by Scott Hall
During the professional football season each team plays 16 games over a 17 week period. So each team has a week off sometime during the season. It's called "the bye week", and this was the Vikings' week off. In the jargon of the sports media, the Vikings are "idle" today.
It's probably coincidence that this week may have been the beginning of a long good-bye to the Vikings. The Governor and legislators didn't come up with a way to raise public funding to pay for a portion of a new stadium for the Vikings. The Vikings' lease at the Metrodome may expire after this season. If so, they are free to move. It was a little over 50 years ago that the Minneapolis Lakers moved to the desert town of Los Angeles and kept the "Lakers" name. After 51 years as the Minnesota Vikings, it seems the possibility of the Vikings following the Lakers to LA is more likely than ever.
The value of professional sports teams is hard to quantify. I'm sure those who say "let 'em go" way underestimate the economic value of pro sports. But as far as other values go, that is more subjective, and I am weary of the overhyped importance attached to the games themselves. The hype and phony melodrama are most necessary to those who want to direct our attention to the messages of their advertisers. By Monday, most of the games will mean less to us than the fortunes of the local high school teams.
So now, at least one Sunday during the pro football season, we have three more hours to take a nap, bake a pie, go hunting, play touch football, ride a bike, read a book. In another year or two, will every Sunday be so full of promise?
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