It’s a Week for Sports Change in Minnesota!!

We all know how difficult change is in our own lives. People, organizations, systems, and even our brains are hard-wired to stay the course and maintain the status quo. It takes deliberate, focused effort to make any kind of meaningful change in our own lives. Change is tough in our own private world. How much harder is it in the world of big-time sports?

It’s an interesting week for sports and change in Minnesota. The Vikings have the week off, so we can leave Brett and the purple boys out of the discussion. Still, two other slumping Minnesota teams face critical weeks and defining challenges.

We discussed the struggling Gophers in this space before (click here). Our boys of the gridiron suffered another tough defeat this weekend, losing 29-28 on a late field goal to Northwestern. The loss dropped the team to 1-4, and a difficult season threatens to turn into a disaster. Home team momentum has become an oxymoron in TCF Bank Stadium.

The Gophers face a huge game this week. They take on the Wisconsin Badgers for Paul Bunyan’s Axe in the longest continuous college football rivalry. It will take massive change for Minnesota to bring The Axe home. Coaches have prepared intensely. Players have practiced hard and come ready to play. Still, the results haven’t been there. How do you make a change that will have enough impact to alter results in seven days? I’m not a football coach, so I’ll be watching.

The Twins are another story. They clinched their sixth division title in nine years under Ron Gardenhire, their Manager. Target Field has been a charm and it’s been a magical season. Last week, they were threatening to pass the Rays and Yankees for the best record in baseball. Then, they limped through a week where they went 1-7. The pitching was spotty; clutch hitting went missing; and the fielding was uncharacteristically shaky.

It’s a bad time to lose momentum as the playoffs start this week. It’s been awhile since the Twins made it out of the first round and hopes are high. Still, the slide needs to stop. Fortunately, as Earl Weaver once said, “Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher.” Baseball is a different game than football. (Thank you Mr. Obvious!) Momentum changes more quickly and lasts longer. Good pitching and a series start at Target Field…let’s hope for the best!

It will be an interesting week in Minneapolis, watching two different teams try to implement change. There might even be a lesson or two for us in their struggles!


2 Responses to “It’s a Week for Sports Change in Minnesota!!”

  1. October 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm


    First, my sympathy for you loss to the Mighty Cats! My question is will you be cheering for the Badgers or the Gophers?

  2. October 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I hope the Axe comes back to Minneapolis!

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