The Viking had their bye this week, but what should have been a few days of R&R turned stressful when Fox Sports reported yesterday that Pat and Kevin Williams, the fierce and bloated anchors of the Purple's defensive line, were busted for taking a diuretic. 'Diuretics are banned by the league?' you ask. They sure are.
Diuretics are a big-time NFL no-no for their ability to cover up steroids in your bloodstream. The Pro Bowlers face a four-game suspension if (more likely when) their appeals are denied. This could be a season killer for Minnesota.
The Golden Gophers' miserable 1-11 record last season is becoming a distant memory. The Gophers took their vastly improved squad to Purdue on Saturday and stalled the Boilermakers with tough defense and enough offense to win at Purdue for the time since the George H.W. Bush administration. The college football polls were kind to the U, notching them at No. 17 in the BCS standings and No. 20 in the AP, the highest they've been since 1999, with a record of 7-1. With an easy home game next week against the Northwestern Wildcats for homecoming, the Gophers' should be able to cement a good bowl game this year, rather than the crappy ones they've have had in recent years. And head coach Tim Brewster can probably stop scanning the want ads for a while.
The Wild opened the season in the complete opposite way they closed last season's playoffs: with intensity and a decent amount of scoring. Even as they watched their veterans and some newbies drop like flies to injuries with vague, NHL terms like "lower-body injury," they remained undefeated until the Buffalo Sabers came to town. The Wild carried the lead late into the third period, when Buffalo scored two goals in the last four minutes of regulation and got the victory in OT. It was a bad loss, and Stephane Veilleux summed it up perfectly telling the Strib "We were a little too comfortable."
The Wild made up for the lazy loss somewhat last night by beating Columbus 2-1 at The X in a hard-fought game. The Wild almost blew another two-goal cushion, as the Blue Jackets appeared to score the tying goal with 11.5 second left in regulation, before it was overruled by the NHL's instant replay observers. Whew. Also awesome: The Wild lead the NHL with allowing only 12 measly goals in their first six games. The 5-0-1 Wild take on the struggling Chicago Blackhawks (3-2-2) tonight at the X.
In non-Wild hockey news that's just too ridiculous to neglect, Sarah Palin's visit to St. Louis injured Blues goalie Manny Legace. He tripped over a carpet unrolled on the ice for Palin to walk on to mid-ice to drop the ceremonial first puck, injuring his hip. He pulled himself from the game after the first period. Surprisingly, he wasn't bitter at all telling the AP "I'm starting to like her more and more. No grudge."
Former Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Matt Garza made his World Series debut in game three on Friday. Garza, who was the MVP of the ALCS, didn't pitch all that well as the Tampa Bay Rays fell 5-4. He allowed 4 runs in 6 innings on 3 home runs and came away with a no decision. Still, pitching a so-so game in the World Series beats the hell out of watching the World Series at home like the rest of the Twins.