The Miami Dolphins are a proud franchise. During Don Shula's tenure from 1970 to 1995, the Dolphins had just two losing seasons. Their consecutive losing seasons in '06 and '07 are the first consecutive losing seasons the franchise has had since their first years from '66-'69. They've been to five Super Bowls, won two Super Bowls, and of course, have the only undefeated season in NFL history, the 17-0 1972 team.
So now the Dolphins are 0-11 after losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 3-0 on a field goal kicked with 17 seconds left in the game.
What a trying year for the Dolphin fans. They really shouldn't care enough to root one way or another, and yet they have to root for one bloody win just so they don't go winless. And if they get that one win, it can't really come with any sense of joy, but mere relief.
Tonight the Timberwolves gained a 21 point halftime lead, and then...won the game! They got their second win on the season, 103-94 against New Orleans. The Hornets must have had some defensive struggles at the guard position: Marko Jaric had 21 points and 6 assists (on 8-12 shooting), and Sebastian Telfair had 20 points and 8 assists (on 6-9 shooting).
I will grimace every single moment I realize Mark Madsen is still on the Timberwolves' roster.
Government, Stadium, and Leverage
The Minnesota Vikings, like most professional sports franchises, are trying to get the Minnesota legislature to use tax money (either state or city or both) to build them a stadium to play in. I love the Vikings and want them to stay, even though my political soul lurches at the idea of a state subsidy for a private entity valued in terms of hundreds of millions.
The franchise usually holds the leverage: if the city/state doesn't build a stadium, the franchise can relocate. But I try to think of ways for the city/state to use what leverage it can, and today I had another zany idea.
If the city/state pays for a stadium, the city/state has some ownership over the stadium, and should be able to claim a vested interest in what happens at the stadium. So here's my idea: for a city/state to pay for a stadium, it must receive guarantee from the NFL that no games played at that particular stadium will be blacked out for any reason.
It's reasonable, right? If we're going to devote money that should rightly be used for safety, transportation, education, health care, etc., for a football stadium, we should be able to make certain demands, right? And that's a tradeoff I think sounds reasonable. If the city/state pays for the stadium, the city/state has some right over what happens in the stadium, and should be able to prevent blackouts.
When Zygi Wilf comes to the Minnesota legislature to ask for money to build a stadium, the legislature should tell Wilf to bring Roger Goodell with him, and then bring its own list of demands. You want money for a stadium? OK--here's what we want. And one of the items on the list can be a guarantee that there will be no blackouts. Put an exception into your rule, because if you don't guarantee no blackouts, you can build the stadium yourself.