Rich Martin's Minnesota Twins Fan Profile

Brief description

I'm a lover of sports who sees it as the only place where talent and merit win.

Who am I?

I'm a former Minnesotan who's lived and died with the Twins and Vikings.
I've lived in Los Angeles for 20 years now but my team loyalties haven't lessened.
I'm a longtime journalist who's worked on more than a dozen newspapers, trade publications and Web sites. I've covered some huge stories, including the killing of the mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, at a City Council meeting in 1986.
I taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea in 1977 and 1978.
I've free-lanced many articles and have been trying to sell novels and screenplays.


classical rock, hiking, politics and literature, reading history, Sports (of course), travel., writing

Company / Institution

Los Angeles Times

Main Skills

Writing clearly and concisely; editing; navigating the Web; reporting accurately about what's happened; researching.

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Rich Martin's Weblog Posts

Vikings beat Giants, make playoffs posted on 12/28/2008

The Vikings didn’t fumble, bumble and stumble their way into the playoffs, but they didn’t exactly come up with a work of art.

Instead they team play in spurts against the Giants, a formidable team that rested its starters in the second half. The red-zone defense was good throughout, and the offense played well early and late for the final (small) margin of 20-19.

The x-factor, as always, was Tarvaris Jackson. How would he play in a high-pressure situation?

Reasonably well. He had one horrible play, throwing an interception when the Vikings were in the red zone, but otherwise was OK. (You could tell how upset he was by that — he got a personal foul for tackling the interceptor out of bounds.)

Adrian Peterson had a big play that gave the Vikes an early 10-0 lead, breaking through for a 67-yard TD run. Otherwise he was pretty well held in check, and fumbled once. He was lucky — teammate Jim Kleinsasser recovered the ball.

Continue reading "Vikings beat Giants, make playoffs"

Vikings in holiday spirit, give game to Falcons posted on 12/21/2008

Some things in this world are complicated. Not many people can describe all those fancy high-risk investments in Wall Street that have caused so much devastation.

But sometimes it doesn’t take much to understand the devastation at the Metrodome on Sunday. The Vikings had four turnovers against the Atlanta Falcons, and that’s it. When you’re minus four in the turnover battle, forget it.

Was this a choke job? I didn’t see the game and don’t know. But it sure sounds like it.

The defense played well, though it had no takeaways — a serious problem for the unit this year. The offense gained more yardage, but it meant little because the Vikings were behind.

Tarvaris Jackson played well except for a couple of fumbles. He threw for more than 200 yards and had two touchdowns.

Continue reading "Vikings in holiday spirit, give game to Falcons"

Vikings pillage Arizona, 35-14 posted on 12/14/2008

Anyone who foresaw a Vikings blowout raise your hands. I didn’t think so.

The Vikings saved their best game of the year for a time they really needed it and put themselves on the fast track to the playoffs, up one game on the Bears with two left.

It’s odd. All the oddsmakers picked the Cardinals — though they clinched their division only last week — though they’ve mostly beaten up on weak foes such as Seattle and St. Louis — though the Vikings needed the game more -- though the Eagles clobbered them a couple of week ago. Talk about the herd mentality.

Then again, I wonder how many Minnesota fans figured the Vikes would win this one on the road. Hard-core fans probably thought it was time for the team to blow it.

The Vikes needed a total effort — and got it. The defense beat up on Kurt Warner and got several sacks. (One of the Arizona TDs was on a return of a blocked field goal.) The offense ran and passed the ball at will. Tarvaris Jackson had his best day as a pro, hitting 11 of 17 for 163 yards and four (yes, that’s right, four) touchdowns.

Continue reading "Vikings pillage Arizona, 35-14"

Vikes survive, beat Lions posted on 12/07/2008

An ugly win is still a win. Maybe Twin Cities fans are glad the game was blacked out — it was a second nerve-racking victory against the Lions.

The Vikings needed a reversal of a play that would’ve left the Lions first and goal; a strong performance by Tarvaris Jackson, subbing for the injured Gus Frerotte; and some strong defensive play in both halves.

I just knew this would be tough. I expected the Lions would win — it would fit perfectly with Vikings lore. It would be like the game against the Cardinals four years ago against when the Vikes made Josh McCown look like Johnny Unitas. (That 2004 loss left the Mike Tice-led Vikes out of the playoffs.)

It didn’t happen, but it sure could’ve.

Frerotte had two first-half interceptions, but the Lions settled for a field goal each time. Those missed opportunities would prove to be costly.

Continue reading "Vikes survive, beat Lions"

Vikes beat Jags, 30-12 posted on 11/23/2008

It was the epitome of winning ugly.

Minnesota barely gained 200 yards. Adrian Peterson had just 80 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries -- modest numbers for him.

But the Vikes played a Jaguars team that was in the holiday spirit. They gave up four sacks, committed eight penalties.

The real key was all the turnovers -- five of them. It's a great relief for Vikings fans to finally win the turnover battle. In some losses they've given the ball up over and over.

The Vikings recovered three fumbles -- returning one for a touchdown -- and picked off two errant Jags passes. That was really the ballgame.

One of the fumbles was the first score of the game. The Vikes were ahead 14-0 with only two minutes gone.

But Jacksonvill moved the ball well through the air -- they did nothing on the ground -- and closed to within 17-10 at halftime. It was time for Vikings fans to worry -- the team had regularly given up leads, such as last week vs. the Buccaneers.

Continue reading "Vikes beat Jags, 30-12"

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