Let the crowds show some passion


"An open letter to Viking brass" (Opinion, Nov. 15) shows a hypersensitivity that's been plaguing all of Minnesota's sports teams for years now. I've seen it all too much as a Wild fan. As of late, games at the Xcel Center (lockout notwithstanding) have been cavernously silent due to attitudes like this one.

The X used to be "hard to play in" due to the loud, enthusiastic and involved crowd. But thanks to folks who give Minnesotans' trademark passive-aggressive death glare to fans who dare boo a bad call, heckle an opposing player or cheer without being prompted by the scoreboard, it now has the opposite reputation. One fan even asked "if I was going to talk the whole time" for having a conversation with my friend in the seat next to me. Seriously? The Ordway's down the street! Fans should be encouraged to chat, get rowdy, make some noise, and motivate the players on the ice.

Blackhawks fans are famous for cheering their heads off during the national anthem, not for being "courteous" and listening politely. And Fenway Park's historic reputation didn't come from being hospitable to the Yankees. In my experience, the Dome is Minnesota's last pro arena left with any sense of enthusiasm or fun. With an upscale, exclusive, seat-licensed new stadium coming, we should be worrying about how to preserve that attitude, not destroy it.


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People's behavior is bad enough, but the actions of the "events management" person the writers of the "open letter" commentary encountered at the Vikings-Lions game was almost worse. He apologized, but let them leave without doing anything about their problem. I'm sure that a safe place could have been found for this father and son to enjoy the game -- or, even better, the events-management person and three security guards should have removed the loud, obnoxious and drunken patrons. I hope Vikings management contacts the young man and his father and offers them free tickets (in a safe place) for an upcoming game.


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Life consists of activity. Learn to live with it.


Enough with the griping about the airport noise already ("Highways in the sky may be about to ruin your life," Nov. 16). I have lived under the flight paths my entire life, but I don't usually notice that or the noise of the major freeway that is 75 feet from my house -- the only stretch without a sound barrier.

Still, if you want something for your noise, those of us over here want something first -- after all, my freeway preceded your airport. We win on severity, longevity and frequency, so we come first.

Are you going to move the freeway for us? Require people to drive cars with quieter engines? Use the freeway only during certain times of the day? Use only the westbound lanes in the morning and eastbound in the evening? Insulate and put new windows into our homes? Fine people with loud cars or with loud stereos?

No, you're not going to do any of those things, because, quite simply, noise happens. If we give you this, next you will want day-cares closed because of crying babies. Where will you stop? Here and now.


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What's the rush to approve proposed changes to air-traffic corridors? In the last year Minneapolis spent much more time than this debating the location of a possible dog park. I suggest that the issue is similar: How do we take into account the needs of many and minimize the impact on the few most directly affected? Will anyone be seriously harmed if this decision is delayed in courtesy to those who will be greatly affected by its outcome?


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I just dare Texas to leave the union


Texans who want to secede from the union should be careful about what they wish for ("If any state can secede, it's Texas," Nov. 16). In all seriousness, Texas receives more money from the federal government in total than it contributes in taxes. It is truly a "red" state. For many, the Civil War never ended; it just became cold. I, for one, am sick and tired of Republican obstructionism and would be very happy to invite Texas to please leave with my blessings. The same for Louisiana and any other Southern state. The rest of us just might wind up with a filibuster-proof Senate.

Also in all seriousness, the whole thing is a joke. For starters, I could be one of the signers of the Texas petition. Furthermore, there is a counterpetition circulating that includes:

"New Immigration Control Fences and Patrols would be built immediately on the borders of Texas to control illegal immigration and negotiations on normalizing trade status between Texas and The United States should begin immediately.

"Proper consideration should be given to allowing Texas the right to join NAFTA.

"The United States of Mexico would be informed that Texas is no longer protected by the U.S. Army and invited to open negotiations with Texas."