The Minnesota Vikings are stadium nomads this season and next season, as they finally escape their entombment in the Metrodome and build their new crystal Valhalla. Or something. That sounds suitably cheesy and “Target-Fieldy”, right?
Either way, the Vikings
have to get to play their next two seasons outside, under the bright lights, stars, and the watchful eyes of God, at the Minnesota Gophers TCF Bank stadium. It’s a smaller stadium, sir, but it checks out. And by “checks out” I mean it offers the basic stadium amenities for football … Two goal posts, seats for disinterested fans, overpriced concessions, and bathrooms as needed (structure corners counting). But what DOESN’T this stadium offer the Vikings?
An opportunity to host a primetime football game, that’s what.
It has come to our attention that the University of Minnesota worked into the stadium sharing contract with the Vikings a caveat that only allows them to host a single “weeknight” football game at TCF Bank stadium while school is in session. For all intents and purposes for this Vikings, this means nothing on a Monday night or a Thursday night, unless the Vikings think they’re worthwhile enough to host a game on Thanksgiving evening, as the third game that day.
This of course, I guess, doesn’t mean that they can’t host Sunday Night Football, which for all intents and purposes truly has become the game of the week, thanks to NBC’s flexible scheduling and the gravitas of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth versus garbage teams locked into Monday night school night games, and Jon Gruden’s constant yelling. However, I really wouldn’t be THAT surprised if the NFL and/or the University of Minnesota both decided Sunday night’s weren’t a real option for the Vikings either, as – technically – it’s a weeknight/school night for people (kids need to get to the library to study on Sunday nights, you know!), and because any game played after high noon on that field will likely lead to a Brett Favre-like career ending concussion. And no one wants that Silver Fox Blood on their hands.
The Vikings of course could still travel to another team’s stadium and be the visitors during a Monday or Thursday night game. And every NFL team is decreed to play a Thursday night game during the season, AND, since the Vikings hosted the Buccaneers two years ago and the Redskins last year, maybe the NFL thinks they’re “only being fair” if they have the purple travel this year instead. Seems reasonable. Reasonably dumb, I mean.
Either way, be ready for this trend to continue for the next two seasons as our new Crystal Palace is being built. Less primetime games may not actually be a bad thing. It just means there will be less pressure on a team that will undoubtedly be young, with a quarterback who needs time to grow behind Ponder and Cassel’s flailing. Hopefully, by 2016, we’ll be done waiting and can get some of that sweet, sweet, spotlight.