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Zig will have himself a roof, but what about the foundation?

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When my wife and I were looking for our first home years ago, we were told that the two most important features of any house are the roof and the foundation. There are a number of things you can do to increase the value of a house - carpeting, wood work, windows, curtains - but you better have a good roof and a good foundation or you might end up with a fancy shack.

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In the case of the Hubert H. Humprhey Metrodome roof (affectionately known today as the Mall of America Field), the designers had half a good idea. The Twins were never rained out at the Metrodome when they played there, and their fans never had to sit in winter parkas to watch spring baseball games. Viking fans never had to watch a home game in cold weather, until late in the 2010 season, when some of us think Zygi Wilf sent a snowstorm from New Jersey to strengthen his case for a new stadium.

Even back in 1982, many of us knew that a real good idea for snowy Minnesota would have been putting a metal retractable roof on the Metrodome, instead of a white bubble. What no one could really have predicted was how wealthy some Minnesotans were going to become by 2012, and how much demand there would be for luxury boxes.

Right now anyone who has ever hired a contractor knows that new home of the Purple Gang will run more than nine zeroes before the work is finished. The price tag came in under $1 billion, but that was just to sell the idea.

For that amount, Minnesota football fans will enjoy eight regular-season pro football games, two pre-season games and just maybe a playoff game or two. Zig is going to have his mink-lined corporate boxes and be able to generate the kind of income he needs to keep the Vikings out of the cellar in NFL income. When the new "Zygi Dome" is completed, life will truly be sweet in the great state of Minnesota.

But wait just a minute.

What about the foundation?

We can safely assume that the Vikings will have a field to play their games and the fans will have seats.

But what about the other kind of foundation?

The real foundation of any organization is the people who make it up. Once upon a time, I would have said the Vikings had a very good foundation. They played in four Super Bowls in less than a decade, and they beat some very good teams in some very big games. When Zygi first took over ownership of the Vikings, he went after good free agents. But then, after the loss to New Orleans in the NFC Championship game three seasons ago, the Vikings seemed to give up on building a Super Bowl team, and instead went after a new stadium. The result has been a 9-23 record over the last two seasons and no post-season games.

Even if the new stadium ends up rivaling the majesty of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Wilfs should keep it in mind that Minnesota fans want to see their Vikings win a Super Bowl. If a fancy stadium does the trick, that will be swell, but most Super Bowl teams have had a secret weapon called "talent."

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