Fitz Blitz: Favre Done, Vikes Belong Outdoors, Tebow-Lloyd, Pointless Pro Bowl

Tim Fitzgerald@TimmyFitz76Contributor IDecember 21, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 20:  The Chicago Bears kick off to the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium on December 20, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

So what was all the fuss about the frozen, icy field in Minnesota for? Many just wrote it off as part of football, myself included. I didn’t know what the big deal was. Hell, I’ve played on icy fields before.

One of the most famous games in NFL history was played on a Frozen Tundra after all. And the Vikings played outdoors for two decades.

But those were all-natural surfaces. Not field turf.

We assume there are going to be big hits in football, which was the players' argument against the steep fines and suspensions the NFL is issuing to make the game safer. But the game has changed, so it’s best the rules change.

We also assume there are going to be frozen fields in late December, and that it’s just part of football like big collisions. But the players felt it was a bit hypocritical to subject them to these field conditions if the league is so concerned about safety.

After players inspected the field, the loudest and longest complaint came from a punter, of course, who set punters and kickers back another 10 years. But it appears the players had a gripe.

Unfortunately, this change in venue was due to a difficult situation, not like the rule changes involving every-game occurrences.

Bringing in a new layer of turf or tracks of sod was not an option in the conditions that had been going on there for the past week. Going too far out of Minnesota was not really fair or desirable, either.

Brett Favre’s head injury could have happened on a warm sunny field in California, but it adds to the likelihood of a concussion when you hit a harder surface.

This wasn’t so much the Ice Bowl as much as it was like 49ers' Joe Montana being driven to the turf in the old Meadowlands...or Joe Montana the Chief being swung down on the rock-hard Astroturf of Rich Stadium in Buffalo.

It was a tough situation, leaving the NFL between a rock and frozen field turf. Unlike the Saints predicament in New Orleans after Katrina, the city of Minneapolis was not decimated. Vacating to another city would have been a bit extreme.

I was surprised the Vikings thought there would be a problem with stadium size discrepancy. Really? The team’s eliminated, it’s freezing out, you’re not serving alcohol, you tell people it will be first come first serve, and you were expecting a log jam for seats?

They were even more fortunate that Favre was questionable to avoid this problem. I wonder if they’re was a late rush for tickets when fans learned Favre was starting?

Favre’s pre-game comment the cameras caught before taking the field suggests he’s done. He paused before he said it, the camera zoomed in, and he asked his teammates to help an old man to go out in style.

Phil Krinkie of the Minnesota Taxpayers League said replacing the Metrodome because of storm damage makes about as much sense as replacing the New Orleans Superdome because it was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

And because the last time the roof collapsed was in 1983, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the roof design.

Please, you’ve got to be kidding me. Have you seen the Metrodome?

I don’t much about you, Mr. Krinkie, nor am I from Minnesota, but If you didn’t know the big trash bag needed replacing before this roof collapse, I would question whether you’re a real Minnesotan or Minne... Minneapolean? Minneaplolian? Minneapoline? I’m going with Minneapoline. Correct me if I’m wrong.

You and the San Diegans can wonder if your team is bolting for Los Angeles together.

It was a beautiful sight to see football outdoors in Minnesota. Domes allow more functions to occur there year round, which is great for the city.

But for the sporting events of their main tenants, it ruins the atmosphere and experience. A .500 team will sell out an outdoor football stadium in Minneapolis. Perhaps something in a retractable model would be a nice compromise?

The Metrodome was a 1980s second generation model of the cookie-cutter, multi-sport stadiums of the 1960s. Multi-sport stadiums were a great idea, but the geometries just don’t work for crossing football and baseball.

And I found myself rooting for the Vikes last night. That didn’t work out so well.

My old St. Louis connections with the Bears coaches were trumped by my Raider-induced dislike of Jay Cutler. I went with the over-dramatic QB rather than the overrated one. Oh well.

Speaking of the Raiders, Rolando McClain made his presence felt this past week. Sure, it was against the sorry Broncos, who were without Knowshon Moreno, but it still counts.

McClain hadn’t made as many plays as a lot of Raider fans wanted early on in the season. In his absence, it become apparent the progress the rookie had made.

In the two games without him, the Raiders' run defense regressed to the form of the previous seven seasons.

And Greg Lloyd had a good game Sunday in Oakland. He can make spectacular, diving, leaping, one-handed grabs, but drops the routine ones.

Lloyd’s been known as a bad-ball catcher in his career. If that reputation continues, he should really excel playing with Tim Tebow.

Not a bad debut for Tebow, though. This QB thing might work out for him yet.

Lastly, I missed my chance to vote for the Pro Bowl again this year. And I don’t feel bad this time. Unlike a mid-season game in other sports, I’d rather the guys just go home than play in the Pro Bowl.

I should have worn out my mouse clicking Darren McFadden’s name, but I’d rather he just rest.

If players and coaches can’t realize what type of player he is after the fan vote, then that’s an indictment on the people around the league, and it will give me another blog entry to write that indictment.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Safe travels to you all!


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