|Jeff Shore and Dan Gustafson in front of TCF Stadium
for the Vikings Bears game.
Jeff Shore and I went down to the Vikings game last night to enjoy the first professional football game played outdoors in Minnesota since 1980, despite the fact the he is a Packers fan. Jeff suggested that we go as we were hanging out on his deck on Saturday night, and my first reaction was no, let’s watch it on TV from the comfort of one of our living rooms.
Sunday night, after watching the Packers lose to the Patriots, I started browsing Craigslist for tix. There were many that were available, and Jeff still indicated he wanted to go.
Monday morning was very busy with client meetings and expectations, but my 1:00 appointment cancellation allowed me to duck out of the office early. We found a couple of tickets with some season ticket holders from Edina, and I met them them at 100 and Vernon Avenue at the local gas station. It’s always a little bit sketchy buying tickets from someone you don’t know!
I proceed to head downtown to meet Jeff at the Wells Fargo tower, bringing his outdoor gear along so he wouldn’t have to go to the game in a business suit. We hopped a bus on Nicollet and Washington, and rode over to the Bank.
We had come well prepared with spirits tucked inside our coveralls, but the pat downs we observed told us we should ditch them outside the stadium–too bad because the pat down was a formality, touching arms and ribs only and looked worse than it really was. The Captain Morgan I had stuffed inside my coveralls would have sailed through!
Once inside, we found very nice seats at about the 20 yard line with our backs to the wind and snow that fell throughout most of the game.
Favre and the Vikings made the first scoring drive look easy, but the rest of the performance on the field was anemic. However, the fans were having a great time, with random snowballs flying during TV timeouts and after scores by Percy Harvin and Joe Webb. By the way, Webb looks very raw, and should probably be moved back to wide receiver.
We witnessed the introduction of the 50 greatest players at halftime, and I was pleasantly surprised with how many old-time Vikings players showed up and seemed to be enjoying the outdoor style of football. Ahmad Rashad seems to never appear at any of these things, and there he was smiling and waving. Also it was good to see Tommy Kramer, Anthony Carter, and Joey Browner, some of the first Vikings I can remember watching as a boy in Crookston on our state of the art 19″ color TV!
We ditched the game right at the beginning of the fourth quarter, as Devon Hester and the special teams unit of the Bears left no question who was the better team this night. Then we hopped a bus packed full of people and headed back to downtown Minneapolis.
A quick drive back to Wayzata with one cold one at the Muni before heading home sealed the night.
Did you go? What were your impressions of the game and an outdoor stadium for the Vikings? Let us know!