The Sports Ramble is the weekly sports blog of Erik Ritland. The St. Paul, Minnesota journalist and musician is the founder of Rambling On. Learn more about us on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or our website.
It wasn’t a bad run
The Twins ended their 2015 campaign (look at me using fancy sports critic/beat writer words) the way they played the entire season. They were good enough to stay competitive – they should have won Friday night and were doing fine until the bullpen imploded in the 7th on Saturday – but not quite good enough to get things done.
There’s no doubt that the Twins overachieved in 2015. It wasn’t a fluke, though. Young talent like Sano, Rosario, Hicks, and Buxton that helped the team win will be their foundation for years to come. There are obvious problems: do they re-sign Tori Hunter with the logjam in the outfield? How should the weak areas of starting pitching and the bullpen be addressed? What of Joe Mauer?
These questions can be mulled over through the offseason. For now, let’s just be happy that the Twins were playing meaningful games in October, something nobody predicted. The future is ours.
The Vikings/Broncos game reminded me a lot of Minnesota’s week one matchup with the 49ers. Neither team played particularly great. Peyton Manning looks like a shell of his former self (have I mentioned that I regret making them my Super Bowl pick? Though their defense could get them there I suppose). The Vikings were inept on offense in the first half before coming alive in the second. Their defense was more opportunistic than dominating, though.
Hopes were dashed when Teddy Bridgewater fumbled to end the game. It wasn’t his fault, though, as Adrian Peterson’s missed block left him hung out to dry. Why was Peterson even out there on such an important play? It was a passing down so there was no way he’d run and his lack of skill in, well, every other aspect of football is well known.
Blaming Blair Walsh for missing an easy field goal is fair, but the coaching decision to leave Peterson in at that point – and his miserably low football IQ – are at least as much to blame.
For some funny and interesting analysis of Peterson’s part in the Vikings loss, listen to KFAN 100.3’s Common Man and Vikings play-by-play guy Paul Allen fight about it.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He was also Lead Staff Writer for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik's music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.