November 2, 2004
Got this comment
I got this comment concerning my post "The Apathy of Twins Fans" below:
"I certainly did not want to start a 'who's fans are better' discussion."
You didn't, Craig - the big guy did when he wrote this:
"I hate to say it, but I am beginning to question the quality of fan in Minnesota, or at least the number of quality fans in Minnesota."
Sorry, but I have to call BS on this one.
Go ahead and put together a voter's guide for those candidates who are pro-stadium. Go ahead and cite studies chapter and verse. Take your position and defend it as best you can, because that's how the better position wins.
But please, please, *please* don't descend to saying or even suggesting that you can't be a "quality" fan if your not pro-stadium. Saying that non-stadium-boosting fans are "apathetic". If you want a reason why anti-stadium folks tend to be so upset when they argue with you, it's because of name-calling like this.
Frankly, I don't see any necessary connection between being a fan and supporting stadium construction - after all, I was a fan long before I knew anything about how stadiums were built, and I suspect you all were, too. And I don't see how questioning the "quality" of another fan's interest gets you any closer to getting that stadium built.
First of all, thanks for writing David. I'll admit my rhetoric was very pro-stadium, but don't assume that I bulk you in with apathetic fans out there. If anything I was directing my anger more towards apathetic pro-stadium fans. I don't know exactly what kind of plan you support, but I also wrote:
"As Twins fans we can put pressure on all three of these entities [state, team, and city] and make something happen."
I've also written before that I expect a whole lot more out of Pohlad, not as much as you maybe, but certainly more than the pittance he is offering now.
I assume that you want Pohlad to pay for everything. As unrealistic as I think this is, what are you doing, besides berating me, to promote this plan? Are you writing/calling Pohlad and the Twins and demanding that they do something to solve this mess? I guess I would say stop focusing on people like me who are begging for a balanced approach to solve this mess and start hammering away at Pohlad and Bell and demand that they offer more. I would love it if this happened!
Again, as Twins fans we can all put a whole lot of pressure on everyone involved to make something happen. Anti-stadium people certainly have a part to play. In my previous post, what I was questioning is someone who complains either way, anti or pro-stadium (especially pro-stadium), and then does nothing about it. Of course, I think state financing is going to be a necessity, but that doesn't mean I don't think Pohlad isn't going to have to come up with a whole lot more himself.
Finally, I would be lying if I said it didn't pain me that as a Twins fan you aren't pro-stadium. You would risk losing the team to make a point, that billionaries should pay for their own play houses. Unfortunately, the most likely end result of your point is that Pohlad will be a whole lot richer (no matter what happens Pohlad will make money) and millions of Twins fans in the upper Midwest will be without their favorite team. This, to me at least, is not worth it, especially considering we will eventually end up with a new team and stadium anyway. Over 30 other cities have figured this out. All I'm asking is that we also put together a plan that will finally put this mess behind us. We all have a part to play.
Posted by snackeru at November 2, 2004 8:42 AM | Stadiums
Thanks for the quote, and yes, I see your point a bit more clearly now. And I can understand why you'd be a bit underwhelmed with folks who say they're Twins fans yet who are luke-warm at best toward a new stadium.
I don't see it that way. I'm sure there are still people on the East Coast who pine for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Fans in Maryland who just can't bring themselves to root for the Redskins just because the Colts left town. Heck, the drive to put a new team in Washington just might point out that there's still some few folks out there who resent Cal Griffith for bolting out of D.C. back when. Your argument seems to be that these fans, at least in part, are to blame for their own suffering because they didn't put enough 'pressure' on their representatives in government.
My point is that it's the owner who makes the call. I am in complete agreement with you that Pohlad (or at least his officers with the Twins) need to do more to find the kind of middle ground that would allow people who are luke-warm to a stadium to actually support it. Other organizations have seen this reality and done something about it - the new ballparks in San Francisco and St. Louis are excellent examples of what a commited, creative ownership team can do to help get things done.
And in all honesty, I don't see losing the Twins as necessarily a bad thing, long-term. The sky didn't fall when the North Stars relocated to Dallas, and we ended up with a much smarter, more locally committed ownership when the Wild came in. If the big problem we're having is with the Twins' ownership, and Pohlad would honestly rather move the team than sell it, I say let him walk and thank our lucky stars that, someday, he'll be replaced with better ownership when the inevitable expansion team gets awarded. Or, if MLB self-destructs as the NHL seems to be doing, at least we'll have been saved the national embarassment of having spent half a million dollars on what would simply be a monument to folly.
You're right - Carl Pohlad isn't going to walk out of this in any financial pain, no matter what happens. That's not the point. The point is that it's *his* job to find a way to get the stadium built, if he really wants it. You seem willing and able to provide plenty of help, which based on Mr. St. Peter's response, the Twins brass certainly appreciates, but it's not your job to get the stadium built. It's not your job to get the fans excited about a new building and to convince them to support a new stadium, right or wrong. It's their job to respond to the proposals they do get from the legislature with something other than a dismissive 'no'. It's their job to put together the coalition that the rest of us can get behind and support. If they're the ones who will primarily benefit from the stadium, then they should be the ones doing the groundwork to figure out where the compromise lies between what they want and what the public will accept.
It's their job. And frankly, until they're willing to do their jobs on this issue, I don't see that they deserve my support as a fan on this issue.
Posted by: David Wintheiser at November 2, 2004 5:22 PM
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Posted by: magnum at September 7, 2005 4:20 AM