Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC
Hardest hitting safety in the NFL

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A + weekend for the Vikings draft


Day 1 of the Draft was finally here and I knew the Vikings did not have a first round pick although last year’s trade for Sam Bradford was our first pick and I do like that. I am selfish as a fan because I was so hoping the team would still trade up.

As it worked out the Vikes stayed out of the first which I was fine with after that night was over. I do think the big winner of the night was 49ers new GM, John Lynch who pulled off a stunner having the Bears give up way to much just to go from pick 3 to 2. What on earth Bears are you thinking? Oh well one less team to compete with the Vikings in the division.

Day 2 came and I was so anxious to see what he Vikings had in store for pick 48. Yes, Vikes GM Spielman came through and pulled off a trade to move up 7 positions to go to 41. My mindset is I don’t believe the team will move up to get O-Line help. I did come in Friday hoping for O-Line help by picking Forrest Lamp (Western Kentucky) or Cam Robinson (Alabama) but they were all gone even before 41 came. Who on earth Vikings did you move up to take? The answer: Dalvin Cook RB out of Florida State. I was in heaven getting him knowing what a great college runner he was. Yeah Vikings!!!!!

This NFL draft is unbelievably crazy with the Bears pick along with the Chiefs and Texans trade up to get their quarterbacks of the future. The other fact I read was of the first 96 picks 29 were cornerbacks and with the NFL getting to be a pass happy league this really makes sense,

Then later the team picks Pat Elflein, Center/Guard out of The Ohio State. I was in love with the pick and even more after I heard coach Zimmer say Pat could be a starter at center. Two picks, Cook and Elflein and I am giving the team an A+.

The Vikings Rick Spielman made 4 trades alone on Friday and last draft the Vikings made 3 total for the 3 day event.

I went to bed pretty pumped and could not wait to get up Saturday as I was headed to US Bank Stadium for the Draft Fest and catch all the draft there.

I got there at 10:30 and was pumped knowing the team had 7 picks although as it turned out by days end the team drafted 9 players to 11.

The cost was 20.00 and was worth every penny as I walked down all the stairs to go on to the field and take all the festivities in.

The TV’s had the draft on and KFAN broadcast for 12:00-5 so it was football heaven for myself and all other Viking fans.

Vikings play by play guy, Paul Allen made the Vikings first pick of the day and that was on NFL Network so I moved up to be a part of the craziness.

Everson Griffen came on stage to announce the next pick and the huge Skol drum was rolled in front of the stage and thus the beat and the Skol Chant began as Everson called out the pick.

Vikings HOF. Paul Krause was brought underneath the fire breathing dragon the team brought out to represent game day. It was an awesome sight. I was asked with a few other fans after Krause came out to stand behind him and cheer while the pick was being announced, If this didn’t give me chills I don’t know what will.

As for the draft I loved all the wheeling and dealing Spielman did to get 9 picks Saturday. I also love that 4 of the picks come from the Big 10. I look back and see the team took the following:

Jaleel Johnson-DT

Ben Gedeon-LB

Rodney Adams-WR

Danny Isidora-G

Bucky Hodges-TE

Stacy Coley-WR

Ifeadi Ogenigbo-DE
Elija Lee-LB

Jack Tocho-DB

The draft was 11 total with 6 offense and 5 defense. I absolutely love what the team did to fill needs. I did read twitter that #NFC North gave the Vikings an A and I cannot disagree. I am so fired up for this season after a weekend like this.

Thank for reading

Purplestick

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Breaking dowm the 2017 Vikings schedule

The NFL revealed its schedule on Thursday April 20th even though twitter leaked quite a bit information it was still fun to watch the revealing show.

As a long time Vikings season ticket holder I look forward to seeing when the first home game is and even more exciting is who the Purple will play.

The answer was: The New Orleans Saints which is exciting in itself but what makes it even more exciting is it’s on national TV on Monday night September 11th at 6:30. Yes, Drew Brees and company will be in town. This will be a great test right off the bat going up against the 2016 NFL leader in passing yards.

I am not going to break down every game rather look at each month with how many home and road games the team will face.

Let’s start with September with 3 games: New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Tampa bay. The team has 2 of 3 at home with the middle of the 3 sees the Vikes get to go and face former Vikings Defensive Coordinator, Mike Tomlin now Steelers coach and successful at that.

October sees Detroit, at Chicago, Green Bay, Baltimore and then the end of the month has the Vikes going to London to play Cleveland.  3 home games, and 2 road with one of the road games in London. The team gets to play 2 of the teams from the NFL North which are always fun and so much impact on the division early on. The London game is at 8:30am which will be strange being done with football by noon rather starting at noon.

September and October we will see the Vikes at home 5 of the 8 first games which really puts pressure on the team to get the home wins. I feel the NFL did the Vikes a favor. I also like the fact that the Vikings play in London and then get a bye the following week.

November at Washington, Los Angeles Rams and Thanksgiving Day at Detroit. This month will very tough as Washington with Kirk Cousins are a very good playoff caliber team and the Lions game on Thanksgiving is never easy. I do find it strange the Vikes will now play the Thanksgiving 2 years in a row.

December: At Atlanta, at Carolina, Cincinnati, at Green Bay and close out home vs Chicago. This month in my opinion will be the toughest month of the schedule. The Vikes start out the month vs the team who lost a heart breaker to the Patriots in last years Super Bowl and to make things worse this will be the first year for the Falcons to play in their brand new stadium. The team then goes to Carolina with Cam Newton and the boys. The Purple then comes home to play Cincinnati who is always seemingly contending with the Steelers for the AFC North title. Minnesota then gets to travel to Lambeau on Saturday night, December 23rd for a National TV game. The season ends like it did last year as the Chicago Bears come to US Bank in what I am hoping is a meaningless game for the Bears and the game means everything for Minnesota.

I can’t wait for 2017 Season with my every year hopes and dreams come true and the Minnesota Vikings become the first team in NFL history to play in a Super Bowl in their own home stadium. The saying anything is possible and all I can do is hope because I will be at every home game supporting my favorite team as I do each and every year. This is mmy 20th year of season tickets and I hope for a memory never to forget.

Thanks for reading Purplestick

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

2016 Minnesota Vikings- This is the Year


The 2015-2016 season came to a tough end losing to Seattle at home in the playoffs which was tough to take however I saw signs of encouragement during the year that really has me hyped for the upcoming season.

The defense really showed true signs that the future will be fun to watch and the offense with Adrian running hard and Teddy coming gives me so much hope that this team finally has turned the corner.

The offseason started with me not really feeling the team would make a big splash knowing the team is being built through the draft and I applaud that.

The free agent signings of veterans, Alex Boone and Andre Smith was a great surprise and also showed me that the team along with so much youth can afford to plug vital veterans in and that they did. The offensive line is going to be a great battle to watch in Mankato.

The signing of veteran safety, Michael Griffin was also a pleasant surprise. It seems the only lock back there that is a lock is Harrison Smith and after that it’s fair game. I love bringing in the veteran presence in Griffin.

The next excitement for me and all other fans is knowing not only that the new stadium is opening in July but that we also know who is coming and when they will be in town to face the purple. I have paid for our PSL’s and also paid off the season tickets. It will be my 18th season as a season ticket holder and proud to say I have only ever missed 2 games in this stretch.

The home opener, are you kidding the Green Bay Packers? If the NFL is not the best sport in America it is hard to beat. The border battle in Prime Time in the new stadium. I can’t even imagine how crazy it will be in there even before the game is played. It will be a day in Minnesota history to always remember.

The next excitement that just finished up was the 7 round draft in Chicago and I for one could not be happier as a Vikings fan. Yes, I know everyone can argue why the team took various players. I look at it as more competition at Mini Camps and then in Mankato for Training Camp.

I am sky high on the first 2 picks seeing Wide Receiver, Lequon Treadwell coming to us at pick 23. I love the 2nd round pick, Mackensie Alexander out of Clemson. The argument is he had 0 interceptions in college but everything I have read and seen he comes across as a confident shut down corner. I can only imagine Xavier Rhodes as one side and either Trae Waynes or Alexander. I am also a fan of Terrance Newman but do know his age and how much longer can he play so the 2 youngsters need to step it up and fight Newman for the position.

The pick I am most intrigued even more than the first round is our 6th rounder, Moritz Boehringer out of Germany. What a story is this young man? I can’t wait to see him on the field.

I wanted to look at the schedule and plug some of the draft choices the Vikings will see starting in Week 1:

Week # 1- at Tennessee who took OT Jake Conklin out of Michigan State. This team also has drafted the last 2 Heisman Trophy winners in Marcus Mariota and now this last weekend out of Alabama running back, Derrick Henry.

Week # 2- Home in Prime time vs the dreaded Green Bay Packers who took DT out of UCLA, Kenny Clark who will face our big and hungry offensive line and the new adds.

Week #3- at Carolina Panthers, last year’s Super Bowl rep from the NFC drafted Vernon Butler, DT out of Louisiana Tech.

Week # 4- Home vs New York Giants in Prime Time and they drafted out of Ohio State defensive back, Eli Apple who will go against our youngsters, Stefon Diggs and Treadwell just to name a couple.

Week # 5- Home vs Houston Texans and JJ Watt along with new free agent quarterback, 6’8” tall in Brock Osweiler and they drafted Wide Receiver, Will Fuller. This will be the first game of the season we will see 2 of the receivers drafted against each other with Fuller vs Treadwell.

Game # 6- at Philadelphia and number 2 pick overall Qauarterback, Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State.

Game # 7- at Chicago who drafted linebacker, Leonard Floyd out of the University of Georgia.

Game # 8- Home vs Detroit Lions who took OT out of Ohio State, Taylor Decker who will get to face the ferocious pass rush of the Purple.

Game # 9- at Washington who took WR out of TCU, Josh Doctson. It seemed in so many mock drafts had Josh going to the Vikings. It should be a great game to watch for this story line alone the two rookie wide outs.

Game # 10- Home vs Arizona and they drafted DE Robert Nkemdiche who will meet the new Vikings offensive line and will get welcomed to the NFL

Game # 11- Detroit- Thanksgiving Day-  Do I need to say more?

Game # 12- Home vs Dallas in Prime Time and they drafted out of Ohio State running back. Ezekiel Elliott. The comparisons of Aikman, Irvin and Emmitt vs Romo, Elliott and Dez Bryant have to stop and it will in Minneapolis in Prime Time.

Game # 13- at Jacksonville who drafted Defensive Back out of Florida State, Jalen Ramsey. I don’t know who he will face for Minnesota receivers but I for one would like to see Treadwell vs Ramsey.

Game # 14- Home vs Indianapolis who took out of Alabama center, Ryan Kelly.

Game  # 15- at Green Bay   I will say after the Vikings won the division last year at Lambeau that this game will be great. My hope is the Vikes will have the division wrapped up so this will just be another Border Battle.

Game # 16- Home vs Chicago   What a way to end the regular season before the playoffs start for the Vikings!!!

I am so excited for this season with so many reasons. I donor want to rush my life away but I will say when Training Camp and the season come I will be fully ready.

Thanks for reading

Go Vikes

Purplestick

Saturday, January 9, 2016

2015 Vikings, a season that continues on


The Minnesota Vikings came in to the 2015 season with high expectations from fans and even some of the media were actually talking good about the purple.

The draft was held and on paper appeared in my eyes to be a solid draft and continuing the last few years of getting guys that made the 53 man squad.

The preseason started off with a bang beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame game and then winning 3 more before losing the finale to Tennessee. Yes, the Vikes were 4-1 but they suffered a major loss when they lost starting right tackle, Phil Loadholt for the season. Oh no, my thoughts was who will take Loadholt’s spot?

The Vikings who had been struggling in the last couple of years were finally thought of high enough to play in the first game on National TV as they traveled to San Francisco. The Vikings were even a favorite and on the road. It was looking so good with so many 49ers retired; a brand new head coach and really 49ers I don’t believe were thought to be all that good.

The games do need to be played and to the horror to me and so many Vikings fans were in shock watching the 49ers look like world beaters as they seemed to do whatever they wanted to. I went to bed jut sick with my hopes on the season and to see the Vikes embarrassed on TV was tough.

It seemed that loss really woke up the Vikings for the season as they win the next 2 both at home. The season summary sees a heart breaking loss to the Broncos followed by wins 5 in a row before getting beat handily by the Packers which was a 3:30 national TV game. This game was even flexed and on to 3:30 national tv and once again disappointment.

I know the team goes to Atlanta after the Packer game and what do the Vikings do? They win on the road so once again I am feeling good knowing the next week we are back home to play Seattle who had no Marshawn Lynch. I thought a home game we should be able to take but I was wrong as I sat in my seats at TCF and watched the purple get destroyed by Seattle.

Oh no we now go to Arizona for a national tv game knowing the first 2 we were humiliated. The pregame guests were all picking Arizona by double digits. Please don’t get destroyed on TV again I prayed. Coach Zimmer had the boys ready to compete and compete they did. They played the heavily favored Cardinals tough and it came down to the controversial play with Teddy not throwing the ball away and instead get strip sacked when the team was in field goal range to at least send it into overtime. It was indeed a tough loss even though it was a game that was supposed to be one sided.

The team has 8 wins in their pocket eclipsing last year’s total of 7 and games left with 2 home and 1 on the road.

Minnesota wins the next 2 at home by a combined score of 87-34 beating Chicago and New York Giants and yes the season may have taken even a better turn as the Giants game had been flexed to prime time in which the Vikings had been 1-15 in national TV Games. It was so cold that night but the real heat was put on by the Vikes defense as they harassed Eli Manning all night. Destruction on national TV was a game never to forget.

The season comes down to this in which the NFL had to love as the 10-5 Minnesota Vikings traveled to take on the 10-5 Green Bay Packers. The winner takes the division and earns the number3 seed and a home game. Which Vikings team will show up?

The Vikes take a commanding 20-3 lead and yet I was not comfortable until the game clock said 0:00. The Packers did make a tremendous comeback in fact coming down to the final Hail Mary pass into the end zone.

I stood up in my chair with my heart pounding out of my body and I kept saying to myself. Please knock it down and you are division champs.

The defense makes the play and I get to see the team I cheer for my whole life go running onto the field. The dowsing of Gatorade on Coach Zimmer was the moment of the season.

The Minnesota Vikings are your 2015-2-16 NFC North Division Champs. That saying both seeing and saying it is incredible and what a rush.

The Seattle Seahawks now come to town and not many are giving the Vikes a prayer but I feel until the game cock say 0:00 I won’t stop believing.

The season had so many players step up in the regular season beginning with rookie wide out,Stefon Diggs. He is inactive the first 3 games of the season and finally inserted into the lineup and what does he do the rest of the season? He catches 52 balls for 720 yards and 4 TD’s.

Blair Walsh stated our shaky and so much talk in the media will the Vikes keep or cut? He ends up going 34-39 on field goals including 6 of 50 yards or longer including a 54 yarder. Blair kicked 33-37 PAT’s good for 135 points.

How about Eric Kendricks, 2nd round draft out of UCLA? His year was so good he ended up being the first rookie to lead the Vikings in tackles since 1961.

Linval Joseph I believe would have been pro bowl bound if he had not been injured. The man was a beast in the middle.

Who can forget Harrison’s Smith season including an interception return for a TD which broke the Vikes all-time record for interceptions returns for touchdowns.

Rookies, Danielle Hunter who wears # 99 had 4.5 sacks in college total gets 6 in his first year alone with the Vikings.

Teddy Bridgewater’s 2nd great December in a row really helped propel the offense and his pass completion percent and passer rating were unbelievable.

Adrian Peterson is out all but 1 game last season comes back to win the NFL rushing title and gets his 8th season of touchdowns in is career.

There were so many players who stepped up and just because I didn’t write about them specifically does not mean they didn’t have a good year. It is truly a team sport.

The offensive line say what you want about them seemed to get the job when it really counted. Offensive line coach, Jeff Davidson might be his best job yet.

Mike Zimmer in my eyes even though it may not happen should be the NFL Coach of the year with all the accomplishments including a division title and going 5-1 in the NFC North. He has my vote!!!!

The season opening loss to the 49ers and yet the Vikes go onto make the playoffs while the 49ers season turned so sour they fired their coach in only his first season in charge.

The Vikes go 6-2 at home and a whopping 5 wins on the road which is incredible.  Add in the Vikes winning for the first time since 2007 in Chicago. This season had so many things that normally go wrong go right.

The season continues Sunday January 10th in what is expected to be a top 10 coldest ever playoff game in the NFL.

I will be there and I predict the upset as I say the Vikes win 20-10.

Thanks for reading

Todd Walkingstick

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Vikings crank up the defense leading to a big road win in Detroit


The Minnesota Vikings traveled to Detroit to take on the Lions and looking for a rare road win while Detroit comes in with their first win last week in the home OT win over the Bears.

The way the game started out in the first half watching the Lions march easily down the field and put up 2 touchdowns made me anxious and somewhat concerned. The Minnesota Vikings come in giving up a league low 16 points a game and the Lions already had 17 was this a sign it might not be the Vikings game?

Teddy is so fun to watch yet at times can be a little frustrating. I have so much mixed emotion of what I am seeing. Teddy completes 25 of 35 for 316 yards and that is awesome yet takes some bad sacks at times. Yes, he is young and will learn so with that I can be optimistic. He has through the early weeks taken some big times hits and I do worry that one time he may not get up.

The offensive line makes me want to close my eyes at times watching them get out physicaled seemingly much of the time but I also know just how inexperienced these guys are so do I have a right to be concerned? I think so yet it is a good learning year for TJ Clemmings and Brandon Fusco with one a rookie and the other playing a position new to him. I will leave my faith in Coach Davidson that he will get these guys playing better in the future.

My other thought with the O-Line comes with Adrian Peterson. Is he dancing too much because there is no hole? As strong as he is I would love to see him lower his head and just hit the line. It seemed Jerick McKinnon had a few good runs on Sunday.

The offense seemed to be able to move the ball better 2nd quarter and beyond but seemed to stall too much. Blair Walsh who has been a talker early season had maybe the game of his career as far as need. Yes, he missed an extra point but in the first half connected on a 53 yarder and at half hit a 51 yarder to leave the Vikings only down 2 at half.

The Vikings get the ball back 2ndf half and with the first drive ends with an incredible Stefon Diggs 36 yard reception from Teddy. If this is not a ESPN top 10 play from Sunday I will be shocked.

This game was so strange watching the Lions score 17 points fairly early in the game and the rest of the game get 2 on a Vikings safety.

The Vikings score 22 straight until the last 2 by the Lions. The TV screen showed a stat going up to the last Lions drive that stalled at the goal line on 4th down that the Lions only had 5 total yards.

The Mike Zimmer lead defense put on a blitz clinic leaving Lions quarterback, Matthew Stafford repeatedly lying on the ground after a hit. The Vikings sack him 7 times which ties a record of a team that has sacked Stafford in one game.

The look of disgust each play was enjoyable and so much needed by the Vikings. The team struggles to win on the road but Sunday a team showed up that was determined to get that illusive road win.

I am so proud to be a Vikings fan each week but today just felt extra special. Was it a perfect game? No, but it was a team win!!!!

If I was a fan who could give game balls out I would give them to:

1) Stefon Diggs with his 6 catches for 108 yards and his first NFL touchdown which will be a top 10 play on ESPN

2) Mike Zimmer for the defensive call that caused so much destruction of the Lions offense

3) Blair Walsh 5-5 on field goals including 2 over 50 and yes I know he did miss an extra point.

4) Teddy Bridgewater who finished 25-35 316 yards 2 touchdowns and NO Interceptions

This is a great Sunday watching the Vikings getting a rare road win and in the NFC North even. The Packers (6-0) are on a bye week so a loss today would have really hurt the Vikings. It should be a fun flight back from Detroit for the team and now must get ready for another NFC North road trip as the team travels to Soldier Field to take on the Bears.

On a sad note the death of Timberwolves part owner, GM and coach Flip Saunders at age 60  on Sunday should be a sign to all of us to just enjoy what we have today because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring us. RIP Flip Saunders

Thanks for reading

Todd Walkingstick