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Answer Man: Salt's not cheap, but MnDOT doesn't scrimp

Oh Salty Dog, I've read that highway salt is pretty pricey this year because of last winter's heavy dump? Does that means MnDOT will be more stingy with its use? -- Red-Nosed Rudolph in Kasson

The short answer is no, said MnDOT spokesman Mike Dougherty , who has been a busy man during this first winter storm of the season.

"MnDOT is always looking at ways to save on salt but also get the job done well, which can be challenging," Mike said. Snowplow operators are trained in "efficient and effective use of salt," which includes knowing when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em -- for example, there's no sense in using salt when it's too cold for it to be effective. The department also has brine at its disposal, a liquid application that uses less salt, and its decisions on salt also take into account the environmental impact, not just the cost.

But clearly, "MnDOT won't scrimp on salt in storms like this," Mike said.

Dear Answer Man, during the Packers-Bears game on Sunday, the announcer said a record was broken that dated back to the Rochester Jeffersons . I'm going to assume those Jeffersons weren't in our little Rochester, but could it be???? -- Klein


It couldn't.

But just imagine if our little Rochester had once upon a time had an NFL team, or better yet, still did? We'd be the darling of the NFL, like small-market Green Bay -- we're about the same size. Maybe we'd have a big, historic stadium that the RCTC Yellowjackets could use on Saturdays. There'd be no need for the Minnesota Vikings.

Alas, the Jeffersons were at home in Rochester, N.Y. They started as an amateur team that played on a field along Jefferson Avenue in Rochester, N.Y., as early as 1898. In 1920, they joined the American Professional Football Association, which turned into the NFL in 1922, but the team never really competed in the top tier. The clock ran out on the Jeffersons in 1925.

For the record, the Bears were founding members of the APFA in 1920, and the Packers joined in 1921. And what was the record that Mike heard about the other night? The Bears were the first team to allow 50 points in two consecutive games since the Jeffersons did it in 1923.

Has a team done it three times in a row? If so, it was probably the Jeffersons.

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