"America's Game" has long since passed "America's Pastime" as the fan favorite.
The viewership numbers reflect that statement, and the ability to have eyeballs gravitate to prime-time television for such innocuous events as the annual schedule unveiling – even when fans already know which teams their favorite club will play – is further proof.
More than a decade ago, a secretary at Viking Update insisted we could sell the game-worn, dirty, unwashed socks of players and fans would love it. If I was ever skeptical about that statement, I have no doubts about that now. The NFL knows hype. It oozes propaganda, excretes excitement and fosters hysteria. Fans can't get enough, and the Vikings are ready to push another newsworthy event into overdrive.
Get ready for – cue the drum roll, techno music and extreme seizure-causing light show – the unveiling of the Vikings' new stadium. Well, not really the stadium, but at least the design for the stadium. WE! NEED!! EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!
All poking aside, the Monday night unveiling actually should cause some intrigue and excitement among fans. After enduring three decades of the dumpy dome, this should be a structure that invokes pride and originality.
We already know a few things about the new stadium. It will be bigger than the Metrodome and have a sloped roof, leading many to speculate that a domed-shape covering as simplistic as the structure out of the 1980s won't have any place in this modern marvel. For the new version, think more natural lighting, perhaps accomplished by having part or all of the roof a translucent architectural polymer. Having the entire roof be retractable may not happen, but whether it's part of the roof, the top portion of a wall or two to reveal the Minneapolis skyline, or a massive window, there should be an option to let the fresh air in with the fresh design ideas.
"Draft design plans reveal that the new stadium would be a bold, iconic, geometric structure with long sloping, angular facets that are primarily directed toward the downtown Minneapolis skyline," revealed an environmental impact study made public last week.
Will it look like the "Water Cube" in Beijing that became famous around the world during the 2008 Summer Olympics? That could be part of the look. Will it have elements resembling the ever-popular Target Field that is now the pride of the Minnesota Twins?
The beauty of the stadium intrigue is that imaginations can run wild with architectural creativity, much like fans love dreaming of free-agent signings or blue-chip draft picks joining the team, no matter how realistic or unrealistic they may be. Frankly, it's a wonder there hasn't been an effort to have a mock stadium design contest – whoever gets closest to the actual design gets a dozen Percy Harvin jerseys to alleviate the closeout inventory.
Hard to imagine the Star Tribune didn't print a stadium vest for fans to cut out of Sunday's paper and wear to the Guthrie Theater's stadium design event Monday night in honor of the ridiculous cut-out victory vest the paper printed probably a decade ago for another Vikings event, the details of which escape me.
The Vikings attempted to bolster their social media cred last month by revealing a new part of their new uniforms each week for fans that promoted their social media pages.
A club that can stretch the tryouts of the Vikings cheerleading team and make it a documentary – a four-part documentary, no less – with a voice-over that suggests drama greater than storming the beaches of Normandy – can certainly cause a few heart palpitations in giddy fans Monday night. Show your horns, paint your face, stretch your Zubaz, call your designated driver and bring your defibrillator. It's on. The Vikings stadium design is about to be revealed and this might actually be something to get excited about.
The only letdown might be waiting for the construction after the design revelation.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Sunday slant: Stadium design should excite
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