Regret is a painfully strong emotion — one with which Minnesota sports fans are well-acquainted.
Just uttering the name "Drew Pearson" or "Gary Anderson" is enough to send a Vikings fan of a certain age down a spiral of what-ifs.
But our collective sense of regret, after a lot of good seasons but too few great postseasons, is perhaps too fine-tuned.
As a defense mechanism, we sometimes pre-imagine the worst — perhaps to feel relief if and when the perceived worst doesn't happen.
That's a tough way to live, and as it relates to Minnesota sports I blame two people: Lou Holtz and David Ortiz.
Holtz, of course, revitalized the Gophers football fan base with two promising seasons in 1984 and 1985 before using that as a steppingstone to a decade as Notre Dame's head coach.
Holtz's departure came almost 40 years ago, but the damage lingers. There has hardly been a promising — or at least competent — major coach to come along in this market that hasn't immediately made fans (particularly Gophers fans) worry that they could leave.
And yet I can only think of one prime example — Brenda Oldfield (now Frese) leaving the Gophers women's program more than 20 years ago — of someone that bolted for a better job.
It hasn't happened since Holtz with a head coach/manager of the Vikings, Twins, Wild, Wolves, Lynx, Minnesota United, Gophers men's basketball, Gophers football or Gophers men's hockey.
With Ortiz, the regret is different — as Patrick Reusse and I talked about on Monday's Daily Delivery podcast.
Ortiz was a solid hitter with the Twins who was allowed to leave after the 2002 season. Boston took a chance on him and he turned into a Hall of Famer.
And now whenever a local team cuts ties (or at least thinks about it) with a talented but underperforming player, there's an undercurrent of fear: What if he/she goes on to greatness somewhere else?
Miguel Sano was a great example before the Twins finally dumped him. (And if you haven't noticed, Sano has as many at bats in the majors this season as I do).
I sense an undercurrent of it with Max Kepler, whose days in Minnesota could be numbered as his struggles mount.
But in reality, there hasn't been another Ortiz since Ortiz left, just as there hasn't been someone as high-profile as Holtz.