Time to Move On
Photo by Caitlin Abrams

Time to Move On

It's time to move on from the last four years.
Photo by Caitlin Abrams

To: Ms. Suzanne Scott
CEO
Fox News

1211 Avenue of the Americas
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
New York, New York 10036

To: Ms. Rashida Jones
President
MSNBC

1211 Avenue of the Americas
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, New York 10112

Dear Ms. Scott and Ms. Jones:

Time to move on! After four years of chaos and conspiracies, it’s time to move forward. Oh sure, the Trump years were good to you—and the New York Times and the Washington Post—with viewership increases over 50 percent, but like a miracle, that’s now gone. As I discovered as a small boy in the shadow of the Mitchell Corn Palace, at some time the circus leaves town.

You are not alone in facing a looming vacuum of vacuous entertainment masquerading as news. Think of the problem facing Saturday Night Live: It was easy to pillory Hillary and thump Trump. Sarah Palin was a special gift who came to SNL with her own word-for-word interview script.

But Joe Biden? In 1991, SNL satirized his chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee hearing on Clarence Thomas and especially the treatment of Anita Hill. That was 30 years ago. It’s been bland old Joe ever since. Besides, making fun of a 78-year-old does not seem fair. Unless, of course, you mock all of our government leaders who are older than 70: the House Speaker, the House majority leader, the Senate majority leader, and the Senate president pro tem. This pre-baby boomer arthritic stiff-arm to political power by the boomer generation just is not funny. SNL viewers will have to move on also. So what should occupy our attention now that the calliope has faded?

Here are two ideas:

Going back to work. Many of us have been virtual workers from home—convenient non-commuters in sweatpants. That will change when we switch from interacting on Hollywood Squares-like screens to actual, live, in-your-face fellow co-workers. The 9-to-5, five-day workweek downtown will never be the same. Basecamp, hoteling, and virtual social interactions will become commonplace. But there will be other things that will seem more “normal.”

Sports. Arenas will replace cutout fans with real ones. Crowd reaction will be real and not piped in (although some Minnesota teams will suffer for that). The Stanley Cup will be played in mid-July, but maybe with more than just the teams in attendance. Minnesota Wild fans will see a much different team than last season, with different goalies and exciting young forwards.

Baseball has often mirrored our seasons; just when snow and cold retreat, opening day arrives. The sounds of runners advancing and home runs soaring provide the sonic wallpaper of our summers. This year—thank the gods!—will start to sound normal again. A special treat awaits.

In December it was announced that the Twins would make the St. Paul Saints their AAA affiliate, officially ending the historic Twin Cities baseball rivalry between the St. Paul Saints and the Minneapolis Millers. In the mid-1950s, both cities built stadia and bid on a Major League Baseball expansion/relocation team. A business group headed by Wheelock Whitney, George Pillsbury, Bob Short, and members of the Dayton family were successful in getting the Washington Senators to relocate to Met Stadium in Bloomington. The St. Paul Saints, after several reincarnations, played in the league now called the American Association in Midway Stadium and later in the new CHS Field in the Lowertown district of St. Paul.

You should attend a game at CHS Field—it is an absolute gem of an intimate ballpark. I-94 between the Cities may soon be called “Pitchers’ Alley” because the Twins will be able to shuttle pitchers between the big-league team and their Triple-A affiliate only 10 miles away. Wild fans may recall something similar when Highway I-35 to Des Moines was called “Zucker Highway.” Soon, fans will be able to see promising young baseball players in either stadium—even better than pre-Covid!

So, we will gladly move on. There will be a better time to confront the real problems that face us: pandemic protection, budget deficits, economic competitiveness, global climate change, police reform, and immigration, to name a few. But for now, let us return to our offices and enjoy our common sports.

Sincerely,

Vance K. Opperman

All for moving on

Vance K. Opperman (vopperman@keyinvestment.com) is owner and CEO of MSP Communications, which publishes Twin Cities Business.

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