Vikes, U of M Closer to Deal

With the clock ticking, the Vikings and University of Minnesota are nearing a deal to build a joint stadium before a state deadline approaches.

Leave it to politicians to let in-fighting take the heat off of them. As the Vikings and the University of Minnesota haggle over a stadium deal, the state still holds veto power over a stadium deal both Minnesota football teams need done.

VU has spoken with a high-placed source with the U of M that said Thursday that many of the hurdles in the way of a campus-based stadium have been worked out, but a couple of major hurdles remain.

Topping the list is who runs the facility. As an NFL franchise, the Vikings think they should. Considering the pimping the team has experienced from the Twins and Mike Lynn in the Metrodome, that's understandable. Yet, the U of M is insisting that it will run a stadium on its own campus.

If the internal battles can be resolved, there is still the question as to whether the state will approve funding, whether the Vikings are still willing to contribute $100 million and whether the NFL will still kick in $50 million as part of its G-3 funding package. Confused? You're not alone. VU will follow this story as it develops.

* A couple of weeks ago, VU editors butted heads with writers over referring to NFL fine cop Gene Washington (the San Francisco G-Dub-yah, not the Vikings) as preferring to wear a dress rather than a three-piece suit. The argument was based on a former wide receiver handing out fines to current NFL players. The debate got hotter Friday, as some VU writers believe G-Dub not only wears a dress, but pearls and a matching purse and shoes. Why? It was announced that Green Bay QB Brett Favre was fined $5,000 for a late hit on the Vikings' Jack Brewer following his first career interception and that Vikings DT Chris Hovan was fined $5,000 for taunting Favre. It's clear that Washington is watching ESPN's Sports Center, where a single moment is magnified in slow motion. Perhaps Washington should consider a fine monkey, since it worked so well for baseball.
* Moe Williams didn't practice for a second straight day. He is now listed on the injury report as probable with a heel injury.
* Former Viking Jimmy Hitchcock is having a rough week. After being cut by the Patriots, he was claimed by Detroit. Thursday, he was released again. If you can't make the Lions, there may be a problem.
* VU would like to take a moment to remember Nov. 22, 1963. To make some of our older fans old, it was at 12:30 p.m. Central Time today that gunmen killed President Kennedy in Dallas. The NFL honors its history, so it only seems fitting that VU should ask its readers to take a moment of silent reflection on how much our world has changed since that horrible day in Texas 39 years ago today on an otherwise peaceful Friday.

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