From a local sports perspective, the next two weeks are about as low key and slow as one could ask. The Twins return to action following the all-star break, but the rest of the landscape is pretty flat when it comes to main stream sports. So we tread water while we wait looking forward to the next two months.
Vikings Training Camp:
The most wonderful time of the year is set to begin when the team reports to Mankato on July 16th. Unlike past seasons, my expectations are tempered and while I believe this year's version of my favorite football team will be better than the last, the team is light years away from an appearance in the playoffs. I do love the vibe of camp though and it will be fun to watch this team come together. How will Christian Ponder be in year two, what about our linebacker depth and of course how Adrian Peterson will return from knee surgery are a few of the main topics heading into camp.
Buzz, Meet Buzzkill:
How quickly momentum of the best off season in the franchise's history will be halted. Yes the Wild will be a playoff team with the moves they have made. What we don't know is when they will play. While the regular season is schedule to begin on Saturday October 13th, those in the know certainly don't believe the season will start on time. Leaving the new 2,000 plus season ticket holders hanging just a little bit longer to cheer on the best team in the state of hockey.
Royal High School Geekdom:
I have and always will be a big high school sports fan. About one month from now practices for the fall sports season will get underway. It marks the dawn of a new year that has the names change, but the memories of the games don't. I have witnessed some of the best drama from a sports perspective on the high school side of my sporting life. From St. Paul Central's two touchdowns in 14 seconds, to the thrill of the state hockey tournament, I can't wait for another season to begin.
A Lotta Hoop Action:
While it is unknown when the Wild will begin, the other winter pro sports team will begin on time. The Wolves looked the part of a playoff team last season before rookie guard Ricky Rubio was forced out of action due to an ACL injury. With all-star and Olympian Kevin Love leading the way, the time is now for the team that hasn't seen the playoffs in the better part of a decade. They have added Brandon Roy and as of today are still waiting on their free agency plan a in Nicolas Batum. If all the pieces fall into place, Target Center will be a destination in the fall.
Saturday Football Destination:
Jerry Kill brings the troops back and while a bowl bid seems a bit out of the picture Saturday outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium still has plenty of college football fans hooked. Sure if wins are your ultimate decision maker as to where you go with your sports related money, you might steer clear of the maroon and gold. Kill is beginning to shape the program the way he sees it and while that may not equate to short term success, at least we don't feel like we are being sold a lemon at a discount car lot like we did with Tim Brewster.