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Who is Minnesota's most exciting athlete?

Posted at 10:11 AM on May 15, 2006 by David Zingler (5 Comments)

Randy Moss is long gone, Daunte Culpepper is yesterday’s news and Kevin Garnett is being held hostage. So, who is Minnesota’s most exciting athlete? Here are the criteria:

1. Must have some element of mystery and/or novelty.
2. Must have the ability/personality to dominate a game.
3. Must be able to get you out of your chair and into the air.

The Nominees
Seimone Augustus, Lynx
The case for: The #1 overall pick in April’s draft is already the Lynx best player and will be an All Star, barring injury, this year. She’s brand new to the scene and could put the Lynx on the map.
The case against: She plays for the Lynx, who have yet to carve a niche on the state’s pro sports scene.

Marian Gaborik, Wild
The case for: He’s the Wild’s “franchise player” and only real creative offensive threat.
The case against: His contract holdout and constant trade rumors have kept the fans from embracing him. Plus, the Wild play a boring style of hockey.

Torii Hunter, Twins
The case for: He’s got the personality and the penchant for the spectacular.
The case against: He’s probably in his last season in Minnesota and isn’t consistent enough with the bat.

Joe Mauer, Twins
The case for: He’s a hometown boy, a former #1 overall pick, has a squeaky clean image and the skills to live up to the hype.
The case against: While he’s been consistent and dependable, but not exciting.

Justin Morneau, Twins
The case for: His mammoth home runs will get you off your feet.
The case against: They have yet to happen on a consistent basis.

Koren Robinson, Vikings
The case for: Via the kick-off return or deep pass, he’s the Vikings most dangerous big play threat.
The case against: The above statement doesn’t have the meaning it used to.

Johan Santana, Twins
The case for: He’s baseball’s best pitcher and currently the best athlete in the state.
The case against: He’s a pitcher and only appears once every five days. He may leave you in awe, but are strikeouts exciting?

Darren Sharper, Vikings
The case for: He’s got charisma and can go 90+ yards after an INT.
The case against: He’s an aging, injury prone safety.

I am always a sucker for a fresh face, so I am going with Augustus. Playing for a franchise that has never had an identity, she has the best chance to make a significant, lasting impact. I would recommend making a trip to the Target Center this summer; Augustus will give you your $10 worth.


Comments (5)

i've gotta go with santana. he's the only guy on the list that's his league's best at anything. having him on your team is like having pedro martinez on your team in 2001, or having sandy koufax on your team in 1966. he may only appear every 5 days, but those wuss football players only play every 7.

"Plus, the Wild play a boring style of hockey." <-- there are other kinds?

Posted by ryan | May 15, 2006 11:50 AM


KG, easy. That guy is crazy good, and just plain crazy. He's exciting to watch, is the kind of player who does something different or interesting each time you watch, and can pump up a crowd.

As far as the list of potential candidates go, I like Gaborik (quick, speedy, high scoring style) and Hunter (in the field for obvious reasons... and although he may not make the best sense all the time, he's still exciting to watch because he's unpredictable -- what? you want to try to stretch that textbook single into a double for some reason? you want to get the third out of an inning by stealing third? -- You wince every time but it sure is more exciting than not going for it.)

Posted by Ben Tesch | May 15, 2006 12:40 PM


The Vikes stopped having exciting players when they started dissapointing us year after year (I think that all started sometime around 1977). The Wild are great, but underachieve (I think someone put it well when they said we should be the Yankees of hockey), but then again it seems like ALL MN teams fail to live up to potential.

KG is great. Seriously, we have to sit the guy down for the last bit of the season cause he can't do anything but try and win. Torii is great too cause he's always fun to watch (at least in the field...slightly more frustrating at the plate). These guys are entertainers, so in my book, the ones who entertain are the greatest. Those two and Santana are tops. And yes, K's can be exciting. maybe not if it's the Royals, but if Johan is fanning the likes of Vlad, or Ichiro, or any of the White Sox, it's pretty great. I'm sure Augustus is going to be something special, but I gotta see it before she goes on the list.

Posted by Will | May 15, 2006 2:01 PM


oh i thought KG was out of the running.

Posted by ryan | May 15, 2006 2:02 PM


He was out of the running, I think, but I disregarded that because he's still playing here, and I didn't think he shouldn't be in the running.

Posted by Ben Tesch | May 15, 2006 2:52 PM


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