MINNEAPOLIS MN - DECEMBER 12: Snow surrounds the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Mall of America Stadium where the inflatable roof collapsed under the weight of snow during a storm Sunday morning December 12 2010 in Minneapolis Minnesota. A blizzard dumped more than 20 inches of snow in parts of the Midwest forcing the NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings to be postponed till Monday and will be played in Detroit's Ford Field. There were no injuries reported from the collapse of the dome. (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)
Yesterday, in what was a symbolic parody of just how awry everything in the universe had gone, my father accidentally set our snowblower on fire. At the time, I thought, "That is just as weird and bad as it gets."
No, our snowblower being set on fire and having to manually work on removing more than a foot of snow from the driveway was absolutely trumped in a big, fat way by the Metrodome in the early hours of Sunday morning. That sucker fell like a bad soufflé under the weight of all the snow that has socked the upper-midwest from Friday to Saturday. This storm, which is the worst blizzard the Twin Cities have faced since the 1991 Halloween Blizzard (my last year of trick-or-treating), will probably go down in history as the storm that killed the Dome.
Sure, there are all sorts of things that can be said of this storm (some have called it Snowmageddon or Snownami) that had me wading through drifts that came halfway up my thigh, but you just know that the dramatic footage of snow breaking through the Teflon roof of the Dome and plummeting to the field in a fantastically destructive reverse geyser is the image that is going to stick with a lot of us.
While it's true that the Dome has collapsed before, it hasn't done so since the 1980s. That means it weathered the last major blizzard, the Halloween Blizzard in 1991, without breaking. I don't know if this weekend's storm was so much worse than the Halloween Blizzard (I remember that one being pretty bad but with lots of candy), but the Metrodome was not up to the challenge this time around and the NFL had to scramble to reschedule the game in another venue-Ford Field in Detroit, Monday night at 6:20pm.
So far, the Minnesota Vikings organization has been quiet about the Dome collapse, letting the catastrophic damage speak for itself. But I would imagine that at least some of them have been thinking what a lot of the fans are already thinking-new stadium. And, when you look at the disaster area in Minneapolis that was formerly a Dome, it kind of looks like they need a new stadium. It may even turn out that this collapse is the step backward that will enable the push for a new stadium to finally move forward.
For the time being, Mall of America Field is dead. The fifth largest snowfall of all time in the Twin Cities killed it. For the Dome to be ready in time for the Vikings final "home" game on December 20, 2010, it would take a miracle.
As luck would have it, I'm actually supposed to be heading to Michigan tomorrow and I would dearly love to see the Vikings play in Detroit. However, as anyone who has tried to travel through the upper-midwest during the winter or paid attention to the Vikings in 2010 knows, it doesn't pay to count on anything.
Rest in peace Mall of America Field, rest in peace.