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Vikings (Virtual) Bye Week

Since this is a virtual bye week for the Vikings (my apologies to the Rams), I want to get an 'Ode to the Dome' in while we're here.

I remember in college, when you would wake up after a week of studying, partying, working, chasing girls, etc. and you would feel like you had been hit by a steam roller. That has to be how the Metrodome felt on Wednesday morning. 10 days of sheer pandemonium in which the home teams went 6-0 when the national spotlight was on Minneapolis in a way I have never seen it.

Has there ever been a week like that in the history of any stadium? Brett Favre started it by throwing a last pass to an unknown receiver to beat an undefeated team and win the hearts of Vikings fans everywhere. Vikings fans will remember that play forever. And that was just the beginning. If you were comparing this to a concert, the Vikings/49ers game was the sound test.

The warm up act was a must-sweep series that pitted the Twins and the KC Royals. Three thoroughly entertaining games in what was supposed to be the last three baseball games ever played in the Dome. Sunday's post game celebration was supposed to put a bow on the Twins' time there. Kent Hrbek had to invite everyone back for more beer on Tuesday because the place refuses to die.

The main act was Brett Favre against his old team on Monday Night Football. The national media had Minneapolis in the cross hairs for what was to become the most watched cable program in history. The game lived up to the hype. Favre carved up his old team while Mike Tirico, Ron Jawarski and Jon Gruden fell over themselves praising him. This was also the first time Vikings fans heard this kind of gushing with Favre on their side (it's still annoying), but it was good to see what competent quarterback play looked like for the first time since Daunte Culpepper went down.

The encore went to the Twins on Tuesday afternoon/night. After a 12 inning, gut wrenching marathon game in which both teams looked great at times (see: Brandon Inge's game saving, diving catch of Orlando Cabrera's ground ball in the bottom of the 9th) and terrible at others (Alexi Casilla should teach a class called "How Not To Tag Up"), Casilla knocked in the blindingly fast Carlos Gomez from second and the AL Central Division title was back in Minnesota.

Close to 330,000 people were shuffled in and out of the Dome during those 6 games. The place needs a breather. It has to wonder what just hit it. The old bubble has shown Minnesotans some classic games that will never be forgotten and even though it's tough to admit, the Twins will (in a weird way) miss playing there. It doesn't matter what the happens in this postseason, game 163 was the most exciting regular season game that has ever been played there. Fitting that it saved the best for last.

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