Just back from Minneapolis-St. Paul where my brothers, in-laws and a few select pals took in two baseball games, a USC-Gophers college football game and the NFL game between the Dolphins and Vikings. Every game was close to capacity, nearly 50,000 for NFL, and 40,000 plus for the baseball and college football game. And the games overlapped! Sports is huge part of the culture here. Young women on commuter rail line talk football in detail. Mothers bring babies to the college game. Families everywhere, reveling in being at the game, not content to just watch on the tube.
Minny, remember, is also a great hockey area. High school and university hockey are big and the NHL Wild just opened camp on Sunday and play first exhibition game Wednesday.
At the ball games, though, no talk of hockey. Just fretting over Favre and the issue of getting a new stadium built. Fretting over the loss of Justin Morneau, although the Twins have played well without the outstanding Canadian. The point, is Minneapolis and St. Paul, neighbouring cities that feel and look a bit like Ottawa and its Gatineau “Twin” across the river, find room for all sports.
Sens fans love their team, eat and sleep hockey year round, but don’t have a fallback position when things go badly. Must be nice to have MLB, NFL, NHL and Division I football all in one area, with the chance that at least one of them might win.
When the Sens have a bad day, it’s a bad day in the capital.