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Solution Paper #38, posted August 27, 2009
Originally published in November 2002,
in The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes,
by Ron Edwards
Part of the title of this chapter may come as a shock to the reader, so it bears repeating: Say Goodbye to The Vikings, They are Leaving; Say Goodbye to The Vikings, They Are Our Loss
What I will walk you through in this chapter is the plan of the movers and shakers of Minneapolis to move the Vikings out of Minnesota. At the same time, the story of the Vikings' departure is another look at the same dynamics we have witnessed about the character of Minneapolis.
Now you may ask why I would write with such an eloquent plea for equal access and equal opportunity in education, housing, and economic development, and then include a piece on a sports team? For four reasons.
First, it shows that if you take away the name Vikings and insert any other, you'll have the Minneapolis story as seen through your eyes as well. The sadness is that this is something about which most Minnesotans agree: they love their Vikings. They probably have more passion than most cities. They have sold out every game the past four years. But that doesn't matter. They don't fit The Plan.
Second, plain and simple, because I am a sports fan. Any sports fan will understand. I played football in high school. Everyone I know who has played the game, at whatever level, is always very interested. So, writing about the Vikings or any of the athletic teams is to also write about the Minneapolis story.
Third, sports stay with us all of our lives and impacts us in ways we often are not aware of, whether we played or cheered from the sidelines. When I sat down to begin this book, the first story I talked about centered on my high school football team. I talked about it for over two hours before I could begin to talk about my community advocacy work. And I find this is even true for some women who remember Friday night high school football games as well. It is a part of our social fabric, which makes it doubly difficult to imagine Minneapolis without the Vikings. They have been a part of our social fabric for over 40 years. And now they will be ripped out of our lives.
Fourth, part of what I have been talking about is Black economic development, wealth and prosperity. For the longest time professional athletes were not paid the kind of money that is paid today. Now that they are, I often wonder what the White power structure of wealth thinks about having five dozen highly paid Blacks in town and playing on their golf courses. From my perspective, it could give a real boost to developing Black wealth in Minneapolis. On the other hand, the fear of that could be a reason why the wealthy Whites don't want them here in White Scandinavia land.
It sounds strange to think of Minneapolis without their Vikings. So ask yourself this question: can you imagine Chicago without their Bears or Bulls or Cubs or White Sox or Blackhawks as an integral part of their social fabric? Can you imagine Detroit without the Lions, the Pistons, the Tigers, and the Redwings all of whom are considered an integral part of their social fabric (Detroit just built two new stadiums, one for the NFL Lions and one for the MLB Tigers? Can you imagine New York City without their Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Knicks, Islanders or Rangers? Can you imagine other cities without their teams, which are also considered part of their social fabric?
Can you imagine Minneapolis without the Twins or Timberwolves or Wild, and especially without the Vikings? Neither can I. But soon we will. The powers that be in Minnesota want the Twins, so they are safe. The cities choose to be on the hook for the arenas of the Timberwolves and Wild, so they are safe These powers don't want the Vikings, so they have created the false notion that the Twin Cities can't support four teams. As you will see, they don't want to. So they have made sure that the Vikings are leaving. I will show you how they did it. It will be our loss. But the powers do love the University of Minnesota Gophers, so they will be the ones to get a new stadium. The Twins will get a renovated Metrodome.
How is it that the powers in Minnesota not only imagine it but want it, encourage it, and have set the process in motion to kick the Vikings out, not caring about the role the team plays in the state's social fabric and the hearts of its people? I will connect the dots foryou. The powers have answered no to the question: To Keep or Not to Keep the Vikings. The people say keep the Vikings, but the wealthy who control, who could make it happen, say no. So the Vikings are leaving. Our loss.
Let's look at The Plan in the early 1950s. That version of The Plan was very Minnesotan, very bold, very gutsy, very "can do." In his book Stadium Games: Fifty Years of Big League Greed and Bush League Boondoggles (University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2000), the reporter Jay Weiner writes:
It was 1952. The Twin Cities were prairie towns seeking to compete with Milwaukee and Kansas City. The political and economic foundations for Minnesota's first major-league stadium were laid by a community--workers, captains of industry, and politicians--that wanted pro sports, that felt a team and a ballpark wouldather them together, not tear them apart. Major-league sports would put Minnesota on the map. Getting teams was the cause; major-league sports would all gow this overlooked section of the nation to, literally, play with the big boys. The symbol of arrival...a stadium (p. xxiii).
Getting teams was the cause; major-league sports would allow this overlooked section of the nation to, literally, play with the big boys. The symbol of arrival...a stadium (p. xxiii).
In 1990, The Mpls.St.Paul magazine wrote:
...the Twins won the World Series. As pennant fever mounted during those magical weeks of fall 1987, Minnesotans came together in an outpouring of excitement, joy and gratitude never before equaled in this state. Sports frenzy continues today, finding an outlet not only in the ... Twins but in the Vikings, Gophers, North Stars and Timberwolves as well.
Then came the beginning of a loss of nerve; the "can do" attitude became a "won't do" attitude. The bosses decided they would not support luxury boxes for four major league teams. This is why Former Metropolitan Sports Facility Commission chairman Henry Savelkoul frequently trumpeted the bosses' line, masking it by saying that four teams could not "flourish." But note that the teams have plenty of attendance. The fans are there. But the lazy wealthy, with the money, didn't want four sets of luxury boxes. Weiner says the same thing in his book. Professional sports today has become an industry supported by taxpayers and by wealthy individuals or corporations, the latter paying big bucks for luxury seats or boxes, costs that which can range from $40,000 a year to $250,000 a year, but not in Minneapolis where major corporations are not sponsors.
The plan is to support two major teams, the Twins and the Gophers, at the expense of the most popular team, The Vikings. Sell the team to an outsider who would move the team, leaving the Metrodome to the Twins and a new on-campus outdoor football stadium for the Gophers. That is The Plan. As far as I can tell, that plan still holds.</li>
The problem with The Plan is that the goal of being Big League will be sacrificed. There is only one sport in America today that is truly the American pastime, if not obsession, and that is football. Baseball has been in decline for a number of years. It may retain the name of American pastime, but it is football that is The American Passion. Only football holds the imagination of America, every Friday night at high schools, every Saturday for colleges, and every Sunday for the NFL. When the Vikings leave, Minneapolis will no longer be considered in the first tier of major league cities.
Now I know that by now, dear reader, you are wondering how can all this be? How come, you ask, you haven't read it in the press? If this is true, why hasn't it been in the newspapers and on TV? Good questions. But it has been. And if, dear reader, you ask where, then I know you don't read the Black newspaper, The Minnesota Spokesman and Recorder , and I know that you don't listen to the Black news on TV station KMOJ, nor, for that matter, my TV program. For several years we have all carried the story. In fairness, the White papers have carried it as a joke or in snippets, but not enough to upset anyone, for they know the Vikings are not to be saved. And they know Whites are not reading the Black newspaper, so they have nothing to fear. But I read both. I know. But you want proof. Here it is from the July 12-18, 2001 Minnesota Spokesman and Recorder , and with a story title that says it all: " Conspiracy of Silence" by Larry Fitzgerald:
The Vikings are now the NFL's most popular team. They have the two most popular players in the league in Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss. In the three years that [Red] McCombs has owned the team he's made $15 million, while Jerry Jones has made $165 million directly from his stadium. When the business community decided to build Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and bring the NHL back, they chose hockey over the Vikings. NHL players are 98 percent White, while NFL players and the Vikings are 80 percent Black. The Vikings have the worst stadium agreement in sports. Nobody is happy with the Dome; the Twins want out, the Gophers [and] the Vikings [want out too], yet nothing is getting done.
Fitzgerald concluded by predicting that the Vikings will move to Los Angeles, the Twins will stay in a renovated dome, and the Gopher football team will get its own stadium on its campus. Has anything changed since last summer? Here is Fitzgerald again, in August 2002, not only answering this question but also pointing out the unheralded but necessary reading of the Black independent newspapers in this country:
Twins Aren't Leaving, Vikings Are
Once the Vikings are out of the picture and are sold to a Los Angeles-based ownership, it will become very clear that the Twins are going to accept a renovated Metrodome. And the new University of Minnesota President--whoever he or she is--will lead the way along with the new athletic director to build a smaller version of an on-campus football stadium for Gophers.
With the merged departments, it is imperative that the football program starts to carry the weight of generating the kind of revenue needed to support the athletic budget. Remember I told you months ago that Gov. Jesse Ventura would not seek reelection. I have a solid overview of the lay of the land.
Larry Fitzgerald, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, July 25, 2002
And thus we can figure out the answer to the question as to why none of the Fortune 500 companies of the Twin Cities are sponsors of the Vikings: They understand The Plan. This also lets us interpret why the previous owners refused to sell to a local person who wanted to buy the team but instead sold to an outsider, despite the well-known stadium issue: because they wanted the new buyer to move the team.
Not coincidentally, the same group of 1950's men who brought the Twins are big Gopher fans who have contributed significantly to the University. As I noted earlier, the Gophers are the only Big Ten Team that has to share its fans with a professional team. As Minnesota Governor John Pillsbury said of the University, in 1889, "when I am dead and gone, this institution shall be kept for all time, broad in its scope, powerful in its influence" (emphasis added). Not once has the university said: yes, let's do it, to the proposed joint Vikings-Gopher stadium. Recall that the University of Miami was able to keep the first attempt of pro football out of Miami. The first team that attempted to do so wound up in Buffalo.
Fitzgerald fixes the blame on a lack of vision that is not only less than the vision of the 1950s, but a vision that remains White at the exclusion of non-white, which the series in the Star Tribune in 1990 and the two cover stories of Mlps.St.Paul magazine in 1990 and 2001 support (Interludes 2 and 10). Regardless of whether the Vikings are moved by Red or sold by Red and moved by the new owner, Red McCombs will wrongly get the blame. The blame will reside with the previous owners who passed up the local buyer for the out-of-town guy with the understanding that the team would be moved.
Fans will be even more enraged when they learn that some of those who voted to sell the Vikings to Red McCombs and make big buck returns didn't invest much in the first place. They borrowed their investment money, and then had their loan payments paid out of ticket sales and TV revenue. The return they received when they sold to Red was pure gravy, a value they didn't create, a value that was created by the fans. They then paid off their loans from receipts rather than pursuing free agents ("Vikings are Going, Going, Gone!" Larry Fitzgerald, Spokesman-Recorder , May 8-14, 1997). In other words, do the math, connect the dots: rich guy borrowed money to buy the Vikings and then used Vikings revenues to pay off their loans rather than go after free agents. Why? To set them up to leave.
And given the many ways to finance a stadium and the many ways to generate revenue, we are left with the realization that Fitzgerald and Wiener are correct, that the former owners don't want to put in the work and time needed to select among the many solutions available because they had already decided they wanted the Vikings to move. These former Vikings owners are emotionally tied to the Twins and Gophers. They view the non-Scandinavian Vikings (Black) as expendable and desirably so. They obviously don't see things through my eyes nor the eyes of the vast majority of Minnesotans who love their Vikings.
The fans' rage will be even greater at the reality of how these wealthy owners went along with the use of outside money to ship out the people's Vikings, as reported in USA Today (August 6, 2002): the NFL gave or loaned Red McCombs $100 million to help him buy the team to ensure that it would be shipped out. No one knew this before. This was the first time this news leaked out, meaning it had been a secret for five years. Note: you did not read this in the Star Tribune . But it was in USA Today , and it was featured in Larry Fitzgerald's column in the Spokesman Recorder and on his "Fitz Beat" on www.Channel4000.com of August 27, 2002: " McCombs Looking To Sell Team."
This proves two things: (1) the fix was in to move the Vikings, and (2) to make sure that the outside guy could outbid the local guy, the NFL loaned the outside guy $100 million, so he could bid $250 million (his first bid was $150 million). Then the outside guy would be set to sell the team to buyers in Los Angeles.
The Plan called for the Vikings to move. And the NFL wants a team in Los Angeles. A match made in heaven. Fitzgerald continues:
The big business community sold out Minneapolis. Headrick, who was not a favorite with many local media, never believed he could beat Taylor in a financial round to buy the Vikings.
Why didn't the league want Headrick to have the team? After all, he was a local guy and was team president.
Now the dots are connected for you: the power boys don't want the team in Minneapolis and the NFL wants a team in Los Angeles. Still want more proof, dear reader? Here it is:
Former Vikings Chairman John Skoglund hinted in 1997 that the team would be forced to move without a new stadium (Pioneer Press, April 10, 1997). So, this is not new, and is not about Red. It's about a group of leaders who turned their backs on the people of Minnesota. The former owners made this same argument in their presentation before the Sports Facility Commission in December 19, 1996, as did NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in his statement before the Advisory Task Force on Professional Sports in Minnesota, September 25, 1995: no stadium, the team moves. They have positioned Red and the legislature to be the scapegoats.
Want more proof? Here it is: Henry Savelkoul, former Metropolitan Sports Facility Commission chairman, prior to the sale to Red and since has maintained, falsely in my view, that the four teams cannot flourish, that one has to go. He stated this in his "The Viability of Four Major Sports Teams in Minnesota," which he concluded was not viable (pp. 421-422 of Weiner book). Indeed, Weiner writes, after interviewing legislators, corporation executives, government leaders, that "In the end, I believe we in Minnesota can' afford four major league teams (p. 467). That is the single real purpose of his book, in my view: to sell the idea there is no room for the Vikings.
Weiner then goes on to say that four teams can't stay and that "triage" has to be exercised, and although he says the state has to decide (blames the legislators, get it?), he clearly believes it is the Vikings that have to go because they play only 10 plus games a year vs. the 81 a year the Twins play, which fits the tourist and travel industry schedules much better. Minneapolis weather is like Bismarck, South Dakota, not like Milwaukee or Chicago. Can you imagine a World Series outdoors in Minnesota in October?
If the Twins were really going to go, they would have been sold and moved. There exists no known official document of any kind suggesting the Twins would be contracted. It was all talk, designed to get people eager to keep the team and to set them up for paying for the Metrodome renovation once the Vikings are gone.
The legislature appointed a task force. They were provided with ten models and 8 different ways to finance new stadiums without new taxes, and they never contacted the person submitting these models, even though he gave them to not only the task force but also to key legislators, the governor, the Twins, and the Vikings, paper copies as well as a web site in which all were listed for easy access. Not one person from any of these entities contacted him. When the individual went to Minneapolis and walked in to meet with the Vikings administrative vice president, he was told they didn't need any of the models as they had a deal in the legislature and a deal with the university. Why did he say that? Because it ended the conversation in typical Minneapolis nice fashion for ending them: lie so people will go away.
Remember the Minnesota Northstars National Hockey League team? Norm Green was promised the new area where Target Center now is upon the completion of the Mall of America, as well as that he would get a piece of the action for the Mall's Phase II. Curt Carlson and others were against Green's development.
But the Northstars' owner outfoxed the bosses. They thought Norm would heel and do as he was told. Doesn't everyone? But he wasn't from Minnesota. He didn't know he was to genuflect and obey. So he left Minnesota, taking the Northstars with him, leaving Minnesota, producer of more American-born hockey players than any other state and home of the Hockey Hall of Fame, without a hockey team. Yet when it came time for the NHL to expand, Minnesota got a team. So you see, dear reader, when the Bosses want something to happen, the bosses can make it happen.
The bosses wanted the Met Center land for the Mall of America. The Mall was needed for travel packages for Minneapolis-headquartered Northwest Airlines as well as for Japan Airlines and Korean Airlines. And in all of this, under the capable eye of Bloomington's Mayor James Laughinghouse (Bloomington is the town adjacent to Minneapolis where the Mall of America is and where the old stadiums for the Vikings and Twins and Northstars used to be). In all of this, there was not one role for any minority. These travel packages, by the way, are also why the Twins needed a covered stadium, or dome. Rainouts and cold are death to travel packages; playing indoors makes it controllable, all orderly. They built it and people came.
The movers and shakers believe that the community prefers Gophers football because it is what they prefer, but attendance records show the opposite. The preference is for the Vikings, but facts have never gotten in the way of men used to getting their way and who have already made up their minds.
How can the bosses kick out a team that is so loved by Minnesotans? Because they can (like 800-pound guerillas who feel they don't have to follow either the people or democracy). No one will stand up to them. Minnesotans drive in the lambs' lane. They follow. Even though the bosses have the economic muscle and the financial and development models to use to profitably purchase the team and keep it in Minnesota, and keep it profitable, they won't do so. Why? What other conclusion is there than that they want the Vikings out of town, which follows their Plan?
I've read so many stories in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that it is hard to keep track of them all. But Vikings owner Red McCombs has gotten older (don't we all). He is in his mid-70s or more. He has slowed down. From the papers it looks to me like the younger Gary Woods (the team President who made promises to the city businessmen that Red decided for a while not to follow) and the much younger saboteurs at Winter Park (see the many stories in the Star Tribune in November and December 2001), apparently found it easy to manipulate him. To prepare the team to move, they must have concluded that it would be best to have a White administration. So they plotted to get rid of the Black coach, even though he had the best active record in the NFL for the past 9 years and the 8th best in overall NFL history. That didn't matter. They had to clean up the team. Of 13 coaches and staff who were let go, 12 were Black. The one strong voice in the community for the Vikings was gone. The blond Vikings were back in charge. And now they could more easily ready the team for sale.
So you see, the Vikings are just a foil, a diversion for the real winner in the stadium derby, the baseball Twins, who will get a renovated Metrodome, and the University of Minnesota Gophers, who will get a new stadium. The City of St. Paul chose to support a mostly White team and the city of Minneapolis chose to support the small number of Blacks on the basketball team. That leaves the choice for the third spot between the Twins and the Vikings. As we have already seen, the Twins fit into their plan; the Vikings do not. Therefore, bye-bye, Vikings. The Gophers will get their stadium and not have to share football fans with a pro team. What better way for the Gophers to increase their attendance to a self-supporting level than to get the Vikings fans to do it for them once the Vikings are out of town? The University is King.
Now despite what the sports writers have written in the Minneapolis Star Tribune , the Metrodome was built for baseball. I can hear the regulars who read the sports pages crying out: "wait a minute, the papers are always writing about how the compromises made favored the Vikings, so it is a football stadium." There, you see? Note there is nothing about the compromises made by baseball. They didn't need to make any. The compromises were made for the team that was shortchanged by the original design: football. The dome was built for baseball. Baseball in Minneapolis in April, not to mention sometimes in May, September, October and, for the first time last year, November, is in weather that is uncomfortable and uncontrollable. And the powers that be want to control everything, even the weather. Minneapolis weather, except for June, July, and August, is unpredictable except for the reality of the bad weather of these months, which would then cause weather delays or postponements, etc., as in "the good old days." The powers that be can't have tour charters, team charters, and individual tourists come to town and then be rained out. No month is invulnerable to this. Thus, the Dome stays.
This has long been a nightmare for schedulers in the league just as it is for vacationers, tourists, and the industries that cater to them. The Dome was built to defy the weather. So the Dome will stay. It won't be demolished. Minneapolis gains from the national events held there and it would be stupid to turn down the revenue and the free publicity and exposure gained from the telecasts of these various events, many of which are beamed worldwide. Tearing it down would hurt business, it would hurt tourism, and it would hurt the University. Do the math. The Dome stays. And the Twins stay in it. The Vikings will leave town. And then the University will get its on-campus stadium.
Society needs visionaries. Looking back, you cannot help but be proud of those in the 1950s and 1960s who brought professional sports to Minnesota, trying hard and steadily, through many disappointments, to finally succeed. They are a model of perseverance for all of us. But their vision did not include Blacks.
When you look at the I-694/I-494 circle of commerce, the great ribbon of concrete that encircles Minneapolis and St. Paul, the transportation highway of the area, notice the highway bisecting both cities, I-94 and I-394, as well as the North-South split of Highway I-35 through Minneapolis with I-35W and St. Paul with I-35E. You can't help but be in awe of the men and women who thought the great thoughts, had the grand visions, who invested their time and talent and treasuries to make the Twin Cities the unique area that it is, one of the most livable areas in the country, not to mention in the world.
How did The Plan, the grand vision, get so distorted that the Vikings became expendable to the Mastuhs? How did the planners of the 1950s do so much with far fewer resources, whereas today, with the far greater wealth and resources, with billionaires and millionaires, with over a dozen headquarters of the Fortune 500, with a Federal Reserve Bank, all of a sudden they talk as if they have been struck by "poverty" (Twins owner Carl Pohlad received $1 billion for the sale of his banks) and that there is no such money in the Twin Cities? Minnesota was proud of the fact that it didn't support stadiums with public dollars but rather provided financing that was paid back. Why now is the conversation about paying for them, not financing them? Why have they gone from self-reliance to a demand for corporate welfare? Because Minnesota won't pay, and thus "force" the team to leave.
Economic data demonstrate that all four teams can be supported. Projected demographic data regarding the population growth over the coming years demonstrate that such an argument will be made more moot for all but the most rabid detractors of professional sports, as the area will experience great population growth. Regardless, all the signs add up to a development scheme that started out to be inclusive and that now is exclusive, willing to sacrifice the peoples' team in this new version of The Plan. How did Minnesota leaders get to the place where they are no longer into "the vision thing?" Why cede them power to claim to represent the people when what they have been about is to chase the people's team out of town?
"In the beginning," there were two cities, always feuding. They were divided between those who felt that the center of the universe was in Minneapolis and those who felt the center of the universe was in St. Paul. Neither view turned out to be correct. The center of the local universe turned out to be between the two downtowns, the nexus of the airport and Bloomington. This became clear n the post-war years (late 1940s and early 1950s), with the first significant developments, in which major moves centered on this real estate crown jewel of the region.
The powers of that generation had vision and wrapped their two towns into a unifying area distinguished by a single, shared beltway called 694/494. Many of the Minneapolis power brokers live on the west side near Lake Minnetonka. Interstate 94 came in from the East through the two cities and then went north. Interstate 394 picked up the westerly direction, giving the powers on the west side a quick way to get into either downtown, just as 494 whisked them to Bloomington and the airport.
Thus, there are two Golden Triangles. The first is formed by the three points of the airport/Bloomington, downtown Minneapolis, and downtown St. Paul, with the University of Minnesota and the Metrodome on the line between the two downtowns. The second is larger, with the central point still Bloomington and the airport. The other two points are St. Paul and Wayzata, with Minneapolis, the Metrodome, and the University of Minnesota on the line between St. Paul and Wayzata.
All of this talk about the Vikings leaving helps support my contention that we need to recognize that, in fact, the specter of racism is not a specter. It is very real. Much of it is the closet kind that hangs in the shadows and works its discrimination in quiet and out of sight. Indeed, the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a huge series on the topic (Interludes 2 and 10). It opened with how race affects everyone "from birth to death" and that it "sets our agenda for life." It is now setting the agenda for the Vikings.
The lead story on p. 33 of the Star Tribune series is headlined: "Few people of color shape policy in the state." And the seeds of the drive to rid the Twin Cities of the Vikings can be seen in the headline: "Sports teams are slow to reach out to minority fans." Despite having a Black basketball coach, the paper noted that "the Gopher program has ignored the contributions of the minority community." The Vikings "are viewed from a distance." And the Twins organization itself "is burdened by a history of racism." The hockey team assumed "that if there are no minority athletes, there will likely be no minority fans," which is certainly a racist comment.
Finally, recall Interlude 10 and its report on the January 1990 issue of the Mpls.St.Paul magazine cover story "I'm Not Racist, But...," and then sub-headed with "'Nice' Minnesotans don't talk about it, but the ugly fact is that racism is alive--and growing--in the Twin Cities." The author also wrote a cover story in October 2001 and, for maybe the first time since the magazine's cover story on racism in 1990, admitted that in that 2001 piece one of the problems is that the closet racism is still "operating in one of the nation's Whitest metropolitan areas," casting "a shadow" under which I as a Black man, and all other Blacks in Minneapolis must live.
I only see one thing that could save the Vikings: if the younger generation of the White wealthy families stood up to their fathers and said it is their future now, and that they want the Vikings, and that they will do what is necessary to keep them. All the ways for doing so are outlined on the web site referenced earlier. But I won't hold my breath, for the young heirs, as we have seen, were de-powered long ago and just don't seem to have the fortitude to stand up on their own.
And so the 15-25 families who make up the power base of this town, the Mastuhs, the "Families," view the Minneapolis story through a different lens of perception than I do. Most of them know of The Plan. They will cry crocodile tears when the Vikings leave, but they will be tears of joy. But it doesn't matter. Say goodbye to the Vikings, they are leaving; say good-bye as that is our loss. Why? Because that is The Plan.
Postscript of October 5, 2002: More Disinformation
One of the famous lines of the presidential debate of 1980 was: "There you go again." And here we go again. This article, "Vikings owner denies rumor of sale" ( Star Tribune, October 5, 2002), continues the same pattern as 1998 when the former owners sold the team. Do you remember, dear reader, as I do, all of the press in the Twin Cities regarding the same kind of information about Glenn Taylor and Tom Clancy, the well planted disinformation, lies, deception, and playing Minneapolis people like chumps? Here we go again. I'm just as convinced now that Glenn Taylor is a stalking horse for Red's sale just as I was that he was a stalking horse for the sale to Red in 1998 to bid up the price. It is all part of the plan. It shows how little respect, the bosses have for the people of Minneapolis. The real issue is the fact, as the article points out, that Red loses his tax write off after this year. He buys and then sells athletic teams after the tax write off period ends. And by making all of the moves necessary to ensure an 0-4 start, the scene is set for people to be so mad they won't care until after the moving trucks have left town, after which it will be too late. And so, dear reader, unless someone steps forward to thwart The Plan, the plan remains: The Vikings leave. The Twins just moved on in the playoffs. Does anyone seriously think they could have played outdoors in this series or the ones coming up?
See also: January 29, 2005: The Roll Call of Those Who Either Called for the Vikings to Move out of Minnesota or Who Stated They would have to be Moved as They Could Not Remain Competitive and Profitable without a New, Tax Payer Subsidized Stadium
Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm. Formerly head of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League, he continues his “watchdog” role for Minneapolis. Order his book, hear his voice, read his solution papers, and read his between columns “web log” at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
Permission is granted to reproduce The Minneapolis Story columns, blog entires and solution papers. Please cite the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and www.TheMinneapolisStory.com for the columns. Please cite www.TheMinneapolisStory.com for blog entries and solution papers.
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