Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Muchas Gracias Minnesota

As I watched Randy Moss taking in the Celtics victory and rooting on his buddy Kevin Garnett at the Garden the other night, I couldn't help but think how much Moss, KG, and David Ortiz have in common. They all began their professional careers and became famous in Minnesota, yet they are all ending their careers and achieving legendary status in Boston.

David Ortiz was 'David Arias' when he began his career with the Minnesota Twins in 1997. The affable First Baseman was a decent hitter and average fielder but he never could hit for power at the Metrodome, so the Twins released him. The Red Sox quickly claimed him off waivers and with a new name and a power swing suited for Fenway, 'Big Papi' has led the Sox to 2 World Series titles while becoming an ambassador for Boston baseball a long the way.

Kevin Garnett was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves out of High School in 1995 and achieved great personal success by winning the League MVP and numerous All Star appearances but he couldn't bring his team a Championship. He wanted to join a winner before his career was over but had no interest in going to Boston until they traded for Ray Allen. In his first season with Boston, he won the Defensive Player of the Year Award and led the Celtics to the biggest turnaround in NBA history and to the NBA Finals.

Before Randy Moss resurrected his career with the New England Patriots he was a young star drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 1998. Under the tutelage of fellow Receiver Chris Carter he achieved success early in career only to go astray. He left the Vikings and then had more altercations with the Oakland Raiders before being traded to the Patriots. Now paired with Tom Brady, Moss has become a solid citizen and a team player all while breaking the single season TD record and leading the Patriots to the SuperBowl.

So as New Englanders enjoy the unprecedented success of our local sports teams, we should be thankful to our friends to the North for breaking in KG, Moss, and 'Big Papi'. For without their past growth experience in Minnesota, our sports stars may not be all that super for Boston fans today.

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