Friday, February 26, 2010

No More "Wiener Winners"

If you attended a Twins game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome within the last 9 years, then you are no stranger to the Hormel Row of Fame, and the masterpiece that is the “Dome Dog.” You know how the song goes:

“... Great for lunch, great for dinner, you will be a wiener winner in the Hormel Row of Fame!”

As great as that tune was, and as great as it was to see the sheer happiness on the faces of every individual Twins fan who was lucky enough to be in that particular row on any given night, sadly this tradition will no longer continue.

As a recent college graduate, Wednesday nights from April through September were absolutely wonderful. It was a well known fact that you could hop in your car, drive down to the Metrodome, and park (depending on how adept you were at finding a cheap lot), get a ticket to a Twins game, and eat two hot dogs for a total of $11. If you were lucky enough to arrange a carpool with 3 of your friends, you could lower that nightly price to $8. You would be hard pressed to find a bargain like that for parking, attendance and food at another professional sporting event (unless you count the fact that the Timberwolves are practically paying people to attend games at the Target Center these days...). Even the Minnesota Swarm charge $10 for a student ticket!

It was announced earlier this week, that Hormel and the Minnesota Twins would be cutting ties as the Twins prepare to enter their first season at Target Field. This will end a 9 year run, during which Hormel “Dome Dogs” and the Row of Fame were absolute staples at Twins games. Julie Craven, Hormel's vice president of corporate communications, cited the change in cost for sponsorships at the new stadium and Hormel’s change in marketing focus in 2010 in a written response as the reason behind the split. Hormel did however wish the Twins the best of luck during the inaugural season at the new stadium. That is like breaking up with your girlfriend of 9 years because she just became too expensive to date, and then writing her a letter wishing her the best of luck in the dating world. Obviously I am over exaggerating just a bit, but I don’t think Hormel realizes how upset some Twins fans were to hear that Dome Dogs will not be moving to Target Field with the Twins. One search of “Dome Dogs” on Twitter the day of the announcement, I was immediately bombarded with a variety of posts from both angry and saddened former “Dome Dog” fans.

I was lucky enough to have been in the Row of Fame at least once in my lifetime as a Twins fan, the best part of it was that my extended family had bought the entire row of seats and we were all there together to share in this spectacular moment. As those wonderful beef (not positive about that) hot dogs were being passed down the line, you can’t help but smile as the catchy jingle rang over the speakers above, and you just knew that everybody was singing along, whether out loud or in their heads. No longer will people feel that exact joy that I have once felt, instead this tradition will have to be replaced by another. I can’t imagine another hot dog taking the place of the famous wiener, I mean, can anybody really get excited about the “Hebrew National Happy Fan” or “Nathan’s Section of the Game”...

Obviously hot dogs will be sold at Target Field, and I am sure they will taste great, maybe even better than their predecessor. Who knows, they may even have “dollar dog nights” every once in a while, to satisfy the needs of penny-pinching college students. But the fact remains, Dome Dogs and the Hormel Row of Fame were traditions for the last 9 years at the Metrodome, and you can’t just replace a tradition. It truly is the end of an era.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Entering the Blogosphere

My name is Adam, I was raised in a very small town in northern Minnesota that I am sure most people who choose to read this blog have never heard of. I love sports, and was conditioned to do so from a very young age. This was clearly evident in the fact that when I was born in the winter of 1987 and later photographed in October sitting in front of the television watching the World Series, decked out in Twins paraphernalia.

I love sports, not in the way that I love my family or my girlfriend, or in the way that some people may love their pets, but rather in an “addictive” sort of way. I use the word “addictive” because that is what it is like, it would be like something that I would rather not have consuming my life, but the fact of the matter is, I can never get enough. Between countless hours invested in watching SportsCenter, reading online blogs, discussions with friends, and time spent watching sporting events, both in person and on television; I can’t ever seem to get enough. What the U.S. senate votes on, affects my life much more than anything sports related, however I choose to invest hours a day checking Twitter and to get updates on whether or not the Twins have signed Orlando Hudson or the Joe Mauer contract situation long before I will read an article on a new health care bill. For a 23 year old, who views himself to be somebody who is informed on a political level, this says something about my priorities.

I have played sports my entire life, and although I would consider myself quite knowledgeable in all sports, my specialty is baseball. I have played since I was 4 years old, I played 4 years in college, and I continue to play at an amateur level today. I know the ins and outs of playing the game (obviously not to the level of a professional), but let’s face it, what blogger does? I would say that a lot of my conversations about the Minnesota Twins are of a biased nature, but that I why I have chosen to begin posting them in a blog. I figure if I put these things in writing, I will be forced to look at them from an unbiased perspective. Although I am, and will always be a “homer” if you will, I would like to give my readers (if anybody chooses to follow), a fresh perspective on anything Twins, and Minnesota sports in general.

This will mainly serve as a sports blog, although I will pepper in the occasional post regarding anything I feel is worthy of writing about. I have no writing experience, outside of any classes I have taken or any writing I have done throughout high school or college, therefore this is a bit of an experiment and I will accept any constructive criticism along the way (within reason). I will probably steer clear of most political issues, because I find that people tend to get fairly fired up if they feel attacked in their values, and let’s face it, I am trying to gain readership, not drive it away because tend to lean to the conservative side. I do work for Target corporation, so there will be the occasional post regarding corporate life, more than likely it will include sports references, with my first one coming somewhere around March Madness.

I am excited to have this blog as an outlet for all emotions associated with sports, mainly Minnesota in nature. Instead of allowing crushing losses or unthinkable victories to alter my emotions like a roller coaster, I will now be able to stay even keeled by venting these things through a blog. I hope you enjoy this journey that I am about to begin, if you do, please tell your friends.