Dick Day Wants To Make Red Pay

If the Reggie Fowler deal is approved by the NFL, Red McCombs stands to make nearly $400 million more than he purchased the Vikings for seven years ago. If one prominent Minnesota state senator has his way, it won't all be profit.

As if Red McCombs wasn't fed up enough with Minnesota politicians who threw his stadium proposal on a room-temperature back burner, enter Dick Day, stage left.

Day, a Republican from Owatonna, is Minnesota's Senate Minority Leader. He made headlines back home by saying that McCombs should be subject to some form of state tax for the pending sale of the franchise to Reggie Fowler and his mystery partners.

While it's unlikely that anyone who has risen to the status of party leadership in the state senate is facing a stiff challenge for re-election, it should be a bit unnerving that Senator Day would single out McCombs – whom Minnesota history will recall as a savvy businessman that came in after Randy Moss was drafted and left before he played for anyone else. His proposed legislation wouldn't affect other pro sports owners – all of whom already live in Minnesota and, if they were to sell their teams, would be subject to state taxes as part of their increase in one-time income.

Apparently, Senator Day doesn't realize that a sale of a business doesn't get past the watchful eye of the IRS. The appropriate taxes will be paid and, seeing that Red is based out of San Antonio, underprivileged Texans will reap the harvest of the Vikings sale – as they should.

To bolster his "house of cards" argument, Senator Day justified his proposal by stating McCombs is indebted to the Minnesota taxpayers because they financed the construction of the Metrodome. First off, the Metrodome was built because Mike Lynn terrorized Minnesota legislators that Memphis was a viable alternative to a stadium where both teams were on the same side of the field and 50-yard seats were planks with numbers on them. Second off, Day, the Metrodome is a dump that was built for pennies on the dollar during the honeymoon period of the Reagan Administration. It was a dump then. It's an antiquated dump now. Third off, if Red is making off like a thief in the night for seven years of ownership, pro-rate the cost of the next Vikings stadium – if you and your pallies have the foresight to avoid fans buying Los Angeles Vikings jerseys in 2012 – to what was spent on the Metrodome. Minnesota got off easy.

Hopefully, good sense will prevail and Senator Day's proposal will die quickly and painlessly. It's probably unlikely that McCombs and Day will ever meet to discuss this proposal. If they do, it's unclear whether Day will say "Hello, Red" when they meet, but it's a safe bet McCombs will say, "Hello, Dick."

* In a Twin Cities newspaper poll asking who the Vikings should take with their first pick in next month's draft, USC wide receiver Mike Williams is the current front-runner with 38 percent of the 12,000 votes cast. Second is Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards with 36 percent of the vote. One choice listed was packaging both first-round picks to move up in the draft. Why? The only certainty on draft day is that, barring a trade by the 49ers or Browns to get Phillip Rivers, nobody is trading into the top three slots. If linebacker Derrick Johnson is on the board, the Vikings may very well ignore wide receiver, and if one of the "Big Three" running backs remains, the Vikes could ace out Denny Green at No. 8 and work a Michael Bennett swap for a later pick. As a parting thought, two words for the pollsters, "Troy Williamson." More draft prognosticators see him going before Williams than the other way around..
* From the "Open Pandora's Box" file comes this: Saints coach Jim Haslett, in his finite wisdom, admitted to using steroids when he played in the 1970s. With baseball on hot water for former record holders like Mark McGwire changing "I plead the 5th" to "I'm not going to talk about the past," nobody needed Haslett to throw the NFL into the mix. Expect a vote of confidence to come from owner Tom Benson and the exploratory list of future head coach candidates to start Monday.
* The "gone, but not forgotten" vigil continues for Randy Moss. At the website for CBS Sportsline, the headline story includes a photo of Moss and new coach Norv Turner, in which Moss is referred to as "potentially flammable" – there really isn't any good connotation to that. At the NFL's official website, jerseys are shown offering "ANY NAME" on the back, "NO. 1 PICK" or a Moss No. 18 jersey for the Raiders – never miss a buck, right? At ESPN, Moss is the headline story on Chris Mortenson's page. Unfortunately, it's a story saying how Moss would be a glove fit with the Ravens that was posted Feb. 15. Perhaps Mort should update his off-season portfolio.
* The Saints are peddling DE Darren Howard and his $7.8 million salary. While the Cowboys are the frontrunner to swing a deal to get him, the Vikings have been contacted. Don't expect a blockbuster, but phone records don't lie.
* Former Viking Troy Walters re-upped with the Colts Friday, signing a one-year deal for $450,000.

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