Timberwolves Fans, Stop Crying and Find a Hobby

Kevin LindseyAnalyst INovember 21, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 28: Al Jefferson #25 of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives to the basket against the New Jersey Nets at the Target Center on October 28, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Nets 95-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Genevieve Ross/Getty Images)
Genevieve Ross/Getty Images

I don’t understand all of the gnashing of teeth among Timberwolves fans.   Fans knew that wins would be rare this year, why haven’t they found a hobby to keep their mind off the inevitable losses?

Did anyone really believe that the Wolves would be near .500 at the end of November with an injured Kevin Love, a recuperating Al Jefferson, and a team comprised primarily of two rookies and several players who struggled to earn 10 minutes of playing time a night for their former teams?

Look I’m not advocating giving up on the home town heroes or for people to completely stop watching.  All I’m suggesting is that we dial back our emotional attachment to the organization this year.

You know how children in adolescence sometimes go through a period in which they can’t get along with their parents and the parents . . . uh, can’t wait for their children to move out.

Wolves’ fans need to look at this year as if the team is the petulant child that needs to leave home for awhile.  Soon the child will return back home, hopefully with new friends, and the relationship that was once strained will become strong again.

As empty nest parents this season, Wolves fans need to find a hobby to keep themselves busy during the winter.

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There is always ice fishing inside your best friend's super deluxe ice-house in which you can watch Family Guy in between pulling up fish trapped in ice cubes. 

Going up north to the real frozen tundra to ride snowmobiles between your favorite watering holes for adult beverages is always an option provided you practice moderation.

Eating is always a popular option to spend time.  I understand that many people in Minnesota eat lutefisk which is made with lye.  And there is some local delicacy known as hot dish in which no one can agree what ingredients are indispensable to include.

Of course, the most obvious fix for a sports fan is to begin watching the other major sports teams in town.

Fortunately, the Minnesota Vikings have been fun and entertaining to watch this season as they are off to an 8-1 start.    Following the Vikings will clearly take some of the edge off.

It would also be good to be reminded that there can be winning professional franchises in Minnesota.  Make sure that you don’t fall into the false belief some Vikings fans have concerning Brett Favre namely that he is only reason for the Vikings success.

Favre is very important but he is not the only reason for the success of the Vikings.  One player no matter how gifted is going to reverse the fortunes of the Wolves.   

Remember Ricky Rubio is no Brett Favre no matter what his agent says.

Wolves fans who need their basketball fix can always check out the No. 18 Minnesota Gophers in the Barn.   The Big Ten is loaded this year with several quality teams so you know you will see a good game.

Be careful when watching the Gophers not to let your mind start fantasizing about whether the Gophers could beat the Timberwolves otherwise you will make yourself queasy thinking about the outcome.

Some fans I know have gone back into the gym to work on their own game.  Creating a good sweat by dropping dimes, playing tough defense and hitting open shots has always been a good way for me to keep my mind clear.

The problem that occurs for hard core fans that still play on a regular basis is that your heart starts telling you that maybe just maybe you could actually finally make an NBA roster.  Your shooting percentage from beyond the arc in the gym is just as good as the Wolves.   

Of course, what really needs to happen is for your head to hear Bruce Springsteen singing glory days.

In all seriousness, with all of the issues and challenges facing us as a country, now is a good time for Wolves fans to find an issue they care about and devote time and effort to resolving the issue they care about deeply instead of getting frustrated by the fact the Wolves won’t be in the playoffs again.

If you do start to feel nostalgic for the Wolves team that you saw last year and can’t stop wondering what if . . . remember that last year’s team was 24 games away from the 8th spot in the playoffs. 

Tinkering with the Wolves was not going to get the job done. 

The Wolves were simply not going to close the 24 game gap that existed last year between the haves and have-nots in the Western Conference by tinkering at the edges during this past offseason.

Tinkering at its best would have simply put the Wolves on a treadmill in which they would only be challenging on a yearly basis for the 8th seed of the playoffs.  No one at the end of the day wants to be content to just make the playoffs only to lose in the first round.

While Wolves fans can argue whether Kahn has gone too far in stripping down the Wolves, it has been clear for a long time that if Minnesota was going to win an NBA Championship the team would need to be blown up, several draft picks would have to be stockpiled and money would need to be made available to pursue free agents.

Remember the Wolves have several draft picks to improve the team.  The Wolves will also be swimming in money next year to pursue marquee free agents.

Next year, the Wolves will be a deeper and more talented team.  This year will be the very bottom for the Kahn/Rambis regime.

Of course, the other thing that was clear was that in order to contend for a NBA championship the fans would have to endure at least one more painful season filled with losses.  Hopefully, it will only be one painful season before Wolves fans can see the gold at the end of rainbow. 

Remember, you also might avoid pain in your jaw and save on your dental bill if you find a hobby this winter.