This is the opinion of Sports Editor Jordan Osterman
Every time I turn on SportsCenter while I eat my morning Honey Bunches of Oats, it seems like a battle to get any news about Minnesota sports teams.
At the top of the hour, Boston, New York and other major market teams dominate the news lines. All while the Twins, Vikings, Timberwolves and Wild slide into obscurity. And you start to develop a chip on your shoulder about the lack of attention we get in Minnesota. It’s almost as if our major league teams fly under the radar.
That has not been the case in the last 24 hours. With the Vikings and Packers game Monday night, and the Twins and Tigers one-game playoff on Tuesday afternoon, the national spotlight has been pointed straight at the Metrodome. As a Minnesota sports fan, all I can think is that it’s about time.
As mid-market teams, we get no love on the national scene. But when the Twins and Tigers both won on Sunday and forced a 163rd game, the love started pouring in. We had gotten some attention as we climbed all the way back to have a chance to tie it up with the Tigers. But once we caught Detroit, all eyes turned to us.
Outside of the NHL opening up its season, between the MLB and NFL, Minnesota had the only teams in the two major league games in the past two days.
Vikings game becomes most watched program in cable TV history
First off, the Vikings played the Packers in one of the most hyped match ups in regular season history. Brett Favre being signed was the biggest story of the football off-season, and the biggest story of the season by far was Monday’s game against his former team.
All that hype turned into viewership. So when 21.8 million people tuned in for the game, it was the most watched program in cable television history. And it was to watch a Minnesota sports team. Sure, it was the Favre story that got everybody interested, but all those millions of people watched a Vikings team. That’s never been the case before.
All MLB eyes were on the Twins-Tigers game
The very next day, the only baseball game in the country was taking place in the Metrodome. The entire nation got to watch along with Minnesota as what could have been the last baseball game ever played in the Dome turned into one of the greatest games ever played in the Dome.
After clawing back and winning 17 of 21 games to force a one game playoff, the Twins conjured up more Metrodome magic for an incredible 6-5 win in the 12th inning. Just under 55,000 fans packed the Dome as the entire state exploded when the Twins won a match up in the post season with the Yankees. And the entire country got to watch this with us.
I’ve been a Minnesota sports fan for 20 years and the last 24 hours have been some of the most exciting that I can remember. I wasn’t alive in 1987 and was in diapers in 1991. The Twins win on Tuesday was the greatest I’ve ever seen. Put the Vikings win on top of that, and it’s something else. It’s been fantastic. And part of that excitement has been the fact that the attention level for our state’s teams has been cranked up so high over those hours. That chip on the shoulder has softened a little bit, and Minnesota pride has pumped through me as I see our local heroes being recognized on the national level for the outstanding performances they’ve put on for us all year long.
The Vikings on Monday night, in a game that miraculously managed to live up to all the hype, followed by an incredible entrance into the playoffs for the Twins the next day.
If you’re a Minnesota sports fan, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Jordan Osterman can be reached at email@example.com