Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Don't stop believing

The NFL season has been one I feel should go down as one of the best in many years. The start of the season with the refs holding out until the “Fail Mary” controversial ending with Seahawks fans saying good call and the Packers fans believe they had an interception.

This season has been unreal with the comeback of Peyton Manning and leading the Denver Broncos to 11 straight wins and a number one seed in the AFC.

RGIII drafted number 2 overall leads the Redskins to 7 straight wins including the NFC East crown. The Redskins are also hosting their first home game since 1999.

How about the Seattle Seahawks and the offseason they sign quarterback Matt Flynn in free agency coming from the Packers organization. The Seahawks already had Tarvaris Jackson and then draft Russell Wilson in the 3rd round coming out of the University of Wisconsin. You would think logic may put Flynn is as starter after signing him to a big contract. As you know the answer as Wilson not only beats out Flynn and Jackson he has lead the Seahawks to the playoffs. His name has also been thrown in as a possible rookie of the year.

The Indianapolis Colts finish 2-14 in 2011 and fire the head coach. The Colts have the number one pick overall and draft Andrew Luck. The Colts head coach then step down on a medical leave and Bruce Arians fills in to guide the way. It was supposed to be the start of a rebuilding year except the funny thing is the Colts finish 11-5 and make the playoffs. A 9 game improvement from last year is unbelievable. A new coach and rookie quarterback and a place in the playoffs is so good for football.

The expected turned in this year to the unexpected. The Pittsburgh Steelers seemingly every year are regular playoffs until this season. They must no wait to next year.

The craziness in Bear land as they start out 7-1 and miss the playoffs then Coach Lovie Smith is fired on Monday.

The term Black Monday really hit the NFL hard Monday as big name coaches were fired. 14 years in Philadelphia and then today Andy Reid is looking for work.

The craziness that is the NFL now has a favorite story of mine and that is the Minnesota Vikings are in the playoffs.

The Las Vegas odds on Monday have the Vikings now at 35-1 to win the Super Bowl and in the game Saturday in Lambeau the Packers are favored by almost 8.

The game still needs to be played before a winner can come out and move on to the next round.

The Vikings have had disappointments in the playoffs as well as success. On January 9, 2005 the Vikings traveled to Green Bay and beat the Packers 31-17 in Lambeau.

On January 3, 1988 the Vikings traveled to New Orleans and then January 10 went to San Francisco as both Vikings games were wins by the Vikes and on the road.

In going back a few years on December 14, 1980 at Old Met Stadium Vikings fans saw Tommy Kramer throw a Hail Mary only to see Ahmad Rashad come down and end up in the end zone sending the Vikings into the playoffs.

I know there has been plenty of disappointment but for this article I am pointing out positive reasons on why this team has a chance in Lambeau Saturday night.

This season has had so many pleasant surprises one more would be ok in this guys’ household. The mystique of Lambeau field and the weather are facts this young Vikings team will survive.

The stopping Peterson theory has been tried week in and week out only ended with the result 2097 yards for the season. The teams counting on Ponder to give the game away is not quite working so well.
A year with rookie quarterbacks having great years and teams from 2011 who had terrible records has turned around in 2012 for some.

I am not saying it will be easy in fact it will be the toughest test of a few years. It can be done. Please do not stop believing. I look forward to seeing the Purple on TV giving the Packers everything they want and more.

My hope is a victory and then the Vikings would play in Atlanta on Sunday January 13th at noon. It is my birthday on January 13th as what a present that would be. I will never forget 1998 and as I sat in my seat in disbelief watching Coach Dan Reeves and the Falcons doing the Dirty Bird on the state and watched them accept the NFC Trophy.
Don’t forget Vegas had the Vikings winning 5-6 for the year and what do they do? Yes a 10-6 record and now has the country talking the Vikes. It can be done!!!!!

Thanks for reading
Purplestick



More thoughts on the day after

I got home late Sunday after the game and was full of so excitement. I was emotionally drained yet was so excited to sit down and type my thoughts after the game of a lifetime.

I woke up after a good night of sleep and had thoughts pop in my head that I did not even think about when I was typing last night. This game had so many angles and story lines you could write a book.

I was reflecting back on the season that saw the team only loses one time at home against Tampa Bay. It was a loss and I feel if the team played that game was played 10 times I feel in my heart the Vikes would win 9 of those. It was just a game that did not typify the home schedule and the way the team had performed. Yes, it was a loss and I will leave it at that.

I will go back farther to the first game of the schedule. The Jacksonville Jaguars score a touchdown late in the 4th quarter. Who can forget the 2 throws Christian Ponder made to get the team into field goal position and send the game into overtime? Who would have thought the 55 yard field goal made by Walsh would be the first of him making 9 more during the season? A perfect 10-10 breaking the NFL record of field goals made of 50 plus in one season is what this rookie out of Georgia did. I hear so much on TV with the controversy on whether a kicker is a football player. The man was as part of the team as anyone.

The last game of the season playing the biggest rival team with a game that had so much on the line. How did the game end? Yes, a field goal by Blair Walsh sending the team running onto the field in joy. The first and last home games ends with winning field goals. Do we have Mr. Clutch?

The Vikings last 2 seasons has been disastrous against the NFC North and after Sunday’s win finished 4-2 against these teams. What an accomplishment. I finally get a coffee at work from a Packers fan after I have had to buy the last 5 rounds.

The story of Christian Ponder is such a big debate on whether he can make it in the NFL as a legitimate quarterback. It has been such an up and down year and at work I take such a pounding from coworkers when Ponder had his sub 100 yard performances. It is not fun to watch him perform like that but I also have faith in Coach Frazier with the way he handles the quarterback.

I will not pronounce him Hall of Fame but the last 3 weeks he has really played well. Yes, I know 3 games is not a season. I do like how he battles and my assumption is he knows what the media is saying.

The guy in the last 3 weeks with each game basically a loss and out I thought he has done nothing to hurt the team and only helped. The fact that Peterson is the most feared weapon the Vikings have. Teams know this and stack the line of scrimmage only to watch AP go, go, go. The play of Ponder could not have come at a better time. I looked back at the stats of the last 3 games and was reminded there have been 0 interceptions thrown and he has thrown 4 touchdowns in this span.

I love the steps this man is taking for the positive. The game against Green Bay I remind you that it was said the Vikings offense cannot match the Packers high powered offense. The final score Aaron Rodgers 4 touchdowns Christian Ponder 3 touchdowns also Ponder’s passing rate at 120.2.

The throw that Ponder made late in the game with the Vikings on a 3rd and 10 knowing if they fail the ball goes back to Green Bay with a chance to win it late. I believe the Packers have one of the better pass defenses so to see Michael Jenkins wide open on the sideline was unbelievable. The fact he was so open was one thing but for Ponder to recognize this I say, Kudos to Ponder for getting the ball to him.

I may get ripped for supporting Ponder but I have to go with what I saw Sunday. The 2 biggest tests of the season facing San Francisco at home and then Green Bay I feel Ponder played the 2 best games of his career.

The cost of season tickets is so worth it as I can be in there and feel like part of the team. If you watch the game on TV you only see what is shown. If you go to the game you can watch whatever your eyeballs can handle.

It has been such a rewarding season and I know going to Green Bay will be tough. I feel like we played with them last time minus some turnovers and then Sunday’s ending in a win. It can and will be done.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Reliving Packers going down in the dome

A day that meant everything to the Vikings team and fans in the end did not disappoint. As a 13 year season ticket holder I have seen devastation involving losses at home where the Vikings were favorites and ended up breaking my heart. Sunday just brought feelings of jubilation like I have never felt.

The day started out as we got to the dome 2 hours early and went in to watch warm ups. The amount of Packers fans in there was extremely disturbing.

We made our way up to our seats and this year we have not had the same people by us at all so we had no idea who we would be sitting by. The question was soon answered as Packers fans were all around. It is the worst feeling to see this much green and yellow and to hear the chant Go-Pack-Go. My thought is Go home Pack. We did have an interesting fan sit 2 seats down from me. He was a Bears fans dressed in his Bears colors amongst the Packers fans. He was leading the cheer Go Pack Go. I thought this is all we need to hear this over and over.

I was impressed at least in my section that was very fan friendly. It was jawing back and forth with smiles, beer held up and no swearing from people. This might be the best crowd I have been involved with in this great rivalry game.

The first quarter really started out nice for the Vikings and kept the Packers fans quite in our section. I know in my heart Green Bay can score at will so I did not feel that secure up 10-0.

The fans base was actually fun as the chants of MVP MVP rang throughout the dome many times. I was even hearing Packers fans today admitting they were impressed with Peterson.

Adrian is known for his yards and ringing up all sorts of records but I would like to point out something that is not a stat. The roll out by Christian Ponder and finding Jarius Wright for a touchdown was helped in a big way by AP. I do not know if you noticed but on that play Clay Mathews appeared to have a free run at Ponder when Adrian stepped in and threw a beautiful block on Mathews knocking him down to the ground.

The Packers I thought were going to go into halftime down 20-7 but Aaron Rogers orchestrates a drive that ended up in a 50 plus field goal. My heart told me this may come back to haunt. Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby has had such a bad year and then we see him boon it through. This was an emotion we do not need to give the Packers back. The second half the Pack gets the ball back and if they score in the 3rd quarter they are right back in it. They scored a touchdown and now we have a battle.

I was so impressed with the Vikings offense Sunday with the ability after a Packer score the Vikings would march it down and score.

I watched the NFL network all week prior to the game and when it came time to break down the game one of the analysts made a comment that the Vikings offense cannot keep up with the Packers offense. I guess he was wrong.

The scrutiny of the receivers for most of the year was not to be on Sunday. I feel this is the best the receivers looked all year. The lack of the deep ball questioned weekly saw Sunday Christian throw as nice of ball as he thrown all year. The touch Ponder had putting air under the ball letting it fly and have Jarius Wright run under it. He was a step from scoring. What a throw!!

I also thought Michael Jenkins and Jerome Simpson came up huge Sunday. The saying is December is when the good teams play good ball is happening in Minnesota and the receivers are coming through as well. The catch by Jenkins in the end zone was simply amazing.

I thought the offensive line played well once again in pass protection as well as run blocking. These guys have really had a great year and playing all 16 games together has been a huge asset.

The defensive line what can you say except they busted their butts all day. The effort put in every play is so impressive. The stat of 5 sacks is just a number and does not tell the story the line put on Rogers chasing and harassing him all day. What a great day by Everson Griffen in fact what a great month as the game in St. Louis he had the interception td. The man is playing like a man possessed.

I really thought the Packers would run more screen plays than they did. One frustrating thing was the Packers were able to run the ball at times. Things will have to be buttoned down big time in the rematch.

It was awesome to be at a game where the team wins and is in the playoffs, and to see Adrian become the 7th man in NFL history to run for over 2000 yards. If he is not MVP something is wrong in the system. It is hard to believe so close to Eric Dickerson’s record but not meant to be. It can’t be too bad to have the 2nd most rushing yards ever in one season. I think we have just seen the beginning of this man.

The run by Peterson to set up the game winning field goal was electrifying. Blair Walsh comes out and with that is a thought of a previous game. In 1998 Gary Anderson made 35 field goals and missed 0 until the crucial one in the NFC Championship. I closed my eyes and said a prayer.

The snap by Cullen Loeffler, the place by Chris Kluwe and the kick by Blair Walsh is good. The dome erupted as I look around and see all the green and yellow sitting in shock.

It was so rewarding for this fan who has had heartbreaks over the years and now Sunday can leave the dome with a smile and a heart beating 2 million miles a minute. I will say the fans did not leave for quite some time even after the games was over. Fans waited for Adrian Peterson to get done with his interviews so they could cheer as he made his way to the locker room.

Walsh has been money all year and even kicking his 10th field goal of 50 plus yards. The field goal to win the game was his 35th field goal of the year tying Gary Anderson’s team record of 35. I could not be happier for this young man. Oh by the way, his kickoffs were magnificent Sunday as well.

The win putting the record at 10-6 also goes down in the Vikings history book. The jump of 7 wins from one season to the next goes down in Vikings history. The previous was 6. It is incredible to go from 3 wins to 10 wins and now is in the playoffs.
I thought the fans Sunday did a tremendous job of making noise and just being there for this team.

I am emotionally wiped, my hands hurt from clapping and my voice is shot. I am so thankful for this season. A team of youngsters and a young coach experience wise who would have known? I said in early August I felt like the team can get to 10-6. Guess what? Here we are.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick



Saturday, December 29, 2012

Twas the night before the big game

Twas the night before the big game with the dome in a glow

The street lights in Minneapolis were lit and pedestrians’ traffic was low.

The Mall of America during the day before the battle had a big spread of people in their green and yellow clothing and hats

The most beautiful sight was just as many if not more fans clad in their purple and yellow

Their stood in front of Vikings Locker Room was a Vikings cheerleader at each side of the door

Packer’s fans went by as I watched and even saw a Packers fan get his picture taken with the enemy before tomorrow’s war.

The sporting stores had both teams represented in the opening which is hard to take

A Vikings win and in meaning so much at stake.

The night has come and with that are thoughts

The time will soon be here and fans will soon be tailgating in their lots.

I have seen through the years groups of fans that represent both teams

The husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends in different jerseys yet smiling it seems

The battle is near

Does each team have a fear?

The later the game starts the longer tailgating goes

I just hope the police do not have to come in the stands and take people out in rows

It is a game and fans cannot do the scoring

I just know the game will not be boring

The Packers fans come by the hundreds

My hope is those same hundreds are leaving early in disappointment.

I do not know what the night for sleep will bring

I have set my alarm and look forward to the ring.

The next thing I know I will be heading north to the big game

If I am tired I have no one to blame

As a season ticket holder this last game who would have known

Leslie Frazier has lead the team to a season that was not blown.

Let’s cheer out Purple on, Let’s lose our voices, let’s get crazy

It’s a game where a fan WILL NOT BE LAZY!!!!!

V-I-K-I-N-G-S

Skol Vikings
Thanks for reading
Purplestick











Friday, December 28, 2012

The Final Word- Border Battle Part 2

The amount of TV I have watched and specifically this week has been dominated with the NFL Network. The questions answered by the panels and breaking down the game has been very interesting. The radio I listen to is as always KFAN me so fired up. It has been a great week leading up to the game.

Minneapolis has announced that the Target Headquarters, 35W Bridge and Lowry Bridge will be lit up in purple all weekend. The seats at the game will also have white towels on each seat for fans to wave. The last time towels were handed out was at the 2009 Dallas playoff game.

The odds in Vegas for the Vikings to win the Super Bowl is rising having the Vikings as 75-1 odds in Week 16 and now coming into week 17 they are at 50-1.
The Green Bay Packers are rising as well as Week 16 they were 15-2 odds and now are at 6-1. It would be just another sweet reason to knock off one of Vegas’ favorites in our own building.

The Packers are still a 3 point favorite which I understand being they are 11-4 and in 1st place in the NFC North.

The FOX crew is Troy Aikman, Joe Buck and on the sideline will be Pam Oliver.
The referee for the game and he is my favorite is Mike Carey. I believe he gives the best explanations of what the infraction is. He is also a referee who thrown the most players out of games in the NFL.

The TV show, The Voice, just finished and the man who finished third in the competition is right here from Minnesota. His name is Nicholas David and he will be blowing the Gjalarhorn for Sunday’s game signaling the Vikings are coming.

This is a game although I am pumped also know facing a fact if the team would lose all those I deal with on a constant level are those who question me on my passion. The comment and poking fun of the Vikings always choking is tough to listen. It is the hope of mine this weekend that the non-believers start seeing what I see and show the support of this young and exciting team.

This is the Sunday where the Vikings win and moved on in fact I will change my score and say the Vikings win in a blowout 35-13.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Playoffs here we come

The last time I can remember a game of this magnitude at Mall of America Field I go back to the 2009 season when the Dallas Cowboys came in for a playoff game. It was so unbelievably loud in there you could not here yourself think. The Vikings did not disappoint and demolished the Cowboys.

The Packers now come in as the hated rival for the biggest game of the year. I fully expect maybe the loudest crowd ever. I would be disappointed with anything but this. I want it so loud you cannot talk to the next person to you. I want it so you have to read lips because you simply cannot hear. I would be ok if the only time you can talk to someone is at the half.

The game a few weeks ago ended in a painful loss to the Packers in a game most Vikings fans thought was winnable. Adrian runs for 210 but Ponder has 2 painful interceptions.
I believe both teams are better since that day and both teams will have guys back on the defensive side of the ball that were not there back a few weeks ago. The Packers will have most players back including Clay Mathews who has 12 sacks for the year. This time the Vikings will have cornerback Chris Cook back. The Packers’ Charles Woodson has been ruled out.

This article I will stay away from stats rather thoughts on what needs to happen to get the Vikings a W and move on.

I would like to start with the opening coin toss. I would like to see the Vikings if they win defer to the second half. I want the crowd into the game right out of the gate with the Packers on offense. Let’s get this stadium rocking.

Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, as much as I dislike the Packers have to admit this guy is deadly accurate. He has the ability to beat the blitz with his quick release.

The last time these 2 teams faced each other the Packers running game worked very well for them which helped Rodgers and the passing offense. They seem to run by committee so the Vikings defense needs to be prepared for the different running styles they will see.

The last week in Houston the Vikings run defense was as good as I have seen all year. They really put the clamp down on Arian Foster and Ben Tate. The exciting of this is it was done on the road.

The Packers come in to a hostile environment and will face a team who the last 3 weeks is tackling much better. I believe the Vikings defense comes to play and makes Green Bay one dimensional. The Vikings team speed is showing in the last few weeks.

The biggest key is getting ahead of the Packers on the scoreboard. The Vikings have done that the last couple of weeks. This will help making Green Bay one dimensional.
Rodgers still is a threat even being one dimensional. The Vikings have had very good luck in sacking Rodgers at home. My feeling is the Packers will have Rodgers rolling out of the pocket. The key here and it is a major key is the Vikings defensive backs getting physical and hitting them in the 5 yard area. The Packers are such a rhythm team so if we can hit these guys and knock them around could be a major difference. This is the first time since 2009 we actually have guys in the secondary who are healthy.

Houston is a very good screen passing team with Arian Foster coming out of the backfield for the pass. I thought the Vikings did a tremendous job of shutting it down. The Packers I believe are the best pass screening team in the NFC. The Vikings linebackers need to play in control and do not get caught up field. This is another case where veteran Chad Greenway who also got snubbed will get a chance to show America just what kind of player he is.

I believe the crowd noise, the pass rush and hitting both Packers receivers and potential screen recipients will give the advantage to the Vikings.

One thing I will look for is to see how long the Packers go with some of their players if the Vikings can get physical. The Packers are in the playoffs already so do they want to risk guys who can help them in the playoffs?

I am convinced the crowd noise will be a major reason in why the Vikings will win. The Vikings will get the 6th seed and Packers most likely 3rd seed meaning the next week a rematch in Lambeau Field.

The Vikings offense will be facing a healthier Packers defense lead by Clay Mathews. Peterson did get his 210 without Mathews in the game. I believe the difference will be the Vikings offensive line. On Wednesday Pro Bowl announcements were made snubbing 2 of the Vikings offensive linemen. If ever there was an incentive with not only playing your chief rival but getting snubbed this would be a great chance to get frustration out and knock the heck out of the Packers defensive line. I am looking for Peterson to get the 2000 mark but I feel even stronger that Eric Dickerson’s record will crumble. An angry Vikings offensive line will do some road grading this weekend.

The play of Ponder in game in Lambeau I believe was a wakeup call knowing he threw 2 terrible passes. I would not be surprised if the Packers took chances trying to intercept but to no avail. If we can get another Houston type game out of Ponder, playoffs here we come.

The fact that Clay Mathews is quick at the outside rush should me it fun to see Peterson on a draw go up the gut and Vikings play by play caller Paul Allen can once again call out “Adrian’s loose.” There is nothing better to watch a team who gets around the edge quickly only to see a team hand off. Mathews strength is definitely pass rush so we will see how he along with his Packers defensive mates attempts to tackle a wild bull coming out of the pen.

On the line a trip to the playoffs with a win and would like to see AP get the 2000 mark for sure and for good measure give him the new NFL record. All this in front of the crazies at home against the disliked cheese heads from Wisconsin.

It will be a day never to forget in Vikings history. The year of biggest improvement capped off by a trip to the playoffs.

I am fired up, how about you?

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Rooting for Coach Frazier to be Coach of the Year

I am a big Coach Leslie Frazier supporter and believe he should be coach of the year in 2012. I have talked to many people who do not like the fact that he shows emotion on the sideline. I seem to remember another coach who walked the Vikings sideline and did not show emotion named Bud Grant. I am not saying Frazier is in Grants boots yet, just stating the coaching style.

The Vikings had a coach who seemed to be pretty vocal in Brad Childress who is not around anymore. I never like to see anyone in the world get fired but in this case a change was needed.

The first year Frazier took over the team got 6 wins but Frazier only coached the tail end of that season. In 2011 in his first year in charge had the unfortunate season that provided 3 wins tying a franchise low with Les Stekel.

In 2012 coming into training camp the team lost over 20 players from the previous season either by leaving by free agency, retirement. That was concerning and then cutting veteran kicker Ryan Longwell and keeping the kid, Blair Walsh.

Coach Frazier has had to make some tough decisions such as cutting 1st round pick Bryant McKinnie in 2011 camp. It set a real tone I believe to show the team that you need to perform or you may not be around.

Frazier has had to deal with the media when it came to Christian Ponder’s poor passing performance yet Frazier stood behind Ponder when there seem to be doubters. The last home game and hearing the boo birds when Ponder’s name was announced as a starter was concerning. The play of Ponder against Houston was so nice to see and maybe a confidence builder for the future.

The team now has a chance to make Vikings history with the biggest turnaround from one season to the next when they beat the Packers. It is unreal going from 3 wins and with over 20 new players and this is what we are facing, history. A win and we are in.
The fact that there are over 20 new players is not so much the big story rather the age of these contributors. There were 10 draft choices this year and 8 made the team. Greg Childs was lost in training camp for the year. These draft choices are huge. A starting left tackle in Matt Kalil, Pro Bowl bound Blair Walsh, safety Harrison Smith are just some of the names. I look at other draft choices such as tight end Kyle Rudolph who is 2 touchdowns away from tying the Vikings tight end record of 11 touchdowns.

The game last Sunday against Houston 17 of the 22 staters were draft choices. That is 77 percent. The offense had 8 draft choices starting and the other 3 that were not draft choices were free agents: Jerome Simpson, Michael Jenkins and Charlie Johnson. The defense had 9 draft choices with only Antoine Winfield and Erin Hernderson as non Vikings draft choices. Erin did make it the hard wayt coming in a Vikings rookie free agent and made the team.

Coach Frazier has shown confidence in these youngsters and it is paying off now and the future is looking brighter.

I read a tweet by NFL insider Chris Mortenson who mentioned Colts coach Bruce Arians for the coach of the year but do not forget Leslie Frazier’s name.

On the NFL Network show Coach Frazier’s name was mentioned again for this honor. It is so nice to hear Coach Frazier’s name mentioned in the national media.

I am only a fan and do not have control on who win the honor but if it was up to me Coach Frazier wins hands down. I like to know that even if he does not win he is at least recognized by the media for a job well done.

It will be a battle with Coach Arians who has the Colts in the playoffs after winning 2 games all year. Head Coach Pagano takes a leave of absence to deal with his medical issues and Arians steps in. It is a great story.

Denver’s Coach John Fox, what a year for them. Peyton Manning signs in the offseason after having neck surgeries and no one knew for sure how he would do. Manning is up for comeback player of the year along with Adrian Peterson. Denver’s defense is playing lights out.

Colts’ Arians, Broncos’ Fox and Coach Frazer all three very deserving but again I am pulling for Frazier to get this award.

Thank you Coach Frazier for sticking to your guns and what you believe in. It is paying off.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Numbers to look at in the Border Battle

As a season ticket holder this game Sunday is a dream. The amounts of money I have seen and heard tickets are going for is unreal. The atmosphere is going to be crazy and electric to use a couple descriptive words.

The fact that the Vikings are 6-1 at home this season will help the players know they can get the job done. The fact the Vikings are playing an extremely tough opponent in the Green Bay Packers I fully expect the Vikings team to be ready. This is no time for a letdown.

The statement a win and you’re in is true in the Vikings case. There is so much to play for with so much on the line. A game with fans from each state and so much pride in hopes of leaving Mall of America Field with bragging right after a win. Border Battle at its finest in the last week of the regular season.

The NFL put out its power rankings and has the Packers ranked number four. This will be the toughest test I believe since the 2009 NFC Championship game. The Packers have numbers that are unbelievable that involve last games of the year.

The Packers have won the last game of the season nine years in a row. In season ending games in the last 19 years their record is 18-1.

The last 33 regular season games played by the Packers their record is 28-5. They have also won 12 consecutive division games. If the Packers would win they would be the first team since 1967 to sweep their division 2 seasons in a row.

The numbers you can’t argue with because they are facts however the Minnesota Vikings are to be feared at home.

This is a game where if both teams come in 0-15 it is going to be a slugfest. This year one is 11-4 and the other 9-6 so the slugfest will occur but at a pace that will be as exciting as the dome may have ever seen.

I feel the closer we get to game time the more I am feeling the Vikings will break their 5 game losing streak to the Packers, win and go to the playoffs. This is the Vikings year!!!

When the Vikings when it will not be an upset it will be a win where you are supposed to.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick


Pro Bowl rosters announced

A season turning out with positivity just keeps getting better. On Wednesday December 26th at 6:00 pm the rosters for the Pro Bowl were release on the NFL Network Channel.
I sat anxious in hopes of the team I love to follow would get multiple players on the NFC squad. This Pro Bowl roster is always full of controversy of players left off. Yes, I know not every NFL player can make it but still I can always hope the Vikings players would be rewarded.

The four players chosen I could not be happier for. Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson did not surprise me at all. Adrian’s 5th Pro Bowl selection now leads all active running backs with the 5. A guy who has worked his butt off deserves everything coming his way. There can never be enough awards to give Adrian for what he is doing.

I have a twitter account and found a quote by Peterson that went as follows,” I’m also thankful that Jerome was selected, but I’m disappointed that none of the guys up front were chosen. This is a man who recognizes and understands he could not get the big runs without help. The majority of yards he gets are on 2nd and 3rd efforts but he still needs a hole to get it started.

This offseason when Jerome Felton was signed a free agent who would have seen this coming. The guy has been more valuable than ever clearing holes and getting into the second waves and taking on linebackers. This is just another great signing in the offseason to go along with the great draft by the Vikings. Congrats to Jerome Felton!!
He is the 3rd fullback in Minnesota history to make the Pro Bowl

Jared Allen, is there a guy who works any harder? The sack numbers are down from last year but does he ever put effort. In either being at a game or watching the TV who do you see hustling down the line of scrimmage or chasing down field a running back or quarterback? Yes, Jared and add in the fact of how many plays is he double teamed yet still makes the tackle.

Blair Walsh a pleasant surprise as we see him beat out veterans for his trip to Hawaii. This has got to be the steal of the draft. I am so happy for him. He did not have a very good senior year in college leaving teams in doubt. The Minnesota Vikings thought enough of him that they cut veteran Ryan Longwell. This has got to be one of the best stories in the NFL and he is our very own for years to come. Walsh is also the first Vikings rookie kicker to make the Pro Bowl.

I congratulate all 4 for a very well deserve honor.

I have to add that I am disappointed in a few that were snubbed. I know players will drop out for various reasons and some of these Vikings could still go.

I really felt Matt Kalil had such a good shot with the season he is having. The guy comes in as a rookie and starts all 16 games. He has been so dominating. I know he has a long future and may make it sometime but as of Wednesday I am disappointed.

Chad Greenway who is the 2nd leading tackler in the league I am also disappointed for him not getting in. The guy leads the Vikings week after week in tackles. I do believe he will go but not the way I was hoping. I was in hopes he would get voted in.

John Sullivan leading this resurgent line I had hopes as well. Antoine Winfield in year 14 and still playing like he was in his early 20’s. The man is short in height but plays as big as anyone in the NFL. The amazement of his hitting ability just does not get old.

There can be arguments for more as each team is left shaking their heads on why certain players did not make it.

Congrats again to Adrian, Jerome, Jared and Blair for making it to Hawaii. There is of course a chance none of these guys even make the trip to Hawaii. The reason I am referring to is if the Vikings are playing in the Super Bowl. Is it really that bad to have hopes and dreams?

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Border Battle Part 2- a look at some facts

This game coming Sunday really does not need me to tell you how important it is. A win and we are in. The trouble is it will not be easy. The advantage Minnesota has and it is a major advantage is home in the dome.

A win and ends the year with an incredible 7-1 mark. It would match 1988 and 2000 that each saw the team do the same. The one loss this season is the only real disappointment for the season for me. Tampa Bay came in on Thursday night football and laid a pretty good beating on the Vikings. A 6-2 record would have been huge instead of 5-3. This year not matter what happens Sunday has been a true pleasure to support this team and gives me major hope for the future.

The 9 wins have already tied a franchise high for biggest jump in wins from one season to the next. The 1997 to 1998 went from 9 wins to 15 and now 2011 of 3 wins to now 9 wins. A 10th win sets a new record with a seven game increase.

The game will be called by Troy Aikman and Joe Buck.

The craziness of the season with win totals and individual records just keeps piling. Adrian Peterson is tied for 2nd in the NFL with 11 touchdowns.

He is tied with Barry Sanders with 7 runs of 50 yards in one season. One more run of 50 plus gives Adrian a new NFL record.

The team itself is close to breaking a team record with 2417 rushing yards. It is the 3rd highest in franchise history and is 217 yards away from 2634 which was set in 2007.
I love following the history of NFL. The 2012-2013 season has been historical as records all throughout the season have fallen. This last week is going to be awesome to watch with games determining teams that make the playoffs and individual going for NFL records.

Rookie safety, Harrison Smith set a new team record against Houston as he started his 15th straight game. His 2 interception returns for a touchdown during the season has tied a team record. His 92 tackles are 5th amongst safeties in team history.

Smith and fellow 1st round pick Matt Kalil when making the start in week 17 will be the first 2 rookies to start all 16. It is the first time since 1994 when DeWayne Washington and Todd Steussie made all 16 starts as rookies.

Blair Walsh is now first in NFL history with 9 field goals of 50 yards or more. The fact that he has made 9 is impressive but the fact that he is 9 for 9 is even more impressive.

Walsh has made 32 field goals for the season which is 3 short of the team record in one season held by Gary Anderson in 1998.

Walsh is also 4th in the NFL with 49 touchbacks with every week seemingly keeps on going. This has been such an advantage for special teams because of the kicks may not make a touchback but the height of the kicks helps the defenders get down.

Vikings tight end, Kyle Rudolph now has 9 touchdowns which is 2 behind the franchise record of 11 held by Visanthe Shiancoe in 2009.

Chad Greenway comes into the Green Bay with a career high 141 tackles making him 2nd in the league in tackles.

Jared Allen now has 10 plus sacks which makes 6 years in a row and 7 of the 9 seasons he has played in the NFL.

Since 2008 season Green Bay or Minnesota has won the last 4 out of 5 NFC North crowns.
The college of USC puts out tremendous players who make it big in the NFL. The Vikings and Packers have between them Clay Mathews, Matt Kalil, Everson Griffen and Rhett Ellison. Just think these were teammates in college at one time.

Let’s look at a few numbers of the team’s starting with average points per game. The Vikings are at 22.8 and the Packers are at 26.6.

The Vikings offensive line who may have played the best game of the season against Houston has given up 31 sacks for the season while Green Bay has given up 46.

The turnover ratio favors the Packers who are a plus 8 and Minnesota is negative 2.

This game is going to be a war with the Packers needing a win to get a high seed in the playoffs while the Vikings need a win to get in. A Minnesota loss does not end the season but will then need help to get in.

I cannot wait as I feel comfortable in saying Minnesota 28 Green Bay 17

Thanks for reading
Happy Holidays
Purplestick

Monday, December 24, 2012

Packer week begins

This will be my 13th Packers- Vikings game at the dome with this having to rank 1st with all that is on the line. The game of 2009 when Brett Favre played for the Vikings squared off against his old team was quite a site.

The Packers have been installed as a 3.5 point favorite early in the week. I have been a season ticket holder for quite some time and if there came a time where I could not renew and the only game I could go to it would be this game.

It seems as each year comes more Packers fans seem to get in. It is painful to hear Go Pack Go in our own home. It is my hope that Vikings fans hang onto their tickets and keep the Packers fans to a minimal.

I tell you last year I thought I was in Lambeau with how loud it was. The other fact that my wife and I, and 2 other Vikings fans were in the row the rest of the row was made up of Green and Yellow.

The warning has been issued to fans on Monday to watch the tickets you buy that they are not fraudulent.

My wife and I went down to New Orleans for the NFC Championship game with the same warning to fans. We flew on a Sun Country flight for Vikings fans only. It was a flight to the game and return right after the game back to Minnesota. I do not know what a plane holds for people. I can tell you that I talked to 3 different couples that got tickets that were not legit. One couple paid 500.00 for 2 game tickets and they got to sit in a Pizza joint on Bourbon Street and watch the game. The agony I saw in faces made me appreciate to the warning.

Please verify and make sure you go through legitimate web sites when purchasing these tickets. This game will be a gold mine for scalpers and whoever else is out for a buck.

Please be careful and if you do get to the game come and be ready to rock this place making it impossible for the Packers offense to hear.

If any of you got a chance to watch the Sunday night 49ers-Seahawks you would have seen the trouble the 49ers had having to burn two timeouts early and also got 2 delay of game penalties.

This is a chance of a lifetime to go to a game like this. The rivalry already makes it fun; add in what each team is playing for and you have the making for a game of a lifetime.

Go Vikes Go!!!
Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Vikings playoff scenario

The playoffs are getting cleared up and with one week the NFL could not have set it up any better.

The Vikings and the word playoff after the last 2 seasons is something people may not have seen coming. I have had people question the playoffs and what needs to happen for the Vikings.

It is simple for the Vikings when they beat Green Bay and they are in. The game has been flexed to 3:25 instead of noon.

If the Vikings stumble and lose to Green Bay here is what needs to happen:

If they lose to Green Bay they can still get in with a 9-7 record. Here is what needs to happen:

1) New York Giants lose to the Philadelphia Eagles. The game is in New York GO EAGLES!!!

2) Washington beats Dallas. The game is in Washington and has been flexed to be the Sunday night game. GO REDSKINS!!!

3) The Bears lose to Detroit. The game is in Detroit and Calvin Johnson is looking for 2000 yards receiving. GO LIONS!!!

This is just awesome as the NFC East look to beat each other up as well as the NFC North. It is going to be a dog fight. What a way to close out the NFL regular season.


One note from the Houston game that is simply amazing. Houston had gone 106 games in a row with scoring at least one touchdown in the game. The last time the Texans did not score a TD was in 2006. Kudos to Defensive Coordinator, Alan Williams and the Vikings defense.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

NFC North full of youth and talent

The NFC North is the best division in football as there are so many young and young talented players. The quarterbacks are so young so this division barring injury should be competitive for years to come.

The Minnesota Vikings go from 3 wins last year to 9 and to make things even more fun is the total of 9 in 2 years as I have wrote before is incredible that on Sunday December 23, 2012 the victory total is at 9.

Adrian Peterson is on track to get 2000 yards and still has a chance of Eric Dickerson’s all time record. The lone game is home against Green Bay. What a treat that would be to see AP get the record at home against the disliked Packers?

Blair Walsh is now the NFL record holder with 9 field goals of 50 or more yards. What an accomplishment coming from a player that is drafted in the 6th round.

The Detroit Lions have kicker Jason Hanson who is now the NFL record holder for most consecutive seasons with 21 all with Detroit.

Lion’s wide receiver, Calvin Johnson is now the NFL record holder with most receiving yards in one season breaking Jerry Rice’s record. The amazing thing is he is a little over 100 yards from getting 2000 yards in receiving.

Would that not be incredible to have 2 guys from the same division with one running and one passing?

The Chicago Bears known for their defense have set NFL records this year. The Bear’s Charles Tillman forced 4 fumbles in one game which is most by one player in the NFL since this stat was tracked starting in 1991.

Tillman was also involved in another record. Lance Briggs and Tillman each took an interception back for a touchdown in consecutive weeks. It was the first time in NFL history that teammates have done this is back to back weeks.

The Bears in week 9 set an NFL record with a touchdown pass, touchdown run, interception return and blocked punt return for a touchdown in 1 quarter when they did it against Tennessee.

The Packers won the NFC North in 2012 and I will leave it at that.

This division I believe will be the best division for years to come.

We can finally have a year where the Vikings have a winning record against the other NFL North with a 3-2 record and can make it 4-2 with a victory next week over Green Bay.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick


Hot December continues

The Vikings come in almost an 8 point underdog on the road and add in if Houston wins they wrap up home field advantage in the AFC. If there ever was an incentive Houston had it was Sunday. The funny thing is for Houston that Minnesota played as complete game as they have had all year. The home game against San Francisco might be the only other to compare it to for this purple team.

I do not know what next week brings but one fact we are facing is these young guys lead by Leslie Frazier are getting invaluable experience. The win at home against the 49ers and then on Sunday on the road sure helps build a very nice resume. The fact that both these opponents, 49ers and Texans have been discussed as being Super Bowl contenders only to see the Vikings take them down.

The opening drive by Houston had me concerned but when the end result was a field goal gave me a much better feeling.

I really credit Christian Ponder for playing the game of his life. Yes, there was some hold your breath moments but all in all I loved what I saw.

I love and wish he would do more rolls outs finding tight end Kyle Rudolph. It seems when Ponder does roll out Rudolph seems to have success at being open.

The fact that Ponder was able to avoid a sack machine in the Houston Texans was incredible. Yes, Houston got 2, but it could have worse. I will even go as far as saying I feel the offensive line should get an A for their pass protection.

I tell you with the talk all week of why Ponder got married on Monday in a court in Wisconsin. He came Sunday and I believed he has quitted talkers for at least today.

The incredible catch by high leaping Jerome Simpson was just another part of the recipe for a successful win. The guys that were called on to make plays came through. I would also like to point out early in the game who threw 2 huge blocks on 2 different passing plays, yes Jerome Simpson. He may not have had the best stats today but I thought he played his best game as a Vikings.

I loved the contribution made by Jarius Wright today making some much needed catches and his run after getting the ball from Ponder on the end around.

As far as Adrian Peterson and breaking his streak of 8 consecutive 100 yard games I was disappointed for him. The amount of his family he had would have been nice to see him get his 100. The fact that the Vikings won despite not getting 100 I am sure is ok with Adrian. It was just a few weeks ago that AP had over 200 yards against Green Bay in Lambeau only to watch the Vikings lose.

No matter what Peterson ends up with it has been such a successful year for him and I for one appreciate his not quitting even when things did not go right at times this year.

One more guy that deserves a pat on the back is Toby Gerhart. He does not play much but Sunday got a chance at the end of the game and gave the team some great runs and helped kill the clock. I really liked his contributions and just another example of being a good teammate. He does what he was asked to do and even got rewarded with a great power run ending up in the end zone. Way to go Toby!!!!

The defense today I could write a blog just about the defense alone. The play of Harrison Smith really stood out. It was nice to see 2 of the 3 sacks today were by the secondary.

Two things that were great to see was one, the amount of quarterback Matt Schaub shaking his head in disbelief on what was happening to his high power offense. The other sight that was fun to see was the Texans fans sitting in sadness. This was to be the day that home field was wrapped up. It is nice to see another team at home sit looking in shock. The amount of booing I could hear through the TV was awesome.
I like maybe most of you was concerned when Houston had first and goal. The game would have drastically changed for emotion wise in favor of Houston I believe. This was just simply an exclamation point on a game well played.

The run defense I believe was the best the team had played all year. Arian Foster comes in as a top notch NFL runner and what do the Vikings do? They stop him all day. This game brought back memories of the Williams Wall days when very few teams could run if at all.

The hustle today was as good as I have seen all year. The team tackling gets an A+.
I really loved the game Everson Griffen played. He got the start in Brian Robison’s absence and Griffen did not disappoint. He was a hustling machine all day.

It was nice to see Chris Cook on the field after missing the last six weeks.

Blair Wash, what can we say? The 6th round draft choice out of Georgia is now an NFL record holder. He now has 9 field goals of 50 yards. The thing is these field goals were banged with authority and right down the middle.

I am playing in my fantasy league Super Bowl and I have the Vikings defense and Blair Walsh. My opponent had the Texans defense.

The Vikings came in to the bye with a 6-4 record. There were so many people wondering if a 0-6 to the end the year would happen. The Bears and Packers twice, Rams and Texans have been the opponents. The fact that the Vikings are 3-2 with one left is incredible. December is the month to get hot and well the Vikes are 3-1 and almost 4-0 only if we could have won in Lambeau.

It is a great day to be a Vikings fan. This win was a great early Christmas gift to all fans that bleed purple and believe. I hope the Vikes give Frazier his extension he so badly needs. The fact that Percy Harvin went down and there was concern on how the team would react. Well, 3 game winning streak in December. Does it get any better?

Happy Holidays
Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Friday, December 21, 2012

Houston, here comes the Vikings

The Vikings sitting in the 6th seed for the playoffs right will not get a better test than they will on Sunday in Houston. Las Vegas odds have Houston favored by 7.5 points.
This season has been incredible with the Vikings winning 8 thus far. One more victory makes 9 which will equal the total wins of the last 2 season’s totals with 3 in 2010 and 6 last year. It is hard not to be excited about a possible playoff game after suffering through the last 2 seasons.

The 2012 draft has turned out to be one of the better ones I can remember. The efforts by each of these young men cannot go without being thanked and makes the future even brighter with these draft choices having one year under their belt.

The game Sunday will have John Parry as the referee and has had this position since 2007. The info I find out each week has shown me that the father of Parry is the Supervisor of officials of the Big Ten football conference.

The Vikings are going to have their hands full Sunday with the powerful, number one seed in the AFC as of right now. In looking at the injury front the Vikings look to be in good shape. The fact that Chris Cook will be in uniform and get some playing time is huge.

It is week 16 and by now team injuries are mounting. I know Houston is the opponent but checking around the NFL, the New England Patriots this Sunday have 19 players questionable if they will play. The Vikings have just one and that is Brian Robison. The injury bug has really seemed to have not hit the Vikings thus far.

I can remember back in Training Camp the Vikings switched their normal morning pads practice to the afternoon in the heat and in pads. Is this the difference in the health status of the team being in better shape from this switch? I do not know the answer. It is only something to think about.

The most fun I believe to watch in this game will be like every week with Adrian Peterson against the Houston defense. The challenge this week has the Vikings 4th ranked in the NFL in rush offense but Houston has the 5th ranked rush defense in the NFL. I believe the Vikes offense will win this battle. Adrian is not only going towards a record but he is playing in his home state. I cannot think of two better incentives for Adrian to be successful along with the offensive line and add in fullback, Jerome Felton.

The one thing the Vikings have improved in this year is cutting down in penalties. The 2011 team ranked 23rd for most penalties accepted against them and this year they are 4th. The team absolutely needs to continue this trend especially on the road and against the AFC’s best.

I was hoping Houston would have home field wrapped up by now so the test would be a little easier for the Vikings. It now will be even better to challenge this young Vikings squad.

This game features great players going against each other making for an NFL fan’s dream to watch battles like this.

Adrian Peterson leading the NFL in rushing and Houston’s own, Arian Foster as two of the best running backs go head to head. A man who is threating to break Eric Dickerson’s NFL rushing record again the NFL leading touchdown scorer.

The defense each has a great sack man with Jared Allen who had 22.5 sacks last season goes against the Texans’ J.J. Watt who is threating to break Michael Strahan’s NFL sack record. Watt comes in with 19.5. This will be so fun to watch as you got to know Jared will not get shown up by Watt. It will be a fun completion to watch. Will the Vikings or Texans’ offensive line do a better job? I believe Minnesota will dominate and swat Watt back and keep him in check.

The other fun battles will be the kickers with each kicking 5 field goals last week. The difference is Blair Walsh 3 of his 5 were over 50 yards.

I am so pumped for this game. It has been a couple years since we can say in Week 16 the game matters and not for a high draft pick. The Vikes will get a pick but I would rather see a playoff run and get a lower first round pick.

The game is noon Sunday and a win would be a great early Christmas gift for all Purple fans. I get excited just thinking the Vikes win, Peterson rushes for 150 and then Green Bay coming to Mall of America Field. What a last game of the year Vikings fans will get, the hated Packers coming and Peterson getting a chance to break records against those cheese heads.

It all could happen but first we need a win in Houston. I believe it will happen.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Adding my two cents on AP for MVP

My thoughts on Adrian Peterson are many just like most NFL fans in the world. A perk of being a season ticket holder is the fact I can watch him in person each home game.
The award in Peterson's case should be named WAR (watch Adrian run).

I was at the game against the San Diego Chargers when Peterson ran for the NFL record of 296 yards. It is a weird feeling knowing I just watched NFL history, yet did not really being at the game. I knew it was a lot but not until I got in my car did I really find the actual totals. Thanks to my station, KFAN that I listen to religiously each game day the stat was revealed.

I also had the pleasure to meet Adrian Peterson a couple years ago. It was running back day at Training Camp and they have what is called scratch off day. The first 2000 fans that enter the gate are given a scratch off with 150 winners. It was my lucky day as I won and went through and had the privilege in meeting him. The fact that is often talked about is the hand strength of AP. The talk that is you ever get to shake his hand you will be impressed with the power as he shakes. Well I put my hand out to shake and even though I was told I was still in awe of the man’s strength.

This 2012 training camp I was coming out of Kwik Trip and got into my car when Adrian Peterson pulls up next to my car. The next scene was something I will never forget. It was like flies on honey. I was just about to back out of the parking when Adrian got out and stood next to my car as people just swarmed him. I sat in my car and just watched as Adrian instead of shooing people away did the opposite. He stood and took pictures with fans and signed autographs for people. I could see his face and I saw nothing but smiles. I do not know if there was an employee left in Kwik Trip working as they too seemed to be coming out to meet this man.

On Wednesday I read about the fact that Adrian partnered with Mall of America and gave 1812 toys to the Salvation Army. The number 1812 matched his yardage totals thus far.
The Ed Block Courage award given Adrian for a reason as part of the award has to do with the community. I know Mankato may not be part of the community that they mean but in my heart it is partly true. The Salvation Army just another example of what kind of man this is.

It was last season in Washington we saw this man go down and had to ask will he ever be the same. Well, we are find out the answer and that is no. He is not the same, he is even better.

The comeback player of the year and MVP are just a couple of awards he will be up for. The Pro Bowl will be a definite.

Payton Manning will be tough to go against for comeback player of the award. I would be ok if they shared the award because NFL we are seeing incredible comebacks.

I see no other choice but to give the MVP award to Adrian. I will repeat what has been said, a team puts anywhere from 8-10 players up to the line but to no avail. The 8 straight 100 yard games with 2 of those being 200 yards are numbers we just cannot make up.

The lack of a high powered passing attack allowing team really to focus more on stopping the run and they still can’t stop him. There should not even be a doubt that the 2012 MVP should be. ADRIAN PETERSON

The fact he is 294 yards away from Eric Dickerson’s NFL record or also 188 away from becoming only the 7th running back to gain 2000 yards. How many running backs have there been in the NFL with hundreds over the years and yet only 6 have done it and now on the verge of the 7th with Adrian Peterson.

It’s been a fun year as we are watching this young team go from 3 wins to 8 already and a man who is coming back from major knee surgery on the verge of records. We as Vikings fans should be thankful he is running for the Purple. No matter what happens the rest of the season it has been an amazing story. Thank you Adrian for all the memories you are giving your fans.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vikings-Texans info leading into the game

The game Sunday down in Houston has major Vikings playoffs implications. The only thing the Vikings need to worry about is getting the win. One more win and it match the biggest jump in win totals in the history of the team. In 1997 the team had 9 wins and then the 1998 end season has 15 wins.

The Vikings played the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIII in Houston. It was the first time this city had ever hosted the Super Bowl.

The Vikings have never lost to the Texans in the history. The record is 2-0-0 which isn’t many times played but we can still say the Vikings are undefeated against the Texans. This team is also the last team I had not seen at the dome. I had now seen all 32 in action. I know the game is on the road but still makes me think how long I had to wait to see this team.

The Minnesota Vikings are well represented from the state of Texas as 9 current players are from this state. They are Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder, Brandon Burton, Andrew Sendejo, Cullen Loeffler, DeMarcus Love, Charlie Johnson, Brian Robison, and practice squad member Joe Banyard.

The Vikings also had 5 players go to college in the state of Texas which includes Stephen Burton, Fred Evans, Cullen Loeffler, Brian Robison, and Joe Banyard.
The two coaches, Leslie Frazier and Houston’s Gary Kubiak both have sons that play college football at Rice University. Corey Frazier plays safety and Klein Kubiak is wide receiver.

The story of Adrian Peterson can never get old. The more reading I do the more info I find making me shake my head when I see it in print.

The fact of 1812 yards most people know but now throw in he has more rushing than 24 other NFL teams totals. He has 433 more yards than the next player in line.

Peterson has 7 runs of 50 plus yards which ties him in NFL history with Barry Sanders who accomplished this feat in 1997. It’s been 15 years which magnifies this accomplishment even more.

The fact of straight games of over 100 and 2 of those games were over 200 with teams putting 8-10 players at the scrimmage. You wonder, will we ever see this amazing week in and week out ever again.

The fact that since week 7 Peterson has run for 1313 yards which equal Houston’s Arian Foster 1313 which has taken him all year to get this number. It is incredible what we are witnessing.

Adrian was also given the Ed Block Courage Award on Tuesday. This honors one player from every NFL player who exemplifies commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. It is done by the vote of their teammates to recognize both on and off field extra efforts and their ability to overcome adversity whether personal or professional.

The other fact that came out was Adrian is the front cover of Sports Illustrated for the 5th time in his career. The Vikings also started a campaign Tuesday called twenty-eight for 28. The countdown will go down until the end of the season with 28 reasons on why AP should be the NFL’s MVP.

The Vikings as a team have rushed for 2243 yards which is good for 8th place in team history. They only need 391 yards to break the record that occurred in 2007 which is 2634 yards.

In looking at other team facts thus far the Vikings offensive line has played together for all 14 games.

The game against St. Louis saw Everson Griffen take an interception back 29 yards for a touchdown. This is the longest return by a defensive lineman in the NFL so far. It also ranks 5th in Vikings history for a defensive lineman to score on an interception return.

Let’s look at some team numbers starting with team scoring. The Vikings average 22.8 and Houston is at 28.2. The sacks allowed show Minnesota allowed 30 while Houston has only allowed 20.

The defensive sack number has Minnesota with 35 and Houston has 42. The turnover ratio favors the Texans as well with Houston at +3 and Minnesota comes in at -3.

The game will be tough with so much on the line. Houston has their division wrapped up but is still playing for home field advantage so they will be bringing their A game.
The Vikings I believe are up to the task and will pull the upset in a high scoring 31-27 win for the Purple.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick


Sunday, December 16, 2012

A day of All Day and Walsh breaking records

The pregame was emotional for me like any other parent as I have 4 daughters and after Friday makes loving my kids even more meaningful. I thought what the NFL did was outstanding. The 2 players from each team wearing 26 representing the number of lost lives in Connecticut standing at midfield along with Coach Fisher and Coach Frazier all holding hands in a moment of silence. A sight I will never forget.

This young team just does not quit and an end up with a huge victory in St. Louis. The playoff talk can still occur by Vikings fans. The Rams had been such good football lately I just did not know what to expect.

The series of the game and maybe the season in my mind occurred in the first quarter. I liked the call to go for it on 4th and 1. The effort Ponder made in the scramble to get 3 yards before going out of bounds was outstanding. My thought, could this be the momentum Ponder needed to get his game going? Then an even more unbelievable play was the 3rd and 5 from the Rams 5. I thought for sure the Rams had Ponder for a sack but to the credit of Ponder he just did not quit as he dives across the goal line. This is just another example of how the Vikings do not quit this season.

It all started with the first home game against Jacksonville when the Vikings made the improbable late game rally to send it into overtime and then win it in overtime.

Sunday was just another example. Ponder has been getting hammered by the press and fans of late with the lack of a passing game. No, the touchdown was not a pass but I have to give credit to the line for blocking and Ponder for being alert to run.
One win on the road until Sunday this team needed any jump start it could get. The efforts by Adrian Peterson make it tough to come up with words that have not already been used. It is breathtaking to watch him hit the hole and away he goes watching the scoreboard to see if anyone can catch him.

The runs when AP comes upon a defender, lowers his shoulder and lays some wood into the smaller man leaves me thinking how bad that has to hurt on impact as the defender is driven back. It makes me almost laugh when Peterson puts his arm out and shoves people down like they are 95 pounds. The appearance that Peterson makes things look so easy.

The last 2 weeks the defense has come up big with interception returns for touchdowns. The play Sunday by Everson Griffen was a beautiful sight. The drop back into coverage, the ability to make the interception and ability to take it for 6 is something we as Vikings fans just have not seen enough in the past couple of seasons.

The pass rush Sunday was awesome with 4 sacks. The number of sacks was nice to see but even nicer was the consistency of getting to Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. The hits the defense got on him was so nice to see.

The Rams in the fourth quarter ability to drive the ball with just 4 Vikings pas rushers was concerning as even the announcers pointed out. I like the adjustment defensive coordinator Alan Williams made in missing in some extra pass rushers made me feel better.

The final of 36-22 sounds closer than how I thought the Vikings really did dominate. I am not a big fan of a prevent defense so to see the end of the game Rams quarterback Bradford had almost 400 yards passing was deceiving. I still am very excited to see the Vikings have a great 3 phase game with offense; defense and special teams all come through.

I know Ponder did not rip it up with stats but I was excited to see him get receivers involved Sunday. Jerome Simpson came through with some big catches as well as Michael Jenkins making a big 3rd down catch. Ponder found 7 different receivers finally. The names not normally heard lately such as Stephen Burton even had 3 catches.

The tight ends end up with 6 catches which is a good start but the stat I liked was 3 of the catches were made by offseason acquisition John Carlson.

The kicking game was impressive today. The Rams kicker Steve Zeurlein kickoffs that at times appeared they were going into the stands. I thought Walsh had a big leg but Zeurlein might be the biggest leg I have seen as far as kickoffs.

The better story to write about is Vikings record holder Blair Walsh. He goes into the Vikings record book with the rookie scoring record passing the record held by Randy Moss in 1998. The fact that Walsh is now 8 for 8 over 50 yards which now put him in the Vikings history book for most 50 yarders in one season. He also tied an NFL record of 8 in one season is unbelievable. A 6th round pick out of the University of Georgia and having a season like this. All I can say is, thank you Blair Walsh for your contributions to the team.

You might have seen this when the Rams receiver Danny Amendola caught a touchdown spikes the balls and it bounces up and hits the guy in the face knocking off his glasses. My thought that had to really smart. Then later did you notice when Amendola caught the two point pass from Bradford he handed the ball to someone standing in the end zone?

I am proud the Vikings to going on the road and winning a game they had to have. It does not get any easier next week but for now I will enjoy the victory. I had predicted 10-6 to start the season. Who knows?

This season so far has been wonderful and makes me even prouder to be a huge supporter of the purple.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Friday, December 14, 2012

Season ticket holder thoughts about the future

As a 13 year season ticket holder and no matter how the 2012 season turns out I am facing a fact. A new stadium is coming and I am pumped.

The fact that 2013 will played in the dome and then after that the question of how many seasons are played at TCF Bank Stadium.

The groundbreaking for the new stadium will occur in the fall of 2013 and I plan on going. I went to the Capitol to help with the stadium battle then went to Rochester to meet the Architect who will be designing the new Vikings home. The next step is groundbreaking.

I am going to enjoy everything as the dome comes to an end. I looked up the 2013 home opponents for the Vikings to see who we play.

It will be fun with some of this year’s exciting rookies from this year coming to Minnesota in their second seasons.

The dates have not been set just the teams. Yes, the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears are coming as usual. The others we will see are the Philadelphia Eagles. The bad season the Eagles are having this season will be interesting in the offseason what will happen. Will Michael Vick be back? Will Andy Reid be back as Coach?
The Washington Redskins are coming with RGIII appearing. I cannot wait to see him in person. The Vikings have had to go to Washington this season and last season so finally the Redskins are coming.

The Cleveland Browns with a very young team who is improving. Browns’ rookie running back Trent Richardson will be back for year two. 2012 rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden will be back for year two.

The Vikings will play the NFC South equal of where the Vikings finish. If the season ended today the 3rd place Vikings would host the 3rd place Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If so, I would like a little pay back for the Thursday night football disappointment as the Vikings got destroyed by Tampa Bay.

Don’t forget the other home game happens in London against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It is hard to believe a new stadium is not far away so I will enjoy everything I can in the Dome. My wife and I talked and if the dome decided to sell the actual seats we would be interested.

A life of a season ticket holder is unbelievable and I am so thankful I can live a dream. Win or lose it is awesome to know you have the ability to see the game live. I have also seen every team at least once with the Houston Texans being the last of the teams I finally saw. I have been to over 130 games and saved all my ticket stubs.
Dreams are a great part of life. The Vikings every year I want so badly for them to make it to a Super Bowl before I die. I take teasing from people for being a fan of a team who lets us down. I am proud to be a fan now and until the day I die. I just love the game, the team and going to training camp and everything I get a chance to do. The 2013 Training Camp will be my 20th season of attending. The last 16 years I have only missed 4 days. This is the passion I have for the Purple.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

A win is a must

The game Sunday for all intense purposes is a playoff like game between the Vikings and Rams. As a dedicated fan that has seen my share of highs and then the last two seasons the lows to even mention the word playoffs is awesome. A game in December that is meaningful is absolutely something to be hyped up for.

The St. Louis Rams have been installed as a favorite by 3 points. The records are close it is just a matter of what team wants it more.

I love reading about the NFL and the history of the greatest sport in the world. This history is I found has to do with Sunday’s referee, Al Riveron, who is one of the more recent refs added due to retirements. Al became a ref in 2008. He is the first referee of Hispanic origin in the NFL.

The Rams had come into their week 9 bye with a 3-5 record. I know when the schedule originally came out I believed the Vikings will get a win. I still am in the belief but the way the Rams are playing the Vikings will need to bring their A game from all 53 players. The Rams have gone 3-1 the last 4 weeks and have played the 49ers twice with a tie and a victory in overtime. These young Rams are being led by one of my favorite coaches, Jeff Fisher. I liked him when he coached Tennessee. I just think the guy knows how to get a team to compete but hopefully Sunday he takes a day off and we see a Vikings victory.

The Vikings passing game is the talk of not only Minnesota fans but also the national media. It is painful to listen to but I still feel Christian Ponder has it in him to get the job done. He along with the offensive line will have their hands full as the Rams are ranked second in the NFL with 39 sacks. The 2 defensive ends for the Rams, Robert Quinn and Chris Long are both racking up sacks so Phil Loadholt and Matt Kalil need to play their best game of the year. It is a playoff feeling so I am excited to see how the Vikes react to this pass rush.

This game features two of the best running backs in the league with the Rams’ Steven Jackson and our very own Adrian Peterson. There has been an unsung hero for the Vikings that is really having a fantastic year. There are no stats to really talk about, but this man has been huge in helping create holes for Adrian and that is Fullback Jerome Felton.

This game also features matchup of some youngsters. The first two are in the secondary with one from each team. The Vikings Harrison Smith has had 3 interceptions with 2 returned for touchdowns. The Rams have rookie Janoris Jenkins out of the University of North Alabama. He has 3 interceptions and 2 also returned for touchdowns. It will be fun to see which of these 2 players makes the more plays.

The kickers are also interesting with both being rookies and drafted in the 6th round this past 2012 draft. The Vikings Blair Walsh’s cannon leg not only by all his touchbacks but he is 5-5 on 50 or more yards. The Rams have their own cannon, Steve Zeurelin. He is 5-8 in 50 or more yards but he is also an NFL record holder by kicking a 50 plus and 60 yards in the same game. What if the game came down to a field goal to win it? Which rookie kicker would not get rattled? I believe in Walsh. I even took him in my fantasy draft and was questioned by my fellow drafters. I was a gut feeling after watching training camp. I drafted him and it has paid off.

The Rams have number 1 overall pick in 2010 Sam Bradford running the show. He is accurate and lately throwing more touchdown than interceptions. Jared Allen, Brian Robison and the rest of the D need to make this young quarterback run for everything he is worth and force him to make bad decisions. I just believe the Vies defense will come to play. The veteran leadership needs to step up with Jared and Antoine Winfield leading the way. These guys are not getting any younger and know the playoffs are within reach but must win the remaining three.

It can be done and I for one am a believer the Vikings can get it done.

In other thoughts not relating to the game the Pro Bowl voting is still on going and I like what I am seeing. Matt Kalil is the leading vote getter for tackle. Adrian Peterson and Houston’s Arian Foster are the top two vote getters for running back. The Packers John Kuhn is the leading vote getter for fullback so I am hoping we can get enough votes for Felton to overtake Kuhn. Jared Allen is leading for defensive ends.

The NFC North is doing well with the Bears and Packers having guys in the lead. The voting is not over but still exciting to see Vikings players doing well.

I am pumped for Sunday at noon with a win and go to 8-6. I believe the Vikes will win a close game 24-21.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reflecting back to December 12,2010

On Wednesday Dec ember 12th marked the 2 year anniversary of the Metrodome roof collapse. Who can forget the 16-17 inches of snow we got that year? The videos that were shown on TV of the collapse were incredible. The life of being a Vikings season ticket holder and the stories we have to remember just goes on. It was an awful event, but the plus is no one thankfully was killed.

The game this past Sunday against the Bears brought back memories of 2010.The fans Sunday were sitting in the dome as 12 inches of snow had fell and the new roof came through and protected the 64,000 fans. I know I for one did not have any fear of bad happenings, rather the game and its intenseness really kept me from thinking about it.

The 2010 season ended up so deflating after the 2009 run the team had ending in New Orleans. The time frame that the stadium could not be used I made the best of things and made my own memories with a lot of pictures from different events.

My wife and I attended the Monday Dec ember 20th game at TCF Bank Stadium against the Bears. I will never forget the trip up to Minneapolis in a snow storm. The game itself ended in a Vikings loss but still was truly memorable. It was the first outside football game in Minnesota in 30 years.

I will never forget workers on the field with leaf blowers walking up and down the yard lines and trying to keep them clear before the game. The usual Metrodome paper airplanes from the upper deck instead were snowballs thrown from all around at TCF Stadium. It was a chance of a lifetime to be part of history that night and was worth every second of the night.

On April 13, 2011 I went to the Metrodome and paid 4.00 to take a tour of the stadium with the roof still a mess. I received a piece of the roof as a souvenir. The tour took us throughout the stadium and all I could say is oh my goodness. The field turf was up and covered by plywood. The amounts of water where the field was incredible and will never forget. I took a ton of pictures this day. The best picture I took was the IDS tower as I could see it through the hole in the roof. The light fixtures’ dangling was a sight. All I could think of was how much work needed to be done and how long will it take.

The job got done and once again we can enjoy Mall of America Field. It was an event Minnesota Vikings fans will never forget.

I would like to thank the Zygi Wilf and the Vikings organization along with all the workers it took to get the stadium ready for another season of Vikings football

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Vikes-Rams info with much on the line

The Minnesota Vikings (7-6) travel to St. Louis Rams (6-6-1) on Sunday December 16th for a playoff type game. The fact that both these teams are even mentioned as a maybe playoff team is incredible after last year’s seasons failures by both teams.

The odds are slim but hey at least it is a chance to talk about the possibility, slim or not. In referring to the playoffs I made a trip to St. Louis on January 16, 2000 to watch the Vikings led by quarterback Jeff George lose to the Rams 49-37. That was the year the Rams won the Super Bowl with a team known as the fastest team on turf. Who can forget Kurt Warner, Marshall Falk, Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce just to name a few?

That was 12 years ago and now is a different circumstance and different rosters. In more recent time the last time Minnesota played the Rams in St. Louis was in 2009. The Vikes won 38-10.

The Vikings hold the series lead with 23-16-2 but on the road against the Rams the team is 9-13.

The 2 teams are lead by head coaches Leslie Frazier and Rams Jeff Fisher both who have a connection but it came as players with the Bears. The two of them came to the Bears in the same year 1981 as well as Vikings assistant coach Mike Singletary and the three of them played through the 1985 season which also included being part of the Bears Super Bowl win although Frazier was hurt and did not play in that game.

It is the time of week I like to look at numbers coming into the week and with that said we must start with Adrian Peterson numbers. It seems each week he piles up so many yards that he keeps passing up other NFL team totals. Peterson now has more yards than 23 other teams’ totals. He is number 1 in the NFC and number 2 in the NFL with 265 carries. Adrian is also number 1 in the NFL with total yards from scrimmage that is 1811 yards. In a final stat Adrian is number 2 in the NFL with 10 touchdowns.

The game Sunday features 2 of the 3 top active rushers with the Rams’ Steven Jackson first with 9929 yards and number 3 is Adrian Peterson with 8352 for their careers.

This season has not only been awesome for the Vikings rushing attack but here is something to think about. The same 5 guys have started all 13 games for the season. The line has just not had any injury problems that make someone sit out which is huge in learning to work together.

The Vikings had a record last weeks against Chicago when 5 rookies started the game. They were Matt Kalil, Josh Robinson, Harrison Smith, Jarius Wright and Rhett Ellison. It is the first time in Vikings history that this has occurred.

There is some Minnesota connection in the game in regards to the Rams. James Laurinaitis is from Plymouth, Minnesota and went to Wayzata High School. His senior year they won the Class 5A Championship at the dome.

Rams’s safety Craig Dahl is from Madison Lake, Minnesota and attended Mankato East High School.

The college connection we find 2 former high first round picks that played together at the University of Oklahoma. Rams’ quarterback Sam Bradford and the Viking’s Adrian Peterson were teammates along with Viking’s Phil Loadholt played there as well.

The 2 offenses this weekend are not particularly high scoring with the Vikes at 21.8 and the Rams are at 18.2

The Rams have the edge in team sacks with 39 to the Vikings 31.

The Vikings 2012 schedule based off the 2011 opponent’s records tied Minnesota with the 8th toughest schedule. The Rams were tied with the 4th toughest schedule.

There is so much on the line this weekend. The saying one game at a time is no more ever true than Sunday.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick



Sunday, December 9, 2012

Keeping the Playoff hopes alive with big win

The drive to Minneapolis was tough but at last we made it to the stadium. The Bears fans came in droves. I sit in the upper deck and so were the many hundreds of Bears fans.

The Glallarhorn was blown to signal the Vikings were coming by legendary St. John’s University Coach John Gagliardi.

The next was the introduction of the Vikings players and just what I thought would happen did and that was the Vikings offense was announced. It was just fine until Christian Ponder’s name was announced. The booing happened just as I expected but not as bad as I thought would happen.

I had a Packers fan dressed in all green two rows in front of me turn around and say “Go Vikes.”I had to respond “Go Lions.” I love this NFL North competition.

The Bears fans were making themselves known until the first play when Adrian Peterson takes the opening handoff and there he goes. It really set a tone for the crowd at least for the first quarter.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler throws an interception by Vikings Josh Robinson who took it to the house, so we thought. I thought the roof was going to blow off as Vikings were up 14-0. The crowd was so loud there was no realization at first that the play was under review.

The Vikings offense starts deep in Bears territory and I was fearful if we do not get a touchdown out of this it could be a huge swing of emotion for the Bears. I am very thankful the Vikings got a touchdown out of it.

I got a bad feeling after the exciting start to the game and then the Vikings offense went dormant the Bears would come back. The Bears TD making it 14-7 really gave an uncomfortable feeling.

The boos were ringing out of the rafters and then to make matters worse the Bears fans were extremely loud with Lets go Bears, Lets Go Bears. I sat in disappointment listening to the opponent fans being loud.

The interception return by Harrison Smith for a touchdown really brought the emotion back to the crowd and gave me a better feeling.

The score was 21-7 Vikes with 4:26 left in the 4th quarter when what do I see, Bears fans leaving in big chunks. I thought only 2 scores down anything is possible.

I thought the Vikings defense played an inspired game with hustle. I also thought middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley played the game of his life. It has been Greenway seemingly being week in and out the tackling leader. Today it was Brinkley’s turn.

The Bears player who could not be stopped was wide receiver Brandon Marshall. The catches he made were just simply amazing. I do not know who I was more impressed with Lions’ Calvin Johnson or today Marshall. I really thought Vikings had at times good coverage but yet Marshall still ripped the ball out of the air. As a football fan you have to appreciate the efforts Marshall had.

It was a huge win today for the Vikings today to keep the playoffs hopes still alive.
I stayed after the game and got to see from my seat a cool NFL moment, I watched Brandon Marshall and Adrian Peterson exchange game worn jerseys.

This game especially a division game and to see players do something like this. I also saw two premier pass rushers, Julius Peppers and Jared Allen smiling and patting each other on the back.

The game is over but to let you know some other interesting sights during the game. The video board showed a pregame video the Vikes do each game. Cory Cove from KFAN goes amongst people outside and sees what they would do for an autographed item.
Today 2 people had a time limit to see how many clothes pins they could stick on their face, ears or lips. I could not count them all but all I could do was feel the pain watching the video.

The other fact today was the heat in the dome. It was as hot as I can ever remember. I found out after the game with the new roof and the snow we had the heat is set to keep the roof melted so a collapse would not happen again.

The walk back to the car was treacherous as nothing had been plowed or sidewalks had not have ice melt. The fun was watching the snowball flying. I even saw a Vikings-Bears snowball fight between fans. They were each laughing so I know it was all good.
I will say of all the Bears-Vikings games I have attended this was the best I have seen fans act. I did not see anyone hauled out by the police.

All in all outside the weather was awful but inside was all fun as a Vikings win.
The call in show now has Cory Cove and former Vikes Linebacker, Ben Leber. I would say 90 percent of the call ins were to talk about Ponder and his struggles. It was strange but kind of expected even after a win.

Congrats to Coach Frazier on his first victory over Chicago.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Friday, December 7, 2012

Time to Bear down

The last time the Vikings played a home game was Sunday November 11th, Veteran’s day. The Chicago Bears blow into town Sunday with much on the line.

It has been each home game where the offense or defense has been announced. The last home game the Vikings starting defense was announced. If the pattern follows suit the offense will be announced. I am extremely interested how this will go especially with the way the last week has gone since the Green Bay game. The talk all week at work and in public is the play of Christian Ponder and the lack of a passing game. The questions mount as people question, is it Ponder? Is it the receivers not being able to get open? Or is it Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave’s play calling?

If the first drive ends up in a 3 and out I believe the fans will boo the roof off. I hate hearing that being a huge supporter of the team but also understand that fans are frustrated after the 5-2 start raising hopes. The win against San Francisco at home shows this team can beat some of the best.

I was at the Mall of America at Friday and saw my fair share of Bears fans in town for the game as I know each year the Bears fans come in droves. It is always interesting how loud each fan base gets in a Vikings home game.

The Vikings are still in the playoff chase although are seeded 10 right now. A loss does not end the season but win by the Vikings would be a huge self-esteem booster in the last month.

The Bears are a 2.5 favorite on the road coming into the Vikes home. The over/under is 39 in Vegas. The home team has covered the spread 7 of the 9 last meetings.

The referee for the game will be Walt Coleman. In doing some reading on Walt I found an unusual fact about him. Walt worked as an official in the college ranks for 10 years without being a referee. It was said it is extremely unusual to be hired as a ref in the NFL without the college experience of being a ref. Walt became a Line Judge in 1989 and promoted to ref in 1995 so he now has 17 years of referee experience.

The game will be without Percy Harvin for the Vikings and the Bears are down Brian Urlacher (LB) Earl Bennett (WR) and Tim Jennings (CS) with all four players ruled out.
The Vikes placed Harvin on injured reserve ending what start as a great season. Urlacher a Bears veteran leader and Jennings, the NFL leading interceptor are major losses. Although major contributors to both teams neither team can use the excuse of their players’ absence.

As a football fan I would love to see Urlacher and Jennnigs on the field to see how the Vikes play against 2 of the top defensive players in the league.

My hopes in this game are many. I will start with giving the ball to Adrian like always but we just have to see Ponder roll out and find Kyle Rudolph. The absence of Urlacher I believe will allow Rudolph to find the seam.

The season is winding down on Jerome Simpson, who needs to have a monster game. The argument of hearing the Vikings receivers cannot get open I have mixed feelings about. I watch a ton of football and without listing all the quarterbacks in the league who can. You say, can what? These quarterbacks have the ability to throw back shoulders passes, or put passes where only the receiver can get it. I have seen many receivers covered about as well as possible, yet the quarterback puts it right there.

KFAN call in show last week made a point when saying there has never been a completion out of bounds. The deep balls which are few and in between are out of bounds. Sunday, send Simpson deep and Ponder throw it as far as you can. I believe it can be successful as I actually witnessed it in training camp. It can be done. I would love to see the old Randall Cunningham to Randy Moss again. Ponder just let it go, please.

Peterson showed in the first meeting that the Bears can be run on. If the team can have any small success in the passing game Peterson will get 200 again like last week.

The Vikings defense I believe can stop the Bears running attack but the concern this week for myself is Bear’s receiver Brandon Marshall who is big, strong and just plain physical. I believe Jared Allen and the rest of the D-Line will have a huge game. They are so overdue for a big game and if that would happen, the fear of Marshall having a big game will be minimal. It will hard to complete a pass for Cutler if he is lying on the Metrodome turf. I will predict Jared gets 2 sacks Sunday.

The fans will show up but more importantly we badly need for the Minnesota Vikings to play a complete game with each of the three phases contributing.

The countdown to kickoff is nearing and I for one am looking forward to the Vikings to break a 2 game losing streak. I plan on having a nice ride back to Owatonna knowing the Vikings are 1 game back of the Bears.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Shocking KFAN announcement

On Thursday I found out like most of those who listen to the radio show KFAN that Mike Morris from the Power Trip (6-9am) was let go.

I listened to the show the morning of Friday December 7th and it was so weird not to hear Mike’s voice. I thought Chris Hawkey and Cory Cove handled things well, considering how they had to be careful what they said on the public air way. They made it clear that it stinks their friend is no longer there.

It is hard to believe it had been 11 years Morris and Hawkey had done this gig with Cove joining a little later. I thought it was a great tribute to end the show as each day previous Mike had chosen a true superstar of the day listing a serviceman or woman who served the country and made mention to end each show each day. Friday the true superstar was Mike Morris.

I know jobs are never a forever but when news like this hits it was a sad day for me because I really enjoyed listening to Mike and what he brought.

This Sunday’s Vikings-Bears game win or lose by the Vikings will be difficult for me because each game Mike and Cory Cove had run the call in show. Mike brought perspective being a former Vikings player which made the show even more enjoyable.

I had the privilege of meeting Mike numerous times during his training camp days with the Vikings in Mankato. I will tell you that he was one of the nicest players I had ever met. I have got the chance to meet over 400 different players and got my picture with each. Mike took the time to meet fans and was just flat out nice. He is by no means dead, but in my heart I feel a big loss with no more Mike Morris on the airways.

His nickname was the “Superstar” as he even autographed a football I gave him, Superstar. Who can forget those who listened to his show the numerous times he would say “You think I a’int”.

I sent an email to Mike to say thank you for the years I got to listen to you. I know there is always going to be someone to disagree but I for one really enjoyed what he brought the program. Good Luck, Mike Morris and thanks again.

Come on Vikes Lets’ win this one for Mike Morris and the rest of the purple fan base.

Thanks for reading
Purplstick

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A look at numbers Vikes-Bears Part 2

Sunday December 9th is the biggest game of this young Vikings team’s effort to reach the playoffs and it comes against NFC North rival, Chicago Bears. A loss does not eliminate them but the odds would be overwhelming not to get in. The team sits 10th in the playoffs race.

The last time Chicago invaded Mall of America Field was the last game of the 2011 season on January 1st. The Vikes were 3-12 and Chicago was 7-8 coming in so neither team was going anywhere. It was Jim Kleinsasser’s last game as a Viking player. The game also saw Jared Allen get his sack to break Chris Doleman’s team record. The Bears did win 17-13 without Jay Cutler quarterbacking the Bears. The game also saw Bears lose linebacker Brian Urlacher to injury as well. It was a classic black and blue game with throw the records out and just play a physical hard hitting game.

I remember another positive in that game for the fans. It was New Year’s Day and meter parking in the streets of Minneapolis was free due to the holiday. I always try to look at the positive in everything.

This Sunday has the Bears coming in like the Packers last week all banged up. Sunday December 2nd Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher was injured in their OT loss to Seattle. Urlacher has a grade 2 hamstring strain which puts him out for this game and maybe more. I am disappointed because as much as I dislike the Bears, Urlacher is so impressive to watch in action.

The game is essential for the Vikings (6-6) who face an (8-4) Bears team. This game is by no means for first but a Vikings loss drops them 3 behind Chicago and loses the tie breaker to the Bears as well. The Packers are in first place so for now the Vikes are challenging several other teams including the Bears for a wild card spot as the minimum.

The Vikings hold the all-time series lead with 52-49-2 but the Bears have won 6 in a row in the series including this season winning 28-10 in Chicago.

The talk of Adrian Peterson’s game last week just does not get old. I did some reading this week and found these numbers. Peterson’s league leading 1446 yards is now more than 22 other NFL team total. Adrian is leading Marshawn Lynch by 308 yards in the race for the rushing title. He would need to average 138.5 in the last 4 games to get to 2000 yards rushing.

Lets look at some other impressive numbers by Peterson as he tied for 4th with 8 touchdowns. He is also 2nd in the NFL in total scrimmage yards with 1641. I can remember back to fantasy drafts with people taking Peterson lower because of the surgery and not sure what he would be like. The people that took him higher with a risk should be congratulated.

Adrian is 2nd in the NFL in broken tackles with 54. Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin leads the league with 57 and in third is Browns rookie Trent Richardson with 50.

The Vikings as a team are 1st in the NFL with 21 runs of 20 yards or more and also have 4 runs of over 50 yards.

In other Vikings players and numbers and how they rank in the NFL. Blair Walsh is 4th in the league with 41 touchbacks. Chad Greenway leads the league in tackles with 123. Kyle Rudolph is 2nd amongst tight ends with 8 touchdown receptions.

In looking at team numbers the Vikings average 21.8 points per game while the Bears average 24.5. Minnesota averages 335.5 yards per game while Chicago is averaging 304.
The biggest statistical category favors the Bears heavily. Minnesota has created 15 turnovers while the Bears have 34. Minnesota has 7 interceptions while the Bears have 20. The differential heavily favors the Bears who are a plus 14 while the Vikings are a -6.

Minnesota who is 5-1 at home has to make the most of home field and give the Bears their 2nd loss in a row. The fans will be needed more than ever.

I believe the Vikings will move to 7-6 with a hard fought 21-13 win Sunday.

Next up: Thoughts on what needs to happen to get win number 7

Thanks for reading
Purplestick