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Updated: December 26th, 2013 12:15pm
Zulgad: Thanks for the many memories, Metrodome. Good riddance.

Zulgad: Thanks for the many memories, Metrodome. Good riddance.

by Judd Zulgad
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There have been numerous lists produced in recent weeks about the greatest moments in the history of the Metrodome as the 31-year-old stadium gets set to face its demise after the Minnesota Vikings play host to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

The memorable games and events are many:

The Twins won their first World Series by beating St. Louis in Game 7 in 1987 and then got 10 shutout innings from Jack Morris to defeat Atlanta in one of the greatest seventh games ever to win the 1991 Series.

That's not to gloss over the 1987 American League Championship Series against Detroit or the 1991 ALCS against Toronto.

Or the Twins' demise in the 1990s that began on the July night in 1992, when Oakland's Eric Fox hit a game-winning, three-run home run to put the Athletics into a first-place tie in the AL West and help propel them to a division title.

There was the Vikings' heart-breaking overtime loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC title game and the magnificent, last-second Greg Lewis catch of a Brett Favre pass in the back of the end zone in the third game of a 2009 season that ended with another bitter defeat in the NFC championship game.

There was the Timberwolves' first-ever season, played in the building, that saw Michael Jordan score 45 points in the Bulls' 96-84 victory in the home opener on Nov. 8, 1989. There also were two NCAA Final Fours, numerous early-round NCAA games and a Super Bowl held in the Dome.

Demolition of the building will start next month to make way for a Vikings stadium that already is under construction in the Dome's parking lot.

Somehow I feel as if the disappearance of the Dome should make me sad. I was at the majority of the memorable moments listed above.

But the struggle in recent weeks is that there is no sadness about the Dome coming down.


Although it was the building in which I watched the Vikings from ages 12 to 44 and the Twins from 12 to 40 -- there is no doubt the Dome was the single thing most responsible for the Twins beating the 1987 champs -- I always resented what the Dome took from me more than I appreciated the fact that it might have saved two big league teams from leaving town.

As someone who began following pro sports in 1978, my early memories of the Twins and Vikings were outdoors at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington. While I've come to understand the Met was an erector set that was neither a great baseball or football stadium, that doesn't matter when you're 10.

What mattered was that baseball and football, to me, were sports that should have been played outdoors and the Met seemed magical. There is nothing like going to a baseball game as a kid and seeing the grass unfold in front of you as you enter the inner portion of the stadium.

Seeing artificial turf and a roof when you did the same at the Metrodome wasn't the same. No matter how efficient the Dome might have been, it was never anything special.

One of the saddest sports moments I can recall, was when my mother took me back to Met Stadium to buy a couple of seats from the stadium in the mid-1980s. You were allowed to drive your car into the stadium from what had been center field and seeing that building in complete disrepair is a mental image that has yet to be purged from my mind.

Years later when I walked into the Metrodome after the roof had collapsed in 2010, it wasn't sad so much as just pathetic.

There also is another reason why I think the disappearance of the Dome might have little impact on me and, in this case, I can tie it directly into the demolition of one of my favorite buildings in sports, the Met Center.

While it was a sad day to see the Met Center imploded in December 1994, I remember having a feeling of peace with it based on the fact that I had witnessed hundreds of games in the building.

The Met Center was a fantastic hockey arena and its demolition was much sadder than that of Met Stadium because it still would be a good building today. But I had grown up in the Met Center, and I did not feel as if I had been cheated by the fact that its time had come.

Thirty-one years of the Dome was more than enough.

Four years of going to games at Met Stadium wasn't. I wanted more. Target Field is a tremendous venue but also is a reminder of what many of us missed out on during all those years of indoor baseball.

Perhaps that's why it's so difficult to get emotional about the fact that in a few months the Metrodome will be a construction site and nothing more.

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Brett Favre, Greg Lewis