Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Outside Football in MN

You will not find the same football culture in Minnesota as you would in the state of Texas or even nearby rivals in Green Bay. It would not take Ron Jaworski or John Madden to explain why this is. It is not because we have less passionate fans, even though there might be some high school games in Texas that draw a larger attendance then some Gophers games, but it is because of the bare concrete bubble that our Minnesota teams play in. Yes, I am talking about the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The white covered 195-foot loud speaker that keeps the Homer Hankies, drunk college students, and faded Randy Moss jerseys dry and warm. A stadium that shares all kinds of memories for me - from a boy who watched Kirby Puckett hit a home run to win game 6 of the World Series, to leaving hung over after watching the "Gophs" blow a 21-point lead to the Wolverines in the fourth quarter. 

Still, I would will not shed a tear to watch the Metrodome fall faster than the Vikings did against the Falcons in the NFC Championship game. Green Bay has a unique culture surrounding the "frozen tundra" at Lambau Field. They celebrate the historic symbolism that the stadium stands for by tailgating and cooking brats when it is twenty below zero outside. Rather, Vikes fans push and claw their way into Huberts (the only bar around the Metrodome!) for a beer before the game. 

Minnesota fans are now taking a big sigh of relief as the Twins are building a new outdoor stadium as is Gophers football (picture above is the construction of the new Gophers stadium). When taking the picture above I thought it resembled a new beginning for Gophers football as it comes back to campus. Providing students, fans, and players with the atmosphere and culture that should surround the game. Hopefully, it will also help keep in-state recruits.