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I feel like Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up from a long sleep! And boy did I have some good dreams and a few nightmares too! I dreamt the Twins made the playoffs, and the Yankees almost made it to the World Series. I also had a dream that my new favorite expansion team would be the hottest team in hockey going into 2018. And then the nightmare…..that Case Keenum would have a better season than Aaron Rodgers and for the first time in 9 years the Packers would miss the playoffs. Man, that would suck!
Then reality set in! And I looked back and saw what an incredible second half of the sports year it has been. Yes, the Twins really did make it to the wild card playoff game! Paul Molitor was named Manager of the Year for leading the no-name Twins to the playoffs. And then they did get beat by the Yankees who went on to fall just one game short of making it to the World Series. Both the Twins and Yanks have made offseason moves to improve their rosters so I look forward to another fun baseball season this year. The Yanks made one of the biggest free agent signings by getting the Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton on a contract. So the Yankee haters will be in full glory as the best team money can buy just got better! I can’t wait.
Then football…..really a sucky year if you ask me! The Packers were off to a 4-1 start when Rodgers went down with a broken collar bone. This was compliments of a questionable hit by the Vikes Anthony Barr and that pretty much changed everything. The Vikings caught fire and went on to become the #2 seed in the NFC under Case Keenum’s leadership. (yup Case Keenum). And the Packers went into a freefall and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Not exactly what I had in mind when the season started. But that’s the way it goes and now we’re in the playoffs. Time to change my prediction. I’ll still stick with Brady and the Patriots to win the Super Bowl, but I really believe the Vikings can get thru the NFC and become the first team to play in the Super Bowl hosting it at their own stadium. It’s still going to take an unbelievable effort to get there, but with their defense, and Keenum playing mistake free football, I think it can happen. I’m bummed I didn’t look that far ahead and get a ticket on the Vikes going into the season when they were 25-1. Now they are the second favorite behind New England.
Out here in Vegas everyone is super excited about hockey. The Golden Knights have become a real Cinderella story. The season started right after the tragic mass shooting of October 1. Since then it seems the Knights have galvanized the town and everyone is behind them. The team has come together and is now such a force in the community, it’s been amazing. I’ve never seen a team get adopted as favorite sons as much and as quickly as this has happened. Check out the article below to see what I mean.
Lets not forget the Timberwolves. I had been saying that this would be the season the Wolves would make the climb to the playoffs. And so far it’s been a fast ride to the top of the division. The team is playing amazing and up to number 7 in the power ratings. Playing in the Western Conference it would seem an impossibility that they could advance very far in the playoffs. But watching them they really have the talent to play with the best of them. It will be fun to be able to anticipate NBA playoff action again in the Twin Cities.
Finally, I love living in Las Vegas. Henderson actually. It’s the middle of winter, the natives are cold and we have a tee time on Saturday! Does it get any better!! Oh yeah, on the way home the other night we stop at our neighborhood pub, and along with a couple of cocktails and appetizers…we hit for a $500 hand and a $250 hand in video poker! So we’re up for the year. Sure, probably down a bit for the duration but it sure makes happy hour fun! And that’s what Vegas is all about!!! Happy New Year to all. (and like my mentor “Blackjack Solem” says….quit while you’re ahead!)