I just realized that we were up for handing out another Sprint Game Ball of the Week for last week's game. It's strange that the majority of the Sprint Game Balls we've handed out this year have managed to come on the heels of the Beloved Purple receiving a complete butt kicking from their opponents, and this past week was no exception. When you lose 40-14, there aren't going to be a lot of game ball-worthy performances. Sure, you could probably give one to Brett Favre for attempting to tough it out and putting himself out there, but after the first drive, his performance wasn't exactly worthy of that kind of thing, either.
So, in lieu of that sort of thing, I would like to give this week's Sprint Game Ball to all of the men and women that went the extra mile to ensure that the Vikings' Monday night game against the Bears. . .ugly though it wound up being in the end. . .stayed in Minnesota and didn't turn into the sort of craziness that the game against New York turned into.
Yes, this game could have wound up in any number of locations. . .Indianapolis offered up Lucas Oil Stadium for the game, the Vikings probably could have found themselves in Detroit again and, hey, even Chicago could have been a possibility. (Of course, the only way having the game in Chicago would have been acceptable would have been letting the Vikings have both 2011 match-ups against the Bears in Minneapolis, which never in a million years would have happened.) But with the Vikings having their celebration to honor the Fifty Greatest Vikings as a part of their home finale, and thanks to being given enough notice to do so, lots of outstanding men and women played a huge role in getting TCF Bank Stadium "de-winterized" and ready to host the first outdoor home game in Minnesota in 29 years.
I'm not sure of the exact number of men and women that gave of their time to make sure that the stadium was cleared out, but I know that they moved a bunch of snow. How much snow? Approximately 40,000 cubic feet worth of it. To put that into a perspective that might be a little easier to visualize, if you were to remove that amount of snow from a sidewalk, it would have been a sidewalk that had snow three feet deep on it. Oh, and that sidewalk would have to be sixty-five miles long. It took 15,000 man hours to remove the snow, and over 700 shovels were donated for the effort.
There were a very special group of men and women out there this past week that ensured that the Vikings' last home game of 2010 remained a home game, and not played at some neutral site where the Vikings may not have had the privilege of playing in front of the best fans in the NFL. To them, we give this week's Sprint Game Ball. If you were among those men and women that made it all possible, thank you very much for your efforts, and if you know somebody that assisted in the effort, please pass along our thanks to them as well.