Posted at 11:26 AM on September 4, 2007
by David Zingler
Following their 90-72 1992 season, the Twins sank into oblivion for the rest of the decade, never posting better than a .481 winning percentage. The Vikings meanwhile, hired Dennis Green prior to the ’92 season and ran off 9 straight non-losing seasons, including 4 division titles and two NFC title game appearances.
The Vikes of the 1990s were loaded with star players: Cris Carter, Randy Moss, John Randle, Randall McDaniel, etc. The best the Twins could come up with after Kirby Puckett retired in 1996 was an incorrigible Chuck Knoblauch and a post-peak Paul Molitor. Yes, the Vikings were the best team in town, but they always let us down. No need to re-hash the specific incidences here.
Today however, their roles have completely reversed. Even including their expansion years, we may be enduring the darkest stretch in Vikings history. The franchise has just one playoff appearance since the infamous 41-0 loss in the 2000 NFC Championship Game and is largely void of star power (a post-peak Darren Sharper??). The Twins meanwhile, are (hopefully) working on their 7th consecutive winning season, a stretch that has included 4 division titles and an ALCS appearance.
The star power is also on the Twins side. Johan Santana, Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter and Joe Mauer are the most popular athletes in town. It was the Twins that gave us our most memorable sports thrill ride since the 1998 Vikings with their amazing run at a Central Division title last season. Remember how excited we all were heading into the playoffs? Remember what happened?
Aside from their 2002 ALDS victory over Oakland, remember every Twins playoff series this decade? Is Ron Gardenhire the new Dennis Green?