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Continued: The Star Tribune sports department shares its favorite Metrodome memories

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  • Last update: December 29, 2013 - 1:53 AM

Seven months later — Tax Day — we weren’t going to be denied witnessing history again. Cal Ripken Jr. was in town three hits shy of 3,000 for his career. For $5 we got into the embarrassingly empty Dome, sat lower level down the third base line and waited. The Iron Man started the game 0-1. A house party quickly sounded like a great alternative. But Ripken knocked out hits in his next three at-bats for the milestone. Ripken doffed his cap in the top of the seventh for the lucky few of us in attendance, as flashbulbs popped off 30,000 empty seats.

The fireworks came a little bit early

Anyone who’s watched a game at the Dome knows it’s loud. Really loud. Perhaps artificially enhanced loud, though the Vikings always denied that.

But one time, that noise almost backfired. The Vikings were playing host to Dallas, early November 1999. Down 17-13 early in the fourth quarter, the Vikings had a third-and-goal at the 4. Jeff George dropped back and threw to Cris Carter, who had lined up in the left slot and run a quick slant.

But before Carter caught the ball, an explosion.

The Vikings liked to set off fireworks and an explosion after scores. Only this time the fellow pushing the button jumped the gun. Despite the distraction, Carter hauled in the pass to put the Vikings ahead for good in a 27-17 victory.

“Prophetic,” Carter said about the premature pyrotechnics. “I didn’t think much about ’em. I had a feeling Jeff was going to come to me. All my focus was on the football.”

The bottom line? The Vikings altered their postscore policy to make sure it never happened again. And Carter’s legendary powers of concentration were proven again.

Stunning Gophers losses weren’t uncommon

On Oct. 10, 2003, I witnessed something at the Metrodome that, in purely practical terms, seemed impossible.

The Gophers football team rushed for 424 yards and lost.

Yes, the Gophers produced a historic rushing performance against Michigan but limped out of the Dome with 38-35 loss thanks to a fourth-quarter meltdown. As I packed up to leave, I remember thinking, I’ll never see something like that happen again.

Wrong.

On Oct. 15, 2005, the Gophers rushed for 411 yards and lost again. This time, they squandered a 10-point lead in the final 3 minutes, 27 seconds of the fourth quarter to lose to Wisconsin 38-34 at the Metrodome.

Two games, two 400-yard rushing performances, two losses.

You don’t see that too often.

Champagne flowed for Twins and visitors, too

Covering Major League Baseball for ESPN SportsTicker left me with, to mangle Robin Leach’s line, champagne dreams.

Chicago clinched the American League Central Division in 2000 at the Metrodome. In an odd scene, the Twins’ Matt Lawton hit a 10th-inning homer to set off celebrations in both dugouts. An earlier Cleveland loss meant the White Sox were already division champs.

The sound of jubilant players escaped the visitor clubhouse walls. But it was the overpowering smell of champagne I most remember.

Fast forward to September 2003. The division-leading Twins beat Cleveland in an efficient 2 hours, 16 minutes. For the next half-hour, players and fans watched as the Metrodome’s video screens showed Chicago and Kansas City lose. The Twins clinched the division at home for the first time.

Inside the clubhouse, champagne flowed and sprayed and hung in the air like mist.

A short distance away, a bridge was down

That day we showed up early to watch batting practice. We crossed the Interstate 35 bridge late in the afternoon, and we made it. Others crossed later and didn’t, because that day was Aug. 1, 2007.

That day the bridge fell into the Mississippi River.

 

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Chicago WSox - LP: S. Carroll 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: H. Kuroda 5
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Peralta 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. McGowan 5
Detroit - LP: B. Farmer 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: Y. Pino 12
Seattle - WP: T. Wilhelmsen 7 FINAL
Boston - LP: B. Workman 3
Baltimore 2 Delayed
Chicago Cubs 4
San Francisco 2 Bottom 1st Inning
Washington 0
Houston - C. McHugh 6:05 PM
Cleveland - D. Salazar
St. Louis - S. Miller 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan
Atlanta - E. Santana 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Leake
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez 6:10 PM
Milwaukee - W. Peralta
San Diego - A. Cashner 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Miami - T. Koehler 7:10 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:25 PM
Texas - N. Tepesch
LA Angels - C. Wilson 8:05 PM
Oakland - J. Lester
NY Mets - J. deGrom 8:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Tampa Bay 7 2nd Qtr 11:32
Buffalo 0
Tennessee 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
Oklahoma State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Chicago 6:00 PM
Toronto FC
Montreal 6:00 PM
Red Bull New York
Chivas USA 6:30 PM
New England
Houston 6:30 PM
Columbus
D.C. 7:30 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Vancouver FC 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Montreal 16 FINAL
Winnipeg 24
Toronto 7 5:59
Edmonton 24
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Indiana 16 2nd Qtr 10:00
Washington 12
Minnesota 6:00 PM
San Antonio
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
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Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
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Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
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Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
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Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
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