A few notes from my holiday weekend trip to Minnesota:
– Minneapolis has a light rail now. Huh? You’re not supposed to “catch a train” in the Midwest!
– I’d been wondering how long it would take my girlfriend and my mother, after meeting each other for the first time, to join forces and make jokes at my expense. The answer: “Only a couple of hours.”
– We paid a pre-dinner visit to the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center, where I hadn’t been in years. The garden is best known for its spoon-and-cherry sculpture, the bridge of which is often used, according to my father, as a late-night destination for prom kids, if you know what I mean.
– We also went to the Mall of America- just 24 hours before the government-mandated shuttering of Camp Snoopy. Rumsfeld IS a blockhead. Seriously- I’d never realized before just how drenched the Cities are with Peanuts iconography- statues and posters of Charlie Brown and Co. are everywhere.
– There’s a Sunday night sports-wrap show in the Twin Cities featuring the local sportswriting/radio/old fart trio of Sid Hartman, Pat Reusse, and “Dark Star,” along with host Mike Max. A train wreck reminiscent of the early “McLaughlin Group,” only without the charm, “The Sports Show” consists of 30 minutes of the hosts mumbling, sharing strikingly obvious non-wisdom and talking over each other. There’s probably more insight in the daily five-minute discussion my co-workers and I have about the previous evening’s Mets game than there was on that entire half-hour show.
– Peter King has the Vikings winning the NFC, because of their offseason moves, and because getting rid of Randy Moss was “addition by subtraction.” I am predicting a vastly improved Vikes team, but I also tend to agree with Philly sports radio host Glen Macnow, who said last night that the Vikings aren’t making the Super Bowl anytime soon because “their coach is a blithering idiot.”
– The Zygi Wilf era is off to an excellent start, with the Vikes’ new owner actually reaching the radical conclusion that maybe a team in Minnesota would enjoy a competitive advantage from playing outdoors. Shocking, I know. I’m not sure if Blaine’s the right place, but if it’s going to be open-air, the further north, the better. I’m also enjoying the nicknames for Zygi- the Borat references, “Zygi Milf,” etc.- and then the King column dubbed him “Triple Word Score.”
– Speaking of stadiums, the Twins ballpark in downtown Minneapolis finally, improbably, looks like a reality. I went up to my dad’s office and viewed the site from above- the adjacent garbage incinerator notwithstanding, it looks like a good location. And the lucky law partner with the overlooking office will get a free, unobstructed view of every Twins home game for as long as he’s with the firm.
– As for the Wolves, it actually appears as though they’re going to hire P.J. Carlesimo as coach. I don’t like it- not because of the Sprewell thing, but because he just hasn’t been a winner, anywhere he’s been. And while Latrell and his yacht are likely gone regardless of who the coach is, it’s still a wacky juxtaposition. Could you ever imagine such a situation happening in any other profession? “We’re thinking about hiring this new sales manager, but awhile back one of our employees tried to murder him. Is that a problem?”
– Good to see some friends/readers on my visit; I’ll be back in September, and will hopefully extend the continuing ballpark tour to the Metrodome. (Next week: Pittsburgh, and possibly DC as well).
UPDATE: Another Twins memory (from Steve Rushin’s column):
“In March, after 44 distinguished years as the Minnesota Twins’ public-address announcer, Bob Casey passed away. At the funeral one of Casey’s sons, Mike, closed his eulogy the same phrase his father used to close every Twins game.
He said, in summing up a life well-lived: “The totals on the board are correct.”
I don’t think I’ve ever gone to a game with my father when he didn’t make some comment about that phrase. And I’m going to miss hearing it.