Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's been awhile, but at least I have a good reason

Wow, I can't believe I haven't updated my blog since Valentine's Day. I don't think I've ever let it go that long, but at least I have a good excuse... I landed a full-time job! I am now a news reporter with the Post-Bulletin in Austin, Minn. I moved down about a month ago and have been keeping busy with my new job and getting my apartment in order. Things are going well so far.

As far as sports go, that's what I have this blog for. So much has happened in the sports world that I don't know where to begin. I won't try to recap everything, so maybe I'll just make a list of some of the notable highlights and things on my mind sports-wise.

Tourney withdrawal

With the television set up I have at my new place, I don't get the Twin Cities local channels, which includes missing all the televised high school state tournament games. I was going through major high school boys' hockey withdrawal. Like many, the boys' state tournament is one of the greatest sporting events of the year.

I was able to catch a couple of games, including the instant-classic Class 2A final between Eden Prairie and Duluth East in multiple overtimes. From everything I read, it seemed as though the section playoffs and then the state tourney were just filled with great games.

Wild find a tailspin

Oh, the Wild. They were on the verge of making a push for the playoffs about a month ago. They were playing well. Then the blades came off. They started losing, and bad. These weren't close games. Two 4-0 games where they didn't show up at all, then an 8-1 beating at home.

I have gone back and forth all season with their up-and-down play and have said "they're done." Well, after their streak, I think it was a pretty safe bet that they were absolutely done. It was just bad. As in, Richards-might-get-fired bad.


Awhile ago, I wanted to write an entry about throwback jerseys in professional sports. I don't know whose idea it was to start digging up all these jerseys from decades ago, but whoever it was started a huge fad.

Initially, I think the idea was kind of neat. Fans get to see some old-school jerseys for a nice change of scenery. But now I just think the concept is overdone and has lost all meaning. Teams are wearing throwbacks so much that it's really more annoying to try and figure out which teams are which in some cases. Of course, money makes the world go round.

With throwbacks, plus teams coming out with third jerseys or new jerseys altogether, organizations can market those to fans and make some more money. Whatever. They just don't mean much to me.

St. Thomas basketball: National champs

The St. Thomas men's basketball team won its first-ever NCAA DIII National Championship. I was keeping up with their run mostly through articles and social media. They had made deep runs the past few years, having a strong program, but they ultimately fell short. It was nice to see them bring some good sports news to Minnesota since the rest of the teams weren't doing anything.

IndyCar season has arrived

Last Sunday marked the start of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar season. The opener was on the streets of glorious St. Petersburg, Fla. It was 85 degrees and sunny (unlike the thunder and rain of last year that delayed the race until Monday). Yes, I was definitely jealous that I wasn't there in person.

I did get to watch the race in beautiful HD since I was visiting my parents for the weekend though. (But trust me, TV does not do those racing machines justice.) The start was a little rocky, with the new restart format. And just like last year, Marco Andretti was on his head in the first corner of the first lap of the season.

It was a pretty good race though, with the main highlight coming off the drive of Simona de Silvestro. She finished a career-best fourth and gave Tony Kanaan a run for third near the end. Last year's champion Dario Franchitti drove to victory lane.

Baseball season is here

Opening day has arrived for Major League Baseball. For some reason, baseball season snuck up on me this year. Maybe it was because I didn't pay attention to spring training, which doesn't mean much anyway. Or maybe it was for the same reason that I ignored this blog for so long, I was going a mile a minute with my new job and moving.

As for the Twins, we were all left with a bitter taste in our mouths after last season, which I will not get into. Their bullpen got a bit of a shakeup, they picked up a player from Japan, their starting rotation (though average) is intact from 2010.

Can they make a deep playoff run? I'll believe it when I see it. Last year was pretty crushing. I flipped through my Sports Illustrated and saw they have the Twins winning the division, but I think we all take that for granted.

A couple schedule notes: There seems to be a lot more four-game series than I remember, which I'm not initially a fan of. Also, since they are starting right at the beginning of April, they are also done playing regular-season ball before my birthday at the end of September. I don't remember that before either.

So, once again I write a lengthy post when I meant for it to be a bit shorter. That's just how I do things, I guess. I'll try to fuel my sports cravings with posts more often. Thanks for reading!