December 13, 2010

The Day the Dome Dropped

As you probably heard, this happened on Sunday:

What a surreal thing to see. Horrible a sports facility as it is, the Metrodome is the place where, by a wide margin, I've been to the most games of any in the world, including some of the most important of my life. It's sort of like watching a sci-fi movie where the White House, or a familiar block in New York City, gets destroyed.

The Dome was built almost 30 years ago, and while there have been roof breaches before, all the snowstorms and all the blizzards never created anything like this before.

At first I was bummed on Saturday night, when they first announced the game was being moved to Monday- the storm ruined my Sunday and my Monday. Not only was the Vikings-Giants game supposed to be televised locally in Philly had it been played Sunday afternoon, but with the Vikes playing an NFC East rival my whole household's rooting interests would've been aligned. Even better, the Bears and Packers both suffered bad losses Sunday- although their stadiums remain upright.

Instead, they'll play Monday night in Detroit, and I won't be able to watch it on TV. Why Detroit? Well, the game could've stayed in Minnesota if there were another 45,000-seat football stadium, say, a few miles away elsewhere in Minneapolis. Oh wait, there is one! But apparently someone decided Minnesotans- the best snow-clearers on Earth- couldn't clear the field on 36 hours notice, and that it was easier to put the entire Giants team on a plane to Detroit than to fly their cold-weather gear to Minnesota.

Still, what a weird, weird year for the Vikings, from Childress' precipitous fall to Favre's cell pics to Moss' arrival and quick exit to the roof caving in. Bryant McKinnie wrote on Twitter that "this season has been the weirdest by far in my 9yrs here", which is really something, considering that another of those years included McKinnie himself being hit with criminal charges for his part in a boat orgy.

So many questions- how did the roof withstand every snowstorm ever until now? On the video above, why are there seven different camera angles? The turf wasn't built to withstand the elements- how will they clean the field? Snowplow? Zamboni?

Nobody died of course- though imagine if this happened during a game- but I couldn't help but be reminded of the last time I woke up to the news that a famous building had collapsed. And speaking of 9/11, now we get hilarious conspiracy theories! The Wilfs blew up their own stadium so they could push for a new one (which will certainly happen, by the way*). The league did it in order to prolong Favre's streak. I'm sure putting together such a plan, on no notice, in the middle of a storm, is totally within Roger Goodell's capability.

*Funny thing about that is, the Wilfs are now going to have to spend a whole bunch of money to fix the roof. A roof that, if they have their druthers, they're just going to tear down, along with the rest of the stadium, a year or two from now.

I think it's karma. During football season, snow wants to be on the ground. And after 30 years, it finally made it. Either that, or the building really, really doesn't like being called "Mall of America Field" (and thankfully, in the coverage, just about no one called it by that name.)

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 13, 2010 01:15 PM
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