Sir Grizzly pointed out this article from Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press in the FanPosts earlier this evening, and after reading it, I'm not sure if it's meant to be sarcastic or not. I would like to think that it is, but with all of the news we've gotten over the past couple of days, I'm don't know for sure, and frankly I don't care.
The subject of said article is what fans of the Minnesota Vikings could do if the worst does happen, and the team loads up the trucks and moves to Beverly in the wake of the latest developments in the stadium situation. The alternative he presents? Cheering for. . .them.
You know who I'm talking about.
Yes, I suppose that could be an option. . .but there are a lot of other things that I would rather spend my Sundays doing than cheering for that particular team, all of which would be significantly less painful. For example. . .
-I could go out and purchase a DVD copy of About Schmidt, put the Kathy Bates hot tub scene on an endless loop, and stare at it until I went blind.
-Rather than getting the NFL Sunday Ticket package, I could go for NBA League Pass and watch the Timberwolves every night.
-Two words, one hyphen: Self-immolation. At least the pain would only be temporary. I think.
I'm sure you folks have a lot of good ideas, too. . .that's what the comments section is for.
But, as this situation has gone on, my views on it have changed. When the spectre of the Vikings possibly relocating was first raised, I immediately took the stance that I would be basically finished with the National Football League if the Vikings were to leave Minnesota. However, as this whole situation has played itself out, I've come more and more to the realization that the Vikings aren't the problem in this equation. Zygi Wilf (and even Red McCombs before him) have done everything the Minnesota government has asked them to do for the last decade.
Get in line behind the Twins? Okay, they did that.
Get in line behind the Gophers? Ummmmm, sure, they did that for some reason, too.
Find a willing local partner? Yeah, they've done that with Ramsey County/Arden Hills.
Increase their contribution to the project? They've done so at least once that we know of, and possibly more times that we don't.
But that's still not good enough for the state of Minnesota. Every time the Vikings appear to be on the verge of crossing the goal line, somebody moves the goal posts.
I have been erroneous in my reporting of the date that the Vikings' lease with the Metrodome is up, too. I thought the lease expired on 1 February. It turns out that the lease expires immediately after the Vikings' final game of this season, which is New Year's Day when they host the Chicago Bears in the 2011 season finale. So rather than the 90 days or so I thought they had to figure something out, there are now less than 60 days to work out a deal. After that, the Vikings are essentially free agents, and can negotiate with any city from coast to coast and border to border. . .and possibly even beyond.
Yes, if this was a case of Zygi Wilf just being greedy and attempting to hold the state of Minnesota hostage in this entire ordeal, then as soon as the trucks left Winter Park, I would say "Screw the Vikings and the ship they sailed out on." But that's not the case at all. . .in fact, it appears to be quite the opposite. The state of Minnesota apparently thinks that Zygi is bluffing and that he doesn't have the testicular fortitude to actually attempt to take the team somewhere else.
Rest assured, from the contact that we've had with the Vikings over the entire ordeal. . .he's not bluffing. If something is not worked out by 1 January, this team will be leaving, and as Ted said the other day, the fault will lie with a lot of people. . .but Zygi Wilf is not one of them. And if 1 January comes around and the team does start negotiating with other cities, if Minnesota expects Wilf to take some sort of "hometown discount" to keep the team in Minnesota rather than moving them to potentially greener pastures, they might just get one of those slaps in the face they've been so willing to dish out to this franchise for the last decade.
Because of that, if the team were to leave Minnesota, I'm now quite sure that I would follow them. (Follow them wherever they may go.) Why? Because the state of Minnesota can take the team away from the state, but they can't take them away from yours truly. . .and, yes, this is my team. The team of Tarkenton and Foreman and Page and Marshall and Moss and Doleman and Randle and Peterson. If another team were to move to Minnesota, they would not be my team. The Minnesota Rams or the Minnesota Jaguars or whatever other franchise might potentially relocate. . .AT A COST SO HIGH THAT IT WOULD MAKE THE CURRENT STADIUM DEAL LOOK LIKE A DROP IN THE BUCKET. . .would not be my team. And any incarnation of Minnesota Vikings v2.0 sure as hell would not be my team.
The state of Minnesota has 59 days to figure out a solution to this entire thing. I'm attempting to remain optimistic, but the powers that be are making it awfully tough.