Sunday, June 29, 2008

Kevin Love: Superstar

Kevin Love has the potential to be a superstar--just not if you have a narrow vision of what a superstar is. Love is a guy that modeled his game after Wes Unseld, a guy who won MVP in a year that he averaged 13.8 points per game, a guy who was elected to the NBA 50 team with a career scoring average of 10.8 points per game. But Wes Unseld was a superstar. What did he bring you? Great rebounding (eight seasons in the top five in rebounds per game), dominant defense, and unselfish passing.

Most importantly, he brought you wins. He played in 119 playoff games, was an NBA Finals MVP, and won a championship.

Kevin Love can be a superstar. In the short term, I'm having dreams of Love throwing the outlet pass to Mike Miller, a fun transition player. In the long term, I've fantasizing about Love playing dominant playoff games and leading the Timberwolves to a championship.

I'm not giving up on this team. This team is just getting started.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Goodbye Timberwolves.......

Last night I went to bed excited about this year in the NBA. I was ready to watch the first player the Timberwolves had acquired via the draft since Kevin Garnett that could actually turn into a superstar. And then ......... I woke up. It was a dream wasn't it.... It had to be. I got onto the internet and looked again at my post and we had drafted OJ Mayo, but then I traveled the roads of the internet a little bit more and BAM! It was a dream. There was no way that Kevin McHale was going to let Timberwolves' fans actually get excited about a superstar. No we have to watch Kevin Love.

Now it isn't that I don't like Kevin Love. I think Kevin Love will be a solid NBA player and his basketball IQ is outstanding. He is a guy who watches old NBA footage to learn how the game was played. That is a great thing and I like it, but......Kevin Love will not be a superstar. He will at best be a double-double guy that can put up 17 and 10 or something like that. A solid piece but not an OJ Mayo level of stardom and excitement.

I wish Kevin Love the best this year, but I for one will not be watching him play because I am done with Kevin McHale and the Timberwolves. Glen Taylor if you read the internet: PLEASE CUT THE UMBILICAL CHORD THAT IS BETWEEN YOU AND MCHALE. HE IS DESTROYING YOUR INVESTMENT ONE BAD TRADE AFTER ANOTHER! Seriously, with Mayo fans would have been excited and actually paid to watch the Twolves, but who in their right mind would pay to go watch Kevin Love if they had a free night and were looking for something to do. Bad business decision. Bad basketball decision.

Mike Miller is at least a sharpshooter and that is nice, but please tell me they buy out Brian Cardinal's contract because I cannot stand to see him in a Twolves uniform. Well on the bright side, Marco Jaric is no longer on the team to remind me of one of McHale's other idiotic trades of Sam Cassell and a future 1st rounder (still owed to the Clippers) for Jaric.

Well, I wonder if we can win the lottery next year and be able to draft Greg Monroe, wait you tell me even if they did they would trade him for a bunch of assets and get Kyle Singler instead. You are probably right.

Well at least I have Duke Basketball to look foward to. (Who knows maybe if I have my son [pictured above] study nothing but film of Kevin McHale playing bastkeball he too could be a Timberwolves player in 16 years....we all know Kevin McHale will still be the GM)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

O.J. Mayo

I can still cheer for the Timberwolves because they took O.J. Mayo. Unfortunately, I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's fun when people tell you what you want to hear.

I already think that Dan Marino and Peyton Manning are the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. Thanks, Chase, for confirming it!

Seriously, though, has an interesting post on the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. Using a statistical system, they've ranked quarterbacks by best season of all-time, best quarterback season yearly, and best quarterback career.

As long as we're talking about things I want to hear, let me add this about Dr. Z's prediction that the Vikes will win the Super Bowl this season. I go into every single NFL season with the hope that this is the year the Vikings win the Super Bowl. If I didn't have this hope, I don't know that I could keep watching the team. And I don't even give up this hope until the moment the Vikes are eliminated from playoff contention. But I don't really think the Vikings will ever win the Super Bowl. I just can't really imagine the joy I would feel if that happened. As I've considered my life as a sports fan, I've realized that my deepest hope is just to see the Vikings win one championship, and the Timberwolves win one championship. That's it. But I deeply doubt I will ever see the fulfillment of these hopes. But I thank Dr. Z for his little part in keeping that hope alive.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Timberwolves and NBA Draft Blizzard

Draft the Potential Superstar: O.J. Mayo
If you are picking at #3 in the NBA draft, you should never draft based on need. First of all, if you're drafting that early, you probably have needs everywhere--the starter you think you don't need to replace still got you an early lottery pick, so there's that. But almost every NBA champion since the league's inception has been led by a superstar (or more). You might build a playoff team by filling out team needs, but you'll never build a champion that way. If there is a potential superstar in the draft, take him.

The Timberwolves must draft O.J. Mayo at #3. He's the potential superstar that could transform this franchise in the post-KG era.

I would trade every player on the Timberwolves' roster for the #1 pick in this draft.
Wouldn't you?

Kevin Love > Brook Lopez
OK, college success does not easily translate to pro success. But as a sophomore on a Pac-10 team, Brook Lopez averaged 19.3 ppg and 8.2 rpg. As a freshman on a Pac-10 team, Kevin Love averaged 17.5 ppg and 10.6 rpg.

I really, really want the Timberwolves to draft O.J. Mayo. But if Tuberculosis McHale insists on drafting a post player, make it Kevin Love.

This will have to cover us for the year.
The Vikings were absolutely right to trade draft picks for Jared Allen. But it took away one of our "we're wildly hopeful about something we don't even know about yet because we love potential, baby" moments of the year. This week's Wolves' draft will have to sustain us.

Have we reached the point when we must root against the Wolves in order to root for them?
Are we so beyond hope that we should now root for the Wolves to badly blow every possible decision until Glen Taylor has no choice but to fire Kevin McHale? Has it come to that? Clearly McHale has had enough time to show his incompetence. But Glen Taylor has also shown his unwillingness to fire McHale, so we probably just have to grimace and hope for the best.

I'll be in Boston during the draft.
As it happens I will be visiting Boston later this week. So what sort of predictable whining would you like here? About how I'm going to visit the city with all the recent championships? About how I'm following all of Minnesota's sports stars to the place they end up? About how I'm going to the place where Timberwolves' icon Kevin Garnett just won a championship for another fanbase? How I'm going to visit the city with the NBA's greatest dynasty, while mourning the Twin Cities' own lost dynasty, the first dynasty, the Minneapolis Lakers? No, I've done all that.

NBA Draft Links

John Hollinger looks at the big men in the draft.

Wolves' G.M. Jim Stack likes O.J. Mayo (ESPN). He even managed to say "At the end of the day..." You really have no idea how much I hate that expression. Don Seeholzer has more on the Wolves and Mayo, and he manages to say "Bottom line," which is your father's version of "At the end of the day." Jerry Zgoda also apparently heard the same stuff from Stack. Is there anybody else covering it I should link to?

Chad Ford's Mock Draft 5.0 has the Wolves taking O.J. Mayo.

Don Seeholzer's Mock Draft has the Wolves taking O.J. Mayo.

Ian Thomsen's Mock Draft has the Wolves taking Brook Lopez. I have a Minnesota Vikings blanket, and I was once told to "go curl up with my Viking blanket and pretend I have something to live for." I might pack it on the trip to Boston, just in case the Wolves draft Lopez.

FreeDarko's Mock Draft has the Wolves taking Michael Beasley. If by some freakish chance, Beasley falls to #3 and the Wolves draft him, I will stop cursing my lot as a Minnesota sports fan. I will jump and shout and spin about in circles. I will smile and laugh all night long. I will invent new dances and perform them. You'll hear me shouting all the way from Boston. I might dive into the ocean to seek out the whale that stole my Timberwolves hat.

The Timberwolves also like Kevin Love (Pioneer Press). The Timberwolves love everybody right now! Everybody is great!

Steve Aschburner says the Wolves can control much of what happens in the draft.

For T-wolves blogs discussing the draft, check out Canis Hoopus and TWolves Blog.

You know that Seinfeld movie Cry, Cry Again? Check out the Wolves' draft history. And then consider that the 2nd and 3rd best players the Wolves ever drafted (Ray Allen and Brandon Roy, #1 obviously being KG) were traded during the draft.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dr. Z picks the Vikings to win the Super Bowl

What!?! What!?!

Dr. Z is picking the Minnesota Vikings to win the Super Bowl. No, not like, someday. This year.

People, to be honest, the Vikings aren't even winning a Super Bowl in my dreams. I've had all sorts of dreams about the Vikings winning and losing all sorts of games, but not even my subconscious will allow me to see them win a championship.

In the last decade or so, I've read a lot of off-season prognostications that featured the Vikings in the Super Bowl. Also in the last decade or so, I've compiled a list of every time I've actually seen the Vikings in the Super Bowl. This list is entirely paperless (trying to save the earth and all). Somehow I've managed to keep this list in my head.

So thanks, Dr. Z, for filling my soul with wild dreams. And thanks for encouraging a fan base that is already willing to believe this is the year, every year.

(hat tip to Daily Norseman).

Fantasy Football: I don't need your stinking magazine

I try to save little bits of money wherever possible, and so I rarely purchase a fantasy football magazine. There are just so many web sources with valuable fantasy football information, that I just see a magazine as an unnecessary expense (though it is certainly a useful reference during a draft). So here are just a few of the good fantasy football resources I check out online when preparing for a fantasy draft. You probably know about these things already (I sincerely doubt I'm introducing Yahoo! fantasy sports to anybody here, just praising it), and there are obviously more. And of course a lot of football bloggers also occasionally write up some fantasy stuff.

There are all sorts of websites with detailed statistical information on individual players. Not surprisingly, I prefer The page is simple to use, loaded with detailed statistical information (including game logs, a necessity if you are going to do your own statistical analysis and rankings), and very hyperlinked.

Yahoo! Fantasy Sports has a lot of the same information you could get from a magazine. The positional rankings could use more statistics, but I've found a lot of interesting articles exploring different fantasy angles (like what to do with pick six, or this interesting look at top five lists).

There are also good blogs with fantasy focus--some of my favorites are Pancake Blocks and Footballguys Blog (though this hasn't been updated as much lately).

These are the sites I peruse for stats and fantasy football discussion and analysis. But I'm on the lookout for more: I'm just starting to get the fantasy football jones (usually it starts much earlier--I've grown up, baby!), and I'm always ready to hear about useful free sites. Any recommendations?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Whatever (or, my trip to Maury)

I cheer for a horrible basketball team. Whatever. You don't know. You don't know. I've been rooting for this horrible basketball team for a long, long time. I do what I want. I used to cheer for Christian Laettner. Whatever. Then my horrible basketball team got a superstar. They had him for 12 years. In those 12 years they only won two playoff series. Whatever. My horrible basketball team has a horrible executive named Kevin McHale. You don't know. You don't know. They have an owner that won't ever fire him. Whatever. So in 12 years they won two playoff series with this superstar. You don't know. Then the horrible executive trades him to another horrible team, mostly for the horrible players on that team that made it a horrible team. Whatever. This horrible executive used to play for that team back when it was good, and he's a former teammate of that team's executive that until now looked pretty horrible. Whatever. So that superstar that I cheered for for 12 years, that got to win two playoff series in 12 seasons, goes to another team. Whatever. That happens to be the team that has won 16 NBA championships. They happen to play in the region/city that has won three Super Bowls and two World Series this decade. Whatever. I do what I want. And then in one season, just one, that superstar wins a championship with another team. Whatever. You don't know. I get to see him celebrating his championship, somehow feeling good for him but miserable for Minnesota. Whatever. I do what I want. So that team now has 17 championships. Whatever. That city now gets its sixth championship parade in eight years. Whatever. The Twin Cities hasn't had a team reach the championship round since 1991. Whatever. I do what I want. I cheer for a horrible basketball team. My horrible basketball team doesn't have a single player that could start for an NBA champion. Whatever. That superstar was held back by a horribly run franchise for 12 seasons, and that's pretty well proven by his championship in one year on a new team with good teammates. Whatever. You don't know. You don't know. I do what I want. I still live here, and I still root for this horrible basketball team, and that superstar I used to root for wins a championship with another team, and we've still got that horrible executive named Kevin McHale that's pretty much trying to make every Timberwolves fan miserable but the freaking owner of the team doesn't seem to give a crap and lets him run this franchise into the ground, a franchise that was almost--almost--saved by the one good decision this horrible executive ever made, drafting this superstar. Whatever. I'll probably never see the Timberwolves win a championship. Whatever. You don't know. Who cares if I cheer for a basketball team that will always fail? I do what I want. Who cares if the best player in that franchise's history goes to another city to bring a franchise its 17th championship and its city a sixth championship parade this decade? I don't care. I do what I want.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fuck You, Kevin McHale

Dear Kevin McHale,

I've never met you. For all I know, you are a nice person. But as I am watching game 6 of the NBA Finals, all I can think about is how much I fucking hate you.


P.S. I wish the Timberwolves didn't even exist. Without a pro franchise in the Twin Cities, I doubtless would have grown up a Celtic fan, and I would be happy right now. I also would not hate you.

Monday, June 16, 2008


A couple Viking links
Judd Zulgad writes that "Peterson has worked on his pass catching and blocking this offseason and the feeling is this should make him more prepared to play in a variety of situations in his second season" (Access Vikings).

Pro-football-reference brings some serious analysis to John David Booty.

Another Link
Bucky Brooks wonders why nobody is signing Daunte Culpepper or Byron Leftwich (Sports Illustrated).

And an argument
O.K., Cold, Hard Football Facts: I get why the Packers would be ranked #1 all-time, and the Giants and Bears would be in the top four. But it also highlights why such a ranking is difficult--these teams are getting the benefit of longevity. They won a lot of titles back when it was a small league (and thus statistically easier to win championships--consider differences of odds like 1/10 v. 1/30, or even 1/14 v. 1/26), titles won before about two thirds of today's teams even existed (and thus they don't really have a chance to compete).

Though I respect old school history, I'd still make an argument for the Cowboys as the #1 franchise of all-time. Here it goes. The Packers have 12 championships in 87 years. Three of those championships came before there were even championship games. Nine of those championships came when the NFL had 9-14 teams. They won in a smaller league, when an individual team had a much better chance to win a title.

The Cowboys have won 5 championships in 48 years of existence. They won their championships in a league with 26-30 teams, meaning it was much more difficult to win championships during this era. They've been to eight Super Bowls, and among all franchises, only the Bears (.580) and Dolphins (.580) have a better winning percentage than the Cowboys (.578), and the Cowboys have a better percentage than the Packers (.558).

Certainly the Packers have an elite all-time franchise, and one can choose to reward the Packers for what they've done in their 87 years. I believe, however, that what the Cowboys have done in their 48 seasons is more impressive than what the Packers have done in their 87 seasons.

Sid Hartman is what he is (or, "Where can I read quotes from Viking coaches praising Viking players?")

I've always thought those who criticize the Minnesota sports media as too positive are rather narrow in their view. Sure, there are a lot of homers in the Minnesota media, but there are also a lot of figures who are frequently very critical, cynical, and negative, and there are a whole host of Twin Cities media members that are somewhere in between. I think the "Minnesota media are too positive and homerish" argument has been used too often for critical media members to present themselves as bastions of martyred truth in a sea of positive spin.

But the critics of a homer media can always point to Sid Hartman. If you're a fan of a Minnesota sports fan that just wants to be optimistic, just wants to believe your favorite teams will be good, just wants to believe in the competence of ownership, management, coaching, and players, then you should really only read Sid Hartman. If like Fox Mulder, you just want to believe, Sid's your guy. And if a Minnesota coach says something good about a Minnesota player, it's very likely Sid Hartman will print it without criticism.

If at the end of the 2007 season, you were worried that the Viking wide receivers weren't very good, you didn't need to worry: Sid Hartman talked to the Viking wide receiver coach in February, and he thought those receivers would be good (right here--George Stewart even praised Troy Williamson. One of my favorite stupid sentences ever: "Stewart said he believes that it's unfair to judge Williamson and what he can do in the NFL, because he never has had the same position coach two years in a row." Somehow Williamson's ability to catch two passes in a row is dependent on having the same position coach two years in a row). For some reason, the Vikes still decided to sign a big free agent wide receiver (oddly, when the Vikes signed Bernard Berrian, Hartman wrote about it but didn't say anything like "Wait a minute, wait a minute: George Stewart told me the receivers they already had were good. Why are they wasting their money on Berrian?" No, Hartman used the opportunity to praise ownership).

And now in June, if you have some concerns about the Viking quarterback position, don't worry: Sid Hartman will talk to some Viking coach, and you will read about how good those quarterbacks look (like here).

So the optimistic, full-fledged purple-tinted glasses Viking fans can always turn to Sid Hartman to fuel their wildest hopes. If you want to to hear Darrell Bevell saying good things about Tarvaris Jackson, just go here and read Sid Hartman reporting it.

To be honest, I really don't mind that Sid Hartman does this: he is what he is, and at this point, we all know it. What actually bothers me is when some people cite Hartman as the proof of the overly positive Minnesota media, and therefore justify their own negative cynicism. Sure, point to Hartman. But don't also forget to point out prominent members of the Twin Cities sports media like Pat Reusse, Tom Powers, Jim Souhan, Dan Barreiro, or Dan Cole that are frequently critical, negative, and/or cynical. If you just say something like "the Minnesota media is full of homers, just look at Sid Hartman!" you're engaging in inductive fallacies like exclusion and hasty generalization (of course, as long as we're on logical fallacies, you can go ahead and accuse me of a Straw Man fallacy in this very sentence).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"We had a pact!"

PV, Holy Hitter, and brother of PV have made a pact. If the Timberwolves draft Brook Lopez this year, we will no longer be Timberwolves fans (until Kevin McHale is no longer running the team). That will be the last step. And if Lopez ends up a superstar, it still won't matter: we've made a pact.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Retirees: Jonathan Ogden and Michael Strahan. Both seem like Hall of Famers, don't they? Odgen was an 11-time Pro Bowler, 4-time all-pro, a Super Bowl champ, a blocker for a 2,ooo yard rusher. Strahan was a 7-time Pro Bowler, 4-time all-pro, a Super Bowl champ, 2-time league leader in sacks, and he finished up with 141.5* sacks. Throughout their careers, a lot of people always spoke very highly of them as some of the best players at their (very important) positions.

Viking Update talks about the Viking return game of the last decade.

The Ragnarok looks at the top ten passing seasons for Viking quarterbacks.

The Daily Norseman asks which was better: Adrian Peterson's week 6 game at Chicago or his week 9 game against San Diego. Though I witnessed the 296 yard game against the Chargers live (my son better get used to hearing that), I think his game against Chicago was bigger. The Vikes won at Soldier Field for the first time since 2000, and though he deserves a lot of credit for both wins, his great performance in a 3 point road win was more meaningful than his great performance in an 18 point home win.

Chris Simms! Chris Simms!

Cold, Hard Football Facts has been ranking franchises. They ranked the Vikes 15th, the highest ranked team without a championship. They call the Vikings "one of the most infuriating teams to have followed." They also talk about the 1969 team that was excellent, but lost to the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. This was over 10 years before I was born, but I'm convinced I would have much fewer hangups in life if they had just won that game.

I've been an inconsistent blogger so far this month--a lot of things pulling me away from internet time (which isn't a bad thing). I haven't even really done much fantasy football analysis yet. I'll try to do better soon. But not too soon. And not too much better.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The cynical optimism of Viking fans

This is an essay on my life and view as a Viking fan.

To write of my experiences as a Viking fan, I could start with Herschel Walker, with Anthony Carter, with Gary Anderson, with 41-0, with Nate Poole. All of these things have real life resonance for my life as a Viking fan.

But that’s not quite right; for a Viking fan too young to have seen the team play in the 70s, it is the generation that comes before mine that defines being a Viking fan. Why? Because they’re weird.

It’s a generation that has an amazing level of reverence for Bud Grant and his Viking teams. I heard stories about how Chuck Foreman carried the ball, about how quick off the snap Alan Page was, how adept at blocking kicks Matt Blair was, at what a hard hitter Karl Kassulke was. I heard stories about Carl Eller’s safety in the playoffs. I heard stories about the bravado of Joe Kapp and the crazy scrambling of Fran Tarkenton. I know that Bud Grant did not allow heaters on the sidelines of the old Met stadium because he thought they were a distraction. And I know that in any way disparaging any of these Minnesota legends would get you looks of contempt, shock, and horror.

But this generation with such deep reverence for the Vikings of old is also the generation that watched the Vikings lose--in convincing fashion--four Super Bowls. Along with the glories of those Viking teams, I know that Drew Pearson pushed off Nate Wright to give the Dallas Cowboys an undeserved victory over the Vikings in a 1975 playoff game, that a fan threw a whiskey bottle at the referee’s head, and that everybody in Minnesota nods approvingly when telling or hearing the story because clearly the referee had it coming. I know the raw disappointment that can be heard in the voices of that generation of Viking fans when they talk about those teams.

And that’s why they’re weird--there’s an indescribable combination of deep revering devotion and bitter, empty, heart-breaking disappointment. Viking fans of my generation are raised to love and cherish the Purple. But we’re also raised to expect to be disappointed by the Purple.

And at that level, younger Viking fans share a bond with those older fans: the Vikings always succeed in fulfilling our expectation of being disappointed. Fans who were too young to see the Whiskey Bottle Incident or any of the four Super Bowl losses might be old enough to have seen the ball bounce feebly off Darren Nelson’s hands in ‘87. If we were too young for that, we believed Herschel Walker would transcend the very game of football for the Vikings, only to see all our draft picks help the Cowboys win three Super Bowls. If we’re too young for that, we watched Gary Anderson make every single kick during the regular season, only to see him miss the field goal in the NFC Championship game that would have clinched the Super Bowl. Still a little young? Then we might have seen the Vikings lose to the Giants 41-0 in another NFC Championship game. A really young Viking fan? Then you still might have seen the ‘03 Vikings blow a 17-6 week 17 lead over the awful Arizona Cardinals, and you remember where you were when you saw Josh McCown complete a TD pass to Nate Poole with no time left (the ‘03 Vikings were 9-7, but they were 0-4 against the four teams tied with the worst record in the league that year--they will ALWAYS find new and exciting ways to disappoint us).

But lest you think Viking fans are despairing nihilists, think again: we are bitter, but we are always optimistic. When Gary Anderson missed that clinching kick, I thought, “Well, we can still stop Atlanta from scoring.” When Atlanta tied the score, I thought, “Well, there are 30 some seconds left to try score.” When Dennis Green ordered Randall Cunningham to kneel down, I thought, “Well, we can score in overtime.” When the Vikes went three-and-out in overtime, I thought, “Well, we can still stop Atlanta and get the ball back.” And when Atlanta scored and the Vikings missed the Super Bowl, I thought, “Well, there’s always next year.”

And that’s what I’ve said every year since.

Monday, June 02, 2008

A running back's best skill is being a running back

Dominic Rhodes is a running back. His position is running back. He's also returned 135 kicks in his career, and caught 101 passes. But he's run the ball 625 times in his career because he is a running back (550 going into 2007).

That might be why on the back of Dominic Rhodes' 2007 Bowman football card (#35), the following is listed under "Skills:"

"Running the football is the best part of his game"

If running the football is the best part of Rhodes' game, then I am glad that he became a running back. Can you imagine if it said "playing pass defense is the best part of his game"? What if it said "tackling ball carriers is the best part of his game"?

Julius Jones is also a running back. He's had 885 career carries (721 going into 2007). He's had 84 receptions. He's never returned a kick or a punt. He doesn't make tackles, and he doesn't get interceptions.

And listed under "Skills" on his 2007 Bowman football card (#34):

"At his best when carrying the ball."

That's also good news. If Jones is actually at his best when covering wide receivers, kicking field goals, throwing passes, or blocking defensive tackles, then throughout his career coaches have been badly misusing Jones. Luckily, coaches have realized Jones is at his best when carrying the ball (not kicking off, not tackling ball carriers, not throwing passes, not punting, not running routes), he has played running back.

(Thanks to Holy Hitter for getting these cards and pointing out the amazing scouting reports on the backs).

Sunday, June 01, 2008


It's the former Minnesota NBA Finals! The Lakers won their first five championships as the Minneapolis Lakers, and the Celtics' superstar Kevin Garnett...well, you know that already, don't you?

Obviously the Lakers are going to win--when you leave Minnesota, it takes some time to shake off the playoff choking bug. After leaving Minneapolis, the Los Angeles Lakers lost in the NBA Finals seven times before finally winning a championship in L.A. in 1972. The Patriots lost the Super Bowl largely because Randy Moss wasn't quite far enough removed from Minnesota. And now KG is supposed to win a championship immediately after leaving the land of 10,000 lakes? Not bloody likely!

Still, it's exciting when teams with a combined 30 championships meet in the NBA Finals. You can't help but feel this year's NBA Finals really, really means something. I mean, really, aren't you sort of excited just to see those jerseys? Doesn't the green and white and the purple and gold look great together on the basketball court?

I'll be rooting for the Celtics because my soul is not crusty and pestilent, even though that means rooting for yet another Boston championship.

These are the times that try men's souls
In January, I vowed not to read a column by Tom Powers or Jim Souhan for all of 2008. It means fewer "bad sportswriting" features, but I just wanted to be happy, man.

But now it's summer, and there isn't a lot of hard football news, and a football junkie will look for any article on the Vikings at all for a fix. And Powers and Souhan are writing about the Vikes more frequently, providing a possible fix. But I just know I'm going to be annoyed or insulted if I follow the link, so I keep skipping their columns.

It's time
I'm hoping to get down to my serious fantasy football analysis and preparation this week. Regular fantasy football posts won't show up on this blog until sometime after the NBA Finals. But I've got to get my analysis going--the Hazelweird Draft is approximately two months away! We think. As we go further into adulthood, our adult responsibilities make scheduling a draft date more difficult.

Bryant McKinnie is meeting with Roger Goodell (Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, ProFootballTalk). When they negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement, the players need to demand a system in which player discipline and punishment isn't at the subjective discretion of one person.

Viking Update looks at the Vikes' special teams.

Football Outsiders previews its Kubiak top 25.

My current fantasy baseball hero: Adrian Gonzalez.

ESPN sums up 10 great playoff games between the Celtics and Lakers.

Fire Joe Morgan looks at Jemele Hill's column arguing for a Spurs-Pistons Finals.

Joe Namath turns 65 (Hashmarks). If you're like me, you best know Namath from the slow motion highlights of Super Bowl III, and as a key figure in pro football history (choosing the AFL over the NFL, forcing a merger with the Super Bowl victory), and these things make it seem like Namath must have existed sometime in the 15th century. But no, I'm surprised to learn that he's just 65. Or maybe I've reached the age when 65 doesn't seem that old. I don't know.

Jay Cutler, fantasy prospect (Pancake Blocks). Lately I feel like I keep getting Jay Cutler cards. And every time I open a pack of baseball cards, there's usually an Ichiro card. I sort of like that, actually.

Alright, I've got one more episode from Treasures of the Twilight Zone to go watch. Have good times, people.