Reusse: Slim chances for a big-four championship here this decade

The move of the Arizona Coyotes to Salt Lake City for the 2024-25 season has eliminated the Phoenix area as the Twin Cities' main competition for championship deprivation.

This covers only the championships in the four largest men's pro sports leagues and what were 13 markets to have at least one team in MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL.

Where's soccer? You don't get on the list unless the league you're in is the best in the world, and that's not MLS.

Here in the Twin Cities, we go back to Oct. 27, 1991, when Jack Morris pitched an excellent ballgame and the Twins won a second World Series, beating Atlanta 1-0 in 10 innings

Among the dozen full-service markets standing as we make it successfully through calendar Year 33 — Vikings, Wild, Timberwolves done, Twins sub-mediocre — without a major men's title, only Phoenix had one lonely title to claim.

That came in 2001, when the Arizona Diamondbacks ended the New York Yankees' streak of World Series titles at three.

With Phoenix gone, these are the titles won in the full-service areas since 1991:

12: Boston. 11: Chicago (five teams), Los Angeles (eight), New York (nine). 8: Bay Area (five teams, formerly six). 7: Denver. 6: Dallas-Fort Worth. 5: Detroit, Miami. 3: Washington. 2: Philadelphia.

Which of our four teams has the best outside chance of putting an end our men's championship ostrich egg before the end of this decade?

Here is an opinion on that, starting with the highest percentage of improbability:


The difference between the top spenders and the middle was not out of control in favor of the mighty franchises when the Twins won those World Series in 1987 and 1991.

That changed when the owners took a strike to wipe out the World Series in 1994. The tipoff on the deal MLB wound up with the next spring was that the best team in the National League — the Montreal Expos — conducted a fire sale that sent it toward extinction.

The Twins had very good clubs from 2001 to 2010, but not good enough. Kansas City added to an excellent roster of players not yet hitting free agency, went to two World Series, won it in 2015, and then went into a stupor that only now the Royals have escaped.

The Twins have cut payroll and aren't on TV for most of the interested people, eliminating any carryover of enthusiasm from ending the historic playoff losing streak last October.

The deck is stacked against a northern team with an outdoor ballpark, a tepid fan base and a rigid payroll getting through multiple playoff series to reach a World Series.

And to win its third, decades later? Improbability: 95%.


We have seen what might be the ultimate season for the Wolves, and it was much fun. They won 56 games, which was 10 above preseason projections, and that second-round playoff series with Denver will live for years with its outrageous twists.

I have rarely watched a sports event more surprising than the Game 2 blowout in Denver, until Game 6 arrived at Target Center. Up by 50!

Trouble is, the entire line being offered about this being a young team that had to go through the playoff wars one time to see what it takes to go further … that's nonsense.

The point guard is 37. Rudy isn't going to get better. KAT's been in the league for nine years.

What we found out is: You need two Ants and a half-dozen other pieces to get a chance to play for an NBA title.

And then the Woofies winning one? Improbability: 85%.


The St. Paul Sellouts (as in tickets purchased) missed the NHL playoffs, which shouldn't have hurt anybody's feelings. They had too many old guys for a run.

Yet, here's where they can start:

The best top line they have had in their history is Kirill Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy. And Brock Faber on defense. And maybe this Jesper Wallstedt can give them a goalie for 10 years instead of one on loan from retirement.

Hockey is the most random of sports. Follow the crowd into the playoffs, get through a first round and then anything can happen.

The Stanley Cup before 2030? Improbability: 80%.


They have done everything right since the end of last season. They got rid of Kirk. They got three pass rushers for the price of Danielle Hunter. They didn't trade down to get two sixth-rounders and three seventh-rounders.

They went after difference-makers. What a concept, Rick Spielman.

Go 12-5 in two, three years, then win four games and you got a Lombardi Trophy.

Can it happen? Improbability: only 70%.