Injuries have nothing to do with this. Nothing to see here, folks.
Time to end the Vanilla Policy. Just not our style. Let's do this.
It's been a rough week for Wild fans. The trade deadline took away some fan favorites, a 4-0 loss to the Kings, a 5-4 shootout loss to the Habs that saw the team lose Niklas Backstrom and Devin Setoguchi make the highlight reel for all the wrong reasons, and capped off with a 6-0 humiliation at the hands of the Red Wings. The fans have a right to be... not happy.
What to do with the unhappiness is another question. Reading Twitter is a decent way to get the general feeling for the way a fan base is reacting to things. Right now, the feeling seems to be that Wild fans want blood, and I'm not quite sure why. Sure, it might make you feel better, but will firing someone make things better?
Back in January, we asked you to take the role of Chuck Fletcher, Mike Yeo, and Mikko Koivu. We asked you for ideas on how to fix things. No one had much of an answer. He we are, a month and a half later, and it turns out the real versions of those three people don't have the answers either. Damn is JB Spisso wasn't right when he told the team that the enemy gets a vote, too.
Still, we have fans clamoring for heads to roll, columnists wondering why the Wild don't get the same amount of crap that the Twins and Vikings do for the collapse of the century. It's a fair question, and one we look at... after the jump.
If you would, take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of someone calling for heads to roll. Maybe you actually are someone calling for heads to roll. The one question I would like you to answer is... What does it accomplish?
- If you fire Chuck Fletcher, you send a terrible message. He has drafted players that will make this a better team. As I have asked before, are you going to fire him before those players even get here?
- If you fire Mike Yeo, what does it do? You think the Wild are suddenly going to turn into the Detroit Red Wings if they have a veteran coach behind the bench?
- Could you do better?
So, ask yourself, what does it do to fire someone? I am genuinely curious to know what fans think will happen if someone is fired.
The Call For A More Vocal Fan Base
Patrick Reusse posted this series on Twitter today:
Wild tied for 12th w/ Anaheim in West. Once 20-10, now 28-37. Eight wins in 35 games. Which begs a question:
With a collapse like this, why aren't these clowns getting same heat as Twins & Vikes in 2011?
Wild 75 pts w/ Todd Richards after 65 games last season. Wild 66 pts w/ Mike Yeo after 65 games.
Few goals, few wins, no playoffs. Bottom line: Wild continue to play fans for chumps.
Darren Wolfson gave the same answer I did:
To which Reusse responds:
To repeat: After 3 yrs. out of playoffs, how do Wild get away with "no-expectations'' excuse?
So... we have a columnist who is asking a fair question. Why do the Wild not get as much heat as the Vikings and Twins? Are Wild fans "chumps" as he puts it? After all, Wild fans continue to flock to the X and pay big money to watch them lose. Is Reusse right, or is he wrong?
To me, it's a bit of both. First off, if he thinks the fans aren't angry, he is looking in the wrong place. The fans I see on Twitter are not pleased. Of course, they are on Twitter, so Reusse would have a difficult time dealing with that. As mentioned above, they are calling for heads to roll. What else would Reusse like? Pitch forks and torches?
Now, let's get to the expectations issue. What were the expectations for the Vikings this year? The fans I talked to thought they were Super Bowl contenders. They finished 3-13. The Twins were expected to certainly be a playoff team, without question. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Micheal Cuddyer... they had it all. All they needed was to bring it together and win.
They finished 63-99, 32 games out of first place in the Central. They almost lost 100 games.
Now, the question is, why do the Wild not get as much heat? Well, in order to match the Twins' ineptitude, the Wild would have to lose 50 games. To match the Vikings, 66. Have they done that? Keep in mind the expectations placed on the Twins and Vikes before their respective seasons. Super Bowl bound, and solid playoff contenders.
Did anyone in the world think the Wild were headed to the Stanley Cup Finals? How many thought (at the beginning of the year) that the Wild were poised to make long playoff run? Make the playoffs? Sure. Make a run? No one had that idea.
Reusse says you are all chumps and giving the Wild a pass. He says the Wild are just as bad as the Twins and Vikings.
You have conflicting issues at hand. You have a group calling for someone to get fired, and a high-powered media guy saying Wild fans are soft for not calling for someone to get fired. Reconcile these, if you will, and tell us what you are thinking, Wilderness.