Virg Foss commentary: You can't always get what you want
No matter how heartfelt the dreams, how high the hopes, how bright the expectations, we don't always get what we want. I've seen three clear cases in recent days that drive home that painful point. I don't recall another UND Fighting Sioux hockey...
No matter how heartfelt the dreams, how high the hopes, how bright the expectations, we don't always get what we want.
I've seen three clear cases in recent days that drive home that painful point.
I don't recall another UND Fighting Sioux hockey team that charted a clearer path to a national championship than this season's Sioux.
This was a team that would settle for nothing less. It was a team good enough not to have to. A team on a mission, as focused as any Sioux team I have ever seen.
Yet a 2-0 upset loss to Michigan in the Frozen Four put a serious dent in the celebration of a glorious season for the Sioux.
This week, I headed to my lake cabin near Bemidji to join my son, my daughter-in-law, my granddaughter and 11-month-old great grandson Zachary for a mini-family reunion and get some work done.
Score an ace for the family reunion, not so much for the rest.
Other than son Steve getting the well water running in the cabin after a winter of idleness, none of the other planned work projects went well.
A blocked culvert in the road behind my cabin meant that melting snow couldn't drain into the lake. Instead, water flooded my yard, though missed by inches of flowing into the cabin.
So the reunion has been more about diverting water, moving sump pumps and fortifying blockades to stop the water. But having been through a flood or two in Grand Forks, we're seasoned veterans.
Ice covers Lake Beltrami. Plans for launching the boat and putting in the dock joined the NCAA hockey championship on the scrap heap.
Then came the devastating news for those of you who love the Minnesota Twins, as my son Steve does.
Joe Mauer, in the first year of his eight-year contract of $23 million (gulp) a year, goes on the disabled list with leg problems again.
Forget the fact he hasn't hit for power since agreeing to the richest contract in team history. His fielding has suffered and a string of health issues leave his future as a catcher in serious doubt. He looks like an average Joe lately.
It could turn out to be one of the biggest busts of a deal any team ever struck with a player. Say it ain't so, Joe. Yet it's a deal the Twins had to make. They could not let their hometown hero go to another team.
The pressures of performing under such an enormous contract are unreal, more so when you're the hometown hero.
Factor in Mauer's long string of injuries and one has to wonder about his future. Will he need to play some other position than catcher? Will the injuries prevent him from ever being a power hitter again? An MVP again? Can the Twins win without a healthy Mauer? Can he ever stay healthy?
We just never know in life, do we? Most of us expected this Sioux hockey team to win nationals. I had hopes of my dock and boat going into the lake this week.
Twins fans still have high hopes this early in the season. Yet there's a feeling of uncertainty surrounding Mauer's future now.
It just goes to prove that one never knows. Dreams and wishes rarely translate into reality.
Ask the Sioux. Ask me. Ask Joe. We've all had plans derailed.
We march ahead regardless. We build and hope for brighter days. It's all we can do.
Foss is a Hall of Fame journalist who reported on sports for 36 years for the Herald until his retirement. He writes a weekly column from October through April. Contact him at email@example.com or at (701) 772-9272.