An interesting start to 2009

January 12, 2009

by Aaron Schultz

It has been one heck of a start to 2009, at least I think it has been.

From the Gophers to the Vikings to the passing of Twins’ owner Carl Pohlad, and the apparent win by Al Franken in the Senate race, the first week of 2009 has been anything but boring for yours truly.

With so much grabbing my attention here in Minnesota, I thought I’d bypass any big local subjects and dive into the Minnesota headlines, most of them sports-related.

However, the first thing I’d like to dive into is a little off my usual subject, and has to deal with the race for US senate here in Minnesota.

The recount between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken has seemed like it’s been going on for an eternity now.

For crying out loud, the election took place when I was in 90 degree heat.

OK, so I was in Australia on my honeymoon, but that was still over two months ago now, and we still don’t have a second senator from Minnesota.

However, this past week, it was announced that Franken had won the recount, and he proclaimed victory.

Coleman answered back that he was going to fight the results in court.

Will this election ever end?

With that said, it looks like Franken is going to be the next US Senator from the great state of Minnesota.

First off, I don’t think we should be considered a great state anymore if we are willing to send Franken to Washington to represent us.

OK, I didn’t mean that, Minnesota will always be great to me.

Secondly, I’ll always think Minnesota is great, but that theory was tested several years ago when we had Jesse Ventura as our governor, and now that thought will be tested again.

Come on Minnesota, didn’t we learn the first time we elected someone that was far from mainstream?

I don’t believe that worked out all that well for us, did it?

Now, before all of the Democrats out there go hog wild on me, and start spouting off that I am a raging Republican and am just a sore loser, hold on!

Yes, I lean Republican, and vote that way more often than not, but I am by no means a registered right-wing nut.

If Independent party candidate Dean Barkley would have won, I’d have been more than happy with that.

And yes, I voted for Coleman, but I am not a huge supporter.

Still, the one person I wouldn’t have been able to stomach if he won, is the man I now have to.

Of course, you Franken supporters can come at me and argue for his politics, or just the fact that Coleman needed to go, and I probably won’t argue with you much.

The only real argument against Franken I have is that it is Franken, and once again, Minnesota will find itself on the butt end of joke after joke.

So, what is the over-under on when Franken will first embarrasses us Minnesotans? I give it no longer than one year, and I’ll take the under.

Alright, enough talking about stuff that I have no real idea about, and let’s get back to the sports world.

The first week of 2009 saw the Minnesota Vikings fall in the opening round of the playoffs to the Eagles, killing my chances in the NFL pick-a-winner playoff edition (I had the Vikings going to the Super Bowl to play the Colts, ouch!).

Anyway, as I sat in my basement watching T-Jack stink it up, and our wonderful coach get thoroughly outcoached by Andy Reid, my only hope was that we’d have a new coach and new quarterback in the fall.

Well, Brad Childres is coming back, according to ownership.

That leaves us with one spot that will have to get replaced if there will be any hope of a Vikings playoff run next season – quarterback.

T-Jack was awful, and if the Vikes don’t get a new quarterback this upcoming season, I’ll be very disappointed.

Alright, now, let’s move to the Gophers, and specifically, men’s basketball.

The Gophers pulled out a nice win over Ohio State, at home, this past week, and I can’t be more excited.

I think – no, wait – know the last time I was this excited for a Gopher basketball team, it had Lindsey Whalen on it.

Tubby Smith has the Gophers going in the right direction. They will be in the NCAA tournament this spring, and I’m calling it now – in two years, they’ll be in the Final Four.

And yes, this time, it will count!

My last topic has to deal with the death of long-time Twins’ owner Carl Pohlad.

I was always the first to rip on Carl for not spending money, etc., etc.

But with his passing, I got to thinking and do appreciate the fact that he found a way to get the Twins an outdoor stadium, kept the Twins in Minnesota, and brought us fans two World Series titles.

For all that, Carl, thank you. Now, let’s just hope that your sons are a little looser with the purse strings.