Lileks: What if they held a melee -- and nobody came?

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 28, 2013 - 7:42 PM

Extra security has been hired for the Metrodome’s last hurrah. The headlines say they want to prevent a melee. Is this what we’ve become? You could understand a ruckus, maybe, to use a word you only see in a newspaper, but a melee?

You could imagine someone ­telling a TV reporter, “Well, yeah, me and my friends there, we just wanted to get some paint scrapings from the bathroom stall walls, for, uh, history ’n stuff, but when the ruckus went and turned into a fracas, we started worrying about a melee, so I just dampened some paper towels with some real Metrodome water and put it in the freezer when I got home. Something I can leave for my kids.”

Sure, fans swarmed over the scoreboard at Met Stadium in 1981 like fire ants on a hot dog, but that was a different time. And people liked Met ­Stadium. Rioting for a piece of the Dome is like knocking over grannies to barge in line for free fruitcake.

If there is melee-type activity, a TV reporter may describe the situation as looking “like a war zone,” since most armed conflicts are characterized by people running away with blue ­plastic chairs. But it probably won’t happen. Come the last moments, the only thing people will want to take … is a selfie.

I like the new stadium, even if it resembles a glassy Ikea cabinet someone tried to assemble after five beers. In 30 years it will be obsolete, because anti-concussion laws will be passed to make football safer, and instead of tackling, players will bring down the ball-carrier by tapping his shoulder with the index finger of a giant foam hand. The sport will lose popularity; the NFL will disband; but the stadium will be repurposed to hold giant-robot gladiatorial contests. (They will enter on monster trucks and it will be awesome.)

No one will want to tear it down. As for the Metrodome, well, a fellow could make a few dollars standing on the corner after it’s gone, selling pieces of cinder blocks he pulverized with a sledgehammer. Rubble! Get your genuine heirloom-quality Metrodome rubble!

What do you mean? That just looks like ugly concrete devoid of aesthetic or historical importance.

Yeah. Like I said. Genuine!

jlileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858

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