Much like the yodeler from Cliff Hangers who makes his way up the mountain, hoping not to crash at the apex of his ascent, it's been a week of high hopes and dramatic tumbles for your local squads.
After the House Government Operations Committee voted down the latest iteration of a stadium bill to replace the beyond-outdated Metrodome last Monday, NFL commissioner and self-appointed Old West sheriff Roger Goodell came to town to lobby about the urgency of passing a funding bill for a new stadium 'fore the Vikes make a move to the glitzy coast. This caused a couple waffly state legislators to say things like, "Oh, huh, well if the Vikings ACTUALLY might move, maybe we can stop that from happening" (Not an actual quote, probably. I hope.) for the first time in this protracted, overlong stadium debate. Though this year's legislative session in St. Paul is in its final weeks, one more push in each legislative body could lead to up-or-down votes in both houses in the next two weeks. Gov. Mark Dayton is all but assured to sign whatever ends up on his surely ornate desk, so all we need is 10+ years of legislative gridlock to dissipate over the next 12 or so days.
Price Is Right doppelganger: Clock Game. We've got 30 seconds on the metaphorical clock, and we've already won the $427 million "2/5ths of a stadium" prize offered by Wilf n' Rodge, makers of fine Teflon and concrete products for over 30 years. Now we just need to nail down that pesky taxpayer contribution and we'll have ourselves a shiny new stadium in, oh, a half decade or so.
The Hometown Nine won two regular season games in the bustling Bronx for the first time since 2001, but unfortunately, the 'Sisco Saga has continued its woeful tailspin. Our onetime ace, Mr. Liriano, gave up 10 runs in 7 1/3 innings, walking eight men and only striking out six. and his season ERA after four starts sits at a robust 11.02. Gardy announced before tonight's game against the Red Sox and Francisco would be skipped in the rotation this week to allow The Kid to clear his head, and he's on track to start again a week from tomorrow. Also, Josh Willingham's about to have a kid, which is great, but he'll be out of the line-up for a couple days later this week, which means one less masher in this already impotent lineup.
Price Is Right doppelganger: Punch a Bunch. Because watching this anemic lineup and this slow-pitch rotation makes me want to punch a bunch of things.
The Gophs win the week as far as the Emporium is concerned, as today's hiring of Virginia Commonwealth athletic director Norwood Teague to fill the same position here at the U is a positive move for a couple reasons. One: Mr. Teague is known as a tireless fundraiser, as the athletic department's budget increased almost 120 percent in his six years at VCU, which could provide a jolt to the big-money programs that might suffer from flagging interest after sub-par seasons. Two: The guy hired coaching wunderkind Shaka Smart, who took a mid-major to the Final Four and STUCK AROUND as the job offers started piling up. This gives the impression that he can pick personnel with the best of them and gives the basketball program hope for life after Tubby, whenever that time begins. Also, Trevor Mbakwe's coming M-back-we for his sixth season, and--in a story that I somehow missed--TCF Bank might sprout a beer garden for next season. Prost!
Price Is Right doppelganger: Hole in One (Or Two). In my view, the hiring of Teague was a savvy hire by new-ish U of M president Eric Kaler. And the beer thing is good, um, because I like beer (Let the Writing Awards Shower Down Upon Us!).
Minnesota Timberwolves: Though they finally broke that ridiculous 27-game April losing streak Thursday at Detroit, the Timbas proceeded to blow a 20+ point lead against the blatantly tanking Golden State Warriors for the second time in March. Kevin Love was so pissed, he ripped off most of his beard with his bare hands in disgust. Even worse, a late-season rift appears to be forming in the locker room, as the Puerto Rican Pesomaker (kinda like droppin' dimes? Because he has a lot of assists? ....I'll let myself out.) J.J. Barea called out some of his teammates for packing it in before the season has actually ended. Their season actually ends Thursday with a home game versus Denver.
Price Is Right doppelganger: Plinko. Watching the Timbas in April the last three years is like being the chip smacking and bopping his way down the Plinko board, hoping to land in the big money spot, but instead ending his journey in the dreaded Zero Hole with a bunch of nicks and scrapes for his trouble.