The public perception of the college basketball being played this weekend at the Minneapolis stadium built to enhance the wealth of Zygi Wilf was that visitors would be seeing a dry run for next April’s Final Four.
There was a report in Friday’s Star Tribune cautioning against that. There were major differences to this weekend’s setup, starting with the court being aligned from sideline to sideline.
The court will run from end zone to end zone when Duke and three teams all clear-thinking Americans must hope are capable of beating Duke take it over on April 5 for practices.
The Zygi opened in July 2016, and this was the seventh time in the overpriced, overamped, overdesigned shrine to excess. The previous half-dozen visits were three prep football sessions, a Gophers baseball game, a 15-minute peek at the X Games and the Super Bowl.
The Star Tribune covers the Vikings exhaustively, with the three-reporter team of Ben Goessling, Andrew Krammer and Mark Craig, with columnists Jim Souhan and Chip Scoggins, and with Sid, of course. I stay home and watch commercial-free NFL Red Zone on my color television set.
It matters not to Zygi with what’s now his $2.5 billion asset, but here’s a confession:
I can’t stand the place. Too much meandering through endless corridors. Too much being ordered here or there. Too many different seating areas dedicated to making the Vikings’ profits more obscene.
On Friday, Judd Zulgad arrived from 1500-AM during the first half of the opening game: St. Thomas and Wisconsin-River Falls. We had a mutual urge for a hamburger. He went marching off on a search as complex as if panning for gold in the Yukon.
Twenty minutes later, he was back with two modest burgers and cold fries, a Diet Coke, a small water, and $40-some lighter.
Here’s something I never thought would be said:
A random visit to The Zygi always leaves me missing the simple design of the Metrodome. Make a short walk, find your section, walk up or down the required rows and sit down. What a concept.
Read Reusse’s blog at startribune.com/patrick.
Scatter-gunning for catbird’s seat (copyright Don Riley):
• Camping World Stadium, the home to three bowl games in Orlando, is no longer the erector set referred to here last week. As recently as 2014, it underwent a $200 million-plus renovation.
• Why would Mack Brown go back to North Carolina at age 67? Simple: It’s the millions now available to coach a Power Five program.
• Jordan Murphy won’t be appreciated for his greatness unless the point guard-less Gophers win 12 or 13 games in the Big Ten and finish top five.