The Metrodome Blizzard, Or, That Just Happened

A foot-and-a-half of snow fell on the Twin Cities before the Metrodome’s Teflon roof buckled early Sunday morning, providing one hell of a finale for the city’s fifth largest snowstorm on record.

There’s plenty of takeaways from this catastrophic event, and not the least of these is what happens to the Minnesota Vikings for their remaining home games. Yesterday’s bout with the New York Giants was pushed back on Saturday when officials feared the facility wouldn’t be safe for a noon start on Sunday. (Good looking out.) After the roof caved, the game was moved to tonight at Ford Field in Detroit, thus eliminating home-field advantage.

Now, there’s concern the dome won’t be repaired in time for next Monday’s game against the Chicago Bears, raising the possibility, however remote, the game will be moved to TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.

Of course, the timing couldn’t be better. Better, because the Vikings are unlikely to make the playoffs, so they’ll avoid any playoff berth without a home. Also, if the Vikings should venture over to The Bank, it would give fans/voters a chance to see what outdoor football in late December is really about. The Vikings’ Metrodome lease expires after next season and ownership has said they will not renew as they wait for a stadium bill to pass. Given this weekend’s weather, perhaps ownership will think twice about romanticizing outdoor football.

Here’s what I’m taking away from The Blizzard That Did In The Dome:

  1. Most of residential Northeast Minneapolis was left to single-lane traffic, making it extremely difficult to back out of driveways or turn corners. It was more snow than the city could immediately handle, so discouraging all travel made sense. The problem is the city can say no travel, but that’s not practical because people need to go places. My heart goes out to anyone who got stuck on their way to work. There should be a state law forbidding employees be punished if they cannot make it to work while there’s a no travel advisory.
  2. Shoveling isn’t so bad. It’s a great workout and you get to see your progress along the way. We live on a corner which means we have to shovel more than most, but it’s pretty cool to see the sidewalk with four-foot mounds of snow surrounding it. It’s like walking through a maze.
  3. Twitter was nothing short of entertaining — at first. Starting Friday, locals went mad with hyperbole, making fun of the severe forecast and basically retelling the same stupid jokes over and over. Someone died in this storm. Someone lost their job because of this storm. Imagine if the Metrodome had collapsed during a game. This was not the storm for hyperbole — its severity couldn’t be overstated. So, ultimately, clowns who made jokes about the storm — myself included — wound up looking like ignorant, insensitive buffoons.
  4. I admit it was nice having the winter off from shoveling last year in Portland. However, the best thing about a storm like this weekend’s is you get to see strangers helping strangers. Make it a personal mandate to help someone else if someone has helped you. The only way we’ll survive this winter — which starts Dec. 21 — is by paying it forward.
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