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Before departing for Super Bowl XI, pro football writers Dan Jenkins and Robert F. Jones debated the merits of Minnesota and Oakland. Dan gave Bob 15 reasons why, as he put it, "I prefer the Vikings over Don Corleone's godchildren." Bob didn't agree with any of them. "I'm picking the Raiders-over Frosty the Snowman," he said. "And it's obvious why Daniel is so flippant. When you're backing the wrong bulldog, you'd better start grinning as soon as you can. That way it doesn't smart so bad when you get whupped."
Dan: Minneapolis has the best airport in the NFL for renting a car or turning one in. It has clean air, a low crime rate, it rarely ever snows inside the restaurants and bars, a lot of the girls look like they stole their hair from Farrah Fawcett and it's three hours closer to New York.
Bob: Oakland may not be much for airports and chi-chi beaneries, but it's a tough town—about the only burg left in California where you can actually tell the men from the women. I like the atmosphere, a brawny mix of rust and salt and spiked beer. You can still smell the blood of the dead sea otters when you walk the fog in Jack London Square. In an Oakland bar you talk warily. The guy glowering over his boilermaker might be the illegitimate grandson of Wolf Larsen. Minneapolis, by contrast, is full of androgynes and repertory theaters. I think it even has a symphony orchestra. Some football town.
Bob: That "elegant purple" the Vikings wear isn't all uniform. Most Minnesotans acquire the hue early in November and remain so until the ice goes out on Memorial Day. The Raider black-and-silver suits may not be as pretty, but on their receivers they're the stickiest uniforms in the league. Rumor has it they're woven from flypaper. If Freddy Biletnikoff ever crashes into the end-zone fence, it will take at least half the Raider bench to pluck him off.