Living in Minnesota, people may not always know where we are in the USA, but as of last week, they know Minneapolis as being the home of the collapsed dome stadium.
Believe it or not, once upon a time, The Minnesota Vikings played American Football at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington-a suburb south of Minneapolis. Today, the Mall of America sits on the former site of "The Met".
Since 1982, the Minnesota Vikings have called the Metrodome home. It's a sterile, unappealing white mushroom in downtown Minneapolis. When it's full of 65,000 purple-clad, intoxicated fans, it is one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL, but it's a different experience than what I experienced growing up and going to games at the Met. It was an era where the bitterly cold conditions meant that you dressed for the cold-fashion be damned. (The snowmobilie suit worked the best)
I found the above clip which does a nice job of showing how football used to be here in Minneapolis for the Vikings from 1961-81.
Tonight's Vikings-Bears game will be outside at the University of Minnesota's new TCF Stadium(Also called "The Bank" here in the Twin Cities)http://stadium.gophersports.com/ Already, there has been a lot of whining about playing outside by the players. The temperatures should be well into the single-digits Farenheit, about -12 Celsius at kickoff time. Oh yeah, we are in the midst of another snowstorm which stands to drop 8 more inches of the fluffy white stuff on Minneapolis-this on the heels of last weeks 18 inch (43 cm)
snowfall. This clip shows the job of removing all of this snow from the stadium.... http://www.minnpost.com/minnclips/2010/12/20/24375/timelapse_of_tcf_bank_stadium_snow_removal
My favorite Met Stadium memory was my brother Bill and I watching with thermometer just above zero Farenheit, as the Vikings beat the Los Angeles (now St. Louis) Rams for the NFC title in 1976. The ended up losing to the Oakland Raiders in that Super Bowl...the last time the men in purple have been the Super Bowl.
Tonight's game with the woeful Vikings(Huge disappointment after the team made it to the NFC title game last year before losing to eventual Super Bowl Champs, the New Orleans Saints) and the Chicago Bears will be a throwback to a bygone era. I know I have been feeling very nostalgic. For younger fans, this game will show younger fans how the game was meant to be played-outdoors, conditions be damned.