Wisconsin vs. Minnesota: Sports

Story by Frank Pellegrino and Lucas Carlson

This week in Currents we pit Wisconsin and Minnesota in an extensive Great Debate.


Although Wisconsin’s sports history has been blowing Minnesota’s out of the water since the ball was invented, I am going to focus more on what’s happened in the average college student’s lifetime, or since 1988.

Yes, Minnesota did eke out a World Series in 1991, but can any of us even remember that anyway? Even through the Brewers’ struggles of the ’90’s, they still have virtually the same all-time winning percentage, just hundredths of points away from each other.

When it comes to hockey, which Minnesota fans think they rule, the comparison is more one-sided than one may think. The North Stars/Wild have never won a championship in their 34 years of existence. The Milwaukee Admirals, a farm team for the Nashville Predators, have won two league titles. First in 1976-1977, and most recently in 2003-2004. Likewise, the Badgers hockey team also boasts more national championships at six, while Minnesota is lagging behind with one less. So, who is the true hockey state?

In NBA basketball, the Timberwolves strung together successful seasons throughout the late ’90s and early ’00s, but the team only made it out of the first round once. The Bucks duplicated this by reaching the 2001-2002 Eastern Conference finals and were only ousted because the results were rigged (Seriously! Look it up). We’ll use the Buck’s 1970-1971 NBA title as the tiebreaker, since Minnesota doesn’t have any.

And, of course, the Packers are far superior to the Vikings. Sadly enough, this past season for the Vikes matched their best of all time. The Packers have been to two Super Bowls in our lifetime, winning one, while the Vikings have been to none. With that one Super Bowl victory in 1996, the Packers actually won more Super Bowl’s than the Vikings have … ever.

Without even getting into the Badger’s domination in football and basketball over the past two decades, I think the truth is clear. It pays much more to be a Wisconsin sports fan. – FFP


I can see it now: Frank is probably glorifying the Packer’s Super Bowl victory in ’96 and ranting about the Vikings. That’s all he’s got.

Minnesota is home to thriving hockey, The Twins and brand new Target Field and of course our two-time defending NFC North champs, the Vikings.

Let’s begin by touching on hockey in Minnesota compared to in Wisconsin. With an obvious advantage in this sport, hockey is just the beginning of my argument. Minnesota is home to five Division 1 NCAA programs and an NHL team. Compared to … the Badgers.

Comparing professional baseball between states becomes a bit more heated. With respect to both teams, the Twins and Brewers are very similar organizations. Both are relatively small market, competitive teams. There are a couple things which set the Twins apart from the Brewers: World Series wins and playoff appearances. The Twins have won the World Series three times (1926, 1987, 1991). In 2008, the Brewers ended their 26 year playoff drought, while the Twins were pretty regular visitors during that time. In 2010 they begin play at Target Field and with a newly bolstered roster of a few high-profile guys and players returning from injuries, another playoff appearance seems to be in sight.

Football remains the touchiest rivalry between the two states. The Vikings have spent a lot of money recently building a roster of both young and old stars. During the 2009 season, The Vikings defeated the Packers in both meetings between the two, yes, with the help of former Packer great Brett Favre. Although the Vikings haven’t won a Super Bowl in four tries, they have won 18 division titles and been to nine championship games. – LC