I miss the Old Met

Back when men were real men, women were real women, and the Minnesota Vikings were as crazy as the real vikings.

1969, halftime show at a Vikings game: “More than 40,000 watched in disbelief as a hot air balloon carried an 11-year-old boy over the light towers, and eventually dumped him in the icy Minnesota river.”

Wait… WHAT? ?

It was, indeed, a tough act to follow. They say don’t mess with Texas, but I don’t know if anyone outside of sub-Saharan Africa or historical Sparta ever treated children with such blithe indifference for their survival as Minnesotans of a certain era did. I was awarded the Zero Hero patch as a 11-year-old Boy Scout, which involved being given a saw, a sleeping bag, a box of matches, a pound of hamburger, and a loaded .38 revolver and being abandoned in the wilds of Northern Minnesota for 24 hours in sub-zero weather. Sub-zero Fahrenheit, to be clear.

No tent, no flashlight, no company. Should probably get your lean-to built before it gets dark, ya know. And if anything goes wrong, just fire three shots in a row. We should be able to hear you from the cabin. Good luck, kid!

I don’t think they have the Zero Hero in Florida. Frankly, if it weren’t for the patch – a polar bear on a light blue background – I’d wonder if I was remembering it all correctly.