Being a Minnesota sports fan can be painful at times.
Let’s take a broad look at our professional sports this year: The Twins got to the playoffs but were swept by the New York Yankees. The Vikings got Brett Favre back, but it’s caused more controversy – and losses – than wins. The Wild got off to an OK start at 8-6-2, but no one cared about hockey until it started snowing again. And the Timberwolves got a young, budding star in Michael Beasley, but they’re still, well, the Timberwolves.
And with that reality, you, the Minnesota sports fan, slowly got depression and had nothing to cheer you up.
But don’t worry, Minnesota sports fan. I have just the remedy: Come check out Tommie sports.
Between Cretin, Summit, Cleveland and Selby avenues, the atmosphere surrounding athletics is electric these days. It’s quite the time to be a fan of St. Thomas sports. Here’s why:
Football enters the NCAA tournament with a No. 1 seed
It seems the stars have aligned for the Tommie football program to make a deep run in the NCAA playoffs: A No. 1 regional seeding. Home-field advantage. An undefeated season. All-American athletes. Exceptional coaching. When the Tommies take on Benedictine University Saturday on Palmer Field, students will paint their bodies, alumni will fill the veranda and the band will play loudly. This is one you won’t want to miss.
Volleyball travels to St. Louis for the NCAA Elite Eight
With all the football buzz, Tommie volleyball has hovered under the radar despite making history Sunday. The team won an NCAA regional title and will make its first appearance in the national finals this weekend in St. Louis, opening against No. 3-ranked Juniata College today. This Tommie team has had an impressive season in its own right, winning 26 of its last 29 games.
Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving is making a splash on campus
The men’s team won the MIAC championship last year, and both teams sent individuals to the NCAA Division III meet. This season they’re both returning some exceptional talent. Plus, I don’t know if you noticed, but there’s a new pool on campus, and it amplifies the excitement pulsing through our community about Tommie swimming and diving. One senior swimmer told me the pool has made swimming more exciting than ever before. So far he’s right, as fans have filled the pool’s seating section for the first few home meets.
Basketball is back home
With the opening of the AARC, men’s and women’s basketball have returned to the confines of home. The women’s team kicked off the season Monday in Schoenecker Arena with a tough loss to highly rated UW-Stevens Point, but the Tommies have a solid core and deep bench and look to make back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances. The No. 13-ranked men’s team opened its season Tuesday beating Division II Concordia-St. Paul. Students and alumni will welcome the team home on Nov. 23 when the Tommies take on UW-River Falls.
Hockey is off to a solid start
When Minnesota had its first snowfall last weekend, it officially became hockey season. Both the Tommie men’s (4-2) and women’s (2-2) hockey teams are off to good starts. Just because these teams play off-campus doesn’t mean they don’t get fans. The STAR Fanamaniac buses give students a free lift to the game and back, making sure there’s plenty of Tommie purple in the stands.
So the next time you, Minnesota sports fan, find that empty, hopeless void in your heart, come on down to St. Thomas. There’s plenty of team spirit to go around, everyone’s more than willing to share, and it’s always fun to root for winners!