Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

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

Monday, January 28, 2013

AP for MVP

The Pro Bowl is over and now next up is Saturday February 2nd in which major football awards will be handed out. The time of all the talk and speculation will finally be over and the person that has been voted for will be accepting their award.

The last time a Vikings player was MVP of the league I was 10 years old. Fran Tarkenton was league MVP in 1975 and 4 years before that Alan Page was MVP.

The stats that Adrian produced were mind boggling. He is laying on Fed Ex Field in Washington D.C. on Christmas Eve in 2011 and then 2012 we all saw him come within 9 yards of breaking Eric Dickerson’s record. I for one fully believe we will see this record come down yet.

I am going to list 9 stats of just what he did to remind you all of just how great he was during the 2012 season. It seems each week we saw records fall so to look at a compiled list for the year is easier to take in and say wow a million times. These are not in any order.

1) Peterson is the first Vikings running back to lead the NFL in rushing twice (2008 and 2012.) It is unbelievable with the thought he had to beat at the minimum of 31 other running backs and the names he topped these seasons even more awesome.

2) Peterson has 2- 82 yard runs which are his career long with the first one at Green Bay on Dec 2nd and two weeks later at St. Louis. There are guys who are lucky to get 82 yards in a game let alone in one run. The thing on this stat is they were both done on the road.

3) The stat of 7 runs of 50 yard runs in one season tying Barry Sanders. The thought on this is all defenses were keying on Adrian with 8 to 9 in the box and yet he still gets 50 or more.

4) The stat of from Week 7 to Week 15 Peterson had 1313 yards. This is the most yards rushing by a player in a span of 8 weeks. The thought here is the NFL is a violent game with guys wearing down as the season goes. This gets thrown out the window as Adrian did this from mid-season to 2 weeks from the end of the season. It just makes this stat even more eye opening of when the record occurred.

5) A stat that runs of the same period of time Week 7-15 Peterson set a team record with 8 straight 100 yard games.

6) Adrian came in as rookie in 2007 and now in 2012 he has scored at least 10 touchdowns in each of his 6 seasons. He keeps on making fantasy owners smile with his yardage and touchdowns. This season he seemed to have dropped because of the fear of the injury he suffered. He showed the world a lot of hard work and determination can go a long ways and now possibly MVP.

7) The stat of 2097 is awesome but even more is the next guy behind him by almost 500 yards with 484 to be exact. Washington’s Alfred Morris finished second. Peterson also led the league in total scrimmage yards with 2314. Detroit Lion’s Calvin Johnson had a NFL record breaking year yet he too fell short of AP by 350 yards.

8) Peterson reached 8000 yards for his career this season. He is the 45th player to do so but the 6th fastest to reach it in just 85 games. If this guy can stay healthy each year will bring Vikings fans more to talk about and wonder can this guy be human.

9) The last stat is he averaged 131 yards per game which comes first in team history beating his old record in 2008 by 21 yards.

The man did everything a team needed and more. He is a breath of fresh air with his attitude. The money these players get paid is insane but if they are going to give it out Peterson deserves every cent.

The involvement in the community he does is so nice to see a guy help people less fortunate than him.

I know Peyton Manning has much going for him but with Peterson he more than helped a team go from 3-13 to 10-6 with so much of his ground game fighting the odds of defenses stacking the box. The yardage numbers were huge and the fumbles were down with all those hands ripping away at the ball.

I believe we have the league MVP but also will take it one step further as he is my choice for comeback player of the year. I believe he will need help carrying the awards to his vehicle after the show.

Saturday is coming soon and I cannot wait to see the smile coming onto the stage when he accepts the award.

His resume goes like this in 2007 Rookie of the Year and 2012 MVP

MVP can stand for NFL voters join Minnesota votes Peterson

Thanks for reading

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rudolph MVP in Pro Bowl well deserved

I know I have talked to several people who have no care to watch the Pro Bowl but I cannot be in that group. It is football and that is the bottom line.

The game had great Vikings flavor to it which made it even more fun. Blair Walsh ends up 14 points going 2 for 2 in field goals and 8-8 in extra points. It is simply just an exclamation point to his unbelievable season. The only thing strange to see was a Saints player holding the ball for a Vikings player. They can get along after all or maybe this fan has trouble with bad memories down in the Superdome a couple years ago. The bottom line is Walsh is a Vikings weapon for years to come.

Jerome Felton all year was such an important ingredient to Adrian Peterson’s success in reaching the 2000 milestone in rushing years. It was strange to realize that Felton had 0 carries all season. I would say his hard work through the year paid off tonight with 4 carries and even got a touchdown. What a great reward to a man who deserves it for all his efforts this season.

Chad Greenway played well I thought and his hard work was rewarded on special teams as he recovered a fumble. I still think he deserved better as he should have been voted in instead of going as a replacement for an injured player.

I did like to see the offensive huddle by the NFC as we saw so many Vikings helmets as at times 4/11 of the offense was Vikings with AP, Rudolph, Felton and Kalil all in there. Way to go Vikes for making this fan proud.

I thought Jared Allen played a very good game as well with just like the season not so many sacks but quite a few of quarterback hurries.

The only disappointment was the opening play with Adrian fumbling and I had gone into the game expecting him to be the game’s MVP. I was wrong on this MVP thought but I did love the choice of Kyle Rudolph. The man was not even supposed to be there only to be called after Tony Gonzalez pulled out. I love the effort Kyle put in tonight. The touchdown he hauled in is something I expect much more next year. He has such good hands and in the Pro Bowl did a great job of getting open. I really thought he had MVP wrapped up in the first half. I was concerned that Russell Wilson or AJ Green would sneak in and steal it away. AJ Green with 3 touchdowns even though a loss I did not know how the voters would lean.

The award to Rudolph just caps a fantastic Vikings season. The team wins 3 games last season and then this season shock America and makes the playoffs. Rudolph was not to be in the Pro Bowl and then more than makes up by taking away a new vehicle and his name on the MVP trophy. He is only the 2nd tight end in history to get this award sharing it with Kellen Winslow.

In addition to the Vikings players being huge contributors I loved a few other play calls made by other players that were not Vikings.

I loved the 2 attempts in using Houston Texans JJ Watt as a receiver in the red zone. They were 2 failures but still loved the creativity.

The onside kick attempt by Cleveland Browns kicker Phil Dawson was the most incredible attempt I have ever seen. No, it was not successful but boy was that creative. He fakes one way comes back the other way and then kicks with the back of his foot. If I ever tried that I would fall flat on my face.

I thought a first class move also occurred as the NFL allowed Jeff Saturday (Packers center) who will be retiring after this season snap one more ball to AFC quarterback Peyton Manning. It was weird to see a blue jersey snap to a white jersey but it was just this play. It was nice to see two former teammates get one last chance. A great gesture and class act.

I thought referee Ed Hochuli had the call of the night as the game had their first penalty of the game on defensive pass interference. He gets on his microphone and announces, “Yes, Pro Bowl can have penalties too.” I loved it catching people off guard or maybe I should just say I was caught off guard.

It as a high scoring game but I thought the effort was much better this year and hope the NFL does not do away with it.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hawaii will be colored Purple Sunday

The Pro Bowl being played Sunday has had questions in the past such as, are they players giving it their all? or how about the amount of players who back out due to injury?

The Vikings now have 7 players who made the trip which is awesome. I do not care if it the result of an injury or what the case the bottom line is these guys are there.

I know I have read and heard the players get in because of popularity which is very unfortunate. I look at a Chad Greenway who had a monster year and yet gets in because of an injury to DeMarcus Ware. Greenway played every game and as far as I am concerned played his butt off. Ware ended up the last couple of weeks with a bad shoulder so as far as this fan is concerned justice has paid off and the right guy who played all 16 games is now in.

Blair Walsh was as deserving as anyone to go and thank God we did not have to wait for an injury to occur so Blair could go. I could not be happier for Walsh and I repeat myself as I believe he was the steal of the draft.

It is awesome to know that both Jerome Felton and Adrian Peterson who are both starters make up the NFC backfield. I have read Peterson wants to take this game serious and after what he did in this season is there any reason we should not doubt him. I would be shocked if he is not the Pro Bowl MVP and the game has not even been played. He might be the first running back in Pro Bowl history to have a 300 yard game.

Kyle Rudolph replaces Tony Gonzalez and again I love this. I will not say by default because there are at least 16 tight ends in the NFC so to see him come to Hawaii speaks volumes to how he is thought of. I am a Vikings fan and am biased but I cannot help but be proud to see these guys represent the team.

Matt Kalil who I thought should be there anyway as he comes in as a rookie and handles the left tackle all by himself going up each Sunday against the opposing best defensive ends and I thought he did an awesome job. He has a bright future assuming he can stay healthy. A year ago who would have seen this coming after the McKinnie departure and really a weak area of the team. A Pro Bowl much deserved. If this game is a so called popularity vote well this game could be the start for Matt.

Jared Allen and the name is all I have to say. His play, his hustle and determination is something I never get sick of watching. His sack numbers were down but the amounts of quarterback hurries in my eyes are as good as a sack.

The amount of talk about the game and the lack of passion by players who play in it will have a different tune as the Purple are invading Hawaii Sunday and will show the world that these 7 have something to say.

I would like to pass along info on a former Vikings draft choice. Do you remember Qadry Ismail? He was the 52nd pick in the 1993 draft by the Vikings. Here is a story as he won the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001 and now the Ravens are back in the Super Bowl. Ismail is one of the radio voices for the Ravens radio. I thought this was an incredible good fortune for a former draft choice.

Thanks for reading

Talking Twins for a change up in themes

I am a passionate Vikings fan but also very passionate about Minnesota teams whether they win or lose. I guess what sets the Vikings apart is because of the access I have to them when it comes to Training Camp only 40 miles from my house. If the Twins camp was that close it would be awesome.

I made my first trip to Twinfest in 2012 and loved it so much I made another trip on Saturday January 26th with my youngest daughter.

I am writing in hopes after you read this you too may make a trip either Sunday the 27th which is the last day or make plans or next year.

The cost is 15.00 for adults and 8.00 for kids under 14. If you are a baseball fan this is the place and worth every cent I paid today.

We took the light frail from the Mall of America and arrived at the dome in about a half hour after the stops on the way.

We walk in and right away fans are given a bag of coupons and other miscellaneous items including a booklet all about Twinsfest and everything it has to offer such as autograph times and also has a floor plan laid out to where everything is located.
What a sight as you walk down the steps of the dome and look over the sight of everything. A picture is worth a 1000 words well in this case definitely true.

The nice thing is we leave our coats in the seats trusting they will be there when we get back. It is too hot to wear your winter coats around on the field. I see plenty of people setting up camp and leaving their coats as well.

We were walking down to the field when we noticed 1500 radio station had a stage set up and who was there doing an interview none other than Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. You could sit where you want and just listen to what he had to say.

The lay out on the field is such as all on the outside you have food vendors, and plenty of booth set up for fans to find out more about the Twins. There is season ticket booth set up. There is also a fair amount of booths where you can spin a wheel in hopes of winning a prize. My daughter and I each won a light rail pass.

There is a booth set up where a player comes for kids question and answer session. There are plenty of things to do for kids. They have a few blow ups where the kids can jump in them. There are places set up for kids to go into a batting cage and hit whiffle balls that workers pitch to them. Kids can pitch as well.

It really is a great set up for kids of younger ages to have some fun with the hitting and pitching.

In the middle of the dome field is a large selection of vendors set up memorabilia. The amount of 8x10 autographed or non-autographed is a sight you have to see to believe. The baseball card sellers are great for the avid baseball collector. This is Twinsfest so you would think baseball items only but wrong every sport is involved with all the selling.

There is face painting set up for kids along with a guy who makes animals out of balloons.

Autograph zones are set up with players and coaches from past and present. There is a cost so before you get in line make sure you find out what the cost is.

TC Bear was walking around and greeting kids and adults as well.

I also found around the corner a table of past baseball greats and to get their autograph is a cost as well. I just stand back and take pictures of the guys. Today’s table had Rollie Fingers, Jim Mudcat Grant, Jim Perry and Ferguson Jenkins.

There is also a baseball Hall of Fame exhibit set up which is my thrill of the day. I found in a case the ticket stub from Cal Ripken’s 2131st game which broke Lou Gehrig’s record.

The autographed baseball by Jack Morris from Game 7 in the 1991 World Series is on display. The hat Scott Erickson wore when he no hit the Milwaukee Brewers on April 27th, 1994.

The shoes Paul Molitor wore when he got his 3000 hit are on display. The hat Ozzie Smith wore in the 1987 World Series is also in a case.

Paul Molitor’s plaque that was brought back from Cooperstown is on display and an awesome chance to take a picture of. This is baseball history at its finest.

The baseball Oakland A’s slugger Dave Kingman hit into the Metrodome roof and did not come down as he was given a ground rule double back on May 4,1984. I was at that game by luck and remember people struggling looking where it landed only to find out it was stuck in a hole.

As you can see there is a ton of history to see and memories you can make either by yourself or with family.

I recommend this on a scale of 1-10 a 10plus.

We even got a surprise as we were about to leave when we found out 4 Twins star players were coming to the 1500 radio stage. We got to see Mike Pelfrey, Justin Morneau, Josh Willingham and Glen Perkins. It was a photographers dream to get shots of these stars.

My daughter is 10 and lasted over 3 hours without complaining which tells me this event is just this much better when she says she wants to come again next year.

That all for now
Go Twins in 2013
Thanks for reading

Monday, January 21, 2013

A look at 23rd pick in the draft

The NFC and AF Championship games are in the books meaning one game left and that is Super Bowl 47. I love the Super Bowl but also in the same breath I am thinking it is that much closer to the April draft.

I do not know the future but for now the Vikings are slated to pick number 23 in the first round. There can always be a trade but for now I will look at this slot.

There have been numerous mock drafts which are great to look at to see what the experts are thinking. The position of wide receiver, defensive tackle and linebackers are what I am seeing for people think the Vikings need. I cannot disagree with this assessment but also know what these guys are projecting may be right or may be way in left field. I fall back to the year where Tom Brady was taken in the 6th round and now he is a sure Hall of Famer when he hangs his cleats up.

The names coming up are wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee) or Terrance Williams (Baylor). The linebacker’s name picked is Alec Ogletree (Georgia). The defensive tackles, Sharrif Floyd (Florida), or Sheldon Richardson (Ole Miss).

There is a record 73 underclassmen that have entered their names into the draft along with the seniors meaning many choices to pick from and these names I listed above could change in the next couple of months.

I like these 5 names for a major reason and that is they are all from the south which I believe produces the best players. The SEC conference alone has won 7 straight national titles. The University of Baylor produced RGIII.

I also looked at the last 10 drafts to see who went at number 23.
2003- Willis McGahee RB (Buffalo Bills)
2004- Marcus Tubbs DT (Seattle Seahawks)
2005- Fabian Washington CB (Oakland Raiders)
2006- Davin Joseph OG (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
2007- Dwayne Bowe WR (Kansas City Chiefs)
2008- Rashard Mendenhall RB (Pittsburgh Steelers)
2009- Michael Oher OT (Baltimore Ravens)
2010- Bryan Bulaga OT (Green Bay Packers)
2011- Dany Watkins OG (Philadelphia Eagles)
2012- Riley Rieff OT (Detroit Lions)

In looking at this list of 10 years I am very excited the Vikings too can find a keeper. Dwayne Bowe is a free agent the Vikings could look at. Michael Oher is going to be playing in the Super Bowl. Bryan Bulaga has a Super Bowl ring as well as Mendenhall with the Steelers.

The Senior Bowl is coming along with the combine in Indianapolis so there is hours of TV to watch getting ready for the draft.

There is nothing better than 3 days of TV coverage on the draft. It is football fans dream as we watch how our teams are being rebuilt or adding more depth.

Join me in getting excited for the 2013 version of the Vikings.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Which ex-Vikings gets his first ring as Super Bowl is set

Championship Sunday ended with 2 teams coached by brother going to the Super Bowl. In a crazy year with the referee striking to start the season and teams who had a terrible year before only to bounce back and make the playoffs with the Colts and Vikings now have a Super Bowl with great headlines.

The NFL is the greatest sport in the world. The New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady is only 67-0 when leading at half only to see the Baltimore Ravens come back and knock the powerful Patriots out. Brady is now 67-1 just another crazy stat of this fantastic football season.

How about Randy Moss drafted in 1998 now has a chance to get his first ring? The story of Matt Birk, former Vikings 6th round draft choice in 19998 now has a chance to get his first ring. The story of Bryant McKinnie who was cut in Vikings training camp in 2011 now makes a comeback with Baltimore and now he too has a chance for a ring.

The bottom line is now matter who wins there will be a former Vikings players who get the ring all players want.

Will it be McKinnie and Birk from the Ravens or Moss from the 49ers?

The writers for this upcoming Super Bowl should have a feast with storylines. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick will make his 10th NFL start and it is in the Super Bowl. The last game of Ray Lewis’s career or the story of the two brothers who will coach against each other are both major headlines. I feel bad for the parents with 2 sons coaching in the game of their lives. I know no matter what a Harbaugh will be the winning coach. As a parent what do you do?

It was a great Championship Sunday I thought for NFL fans around the world as we watched the 2 road teams win. What is the chance of this?

I cannot wait for the Super Bowl and as I always hope that it will be a competitive game. I do believe the 49ers will be hoisting the trophy on Sunday February 3, 2013 in New Orleans.

Thanks for reading

2013 Falcons now share 1999 Vikings pain

January 17, 1999 I witnessed one of my biggest heartbreaks as a Vikings fan. I will never forget sitting in shock after watching the Atlanta Falcons defeat my team in overtime sending the Falcons to the Super Bowl.

The Vikings came in as the number one seed and Atlanta two. The Vikings had not lost at home all year until that day.

The snap, the hold and the kick by Falcons’ Morten Andersen go through the uprights and then to watch the Falcons players running around the Metrodome hugging each other was gut wrenching. I will never forget watching Atlanta Coach Dan Reeves do the “Dirty Bird” on the stage down on the field.

It was the worst feeling in the world thinking what could have been. I had my Super Bowl trip lined up.

Oh well that was then and this is now as Sunday January 20th the Atlanta Falcons number one seed host the number two seed San Francisco 49ers.

The Falcons jump out to a 17-0 lead at home looking like they were going to cruise to an easy win. The 24-14 halftime lead still looking good but the trouble is there are four quarters in a game.

The Vikings in the 1999 NFC Championship game took a lead 20-7 looking like the trip to the Super Bowl was looking more realistic.

The 49ers on Sunday came back from the biggest deficit in a NFC Championship game since Atlanta came back against Minnesota back in 1999.

It is crazy the similarity with these 2 games with both years the 1 and 2’s facing each other. The one seed having a comfortable lead only to watch the visiting number two seed come in and steal a trip to the Super Bowl.

As a Vikings fan living through that year is nice to see the team that stunned the Vikes in 1999 now know how it feels.

I myself am in shock watching Atlanta so dominating to start fall to the high flying 49ers offense. I am truly glad Randy Moss along with the other 52 49ers players will get a shot at the ring.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Packers out,49ers team to beat?

It has been just 8 days since the Vikings were eliminated and those days have been very interesting. The amount of people that have come up to me and taking turns taking pokes at the team I support. I will never back down from my support and if anything I will get stronger.

My thought if a person is that unhappy in watching the Vikings you don’t have to watch. There are thousands of faithful that will make up for those who stop believing.
I find as the season went the same people that were bashing the team then started to talk good when the team had won 4 in a row to get into the playoffs.

The word fan to me as I have written some time ago means FORVER AND NEVERENDING. A team cannot win every week and we as fans cannot make the team win or lose. We can show support by yelling our bloody lungs out as part of the crowd noise. In the end the players are the one that make the plays, good or bad.

The Packers knocked the Vikings out last week and now Saturday the 49ers destroyed the Packers. It will be an interesting week of talk between the Vikings and Packers fans. It is an argument that will end, with no wins or losses. As a Vikings fan I am thrilled the Packers are out but also know they did knock us out.

The game in Lambeau ended the Vikings loss. It is a tough game to think about and wondering could we have won with Ponder in? There were several fans that questioned Ponder’s toughness if he really should have sat out. I cannot think this way as I look at last season and remember the beating he took weekly with a bad line in front of him. There were so many injuries and different line combinations and yet he made it through the season. I remember going to a press conference at Winter Park and looking at Ponder at the podium standing there with a gash across the top of his nose. The best description I think of is a “Rocky Movie” with Sylvester Stallone taking a pounding, falling and getting back up. This might be a little extreme example but it that is how I thought of last year watching Ponder get hammered.

The game Saturday night featured a rookie, Colin Kaepernick carving up the Packers defense with ease. I will not compare Joe Webb to Kaepernick but does make me wonder if Webb would have done more running. It is too late but it makes me think.

The 49ers offense totals 579 yards which is impressive but not as impressive as the stat that of all the powerful 49ers teams in their history this version set a new record. The Packers gave up 323 rushing which is the 2nd most yards the Pack has gave up in their history. The 45 points by the 49ers was the 2nd most the Pack has given up in their long history.

The 49ers carving up the Packers defense like they were not even on the field. I was in shock because I felt the Packers have a good secondary but Saturday the 49ers got receivers open often.

The game Sunday with Atlanta and Seattle I fully believed Seattle would win this game even being down 20-0. Seattle will be a team to fear in the future. I know Atlanta is number one seed but they just don’t seem to be the scary team.

I fully believe based on this weekend results that San Francisco will go to Atlanta and handle the Falcons. The 49ers defense plays physical along with a top notch pass rush now add the running game of San Francisco with Frank Gore and now quarterback Kaepernick and you have a dangerous team.

I am pulling for the 49ers for another reason which people may not like but I am hoping Randy Moss gets his ring in the end.

It is kind of fitting as 1998 Minnesota Vikings team with rookie Randy Moss lost to Atlanta in the NFC Title game. On Sunday January 20, 2013 Randy will get a chance to beat the Falcons along with the rest of his team.

I am disappointed Denver got knocked out by Baltimore as I am a big Payton Manning fan. I believe New England will handle the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday setting up the Super Bowl between the 49ers and Patriots.

Super Bowl Final: 49ers 35 Patriots 31

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Is it the 2013 season yet?

The season is over for the Vikings and now my life changes course with no Purple Sundays and roughly 200 days until Training Camp. I know the dates will be announced later this year so I am basing the 200 off a 1st of August start.

We have lived through craziness in the last 4 years with 2009 season a NFC Championship appearance than the next 2 year 6 wins total and now just finishing an historical season with the team winning 7 more games than the year before.

The Las Vegas odds had the Vikings pegged to win 5-6 games in preseason and at the end of the season Vegas was giving odds for the Vikings winning the Super Bowl. Does it get any crazier than this?

The offseason will be interesting to follow as the team has several free agents. They are Aromashodu (WR) Brinkley (LB),Felton (FB),Loadholt (OT) Sanford (S), Simpson (WR), Schwartz (OL),Erin Henderson (LB) and Marvin Mitchell (LB).

I would love to see Jasper Brinkley back as he just made it through the year healthy. I was so happy for him as the season before he was out for the season with an injury. He is young, got a year under his belt and is a fantastic hitter.

I would also love to get Jerome Felton resigned as he was such a tool in helping the running game, and for his work is making a trip to Hawaii.

I thought Loadholt finally on his last year of the contract had a very good season. I am not saying Pro Bowl level but he played solid.

Jamarca Sanford is feisty back at safety and loves to hit. I really like the combo of Sanford and Harrison Smith. If the Vikes decide not to resign him I am high on Mistral Raymond as well. The bottom line is the safety position is young with many good years ahead assuming the health stays intact.

The 3 starting linebackers made it through the year with little or no injury and now 2 of 3 are free agents. I am huge on Erin Henderson for many reasons including making it the hard way coming as a rookie free agent and now is a starter. This is a man with a work ethic that paid off so far.

It is important these guys get resigned and then the team can look. I know I am hoping a free agent quarterback comes to the fold. I am high on Ponder but after Saturday’s disappointment a veteran would have been nice to have.

My next desire is getting a free agent wide receiver. I just feel this team is close to competing on a regular basis just need a couple of pieces filled. I know I read quite often the name Greg Jennings. I would love this acquisition if possible.

The way Rick Spielman conducted the draft I am a believer he has this team going North and trust what he will do to get this team back to the playoffs.

The Vikings have the number 23 pick so they will have plenty of time to get the pick right the way they got 2012 right with Kalil and Smith in the first.

The Vikings know their opponents just not the dates. The home schedule: Bears, Packers. Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Panthers, Browns all coming to Mall of America Field for maybe the last season in the dome. Pittsburg is a home game except will be playing in London.

As a season ticket holder I know I get to see some of the young talented players coming such as RGIII, Cam Newton, Trent Richardson. The Eagles, Browns and Bears will have a new coach on the sideline. The Packers game will be even hotter after they knocked the Vikes out of the playoffs.

The road teams: Bears, Lions, Packers, Cowboys, Giants, Ravens and Bengals and Seahawks. This will really make the team playoff ready with this road schedule.
I know just writing this gets me excited about the future. I really think Coach Frazier is going to get the job done.

It was so nice this past December watching games that mattered for the Vikes after the last 2 Decembers simply were just games with no playoff meaning.

I read how Adrian Peterson wants to train harder than he did if that is even possible. He wants his team to show the same desire. If this does not get you fired up nothing will. The sky is the limit for AP and I believe Eric Dickerson should be concerned about his record.

The offseason will go fast starting with the combine in Indianapolis, the Draft, mini camps, training camp, preseason and then here we go again. Skol Vikings lets win this game Go get a first down then get a touchdown V-I-K-I-N-G-S

Join me in showing our Purple Passion through the offseason and let’s show the Wilf family and the rest of the organization the passion we have for our favorite team.
The Vikings will be back and will be stronger, uniting in the fight for the grand prize, the Super Bowl trophy.

Thanks for reading my blog this year

I will write occasionally during the offseason. I have had a blast expressing my feelings to you. Thanks to the people who read and left comments.


Monday, January 7, 2013

The year in review

Monday January 7th was a sad day for me as I know the players clean out their lockers and conduct the final interviews. I follow this team with a passionate heart and from late to July to know it is hard core football. 2012-2013 is over but I would like to reflect in what I saw.

The season of 2012 was full of firsts, lasts and records broke. The sport of football is 365 a year so with the NFL network I can keep up with league action and everything involving the Vikings. KFAN is great to listen to with Paul Allen and his insight is wonderful to listen to.

My first interaction as a fan came Thursday April 26th when the draft party was held at the Metrodome for the first time in history. I have not missed a draft party whenever the Vikings have offered for years. I really enjoy when it is held at Winter Park but the dome was something special. The big screen was set up with Paul Allen hosting and having guests along the way including Adrian Peterson making a visit. I will never forget when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell making the announcement of the Vikings taking Matt Kalil. The place went crazy which has not always been the case at draft parties. I was thrilled with the pick. I was surprised when the Vikes moved up to take Harrison Smith out of Notre Dame but the way he panned out I will take the surprise.

The Vikings later in the year move into Mankato and Gage Towers on Thursday Jul 26th. It is history as this was the last season the Vikings will ever stay In Gage. They will be taken down this year and in 2013 the Vikings will have a new dorm.

The Vikings had changed their normal practices of long morning and short afternoon to a first for the team as they switched. The morning was short practice and afternoon long practices in the heat. I was concerned about this but you know as the season did go on the injuries were way down and the team had stamina through week 17.

This was my 19th training camp and in the last 16 years I have only missed 5-6 days. This season I made it every day. I take the whole time off from work and make my 80 mile round trip each day.

I have been able to get a picture with over 400 different players through the years and this season I met each draft pick and got a picture with them. It has been since 1998 I have only missed getting a picture with 3 of the picks and Randy Moss was one of them. He had told me he does not do pictures which I understood.

The football schedule is about to begin with my 12th season of season tickets as I have only missed 1 game in this time and that was a preseason game.

I will never forget the first game of the regular season for many reasons. The first came with the announcements of the offensive starter. I will never forget Adrian Peterson’s name called and how the crowd reacted. It was pandemonium in the dome.

The memory of the first game and a win in overtime over Jacksonville as rookie Blair Walsh not only kicks a 50 plus field goal to send it to overtime, but then adds the game winner. Is this season even though the first game going to go different?

I know as a season ticket holder the team does not owe me and I cannot control the winning and losing but I sure got my money’s worth this season.

A 7-1 home record was such a treat as I was hoping for an 8-0 at home. The one disappointment came on Thursday night football with Tampa Bay here. It was a first for the NFL network to carry a Vikings home game. The whole football world is watching and we lose. The world did not see the team that showed up the other 7 games.

The year saw the Vikings go from getting swept by the Bears, Lions and Packers the year before to coming out with a 4-2 record. The last game against the Packers will go down as the best game I have ever seen at home.

I cannot say I was disappointed with the road record because I know we have not been a good road team. I really think our two best chances to win on the road came in week 2 against the Colts. We come back to tie late only to watch Andrew Luck drive the Colts down and get a game winning field goal.

The game in Lambeau would be the other blown chance. This season came close to watch the Vikings sweep the Packers. Adrian has 210 rushing and we lose and of course are another statistic of a team with 200 yard rusher and lose.

A year in which the Vikings set a record with the biggest jump in wins from one season to the next as the team jumped 7 games. Wow, is all I can say.

It was a year where we saw Tight End, Kyle Rudolph show fans what his future looks like. He is young and has loads of potential.

It was a great draft conducted by Rick Spielman with 8 of 10 picks making the team. They not only made the team but contributed all season giving them experience for next season.

The running of Adrian, the blocking of fullback Jerome Felton along with Christian Ponder making strides in the last 2 regular season games is very exciting for me. The fact the offensive line played all 16 games together is a huge plus going into next year.

The emergence of the steal of the draft, Blair Walsh and his cannon leg setting Vikings and NFL records was a huge boost along with the booming kickoffs, many which went out of the end zone. The special teams really help set up the opposition with bad field position.

A year that saw Percy Harvin start out with MVP numbers only to see his season end on IR. The emergence of rookie speedster Jarius Wright was a positive.

The defense played solid for the majority of the year showing up big in the 49ers home game. Chad Greenway is a treat to watch the way he hustles.

Jared Allen, if we had 11 players with his heart and hustle this team would go undefeated. His relentless pass rushing and although his sack numbers were down he still had a great year making the quarterbacks running for his life.

Brian Robinson set a personal record with sacks, and how about Everson Griffen’s month of December? We need to lock him up as soon as possible.

The safety play was improved thanks to the efforts by rookie Harrison Smith. I like the hustle of Jamarca Sanford and Mistral Raymond back there as well.

Coach Frazier has got to be in the mention of coach of the year. The 5th youngest roster in the NFL and he got those boys to play some ball.

I attended the Green Bay playoff game and am proud to show my support. It is not fun to see a loss and the season end but I am thankful for the thrills this team gave me. I am optimistic about the future of this franchise. A fan is there win or lose never forget that.

Next up: Thoughts on what is needed for 2013

Thanks for reading

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Looking at Lambeau through my eyes

I have been told by several fans of both the Packers and Vikings fans who have gone to Lambeau that when I go will be the time of my life.

These people were exactly right. The only disappointment is it was a night game so I did not get pictures of the outside of the stadium. I did however make up for that by taking plenty of inside pictures.

The walk up to Lambeau field even though it was dark I got to see hundreds of tailgaters. I have never seen this many in my life. It was vehicle next to each other with seemingly enough space to get your body barely through as you walked. This will be one memory I will never forget.

We continued making our way to the stadium and came up to the security. The dome security we put our arms out as we are patted down lightly. The Lambeau security was different as they had us keep our arms down and they had a hand held scanner and they ran it up and down our body.

We passed the security check and were headed closer to this historical sight. We made our way up steps which reminded me of Target Field with the gates on the Light Rail side have steps going up to the stadium.

The top of the steps to the right workers were charging 4.00 for a seat with a back to it. Lambeau field seats are bleachers and giving 4.00 you are renting this to put on the bench for a little more comfort for sitting.

We made our way to section 129 row 57 in the corner of the end zone and a little to the right where the Packers come out of the tunnel. We got to our row and placed our purchase on the bench. We were told each person gets 18 inches for them to sit. I looked around and saw plenty of blankets fans brought to sit on. The game we attended even though we got the seat we never use it except during halftime. Our section stood the entire game. The other difference from the dome is they do not have beverage holders. You hold them or tuck the drink under your seat.

It was so cozy as people with all their winter clothes made it seem like you had no room to move. It did seem to keep us warmer.

We got situated and went down to the concourse which was huge. It was fairly easy to get through. We are Vikings fan through and through but did walk into the Packers store just to look and I will say it is huge. We did take some grief as we were asked if we wanted to change our colors to green and gold. No thanks!!!!!

We bought some cheese curds and will say they might be the best I have ever had. It was 5.00 and you got a lot. I did not count them but I know we got more than we do at the county fair.

The national anthem brought chills as a National Guard helicopter did the fly over. It was an amazing sight as people had the US flag spread out on the field and a the flyover. A huge playoff game and this sight was emotional as it gets.

I looked around the stadium and saw the names of the Packer greats Reggie White, Paul Hornung, Curly Lambeau. I was seeing a huge chunk of NFL history right behind me.
I did not get a chance to take a tour of the Hall of fame so if I can ever get back there I will make sure it is a priority.

The chant of Packers fans saying Go Pack Go just echoes throughout the stadium I noticed.

The game ended and we could choose go up or down the steps to get out. We went up and got onto a concourse cut over and walked to a walkway that wound down on the outside of the building. It was here and I could look over the railing to see the thousands of fans leaving. It was very easy to get out of the stadium.

Once we got to the bottom we got in the mix of thousands and it seemed to flow very well. The post-game tailgating was still going strong.

We did come to the Brett Favre steakhouse about a block or 2 away from the stadium. There is also a street named after Favre.

That night I was part of the 4th biggest crowd in Lambeau history with over 71,000 fans.

I am a Vikings fan and do not like the Packers but I will say it was one of the most memorable nights of my life seeing this historical sight.

I recommend this highly and hope you can make a trip one day. It was a 700 mile round trip we did in a little over 24 hours and I would do it again but this time a noon or 3 game.

Thanks for reading

The dream season ends

The day I had been waiting for finally was here as I made my first trip to historical Lambeau Field thanks to my daughter and son in law who got 4 tickets.

We stayed at Days Inn in Appleton, Wisconsin. It was during our stay on Saturday we went to a bar called “The Bar” and paid 20.00 to take a shuttle to Lambeau. It was a Packers bar so the 4 of us were in the minority as we waited to get on the bus.
There were 5 school bused that took fans to the game. My cell phone went dead and with that I lost my ability to find out info on the game.

We were walking through the thousands of tailgaters to get to the game when I found out Christian Ponder was inactive. I had heard earlier in the day it might but I thought probably like most fans it was a game they were playing with the Packers.

I had Packers fans coming up to me to find out my thoughts and they expressed theirs as well. The ones I talked to really thought was bad news for the Vikings. I also was told by one fan that after the way Ponder played last Sunday that he would not have been able to follow that act in Lambeau . All I could say is, we will see what happens. I also got the Packers fans going when I predicted Adrian would get not 199 or 210 he will get 300. This just gets the green and gold fans fired up. It is just friendly trash talking to get us each fired up, like each teams’ fans are not already.

The first drive is exactly what the Vikings needed, a grind it out running game. I loved how Adrian and Joe Webb moved us down the field. The Packers fans in my section were getting nervous watching the Vikes move rather easy. The end result, a field goal was rather disheartening being on the road and not able to get a touchdown. Yes, it was points but I also know the Packers are playing in front of their home crowd.

The game went on and frustration set in as I sat and watched Webb struggle mightily. A part of me felt bad as I know he has not taken a snap all year and then the playoffs come and he gets the call. I know as a backup they should be ready at all times. It just was gut wrenching to watch him struggle.

I compare the Packers defense facing Joe Webb like a shark around blood. Joe just could not react fast enough. I sat and watched him hold the ball too long and seem to be indecisive causing the Packers’ defense to take control.

I would have liked to see Webb run more read options and feel he may have been a little more successful. I also feel the Vikings should have tried more screen passes with the fast Packers rush. I know it’s the coaches’ call, but as a fan it was only a wish.

I do not know how practice went during the week but in my eyes Joe and his receivers were not on the same page all night. Joe threw deep but too far for Simpson. It was awful to watch and to make things worse the Packers fans were laughing at our quarterback.

I am a fan until I die and and am proud to make the trip to Lambeau and show my purple pride even amongst the many Packers fans in my section.

I know Adrian had an MVP year but Saturday night I was the most proud of his efforts. The Packers know Joe Webb is quarterback, they know AP will get a ton of hand offs. In saying this to see Adrian get 99 yards in my mind is equal to 200. It is simply amazing to watch a team focus on Adrian and hit him hard and often and yet AP get almost 100 again.

I might be in the minority in saying this but with Webb’s struggles all night I was so happy for him when he found Michael Jenkins wide open ending in a touchdown.

It was frustrating to watch Aaron Rodgers pass with such efficiency hitting the dump passes and screen passes. I know the term is dink and dunk and Rodgers is taking what he is giving. All I could do is sit and watch after the Vikings make the tackle they would get up shaking their heads.

The penalties Saturday seemed to come at the wrong times. The stop on 3rd down by the Vikings defense was big, forcing a potential field goal by Crosby, so I thought. A penalty flag on the Vikings with 12 men on the field was called. I think back what if Crosby would have missed it would this be a momentum changer?

I saw Jasper Brinkley hustling to the sideline, but too late. The struggles Crosby has been having all season would have been nice to see him come out and choke. The Pack gets 1st down out of this and the next play, touchdown Packers. It is things like this that made my heart sink. I was at the Vikings-Saints NFC Championship game and watched the 12 men back then. What is it about the playoffs and 12 men on the field?

I know it was not our night when Vikings punt returner, Marcus Sherels fumbles a ball. He has been so solid all year and in my mind done a great job. He has gotten such good field position all year with his returns and then Saturday one mistake.

Saturday seemed like anything that could go wrong, did. The chants of Go Pack Go during the game and after the game I think I heard in my sleep.

The Vikings had a year to remember and I for one refuse to lessen my passion for the team with this loss. I am proud of this young team and look forward to the 2013 season.

Thanks to the Wilf family, Coach Frazier and his staff, along with all the players for making this season ticket holder smile even after a loss. The future is bright and I for one am excited like you would not believe.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A bucket list wish getting closer

It has been on my bucket list in life

And now I get to go with my daughter, son in law and wife.

The packing will start Friday night

The Vikings have offered a round trip to Green Bay flight

We have decided to pass on this offer and get in the car

We know the distance is far

The map quest has suggested 6 hours plus

I am so excited I will not even fuss

We need to have our clothing well planned so we can be warm

The efforts to be organized could make the thoughts in my head swarm

I am not a Packer fan in any shape or form but to see Lambeau field is a once in a lifetime chance for me

I am so thankful because going with some of my family because then I can say to see this historical sight I can than see we.

I am expecting a battle as we saw last week two teams that played to the end

If would be so lucky to see a replica game but if the results are the same I know I may have my family to defend.

This will be my 4th road game with so far the fans have been fun

My hope is to travel to different NFL team stadiums in years to come and never be done.

I look forward to the Lambeau outdoor crowd

I will be interesting to see if this one is loud

Skol Vikings as I am a fan for life

I could not be as big of fan without the support of my wife

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Peterson talk never gets old

The fact that Adrian Peterson is a beast and is smashing records seemingly every time he touches the ball has been a weekly story lately.

The people I have talked to seem to talk about the 9 yards Adrian Peterson missed the record which has made for a great talker week so far.

Some have said,” What if he could have a few more touches in Houston even though he was a little injured”?

There are those who add, “What if the Vikings would have risked playing overtime by giving Peterson just a couple more carries to get the yards”?

My thought what if he would have got 9 more yards, not scored, and the clock would have run out? What if the Packers would have won the game in OT?

We have a man who became just the 7th man in the NFL history to get 2000. The fact is he would be the man with the new record breaking Dickerson’s yardage and the team is sitting home, would it really mean as much? Yes, history would have been made, but what you here on TV from players is what they want is “The ring”.

One stat to think about with what Adrian has done is the month of December alone he gained 861 yards. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles star running back, had 840 for the year. It is a fact like that which makes the year one for the ages.

It was late December last year we all watched Adrian laying on Fed Ex Field in Washington wondering just how bad the injury was. This man has set standards which demand hard work and a never quit attitude we can all take into out into our own livelihoods. Hard work can and does pay off just ask AP.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Playoff fever

First I must say I am so pumped for the playoffs and with that I am able to keep writing about this magical season.

The first 4 games of the season we started out 3-1. I found a stat back then that involved the playoffs. This is the 13th time in team history to have this record. The Vikings made the playoffs 9 of the first 12th before this season which works out to 75 percent. It is incredible the team is here again.

The 5-2 start and then going to 6-6 followed up by winning the last 4 to make 10-6 is unbelievable considering the last 2 seasons ending up last in the division both times.
The game played in historic Lambeau Field is a NFC North dream matchup. Each team wins on their home turf and now the rubber match.

The weather in Lambeau at this time of year you never know. This will be an interesting night for many but one in particular, Blair Walsh. The kicker that sent the team into the playoffs will get a true test in cold temps. The coldest weather he has kicked in was Chicago and it was 41. The predicted temps are in the teens. This is a great chance to have him continue his record year even in the cold.

The Vikings in the last 8 seasons have only played 3 games with the temps below 32. I was amazed when I read that. It does seem lately that we have played the Packers and Bears before December.

The Vikings beat the Packers in a playoff game in the 2004-2005 season in Lambeau. There are only 3 players left from that roster: Kevin Williams, Cullen Loeffler and Antoine Winfield.

The last time the Vikings were in the playoffs was the 2009 season. There are only 13 players left from that roster.

It is truly a changed roster with 29 of the 53 players being draft picks. A true credit to the Vikings College scouts for finding these young men and of course the young men had to prove their worth.

The rematch between the Vikings and Packers 6 days apart makes a fan wonder what these teams can do that the other team has not seen.

The amazement of Adrian’s running will get another test. The 210 and 199 in the two games against the Pack you would think a third time something has to give.

I just believe Adrian is getting stronger each game which you would think be unusual considering the length of the season. The amount of punishment the body takes makes this season even more memorable. The amount of times the Packers had AP stopped Sunday so they thought and then there he goes around the edge. I believe the Vikings running game will be the difference this Saturday.

Yes, the Packers have a powerful passing offense but the footing will be the key for receivers and defensive backs on who has better footing.

The Packers get back a top defender in Charles Woodson which will make things just that much more interesting. The man is a ball hawk and I believe he will be in the Hall of Fame one day.

Ponder played the game of his life last Sunday. Can we get a carbon copy Saturday? I believe he will especially when AP gets his runs.

Matt Kalil will get another shot at Clay Mathews. I really like this advantage for Kalil. I thought Matt played a whale of a game but needs to keep it up. It has been so nice not to have a tight end line up next to Kalil for pas protection purposes.

The last 2 Super Bowl winners have come from the 6th seed. I know it a long shot for the Vikings. I look at it this way now that they are in anything can happen. You cannot win the Super Bowl as the 7th seed.

I believe the score will be low and I will say 20-13 Vikings.

I want to thank the Vikings ownership, Coach Frazier and his staff along with the 53 man roster for giving the state of Minnesota a team to be proud of. I love the fact this team has overcome all doubters and just not quit no matter has happened throughout the season.

Go Vikes
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Making a road trip to Lambeau

I have been a Vikings fan since I can remember. I never played football as a kid; just have always loved watching it. I love all levels including high school, college and pro. I enjoy watching college so when the draft comes around I know some of the names and with that comes hopes of a player I have watched become a Viking.

I started my season tickets in 1996 in an unusual way. A lady my dad had worked with could not go but wanted to keep the tickets so each Sunday I bought her 2 tickets and thus I went the whole season. I remember the tickets were in section 101, 4 rows up in the end zone. It was great seats to have when the Vikings were on my end but when they were on the other end it was hard to tell what line they were on so I spent a lot of the game watching the big screen.

The rest of the seasons I have been upper deck and now the last 4 years in 215 corner of the end zone which I love.

My passion for the team has found me doing a few road trips and having a blast. I went to Denver the last year of Mile High Stadium. It was Halloween Day and I went all by myself. My uncle got me 1 ticket so I came in all purple and sat in the middle of orange and blue. I remember I had to take a bus to the game because the normal parking lot had the new stadium going up. Gary Anderson made the game winning field goal to the dismay of Broncos fans. I went to 7 different buses before anyone would let me on. It was concerning but I also knew the Vikings had just won on a last second field goal.

I went to St. Louis for a playoff game the year that the Rams won the Super Bowl. I paid 500.00 for 2 tickets and sat 3 rows from the roof of Edward Jones Dome. A friend of mine and I made the 10 hour trip to St. Louis. Jeff George was quarterback of the Vikings that year. I remember yellow foam sticks were handed to all fans entering. The game had ended and as my friend and made our way down the steps we got hit with the yellow foam sticks. It did not hurt but was also crazy watching the fans celebrate.

I remember parking at the game was free as long as you went on the riverboat on the river in St. Louis and got your ticket voucher punched then we could park for free for the game.

My wife and I went to the Vikings NFC Championship game in New Orleans. We paid 800.00 for 2 tickets and sat in the 6th level of the Superdome. We took a Sun Country Airlines Vikings fan only flight down there. It was a down and return same day flight. I left home at 4 am and returned at 4 am the next day. The fans I thought were pretty nice and enjoyed listening to their accents. Most fans said we are sorry you came this far to watch your team lose. It was a great trip and a chance to see another city in this great USA.

Now Saturday January 5th will be my next road trip. My daughter and my son in law bought 4 tickets for the game in Lambeau. It is on my bucket list to make a trip to Green Bay before I die. I had so much fun last Sunday at the nest game I had ever been to. I cannot wait to walk around and take it in. I dislike the Packers like any true Vikings fan but this is a historical sight which I cannot deny. I am hoping for a Vikings win but to say I went to Lambeau field for a playoff game is something I will never forget.

Go Vikes
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