I attended my first Vikings game since the 1998 NFC Championship game on Sunday. Here are a few observations.
*Times have changed. The entire scene is a circus. The game itself is just part of the equation.
*I would estimate that the Vikings made $7 million in beer sales alone on Sunday. And before any of you smart alecks insert a joke here, I didn’t contribute to that total. I was actually trying to watch the game.
*When I watch football at home, I flip to another game during a commercial. At the dome, you actually have to sit there and wait for the TV timeout to be over. It seems like there are a lot of stoppages.
*The majority of the crowd participated in “doing the wave” at a crucial point in the second half. While the Vikings had the ball. I still haven’t figured that out yet.
*I saw a lot of Kleinsasser jerseys in the crowd.
*If someone asks you if you’d like to go to the VIP Tent before the game, say, “Yes.” Nothing like Prime Rib on a Sunday morning.
*It’s hard to define irony, but I know it when I see it:Â Brett Favre on the sidelines ending his string of 297 consecutive starts and Tavaris Jackson unable to finish ONE game.Â I think we can all agree that Tavaris has had his chances.Â Let’s move on.
*Special 60th birthday wishes to my “close, personal friend” Scott in Rochester.
*The Vikings should sell pieces of the Metrodome’s Teflon roof to fans to help pay for a new stadium.Â I’d buy one.Â I’ve had a lot of fun there.
*Reggie Tales shout out to Donna in Warroad.
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The drama that surrounds the Minnesota Vikings football team is well-documented.Â Brett Favre this and Brett Favre that.Â Randy Moss and Brad Childress.Â It seems never-ending.Â Well, leave it to the Vikes to get their Stadium involved.Â The script for this season would be rejected in Hollywood as not believable.Â So in true Vikings fashion, the Metrodome boldly stood up and yelled, “Hey, look at me!”Â This video is probably the perfect commentary on their season.
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A press box, by its very nature, is almost always a quiet sanctuary in which to watch a sporting event.Â Members of the “press” or media are not to cheer for either team.Â In summary, the press box is usually a very comfortable and quiet place to sit, if you’re not a fan of either team.Â If.
19 years ago today, it might have been the most uncomfortable place on earth for me.Â It was October 27th, 1991 and I was in the auxiliary press box at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.Â The Minnesota Twins and the Atlanta Braves were locked in a scoreless tie in Game 7 of the World Series.Â And I couldn’t breathe.Â As a hardcore Twins fan, I was suffocating in my own silence and inability to yell or scream or jump from my seat.Â For 10 gut-wrenching innings.Â Sitting to my right was another devout Twins fan, TV’s Pat Sweeney.Â He seemed to be handling it better than me.
The auxiliary press box for baseball at the Metrodome is where theÂ Minnesota Vikings press box is normally located.Â So it basically encompasses right and center field.Â A long way from home plate.Â But when Gene Larkin’s innocent fly ball to left-center landed on the green turf, I’m pretty sure I made it to home plate before Dan Gladden did.
So as the 2010 World Series begins tonight, I will do what I do every year at this time:Â think about all the pain I was in 19 years ago.