Back when I was a kid, Minnesota was the land where angst was a verb, a noun and a way of life. I mean, we didn't win anything.
Hubert Humphrey ran against Richard Nixon and came in second. Then we sent Walter Mondale, our biggest and brightest, up against Ronald Reagan, and he came in second!
And then there were our Minnesota Vikings. We went to four Superbowls. Came in second every single time.
But our Lutheran mothers would say, "Now you kids, don't be so hard on the Vikings. There's children in Biafra who would do anything to have the Vikings as their team."
When I'd go to the old Met Stadium, it was like we should hand out foam hands with two fingers in the air. "We're number two! We're number two!"
But we finally won.
It was 1987. I was at the World Series, game number two, in the Metrodome, our huge new stadium. It was like it was made out of Tupperware. You were burped when you left.
I walked in. Looking around, I'd never been inside a building so big! I turned to the guy next to me.
"Have you ever been inside a building this big?"
"No," he says. "If there was a deer on home plate, I wouldn't even shoot it. It's too far to drag back!"
"I know what you mean there," I said.
I'm looking around. There's 60,000 screaming people, 60,000 screaming LUTHERANS!
I'd never seen one Lutheran scream, let alone 60,000 screaming at the top of their lungs.
They were screaming for the first time in their lives, screaming for the first time in their ancestors' lives, screaming for the first time since Martin Luther missed the nail and hit his thumb!
But nobody was chewing gum, because they hadn't brought enough for everyone.
Kevin Kling is a Minnesota playwright, humorist and occasional public radio commentator. His new book "Holiday Inn" is due out in November.