Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Border Battle just around the corner

The game Vikings-Packers fans look forward to each year is just around the corner. The trash talking by the two team’s fans is heating up. If I did not have season tickets and could go to only one game in the year it would be the Packers game. Yes, it is in Lambeau this time so I can only speculate what it would be like to be there. A football wish of mine that I would like to do before I get to old and that would be attend a Vikings-Packers game in Lambeau.

The amount of people I have talked to this week that care about this Vikings games and only games against Green Bay is unreal. The work atmosphere is crazy as I work with a great amount of Packers fans. The side bets of pop or coffee is all part of the fun. The next day at work every year is something to hear. The last four meetings of these two teams has not left much for Vikings fans to talk about. I can only hope this Monday we will be talking about a Vikings victory.

I remember last year walking into a local grocery store and seeing boxes each of Vikings and Packers cupcakes. I of course put the Vikings one on top of the Packers in hopes people would not see the enemy cupcakes. Yes, I can admit immaturity with this but hey it’s fun doing what I can to promote my team.

This game is so big that Fox number one broadcast team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will do the play by play. Las Vegas has the Green Bay Packers favored by 8.

In looking at the past games in Green Bay, who can ever forget the 1998 game in Lambeau on Monday night football? Vikings rookie wide receiver Randy Moss catches 5 balls from Randall Cunningham for 190 yards including 2 long touchdowns.

The other end of the spectrum was about as big as disappointment as I have lived. The year was 2000 and the Vikings were 7-1 and the Packers were 3-5. The incredible catch by Antonio Freeman in overtime on Monday night football sent me to bed in shock. In 2005 ESPN named that catch the greatest catch on Monday night football.

The return of Brett Favre to Lambeau helping his new team the Vikings beat the Packers. Players switching uniforms with Ryan Longwell and Darren Sharper going from the Pack to the Vikings has been just some of the headlines each year.

The two team’s fans just do not get cheated for their money. It is a game like no other, so much to talk about even though we the fans cannot make our respective teams win or lose. Yes, we cheer and yell until our voices are gone but it still does not put 7 points on the board.

The Vikings in the 2012 in game one against Green Bay have their work cut out but I firmly believe it can be done. One of the major changes that need to happen is when the Packers have 3rd down the Vikings have to stop. The Bears last week converted 58 percent of the third down conversions.

The Packers are converting 42 percent of their third down which ranks them 8th in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers is an incredible quarterback and when he gets into a rhythm teams are in trouble. My hope with the struggling Packers offensive line is the Vikings D-Line can disrupt the timing routs. Rodgers has thrown a touchdown in 35 straights games at home.

The receiving corps is one of the best in the NFL. The news of Greg Jennings possible return is not good. He has a touchdown against Minnesota in 5 straight games. The play of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb is scary. Cobb had 1 touchdown in 2011 and in 2012 already has 7.

The Packers are tough on the run only allowing one 100 yard rusher this season. The good news is Adrian Peterson who has 5 100 yard games against the Packers in his career. Adrian has also scored a touchdown in 4 straight games against the Packer. I like our chances of having a big game for Adrian.

The Bears are trying to separate from the rest of the NFC North so it is essential the Purple gets a win in Lambeau. A loss does not mean the season is over but it sure will get hard to get back into title contention.

Noon on Sunday is not that far away and then all the pregame talk will come to a halt. A coin toss, a kickoff and away we go. I cannot speak for you, but I for one cannot wait for the 2012 border battle. Have fun watching it cheer so loud the yelling goes through the TV.

Come on Vikings fans lets watch the Vikes send the Packers fans home sad and left wondering what just happened.

Vikings 31 Packers 17

Thanks for reading
Purplestick




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2012 Vikings roster fun facts

The Vikings have gone to a youth movement but here is a look at some of the makeup of the roster. The release of Ryan Longwell in the offseason and rookie sensation Blair Walsh is just some of the success in this makeup.

The oldest player on the roster is Antoine Winfield, 35 was born on 6/24/77. The youngest player comes from the 2012 draft, Josh Robinson, 21 born 1/08/91.

The largest player on the team is Phil Loadholt who is 6’8” and weighs in at 343. The smallest player is Antoine Winfield who is 5”9” and weighs in at 180 but as we know he plays huge each week.

Kevin Williams has the most years with the Vikings playing in his 10th season. Antoine Winfield is longest tenure player in the NFL on the team having 14 seasons in.

The University of Notre Dame has the most players on the roster with 5. They are John Sullivan, John Carlson, Kyle Rudolph, Harrison Smith and Robert Blanton.

The Pac 12 conference has the most players on the roster with 10.

The team also has 8 first round draft choices. They are Chad Greenway, Percy Harvin, Matt Kalil, Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder, Harrison Smith, Kevin Williams and Antoine Winfield. All were Vikings picks but Winfield who went in the first round to the Buffalo Bills.

A note on Matt Kalil and that is he is the leading vote getter for left tackle for the 2013 Pro Bowl thus far.

The Vikings also have 7 coaches who are former NFL players. They are Jeff Davidson, Leslie Frazier, Jimmie Johnson, Bill Musgrave, Fred Pagac, James Saxson and Mike Singletary.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Vikings-Packers info

Is there a better week for Vikings fans than Packer week? The smack talk that occurs is so fun to listen to. I know people that care about only 2 games all year and that is the Vikings vs. Packers games.

This is the first time in the history of these 2 teams that they will meet in December and they have met 102 times. The Packers lead the series 53-48-1 and also lead in Lambeau with a 28-23-1 record. The Packers unfortunately for Vikings fans are on a 4 games winning streak in the series. That’s right the last time Minnesota beat Green Bay was in 2009 and not only beat them, but swept them.

These 2 teams home records rank very high in the NFL since the 1970 NFL merger the Vikings are third 220-112-1 at home and the Packers are ranked 6th with a 205-120-5 record.

Let’s look at some numbers of some of this week’s participants and we will start with Adrian Peterson. He has 1619 carries for the purple and is second in team history to Bill Brown who had 1627 in his career. This record should be held easily Sunday against the Packers.

Peterson’s amazing 1236 rushing yards is more than 18 NFL teams as a total. He also is on a 5 games streak of 100 yards rushing which ties Robert Smith. The 1000 yards he has already eclipsed for the season makes it 5 seasons of 1000 yards which is a team record.

He also holds the record with 4 of the 5 top rushing yards by a Vikings player.

Adrian Peterson (2008) 1760 yards
Robert Smith (2000) 1521 yards
Adrian Peterson (2009) 1383 yards
Adrian Peterson (2007) 1341 yards
Adrian Peterson (2010) 1298 yards

Peterson has rushed for a career total of 7988 yards putting him 12 yards of the 8000 mark which will be broken Sunday and hopefully on his first rush.

On the defensive side of the ball Chad Greenway is tied for the NFL lead since 2007 with 10 fumble recoveries.

Kevin Williams will start his 152nd game which puts him 5 behind Alan Page’s record of 157 at defensive tackle.

The special teams have allowed 11 kickoff returns of 20 plus yards which is the fewest in the NFL. Blair Walsh has 94 points for the season which puts him 2nd behind Randy Moss rookie scoring record of 106. This record should crumble very soon.

The teams themselves have the Vikings averaging 22.5 on offense while the Packers are scoring at a clip of 24.8.

The Packers offensive line has given up the 2nd most sacks in the NFL by allowing 37. Green Bay has 12 team interceptions while the Vikings have just 6. The Packers also have 34 team sacks while the Purple have 27.

The Vikings are tied for 8th with the toughest schedule facing teams this season that in 2011 had a .512 winning percent. The Packers have the 31st toughest schedule facing teams that had a .469 percent.

Per NFL through week 12 in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area that have their TV’s on Sunday show 63 percent watching the Vikings which is 5th best in the NFL.
The game is still a few days away but I already feel the excitement in the air.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick




Sunday, November 25, 2012

A blown chance

The Vikings are coming off a bye and Chicago gets pounded by San Francisco gave me a feeling coming into the game that the team would have a chance. Yes, the Vikings have only won twice in Chicago but I really felt the team would come in and have a good showing.

My sister and brother in law were in town from Springfield, Illinois to watch the game with me. They are big Vikings fans and had left their Bears friends in Illinois behind. It was a day I was really looking forward to watching a victory with some of my family. The text messages were flying from Minnesota to Illinois.

The game started exactly how the Vikings, who struggle in Chicago, did not need. A Bear’s sack of Ponder on the first play of the game really set the tone for a Bears defense we did not need to see getting fired up. The Bears coming in on a 2 game losing streak, the defense struggling and the Vikings give up a sack on the first play, ouch!!

I really thought besides a first play sack was the Bears first possession ending in a Matt Forte fumble. It was his first fumble of the year. My thought, finally a break we needed in Chicago to help get the monkey off the Vikings back. The end result 3 plays less than 10 yards total and Blair Walsh comes in and puts 3 points on the board. Points are nice but this team needs 7 in the worst way. It was not too long ago in Washington the Vikings had to settle for 3 field goals.

Another situation the team has not faced comes with Blair Walsh. He has only missed one field goal all year and then on Sunday he gets one blocked.

I love this team and pull so hard for them to win but the first half just did not leave a good feeling. There was much talk after the game about Ponder’s ineffectiveness which I cannot deny. It is truly hard to not a deep ball threat developing. Today was in my mind maybe the worst job by receivers in hanging onto the ball. I could not believe the drops. Jerome Simpson had such a good camp but the season is just not materializing as of yet. I saw what he is capable of back in July and August so it can happen. The drops are one thing but the timing of the drops was just killing to watch.

I love the Ponder roll out and Rudolph rolling out making for some easy throw and catches. It makes you wonder why cannot not happen more often. Then what the Vikings do not need, Rudolph leaves the game with concussion like symptoms.
I was excited to see John Carlson get a chance but he too had a might disappointing drop on a nice pass.

My brother in law played a little offensive coordinator while watching the game and called out the Vikings play calls. The sad part is he was right. The play calling involves Adrian Peterson in hand off and go up the middle or throw a short ball to Adrian and let him see what he can do with it.

He was right much of the time but the niceness of the play calls had Adrian take it to the Bears. In ending up with over 100 yards for the 5th straight games is so impressive. Yes, he had 2 fumbles today, but you just cannot stop thanking Peterson for his effort and gamesmanship. We are witnessing each game a player who had defied all odds and now has a possibility of 2000 yards yet this season.

I was so excited after watching the Bears-49ers game and saw the success of the 49ers getting sacks. Yes, it was not Cutler at quarterback on Monday but it was the Bears offensive line who struggled mightily and I felt Jared and the boys would feast. Cutler to his credit kept the plays alive and found receivers open.

One of the most frustrating issues in watching the Vikings secondary defend against Bear’s receiver Brandon Marshall. It was simply shocking to see 3 to 4 Vikings players around him and yet he came out with the catch on more than one occasion.

The official’s crews do not typically win or lose a game for a team but on the coverage of Antoine Winfield on Brandon Marshall in the end zone. I really thought Winfield made a good play and in fact I also felt Marshall pushed off Winfield. The game was lost with or without this call. A team that struggles on the road I just hope as a fan we could get one break.

A disappointing loss was the end result and it also hurt the tie breaker situation. The team cannot afford to get down as next Sunday the Vikings go to Lambeau.

The Vikings have a ton to play for especially the way the way this wacky NFL season is going. There were some big losses this weekend that could help the Vikings cause. Tampa Bay, Seattle, Dallas and New Orleans losing really helps the Vikings but on the other hand a Vikings win and they could have put some separation from the rest of the NFC.

A loss in never fun to watch but for Vikings fans to know next Sunday the big rivalry game with the Packers. Fans, we cannot get down but rather crank things up and let’s watch our purple beat those cheeseheads.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Purplestick: The games only get bigger and bigger

Purplestick: The games only get bigger and bigger: The Minnesota Vikings (6-4) travel to the Windy City and take on the Chicago Bears (7-3) at noon on Sunday. The NFC North division has also ...

The games only get bigger and bigger

The Minnesota Vikings (6-4) travel to the Windy City and take on the Chicago Bears (7-3) at noon on Sunday. The NFC North division has also been known as the black and blue division. There is a ton on the line so I fully expect the nickname to be lived up to. It’s going to be a war.

The series is 52-48-2 in favor the Minnesota Vikings which includes 21-27-2 in Chicago. The last 12 years have been a struggle for the purple as they have only won 2 times since 2000 in Chicago. The years were 2000 and 2007 in which Minnesota took home the win.

The Bears come in on a 2 game losing streak including last Monday’s night ugly loss in San Francisco. The Vikings as we know won their last game before the bye week so the Vikings should be well rested. A 2 week rest for Minnesota and the Bears only have 6 days to get ready for this clash. Advantage: VIKINGS

There are 2 big story lines with one from each team. The first with Minnesota’s Percy Harvin and his ankle situation and for the Bears it will be quarterback Jay Cutler if he is cleared to play after suffering the concussion against the Houston Texans.
Minnesota in the game against Detroit did a great job of finding guys to step up and pick up the slack in Harvin’s absence.

The Bears backup quarterback Jason Campbell did not have such good luck in replacing Cutler as the 49ers sacked him 6 times and made his night miserable.

Minnesota’s run offense is clicking on high gear as Adrian Peterson is a machine. It will be real interesting to see how the Vikings offensive line does in run blocking. The Bears first 6 games they gave up an average of 70 yards per game. The story the last 4 games is the Bears defense is starting to get crack as they are now yielding 131 per game in the last 4. This is exciting news for the men who block for AP. Vikings O-Line vs. Bears run defense I see advantage: VIKINGS

The last 6 games of the year the Vikings will face major test after test with some awesome pass rushing teams and it starts Sunday with the Bears big pass rush lead by Julius Peppers. Vikings left tackle, Matt Kalil, what can you say about the job he has done thus far. Sunday will be his one of his biggest test if not the biggest. The 49ers pass rush is awesome but that was a home game for the Vikings and now a road test against seemingly a year in and out Pro Bowl man in Peppers. I am confident in Kalil but in the same breath the 4 others need to play top notch as well.

The Bears defense is playing lights out as far as the turnovers created and this is truly a concern but if Ponder can play anywhere close to how he did against Detroit things will be alright. The Bears are about as physical team as the Vikings will play all year. The turnover stat in the NFL is huge and the Bears take pride in being good at stripping the ball. Sunday will be about; can Minnesota avoid the big word, turnover? If so, I believe Minnesota will come out 7-4.

I watched last Monday night’s game with Chicago and San Francisco and really thought the 49ers did whatever they wanted. The Bears talented linebacking corp lead by Brian Urlacher really looked for once overmatched. There were so missed tackles you do not normally see a Bears defense miss.

2 losses in a row by Chicago is a concern on how the Bears will come into this game. How does this streak affect the Bears? Has Chicago been playing over their head? Sunday is a great chance for the Vikings to make a statement in the NFC North.

The Minnesota defense no matter who is behind center at quarterback will have to be licking their chops. The Bears come in giving up 34 sacks which is 2nd in the league. A stat I like even better I found was Jared Allen himself has 13 sacks in 4 ½ games against the Bears. A Packer-Bears game earlier in the season saw the Packers get 9 sacks and most recently against the 49ers they gave up 6 including 5 to 49ers’s Aldon Smith. I am looking for fireworks and it not even the 4th of July. The Bears quarterback not matter who will know if there are clouds in the sky or not as they will have the ability to be lying on their back and looking into the sky.

The Minnesota secondary will face top notch receivers to end the year with the likes of the Packer’s Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb twice, Houston’s Andre Johnson and Sunday they will be matched up against Bears star receiver Brandon Marshall who is a big physical receiver. The 49ers did a great job of shutting him down so I know when the Vikings coaches watch film this should be a help.

This Sunday’s game most important group of players who may help the Vikings take a win on the road will be special teams. Chris Kluwe and Blair Walsh will need their biggest performances of the year. The Bears star return man, Devin Hester has given the Vikings a headache the last few times. Kluwe will need to be huge in his directional kicking keeping the ball towards the sideline and hoping special teams can pin him to the sideline and keep containment. Blair Walsh just needs to be Blair Walsh with his touchback machine of a leg. The wind Sunday will play a huge factor as well.

It is an NFC North battle with the winner taking a big step towards the first goal and that is a division title. A loss does not mean the end but it sure hampers things as far as tie breakers and head to head.

It is a brutal last 6 weeks but my faith in the Vikings leaves me with this thought: Vikings 21 Bears 13

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Friday, November 16, 2012

Purplestick: Looking into the first 10 games

Purplestick: Looking into the first 10 games: The first 10 games are in the books with our favorite team getting 6 wins. In the preseason Las Vegas had the Vikes winning 5-6 games. The s...

Looking into the first 10 games

The first 10 games are in the books with our favorite team getting 6 wins. In the preseason Las Vegas had the Vikes winning 5-6 games. The season is far from over but 6 wins is impressive in my eyes.

The stats are in the books and some are very eye opening. Let’s start with the man who is beating all odds, the man fans know as AP. The number of rushing yards comes in at 1128 which is leading the NFL. I would like to put even a bigger perspective on this and put his yards up against NFL team totals

Team total rushing yards
1-San Francisco 49ers (1532)
2) Minnesota Vikings (1505) check out number 11
3) Washington Redskins (1481)
4) Seattle Seahawks (1424)
5) Buffalo Bills (1408)
6) Kansas City Chiefs (1341)
7) New England Patriots (1314)
8) Houston Texans (1231)
9) Chicago Bears (1143)
10) Philadelphia Eagles (1136)
11) ADRIAN PETERSON (1128)
That’s right Peterson has more rushing yards than 22 other NFL teams rushing totals. It is incredible less than 11 months after major surgery.

Peterson is 2nd in the NFL with a 5.8 average. He is also tied for 2nd in the NFL with 7 touchdowns. His 4 straight games of 100 are one shy of Robert Smith’s record. Peterson did set a Vikings record with his 5th 1000 yard season.

The Vikings are first in the NFL with 17 runs of 50 yards and 3 of 50 plus.

Percy Harvin with even missing a game is 5th in the NFL with 62 receptions.

Christian Ponder is 9th in the NFL with a 65.2 percent completion rate. If he can stay the pace he will join only Daunte Culpepper and Brett Favre in Vikings history for having at least a 65 percent completion rate.

The defensive side of the ball has Chad Greenway leading the league in tackles with 100. Antoine Winfield is leading all NFL cornerbacks with 74 tackles.

Jared Allen’s 7 sacks find himself 7th in the NFC. Allen's sack number does lead the Vikings and Brian Robison is 2nd with 5.5. Allen leads the team in tackles for a loss with 11 and quarterback hurries with 24.

Rookie sensation Harrison Smith has made 11 starts. The rookie record is 14 held by Chuck Lamson in 1962.

Blair Walsh is 2nd in the league with 41 touchbacks. He is 2nd in the NFL with 23 made field goals. Walsh is ranked 4th in scoring with 90 points.

Randy Moss hold the rookie scoring record with 106 in 1998 so Walsh is only 16 points behind Moss which barring injury Walsh should be the team’s new rookie record holder.

Walsh is also 2nd in team history with 5 field goals of over 50. Ryan Longwell holds the record of 6 in 2008.

The team has had 2 players of the week with Blair Walsh (Week 1) and Adrian Peterson (Week 7) the team also had a player of the month which was Percy Harvin in September.

A fun filled first 10 weeks leaves me looking forward to more.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Purplestick: A win is an absolute must

Purplestick: A win is an absolute must: On Sunday the Minnesota Vikings host the Detroit Lions in which I feel is the biggest game of the year. It is a must win even this early wit...

Purplestick: The spark was found Sunday

Purplestick: The spark was found Sunday: The pregame might go down as one of the neatest I have ever been part of as my wife and I were part of the card stunt which turned out beaut...

Purplestick: Stadium talk in Rochester

Purplestick: Stadium talk in Rochester: On Tuesday night, November 13 I went to Rochester and attended a one hour talk about the new stadium. The event was at Doubletree by Hilton ...

Purplestick: NFC North race going to be fun

Purplestick: NFC North race going to be fun: The Minnesota Vikings have a killer schedule ahead after the bye week, but it can be done. The rest of the division is set up for tough game...

NFC North race going to be fun

The Minnesota Vikings have a killer schedule ahead after the bye week, but it can be done. The rest of the division is set up for tough games as well. Here is a look at the rest of the 2012 NFC NORTH division schedule

CHICAGO BEARS (7-2)
Week 11 at San Francisco (Monday night)
Week 12- MINNESOTA
Week 13- SEATTLE
Week 14- at Minnesota
Week 15- GREEN BAY
Week 16- at Arizona
Week 17- at Detroit
Summary- 3 home games and 4 road with the last 2 weeks on the road

GREEN BAY PACKERS (6-3)
Week 11- at Detroit
Week 12- at New York Giants
Week 13- MINNESOTA
Week 14- DETROIT
Week 15- at Chicago
Week 16- TENNESSEE
Week 17- at Minnesota
Summary- 3 home games and 4 road games and has to go on the road to all 3 NFC North opponents

DETROIT LIONS (4-5)
Week 11- GREEN BAY
Week 12- HOUSTON (Thanksgiving Day)
Week 13- INDIANAPOLIS
Week 14- at Green Bay
Week 15- at Arizona
Week 16- ATLANTA
Week 17- CHICAGO
Summary- 5 Home games and 2 on the road and has 3 straight home games with week 11 and 12 being huge for the Lions. What a way to end the season playing home against the top 2 NFC teams thus far.

The Vikings only have 6 games left while the rest of the division has 7 left. The Vikings are the last team in the division to get their bye.

I love how the NFL has got the schedule looking with all these monster matchups. Each team is suffering key injuries so which team wants it we will soon find out in 7 weeks.
This is why I love this game so much with the matchups and everything on the line. The scoreboard watching begins as each upset will make this league even crazier than it already is.

On a non-schedule topic the Pro Balloting is ongoing and has 4 Vikings in the lead of their respective divisions. Adrian Peterson, Matt Kalil, Jared Allen and Percy Harvin all are in the lead. Harvin for his kick returns. The balloting ends Monday December 17th and the AFC and NFC teams will be announced on the NFL Network on Wednesday December 26th at 6:00pm. Good Luck to these players. I would think Blair Walsh and Chad Greenway will make a run as well.

Thanks for reading until next week
Purplestick

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Stadium talk in Rochester

On Tuesday night, November 13 I went to Rochester and attended a one hour talk about the new stadium. The event was at Doubletree by Hilton and went from 5:30-6:30.

It was held in a large conference room that had around 50 people including media there from several different TV stations. Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards and Rochester DFL rep Kim Norton from District 29B, were some of the dignitaries in attendance along with a few season ticket holders sprinkled in.

The guest panel included John Hutchings, a principal with the HKS architectural firm; Michelle Kelm-Helgen with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority; and Lester Bagley, Vice President of the Minnesota Vikings.

Hutchings has been with the firm 26 years. The firm has 7 locations internationally and 20 throughout the US. The headquarters are in Dallas, Texas.

The last 2 stadiums designed by this firm have both hosted Super Bowls and those are Cowboys Stadium and the Colt’s Lucas Oil Field. They have been involved with baseball stadiums as well. Those are Miller Park, US Cellular, Dodgers Stadium, and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

This session Tuesday was the 2nd stop on the talking about the stadium. A little over 2 weeks ago the first session was held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Tuesday was in Rochester and then in a couple of weeks they will be in Duluth.

It is a chance for this group to inform people and also a chance for people to ask questions. There was also as card handed out you could write things down such as ideas of what you would want in the new stadium and then hand it in on your way out.

In May 2012 the Stadium bill passed after a long and hard fight. The discussion Tuesday started with the use of the new stadium that would include baseball (high school, college) Soccer, Youth football, Marching Band Competitions and Community events were just some of the early thoughts to fill the time besides the Vikings.
The stadium will hold 65,000 but can elevate to 73,000 which is required to be able to host a Super Bowl.

The stadium itself is projected to be 1.5-1.6 million square feet which would be a third larger than the present Mall of America Field. A larger plaza outside is also in the discussion.

One of the feelings coming out of tonight is space or lack of it. There will be a focus on making a concourse adequte to get people flowing and not so much congestion.

John Hutchings, HKS rep was at the Vikings-Lions game and made a comment about the current concourse on how much he could not believe how difficult it was to get through. One fan stood up and stated his wife had gone to the restroom and was gone almost the whole third quarter

Hutchings was in charge of Lucas Oil Field design. He made a comment about the Colts stadium seating. The minimum size seat in the building was 19 inches with some bigger but there was not one seat less than 19 inches.

A timeline was discussed with January 2013 a 50 percent schematic design to be done. In March of 2013 the rest of the design will be done. The groundbreaking would be in late 2013, while 2014 there is still question on where the tea m will play. 2015 the tea will play in TCF Bank Stadium and in 2016 the new stadium will be ready.

The PSL subject was brought up in the end and you could feel the tension in the air. There is no answer yet, but it will be a hot topic.

John Hutchings really made it quite enjoyable to listen to. The talk of an open concourse, bigger seats and much more makes one’s mind wonder just what the end result will look like. The firm is big in designing platforms in stadiums in which you could get the extra seating.

The one fact is there will be a roof just a matter of retractable or not but either way there will be a roof.

I made a trip to the capitol in the spring, now a trip to Rochester, and next step a trip to watch the groundbreaking is all very exciting and glad to be part of.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick


Sunday, November 11, 2012

The spark was found Sunday

The pregame might go down as one of the neatest I have ever been part of as my wife and I were part of the card stunt which turned out beautifully. On Veteran’s day, what a way to pay tribute to all who have and are serving their country as fans held their cards to make a beautiful sight across the stadium.

The crowd was the biggest of the year with an announced 64,057 which was almost 3,000 more than any game this season. The Arizona game had 61,068. It was so nice to have a big crowd and this was the first game my wife had anyone next to her and our usually 30-40 empty seats around us were filled.

The game could not have started out better offensively than when Ponder scrambled forward let the ball fly and find Jarius Wright. It was right down in front of our end zone. The fans went crazy as it was great medicine for fans who have been just waiting for the offense to finally look better. Jarius Wright first activation of the year and how does hew respond, catches a 54 yard pass and a touchdown a couple plays later. Could this be the spark this team has needed so badly?

The defense who has been getting ripped the last 4 games finally came up big. It was the Vikings defense I had seen the first part of the season. The team hustle was back along with team tackling. The Vikes defense came to play and I appreciate it.

Lions quarterback. Matthew Stafford had some big passing numbers, but I really think that is deceiving. The pass rush did not have the big sack numbers however I really liked the effort the defense did make Stafford unable to get comfortable. The amount of times Jared Allen was within a fingertip of getting to Stafford was unreal. I did see one pass rush where Allen’s jersey was grabbed and twisted but no penalty was called. I know it is hard for the referee to see everything but in this case I thought Allen clearly had the right to complain. The way this guy works his butt off you just want him to get rewarded with a sack.

It was at least for this Sunday a day the passing finally supported the running game. The booing I feared if Ponder and the offense would go 3 and out just did not materialize. There was a little boing after one drive but that was it.

The running of Adrian Peterson who broke the 1000 yard barrier Sunday will be fun to talk about all week. The 4 game streak of 100 yards is so impressive and even more 3 games in a row with a 60 yard run with 64 (Tampa Bay), 74 (Seattle) and Sunday a 61 (Lions).

Ponder in the last 2 games had a quarterback rating of 74.8 against Tamp Bay and 37.3 vs Seattle had a great number Sunday with a rating of 114.2. He had a career high with finding 10 different receivers.

The want I have been wanting finally happened as Tight End Kyle Rudolph finally was involved. John Carlson also contributing was a nice sight. The one player who did not have big stats but had an awfully big catch was Devin Aromashodu. I thought when Ponder threw the ball it seemed high but Devin made a heck of a catch and even better run. I was disappointed the catch did not put Devin in the end zone but still a great effort.

The kicking of Blair Walsh seems to be a repetitive subject but it is unreal what he is doing. His 6 touchbacks now put him in the record books and replaces Mitch Berger’s old record. What a way to start his NFL career with the accuracy and leg strength. This is one area the teams should be set for quite some time.
In the end a great day for Adrian Peterson, the passing game and defense in stepping up and stopping a Detroit’s running came who had been getting better. A great day in the dome.

On a side note, I did get on field pre game pass and was down on the Lions side. I had a great chance to see just how big Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. I am telling you he is a monster and to see what he did with 200 yards of receiving is not surprising. It makes the win even more special when a team has a 200 yard receiver and they lose.

Great Sunday in Minnesota

Thanks for reading

Next up: The new stadium architect comes to Rochester
Purplestick

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A win is an absolute must

On Sunday the Minnesota Vikings host the Detroit Lions in which I feel is the biggest game of the year. It is a must win even this early with 6 games left after Sunday. A win and the team goes 6-4 and a loss will be 5-5 and either case the bye is the next week. The 3 games after the bye are at Chicago and at Green Bay then back home with a date with Chicago.

I do not know if I ever remember a span in such short order that Minnesota can really take a strangle hold on the division or in the same thought be in last place and playoffs out of the question. There is no doubt it is tough but the way the 2012 NFL season is going anything is possible.

The game itself is extremely big for Christian Ponder. The lack of passing numbers including 2 games with less than 75 yards passing is unacceptable really sets up an interesting home game. I am a huge fan yet if the team starts out a drive of 3 and out I fully expect the boo birds to come calling. I have been to over 130 home games and have heard my share of booing which is quite sad, yet I know people have rights to their opinions. I chose not to boo but that does not mean my heart is not hurting.
I have a gut feeling this game is going to be a game this team needs so bad. I do not have facts to back my feelings up just a feeling. This team is need of such a desperate spark and when it comes the home crowd will be in for a treat.

The last time Minnesota played Detroit if you remember the Vikings had 2 special teams’ returns for touchdowns. In looking up on how Detroit is doing now things have changed for the better for the Lions. In the last 4 games Detroit is only averaging giving up 6 yards on punt returns and 20.4 on kickoff returns.

The Lions also come in on a 2 game winning streak with wins over Jacksonville and then a come from behind win over Seattle. The Vikings have lost 3 of their last 4. The loser of this game will be in the cellar of the NFC North. It does not seem to long ago we were hearing and seeing people in the national media talking about the first place Vikings.

The Packers are on their bye week and Chicago (7-1) plays the AFC’s Houston Texans who also are 7-1.

The NFC North is now number one in the NFL with 22 wins with Chicago (7) Green Bay (6), Minnesota (5) and Detroit (4). What a challenge to be in this group!!!!

Two key matchups to watch Sunday will be Jared Allen going against Lion’s offensive tackle, Jeff Backus who has only given up one sack all season. It is time for some calf roping action at Mall of America Field.

The other matchup is Lions defensive end, Cliff Avril going up against Phil Loadholt. Avril is a speed rusher, which tends to give Loadholt some trouble. It is time for Phil to have the game of his life.

Lions quarterback, Matthew Stafford really likes to throw the ball. He is averaging 43.3 passes per game and a 63.6 percent completion rate. He has not thrown an interception in his last 4 games against the Vikings so it is time to break that streak.

The Lions have also found a running back who is making a difference in Mikel Leshoure. The Vikings have struggled so badly in the last 4 weeks and now we face another big challenge. I remember watching him when he played for the University of Illinois and did I like how he looked.

Adrian Peterson had his first 100 game of the season in Detroit and now is only 43 yards from the 1000 yard mark. I am looking for another monster game against the Lions. The front 7 of the Lions is one of the best especially the front four. These guys are physical with Ndamukong Suh just recently voted one the dirtiest players in the league.

The 2 big question marks of the game are also 2 of the elite players in the NFL. Percy Harvin listed as doubtful and 2012 Madden Cover Winner, Calvin Johnson. This is unfortunate that fans may or may not be able to see these premier athletes in action. It is believed Johnson has a better shot to play that Harvin.

The Vikings will have rookie Jarius Wright active for the first time this season which excites the heck out of me. He was very exciting to watch in camp. Wright is 5’10 inches which is an inch shorter than Harvin. They both weigh around the same. I am hoping that Wright can show his speed in front of the 63,000 fans in attendance along with the TV viewing audience and give people something to talk about.

My hope is the stadium is filled with screaming Vikings maniacs. I found out this week a friend of a friend bought 7 lower level tickets all together. It is strange to hear but happy for these people. This will be the 8th home game and my wife has not had anybody next to her in the first 7. Times need to change and with the Vikings starting back on the winning track it will help.

I look for a blowout win with the Vikings winning 35-10.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Vikes-Lions info

In 2011 the Detroit Lions swept the Vikings but on Sunday September 30th, 2012 the Vikings had a little payback as the Vikings won in Detroit 20-13. On that particular Sunday the team did not get an offensive touchdown but relied on 2 returns for TD’s and 2 field goals.

It is time to get back on the winning track before the bye and then traveling to Chicago followed by Green Bay. A 6-4 record is a must after Sunday.

Let’s look at some facts involving the team starting with Mr. Everything, Adrian Peterson who got his first 100 yard rushing game of the season in Detroit in September. In the last 3 weeks he has gone over 100 with the hopes of a 4th game. The last time he had 3 straight games was back in 2008. The way this guy runs I was shocked when I saw this stat.

The incredible numbers he is putting up now stands at 957 for the year. It is hard to believe 43 more and the 1000 yards will be his. Who would have ever thought after the awful setback and facing surgery last year he would be here looking at 1000?
The Vikings are first in the NFL with 14 runs of over 20 yards with Peterson having the majority of them.

Blair Walsh continues to make the Vikings look better and better for drafting him. He is 2nd in the NFL with 35 touchbacks. This weekend could be Vikings history. Blair needs 5 to tie and 6 to be the Vikings record holder with 40 touchbacks in one season and the season is only half over.

Walsh is tied for 3rd in the NFL with 19 field goals and 4th in the league with 76 points.

The Vikings are 2nd in the NFL with the average starting at the 25.2 thanks to the league’s best kickoff returner in Percy Harvin.

Jared Allen with his hard work every game day is now 7th in the NFC with 7 sacks. This man holds the Vikings season record of sacks in a season. I do feel he is far from done and will pad his numbers yet with anything being possible. A 2 or 3 sack game against the Lions will really set him up for a great 2nd half of the season.

Kevin Williams will be in his 150th game Sunday as the Vikings defensive tackle. This will tie him with John Randle for 2nd in team history for the defensive tackle position.

The series favors the Vikings who are 67-33-2 against Detroit. This includes a 36-13-1 at home and Minnesota has won 13 of the last 14 at Mall of America Field.
The season is on the line but I believe the Vikes will go into the bye with a 6-4 record and more importantly a 2 game sweep of a division foe.

Next up: Thoughts on a must win

Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tough day in Seattle

Oh boy, where do I begin? The first drive by the Vikings was unbelievable or should I say the Adrian Peterson drive? The end result was awesome with a touchdown, but after all the hard work by AP on the long run, did you not want him to end up in the end zone on that run? A run that long and come up that short. This man we know as AP will there ever be another running back like him in our life time? His work ethic is and effort can never be overlooked. It was so nice to have the drive not end in a field goal.

The frustration still not to see Christian Ponder not be able to go deep is getting harder to watch. The pounding he took today was something. You just want to see some success to start but it just does not happen. The dump off passes to Peterson are just asking too much of AP. It is getting harder to watch Kyle Rudolph not get any passes. I still feel we have viable weapons but there is absolutely no success. The stats from a passing game does not win a game but to see less than a hundred or so is getting worrisome.

I love this team and want them so badly to win. I look every week for someone to spark this offense. The team cannot solely rely on Peterson and Harvin to be Mr. Everything’s because eventually defensive coordinators will put more and more defenders on these 2 and then what?

I do not believe it is time to panic, but it is ok to be concerned with the lack of a passing game. The stat today I saw was unbelievable with Adrian having 197 yards total offense and the rest of the team 90 plus yards.

In losing to Seattle is nothing to hang the teams head down because Seattle is one of the best home teams in the NFL. A loss a team can get over, but the repeated fails of the passing game dies get hard to get over. I would just love to see a connection of a bomb even if it not a touchdown just something downfield that ignites the team and fans.

I really like what I saw with all the purple in the stands on TV. I would like one day to go to Seattle and just see how loud it really is. It seems like an outside stadium would not be that loud but to the credit of the Seahawk fans they get that 12th man cranked up.

A loss is tough to find positives once in a while but today a couple stuck out. The first was an obvious one with Adrian’ play and the second was kicker Blair Walsh with 2 field goals one from 55. His kickoffs once again were outstanding keeping Leon Washington in control.

On the flip side in the struggling is the run defense. The first few weeks were outstanding and now for the 4th week in a row the team was gouged. Sunday Marshawn Lynch was a handful to say the least as his nickname was the Beast. He definitely lived up to his name.

The play of Seattle quarterback, Russell Wilson was unbelievable and impressive. The way he played today you would never have known he was a third round pick in the draft. His running and elusiveness was so frustrating to watch.

Seattle wide out, Sidney Rice did exactly what I hoped would not happen and that was made big play after big play. Then add in an option pass he threw was a beautiful play call.

The ankle issue for Percy Harvin will be a concern this week. I was shocked when I saw him come back in. He is so tough but the limping on the field when he ran worries me he was going to do more damage to it.

To repeat myself the Vikings just might have two of the toughest players in the league with Adrian coming back from surgery and the pounding Harvin takes week in and week out.

The loyal and passionate fan I am will continue to be a huge supporter and will come next week to Mall of America Field with high expectations of going into the bye week 6-4.

Football is a game for fans to enjoy and you want your team to win each week but sometimes it is not meant to be. Sunday was just not the Vikings day. We as fans have to stay together.

One note after the game, Adrian Peterson autographed his game worn jersey and donated it for a Hurricane Sandy fundraiser. Even after a loss this guy just not stop giving.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Looking to get back in the win column

As a Vikings fan this 11 days since the game against Tampa Bay has seemed like an eternity. The bye week is also tough even though I know it is part of football. The team becomes so much of a fans part of life each Sunday. A loss the week before makes for even a longer wait.

This week’s foe in my mind will be maybe the toughest the team has seen so far. The San Francisco game would rank up there as well. The difference this time will be playing in Seattle who may be arguably the toughest team in the NFL to beat at home.
Those of you who follow the game know Seattle has already taken down three power houses in Green Bay, New England and Dallas. The way this season is going anything is possible. It will be tough but I believe with the time off the Vikings will come in and take the win.

I am very excited to see the Vikings run defense in action. In the last 3 weeks the team has given up over 450 yards running to RGIII, Stephens-Howling and Doug Martin. The team now faces the second leading rusher in the NFL in Marshawn Lynch. He is 2nd to our own Adrian Peterson. I believe the team’s pride will step up in a major way and make Lynch have a long Sunday afternoon.

Seattle’s quarterback Russell Wilson who not only was drafted in the 2012 draft in the 3rd round out of the University of Wisconsin, he also beat out Seattle’s high buck free agent, Matt Flynn for the job. The Vikings are facing another athletic quarterback like they did when they faced the Redskins RGIII.

The defense is going to have their hands full in trying to tackle a big physical back in Lynch and also needs to be concerned about the mobility of Wilson.

The articles I have been reading on the problems of the Vikings defense seem to stem from missing their gap assignments. I again repeat I believe this 11 day period has given the team a chance to step back look at film and concentrate on what the problems are and then taking the next step and fixing them.

The team is off to such a good start it is time for a huge win in Seattle and then go home for Detroit, and then the bye with the team sitting at 7-3.

I really believe the major part of this game that will make the difference in who wins will be special teams. We are going to see 2 very powerful units who rank in the top 10 in the NFL. Minnesota’s Percy Harvin and Seattle’s Leon Washington will give the other team fits. Blair Walsh and Chris Kluwe will both need their A games.

A few areas need to be watched as the Vikings lost Chris Cook and now need to count on AJ Jefferson and rookie, Josh Robinson to step in. Seattle’s Sidney Rice you know will want to be yup for the game and show the Vikings up.

The Vikings receivers will face I feel the biggest secondary in the NFL. They are tall and play big especially in hitting. These young Vikings receivers have a real chance to make a statement.

Jared Allen, who has a string of 6 games in a row with a sack goes up against the number 6 pick overall in the 2010 draft, Russell Okung. This will be a great ball to keep an eye on. My feeling is Allen will leave Seattle with his 7th game in a row with a sack.

Matt Kalil just might be facing his biggest test of 2012 as he goes against Seattle’s defensive end Chris Clemons who already has 7 sacks this season.

I just feel this is going to be a war with the Vikings going into Seattle’s 12th man. The game will be physical with the top 2 leading rushers going head.

Seattle is 3-0 at home but after Sunday they will be at 3-1 and the Vikings record will go to 6-3. The Vikings win 23-14.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick