Oh, the many wrongs about the collapsed Metrodome delayed Giants-Vikings game fiasco…
The worst blizzard in Minneapolis since Halloween 1991, this weekend proved to be another example of Murphy’s Law… or perhaps just a comedy of errors for all involved in an attempted NFL game, originally scheduled for 12/12 at 12 noon.
Here is a summation of all that went wrong.
- The New York Giants did not make it to Minneapolis. This team’s job is to play one game each week, and they can’t get to the city of their scheduled to be in? The blizzard was predicted fairly accurately (expected 14 inches, got around 17inches) all week. Any reasonably minded person traveling to this area planned accordingly to get there before the big dumping of snow. By “any reasonably minded person”, I am referring to people who don’t even make millions of dollars. The point is that no one in the Big Blue system looks at the weather and puts the team on a flight Friday night so that they can make it to the game?
- The Twin Cities can not handle snow. Despite being known for harsh winters, Minneapolis & St. Paul do not see a lot of snow due to the horrendously cold temperatures. However, they do get snow sometimes and this is 2010, where snow emergency procedures should be well-planned. Buffalo, NY got 24 inches in 2006. Surely, they could provide advice on the topic. But, like many other U.S. cities, there is not enough money to spend it on clearly the city so that business can resume and money can be made. It’s a vicious cycle. Since the weather in the Great Northern Tundra is so cold, this snow may be on the ground until February or March, so perhaps clearing the roads appropriately would be important enough to warrant extra effort. However, it wasn’t Even the Vikings were worried that their players, many of whom live in the suburbs near the practice facility, would not be able to make it to the game in time (this was before the roof fell in).
- The Vikings wanted to give Brett Favre the extra day. In order to increase the chances of the most self-serving streak in sports, the Vikings couldn’t have minded jumping on the chance to push this game back. Even though Favre is not the future of the team, they clearly can’t stand the idea of giving Tarvaris Jackson a chance. The Vikings next game is Monday night against Chicago, they have plenty of time to prepare for that (while the Giants lose a crucial day to plan for a critical game against division foes, the Eagles).
The Metrodome has the equivalent of a convertible soft-top as a roof in a tundra. Minnesota is not gaining a reputation for engineering expertise. In the summer of 2007, the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed. Now, for the first time in 27+ years, the roof of the Metrodome collapsed. Again, the storm that hit the Twin Cities this weekend was predicted. Additionally, engineering technology and procedures that exist now are, supposedly, far superior than they were in the early 80s, when the dome had just opened and the kinks were being worked out. Four times before 1983, the roof experienced tears and deflation due to weather. Learning curve, perhaps? Apparently, not much has changed. Technology, weather prediction and a history of how this silly Teflon roof can deflate/collapse was not factored into planning until it was too late the save the thing.
- The tickets for the game were given away for free. Once it was decided that Ford Field in Detroit would host the game, it was announced that refunds would be given to ticketholders (phew!/thanks?/duh). It was also announced that tickets to the game would be given away at no charge. No charge? The stadium could fill for $5 or $10 per ticket, so that all parties involved could actually recoup some money lost on this whole deal. Maybe it is a good strategy to allow Vikings fans in for free (proof in paraphernalia?), so that it is somewhat a “home” game for Minnesota.
All in all, a lot of lessons may be learned from this, but probably won’t. At least Detroit got a nice quiet “Monday Night Football” game at their field for the first time in over a decade. And if people in Detroit couldn’t make it to the game, they couldn’t watch it on TV either.