Posted at 2:14 PM on April 18, 2005
by Bob Collins
1:13 Sunday afternoon. Twins and Indians playing and Bert and Dick Bremer killing time. They needn't have bothered.
Somehow, and I don't know how because I was out in the garage working, the discussion started about why Minnesota is more Vikings oriented than Twins oriented.
At the time above, Bremer declaratively said that the reason is that when the Vikings came to Minnesota, they immediately had a run of success. All true. They did (if you forget about those Super Bowls, of course!).
But then, in comparing the Vikings with the Twins, he said that "it was only in this latest run of success, that the Twins have even had back-to-back winning seasons."
Huh. Maybe I'm missing something but I vaguely recall in the late '60s and '70s that if the Oakland A's weren't winning the Western Division, the Minnesota Twins were.
In '62 and '63, they won 91 games two seasons in a row (That's good for 2nd and 3rd place in a then-10-team league). After a season with only 79 wins (1964), the Twins ripped off seasons with 102, 89, and 91 wins, including the 1965 pennant. They had an off year in '68 (79 wins), and then won 97 and 98 wins and two divisional titles under Billy Martin.
So whatever reason there is for why the Vikings get more support, the success of the Twins ain't one of 'em.
Here's what I think is: it's more of a football region than a baseball region. Friday night football has been a staple of the Midwest much longer than baseball. Baseball never attracted the following in high schools that football did and still does. So, of course, it's going to be more interested in the Vikings; football is a bigger part of their social upbringing than baseball was.
I love it when Dick and Bert have to kill time. They usually wipe out a few facts in the process.