Reporting John Lauritsen
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota man is using an old idea as a new tactic to keep the Vikings in Minnesota.
“It worked with (Brett) Favre so I don’t know why it wouldn’t work here,” said Jay Tappe.
Tappe is a Vikings season ticket holder and is the man behind a new billboard that will be unveiled Monday at St. Peter and 11th Street in St. Paul.
The billboard will read, “50 years of blood, sweat, and tears, keep our Vikings here.”
“If you put a billboard up, they will pay attention,” said Tappe.
“They” in this case are state lawmakers. In football terms Tappe is working on “field position.” His billboard will be in a place where lawmakers can’t help but see it, about four short football lengths from the Capitol’s front steps.
“We just need to show these legislators that we want to keep our Vikings here and its part of our history and it’s our team. We aren’t letting them go anywhere,” said Tappe.
Tappe has experience in these matters. He’s a disc jockey by night, but a Vikings motivator by day. Last year he paid to have a billboard put up in Hattiesburg, Miss., to try and get Brett Favre to come back for one more year. It worked. Favre even said so.
“I’m driving home after a month of contemplating and there are billboards popping up in Hattiesburg that say how much we love you and we want you back. Whoever thought that would happen? I felt I owed the fans and the team one more season,” said Favre during a press conference announcing his return last year.
This time around, Tappe knows the stakes are even higher.
“It’s a lot of bureaucracy and a lot of red tape,” said Tappe.
But he sees no reason why it can’t be done. He’s spending more than $4,600 on the billboard. Tappe said he’s simply tired of the false starts, and as a fan and a Minnesotan, he’s looking for a touchdown at the State Capitol.
“If we would lose our team I would stop watching football altogether. That’s bad for the NFL, that’s bad for everything. The money that we would lose and the team leaving would be horrible,” said Tappe.
Tappe’s billboard will be on display for one month. He is taking pledges and has received a lot already, but is still about $2,000 short.
Anyone interested in pledging can go to 4millionvikesfans.com and make a donation.