I wish I was able to hear today's discussion at Peace House, in case it dealt with this non-story.
Jake Nyberg, known Twitter commodity, writer, and musician from Minneapolis, apparently wanted to embarrass the Minnesota Vikings and force the team to deny they would help homeless people. So he started a rumor on Twitter that they were providing shelter in the new stadium, hoping the fake news would spread and force the team to appear to turn its backs on homeless people.
I followed Jake Nyberg for years when I used Twitter and also follow him on Facebook. He's a guy who often comments on sports and popular culture but is also a solid guy in his profession and volunteer life.
To me it's pretty apparent this is a satirical comment that draws upon multiple current news threads—an abysmal Vikings performance, controversy about political favoritism in giving tickets to connected people in private suites, and a cold blast that will affect the unfavored who can't get into The People's Stadium for any reason.
Without parsing it too finely, it's hard for me to imagine anyone taking this unattributed snark as anything real.
Especially if you're actually homeless.
First, Twitter is hardly a thing on the streets, and if it was, it's unlikely an ad guy-musician-sports commenter would be a popular follow. Or the retweeter, who runs a fitness club.
Second, Minneapolis has a system for assigning emergency shelter slots that specifically addresses the problem of people on foot shuffling around the city to find a bed and then discovering one isn't available. It's called Adult Shelter Connect.
The system is known on the street, and people who know the ropes look out for people who don't. I suspect that's a primary reason why there were no people showing up at the stadium looking for shelter that night.
Nevertheless, the local media jumped on this as a hoax, sounding off as if Nyberg deliberately tried to put one over on them.
Sportscaster Mark Rosen huffed that "You don't yell 'fire' in a crowded theater."
Well, Twitter is a theater crowded with people who don't really have a clue about shelters or life on the streets.
Meanwhile, the folks actually at risk seem to have handled the chill because they were well aware it was coming and they had no illusions about where help might come from.