Top 5 Things To Watch For In Minnesota Sports In The Second Half Of 2012
It is June 1st, which means we are about half way through the sports year, and should we say it has been a failure for Minnesota sports so far in 2012. We did have about a two month span were the Minnesota Timberwolves were exciting, and were selling out the Target Center, yet those times came to a crashing halt when Ricky Rubio tore his ACL. Yet I feel that the second half of 2012 might just be worth paying attention too. Here are my top 5 things to watch for in the second half of 2012.
We have seen what this team can do when healthy, yet with a pitching staff that has almost been non-existing, except for the likes of Scott Diamond, and P.J. Walters. We have seen signs of Justin Morneau returning to form (cross our fingers he stays healthy). Joe Mauer has played in all but one game for the Twins, and Josh Willingham, well if you’re a Twins fan I shouldn't have to tell you what he has done for the Twins. The Twins are tied for the second worst record in Major League Baseball, yet are still only 10.5 games out of first in the Central. I am not going to say the Twins are going to win the American League Pennant, because Texas Rangers are just so darn good, but could the Twins win the Central crown? Detroit Tigers were the team to beat, yet are three games below .500. I just have a feeling that the Tigers will turn it on pretty soon, yet I have a hunch that the Twins will be relevant when September rolls around. Only time will tell if the Twins will turn it around or continue towards another 99-loss season.
Will Zach Parise Come Home?
Minneapolis native; and current Captain of the New Jersey Devils. Parise is set to hit the free agency this summer, and is currently playing in the Stanley Cup Finals. If you are a Minnesota Wild fan you should be praying that the Devils win the cup for two reasons. One: It would make Parise free agency stock sky rocket, and would make his price too high for the Devils to resign him. Two: Now with a Stanley Cup ring what more is there to do in New Jersey? Especially with the Devils becoming an older team, it would be the right time to jump ship, and come back home. My two roommates keep talking about how amazing our first line will be with Parise out there with Mikko Koivu Center, Devin Setoguchi at Right Wing. We will know what Parise decides in the upcoming months, but we might have already received a hint from Parise himself, because he just recently bought a house on Lake Minnetonka, and you just apparently by a house when you live in New Jersey.
What To Make Of The Newer And Younger Minnesota Vikings?
We are only a few months away from the start of the NFL season, and the Minnesota Vikings have become such a young team. The Vikings cut some key veterans like E.J. Henderson, Steve Hutchinson, and Ryan Longwell. They have become an extremely young team, by bringing in players like John Carlson, and Jerome Simpson. We are entering the second year of the Leslie Frazier and Christian Ponder era, which means this year is very critical for those two men, because if this team does not show any signs of improving from their 3-13 mark from last year we might be seeing a new coach and quarterback come next season. This team will only go as far as their quarterback will take them, so it is up to Ponder to lead this team from the bottom depths of the NFC back towards relevance. My prediction is for the Vikings to finish third in the Division ahead of Chicago Bears, and finish with a record of 7-9 depending on the health of Adrian Peterson.
A Encore Of The Rubio And K-Love Show?
Flash back a few months ago when it was actually cool to go to a Timberwolves game. When girl's fallen head over heels for a boy who barley speaks English, and has a head full of hair that would even rival Justin Biebers hair. We all were memorized by his freakish ball handling skills. Also we all saw the birth of the next franchise player in Kevin Love. When K-Love hit that game winning three against the Los Angele's Clippers in January it was a statement that "We Are Back", we even started hearing that "P" word float around the Twin Cities, but those dreams came crashing down when Rubio started clutching his knee in early March. If Rubio can return to form this year we could ultimately see the T-Wolves in the playoffs next year, but also we might just hear some talk about the MVP award returning back to Minnesota. Last year we all saw Kevin Love surpass Blake (all I can do is dunk) Griffin as the next promising young Power Forward in the NBA, and started to creep towards LeBron James and Kevin Durant in MVP talks, but James, and Durant were playing on another whole level then K-Love was. I have a feeling we are about to witness a rebirth of the T-Wolves with K-Love leading the charge, and Rubio right behind him.
Will The Minnesota Lynx Repeat?
This is my favorite part, because this team is for real. They dominated the WNBA last year, and so far in this young season have looked even better than last year. We are a long way from crowning them the champions, but if this team stays healthy then watch for another championship parade held downtown Minneapolis come this October, because this team keeps getting better, and better, and the only thing stopping them from repeating are themselves.