October 31, 2007

Minny Roundup

I’m back in Philadelphia after a long weekend visiting family and friends in Minnesota; here’s some thoughts on what happened on the trip, and in the world at large in the past five days:

- Yes, I saw the Larry Craig mens’ room in the airport, though we passed it at 1:30 in the morning and I didn’t feel like going in. I love that it’s right next to the big Snoopy statue, one of many throughout the Twin Cities area.

- As for the other big Minnesota story of this year, we went and looked at the site of the bridge collapse. Luckily, there are other bridges right nearby on either side of it, so traffic has been minimally disturbed. But everyone seemed sort of disappointed that my wife, a professional bridge engineer, wasn’t able to rebuild the bridge all by herself. I had to tell them it doesn't quite work that way.

- Like I've said before, every time I’m in town there’s some big local crime story that has everyone captivated; this time, it’s the Minneapolis woman who was murdered after answering a Craig’s List ad for a nanny. I’m sure that’ll be a “Law & Order” episode by next month.

- The main purpose of our trip was the Vikings-Eagles game at the Metrodome on Sunday, which the Eagles ended up winning 23-16. There were lots of Eagles fans in town for the game, both on the airplane (there were E-A-G-L-E-S chants as the plane landed, at 1 AM) and in the stadium itself. I saw about ten Randall Cunningham Eagles jerseys, but not a single Cunningham/Vikings one.

- Yes, the Eagles looked good, and so did Donovan, and unlike the previous three games Philly was actually able to score in the red zone. But as Simmons (quoting Kietel) would say, “let’s not start [expletive] each other’s [expletives] quite yet.” Just because they beat the Vikings doesn’t mean the Eagles have turned their season around. Dallas, next Sunday, is going to be a tough game.

- No, I’m not ready to say that Brad Childress is a worse coach than Mike Tice, but he’s closing the gap. Wasting two challenges- including one on the opening kickoff of the second half- is just plain dumb. The Vikings used two quarterbacks, neither of whom was Tarvaris Jackson, yet Kelly Holcomb and Brooks Bollinger both sucked. Say, after Sunday, now we know Donovan McNabb can play in the Metrodome…

- Going to games in Philly and Minnesota really are the same in some ways, but different in others. The Minnesotans behind us were drunk off their asses by the end of the game, sure, but it was more “stupid, funny” drunk, whereas during most of my trips to the Linc those around us have often been “angry, violent” drunk.

- Since no NFL team, for some reason, can have just one mascot, the Vikes have complemented Ragnar with a new sidekick, “Viktor.” As you can see from this picture, Viktor’s resemblance to Hulk Hogan is so uncanny as to be hopelessly distracting.

- As for the Timberwolves, their season may be utterly hopeless as they wait for the talent to develop and the draft picks and cap space to arrive, but their ad campaign, featuring ersatz blaxploitation character Sweetwater Jones, is something to behold. Their best decision in years, even if he is named after a Barry Manilow song.

- I’m dreading the start of the Twins’ offseason, but we did catch Syl Jones’ play about Kirby Puckett, “Kirby,” at the History Theatre in St. Paul. I highly recommend seeing it if you’re any sort of Kirby fan at all, and you’ll be in the Cities in the next month or so. It’s an honest portrayal, warts and all, of the most important athlete in the state’s history.

- Speaking of baseball… congratulations to the Red Sox for winning the series. And shame on Scott Boras for leaking A-Rod’s opt-out plans during the freakin’ clinching game of the series. Who’s the bigger a-hole- Boras, for that stunt, or Bill Belichick, for going for it on fourth down while up 38-0?

LilB has long vowed to restart his long-dormant blog if the Sox won a second championship (either that, or one of several other preconditions), so now, after three years, WKIKYA has returned.

- While in town we caught the new movie “Ira and Abby,” which was far from perfect, but I still liked it, mostly because it fits in the burgeoning subgenre called the Upper West Side Movie (UWSM). You know the type: set on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, in which the characters are majority Jewish and/or majority psychiatrists, and the allusions to Woody Allen are either implied or outright stated.

I recommend “Ira and Abby” mostly for its great cast, featuring Jennifer Westfeldt (from one of the best UWSMs, “Kissing Jessica Stein”) and Chris Messina (Claire’s boyfriend Ted in the last season of “Six Feet Under”), and a dynamite quartet as their parents: Robert Klein, Judith Light, Fred Willard and Frances Conroy. Plus, cameos from Jason Alexander, Chris Parnell, Darrell Hammond and, best of all, Jon Hamm (Don Draper from “Mad Men.”) It’s the sort of movie where I sort of recognized one of the actresses but couldn’t put my finger on it, but later checked IMDB and found that she played the "peekaboo girl" in the last scene of “Swingers.”

- Last but not least, check out this week’s North Star column, on the fifth anniversary of Paul Wellstone’s death. More to come on Wednesday.

Posted by Stephen Silver at October 31, 2007 01:06 AM


I'm in D.C. and I'm wondering if anyone saw this posting on craigslist. No relation to Larry Craig but rather the classified sales website.

It's worth a look. You will need to copy and paste the listing into your web browser. It's worth a look for sure.


Posted by: D714 at October 31, 2007 02:27 AM

1. Viktor looks more like your former governor, Jesse "The Mind" Ventura.

2. Yeah I'm sure you were "just visiting" the infamous Larry Craig bathroom stall. I hope you didn't tap your foot too loudly.

3. Childress may not be a worse coach than Mike Tice but he's definitely worse than Andy Reid.

4. Liked the Keitel by way of Simmons quote.

5. The blog is back, bitches!

6. You missed a true social event of the season this weekend ... Halloween at Abe's house.

Posted by: LilB at October 31, 2007 12:37 PM
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