Yesterday was a tough day for traditionalists. If you like your weddings square and your stadiums oval, it was not your day.
The Minnesota Senate passed a law extending the freedom to marry to gay people. A few hours later the Minnesota Vikings presented a stadium design that is more likely to be featured in the Hirshorn Museum than the Football Hall of Fame.
I feel for my conservative friends, who are hopelessly nostalgic for the glory days of their youth, when Ward and June were prototypical couples and football was played in Met Stadium’s glorious mud, wind and ice. Yesterday, they were served a heapin’ helpin’ of contemporary change, and I know it was jarring for them. As of this post, shrapnel from Joe Soucheray’s head reportedly has been found in three neighboring states.
Yesterday, my conservative friends were told that some married couples will look like Ward and Ward, and June and June. That does take some getting used to. But as one who had to get used to the idea myself, I’ve found it helps to focus on the positive. Even for traditionalists, there is a lot to admire about this new brand of married couple, such as a love so strong it has survived waves of ignorance, bigotry and hate.
On the same day that the legal definition of marriage was broadened by the Legislature, my conservative friends were also told that they would not be able to watch football the way they say it was meant to be watched — in crappy weather in a traditional stadium whose architecture has only slightly evolved since the Flavian Amphitheatre. Call it Lambeau envy.
Admittedly, the new Vikings stadium design is “different,” a word that passive aggressive Minnesotans tend to use when they actually are meaning “sucky,” but, little known fact, is actually defined as “not the same as others.”
The new Vikings stadium definitely is “not the same as others.” It looks a bit like a football field grown inside of Reverend Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral, or a hog confinement building after a tornado, or a half-assed green house constructed of scrap materials, or the Walker Art Museum on bovine growth hormones.
That does take some getting used to. But as one who crinkled my nose the first time I saw the asymmetrical design, I’ve found it helps to focus on the positive. Even for traditionalists, there are a lot of things to admire about this new brand of stadium — stunning skyline views from inside, sunshine to replace the Metrodome’s perpetual dinge, windows that crank open on the rare nice day, a blissfully clear path to spacious bathrooms, and climate control in a land of mostly “different” climate.
Yes, change takes some getting used to, and we won’t all love these changes right away. But if we keep an open mind, I bet we will adjust to symmetrical couples and asymmetrical stadiums quicker than we think. Onward.