Are you thinking about the area surrounding the new stadium, and wondering if you could help defray the paving costs? Good news: You can buy a brick and personalize it with a Vikings-related message. If you have a problem with this — Greed! They never stop! — then consider two things:
1. Using a small mirror, check to the left and right of your head. Is someone pointing a gun at you? Is that person dressed in purple?
No? Then it would appear that this is voluntary, and you need not worry.
2. If you discovered people would pay for personalized bricks in your driveway, would you do it? Harrumph, you say, because you are a fictional person I made up who says things like that. No, that would cheapen the experience. It would make me look greedy. OK, people will pay you $1,000 per brick. What do you say now? Well, OK, I guess. Really? You’re an idiot. No one would pay that much for a personalized brick in your driveway.
I have to make up smarter straw men.
Anyway, it’s a great idea as a revenue generator, but you would expect nothing else from the people who invented seat licenses, and will no doubt introduce time-sharing urinals soon. But there are problems.
• Hundreds of people on their hands and knees, trying to find their brick, moaning in confusion. Or they could be tailgaters who started at dawn.
• Duplication. I have no doubt that at least 135 couples named John and Mary Anderson will buy a brick that says GO VIKES! They should all be put in the same place, and then on opening day we will see them in the same place, note that they are all identical, and reveal the secret cloning program that’s been underway for decades
The content of the messages have some restrictions, as you might imagine. You are allowed to use the name of the Vikings, which is nice of them. You are not allowed to mention other teams, so Cheesehead dreams of polluting the plaza with Wisconsin propaganda will be in vain. You wonder how closely the brick-approvers will study the messages, though.
Remembering Denny GREEN
The Coach who would BAY
Like a valiant wolf whose PACK
… ER, I forgot the rest
I mean, they can’t turn that down. Or this:
Hope you get what you deserve!
Neerg Yab & Family
They might require someone to prove they are named Neerg Yab, and the person would write back “Can I testify in front of a mirror?” and that would give it away, along with the personal recommendation from Narf Tarkingnot.
Now, if there is someone named Neerg Yab, and he does buy a brick, it will be blamed for every losing season, as if it was a dense black hole suffused with Jinx Power. Mobs will demand its refusal. Angry sweaty faces lit by torchlight, their leader confronting a nervous security guard: Well, if you’re not going to do anything about that brick, then we will, and don’t try to stop us. C’mon, boys! Let’s get that brick!
Then they’ll dig it up and throw it in the river, and the Vikings will have a winning season. The next year they lose, and because fans are superstitious they’ll blame it on the failure to throw a brick in the river. Fifty years later, the season opens with the Annual Brick Drop from the Washington Avenue bridge, a venerable tradition. They will sell replicas for everyone to drop. The spots along the edge of the bridge will go for $15,000 and corporations will buy most of them.
Eventually we will have to build a bigger bridge, because there’s not enough room for Brick Drop Skyboxes on the old ones.
If the Legislature is smart, they’ll take that up in the special session. Get it out of the way. Just get it out of the way.
Another rule: Nothing political. That’s a pity. There are times you think, “I’ve read every possible vilification of my least-favorite elected official in the comments section of a YouTube video about a cat who looks like Hitler; I wish there were some bricks downtown that compressed the sentiments into paving-stone form.”
If you want to make a political statement on a brick, just buy one at Menards, print off your opinions, wrap it around the brick and drop it on someone’s foot, which will double the amount of people who care to two.
There’s no prohibition against haiku, though. One could do a lot in that elegant, compact form.
Game day in the fall
The crowd rises to its feet
Stadium so new
City gleams beyond the glass
Thump: a bird slides down
You can be cynical about this, but we must repeat: It is not mandatory, and will be welcomed by fans who want to bond with a large athletic facility with the nominal appearance of being a public institution. If it goes well, they might get those lasers that engrave Bible verses on the heads of pins and let people personalize the gravel.
If the Vikings really wanted to drain dollars from fans, they’d pave the place with blank bricks, and point out that the offer didn’t say the bricks would be pointed up. Oh, the messages are all there. They’re just PCO, or “Planetary Core Oriented.” Would you like to have them dug up so the messages can be seen?
Happy to oblige. For an “inversion fee.” Plus a “Solar illumination license.”