Gov. Tim Pawlenty has turned down a personal invitation from the governor of Louisiana to watch this Sunday's Vikings-Saints game from a luxury suite in the Superdome. A Pawlenty spokesman says the governor has "family obligations."
Fair enough. But this is one of the best Vikings teams in history. They're one game away from a Super Bowl. We're talking swanky seats, excellent grub, and a game with at least a dozen great story lines and intriguing match-ups. What sort of family obligations are these? Thousands of Vikings fans would forsake weddings and funerals--maybe even their own--to see this game in person.
This is not a good sign for fans rooting for a new stadium, who know full well that the Vikings will have to walk if they don't get one. Pawlenty has never shown much enthusiasm for a new building. Until now most of us assumed it was simply his philosophical opposition to using public funds, or maybe a negotiating ploy to soak owner Zygi Wilf for a few more million. But now we have to face another ominous possibility: Maybe the governor doesn't really like football.
His spokesman insists he'll be watching the game at home on TV. We demand photographic proof.