12-23-09: DFTU

Hello again everybody...

Today's going to be the last column for the week. A little holiday I like to call Christmas will be preventing me from writing on Friday, so you get your DFTU a little early today.

And seeing as how the Badgers haven't really played since the last DFTU (they host Wisconsin-Milwaukee tonight at Kohl Center), I won't be including them this week.

So you'll get a little Wild commentary and then a note on the Childress/Favre drama I wrote about on Monday, and a link to an interesting write up on it.

All that being said, you know what comes first...


”Human beings, who are almost unique in the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”
- Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001), English writer, dramatist, and musician.

Oh, how I wish I had this quote when I wrote about Tiger... so silly.

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But that was then. Today, it's time... once again... for everybody's favorite segment:

Dan's Favorite Teams Update

Minnesota Wild: The Wild are 17-16-3, which gives them 37 points. They're in fourth place in the Northwest Division and tied for 11th in the Western Conference.

On Monday I told you the story about the Wild's equipment truck fire. So far, my “vast Canadian conspiracy” theory has utterly failed to take root. I'm not surprised. People don't want to believe that our “seemingly” friendly neighbors to the north could be involved in something so nefarious.

But last night, I was afforded the opportunity to run it by a Wild player. Mike Max had defenseman Shane Hnidy on for an interview, so as I got him set to go on the air, I decided to float it by him.

He wasn't impressed. And frankly, he sounded slightly annoyed.

That's likely because he actually is Canadian. So I suppose on a certain level he might have taken it a touch personally. But I wasn't implying he was directly involved in the conspiracy, and hopefully he understood that.

Of course, since a full 68% of the roster hails from the great white north, I may have to re-evaluate this theory all together...

Ah, the hell with it. It's still fun, and I'll stick with it until someone proves me wrong!

As for the results since last Friday, they haven't been so good. Predictably, the Wild lost in Ottawa as they tried to adjust to their new/old equipment. Then they hosted Colorado Monday night and lost that game 4-3.

That game highlighted one of the struggles for the club this year. Minnesota got down 4-1 at one point, and fought back in the third period to make a game of it. And that's sort of representative of a lot of their games this season. It's not impossible to be successful as a “counter-puncher” in pro sports, but there's a fine line between being a “comeback” team and digging the initial hole too deep to get out of.

When the Wild can stay close, they tend to be great finishers. When they get down big early, you can't give up, because they'll likely make it close. But when the hole is that deep, they'll lose as many if not more than they win.

It's maddening to Wild fans, because they've gone from being a staunch defensive team to giving up goals in bunches. That's obviously a function of the new system, but it's still a striking difference from the way we've seen this team play in the past.

If they can tighten things up defensively (and I'm not nearly smart enough to suggest how Richards and company should do that) they'll be a dangerous club down the stretch.

If not, then we'd better get use to having to come from behind a bunch in the third period. Not always a fun way to watch hockey, but at least it gives you a reason to stay through the end of the game.

(Not that those of us here at The Sports Take need that kind of inspiration!)

The Wild host the Oilers tonight at the X before taking an NHL-mandated two days off for Christmas before getting back at it Saturday night versus St. Louis. Next week it's a brief jaunt to the west coast for games against Los Angeles and Anaheim. Time for the Wild to make some hay in the West. We'll see how they do!

Before I get to wishing you all a Happy Holidays, one last note about the Vikings latest drama.

I wrote about it on Monday as though it were, for the most part, an isolated incident. It turns out that was a mis-characterization.

Apparently there have been several disagreements between Childress and Favre over the course of the season.'s Kevin Seifert does an excellent job of laying them out here.

The bottom line for me is that Childress needs to calm the heck down. You brought Favre in here to save your job. You got your extension. Now it's time to shut up and let the guy do his thing, Brad.

Guys like Favre, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have earned the right to make calls on the field as they see fit.

You don't like his audibles? You want to try and pull him from games? Are you serious?

Do you really think you'd be better off with Tavaris at this point? He'd probably take your coaching a bit more seriously than Brett does. Of course you'd be more like 7-7 than 11-3, but hey, at least he'd listen better!

If you're going to bring in a gunslinger, then you've got to let him sling his guns, Brad. Just be quite and collect your brand-spanking-new paycheck, okay?

There, I think we solved that, don't you?

That's going to wrap things up for today folks. All of us here at The Sports Take wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy Holidays.

For those of you here in the Upper Midwest, be safe in your travels, and may we all survive Snownami 2009!

Until Monday, thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Nice read!

    I was thinking conspiracy too. Seems the torch theory seems more logical!!

    I enjoyed your takes!