The word of the weekend: Resiliency.
The Twins have seemed to be at their best this season when their doubters have been at their most intense. They were doubted at the start of the year, then galloped to a double-digit lead in the division. They were doubted again when that lead evaporated, only to expand it again.
And they were definitely doubted a third time going into this last weekend, with their health making their lead going into a three-game series at Cleveland look precarious. Could the Twins squeeze out one win? That was the agreed-up (and perhaps hoped for) bare minimum outcome among fans.
So of course the Twins went out and won the series, proving once again their resiliency this season has been a match for any and all doubters.
That they did so without a single inning that counted from Jake Odorizzi or Jose Berrios — their top two available starters, both of whom were scheduled to pitch when the series began — was just a further testament to their internal belief system. I’ve constantly observed and been told that whatever panic has formed from the outside looking in, the Twins’ clubhouse has remained a confident place.
I’m not sure how much credit to give the Vikings for mostly solving a problem Sunday that they created and coming back to at least put themselves in position to win against the Packers.
But if there is a compliment to be made about that excruciatingly frustrating 21-16 loss, it is that the Vikings were very resilient — a trait that should serve them well this year.
The St. Paul Saints, meanwhile, capped an extremely resilient postseason with a comeback victory Saturday to sweep Sioux City and claim the American Association championship.
• As a result of the Packers’ victory, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips, a Democrat, will have to pay off a bet with Wisconsin Rep. Bryan Steil, a Republican. The two congressmen had a wager on Sunday’s outcome, and Steil will soon be the proud recipient of a 25-pound Pearson’s salted nut roll and some Minnesota craft beer.
• The Buffalo Bills are the kings of New York. They beat the Jets last week and the Giants on Sunday.
• If a prominent Cleveland player is busted for PEDs at some point, please remind pitcher Mike Clevinger of his “I mean, after last year, are you surprised?” wisecrack about Jorge Polanco’s home run Saturday.
• Which, um, midsection-based celebration did you like better? Miguel Sano coming back to the dugout after his Saturday grand slam or Stefon Diggs after his TD grab late in the second quarter Sunday (that was wiped out after review)?
• Monday Night Football looks on the surface like a dud this week with Cleveland coming off a disappointing Week 1 blowout loss and facing an 0-1 Jets team missing QB Sam Darnold (who is out with mononucleosis).
But there is a delightful subplot: new Cleveland WR Odell Beckham Jr. said in leading up to the game that Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams teaches his players to deliver “cheap shots and dirty hits.”
Williams fired back: “We don’t do that. Never done that anywhere I’ve been.” That didn’t seem to be the conclusion of the Bountygate scandal investigation, which stemmed from Williams’ time as the Saints’ defensive coordinator and for which he was suspended by the NFL.
• ESPN’s College Gameday, one of the best and most successful sports programs in TV history, has been visiting college campuses as part of its show since 1993.
But the show had never been to Ames for an Iowa State game until Saturday. And unfortunately, given how the day played out, it might be a while until there’s a repeat trip. The Cyclones lost 18-17 to rival Iowa in a game marred by awful weather.
By the way, there are now just 10 Power Five schools that have never had College Gameday on their campus — and Minnesota is one of them. Nov. 30 in the regular-season finale vs. the Badgers …?