SKOL! Vikings Manage A Win, And A Shake Up Of The NFC North
Sunday the Vikings did more than notch an upset win over their NFC rival Green Bay Packers. Packers and probable Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers was injured during the game, and it appears he won't return this season. The Vikings easily dismantled the Packers from that point on, and one would expect a new leader atop the division at the end of the season if the team can't replace Rodgers with any more than a backup QB.
It was my first time seeing the Vikings play at home. The mammoth US Bank Stadium looks like a giant futuristic viking ship out of a science fiction movie, and the atmosphere inside is like a noisy party where a football game breaks out. There's a DJ spinning tracks during pre-game warm-up, a drum line (SKOL-line) and the cheerleaders handling the distractions during the games' timeouts, all trying to make 60,000 people feel like a big part of a bigger space.
The game was the final destination of a trip Katie and I took that also included the Mall Of America, and a quirky stay in downtown Minneapolis. Radisson Red is a no frills but plenty of atmosphere hotel blocks away from the Vikings new home. It's so minimalistic that they didn't bother to put the name on the front of the place. Artsy, yes. Practical, no. Which, I guess they weren't going after, so me and my need for things like a check-in desk and parking and a round toilet aren't really the target customer. If you want to meet people at all hours of the day and night, ask for room 420. And I do mean all hours. The door of the room is a photo-op, and it doesn't end at bedtime (Not by mine anyway.) Most folks were pretty apologetic about banging on the door when they realized someone was actually IN the room...
On the way up to the game from the Quad Cities, be sure to stop off at the Surf Ballroom, and the Buddy Holly crash site in Clear Lake--if you're into that sort of thing. Katie wasn't, so still my only reference to Holly's death is the Don McClean song 'American Pie.'
A stop on the way back, for dinner, I have to tell you Mama Nicks Circle Pizzeria in Waterloo can't miss. Now,I didn't go there, but if I were to stop and eat--that would be the place.