I happened to notice your name in an article about the Vikings stadium and after a quick check confirmed you were indeed my History/Social Studies teacher at good old NL-S (Class of ’84).
It sounds like you took one on the chin from some in the party. I’d just like to thank you. I have lived away from MN since joining the Navy in ’84 and now that Mom is living full time in Phoenix, I really only have one tie left to the State – the Vikings. I know that this was a complicated vote, combining private and public money and mixing in gambling revenues just to make sure there was something for everyone to hate. I know that you had personally expressed concern over the use of public money to help further enrich millionaires from New Jersey. I get that. I suspect you probably had to hold your nose while you cast the vote.
Whatever the current political pain points may be in Minnesota, they will pass. The economy will improve. Other crisis will appear. A football team may appear frivolous compared to some of the issues you face, but whether it is logical or not – the Vikings are an enduring part of what it means to be Minnesotan. This becomes all the more real for those of us living as ex-pats. I have now lived just as long in West Michigan as I lived in Spicer – 18 years. Yet I am not a Michigander who grew up in Minnesota. I am a Minnesotan who is living in Michigan.
It is hard to explain, but had the Vikings moved to LA or wherever, that almost certainly would have changed. I would have been forced to become a Lions fan and that last defining link would have been severed. I am not alone in this. There are many ex-pat regulars on the various Vikings Fan-Blogs who feel much as I do. We may not be able to vote for you, but we sincerely appreciate it. Whatever heat you may feel from the party, your name will never be associated with having forced the Vikings out of Minnesota. For that Sir, I salute you.
On a side note: If you get a chance to trip Mary Kiffmeyer when she walks past, please do so for me. Calling John Kriesel a coward? Wow…
On a side-side-note: I may have been a lousy student in your classes but I have learned to love history. So what is my point? Well two points I guess. The first is that perhaps something good transpired in your classroom, despite my best attempts to prevent it. The second point is that although I can’t vote for you, I can and will buy your books from Amazon and will encourage other ex-pats on the Vikings Fan-Blogs to do the same. (Yeah, I know you don’t realize much profit per book, but we do what we can)
Thank you again and have a great day.