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.

  • The level of disinformation around the stadium debate is astounding. While I was at a local watering hole the other night, the Vikings and the stadium issue came up as a topic of debate. I firmly held that a team move to L.A. wasn’t going to happen. I was promptly told by one guy that L.A. already had a stadium just waiting for a team. I said, “No, they don’t. They’d have a team already then.” But he insisted that L.A. already had a stadium ready to go and the Vikes would move there.

    Sometimes the facts just don’t matter to those who don’t want to hear them. I looked it up just to be sure, but L.A. does NOT have a ready and waiting stadium. However, I wouldn’t count out those French-Canadians…

  • B Joe

    If we do end up paying for a stadium, we ought to change the team name from the Vikings to the Suckers. That way, when people are wandering around with the Suckers jerseys on, we can all revel in how much we got played by the NFL and Wilf.

  • David

    Oh I can tell you what women want, but you’ll have to buy the book and I’ll have to get around to writing it. I’ll see if my wife will put it on the honey-do list.

  • Tina Turner

    Love is a second-hand emotion.

    Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?

    Money don’t get everything, it’s true.

    But what it don’t get, I can’t use.

  • Re: Mustang – Oh for cripes sake… are there no original ideas anymore!? I’m getting tired of fans criticizing creators for altering their childhood toys and dreams, and tired of corporations pushing out the same old crude year after year.

    George Lucas get flamed every time he touches Star Wars, kids of all ages wait anxiously for the next version of Mario Bros, I saw an ad for Wrestlemania 28 the other day. It never ends!

    Fortunately… Dodge is bringing back the Dart, so life will be good.

  • jon

    The vikings started asking for a stadium by asking for acres and acres of empty land in Arden hills, and full control over everything in that area, and millions in upgrades for the roads around that area and parking lots…

    They certainly know how to start off negotiations with a high target to hit. Now the State/Cities should have counter offered with “Go to LA.” but the instead started offering up locations in Minneapolis.

    Obviously MN Governments aren’t as good at negotiating as Wilf is, if they were we probably wouldn’t have a budget problem in Minnesota last year.

  • David

    “Obviously MN Governments aren’t as good at negotiating ”

    Totally agree. I’ve been taking this position since the start too. If the taxpayers end up paying for another stadium, and there’s still a decent chance they will, then why not negotiate.

    How about no blackout games for the duration of the contract?

    Or free tailgating/parking one game a year (when we play the Packers).

    Or a pack of gum.

  • John P.

    //for destroying an icon

    Let’s face it. The first Mustang was a Ford Falcon with a zoomier body, which in hindsight was fairly ugly. Later ones were no good at anything but accelerating and even that went away in the ’80’s with the Mustang II (barf), Us boomers are the only ones sentimental about this car, and they are probably not buying sporty cars much any more. We are starting to realize that a 50-60 something guy in a Mustang just looks like a geezer try to recapture lost youth.

    Young people in my day hot-rodded old V-8 American cars. Kids today do the same thing with Hondas and the like. It’s time for Ford to wipe the slate clean and start over. I can’t view the video, but I hope that’s what they are doing.

  • Bob Collins

    //which in hindsight was fairly ugly.

    Oh John. John, John, John, John.

    When’s the last time you saw a car from 100 feet away and knew instantly the make, model, and year of it, based on nothing more than a tail light lens?

    Hot-rodding with a Honda?

    Yeah, that kinda makes my point. :*)

  • davidz

    Okay, this is a highly cynical post from me.

    Something only seems to happen for “The People’s Stadium” when the Big Corporate NFL Commissioner shows up in town. Nice to see Gov. Dayton and the Legislature are taking their orders from Big Money in public for once.

    Seriously now, it is showing something when the governmental powers that be are jumping all over themselves to show their support for out-of-state billionaires and professional sport monopolies, but can’t even get their own house in order (literally speaking; viz. the capitol repairs that need to be made).

  • Mrs. News Cut

    In reference to statements made in item #2…

    It was 1982, I did not propose, and you made money? (I missed that last part). Looks like we have a great weekend of conversation coming up. 😉

  • From MPR News:

    “[NFL Vice President Eric] Grubman is also the executive in charge of getting a new NFL stadium built in Los Angeles, one of the potential new homes for the Vikings if they leave Minnesota without a new taxpayer-subsidized stadium.”

    The irony is Grubman’s L.A. stadium would be financed privately (according to the website), but he’s not trying to get Wilf to follow that avenue in Minneapolis. If the Vikings move to L.A. it won’t be because they HAD to have a taxpayer funded stadium.

    Wilf is just as capable as Grubman and Robert Kraft to find a way to finance his stadium without public money but he seemingly thinks it’s easier to haggle with government than it would be to get corporate partnerships.

  • allie

    RE: #2 Husband’s not what I’d call a high earner, but he’s happy in what he does. Believe me, I’d much rather have a happy husband than a rich one.

    Then again, we became engaged at the very baby beginnings of the Great Recession (in 2007), so there’s that.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Re The Mustang – My five yr old can identify different models of the vehicle. Significantly less fun or easy to do with an amorphous mass of metal.

    Re Zygi in San Diego – Bob, is no jet-setters privacy safe with your level of aviation knowledge? But not to worry, Vikings fans. Word has it that he’s here putting the finishing touches on a deal to buy some ocean front property and move it to Arden Hills.

  • bsimon

    1) Doug grow has a good piece at mn post on the details of a move to LA.

    3) in the intergenerational battles, mucking with the mustang is far less aggregous than saddling you children & grandchildren with debt.

  • Kassie

    I love blue collar men. Always have, always will. Especially ones who wear uniforms and are in unions. Also, farmers and handymen. But only if they are smart. I really love men in blue collar jobs who have Master’s Degrees, or at least Bachelor’s. This hasn’t worked out so well for me.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Kassie – yes, you appear to have set some difficult standards.

    Have you considered union bosses who own a hobbie farm and like to play dress-up games?

  • CHS

    RE: # 1. The Vikings will not move, this really is an orchestrated spectacle designed to create influence. I’m usually not this cynical, but this time I truly can imagine this phone call happening last week:

    Dayton: Zygi, how are you..

    Zygi: I’m well thanks, any progress on the deal?

    Dayton: No, can’t seem to get any traction.

    Zygi: Any ideas?

    Dayton: Let’s call up Roger and have breakfast next week.

    Zygi: Ok, should we let people know what we’re doing?

    Dayton: No, let them talk.

    RE: # 2. Bob, sounds like you have an interested weekend ahead of you. 🙂

    My observations have seemed to be that regardless of the economy there have always been women that seek money just as there are some who seek something else. I don’t see the proportion having changed much. Same is true for the guys…

    RE: The Mustang and Hot-Rodding in a Honda….

    That design is stunning, but it’s not a Mustang. I’ve always been in favor of keeping flagship brands the same, otherwise you lose what made it what it was in the first place.

    As for Hot-Rodding in a Honda…. to me there is just something inherently wrong with hot-rodding in a car that when you wind it out sounds like a Husqvarna chainsaw……

  • Jim Shapiro

    CHS – nice.

  • dglory

    “I love blue collar men. Always have, always will. Especially ones who wear uniforms and are in unions. Also, farmers and handymen. But only if they are smart. I really love men in blue collar jobs who have Master’s Degrees, or at least Bachelor’s. This hasn’t worked out so well for me.” Kassie

    Worked out for me! I married a smart, nice guy working a blue collar job who is in a union and has a degree. I consider myself pretty lucky, though.

  • Kim E

    I loved the alternate “Planet Earth” video. Those kids are smart! They did great on all the long/hard words!

  • Heather

    Re: 2) I guess I missed that day of Girl School. Whoops!

  • kennedy

    Re #1: Of course Wilf is a better negotiator on this. He is playing with his own money. Legislators are playing with tax payer money.