Saturday, August 28, 2004

Vikings Pre-season Game

Linzy and I went to the Vikings 3rd Pre-season game last night. It was a blast, as expected.

For one thing, the first-string Vikes were kicking ass and taking names. They were up 16-0 at the half, and looked pretty dominant. Well, I should take that back. Everyone looked dominant except for Aaron Elling (our second year kicker). He sucks, a lot.

For the record: Elling was 1-3 on field goals, missing a 44 yarder, and a 32 yarder (!). He also missed a freaking extra point. He needs to be cut, now.

Our seats were quite good I thought, on about the 35-yard line halfway up the second level. Being close to the middle, you can see great. And even though they are borderline nosebleed seats, we weren’t so high that you couldn’t easily read player’s numbers or see the action.

We took the new light-rail downtown, which worked out really, really smoothly. The light-rail is new to MN, it just opened this year. They are still working on extending it all the way to the Mall of America, but its current endpoint is not very far from where Linzy and I work (different business, but close to each other).

So after eating a quick dinner, we drove up to Fort Snelling, and found a parking place. The parking is a bit of a problem, because Fort Snelling isn’t really intended to be a major stopping point going forward. So they haven’t built a big ramp for Park & Ride or anything.

After parking we waited in line about 15 minutes to buy event tickets for the light, which not only make things a bit cheaper, but also make it so you don’t have to bother with buying a return ticket (it ends up to be $3 a person). After that we got right on a waiting train. It takes 23 minutes to get up to the Metrodome, and the train drops you off right at the Metrodome Plaza. The plaza happens to be in front of gate H and our seats are at gate G. So we walked over one gate and right into our section. You can’t ask for much easier then that.

The trip home on the light rail was also smooth; we had to wait through one train because of the crowds, so it took about 15 minutes before we were on a train and headed home.

All-in-all the light rail worked out really well. Once they finish the track all the way out to the Mall of America, and they get a few more trains running, with more parking, it should work really well for getting downtown. Especially if someday they add another line coming across the river to Burnsville/Apple Valley/Lakeville with express trains to downtown.

Anyways, back to the football game. The starters played exactly as much as expected, the whole first half and the first series in the third quarter. Then the substitutions started, but it still wasn’t bad. Until the 4th quarter it was largely 2nd string players, who also looked pretty good. The 4th quarter was kind of ugly as the towel boy, water boy, and whoever else they were throwing into the game got a fair amount of penalties.

Brock Lesnar got in for the last two defensive series, and made a nice play on the final tackle of the game. He’s pretty dang fast.

Ryan Hoag (who’s mom my dad works with) didn’t look quite as good, which was kind of disappointing. He’s ostensibly a receiver, but he didn’t get any snaps at WR. He did play on the second team kickoff return team, and did some punt returning at the end of the game. Punt returning was where he made a huge mental mistake and tried to make a full-speed shoestring catch of a really short punt. He fumbled that, and the 49ers should recovered it (although they didn’t). Between the mental mistake, the fact that he didn’t have any spectacular returns, and the fact that the other 3rd-4th string receivers looked pretty good, he’s not looking good for making the roster (in my mind at least).

The final score was Vikings 23, San Francisco 10.

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