After a Minnesota Twins playoff run, the majority of Minnesota sports teams are either good or on the way there. Is this the best time to have been a Minnesota sports fan?
The Minnesota Twins were knocked out of the playoffs after the Wild Card game, but they did get there after a 100+ loss season in 2016. However, the Twins are just part of a trend in the local professional sports scene!
You’re certainly on a Minnesota Twins site in order to read about the Twins, but that also means you likely have some familiarity with the turn around that the team has experienced over the last two seasons. In 2016, nearly anything that could go wrong for the Twins, did. In 2017, many of the young players who suffered through growing pains in 2016 matured, and they saw multiple players come up from the minor leagues and contribute in the bullpen to help get the team to the playoffs.
The Twins are young in their lineup and have a very good crop of young pitchers that got exposure in the bullpen and the back of the rotation this season along with some very good prospects for the rotation in the upper minor leagues. The team could be on top for a while, at least challenging for many years for the American League Central crown as they continue to keep the minor league system churning out tremendous talent.
While all Minnesota fans have a bit of self-deprecation to their fandom, none more so than Vikings fans. However, in spite of losing the teams’ starting running back, in spite of the teams’ quarterback struggling to get healthy, the Vikings were handed an opportunity for an NFC North divisional crown on Sunday when likely their primary competition for the spot, the Green Bay Packers, lost their star quarterback.
The Vikings have a tremendous defense and have a group of young receivers that have been widely praised around the national media. The team has made the playoffs only four times in the last 10 years, so the success that they are having this year is very encouraging, and should make for a fun January.
If there is a team in town getting more hype than the Twins for their young core of players, it’s the Timberwolves. While the record didn’t improve a ton from 2015-16 to 2016-17, the team’s overall play did, with an “expected” record that was much better than their 31-51 record. This offseason, the team added in a third “star” to Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins in acquiring Jimmy Butler and filled out the roster with one of the deeper teams that Timberwolves teams have seen in many years, likely looking to challenge for a playoff run.
Minnesota Wild fans may be the most frustrated right now, having seen their team go to the playoffs 5 straight seasons and lose in the first round the last two seasons. However, in the 2016-17 season, the Wild had the most wins in franchise history, and that was in the first season under new coach Bruce Boudreau, so even though the expansion draft did take away some of the team’s depth, they still have a solid first line that is one of the best two-way lines in the league.
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Probably the most successful team in the state at the moment just won another title recently, as the Minnesota Lynx won their 4th WNBA title. The team has one of the best women players in Minnesota history in Lindsay Whalen, a Hutchinson, Minnesota native and University of Minnesota star in her time there. The team also has one of the best women’s players of all time in Maya Moore, who is quickly establishing herself on that elite list of all-time women’s basketball players.
The Lynx have won 6 of the last 7 West division titles, and they’ve come to dominate their home court, losing a total of 16 games over the last 7 seasons. All four of their WNBA titles have come in the last 7 seasons as well. The team’s attendance this year was as high as it has been since their inaugural season in 1999.
Fan of the Year
Of course, this isn’t a complete list of all the professional Minnesota sports. The St. Paul Saints finished with a sub-.500 record, but they were still selected as the American Association organization of the year for the third straight season. The Minnesota United FC club is still in its expansion stages in Major League Soccer, but they’ve already made strides and are incredibly popular as well.
During all this success, are you or is someone you know a person who you would consider the “fan of the year”?! FanSided is running a contest currently to award the fan of the year, and the prizes are quite substantial. Take a look at the video above!