Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Tortured Minnesota Sports Fan Inventory

You've heard of the MMPI?  Well, here's the TMSFI!  You haven't heard of the MMPI.  Here:  wikipedia.  
I know, I know, this is supposed to be a Twins blog.  Really, it's hardly that at this point, but you know what I'm generally trying to do.  Thing is, with rain, days off and my own illness, I've only caught one Twins game since last weekend.  I did analyze how the Twins players look in their caps, if you're really pining for some baseball.  Read it, memorize it, recite it.  There.  Do you feel better? 

With the Minnesota Wild safely out of the first round and no possible jinxes available (I'm just pleased they beat the Avs), I thought it would be a perfect time to unveil my Tortured Minnesota Sports Fan Inventory. 

Since the Twins won the World Series in 1991, the Minnesota sports fan experience has been a repeated blow to the groin.  If you don't believe me, just check Twitter for about, say 8 seconds.  The collective fan base is so tortured and mopey, we kind of have a defeated, self-fulfilling prophecy thing going.  It would be sad if it wasn't all we had and it didn't bind us together like a family.  I guess that makes it even more sad, huh?

Oh right, the test.  It's quite simple.  You are given 3 minutes (180 seconds to those who can't multiply) to list as many post-1991 World Series heartbreaking Minnesota sports events, games, happenings and players as you can.  We're going honor system here, so if you feel the event or game or whatever is heartbreaking, then it counts.  There is no answer key.  Feel free to use any combination of Twins, Vikings, Wild/North Stars, Timberwolves and Gopher sports.  I'd include the Lynx, but they've had a pretty nice history. 

I realize the Minnesota sports fan base has been tortured since before 1991, but come on, the Twins had won their second World Series in five years at that point.  I feel like a reset button on sadness is in order after that.  If you aren't a Twins fan, then I ask you two simple questions rolled into one:  why are you reading one of the worst Twins blogs in existence and how did you get here?  You might need to re-examine some things. 

Are you ready to take my test?  The only rule is that you cannot use outside sources.  A quick Google search would lead to endless results, so why put yourself through that?  In addition, why would you want to cheat on a stupid test like this anyway? 

Are finally you ready to assess your heartbreak?  Are you really ready for all these memories to come rushing back?  Is it worth it if I tell you there are funny categories at the end?  Probably not?  Well, why not do it anyway?

Find a timer, set it for three minutes and start typing/writing.  You can do it all shorthand, just make sure you know what your scribbles mean.  When the timer goes off, you are allowed to throw up into a bucket. 

Ready?  BEGIN!

(why are you reading this?  start writing!)

Time's Up!

Now that you've taken the test, you can grade yourself!  Just count up the number of items you have written or typed.  Your personal level of heartbreak is determined by the following scale, with the levels named after prominent Minnesota Sports Goats:
  • 0-5 events:  Carlos Gomez referring to Justin Morneau as "the first baseman"
  • 6-10 events:  Denny Hocking's hand after the 2002 ALDS
  • 11-15 events:  Joe Smith's under-the-table contract
  • 16-20 events:  Gary Anderson's missed field goal in the 1998 NFC title game
  • 20-25 events:  Norm Green savage heart punch to the collective North Stars fan base
  • 26+ events:  Brett Favre's decision to throw across his body for an INT in the 2009 NFC title game
And there you have it.  You thought the fan base was tortured, but now we can prove it.  Which level did you fall into?  Please respond in the comments and then log off the internet for a few minutes to softly weep. 

If you're further interested...

I decided to take the assessment myself, just to see how I would do.  Remember, this is all from memory. 

My responses (again, spoilers if you haven't taken your own test).  I did clean this up a bit/add context for the reader.  My burned my actual list.
  • Favre throws across his body in NFC championship game for an INT
  • Gary Anderson missed FG
  • Joe Smith contract
  • Stephon Marbury/Ray Allen trade
  • Kevin Garnett trade
  • Near contraction of Twins
  • Johan Santana trade
  • Delmon Young trade
  • Kirby Puckett passes away
  • A-Rod homer off Nathan
  • North Stars move to Dallas
  • Freaking JS Giguere
  • 41-donut
  • Josh McCown to Nate Poole
  • Second Randy Moss era
  • Doug Risebrough drafts
  • Metrodome collapses
  • Fans throw batteries, hot dogs and more at Chuck Knoblauch
18 events total - Gary Anderson in the '98 NFC title game

I'm shocked, but I'm just a Gary Anderson!  I imagine that some of you met that 26-event threshold and then some.  For me, I got about 10 events out in 30 seconds and then struggled to think of the rest.  The timer makes it harder, but also makes it a true test.  If something is truly heartbreaking, it shouldn't take more than 3 minutes to remember it. 

For the record, putting Kirby Puckett's passing with those other events really gives this list perspective.  All things considered, I'd gladly take the other 17 if that one wasn't there.

Although we may not agree that each of these events are heartbreaking, we all have our own hearts.  Unless we combined hearts to create a super human.  That would be awesome/devastating. 

Which events did I miss?  I know of many more now that I have had some time to think, but I don't want to spoil the fun for others.  If nothing else, this test proves that there are infinitely better ways to spend 3 minutes.


  1. Gophers Puck losing to Holy Cross
    Tim Brewster
    Morneau concussion
    David Kahn not drafting Stephon Curry
    Last few years of Doug Reisborough era
    Gophers Final 4 run wiped out by academic scandal
    Packer success v. Vikings ineptitude

    1. Oh and all those hearbreaking Gopher Football loses under Glen Mason deserve their own category.

    2. Nice list. I actually forgot about a couple of those, including Holy Cross (almost worth it for the Holy Cross call on the GW goal, in retrospect).

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  3. Not a bad list! I'd include:

    1. Kirby Puckett taking that pitch to the head, going blind.
    2. Korey Stringer.
    3. Twins 1-9 vs. the Yankees in the ALDS (a collection of moments, but still).
    4. Paul Wellstone plane crash (ok, not sports related, but still).
    5. Francisco Liriano season-ending injury (2006).
    6. Justin Morneau trade/giveaway
    7. Demitrius Underwood, worst 1st round draft pick in NFL history.
    8. Vikings Wild Card games, 1992-1995, 1996.
    9. Chuck Knoblauch demanding a trade.

    1. It's odd, but I thought of the Wellstone crash while making my list too. I guess it must be the "for Paul" soundbite that they play on KFAN from time to time.

  4. OK. My time is up. Also, I admit I looked at your list - and I don't really care about any sport other than baseball. And I rearranged my list to go chronological:

    1994 - Hrbek retiring like he said he would after a strike-shortened 1994 season, after coming alive the last month.
    1996 - Kirby Puckett having to retire suddenly after a great spring training run. I was in my car with my softball team listening stunned to the press conference.
    1998 - A half-drunk David Wells pitches a perfect game against a weak Twins team.
    2002 - Letting David Ortiz walk after the ALCS.
    2004 - In August a hot Morneau gets hit in the wrist by CC Sabathia because Sabathia's mad the Twins are bunting on him. Morneau returns but is not the same in the playofs.
    2004 - ALDS Game 2 - Jacques Jones throws to the cut off man instead of trying to get Jeter out at home in the 12th.
    2006 - Should-be MVP Joe Mauer goes AWOL in the ALDS against the A's.
    2007 - Letting Torii Hunter walk.
    2008 - The bad Game 163, losing 1-0 to the White Sox.
    2010 - Twins trade J.J. Hardy and let Orlando Hudson walk, leaving them with slim pickings in middle infield for 3 seasons.

    1. It's borderline amazing that you can generate a list this long using just one sport. I completely forgot about the Morneau/Sabathia thing. What a (formerly) fat jerk.

  5. The list should have started with the 1992 Eric Fox game.

  6. And, depending on how things shake out, the Vikings failing to get Johnny Manziel may be the most recent one.

    1. I don't know enough about college football to actually comment, but I liked the idea of getting a guy named "Johnny Football" and calling him "Jonathan Football" when he matures.