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March 14, 2005

Weekend notes

• Let's start off with a little stadium news. There hasn't been much to report lately, but it appears that things are about to heat up. First we had Sid Hartman reporting that Hennepin County is working on a plan, then Jim in St. Paul reports that the Pioneer Press has written two editorials in as many weeks concerning the advantages St. Paul has over Minneapolis as host of a new Twins stadium. Then, Shooter reported this Friday:

As the state legislative session approaches its midpoint, there is little Vikings stadium talk, primarily because of the team's unresolved ownership status.

Discussion in the Legislature about a Gophers on-campus football stadium is expected to heat up in a couple of weeks, followed by talk about a ballpark for the Twins late in the session. The Vikings are rooting for a ballpark for the Twins, because then baseball no longer would be an impediment for them.

Because 2006 is an election year, if stadiums are not approved this year, they probably won't be approved until 2007.

Two things strike me about this snippet. First, what about the plan coming out of Anoka County for a new Vikings stadium? Anoka County has done a ton of work towards this goal and it sounds like the Vikings, due to their potential sale to Reggie Fowler, have pretty much given up on the issue. That is a shame because from what we've heard Anoka County won't wait any longer to start developing. If you'll recall, only Eden Prairie came up with another proposal that even slightly approached the level of determination shown by Anoka County to land the Vikings. Who will step up after Anoka County gives up?

Secondly, if nothing happens this year, if the Twins are yet again unsuccessful in their efforts to work out a stadium deal, the fact that 2006 is an election year isn't the only bit of bad news. Of course I am referring to the expiration of MLB's collective bargaining agreement. We won't have a lease or the player's association protecting the Twins from elimination after 2006, that is a fact. Some other facts: the Twins don't draw well at all, particularly for being division champions three years in a row; Steinbrenner and the other MLB fat cat owners are sick of subsidizing our franchise; and Pohlad has already proven he is willing to sacrifice the team.

Let's hope that Sviggum is still confident that a Twins stadium bill will pass this session. If it doesn't, I don't like the looks of the future for Minnesota's "beloved" baseball team.

• You know who I feel like in all of this? Cassandra of Greek mythology fame. Cassandra had the power to tell the future, but no one would believe her predictions. I predict without a new Twins stadium the team will not be here past 2010. By that time the Vikings will also know where they stand with the citizens of this fine state, and the Twins will make damned sure they are not the only tenants in the Metrodome. After 2010, let the countdown begin until we lure another franchise back to the area.

Boy, I'm in a peachy mood today, aren't I?

Update: I just got accused of being "doom and gloom" over on TwinsTerritory.com for my prediction of 2010. What does everyone over here think? Am I being too pessimistic? Truly, what do I know. And I was in a pretty bad mood last night. Maybe the Twins will stay in the Metrodome forever!

• If you haven't checked it out yet, you should head on over to the TwinsGeek's new site TwinsTerritory.com. I have a "site" on there called Ballpark Banter (thanks for the name SBG!) where I am rehashing some of my old posts from the Greet Machine. I've gotten some interesting comments, of course, mainly from what I would consider to be stadium opponents (of course), but that is what I expected. We are a rare breed, my friends, to believe that our community would benefit from a new Twins stadium. Most other Twins fans either don't want to think about this stadium business, or they are flat out against it. Anyway, if you are bored, you can re-read some of the posts I've already made here. What fun!

Have no fear though! The most recent and up-to-date stadium news will always appear on the Greet Machine first. Especially now that I've gone through the trouble to redesign this site!

• A couple of things you might have missed regarding the Vikings this weekend. First of all, ESPN reported that Plaxico Burress fired his agent. Most likely, this means that Burress will not wear the Purple next year, but I also read somewhere that the Vikings made an offer for as much as four years that the WR is contemplating accepting. Regardless, according to the article above, a player must wait 5 days before retaining new representation. Again, it looks like Burress will not be replacing Randy Moss.

Secondly, it also sounds like our "affair" with Donovin Darius is over, but then again, this article was so cutesey about it I can't be sure that the Vikings aren't still trying to work out a deal. I don't think they are, but I could be wrong. Honestly I'm not upset about this. To give up a first round draft pick for a player that hasn't even been to a Pro-Bowl did not sound like a good deal to me.

And speaking of shaky deals, Darren Sharper is now a Viking. This is tough for me to stomach. Of course this is due to his being a former Packer, but also because 1) he is getting a little old, 2) it sounds like he is having some knee problems, and 3) he was the leader of the NFL's 25th ranked defense last year. Is he that much of an upgrade? Maybe I am being a little pessimistic. Is he better than Russell or Chavous? Yes. Will it be strange cheering for him? Yes. Will he give the Vikings an edge over the Packers? Oh yes. Even if he doesn't play, no one on the Vikings will know the Packers better. Hmmmm ... that makes me feel better.

• Finally, congratulations to the men's Gopher basketball team on finally making it back to the Big Dance. Be sure to fill out your Official Greet Machine tournament bracket through ESPN! Details for how to join our group are at the top of this page. Let's have some fun!

Posted by snackeru at March 14, 2005 7:53 AM | Stadiums | Vikings

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