The Vikings' owner most refer to as just another billionaire owner wants a new stadium in Arden Hills, but not all of Minnesota is warm to the idea of the state chipping in for it. If I were him, here are some things I would do to win those people over:
o. 1. Stretch my fingers down a skosh deeper in my pocket and find another hundred million to put toward the new stadium, all but guaranteeing I will get that sucker built where I want it, in Arden Hills. This is not a problem for me. I have a net worth of $1.3 billion, yes, billion with a "B." Of course I would need to let the residents of Minnesota know that this is a no-brainer of a decision, that I want so badly to keep this football team in Minnesota that I'm willing to shell about another hundred million to keep it here. This would cover me on good-faith and would make me the most beloved sports owner in the state.
No. 2. Travel. Not the world, the state. I'd go north to Newfolden, I'd go west to Wolverton, and I'd go south to Ceylon, everywhere. I would take pictures with babies and laugh if they spit up on me. I would visit nursing homes and assisted living facilities. I would make it a caravan-type thing and bring some of my employees - the ones who have numbers on their shirts. And not just special-teamers, either. I'd make the players people actually want to see come with me. We'd go from county to county, city to city, making nice with all the great fans of Vikings football. And if they're not fans when we get there, I'd stay until they were.
No. 3. Hold more news conferences. Everyone loves transparency, many expect it, and even though I'm not big on going in front of the cameras with those bright lights, I would put that aside for my campaign to make everyone adore me. Am I a savior? Gosh no, but reminding the masses how much of my money I'm sinking into my, er, your new stadium, might compelled them to throw me a parade or two.
No. 4. Invest in statues, a lot of them, to adorn the new stadium with. I need to let you all know how much I care about the history of the Vikings. Nothin' says tradition like a bronze statue. I'd put up statues of Bud Grant, the Purple People Eaters, heck, even Bob Lurtsema - everyone seems to love him. He's like the William Hung of ex-football players. This way, when my times comes, there will be a pretty good chance someone will make a statue of me.
No. 5. Plant evergreens inside the new stadium. And keep them there. If they have to be fake Christmas trees because real ones won't grow under the roof, so be it, don't care. Take that, Target Field.
No. 6. Never, ever go down on the sidelines. Ever. I'm not a coach, not a trainer, not a player. I just don't belong there. The owner of a football team has purchased the right to go wherever he wants during a game, but owners belong on the sidelines as much as Mike Vick belongs at a PETA rally.
No. 7. On second thought, I would buy the Metrodome for a buck.
No. 8. Never let my front office team sign another geezer free agent quarterback. Yeah, we all know it can pay off, but there are way more Donovans than Bretts out there.
No. 9. Make every home game Throwback Day. Long live gray facemasks.
And No. 10. Never act like I own the team. I need to be one of you, a fan. When someone asks if they can take a picture with me I must remember to say "You betchya." I need to tailgate - I need to drink bloody marys with you for breakfast, grill some kind of meat and freeze my buns off with you before a home playoff game. Maybe have a catch, too. I need to wear an old, Vikings sweatshirt that hasn't fit for 10 years. I need to share a $7.50 brew with you and spill mustard on myself. And I need to do more than just say another loss to the Packers hurts, I need to show it by going into the restroom and punching a towel dispenser. What do I care, it's my towel dispenser.
If all this doesn't win you people over and get me a stadium built, don't worry, I'll send you a postcard from L.A.