I stumbled across a poll yesterday in our venerable news institution, the Star Tribune online. In it, they asked which Minnesota athlete was the \”most iconic\”, and gave the following options:
- Mikko Koivu
- Kevin Love
- Maya Moore
- Adrian Peterson
- Jim Thome
Read past the jump for our staff votes and editorials.
Monty Brewster: What are you gonna vote?
Crowd: [in unison] None of the above!
What kind of shitty poll is this? Koivu? He\’s not even an icon in Finland let alone Minnesota. Love? Call me when he wins more than 30 games. Moore? Hasn\’t even played a minute here. Peterson? Close, on the cusp. Thome? Yes…if we were in Cleveland!
We all know the answer to this question is Joe Mauer. For better or worse he\’s the most iconic pro athlete in the Twin Cities. Althought with only 34 at bats this year can you even call him a athlete? Anyway… we\’re Minnesota. We\’re as provincial as provincial gets. Local boy does good gets a lot of play here… especially when he does good here. The only way he could be bigger is if he switched it up and played QB for the Vikings… actually, he\’d probably be the best QB on the roster if he did.
I agree with my finely named cohort\’s assessment of the poll options: pick the best-known athlete from our professional sports teams (including the Lynx, of course) and nominate them, regardless of their iconic…ness…acity. Um. Right. Oh, except for the Twins– for them, pick the third- or fourth-most popular player on the team instead. (Editor\’s note: I\’m a big Thome guy. Love him. He\’s got my theoretical vote for the Hall of Fame. But he\’s had exactly one iconic moment in a Twins uniform. His inclusion makes zero sense.)
As much as it pains me to do twice in one gambit, I also agree with wadE\’s take on the true most iconic pro in the Twin Cities: Joseph Patrick \”Baby Jesus\” Mauer. Who else would motivate thousands of fans to don faux sideburns in homage to his famous facial scruff? There have been more headlines featuring \”bilateral leg weakness\” than \”Osama Bin Laden\” in local newspapers. All three of my offspring own and wear Joe Mauer apparel. Why? Because that\’s the only name they put on Twins gear for little people. (I do think Lil would look great in a Lombardozzi onesie, though. I\’ll have to check eBay.)
Casting proneness to injury aside, Mauer is the easy choice. The only choice. However, when I look at the poll results today in the Strib, and see Adrian Peterson with twice as many votes as anyone else, I think Joe would\’ve lost even if he\’d been included. More than a provincial town, we\’re a football town. And, given the Twins\’ record this year… Go, um, Vikes.
It\’s a rare trifecta of agreeance here at the SP World Headquarters. There\’s only one Minnesota athlete who gets to lip off to Kevin Butler. There\’s only one Minnesota athlete who\’s in a commercial with Troy Polamalu. There\’s only one Minnesota athlete who\’s an icon of any sort, and that\’s Joe Mauer. Period. End of story. Jim Thome does have an ox in the batter\’s box, though. I\’ll grant you that.
Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs in the NFL. That and a bag of chips will get you a bag of chips you can go eat with Barry Sanders, for all that being the best running back in the NFL is worth on its own. Kevin Love is one sexy outlet passer. [cf.]
Mikko Koivu is unquestionably the Wild\’s best player, and MVP. They were well into playoff contention when he got injured this year, and the team promptly went straight into the crapper. (If they could get a few goal-scorers to help him out, that\’d be fantastic, but that\’s a different discussion.) Nevertheless, he\’s not an icon.
Here\’s what I will say: Maya Moore is the most likely person on this list to lead their teams to a championship any time in the next 3 years. It might not make her an icon, but at least she\’ll be a winner.