Monday, December 27, 2010

Are the Vikings Leaving Minnesota For LA?

We may be seeing the last of the Vikings in Minnesota.

With one week remaining in the season (they play in Philly on Tuesday night and then at Detriot on Sunday), a possible lost NFL season in 2011 and their stadium ... which their lease runs out with after the 2011 season ... crumbling to pieces, it could be a wide open door for the Vikings to move to Los Angeles.

It is all set up for them. No one wants to see the Vikings leave the Twin Cities, but without a lease means they are without a home. The Metrodome may not even be worth fixing if there is no Vikings season on the horizon. And we all know that the massive snow storm that damaged the Metrodome's roof will happen again at some point.

When Zygi Wilf looks out there, he sees Los Angeles building themselves a nice new stadium. Nice and sunny new stadium. While the Twin Cities market (and the Vikings reach to the Dakotas, Iowa and Wisconsin) is nice ... it isn't Los Angeles. It would bring the Vikings to the NFL's second biggest market and would be only the 2nd NFC team in the state (the 49ers are the other). That means that So Cal fans could still see Chargers and Vikings games.

While I would never say it's a done deal ... I can say that this doesn't seem like a far out proposal either.

Now, if the Vikings do move to the Left Coast ... would the NFL keep them in the NFC North? While geography is a major factor in the divisional format, it doesn't trump everything. That's why Dallas plays in the NFC East, Baltimore in the AFC North and Miami in the AFC East. With the history there, the NFL could keep the Vikings in the NFC North.

But would it feel the same with the franchise moved? The NFL would be better off putting the Vikings in the NFC West with the Cardinals, Niners and Seahawks and putting the St. Louis Rams in the NFC North. The Rams should love that. The Rams-Bears rivalry would be big in central Illinois. Since Minnesotans are conditioned to hate the Packers, Bears and Lions, the Rams could snatch up that fan base. Plus they aren't stuck playing a slew of 4:00pm games each year.

Don't give me that "Rams don't really belong in that division" crap since ... well, why wouldn't they? The fact they play in "balmy" St. Louis? Have you seen Kansas City at this time of year? The fact they play in a dome? Um, the Vikings and Lions play in domes and have for 30 years or so. The fact that the Rams aren't historically a "black and blue" team? Neither was the Vikings in the Randy Moss era, the Lions during their run-and-shoot days or the Packers over the last 20 years. They have an emerging team that may win the NFC West next weekend.

This must we do know: the Vikings are unhappy about their situation and now have an out. Odds are they'll use it.

No comments: