Thursday, December 16, 2010

How screwed are the Vikings?

It's inescapable. Everywhere you turn around Minnesota the topic of conversation is about the Minnesota Vikings. Whether it's been the blunder of now-former coach Brad Childress acquiring wide receiver Randy Moss and then essentially cutting him from the team mere weeks later and wasting what could be a valuable draft pick in the process or sending three players to the depth of Mississippi to talk quarterback Brett Favre into returning for a second season with the team, it was a bumpy start to the teams 50th season.

Then the coach was fired due to what can only be described as a piss-poor record. Then Brett Favre got injured. That led to perpetual backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson being thrust into the starting position. Needless to say there's a damn good reason he's been riding the bench for the past five years. He's greener than the fieldturf inside the Metrodome.

Mentioning the Metrodome just makes things worse though. It seems that the Vikings have been trying to secure a new stadium for the past decade with no success. Then last weekend Minnesota -- particularly the metro area -- was blanketed with what I would describe as a fuck-ton of snow -- 17 inches to be exact. That didn't exactly sit well with the paper-thin teflon fabric forming the Metrodone's roof because it tore holes in three of the roof's panels causing the roof to collapse. Then as repair work was being assessed yesterday a fourth panel tore causing still more damage to the humptydome.

This leaves the Vikings in a tough situation. They already played last week's "home" game at Detroit last week as a neutral site. This week, supposedly, will be a bit closer to home as they prepare to play at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium which lacks 14,000 seats, heated concession areas, heated restrooms, a heated playing service and beer which truly shows how bush league this stadium is and how ill-prepared the Twin Cities are as a major metropolitan area.

But amidst all of this chaos -- and I'm certain that Monday night's game versus the Chicago Bears will be a complete and utter mess -- the Vikings ownership is hoping that this all leads to them securing a new stadium. While I can see the logic behind their thinking I hope they don't get a new stadium. Hell, the taxpayers have funded three new stadiums/arenas in the Twin Cities in the past decade (U of M, XCel, Target Field) and the new Vikings stadium promises to be the most expensive by far. It's time for ownership to realize that they either need to pay for serious fucking rent for the facilities they play in or build the facilities themselves. It's ridiculous that a team worth hundreds of millions of dollars refuses to foot more than a third of the bill for the facility it plays in. But this is the state of pro sports.

While the Vikings will probably get their shiny new stadium in downtown Minneapolis they certainly are not deserving of it. The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have almost ancient stadiums and a hugely successful. Newer isn't always better as was proven with the Metrodome. It was built on the cheap and it shows. It's a rat infested dump that is now virtually condemned and it's publicly owned so, Vikings, take that into consideration. Publicly owned isn't always the best route. Be your own key holder and take some pride in ownership instead of being a tenant.

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