Article written by Jacob Stillman
After Cleveland won the NBA title this year, the debate was broken out once again about the saddest sports cities and Minnesota was no doubt toward the top of the list. Aside from the WNBA Lynx, who have won three of the last five WNBA titles, we have not experienced a major sports championship since 1991 when the Twins won the World Series. However, we have reason to think that maybe, just maybe, this could change in the coming years. The Timberwolves have acquired a great deal of young talent over the last few years including the last two Rookies of the Year in Andrew Wiggins (2014-15) and Karl-Anthony Towns (2015-16), as well as a few other solid young core players like Shabazz Muhammad, Zach Lavine, and Gorgui Dieng. Throw in a new, well-respected coach like Tom Thibodeau as well as new General Manager Scott Layden and success seems closer than ever.
And then there’s our beloved Vikings. After making the playoffs and coming so devastatingly close to moving on to the Divisional round, hype for the Vikings is close to an all-time high. Young talent seems to be everywhere with guys like Teddy Bridgewater, Stefon Diggs, and Charles Johnson on offense (oh, and Adrian Peterson) with Anthony Barr, Everson Griffen, Harrison Smith and company on defense. Throw in a coach everyone loves in Mike Zimmer and who knows how far this team could go?
When thinking about these young Minnesota teams on the rise it hit me that at the same time this new era of Minnesota sports is born, so is U.S. Bank Stadium. When the stadium was first being built a few years ago, nothing was really doing for the Vikes or the ‘Wolves, but as the stadium kept progressing, so did the teams. Eventually, the stadium was ready, and by that time, so were the Vikings and, more or less, the Wolves. It almost seems meant to be that the unbelievably beautiful new home for the Vikings serves as a perfect image and monument to usher in this exciting new time for us Minnesota sports fans. I mean, who cares about the Wild anyway? We’re only the State of Hockey.