Over the next eight weeks MyHOFS will be hosting a tournament to determine the best sports city in America. The bracket features four regions (East, Midwest, South, West) and 32 cities. The next two weeks will feature first round matchups, seeds one through eight in each region.
Original artwork provided by Dud Lawson of DudLawson.com
To view the entire bracket, head on over to MyHOFS facebook page
#4 - Minneapolis
- Danny Olson
Minneapolis is one of only 12 cities that field a team in each of the Big Four (NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL). The Twin Cities entered the NFL in 1961 with the expansion Vikings, who rewarded their home fans with a championship eight years later, the year before the NFL-AFL merger. Since then, the team has boasted numerous Hall-of-Famers
, and exactly one member of the Minnesota Supreme Court
. The Minneapolis Lakers were one of the NBA’s original teams, winning five of the first six championships (1949-1954) before being swept away to lake-less Los Angeles. Minnesota fans would have to wait until 1989 to get the expansion Timberwolves. The Minnesota Twins, started in 1961 upon arriving from our nation’s capital, are two-time World Series champions (1987 and 1991) and full-time sweethearts of America. From 1961-1993, the NHL was treated to the North Stars, who were then moved to Dallas and subsequently, won a Stanley Cup. The North Stars had previously flirted with Lord Stanley in 1981 and 1991. On an amateur level, Minnesota’s Golden Gophers have won 26 national championships, including six football titles, five in hockey, three in baseball and two in basketball. Also, you might have heard of some of these fine folks, born and bred in the Star of the North: Bronko Nagurski, Dave Winfield, Kevin McHale, Neal Broten, Bud Wilkinson, Paul Molitor, Herb Brooks, Kent Hrbek, Tom Lehman, Jack Morris and some young whippersnapper named Joe Mauer. And if we’re entering into Hollywood sports lore, Billy Heywood’s Twins in Little Big League, and the stars of the Mighty Ducks trilogy pretty much seal the deal. Be honest, how many times did you practice the Triple Deke?
Minneapolis teams don’t often finish the season on top, but they punch well above their media market weight. The city’s teams, if not always winners (and eight championships is nothing to sneeze at), have at least been memorable, if not iconic: The Vikings Purple People Eaters
, the Twins worst-to-first 1991 World Series championship (one of the most underrated
series of all time), Bill Masterson’s death spawning a Memorial Trophy
, and the NBA’s first ever dynasty team, led by this guy
. Additionally, the Twin Cities is home to two of the finest stadiums in sports
, Target Field and the Xcel Energy Center. It’s also the site of one of the most memorable stadium events in recent history, the Hubert Horatio Humphrey Metrodome collapse
. In addition to its glittering past and excellent stadium digs, fans of Minneapolis’ teams have the pleasure of a current crop of stars that can compare with the finest in the country: Joe Mauer
and Justin Morneau, Purple Jesus (aka Adrian Peterson) and Jared Allen
, and Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio
. Oh, and there’s Michael Beasley
. Want to watch above-average (and sometimes great), teams with world-class stars play in world-class stadiums while surrounded by some of the nicest people in the country? The Twin Cities is about as good as it gets.
If you enjoy the company of one of the most hated organizations in sports history (the NCAA), driving in circles
, the US Synchronized Swimming team
, the ghost of Ron Artest
and only white people
(this says something coming from the guy defending Minneapolis), then Indianapolis would serve as your sports mecca. Congrats, you’re the fifth member of that team. If it weren’t for the work of Peyton Manning, the devilishly handsome Brad Stevens
and a few people’s insistence on racing being a professional sport, Indianapolis would slip into obscurity. Of note, it does NOT have a monorail
, which has put other cities on the map. Spare me the Hoosiers and amateur sports bit, real sports cities thrive on Major League talent and Indianapolis is sorely lacking in that category.
#6 - Indianapolis
- David Letterman
- Ryan Kamp
You probably don’t know much about Indianapolis, and I can’t say I blame you. But like the gorgeous downtown Canal
, many of the sports you know and love flow right through Indianapolis. If you’ve seen Hoosiers, you know the proud tradition of basketball in Indiana, reflected in the retro high school championship look of bomb-ass Conseco Field House. That backbone of basketball excellence is evident in the list of Indiana Mr. Basketball award winners (the best high school basketball player in the state): Oscar Robertson, Glenn Robinson, Jared Jeffries, Sean May, Luke Zeller, Greg Oden, Eric Gordon, Tyler and Cody Zeller, not to mention 17 other guys who got drafted by NBA teams. That’s a lot of NBA oomph in recent years, not to mention the new watermark for Cinderella Stories, the Butler Bulldogs. As for football, though their arrival in Indianapolis is a bit suspect, you can’t deny that the Colts are one of the standard-bearers of success in the history of professional football, from the legendary NFL Championships under Unitas to the two Super Bowl appearances under Manning. And if you follow any college sport, male or female, you have to keep Indianapolis on your radar as the home of the NCAA National Office.
How much money do you have? You’re reading a sports website in the middle of the afternoon, so I think it’s safe to assume somewhere between “nothing” and “less than someone with more ambition
.” If that describes you, then Indianapolis is your sports city! An 11-game ticket plan for the Pacers will cost you $12 a game. You’d have to spend that much in rock salt to dig yourself out of your Minnesota ice palace before you even get to a T-Wolves game. Post-Peyton Colts? $48 gets you in the game. Wanna see some vintage Larry Legend shots? It’s also only $5 to get into the NCAA Hall of Champions. Just want to watch the game at a local haunt? Nothing like a recently resurgent Rust Belt city for the best happy hour prices around.
In Minneapolis, you and your favorite team will be buried in a frozen grave together. Between the Metrodome roof collapse (can you ever get enough of that video?), outdoor baseball games in April and October
, outdoor football at the University of Minnesota, and a city that has recorded snowfall from September to June with as much as 47 inches falling in a single storm and you best be sure you know how to throw up an igloo in a pinch. Jeez, with that weather, you wonder why they bother playing any sports other than hockey. Oh that’s right, I remember now! You lost your beloved hockey team to friggin’ Dallas, because even a team that plays their sport on ice can’t stand living in your frozen wasteland.
The first round was a good place for the nation's top two Polis or Poleis
to meet, as they've both left something
to be desired on the big stage
. Minny deprived the country of an epic Super Bowl back in '99 and Butler offended everyone's basketball sensibilities by shooting an anemic 18.8% from the field in the '11 title game
. But we're not here to kick dirt on these two, we swear. Instead of heading to crush depth to survey the depths of their sports failings let's examine all that's right in Indy and Minny. Basketball is alive and well in the Hoosier State with the Pacers on the upswing and Butler joining the finest mid-major conference in all of college basketball
. MSP may be rebuilding, literally
, but that hasn't stopped them from achieving a bit of success in the meantime. The Golden Gophers reached the Frozen Four in 2012 and the T-Wolves' Ricky Rubio finished second in the Rookie of the Year race despite missing the final two months of the NBA season. All told, this was a real pillow fight, with neither city capable of landing a power punch to close things out. But this isn't the 2002 All-Star game, no ties here. By virtue of star power, Minneapolis rides Love, Mauer and Peterson
(take it easy on his knee) into the Sweet 16.