so friendly to small market teams. Don't get me wrong, if given a choice I would rather go to Lambeau to watch a bad Packers team than attend a World Series game featuring the Twins. But I'm excited to watch them take on the Yankees. Yeah, they have little to no chance of taking them in a 5 game series but stranger things have happened. Let's not forget that the Twins are the same team that were on the brink of contraction just a few years ago because the richest owner in pro sports at the time was an absolute mouth-breather. Like it or not, the Twins kind of embody that "Little engine that could" mantra.

So give it some thought and see if maybe you might come around a little on your opinion of the Twins and their fans. In the meantime let us hope the Packers get focused during their bye week and come out looking for blood against the Lions and Browns as a tune-up for the re-match with the pathetic Vikings.


Erik from Minneapolis

(Editor's Note: Again, thank you Erik for your point of view, really good stuff. I'm always more than happy to post rebuttals you guys might have, so don't be afraid to follow Erik's lead.)


Anonymous said...

walls of text = fail

Unknown said...

So a couple hypothetical scenarios for the playoffs on who you'd want to win (mine are in parentheses, along with this explanation):

Red Sox v. Yanks (Yanks)

Red Sox v. Cardinals (Cards)

Yanks v. Cardinals (Cards)

Yanks v. Twins (Twins)

Red Sox v. Twins (Twins)

Cardinals v. Twins (ummm)

Just wondering your feelings on the two AL douches (sox, yanks), a MN team and a Brewer divisional rival. I guess these questions go for any Brewer fan. Ideally I'd like a Rockies/Dodgers v. Angels series.

I know I just texted you some of these, and also if you'd want to golf saturday.

cracktree ftw

Unknown said...

Oh and don't forget, Minnesota was the only state won by Mondale in '84

Winks said...

I've banned using "fail" on my blog by the way.


Total Pageviews


This site is not affiliated with, nor endorsed or sponsored by, the University of Wisconsin.