The Wide Angle: Look where positivity gets you

Published 6:30 am Saturday, July 31, 2021

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I was feeling pretty good the other night when I turned on the Twins for the first time in forever.

I was home early with a bowl of popcorn, a cold beer in hand and some guy I don’t know had just hit a grand slam against the Tigers giving Minnesota the lead.

I thought, “Hey, maybe I can enjoy a Twins win.”

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Of course, by the end of the night there was a more realistic thought. “What the (dirty word) was I thinking?”

Man, it’s just really hard to be a Twins fan and that’s why I proudly proclaim myself to live amongst the most numerous of fans — fair-weathered.

I’ve never hidden this sentiment or classification. Often I can be found turning the Vikings off at half time and these days not ever turning the Twins on. Like a good fan, I struggled with the Twins early in the season, thinking at any minute they would turn things around and contend like all the smart sports people thought they might.

Sadly, that has not been the case, and once Nelson Cruz and Jose Berrios were traded, I really no longer cared.

I get it of course. The Twins are going to win out the basement while Cruz and Berrios can now look forward to a brighter year, or at least a shot at … something. I’ll be honest, I’m hardly paying attention anymore because there isn’t much to pay attention to.

The worst part of this is before the season began, when ESPN analysists were excitedly touting the feel-good story of the Twins and still fresh-faced manager Rocco Baldelli coming off last year’s shortened season, there was every indication they could compete for (gasp) a world title.

People suddenly had visions of the scrappy 1987 and 1991 teams that fielded the game better than anybody. They were the personification of “team-win.”

Alas, 2021’s answer to Kirby Puckett is once again hurt and there are a ridiculous number of other problems, including what accounts for a pitching staff.

This particular night it all came to a disappointing end, just like my bowl of popcorn, when Detroit answered late in the game with a grand slam of their own and an extra inning win.

The reward was getting to go to bed, but that hardly makes up for the hours wasted in silent hope that maybe I’ll get to see an exciting win. I mean ….

And this is why I am a fair-weathered fan. There are no expectations with being such a fan. I can sit down for a bit, enjoy a beverage and a snack, and when things inevitably head south, I can turn the TV off and go do something else. Yes, sometimes I miss something big or just barely catch the exciting end of some contest, like the Minnesota Miracle for instance. I had given up on that game and then on a whim turned it back on just in time to see the final thrilling game-winning catch by Stefon Diggs.

I mean, wow! What an end and now the Super Bowl was in sight. Well, sightish, because we all know how we were rewarded for that, don’t we.

I guess what I’m saying is that there is nothing wrong with being a fair-weathered fan. I’m free of the disappointment and expectations and if the team does well, then I’m all in for some playoff action.

It’s a win-win situation if ever there was one.