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Minnesota dreaming

As a steady stream of Twin Cities sports superstars relocates to Boston, a hoops-crazy reporter asks himself: What price fandom?
By ADAM REILLY  |  August 20, 2007


Cleaning Minnesota
Adam Reilly discussed Kevin Garnett, Randy Moss, and his home state with Phoenix cleaning guy and resident sports stud Pat D.

Pat D. on Kevin Garnett:
I wish Garnett came to Boston two years ago, when we got [ex-Timberwolf] Wally Szczerbiak. With the loss of one of the three dominant basketball players in the NBA today — the three being Shaq, Duncan, and KG — Minnesota has given away a possible championship and gives us a possible championship. We’ve tried youth; it don’t work. I feel, within the next five years, that we’re gonna win a championship. And I think we’ll win an Eastern Conference title two or three times.

Pat D. on Randy Moss:
Kraft is turning into the George Steinbrenner of the NFL: I want him, I need him, I’m gonna go out and get him. They’ll sign anybody. Randy Moss has never won a Super Bowl; he’s now in a position to get a ring. I have a feeling he’s a game player, he’s not a practice player — he kinda dogs it in practice. I think he might have lost a step. But because Brady doesn’t throw the ball deep, when you get closer down in the red zone, Moss is gonna play a huge part, because of how tall he is. He’s a troublemaker, but it’s not like he went out and punched somebody in the face or robbed somebody. But he shouldn’t have knocked down that traffic cop — that’s very immature. You gotta understand that your shit stinks just as bad as everybody else’s.

Pat D. on the state of Minnesota:
Minnesota? Never been there, never intend to go there. I was born, raised, and bred in Boston. I don’t give a shit about Minnesota. The only thing I know about Minnesota is from the television show Coach: it’s country, redneck, Maine. It doesn’t do anything. I wouldn’t know Minnesota from a hole in a wall. I don’t even know the capital. Who cares about Minnesota? That’s why you’re not there anymore, ’cause you don’t even care about Minnesota, either. That’s why you’re here.

If you're a die-hard sports fan — and if you live in Boston, you probably are — you’ve undoubtedly had moments where you view your obsession from the outside, skeptically, like an anthropologist watching a painful circumcision ritual for the first time. You see salaries exceed the GDP of some small nations. You watch greedy owners snooker taxpayers into building new stadiums, then pull the same exact scam 10 years later. You learn that your favorite players are wife-beaters or dog-fighters or just serious assholes. And you ask yourself: “Why do I care so much about [Team X]? Why do I waste so much time watching them, reading about them, googling them, talking about them, agonizing over them? What’s the point?”

For your correspondent, a native Minnesotan and long-suffering Timberwolves fan, the July 31 press conference introducing Celtics savior-in-waiting Kevin Garnett to Boston triggered a tsunami of such moments. Here he was — the biggest athletic talent in Minnesota history; the coolest athlete who ever embraced the state; a black, 21st-century Paul Bunyan — holding up his new Celtics jersey, grinning from ear to ear, making me nostalgic and homesick and pissed, and proving that some ex-Celtics can actually make good personnel decisions.

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Related: Game on, Underground art, Highway to hell, More more >
  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Minneapolis, NBA Atlantic Division, NBA Eastern Conference,  More more >
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