Point/counterpoint: Are Minneapolis or Philadelphia fans more depressed?

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 11, 2011 7:20 AM

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Fear not, sports fans, for I am here to tell you why being a supporter of the teams in the Land of 10,000 Lakes is the most depressing job of all.

First, let me start with the Vikings. Sure, they've had some excellent — even historic — seasons in the past, but what do they have to show for it? Four trips to the Super Bowl and no rings, tied with Buffalo for the most fruitless trips in league history. Though they were one win away from a fifth Super Bowl appearance in 2010, that season may never have happened if it were not for Brett Favre coming out of retirement for the 17th time. This year, the Vikings looked for another AARP-certified quarterback in Donovan McNabb until rookie Christian Ponder matures. And with a 1-4 record right now, it's looking as though Ponder may be getting the starting nod soon.

The Timberwolves.

Enough said.

The Twins were perhaps the most promising Minnesota team going into the 2011 season — they had made the playoffs just a season earlier. That's not how it turned out, though. The Twins went from contender to having the second-worst record in the league (63-99). The season was full of disappointment from its key players: Joe "Baby Jesus" Mauer hasn't performed as well as his blockbuster contract says he should, and Justin Morneau has been hampered by a concussion he sustained in July 2010.

Seeing as how Minnesota is the state of hockey, it would make sense if it had a competitive NHL franchise. Sadly, that's just not the case. After the beloved North Stars relocated to Dallas in 1993, fans were without the sport they grew up with until the addition of the Minnesota Wild in 2000.

Even though the Wild have sold out the majority of their home games, fans have found that cheering for the Wild is a lot like playing with the new dog your parents got when your old one died: It's there and it's fun to cheer for, but it will never fill the hole left in your heart by the old one.

But this looks like it may be the season to cheer the Wild, who have made a big impact in the off-season by adding Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle, Dany Heatley and new coach Mike Yeo.

So there's that.

— by Ben Ross


Philadelphia sports fans expected 2011 to be their year. The Phillies had an unbeatable pitching rotation, and the Eagles had assembled a dream team. Add in an on-the-rise 76ers team and a Flyer squad two years removed from the Stanley Cup Finals, and the scene was set for a good 12 months for the City of Brotherly Love.

And then it all came crashing down.

The seemingly untouchable Phillies fell in the first round of the playoffs to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Eagles are 1-4 and have seen their star quarterback hurt twice. The 76ers' season probably won't start on time — if it does at all — because of the NBA lockout.

At least the Flyers are 2-0. (They play hockey).

The fan of Philadelphia sports, the fan who expected so much, has seen the city's two flagship teams fail to meet expectations — although the Eagles still have a chance to rebound.

The difference between the Philly fan and the Minnesota fan comes down to expectations. The Phillies and Eagles were both expected to be the best team in their respective sports, but none of the Minnesota teams — except for maybe the Twins — were expected to be championship contenders.

While the Minnesota fan has to deal with bad teams, the Philadelphia fan has to deal with what might have been or what should have been, which is even more painful.

The city of Philadelphia and its fans expected another title to join the Phillies' 2008 triumph. But now, the fans of Philadelphia are stuck hoping for a turnaround from the Eagles and hoping hockey season is kinder to them than baseball's postseason.

— by Ryan Murphy

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