Bears/Vikings Game in Minneapolis
I have attended a number of events at The Metrodome in Minneapolis, which is now known as the Mall of America Hubert H. Humphrey Dome. But I never witnessed a contest from the place I sat at last Sunday's NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings and my beloved Chicago Bears.
I have been afraid of heights since I was a teenager. I don't know if it's genetic since my father is also afflicted with acrophobia, but I never liked ladders, driving over bridges or looking down from a highrise without being completely confined. On the other hand, I always ask for the window seat in the airplane and I don't mind watching a sporting event from an enclosed club section six stories above the action.
Our seats were in Section 239, Row 16, which may not sound like a bad thing since we were not located in the "nosebleed" section, but it was definitely a hike to find our destination. We arrived about 50 minutes before kickoff and took in the theatrics of the preparations for a National Football League game. I never let on that I was afraid of heights, mostly because guys don't discuss that kind of thing with other guys. As a result, I had a tight grip on the left armrest of my chair for at least the first 20 minutes.
I managed to settle into my seat without leaving for the entire pre-game and most of the four quarters. I am guessing that I was stationary for at least four hours. I monitored my beverage intake so I would not have to walk down the steep-pitched concrete steps for any reason. Of course, most of the rest of the audience took time out to stretch their legs or buy food and drink. That gave me the "opportunity" to stand up and look down at the playing field from an even scarier view. I was not keen on walking down the stairs unless there were a lot of others around me.
In the beginning, I kept my winter jacket on that covered up my Chicago Bears sweatshirt, mostly because I knew that the game would likely be a one-sided affair in favor of the home team. After a scoreless first quarter, the "Monsters of the Midway" managed to tie the game midway through the second quarter. Feeling confident, I shed my winter attire. Later, I put my jacket back on with about six minutes to go in the game. The Vikings were comfortably in command with a 36-10 lead.
I was pleased that my friend offered to take me to the game. I was even happier when he wanted to leave with about six minutes to go since the exodus of fans was underway. If we didn't leave then, I may have had to wait it out to the end.