Saturday, January 8, 2011

Minnesota Sports Fan in Green Bay - Not as Bad as it Seems

It has been tough moving from Minnesota to Wisconsin for a number of reasons, but one of the largest could have been the impact to my sports allegiances.  As a reader of this space you know I'm a Twins enthusiast, a long-suffering Vikings fan, and a frustrated Wild fan.  The pathetic Gophers football team?  Don't ask. 

Upon arriving at Green Bay, it has become clear that this entire universe revolves around the Packers.  And why not?  This town is only 105,000 strong, and for it to have a major sports franchise, let alone an NFL team, is something that has no equal anywhere else, nor will it be replicated.  Beyond the civic pride the team instills, it also drives the local economy in tangible ways that are completely unseen in larger locales.  Hence, part of the reason for the passion around the team is that its success puts food on the table.  Literally. 

Pretty much the only other sports option in the area are the Badgers, Brewers, and Bucks, and other than the Badgers, there's not too much to get excited about there.   Hence, as a sports fan with long-standing affinity with certain Minnesota teams, I felt the move to this area would cause hardship for following my teams on TV.  I'm happy to report that I've been mistaken about that: 

Minnesota Vikings - As in MN, the Green Bay market knows there are a number of transplanted Minnesota folks in the area, so if the Pack and the Vikes are not playing at the same time, odds are that we'll get picked for the Vikings feed.  It helped that Favre was there last year, and hopefully that won't impact the number of games they show.  So with that, the Vikings' nationally televised games, and the games directly against the Packers, I get to see about 90% of the Vikings games. 

Gopher Basketball - The Big Ten Network is huge here, and thankfully the Gophers have been on a lot.  Between that, ESPN, and the nationally televised games, We're getting about 90% of these games as well. 

Minnesota Wild - Fox Sports Wisconsin picks up the feed from Fox Sports North for about half of the televised games.  With other cable televised games, and the games on NBC, I get to see about half of the games.  It will be interesting to see what happens if the team makes the playoffs, as they'll have to compete against the Bucks and Brewers for air time. 

Minnesota Twins - this was my biggest worry, as both my wife and I spend every summer night at home with this team.  There isn't a good TV outlet at all, save the rare nationally televised game.  Fortunately there is, which carries every game.  I just need to hook up the laptop to the big screen, bring up the site, and presto - every Twins game. 

While it's not necessarily convenient to be a Minnesota sports fan in Green Bay, it can certainly be accomplished without too much hardship.

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