Monday, October 4, 2010

I'm Forcing Myself To See Parallels

Think back, if you can, into the past. To the way, way back year of "2007", when men were men, Weeds was having its best season and Twitter was a mystery to most of the world. Specifically think back to October 1, 2007, when a much maligned New York Giants team beat up on the Eagles on Sunday Night Football to the tune of a 16-3 win, the highlight being Osi Umenyiora's team-record six sacks as the G-Men piled up 12 in total. The game brought the Giants to 2-2. That same day, if you recall, a brutally painful Mets season was put to rest as they completed their first of two major collapses on the last day of the regular season. To cheer me up for having now-useless playoff tickets, the Mets sent me an apologetic e-mail promising changes.

And now lets fast-forward to last night. The Mets, once again, had polished off another bitter year early in the day, which prompted yet another apologetic e-mail -- though this one was due to ineptitude rather than heartbreak -- and the Giants, were set to face the Bears on Sunday Night Football. These same Giants, coming off two straight losses, have been heavily criticized and left for dead with even former players claiming Tom Coughlin doesn't have his house in order. The result? Another sack-crazy win, as the Giants whupped on the Bears, 17-3, with 10 sacks and two knocked-out Chicago quarterbacks. The defense was almost dominant enough to distract you from the fact that both offenses were completely discombobulated and that it was, possibly, the worst played football game ever played by two teams in the NFL.

And now the Giants are 2-2.

If you recall, in 2007 the Giants did fairly well after that victory, jumping up to 6-2 before, you know, winning the fucking Super Bowl. If you put the pieces together, these very, very vague bits of circumstantial point to one piece of irrefutable truth.

The New York Giants are going to win the Super Bowl this year. Juuuuuust wait for it.

So yeah, I'm also back from Minnesota, which was a pretty sweet experience. I had never really spent much time in downtown Minneapolis, but I found it to be a very pretty, if unexciting area. I don't really blame it for this. The downtown area is mostly for business and not for fun, after all. But it does feature a totally sweet statue of Mary Tyler Moore. Because yes, she did make it after all. Shockingly, however, having my world turned on with her smile wasn't the highlight of the jaunt. That, obviously, was the hour or so I spent meticulously scoping out the awesomeness that is Target Field. That stadium was just one of many that I decided to waste hours checking out during the weekend, but it was almost certainly my favorite. It's an interesting break with the popular retro stadium architecture, giving a design that is modern and yet also totally fucking awesome. It also manages to pull off a feat only matched so far by the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in that the entire place is completely infused with franchise history in an amazing way. The pavilion in front of the main center field gate includes goodies like a list of franchise Gold Glove Winners, a pennant for each member of the Twins Hall of Fame, a pennant for each season's outcome and some totally awesome statues of Calvin Griffith, Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew and Harmon Killebrew.

A full report on Target Field and the weekend in general will come.... at some point. But it's worth mentioning that my trek also brought me to the extremely dull looking Metrodome, and the totally sweet stadiums on the campus of the University of Minnesota -- in particular TCF Bank Stadium, which is absurdly awesome. That stadium was, of course, the main reason that I chose this weekend to make my trek, as I got to watch the Northwestern Wildcats give me an aneurysm en route to a 29-28 win over the Golden Gophers. It's unusual to see such a new college football stadium built on such a scale in that traditional retro-brick style. And even if the University of Minnesota is terrible at football this year -- though they certainly gave us a scare -- at the very least they get to go to what is easily the best college football stadium I've seen. It just squeaks past Camp Randall in Madison, Wisconsin and Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

More than anything, going to the game -- and checking out the greatest anti-drinking campaign ever -- made me wish I was back in college. Because who wouldn't want that?

All of Minnesota's stadiums are particularly pretty, and they're all in the same complex, which goes to highlight one of the more underrated college campuses I've come across. The basketball stadium, Williams Arena, A.K.A. The Barn, which happens to be my favorite building in American sports, sits right across from TCF Bank Stadium, and Mariucci Arena, home to Gopher hockey is in a similar style right next door. All of the stadiums are wonderful buildings to check out, and at the very least, they help you forget about the fact that you stayed up until 2 a.m. watching a total dud of a Grand Final replay.

And surely all of you have those problems, right? Yeah, just what I thought.

So there you go. There's more information to tell and at some point I'll write up a more formal review, but in the interim I'll leave you with that. If you ever have the chance to see a game at the University of Minnesota, take it.

And if you can get good odds on the Giants winning Super Bowl XLV, throw your life savings at it. It's money in the bank, right there.

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