The Great** Sports Debaters of 2009

December 30, 2009


We’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again – 2009 was an amazing year here at Fast Horse. We were a part of some really incredible programs with our clients and tossed around a lot of good** ideas together and got to execute some of them. But as Mike pointed out about music preferences, we don’t always see eye-to-eye. I’ll concur with that. But, dammit, we know** sports, so let’s argue about them. And this year provided moments equal parts exciting and maddening – lots to talk about.

This post is a recap of some of those arguments, ones that a lot of others likely discussed with friends and colleagues, as well, so please feel free to voice your opinions and let us know what we forgot or if we’re idiots. But just because I’d rather not exhaust the topic of Tiger Woods any more than it already has been, let’s keep this thing local, cool? Without further ado, my Top Five Fast Horse Minnesota Sports Arguments of 2009:

1. “There’s no go-to scorer. They’ll never amount to anything…”

We’ll kick things off with the Minnesota Golden Gophers Men’s Basketball team. The 2008-2009 squad got off to a 17-1 start, upset eventual NCAA Tourney #1 seed Louisville, walked out of Wisconsin with an amazing win for the first victory in Madison since 1994, were surging up the AP rankings and making fans reminisce about Bobby Jackson. But then came the heart of the brutal Big Ten schedule that exposed the young team’s weaknesses, we all bickered and all arguments seemed to end up being about the need for a go-to guy. Here is one such imagined debate: “Are you blind? It’s Lawrence Westbrook! He took over at the end of Badger game,” says one pony. “They’re a deep team, who says you have to have that one guy,” says another. “Look at The 2004 Detroit Pistons – where’s the star there? It can happen.” Alas, it didn’t, but it was fun while it lasted. And we now have the 09-10 bunch with YouTubing star recruits to argue about. Should keep things juicy.

2. Another Point Guard!?!?”

OK, so the T’Wolves are lousy. Bill Simmons wrote in his latest column that “being a Wolves fan is like sitting in an airport gate waiting for news on a delayed flight. Do you think we’ll take off today? Any word yet? Only it’s going to be like that for the next two years. At least.” Nicely said, Bill. I do feel that way, come to think of it. So, while the “well, at least Kahn has a direction vs. “what direction would that be?” argument was discussed, it didn’t create for as spirited a debate as the NBA Draft did. Let’s re-live one such discussion: “Did you see that behind-the-back pass?!” one pony yells (Oh, yes, we found a way to hyperlink our own words. We’ll share later). Another pony fires back, “exactly, it’s one pass, how can you say Rubio is better than the best point guard to come out of the best league in college basketball, the Big East?! And name me one European point guard that has excelled in the NBA and Steve Nash is Canadian and Manu Ginobli isn’t a point guard!” The great Rubio debate of 2009 was fun, but other than that, we might remember this year by what may end as the dunk of the year by Corey Brewer over Derek Fisher. Geez.

3. “Where did all that power come from?!?” and “Give him the moon to stay if that’s what it takes…”

So our hometown hero Joe Mauer missed the first month of the season, hits a home run on his first swing of the season, chases a .400 batting average and wins the AL MVP award, nearly unanimously, in one of the greatest single individual seasons in baseball history. Not much to debate there. He was incredible. But where did all the power come from all of a sudden? He went from a career high of 13 to 28 this year, in 138 games. “It’s a natural progression of a great hitter,” debated one of us, “look at George Brett or Andre Dawson, there are great examples…” “I’ll never say the ‘S’ word, not in a million years, but he was a slap hitter,” snaps back another. “Slap hitting isn’t a bad thing! Look at Ichiro, he’s made a career out of being a slappy!” “Are you calling the Baby Jesus a slappy?” And baseball is a long season. This one went on for awhile. Maybe having the new Twins stadium close to our digs isn’t that great of a thing after all… 

4. “They’ll go 6-6! What, are you nuts!?! Oh yeah, actually that sounds about right. Six and six… Nice stadium, though, don’t you think?”

No debate here. The Minnesota Gophers football squad – this coming from alumni. We did debate where Eric Decker would be taken in the upcoming NFL draft, if Adam Weber should be benched or if Brewster deserves to have a job, but the passion just wasn’t there. Our arguments usually ended with a Joe Mauer stat or about the stadium and if another certain football team ought to get one or not. Were your offices more passionate when arguing about the Gophers? Was it a hot topic on Mondays?

5. And, yes, last, but certainly not least: “He’s too old! He’s a diva! No, he’s the missing piece, moron! Well, T-Jack could be good with these weapons, too, you know!?!”

This one is still very much a debate in progress and we’ve all learned a lot about each other because of Mr. Favre. Here’s to not jinxing anything –

What did I forget? Let’s get some honorable mentions debates going.. .

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