MINNEAPOLIS - The past year in Minnesota sports has been a busy one, marked by several coaching changes, mostly mediocre teams, and a mild touch of the unusual.
We'll do our best to recap 2007 here. Forgive us for any, ahem, exaggerations.
Jan. 16. Tim Brewster is introduced as the new football coach at the University of Minnesota, giving a rousing, rhetoric-filled speech highlighted by his vow to take the Gophers back to the Rose Bowl. Ice cream sales in Siberia suddenly spike.
Jan. 23. The Timberwolves fire coach Dwane Casey after a four-game losing streak that drops the team's record to 20-20. Brewster vows to take the Wolves to the NBA finals. Amway calls. He tells the company he'll get back to them.
March 22. Tubby Smith is named the new men's basketball coach at the University of Minnesota. Brewster puts a credit-card deposit down for Final Four tickets.
March 24. Winona State loses the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship to Barton College, ending a 57-game winning streak. Smith vows that the Gophers will never lose to Winona State again.
April 19. Vikings coach Brad Childress participates in a community poetry reading at the downtown Minneapolis library. His choice: "The Bridge Builder," by Will Dromgoole. His first choice, the playbook for his West Coast offense, is denied when organizers pointed out it's not written in iambic pentameter.
April 19. The Wild are eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by a bruising Anaheim squad that goes on to win the Stanley Cup, due in part to a foiled strategy of secretly borrowing stun guns from Minneapolis police.
July 30. The Timberwolves agree to trade Kevin Garnett to Boston for five players and two first-round draft picks. The deal nearly falls through when vice president Kevin McHale insists on obtaining the parquet floor from the old Boston Garden for use in a home remodeling project.
Sept. 1. Brewster's Gophers lose an overtime decision at home to Bowling Green. He points out that his players fought their guts out and the Metrodome is an awesome place to watch a football game.
Sept. 13. Twins general manager Terry Ryan announces his retirement and move into a consultant's role, as longtime assistant Bill Smith becomes the new boss. Brewster vows to take the Twins to the World Series.
Sept. 23. Torii Hunter plays what turns out to be his last home game with the Twins. Ryan offers him a ride home.
Dec. 2-6. The Twins are in the spotlight at baseball's winter meetings, where an expected blockbuster trade involving Johan Santana does not happen. McHale offers to trade Jefferson and a draft pick for the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
Dec. 17. The Vikings come back to beat Chicago in a Monday night game and creep closer to clinching a playoff spot. Ralph Waldo Emerson addresses the team afterward.
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