The Wild have done everything they can to carve a niche in a tough, crowded sports marketplace, fighting for fan attention and newspaper column inches. When they came into existence, the Viking were in the middle of the Randy Moss/Daunte Culpepper “Get your roll on” era and hadn’t yet a) lost an NFC Title game 41-0 b) had a head coach who scalped his Super Bowl Tickets c) boat partied yet. The Twins were just about to start a decade long rise from near-extinction to title-contender and had not yet squandered the good will of a new ballpark which they fought so hard for with nearly a half-decade of last-place finishes and overall diminishing returns. The Timberwolves were rising behind one of the best players in the NBA, and had not yet offered Latrell Sprewell an “insulting” contract, setting off a chain of events that would implode a promising contender.
The Wild survived infancy, the false dawn of early success, multiple work stoppages, some of the least entertaining hockey one could pay to watch, and shaky perssonnel decisions made by a dinosaur general manager whose grasp of the league was far outlasted by his employment, all under the watchful eye of a public who knows the soul of the sport like few other American fan-bases in the league, thereby making them harder to please. They did all of this in their first decade. Then, as the other three men’s professional sports teams began to swallow themselves, the Wild rose through a careful building plan carried out by a calculating, quietly aggressive new general manager who knew what he wanted from day one and executed his plan. They built on the goodwill of a community that was “just happy to have a team” in the first ten years of existence, and, just when all professional sports hope seemed to be lost in the Twin Cities, put together a galvanizing playoff run last spring. Though they ultimately fell short, the Wild can certainly say that they are more popular then ever before, and while the Vikings alternately fight off another scandal and rebuild under a seemingly exciting young quarterback, the Twins have seemingly at least acknowledged that a cultural shift was needed by parting from affable company man Ron Gardenhire on Monday, and the Timberwolves get set to re-brand themselves (again) around a cadre of young potential, the Wild have reached that point where they are the most realistic title contender going in the male professional landscape here in the Twin Cities. It is their time.
But as the Wild have arrived, one question still remains. Has some area man or woman yet created a big-ass corn maze featuring the team logo?
Oh, someone has? Well smashing then. They’ve truly arrived
All joking aside, follow the link and read the entire article, then visit the maise. It’s probably a pretty cool experience (Phil Ervin, who wrote the story above, certainly seemed to enjoy himself) and you get to spread a little charity good will. That’s never bad. Plus it is getting on sweet corn season, so grab a tooth pick and get it done.