Man of Few Words

Vikings owner Red McCombs has been the subject of several local and national reports about a potential impending sale of the Vikings. Apparently, we're all wrong.

Depending on who you asked, the Vikings could be sold as early as next week. Unless, of course, that person is Red McCombs.

When VU staffers saw an e-mail with the tag line "Statement From Red McCombs," it was thought it might be news of a tentative agreement with Reggie Fowler. Instead, it was a two-sentence statement -- repeated here in it's entirety.

"None of the media reports concerning the sale of the Vikings are correct," McCombs said. "I am continuing to work with our staff preparing the Vikings for the 2005 season."

With such a short statement and lack of elaboration, VU and others have been forced to try to read into the statement perhaps more than is there and break down what few words were printed. By saying "none" of the reports are correct, some contend that the team is nowhere close to being sold. Others have speculatated that there is a difference in saying "none are correct" and "all are wrong".

The fallout of the comments has given rise to new speculation. These include that McCombs assumed $600 million asking price may go up to $650 million or even $700 million, because any new owner would receive a $100 million windfall in 2006 when the new NFL TV agreements are finalized.

Others continue to claim that Fowler's group simply doesn't have the adequate resources to make the purchase. Still more point out the timing of McCombs announcement -- a day after Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty made a budget proposal that would open a Twin Cities-based casino that would use profits to build stadiums for the Vikings and Twins -- effectively handing the keys over to a new owner. If that is the case, McCombs would have his new stadium, his new revenue streams and considerably more annual profit than the $33 million he made in 2004.

Now all we can do is wait until McCombs statements are more than two sentences.

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