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Don’t Watch This; Watch That, Week 6: Nineteen Years Ago Today...

A happiness that eluded me for almost 19 years.

Twins v Yankees
Background: NEW YORK - OCTOBER 5: Jorge Posada #20 of the New York Yankees is tagged out at home plate to complete the double play by catcher Henry Blanco #21 of the Minnesota Twins on a throw by center fielder Torii Hunter in the 2nd inning of Game 1 of the American League Division Series on October 5, 2004 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Twins defeated the Yankees 2-0 and lead the best of five series 1-0.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

October 5, 2004. I had just turned 14. It was a Tuesday, meaning I probably had Quiz Bowl practice or an 8th grade soccer game, did homework, and settled in to watch playoff baseball.

It was, until Tuesday, the last time the Minnesota Twins had won a playoff game.

We talked in today’s Mailbag about your team’s identity—wisconsin’s Dairy Raid, Illinois’s suckitude, Indiana bending but not breaking. For almost all my life—I was 13 months old when the Twins won Minnesota’s most recent men’s professional sports championship—any and all of those teams have been characterized by failure: the Vikings will miss the field goal at the worst time. The Wild won’t make it out of the first round. The Timberwolves exist.

And the Twins can’t win a playoff game.

Instead, the culture was small-market ball doing plucky things—pissing off Ozzie Guillen and the Chicago White Sox with their “Piranha Ball” to the point that it became an advertising campaign in 2007:

But the playoff wins never came. Damn Yankees, damn Astros, damn A’s, damn umpires, damn everyone and anything. Eighteen straight playoff losses—record-setting futility.

That changed on Tuesday night, almost nineteen years to the day, when the Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays and finally got off that particular slide. Pablo Lopez wore a throwback Johan Santana jersey. The fans showed up in force. Royce Lewis overcame his injuries—he can basically run base-to-base but nothing else—to hit two home runs. 3-1, Twins win.

They did the thing again on Wednesday night, wasting nine Blue Jay hits as Sonny Gray and the bullpen shut the Jays down, 2-0, and won their first playoff series since beating the A’s 3-2 in 2002 before losing to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and that damn Rally Monkey.

The Twins could—and, if the seeds and odds makers are to be believed, should—bow out to the Houston Astros by sometime middle of next week. The Trash-Bangers have the things the Twins struggle with: a great left-handed starter. Disciplined and effective hitters. Justin Verlander.

But this was a first step. It’s sad to be happy with “just” a Wild Card Series win, but it’s so welcome after years and years of being a punch line.

Thursday Night
Don’t Watch This

Concord Grapes at Fairmont State Barkers [6pm, online]
Sam Houston Bearkats (+19.5, O/U 46) [6pm, CBSSN]

{NFL} Chicago Bears at Washington Commanders (-6, O/U 45)
{Caribbean Club Championship} Robin Hood vs. Atletico Pantoja [7pm, Fox Soccer Plus]
{WSOC} wisconsin vs. Northwestern [7pm, BTN]
{Libertadores} Palmeiras vs. Boca Juniors [7:30pm, beIN]

Watch That

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

7pm | ESPNU | WKU -6.5 | O/U 59.5

The kid has Hand, Foot, Mouth! This is great. Apparently the only thing that keeps her calm is something called Trash Truck. Approximately five dads will respond in some visceral, emotional way in the comments.


Thursday night?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    (14 votes)
  • 39%
    I would—and I promise I mean this—rather watch two of the worst teams in the NFL slapfight on a pay streaming service.
    (36 votes)
  • 6%
    One of those soccer games, maybe.
    (6 votes)
  • 39%
    None of the above, but I’m going to offer you parenting advice in the comments.
    (36 votes)
92 votes total Vote Now

Friday Night
Don’t Watch This

Cornell Big Red at #19 Harvard Crimson [6pm, ESPNU]
Gettysburg Chargers at Johns Hopkins Birdnerds [6pm, stream]
Kansas State Wildcats (-12, O/U 54.5) at Oklahoma State Cowboys [6:30pm, ESPN]

{USL1} One Knoxville vs. Richmond Kickers [6:30pm, ESPN+]
{CPL} Valour vs. HFX Wanderers [6:30pm, FS2]
{CPL} Vancouver FC vs. York United [9:30pm, FS2]

Watch That

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Illinois Fighting Illini

7pm | FS1 | Illinois -3.5 | O/U 43

This is such a low bar for entertainment that you’d think even Nebraska and Illinois could clear it.

We’re going to get either a blowout or an Iowa-Michigan State-esque war crime.


Friday night! What’s happenin?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    (89 votes)
  • 26%
    Literally anything else
    (34 votes)
  • 5%
    I’ll be at Northwoods bar trivia with you, MNW
    (7 votes)
130 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning
Don’t Watch This

Maryland Terrapins at #4 Ohio State Buckeyes (-20, O/U 57.5) [11am, FOX]
#23 LSU Tigers (-6.5, O/U 64.5) at #21 Missouri Tigers [11am, ESPN]
Western Michigan Broncos at Mississippi State Bulldogs (-20, O/U 56) [11am, SECN]
Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Wisconsin Badgers (-14, O/U 44.5) [11am, Peacock]
Bill & Mary at Virginia Cavaliers [11am, ACCN]
Toledo Rockets (-19, O/U 58.5) at UMass Minutemen [11am, ESPNU]

{MLB} Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles [12pm, FS1]

Watch That

#12 Oklahoma Sooners vs. #3 Texas Longhorns

11am | ABC | Texas -6.5 | O/U 60.5

Boston College Eagles at Army Black Knights

11am | CBSSN | Army -3 | O/U 50.5

Look. Loathe as I am to watch the Red River Pants-Creaming-Fest that is Oklahoma-Texas, this is a reaaaaaal morning of stinkers. There could be some points and fireworks in LSU-Mizzou, but I’ve already recommended one Brian Kelly game for the year and don’t think my heart can take another.

Instead, Boston College is a random number generator where every number is going to be something dumb and insignifcant, like 7 or 14 or something you don’t care about. Against the ball-control but also passing offense(???) of Army, maybe this is fun?


Saturday morning! As MNW boards a bus for a brewery crawl, you turn on...

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    ...the Red River thingy
    (34 votes)
  • 3%
    BC-Army! I’m in!
    (5 votes)
  • 34%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time.
    (50 votes)
  • 23%
    Not my Big Ten team, but one of these Big Ten pantsings.
    (34 votes)
  • 6%
    (10 votes)
  • 2%
    (3 votes)
  • 5%
    I’ll be on the bus for your brewery crawl, MNW! See you in Crosby.
    (8 votes)
144 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon
Don’t Watch This

Marshall Thundering Herd at NC State Wolfpack (-6.5, O/U 45.5) [1pm, The CW]
UTSA Roadrunners (-14, O/U 55.5) at Temple Owls [1pm, ESPN+]
Central Michigan Chippewas (-3, O/U 54) at Buffalo Bulls [1pm, ESPN+]
#13 Washington State Cougars at UCLA Bruins (-3.5, O/U 59) [2pm, Pac-12]
Howard Bison at Northwestern Wildcats [2pm, BTN]
Virginia Tech Hokies at #5 Florida State Seminoles (-24, O/U 53) [2:30pm, ABC]
#11 Alabama Crimson Tide (-2.5, O/U 46.5) at Texas A&M Aggies [2:30pm, CBS]
* Syracuse Orange at #14 North Carolina Tar Heels (-8, O/U 60) [2:30pm, ESPN]
Purdue Boilermakers at Iowa Hawkeyes (-2.5, O/U 38.5) [2:30pm, Peacock]
Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Clemson Tigers (-21, O/U 51.5) [2:30pm, ACCN]
North Texas Mean Green at Navy Midshipmen (-6.5, O/U 60.5) [2:30pm, CBSSN]
Balls Tate Robotbirds at Eastern Michigan Eagles (-2.5, O/U 42.5) [2:30pm, ESPN+]
Bowling Green Falcons at Miami Hydroxide Redhawks (-10, O/U 46.5) [2:30pm, ESPN+]
Kent State Golden Flashes at Ohio Bobcats (-26, O/U 45.5) [2:30pm, ESPN+]
Northern Illinois Huskies (-6.5, O/U 43.5) at Akron Zips [2:30pm, ESPN+]
Vanderbilt Commodores at Florida Gators (-18.5, O/U 52) [3pm, SECN]
Arkansas State Red Wolves at Troy Trojans (-16.5, O/U 51.5) [3pm, ESPN+]
UConn Huskies at Rice Owls (-9.5, O/U 47.5) [4pm, ESPN+]

{MLB} Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros [3:45pm, FS1]
{MLB} Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves [5pm, TBS]

Watch That

Texas State Bobcats at Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

2:30pm | ESPNU | Cajuns -1 | O/U 69.5

UCF Knights at Kansas Jayhawks

3pm | FOX | KU -2 | O/U 65

USF Bulls at UAB Blazers

3pm | ESPN2 | USF -3.5 | O/U 68

Numbers, 1-20, ranked:

  1. 10
  2. 1
  3. 20
  4. 5
  5. 2
  6. 8
  7. 4
  8. 3
  9. 9
  10. 13
  11. 12
  12. 11
  13. 7
  14. 15
  15. 6
  16. 18
  17. 16
  18. 17
  19. 14
  20. 19


Lottttts of points to go around this afternoon...

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    The Glen Mason Non-Conference Schedule Bowl: SW Texas State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette!
    (8 votes)
  • 11%
    That classic Big XII matchup, UCF-KU!
    (12 votes)
  • 5%
    Uh...the Trent Dilfer Bowl?
    (6 votes)
  • 37%
    No points for me, I’m watching my Big Ten football team.
    (40 votes)
  • 38%
    Trading in my points for runs this afternoon.
    (41 votes)
107 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening
Don’t Watch This

Tulsa Golden Hurricane at FAU Owls(-4, O/U 54.5) [5pm, ESPN+]
Colorado Buffaloes (-4, O/U 60.5) at Arizona State Sun Devils [5:30pm, Pac-12]
#20 Kentucky Wildcats at #1 Georgia Bulldogs (-14.5, O/U 48.5) [6pm, ESPN]
South Alabama Jaguars (-11.5, O/U 51) at UL Monroe Warhawks [6pm, ESPN+]
Old Dominion Monarchs at Southern Miss Golden Eagles (-1.5, O/U 57.5) [6pm, ESPN+]
#2 Michigan Wolverines (-19, O/U 46) at Minnesota Golden Gophers [6:30pm, NBC]
#10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-6.5, O/U 54) at #25 Louisville Cardinals [6:30pm, ABC]
Arkansas Razorbacks at #16 Ole Miss Rebels (-11.5, O/U 63.5) [6:30pm, SECN]
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at #17 Miami Hurricanes (-21.5, O/U 57.5) [7pm, ACCN]
Texas Tech Red Raiders (-1, O/U 58.5) at Baylor Bears [7pm, ESPN2]
TCU Horned Frogs (-6.5, O/U 52.5) at Iowa State Cyclones [7pm, FS1]
San Jose State Spartans at Boise State Broncos (-9.5, O/U 59) [7pm, CBSSN]

Watch That

#1 South Dakota State Jackrabbits at #22 Illinois State Redbirds

6pm | ESPN+

#24 Fresno State Bulldogs at Wyoming Cowboys

7pm | FOX | Fresno -6 | O/U 45.5

Colorado State Rams at Utah State Aggies

7pm | MWN | CSU -1.5 | O/U 63.5

  • Army has thrown for 678 yards this year.
  • Iowa has thrown for 669 yards this year.

Anyway, Fresno-Wyoming is THE play here—it’ll be a crisp 60 degrees at kickoff in Laramie, with the temp dropping as it gets dark and things get weird a mile above sea level.

The ‘Pokes are a hoot, the Bulldogs are possibly good. This is a shouldn’t-miss game.


Saturday night! What’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    (11 votes)
  • 15%
    (20 votes)
  • 2%
    CSU-Utah State
    (3 votes)
  • 5%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time
    (7 votes)
  • 31%
    No, really, I’d rather watch Michigan-Minnesota
    (40 votes)
  • 11%
    Something else, like baseball
    (14 votes)
  • 2%
    Something else, like soccer
    (3 votes)
  • 22%
    Something else, like shut up
    (28 votes)
126 votes total Vote Now

It’s late and I’m drunk...
Don’t Watch This

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at Utah Tech Trailblazers [8pm, ESPN+]
#15 Oregon State Beavers (-9.5, O/U 52) at California Golden Bears [9pm, Pac-12]

Watch That

Arizona Wildcats at #9 USC Trojans

9:30pm | ESPN | USC -21.5 | O/U 72

{MLB} Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers

8:20pm | TBS | LA -205 | O/U 8

Woof. Your options here are baseball or a should-be blowout on ESPN.

The nice thing is (1) the point of this timeslot is to be drunk and watching bad games, and (2) USC has been known to give up points and Jayden De Laura makes things happen on the ground and in the air.


Saturday night! It’s late, I’m drunk, and I’m watching...

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    (22 votes)
  • 13%
    ...Arizona-Los Angeles
    (15 votes)
  • 14%
    Oregon State-Cal
    (16 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 6%
    whatever the bar has on
    (7 votes)
  • 44%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (48 votes)
108 votes total Vote Now

Back to a screaming kid. Have a great weekend, everyone.