Stadium theater (5×8 – 4/20/12)

When the NFL plays hardball, why women settle for the money, caregivers and the Capitol, the death of the Mustang, and how to know what color to wear today.


If you can separate from the issue at hand, fans of political theater have got to be enjoying the football stadium show that’s underway. While an NFL executive was telling Minnesota reporters to forget about Los Angeles, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who’s due in town today to muscle Minnesota politicians for a new stadium for the Vikings, was in Los Angeles. Yes, that Los Angeles.

And the Los Angeles Daily News claims Zygi Wilf’s plane was seen at an airport there.

True or not –the report carries no attribution and records don’t show the plane in Los Angeles; it shows it in San Diego –the resulting buzz fits the purposes of creating a sense of urgency back in flyover country. This is how it looks when the NFL plays hardball on a stadium issue. It helps that at least one local TV station reported — erroneously — this morning that the plane was in Los Angeles.

It’s part of the playbook. As the LA Times reports today, the last time a team was angling for a new stadium, its owner, too, put his most visible jet in a conspicuous spot at an LA airport.

Still, when Colts owner Jim Irsay hit a dead end on a publicly funded stadium in Indianapolis a decade ago, he caused a stir in that city when his plane — complete with horseshoe on the tail — sat at Van Nuys airport for several weeks.

The Colts, of course, ultimately wound up getting their stadium and stayed in Indianapolis.

Back in Los Angeles, according the Daily News, the fans are measuring for drapes…


Meanwhile, Rep. Dean Urdahl, criticized by Star Tribune sports columnist Jim Souhan for asking why the state should pay for a stadium the NFL could afford to build on its own, penned a response to Souhan today. Urdahl voted for the Vikings bill at a stadium hearing this week:

Souhan used a partial quote to draw the conclusion that I am shallow and that my question was of a third-grade level. Apparently, many thousands of adult Minnesotans are likewise low in his esteem. I believe it is elitist and degrading to suggest that people who raise questions about who should pay for a nearly $1 billion project are “dumb.”

The columnist then asserted that I had ignored all of the legitimate concerns about a stadium. If Souhan knew the contents of the discussion, his column contained outright lies. If he did not know the contents of our discussion, he failed at his job. I prefer to credit him with laziness rather than dishonesty.

Zygi’s plane (Aside: there’s now a Twitter account for Zygi’s plane) , by the way, was in Montreal earlier this week. It all adds up. Montreal doesn’t have an NFL team, Target is using a French-language song in its commercials, and — as a pal on Twitter pointed out this morning — Minnesota has a French state motto.

The signs are all there: The Vikings are moving to Canada.


Another day, another scientific survey on what women want. According to evolutionary theory, writes, women will seek men who provide resources and protection. The new study found that women do still prefer high earners for long-term partnerships and marriage, but that for the short term they seem less concerned about snagging a macho man during a recession.

I can attest to this as my wife proposed to me during the depths of the 1981 recession.

But back to our story. The interesting part of the science is that — theoretically — women should be choose less based on earnings because they are now making more themselves. “Compared to other historical periods, women are in a better position to support themselves independently, financially. For this reason, partner’s earning potential may be less important,” the researcher on the study said.”Our findings suggest that when modern women think of marriage, the men who are most appealing are those who have high earnings. Things don’t seem to have changed.”

Discuss. For this exercise, you are allowed to use a phony name.


There aren’t many reporters hanging out at the Capitol hanging on every development that affects hundreds — thousands, maybe? — of Minnesota families. Last year, the Legislature slashed the pay of personal care attendants — people who care for elderly and disabled people, rather than putting them into a nursing home. It’s a big issue, particularly in rural Minnesota, the West Central Tribune reports today.

Michael Enos has a rare genetic disease called tuberous sclerosis complex, which has left him developmentally delayed, paralyzed on one side and epileptic, according to Bob Enos who said he walked away from a career in financial services 14 years ago in order to prevent his brother from “becoming the responsibility of the state, upon the early death of our mother, Joselyn.”

As part of health care reform targeted at rural Minnesota, where it’s difficult to find enough personal care attendants, the Legislature agreed to pay family members to provide care that kept their loved ones at home.

Doing that was much cheaper than paying for care in group homes or nursing homes, said Larson.

Cutting pay for those family members — including those who left jobs to provide full-time care — could force them to make tough choices that would end up costing the state and local communities more, said Larson.

One family member said the state is punishing him for loving his brother. A conference committee at the Capitol is at work on legislation addressing the cuts, which were halted by a judge.


Thanks a lot, younger generation, for destroying an icon.


The intersection of street cameras, science, and fashion is at hand. The website, Color Forecast, monitors what color people on the streets of fashion capitals are wearing at the moment and reports what color is “in” today. Today’s hot color in Paris, for example, was green. A really quite ugly green. But a few minutes later, it was an off-pink. Bring extra clothes to work if you want to be hip.

Bonus I: Welcome to Plummer, Minnesota. Home of the Pioneer Museum…

Bonus II: What if kids narrated the BBC Planet Earth documentaries instead of super-serious narrator David Attenborough?

Bonus III: This is a heck of a forum. Who are we? Are we who our brain says we are?


The Guthrie Theater’s announced season for 2012-2013 has generated criticism that it leaves out work by women and people of color. Guthrie officials have responded that a single season gives an incomplete picture of the theater’s commitment to diversity. Today’s Question: What role should diversity play when an arts organization makes program choices?


David Welna, the NPR congressional reporter and local kid, is speaking at Carleton this morning. I may take it in and I’ll report back later.

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: This week on the Friday Roundtable, the panelists discuss the ongoing Vikings stadium saga, what the Twin Cities will look like in 25 years, and the death of Dick Clark. Guest: David Cazares, MPR News editor;t: Patricia Lopez, political editor for the Star Tribune; Peter Bell, former chairman of the Metropolitan Council.

Second hour: When writer and cultural commentator Eric Metaxas spoke at this year’s presidential prayer breakfast, he decried “phony religion” and spoke out against abortion. He joins The Daily Circuit to discuss his views on faith, values and what it means to live like a true Christian.

Third hour: The BP oil spill two years later.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): On the second anniversary of the BP oil spill, a new documentary by Alex Chadwick, “Oil: Risks and Rewards.”

Science Friday (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: A look at the science and art behind visual effects. Plus, building a quake-proof bridge.

Second hour: A conversation with deep-sea diving legend Sylvia Earle and filmmaker James Cameron, who just got back from the the world’s deepest dive.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – “Wishes for the Sky” was conceived by St. Paul artist in residence Marcus Young, the guy who developed the sidewalk poetry project. Every year, for the last five years, hundreds of people have written their most heartfelt wishes on kites and flown them on Harriet Island. It’s happening this Sunday on Earth Day. Chris Roberts gets into the head of Young to find out what he and the other kite flyers are trying to communicate with this event.

Asa Carter was a Ku Klux Klansman who wrote Alabama Gov. George Wallace’s infamous “segregation forever” speech. But Carter would later disavow his identity and go on to write a beloved book on Cherokee Indian culture. NPR profiles “The Education of Little Tree,” and its author’s double life.