MINNEAPOLIS In order to understand the Metrodome, one has to understand stagnancy.
Scraps of trash flutter from the upper deck, directly down, down, down. Paper airplanes fly dead straight, coasting on the absence of breeze.
But the building is more complicated than that. In the best and loudest of moments, it is stagnancy exploded. There's no air to carry away the piercing cheers, and that balloon-like roof pushes them back to the turf. You'd think it would pop, but instead, it compresses the volume.
To Doug Martin, it was loud. To Greg Schiano, it was cranked. To Josh Freeman, it was deafening. Any halfway sane bystander would have demanded earplugs to dull the kind of noise that leaves ears ringing into the night.
And it was there, in the most hostile of atmospheres, that Martin burst forth. His team was the underdog. His opponent was still riding its surprising 5-2 start. He'd been building all season, adjusting to the pace of the NFL, which can leave rookies like him scram...