Nathan Hansen's column: The ultimate sports day
Tuesday was a big day in the world of Minnesota sports, and not just because it’s the day I finally realized the state has its own professional ultimate team.
You know what ultimate is, right? It’s a little like football, except you play it with a flying disc that you definitely don’t call a Frisbee because you don’t want to get sued. Also, any Love Boat party involving the Minnesota Windchill will probably just involve all of the guys getting together for a marathon of classic television.
It’s a fun game, I’ll admit. But claiming you’re on a professional ultimate team must be a little like telling people you’re on a professional beer league softball team. Even if they believe you, nobody’s going to be all that impressed.
I get the same thing when I tell people I’m a newspaper editor.
But, like I said, this isn’t a column about ultimate. It’s about the highs and lows of a day on which the state learned it will host what is sure to be the most complained-about Super Bowl in modern history, and the Minnesota Timberwolves learned they’re still very much the Timberwolves, draft-luck wise.
Let’s start with the Super Bowl. A Minnesota delegation won the 2018 edition of the game with a Tuesday presentation focused on the theme “Built for the Bold.”
That actually was a pretty bold strategy. I would have stayed away from any word that rhymes with cold. Although, “snuggly” probably doesn’t send the right message to the NFL, either.
Minnesota’s high temperature was 14 degrees on Feb. 2, 2014, the day Super Bowl XLVIII was played in New Jersey. That was actually a pretty temperate day for a winter I’m only now starting to really believe is over. The game itself will be played inside, obviously, in a billion-dollar glass-walled stadium/bird death trap. But Super Bowls tend to draw large crowds of people who like to do things outside (walking from bar to bar, mostly) without worrying about whether their fingers are going to fall off.
We Minnesotans have made our peace with winter weather, but we’ve also had years to acquire supplies of down jackets and thermal undergarments. Super Bowl visitors won’t be impressed by our diverse arts scene or the fact some people actually bike all year long. They’ll just want to know why all the snot has frozen in their nostrils 30 seconds after they walked out of their hotel.
The Minneapolis delegation beat out some stiff competition to win the Super Bowl. Also presenting Tuesday were a delegation from New Orleans, where the Super Bowl wouldn’t even be the biggest party in February, and Indianapolis, which ... hey! We beat out New Orleans!
I’m sure the game will be just fine, though. It will be a spectacle, like Super Bowls always are. The fans will get excited and they’ll probably leave smudgy fingerprints all over our new stadium.
We’d better start stocking up on Windex now.
Minnesotans will watch from home and complain about how bad the commercials are.
It’ll be great.
Things are less exciting on the Timberwolves front. In the same week the team learned it will probably have to start looking for yet another star player named Kevin, we all learned it would not move up in this year’s NBA draft. Barring a trade or some kind of convoluted Space Jam-style tournament against aliens, the Wolves will pick 13th, right where their record said they should.
It could be worse, obviously. They could be the Clippers. It’s just kind of hard to get excited about a middling draft pick. Almost as hard as getting excited about a Timberwolves game.