Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.

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Reusse: Last Dome crowd is disgustingly civil

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: December 29, 2013 - 6:52 PM

There were empty seats to be found in the Metrodome through the 1990s, even as Dennis Green was coaching the Vikings into the playoffs on a regular basis. Then, in 1998, Randy Moss was drafted. A younger crowd adopted this football outlaw immediately and started to fill the building all the way to its Teflon sky.

The Moss crowd proved to be rowdier, fueled by what seemed to be an even greater fondness for mood-altering beverages than their Purple predecessors.

Surprisingly, they also have seemed to enter new seasons with a higher degree of optimism than did we earlier generations of Vikings followers made cynical by four Super Bowl losses.

It is sad to report that those randy fans brought to Vikings' zealotry by Randy are now getting age on them and becoming sedentary.

How else could be explained the low-key and compliant behavior that took place on Sunday, as the Vikings closed down the Metrodome with a 14-13 victory over their favorite whipping boys, the Detroit Lions?

Thirty-two years earlier, a Vikings crowd sneaked in huge quantities of whiskey and tools (in that order), spent the afternoon getting sloshed and then tore apart Met Stadium after its finale -- a 10-6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Weapons of harmless destruction were much more difficult to smuggle past security and through the revolving doors for the Dome's final hours as home to the Vikings, but, dang, it didn't look as if anyone even gave it a try.

All these now 35-, 40-year-olds who had become season-ticket holders because of Randy Moss -- the master of defiance -- and here they were, caving in to the threats made by Dome officials to be extra-diligent in preventing hooliganism.

These two lousy teams battled ineptly for 2 1/2 hours, and then the Lions as is their custom figured out a way to lose down the stretch. The Vikings knelt away the final two minutes of their 24th victory in 31 Metrodome games against Detroit.

As the last seconds expired, we stood in the press box and leaned forward, peering here and there, waiting for well-lubricated scoundrels to attack the field in such numbers that the extra security would have to concede the tear down of at least one goal post.


I didn't see one person leap from the wall and head for the field ... didn't see one inebriated soul trying to rush the home sideline and capture a Vikings' souvenir. Was there one drunk handyman in the entire Dome with a bolt cutter, removing seats at the request of sentimental ticket holders?

"I still have in my possession Bud Grant's headset, which I snatched off the sideline on that last day at the Met,'' said Bill M., a guy pushing 60. "I treasure that as a remembrance of the Met.

"Today, we stuck around to see what the younger folks were going to do when the game ended. They did nothing.''

It was a disgusting display of orderliness. If you remain spry and participated in this civility, you have disgraced your parents, your uncles and maybe even your aunts who risked life, limb and livers to tear apart Met Stadium on Dec. 20, 1981.

Even worse, you have lost the right to call yourself a hardcore fan of Randy Moss.

Do you think your hero would have been intimidated by a few phony-baloney bureaucrats threatening extra security? Not a chance. Randy would have taken any piece of the Dome he wanted, or gotten arrested trying.

This was a shameful way for the generations raised in the Metrodome to say goodbye to their stadium. My generation, the Met's generation ... we did ourselves proud on our stadium's last day. We took away everything, including items that had been bolted down.


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 37 2nd Qtr 3:57
New Orleans 43
Minnesota 30 2nd Qtr 4:16
Oklahoma City 42
Orlando 42 2nd Qtr 4:49
Memphis 55
Boston 8:00 PM
Denver 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Army 59 2nd Half 2:15
American Univ 63
Wright State 56 2nd Half 2:53
Detroit 47
Syracuse 75 2nd Half 1:24
North Carolina 84
Cleveland State 56 2nd Half 0:17
Oakland 59
Delaware State 53 2nd Half 0:33
NC Central 51
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 25 2nd Half 20:00
Bethune-Cookman 27
Coppin State 39 2nd Half
NC A&T 39
Nicholls 41 2nd Half 9:12
Northwestern St 64
Hampton 31 2nd Half 12:53
SC State 41
Gardner-Webb 30 2nd Half
Campbell 37
MD-Eastern Shore 18 1st Half 7:55
Florida A&M 14
Stephen F Austin 36 2nd Half
Lamar 21
Central Arkansas 33 2nd Half
New Orleans 50
Norfolk State 31 2nd Half
Savannah State 21
TX A&M-CC 31 2nd Half
SE Louisiana 32
Sam Houston St 42 1st Half 1:42
Abilene Christian 25
McNeese State 46 2nd Half
Incarnate Word 34
Milwaukee 16 2nd Half
Valparaiso 39
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Alabama A&M
Southern U 7:30 PM
Alabama State
Prairie View 8:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Texas 8:00 PM
Iowa State
Texas Southern 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
(12) Texas A&M 51 2nd Half 4:52
(1) South Carolina 71
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 8:00 PM
(15) Nebraska 8:00 PM
(20) Iowa


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