The Similarity Between The Minnesota Vikings And The Minnesota Timberwolves
What is the similarity between the Minnesota Vikings, and the Minnesota Timberwolves? You might have said the easiest answer, which is they both have zero championships, however that is not my answer, and you will soon find out the true answer.
In football, the quarterback is arguably the most IMPORTANT position, and in basketball, the point guard position is also the most IMPORTANT position. I know you are probably wondering where I am going with this, but if you take the quarterback history, and the point guard history of the Vikings, and the T-Wolves; you will see a scary similarity.
Before we get into that, I want to give some back round information to formulate my stance on this topic. First, take a look at the past 10 Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. They include Tom Brady, Payton Manning, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger Aaron Rodgers, and Joe Flacco. At least four of those six quarterbacks are considered "elite", and the other two (Roethlisberger, Flacco) are pretty darn good. My point is that if you WANT to win the Super Bowl in today's NFL you need an elite quarterback.
In the NBA the same can be said for the past 10 champions. However I do consider LeBron James as the Miami Heat point guard because the offense runs through him, and also I will argue that Derek Fisher is an elite point guard because Kobe Bryant HAS not won a championship without D-Fish running the triangle offense, and Jason Kidd for the Dallas Mavericks, and Tony Parker for the San Antonio Spurs are both Hall of Fame players, so with that, the past 10 NBA champions have had an elite point guard.
Now, let's get to my main point which is what is the similarity between the Vikings and the Timberwolves? The answer is the inept ability to perform at an elite lever from the two very important positions. Don't believe me? Just take a look at the long history for the T-Wolves of either drafting the right point guard and than trading him away like Trey Burke, and Stephen Curry, and on the other hand, they draft a guy but he than becomes a bust like Jonny Flynn, and Pooh Richardson. Also lets not forget Stephon Marbury who had the makeup of being an elite point guard but just could not put it all together. The T-Wolves seem like they are playing a form of bobbing for apples when it comes to drafting point guards. Even the great Ricky Rubio is starting to show signs of regress, not progress; which is something every Wolves fan has feared since Rubio tore his ACL two years ago. The worst part of the T-Wolves history of point guard play is that you can make a case that Troy Hudson is the best point guard in franchise history.
Now the Vikings quarterback history. We all know Fran Tarkenton is the best quarterback in franchise history, but after that, it gets pretty bleak. The list includes Jeff George, Tommy Kramer, Rich Gannon, Brad Johnson, Warren Moon, Jim McMahon. Daunte Culpepper, Tarvaris Jackson, Christian Ponder, and even Joe Webb. There are a lot more quarterbacks that have started for the Vikes; but I do not want make you cry, because it gets pretty pathetic like starting Brook Bollinger. The Vikings have lacked the ability to draft, and groom their franchise quarterback, which has resulted in roller coaster type of seasons. They have found veteran quarterbacks that have elevated the play at the position, but that level of play is only short lived, just look at the 1998, and 2009 season when Randall Cunningham and Brett Favre led the Vikings to the NFC championship game, but everyone knows that the both following seasons (1999,2010) the quarterback play dropped off.
What I am trying to point out is that, yes both franchises have yet to win a championship, and might never win one if they can't find the right player to fulfill the need to play at an elite level, at both quarterback, and point guard position. Right now the Wolves are at a crisis, because Rubio has yet to show that he can become that elite point guard, and with Kevin Love becoming more frustrated and could potentially leave after the 2014-2015 season. The Wolves might have to go back to the drawing board this off-season if Rubio cannot live up to expectations, and the Vikings are already going back to the drawing board because of what they saw from Christian Ponder this season. The bad thing is the Vikings won a few games down the stretch this season, and might have won their way out of the top three quarterback slot.
These franchises have a long history of losing, and will continue to lose unless they both address the key issue at those positions. The Vikings have a shot this spring at finding their franchise quarterback (cough, cough Johnny Maziel), but the T-Wolves who are in a playoffs or bust mentality this season are teetering on becoming a laughing stock of the NBA because of their inept ability to win a close game (0-10 in games decided by four-points or less). If the fans in Minnesota hope to ever see a Super Bowl parade in Minneapolis, they better pray that the Vikings do not bomb at drafting another quarterback, because we cannot survive another Christian Ponder selection. To end this I will say this, which is, I still have faith in Rubio, but he needs to start showing me something or I will jump ship, and I have been on his ship ever since the Wolves drafted him in 2009. These teams are more similar than what meets the eye.