HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns

February 19, 2007

A little love on Valentine’s Day

By Jesse Menden

Valentine’s Day, who needs it?

I think I speak for most men when I say there is too much pressure trying to come up with that perfect gift and finding last-minute restaurant reservations for a holiday designed to drain your pocketbook.

I have done it all in the past; buying flowers, taking a shower, combing my hair real nice, and wearing a button-up shirt so my date and I could go to some uber-expensive eatery, and I hated every minute of it.

But, it is safe to say Valentine’s Day 2007 was the first time ever I was excited for that wretched day of love.

As a single guy (you’re shocked, I know), I could not have dreamed a better scenario for this year’s holiday.

Three sporting events, all at home, all on my television just a click away. The Gopher mens’ basketball team was facing Wisconsin, the Timberwolves were up against Denver, and the Wild were facing off against hated Vancouver.

I would much rather have gone to one of these games, being they were all at home, but I am still trying to pay off last year’s Valentine’s Day.

So I made a pizza, cracked open a caffine-free Diet Coke and settled in for hours of what Valentine’s Day should be, watching sports. Don’t worry, I didn’t leave the meaning of the day completely out of the equation, I sat in a love seat. The empty cushion next to me was a good spot for the chips.

Since two of the games were pretty much meaningless, I decided to focus on the Wild, the object of my affection during the cold winters. They battled the Canucks, and what a game it was.

There was no love lost between the two rivals as they punished each other throughout the game. Even the Wild’s Stephan Veilleux got in the mix, starting a fight in the first period with the Canucks’ Josh Green.

But in the end, the Wild could not show any love to their fans as they lost 3-2 in overtime and broke my heart. At least it was fun to watch.

The Gophers did not do any better, as they lost to the Badgers 75-62. Minnesota seemingly had a chance, down just four points at halftime, but just like a teasing woman at a bar, the Gophers disappeared at the end.

Instead of getting the love from where I wanted it, it was the Timberwolves that gave all of the affection Wednesday night.

They continued their on-again-off-again relationship with Minnesota, coming through with a 99-94 win over Denver. But this team is not going anywhere, so I won’t be answering the phone when they call.

So, just like every other Valentine’s Day, the night ended in disappointment. The Wild broke my heart, the Gophers were just a tease, and the only team I really do not really care about at the moment, is trying to suck me in.

But what am I complaining about? I’ll take anything I can get at this point, living in the disappointing Minnesota sports world.

I change my mind. Go Timberwolves, thank you for being my date on Valentine’s Day, and keep the love coming.