7 Minute Miles

Harper’s new toys in Eagan

Posted Thursday, June 21st, 2018 11:24 am GMT -5 in Football,Friends,Links,Work at 11:24 AM

https://www.sportsvideo.org/2018/06/20/minnesota-vikings-unveil-spectacular-media-facilities-at-tco-performance-center/

Missed this campaign

Posted Monday, May 7th, 2018 01:57 pm GMT -5 in Design,Football,Politics at 1:57 PM

Hiawatha bike trail

Turn out the lights…

Posted Sunday, April 29th, 2018 11:52 pm GMT -5 in Football,Work at 11:52 PM

…the party’s over

Got my Duke

Posted Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 12:44 pm GMT -5 in Football,Shopping,Sports,Work at 12:44 PM

The big staff sale finally made it reasonable

Life after LII

Posted Tuesday, March 6th, 2018 02:39 pm GMT -5 in Football,Personal,Work at 2:39 PM

Now a full month in the rear-view mirror, Super Bowl LII is history. It’s hard to describe what it feels like to have this over and done – we’ve been talking and working towards that day for more than two years. I wrote a tweet about looking forward to the Monday after, but even that day had an early start and a full day of work breaking things down to prepare for the next event in the building.

People have asked me how it went, what would I do differently and how many celebrities I saw. My number one goal was to not be in the newspaper for the wrong reason, so mission accomplished in that regard. In fact, we did get some great press about crushing the WiFi record, so I’m very happy with that. The Super Bowl isn’t truly our event – the NFL runs and controls everything and we just assist as needed, so there wasn’t much I could really change. As for stars, I (politely) asked Peyton Manning to get out of my way, but that was about it.

The NFL uses many different companies to help put on the event and it was a pleasure working with all of them. In the technology realm, we worked with WBL Services of Seattle, owned by Bill Lipscomb. He and his team of nerds (lead by the super smart Nikos Mouat) were a huge help in supporting not only the stadium, but all of the activations around the metro. Todd Barnes and his team from Populous performed with a logistical calmness that would drive most people insane. I was also impressed with the graphics team from bluemedia, who created signage and displays all around town that looked beautiful.

In addition to all of these groups, we re-enlisted many of the people that helped design and build the stadium to come back for game day support. This included my favorite team of engineers from CenturyLink (Andy, Mark, Evan, Dennis and Greg) and the amazing group of WiFi experts at AmpThink, lead by Bill Anderson and Wesley Terry. Parsons, Cisco, Verizon and WIN also had small armies of support people ready to help if needed and the Department of Homeland Security had our back monitoring for network threats the entire time. And kudos to the NBC broadcast crew, who really turned out to be self-supporting the entire week.

So what’s next? Personally, I’m going on vacation later this month with the whole family. Events like the Super Bowl require a ton of time away from home and come with a stress level that is not “super” beneficial for one’s health, so it will be good to get away and recharge. I’ll also pay a visit this month to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the home of Super Bowl LIII. Their team was up here before our event and I’m looking forward to sharing stories (and seeing their cool new building). Everyone is now talking about the Final Four, but we have a whole lot of other work to do before then. Never a dull moment…

From SB to Home Show

Posted Friday, February 16th, 2018 10:52 pm GMT -5 in Football,Work at 10:52 PM

Way to rock it, ops department

BOOM

Posted Friday, February 9th, 2018 10:26 am GMT -5 in Football,Links,Technology,Work at 10:26 AM

Fans use 16.31 TB of Wi-Fi data during Super Bowl 52 at U.S. Bank Stadium

Look what I found

Posted Thursday, February 8th, 2018 02:46 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Football,Music,Work at 2:46 PM

JT, you forgot your sign

My partner in crime

Posted Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 10:53 pm GMT -5 in Football,Friends,Technology,Work at 10:53 PM

He’s the secret weapon

The hats were a hit

Posted Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 10:50 pm GMT -5 in Family,Fashion,Football at 10:50 PM

Hey kids, line up here in front of the Johnnie Walker

Not my best side, but OK

Posted Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 02:36 pm GMT -5 in Football,Links,Technology,Television,Work at 2:36 PM

https://www.today.com/video/this-year-s-super-bowl-stadium-flexes-its-high-tech-muscles-1153401411949

Two achievements unlocked

Posted Monday, February 5th, 2018 12:42 pm GMT -5 in Football,Sports,Work at 12:42 PM

Step 1: open building. Step 2: host Super Bowl LII

Purple and gold in ATL?

Posted Monday, February 5th, 2018 10:42 am GMT -5 in Football,Work at 10:42 AM

Yup, the confetti was shaped like the trophy

Fly Headless Eagle Fly

Posted Monday, February 5th, 2018 02:55 am GMT -5 in Football,Work at 2:55 AM

🦅

JT was here

Posted Monday, February 5th, 2018 02:54 am GMT -5 in Concerts,Football,Music,Work at 2:54 AM

I don’t know, I thought the halftime show was pretty good

Frigid

Posted Monday, February 5th, 2018 02:52 am GMT -5 in Football,Television,Work at 2:52 AM

This made me laugh

Where Vikings Roam

Posted Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 09:22 am GMT -5 in Food,Football at 9:22 AM

http://mspmag.com/eat-and-drink/where-vikings-roam-the-players-favorite-restaurants/

Aftermath

Posted Monday, January 15th, 2018 08:02 am GMT -5 in Football at 8:02 AM

All of Minnesota, pretty much

A Historic Night

Posted Monday, January 15th, 2018 12:04 am GMT -5 in Football,Work at 12:04 AM

Proud to be a part of this team

These are kinda cute

Posted Sunday, January 14th, 2018 12:07 am GMT -5 in Football,Shopping,Work at 12:07 AM

Mini SB helmets in the office

It’s really happening

Posted Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 09:40 am GMT -5 in Football,Work at 9:40 AM

The tents are going up

Defend the North

Posted Sunday, December 17th, 2017 06:49 pm GMT -5 in Football,Work at 6:49 PM

Congrats to the Vikings on winning the NFC North title

Anatomy of a touchdown

Posted Saturday, November 25th, 2017 12:26 pm GMT -5 in Football,Work at 12:26 PM

So. Much. Football.

MOR FUTBAL

Posted Friday, November 24th, 2017 12:42 pm GMT -5 in Football,Television,Work at 12:42 PM

Games 15 through 21

What is this madness?

Posted Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 05:21 pm GMT -5 in Food,Football,Work at 5:21 PM

Doritos taco carts at the stadium

Bootleg pull tabs

Posted Saturday, October 28th, 2017 04:46 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Football,Games at 4:46 PM

Something tells me these aren’t NFL approved

Nice addition to/from Delta

Posted Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 08:57 pm GMT -5 in Business,Football,Work at 8:57 PM

At least I think this was new…

One AP doll remains

Posted Thursday, October 19th, 2017 08:39 am GMT -5 in Football,Games at 8:39 AM

I wish these were easier to win

He should be here every game

Posted Sunday, October 15th, 2017 05:16 pm GMT -5 in Football,Friends at 5:16 PM

Great to see this guy sub in at the last minute

Rail-gating

Posted Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 09:04 pm GMT -5 in Football at 9:04 PM

Those clever marketers

Digging the newest art

Posted Friday, September 29th, 2017 04:29 pm GMT -5 in Art,Football,Work at 4:29 PM

Lower Pentair gate, U.S. Bank Stadium

Dragon Fire

Posted Monday, September 25th, 2017 11:41 pm GMT -5 in Football,Work at 11:41 PM

Another nice win by the home team

There will be shenanigans 

Posted Monday, September 11th, 2017 04:45 pm GMT -5 in Football,Work at 4:45 PM

Card tricks are hard when no one is there to hold them up…

Expensive graffiti 

Posted Thursday, September 7th, 2017 06:17 am GMT -5 in Football,Work at 6:17 AM

Hidden in the visiting equipment room

One look at the new season

Posted Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 10:16 am GMT -5 in Football,Links at 10:16 AM

https://deadspin.com/why-your-team-sucks-2017-minnesota-vikings-1797851777?utm_medium=sharefromsite&utm_source=Deadspin_twitter

Vikings of my youth

Posted Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 05:26 pm GMT -5 in Football,History at 5:26 PM

#77 – Gary Larsen

Is it really 1000?

Posted Friday, April 14th, 2017 11:29 pm GMT -5 in Art,Football,Work at 11:29 PM

That seems like way too many

Badass business cards

Posted Monday, February 20th, 2017 12:17 pm GMT -5 in Business,Design,Football at 12:17 PM

That really says it all, doesn’t it?

Well that was really something

Posted Sunday, February 5th, 2017 10:44 pm GMT -5 in Football,Friends,Work at 10:44 PM

Thanks for the invite JV (and SV)

$10 for the material, $240 for the logos

Posted Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 01:41 pm GMT -5 in Fashion,Football,Shopping at 1:41 PM

Don’t want Atlanta to win *that* much

Roman numerals forever

Posted Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 09:53 pm GMT -5 in Football,Travel,Work at 9:53 PM

Super Bowl LI, Houston, Texas

Almost ready for the big show

Posted Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 09:31 pm GMT -5 in Football,Travel,Work at 9:31 PM

Super Bowl LI prep @ NRG Stadium

Best club decor ever

Posted Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 09:29 pm GMT -5 in Design,Football,Travel,Work at 9:29 PM

Deep in the heart of Texas @ NRG Stadium

I heart chutes

Posted Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 09:27 pm GMT -5 in Football,Travel,Work at 9:27 PM

It is home to the rodeo, after all

Giant helmets in Texas

Posted Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 10:14 am GMT -5 in Football,Travel,Work at 10:14 AM

The credentials cut down on the long walk

Locked down

Posted Monday, January 30th, 2017 04:08 pm GMT -5 in Football,Travel,Work at 4:08 PM

Can’t walk anywhere in this town

Office Art

Posted Friday, January 27th, 2017 09:23 pm GMT -5 in Art,Football,Work at 9:23 PM

Not many of this guy in the building

Baby Steps

Posted Monday, January 23rd, 2017 08:50 am GMT -5 in Football,Work at 8:50 AM

Getting closer – a little farther each try

Crayola at the work house

Posted Friday, January 6th, 2017 08:06 pm GMT -5 in Art,Football,Shopping at 8:06 PM

New stuff at the Mall of America

One (more) and done

Posted Sunday, January 1st, 2017 05:32 am GMT -5 in Football,Work at 5:32 AM

It’s been a great first season (aside from the whole playoff thing)

Emma Boo and Roo

Posted Saturday, December 31st, 2016 04:05 pm GMT -5 in Family,Football,Friends at 4:05 PM

…in the house.

Should’ve started months ago

Posted Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 07:29 pm GMT -5 in Football,Friends,Sports,Work at 7:29 PM

Team member ultimate football (and field goal contest) 🏈

An office holiday card

Posted Wednesday, December 21st, 2016 12:54 pm GMT -5 in Football,Holidays,Links,Video,Work at 12:54 PM

http://www.vikings.com/holiday-card.html

Now look who’s here

Posted Sunday, December 18th, 2016 12:35 pm GMT -5 in Family,Football,Work at 12:35 PM

Dad and Lynn @ Colts-Vikes game

Rich and John in the news

Posted Saturday, December 17th, 2016 08:20 pm GMT -5 in Football,Friends,Links,Technology at 8:20 PM

http://www.startribune.com/virtual-vikings-team-wants-fans-on-its-app-for-food-replays/407155186/

Probably my favorite Viking

Posted Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 07:47 pm GMT -5 in Football at 7:47 PM

Hall of Fame bust of Justice Page

Another Central reunion

Posted Thursday, December 1st, 2016 11:39 pm GMT -5 in Football,Friends,Work at 11:39 PM

Great to see Erben, Courtney and Herm 

Hello Arizona

Posted Sunday, November 20th, 2016 12:25 pm GMT -5 in Food,Football,Work at 12:25 PM

Welcome to our house

Look who I ran into

Posted Friday, November 18th, 2016 07:44 pm GMT -5 in Football,Friends,Work at 7:44 PM

So nice to see Bill and Val

A full year of stadium life

Posted Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 07:34 pm GMT -5 in Football,Personal,Technology,Work at 7:34 PM

Today is my one year anniversary as IT director at that little building in downtown Minneapolis. This timing also corresponded to an all-staff task of writing individual reviews of what we’ve accomplished in the past year and I found the exercise a fun way to self-reflect. It’s really amazing how much progress has occurred, both physically with the building and professionally with our team.

There are still many things that need to be done, but I’m happy with where my group stands right now. We learn from every event and will get better and more efficient as we gain knowledge from what are some really unique and exciting experiences. It’s stressful and time-consuming, to be sure, but it’s also rewarding in ways that are unlike anything else I’ve seen during my career.

As I wrote in my review, this role is challenging on many levels: multiple partner organizations, political pressures, limited staffing resources, event-driven scheduling, a vast physical environment and multiple, complex systems. On the technology side of things, I get to work in familiar areas like networking, telephone systems, digital signage, mobile devices and workstations. But everything in the building is larger than life, so I’ve learned a lot about scaling and performance (especially with WiFi and cloud-based tools).

Technology is great, but I really feel that communication and customer service are just as important (if not more). With so many different groups in this project, it’s crucial that we manage those relationships properly to be successful. Everyone is important: the guests that pay to attend events, the state officials that entrust us to operate the building, the vendors that have provided the tools we use, the partner organizations that provide complimentary services, the team members on our own staff and, of course, the primary tenant that drives so many key decisions.

I’m very proud of the technology support team we’ve built so far. My one full-timer was a wonderful find (thanks Pash) and is rapidly developing into an all-star on par with the best I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the past. Our part-time event staff is vastly over-qualified for the tasks I ask them to perform, but it’s nice to know all that brain-power is there if we need it.

Lastly, I’m proud of the Skol Service pin I was awarded after a very long game day (see above). Staff recognition often gets overlooked, but even small tokens of appreciation like this can go a long ways in keeping people motivated and focused on providing excellent service. Excited to see what the next 365 days have in store…

The Apple Tour

Posted Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 10:18 pm GMT -5 in Football,Friends at 10:18 PM

Schoun in the locker room

We love the NFL

Posted Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 10:30 am GMT -5 in Football,Links,Technology at 10:30 AM

http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/21/13359892/microsoft-surface-nfl-tablets-patriots-defense

Welcome Texans

Posted Sunday, October 9th, 2016 08:02 pm GMT -5 in Food,Football,Work at 8:02 PM

Thanks for getting us to 5-0

Is there a doctor in the house?

Posted Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 03:43 pm GMT -5 in Football,Friends,Schools at 3:43 PM

Dr. Rossi and his crew from Rochester STEM Academy

Football nerds live here

Posted Monday, October 3rd, 2016 08:54 pm GMT -5 in Football,Technology,Work at 8:54 PM

Updating score bugs this week

10K resolution is a thing?

Posted Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 09:38 am GMT -5 in Football,Links,Technology,Television,Video at 9:38 AM

Trucks in the house

Posted Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 09:30 am GMT -5 in Football,Technology,Television at 9:30 AM

Monday Night Football broadcast by ESPN

They broke the plane

Posted Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 09:19 pm GMT -5 in Football,Friends at 9:19 PM

DP and his visitor from South Africa

Humid, but cool

Posted Monday, September 19th, 2016 02:32 am GMT -5 in Football,Weather,Work at 2:32 AM

Actually too hot, but glad they were open anyways

You can call me Al

Posted Monday, September 19th, 2016 02:31 am GMT -5 in Football,Television,Work at 2:31 AM

Al Michaels seems like a cool dude

 

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Husband, dad and stadium IT director

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Personal Records & Mileage

  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Full - 3:43:32
  • 50K - 7:37:00
  • 2018 Run Mileage: 93.2
  • 2018 Bike Mileage: 611

Upcoming Races

  • Get in Gear 10K - 4/27/2019

Upcoming Sporting Events

  • Saints vs. Winnipeg - 6/24
  • Saints vs. Sioux City - 6/27
  • Saints vs. Lincoln - 7/8
  • Saints vs. Cleburne - 7/9
  • Summer X Games - 7/19-22
  • Saints vs. Wichita - 7/25
  • Saints vs. Grand Prairie - 7/29
  • Twins vs. Cleveland - 7/30
  • Tottenham vs. AC Milan - 7/31
  • Saints vs. Kansas City - 8/5
  • Saints vs. Gary - 8/12
  • Twins vs. Pittsburgh - 8/15
  • Vikings vs. Jags (PRE) - 8/18
  • Vikings vs. Seattle (PRE) - 8/24
  • Saints vs. Winnipeg - 9/2
  • Vikings vs. 49ers - 9/9
  • Vikings vs. Bills - 9/23
  • Vikings vs. Cardinals - 10/14
  • Vikings vs. Saints - 10/28
  • Vikings vs. Lions - 11/4
  • Vikings vs. Packers - 11/25
  • Vikings vs. Miami - 12/16
  • Vikings vs. Bears - 12/30

Upcoming Concerts

  • Har Mar Superstar - 6/23, Fitzgerald
  • Chris Koza - 6/28, Music in Mears
  • Trampled by Turtles - 7/7, Bayfront
  • Dusty Heart - 7/12, Music in Mears
  • Dan Israel - 7/26, Music in Mears
  • HazelFest 2018 - 8/4, Hazelden
  • Jack White - 8/6, Armory
  • Beyonce & Jay Z - 8/8, USBS
  • Aby Wolf - 8/9, Music in Mears
  • Kind Country - 8/16, Music in Mears
  • Pearl Jam - 8/18, Wrigley Field
  • Pearl Jam - 8/20, Wrigley Field
  • Twilight Hours - 8/23, Music in Mears
  • Erik Koskinen - 8/30, Music in Mears
  • Taylor Swift - 8/31 & 9/1, USBS
  • Liz Phair - 9/15, First Ave
  • Hamilton - 9/18, State
  • Leon Bridges - 9/20, Palace
  • Avett Brothers - 10/11, Mystic Lake
  • Ed Sheeran - 10/20, USBS
  • Hippo Campus - 11/23, Palace
  • Elton John - 2/21/19, Target Center
  • P!nk - 5/5/19, Xcel