RIP to a bad sports stadium

On Sunday December 29th, the final event ever will be held in the Metrodome as the Minnesota Vikings will play the Detroit Lions in a very meaningless NFL game. Both teams are out of the playoff chase, so the game really amounts to nothing more than a glorified exhibition game, except for the fact that this will be the final chapter in the 30 plus years of that domed indoor stadium. As a sports fan in the Twin Cities area, I can honestly say that I will not shed any tears or go search for some dome memorabilia after the game is completed. In my opinion, the Dome (as we like to call it here) was a very sub-standard stadium, especially for baseball.

From the outside, the Metrodome looks very unique and interesting. A large building with a huge teflon, fiberglass roof that stands out as you drive past on the freeway. However, the inside is a totally different story. The corridors of the inside are very narrow and sometimes you feel like Adrian Peterson in trying to reach the bathroom or your favorite concession area. Not to mention the huge lines at the bathrooms.

After finding your seat, you are somewhat amazed at the lack of leg space in front of you. I am a 6′ guy who needs to stretch out my legs from time to time!! Imagine the torture that someone who is 6’5″ has to go through? Quite often for baseball, you need to twist your neck to see the action as the seats do not seem to be designed for watching a baseball game. Believe me, it is not always the most ergonomically friendly thing in the world to watch a baseball game at the dome. The seats are mainly designed for football.

Despite some of these hardships, I have had many fond memories of the Metrodome in watching many sports. Believe it or not, my most fond memory of that place was not baseball or football. It was actually watching a NBA game during the Timberwolves first season. I still remember a night in March of that season when Magic Johnson and the L.A. Lakers came to visit. There were about 50,000 plus in the stands that night and the place was very electric. It was very common for the Wolves to draw big crowds during their inaugural season. The Wolves played at the Dome during their first season while their new arena was being built.

I enjoyed many NFL games there as well including a few classic NFL games between the Vikings and Packers and a few Twin’s baseball playoff games. Anytime you have 50-60 thousand people in a domed stadium, there is bound to be a lot of noise and the Dome was always one of the noisiest stadiums in the country. I remember leaving some of those games with my ears ringing because of the noise.

Despite having many good memories of those big games in that noisy environment, I am ready to move on as a sports fan to bigger and better stadiums. The new Twins stadium is a huge upgrade from playing in the Metrodome. Sure there might be some bad weather nights or days but baseball is meant to be played outside, period!! I love sitting outside on those warm summer nights instead of sitting inside some indoor stadium. I am sure the Viking’s new stadium will be a huge upgrade as well. Just maybe I will not have to exert as much energy as the players in walking through the concourse.

The Metrodome will always have those special moments in Minnesota sports history. The Superbowl, Final Four and World Series were all held there. Some of my biggest memories ever have taken place there. But I am not sad at all to see the Dome go down. It was great for December and January football games but little else. I hope no other city makes the mistake of building and wasting a bunch of money on a domed stadium. There is just something about watching a football or baseball game outside and smelling the fresh air. We missed that here in Minnesota for many years. I can safely say that very few sports fan here in this state will miss the Dome either. We are all looking forward to much better stadiums and viewing experiences.

Advertisements

10 least favorite pro sports teams

If you are a huge sports fan like myself, chances are you probably have those teams which you hate with all of your guts!! Well I am being a bit extreme but seeing those hated teams struggle really brings joy to your heart. A loss by those teams brings about as much happiness as seeing your favorite teams win. Your eyes sparkle with happiness when you scroll your smart phone for scores and see those hated teams getting the crap beat out of them. I have many teams that I simply dislike for a variety of reasons. Many times it just the fans of that city that turn me off. Or it could be a player or players. A lot of times, fans are turned off by a team’s coach or owner. Quite often, it is just a matter of jealously; you are envious of the team’s success. I have several teams both at the college and pro level who I love to root against. I find a watching a game more interesting when those teams are playing. The opponents suddenly become my newest favorite team! The following is a list of pro teams that I really enjoy see getting beat. I will do a blog on college teams someday but for now, we are talking about the guys who play for a living.

1. L.A. Lakers-  I have never been a fan of Kobe Bryant so the player association is why I dislike this team. The fact that many smug Hollywood stars attend their games is another reason. The team is way too glitzy for me. About the only thing I like about the team is their colors. It delights me that the Clippers have now taken over the town as the new king of the city.

2. Green Bay Packers-  A huge border rival of my favorite NFL team the Minnesota Vikings. Many fans of the Packers live and work here in the Twin Cities since Wisconsin is next door. I get sick and tired of hearing those fans of the Pack talk about how they have won all these Super Bowls and the Vikings have won zero. They really like to rub it in!! Believe it or not, the Packers are the second favorite pro sports team here in the Twin Cities and also the most hated. Quite a contrast!!

3. Chicago Bears-  See number 2. Many of the same reasons apply to the Bears. We have many annoying Bears fans in this area as well. So who do you root for Mark, when those two teams play each other? The Bears have a very small edge but a lot depends on the standings.

4. Dallas Mavericks-  I find myself disliking teams with overly zealous owners. Mark Cuban fits that mode. I don’t personally hate the guy but he seems to be over the top in his criticism of referees and his constant whining at court side. Dirk Nowitzki kind of turns me off also with his whining. In his mind, he has never committed a foul in his career!!

5. Dallas Cowboys-  Sorry Dallas, I don’t like your football team either. The reason? Once again the owner, Jerry Jones. Another overzealous, mega-rich owner.

6. Boston Red Sox-  Pssst, I am a closet Yankees fan. Thou shall not root for the Red Sox if you claim to be a Yankee’s fan.

7. New England Patriots-  Not really a fan of either Tom Brady or Bill Belichick. But a lot of it boils down to jealously; the Patriots have just been too good for too long.

8. Chicago White Sox- They are a division rival of my favorite MLB team, the Twins. The broadcast team of the White Sox are the biggest bunch of homers, pardon the pun, in major league baseball. Those guys act like a couple of rube fans in the broadcast booth even going a bit over the top at times. Another example of how overzealous personal turns me against a team.

9. Atlanta Braves- I used to be a Braves fan until the 1991 World Series against my Twins. Several actions by the Braves fans really turned me against the franchise and the feelings have not gone away.

10. Montreal Canadians- I had to throw in a hockey team for good measure. My dislike for that franchise goes back many years during my childhood. Once again, the jealously factor is probably why I don’t like this team. I guess any American NHL fan probably has a tough time rooting for any NHL team from Canada especially when they might arguably be Canada’s team.

No offense to the fans of those teams but I simply do not like your squads and please do not buy me a jersey of any of those teams for Christmas! I may use it for an oil rag.