ESPN's tour of all the major-league ballparks hits Minneapolis's Metrodome today.
I have a lot of fine memories of the Metrodome, all from my four years in college. I thrilled to the Twins' exploits in the 1991 World Series, when they defeated the ever-evil Atlanta Braves in seven games. (The Braves are a tiny bit more palatable to me than the Dallas Cowboys.) The second of the Bills' four Super Bowl defeats came in the Metrodome. And, I spent my twenty-first birthday there (in part). A bunch of my friends got together and went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival during the day, and then at night we went to see the Twins beat the Royals, 9-2. I remember walking in and being struck by the apparent difference in size between a large venue in person and a large venue on TV; I actually looked around and said, "They had a Super Bowl in here?"
(In fact, there was a one-year stretch in which the World Series, the Super Bowl, the NHL Finals, and the NCAA Final Four were all held in Minneapolis.)
Of course, unless one is quite rich, one doesn't get drunk spending one's twenty-first at a baseball game. I had one beer, and the guy at the booth said after he looked at my ID: "Happy birthday. Five bucks." But I figured, hey, I'd been drunk plenty of times. That sensation wasn't going to become any more unique by virtue of doing it legally.
And one lasting memory of the four hours or so I spent in the Dome is of this horrible jingle for some local pizza joint that they insisted on blaring over the loudspeakers. To this day, I get this damn tune going through my head sometimes, even though I only heard it once. Dial four eight eight eight eight eight eight, for the very best pizza you ever ate….AGGGHHHH!!!