Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

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

Friday, May 31, 2013

Carlson looking to rebound in 2013

89- JOHN CARLSON
 
Friday May 31st marks 100 days until the start of the Vikings season and on this day I will take a look at tight end, John Carlson today. I believe he is due for a better 2nd season after a forgettable 1st year campaign wearing the purple.  It is my hope he will show Vikings fans why the tem team thought so highly of him to give him the big bucks.
John came to Minnesota as a free agent signing 5 years for 25 million. He is 6’5 “and weighs 248. He was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota and attended Litchfield High School and then onto college at Notre Dame.
I was so excited when we signed him in the 2012 off season and excited to see him live in Mankato at Training Camp. He got injured in camp and after that just seemed to have a bad luck year.
In 2012 he had career lows in number of receptions, yardage and touchdowns. John renegotiated his contract after the season and will make a little less this season. I am so glad the Vikings are giving him more time.
My heart tells me John will have a strong season and become a great asset along with Kyle Rudolph at the tight end position. They are both tall making great targets for Christian Ponder.
John, a veteran player along with being born in Minnesota, playing high school football in Minnesota and now plays for the Vikings. How can you not pull for a local guy to make it big?
As many players as I met through the years in Mankato John came across as  first class act as he took time to talk to fans and take pictures with fans along with signing for them as well.
Good Luck John in year 2, may you have a breakout season.
Thanks for reading
Purplestick
 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hoping Childs can make the comeback


85- GREG CHILDS IN 2012 TRAINING CAMP




The Vikings have starts such as Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway, and Jared Allen just to name a couple that get a ton of press. I would like to look at a few players over the next few days I would like to see have a good camp with the hopes of making the team.

In 2012 Greg Childs with the 134th pick in the 4th round out of the University of Arkansas. The combine in Indianapolis before the draft in 2012 Childs ran a 4.53 40 yard dash. He also had a 36 ½ vertical jump and 10’5” broad jump.

He stands at 6’3 “and weighs 217 pounds. Sidney Rice and Randy Moss have come and gone. The draft provided the Vikings with the next big athletic man in hopes. The unthinkable happened in Training Camp when he tore both torn patellar tendons and was out for the season.
I will never forget being in attendance at the scrimmage on August 2nd when we saw him down. It was a scene I will never forget. We did not know of course until later the damage. I had so much hope for this big man to be a big contributor especially in the red zone. Childs was out for the year and never played a down.
I am extremely excited what he is capable of doing in 2013 camp. My fingers are crossed we will see positivity. I am pulling for you Greg to make the comeback. If he can just start out slow and work his way back I will be very pleased. The Vikings do have one of the best in the business in Eric Sugarman, head athletic trainer, who may just be Childs best friend. Only time will tell
Thanks for reading
Purplestick



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BIG NEWS VIKINGS FANS!!!!!!

TRAINING CAMP ENTRANCE AT MINNESOTASTATE UNVERSITY
Photo
FANS GET READY TO INVADE MANKATO FOR GLORIOUS TIMES


Tuesday May 28th, some of the important days were announced so fans can make plans to come to Training Camp.

It is the time of year like no other. The Super Bowl ends and the countdown to Training Camp begins for me.
Thursday July 25th the Vikes report to Mankato. The difference this year is they will not report to Gage towers as so many previous seasons. The Gage towers will be imploded late June. The Vikes will get to stay in a recently built dorm.
Fri July 26th is the first day of practice

Sat Aug 3 is a scrimmage open to the public. I recommend highly making the trip for this one. There will be more info as time draws near. We just know the date for now.
Camp Ends Thursday August 15th
3 weeks of glorious time begins before we know it.
There will be more specific times as it gets closer but for now we know the beginning and the end.
Hope to see you there
Thanks for reading
Purplestick
                                                        

Monday, May 27, 2013

81- Jerome Simpson, will it be his year?

81-JEROME SIMPSON- A PERSONALITY AND PLAYER I AM PULLING FOR IN 2013
  
The 2013 season is just around the corner. We have seen the NFL draft completed and now mini camps are starting to gear up on a more regular basis.

The hot summer weather brings with it another heat. The battles for positions are hotter than the August sun. The guys thinking they have it made have got to watch their backs at all times. I use the example of Bryant McKinnie. A former first round pick by the Vikes was cut early in camp. A first round cut should set a stage to players that they had better come ready to work.

The position I am anxious to see amongst many is the wide receiver battle. The signing of Greg Jennings was huge in my eyes. The play of Jarius Wright at the end of 2012 season was encouraging. The 2013 offseason move of Joe Webb going from quarterback to wide receiver will be a project to watch. The drafting of Cordarrelle Patterson will be a rookie looking to turn heads as well.

The man I am most interested and does not seem to be talked about much is Jerome Simpson. I may be in the minority but I believe this man is going to have a big season.

The first 4 games being suspended in 2012 hurt, but the team survived. I witnessed last camp the speed and athleticism from Simpson that makes me eager to see how he does this camp.

The jumping ability has been exhibited at times. He drew some pass interference penalties last season. His stats were nothing to speak of. It is a feeling of mine that he will impress the fans of Minnesota.
It was just last season this position was thought of very little by many Vikings fans I talked. 2013 season I am so excited to see this pool of talent produce and quiet the critics. I am not saying Hall of Fame but I am offering a thought of much improvement from the 2012 season.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick
 

      

Training Camp just around the corner

    2012 DRAFT CLASS



The Vikings minicamp starts Tuesday May 28th and goes to Thursday May 30th. It is one step closer to the public being able to see the men trying out for the 53 spots that will play every week this upcoming season.

It would be unfair to leave it at that because guys also have a chance if not making the active squad they have a chance to make the practice squad which is great as well. We never want an injury but it does happen the practice squad guys may have a chance to be one of the 53.

We are getting closer to late July when the guys roll into camp and fans can start making their journey to Mankato.

It is a chance to meet the guys. This will be my 20th year of making the trip to Mankato. I have met every draft choice since 1998 in camp except for one.

1999 the Vikings had 2 number 1 picks, Daunte Culpepper and Dimitrius Underwood. It was the first practice for the team and after that Underwood left camp. It is the only number 1 choice I did not get a picture of.

The rush of getting an autograph from a player is not the same thrill it used to be for me. I love watching people put every effort forth to try. I have found a new passion and that is asking for a picture with a player.

I have taken pictures with over 400 different players through the years. The only one who has ever turned me down was in 1998 when Randy Moss was a rookie. It is their right and I respect that but if a guy says sure, what a neat feeling to get a picture taken with a player. I did get a picture of him which was a thrill as well.

I never will in a life time guarantee success. I say you have nothing to lose and much to gain.

Come on over and try your hand at watching practice followed by a chance to meet the guys.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick



Saturday, May 25, 2013

High on the ownership and thankful for their efforts


I have season tickets long enough to say I have been through 2 ownership groups and have enjoyed the efforts by these groups to try and make the team successful.

The year 1998 was a big year in my life regarding the passion of the Vikings. It was the first year of my season tickets and I saw the team go undefeated at home only to lose in the NFC Championship game to Atlanta. The other big news that year was a new owner of the Vikings by the name of Red McCombs. Who can forget his slogan, “Purple Pride” in his southern accent?

I met Red a hand full of times including training camp. I introduced myself to him and said I was a season ticket holder. His response was putting his arm around me and saying “Bless you.” It was an unforgettable day in my life as a Vikings fan.

A sale then was made on May 25th, 2005 that the NFL ok’ d the sale to the Wilf family for 600 million dollars.

Yes, Saturday May 25, 2013 was the 8 years of ownership of the Vikings by this family. It has been a blessing in my eyes with a family who has shown the passion like they have.

The Wilf’s have showed the desire to make the team competitive. I appreciate this so much and gives me just another reason to love this team.

The ownership has done such things as renovating Winter Park, removing Coach Childress and hiring Leslie Frazier was big in my eyes as well to name a couple. It showed me they were serious in the team winning knowing they would have to buy out Childress and still pay the salary of Coach Frazier.

The patience this ownership has shown in the hopes of one day having a new stadium and now are being rewarded with the new stadium in 2016.

Zygi Wilf is from the New Jersey, and where is the Super Bowl this season? Yes, the New Meadowlands stadium.  What a thrill that would be to see the Vikings owners see their team play in the state where they once lived.

1998 new owner McCombs saw his team his game from the Super Bowl. In the 2009-2010 season, the Wilf’s saw their team come one game from the Super Bowl.

Is it on the cards to have a story book season and end up playing in an outside super bowl game?

The team goes 3-13 to 10-6 with anything possible this season.  It is the last season at Mall of America Field with so much history to be made.

What a storyline as the Vikes play the last year in their stadium and on to the New Meadowland’s Stadium for the Super Bowl.

A fan can have hopes, can’t he?

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

 

 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Football, 365 a year and loving it!!!!


The statement that football is a year round sport is never truer. The NFL Network coverage is superb and never gets old. It is only Wednesday and we have already had some big story lines including a retirement and a player going back to his old team. They both involve the best division in football. Yes, I am referring to the NFC North.

The Vikings see these 2 players twice a year and now will have to get use to not seeing Brian Urlacher, Bears middle linebacker any more as Wednesday he announced his retirement.

As a huge Vikings fan I do not like the Bears but I did respect the play of Brian Urlacher and his ability to play. The man could make plays and always seemed to be in the right spot at the right time.  It will seem strange not to see Brian roaming the middle.

Charles Woodson long time thorn in the side of the Vikings has gone back to where he started his career and will wear the silver and black of the Oakland Raiders. It will be real strange when watching Vikings-Packers game and no Woodson in the defensive backfield. Charles was the 4th overall pick in the 1998 draft by Oakland. He played in Oakland until 2006 when he signed with the Pack and has given the Vikes fits since. I will not mind not seeing Woodson in Green and Yellow anymore.  Another NFC North team I do not like but will say I believe Woodson will be in the Hall of Fame one day.

I feel the both have had Hall of Fame careers and I would not be shocked to see them one day in Canton.

The other news comes from the owners meetings with NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. The 2014 draft will occur in May with the weekend undecided as of yet.

It has been an April tradition as long as I can remember. Life is full of change and this is change. The draft is the draft no matter when but it does mean having to wait longer to see who our favorite team’s draft.

My wife and my wedding anniversary is April 28th and we always involve the draft as part of our anniversary whether it means spending time at the Vikings draft party or not. The selfish side of me loves the draft at this time but I am only one fan and can’t change the NFL’s minds.

The other storyline I found interesting is the Pro Bowl having captains.  They would pick players on their team from the guys that were chosen to make the trip to Hawaii. It reminds me of when I was little and we would play neighborhood sports with 2 guys picking their teams. I of course always hoped I would get on the good team and my name was chosen one of the first ones and not last. It will be real interesting to see how serious they take this approach. I love this idea and hope it works.

We cannot lose the Pro Bowl. It is an all-star game and for Vikings fans look who was the MVP of last year’s game, Kyle Rudolph. He was a last minute replacement and boy did he strike gold.

The NFL, best sport in the world is hopping and full of news on a daily basis. The middle of the week and we already have much to talk about.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

Packers, a first opponent in new stadium a real possibility


I have only missed one home game in 13 seasons. It is each year we make our payments for season tickets and when the final payment is sent in leaves a feeling like no other.

 We as Americans make our house payments, cable, utilities, etc as part of our lives. The Vikings tickets are a bill as well, but for me the best bill I pay and actually look forward to paying it off.

The feeling of accomplishment knowing my wife and I will get to be two of the 64,000 crazy Vikings fans is an awesome feeling.

I have been asked several times if there every came a time where we could not buy season tickets and I was given a choice of one game and one game only which game would I chose. The answer without even thinking for a second is the Green Bay Packers game.

I have been to 13 of them and have had my heart ripped put watching game winning field goals by the Packers. I was there when then Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre broke the NFL record of touchdown passes. Who can forget the Monday night game when Vikings quarterback, Brett Favre made his appearance against his former mates? That might have been one of the loudest games I have ever been to.

How about the most recent tilt when we saw Vikings rookie kicker, Blair Walsh kick the game winning field goal putting the Vikings in the playoffs?

The pregame of each one of these years is the loudest of any game on the schedule. There have been some years where I am not sure which stadium I am in, Lambeau Field or Mall of America Field. The cheering, the booing is so loud as players from each team make their pregame warm-up appearances.

The concourse at MOA Field at times as we walk through seems 50/50 with Packers and Vikings fans making their way to their seats.

It is a setting I can only wish you could be part of just one game and you will see what I am talking about. Yes, TV is an option and you maybe to feel a little but to be in there is crazy from pregame to post game.

I have been reading more and more that the first opponent in the new stadium will be the Green Bay Packers. If this is the case I cannot imagine the setting that would occur.

A brand new stadium filled with Vikings and Packers fans would be a dream come true for this season ticket holder.

The Vikings were the first visitor in 2003 to Lambeau Field after the renovation was complete. Who won that game? Yes, the Minnesota Vikings came into enemy territory and left with a 30-25 win.

2016 is still 3 years away but after reading about the possibility of a Packers- Vikings new stadium opener leaves me with a feeling like no other. I do not want to rush away my life but I tell you when the time comes I will be ready for history and a memory.

Please NFL makes allow this to happen!!!

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The week that was, leaving much to think about


Its’ been a busy week for the Vikings in the news which gets me looking at my calendar and thinking not too much longer until my favorite team pulls into Minnesota State University Campus and the start of training camp.

Monday was the unveiling of the new stadium which will be a talker until it is built. The questions all week is how will we pay for it? I believe if there is a will there is a way.

Chris Kluwe was signed this week by the Oakland Raiders. I am happy for Chris that he found a home. I honestly had a feeling Seattle even if they did already have a punter they would still sign Chris. Antoine Winfield, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice already a Seahawk and then sign Kluwe would be my luck. Good luck to Chris in Oakland!!

This brings up my thought going into training camp of who will be the new holder. Chris can be questioned on his punting ability but you cannot question the job he did holding the ball for Blair Walsh. Chris made it seem so easy and smooth so now who can we count on. We have a 2nd year kicker, Blair Walsh and a rookie punter Jeff Locke. The key man in this team of three will be veteran long snapper Cullen Loeffler. I feel he will be needed more than ever to keep this group solidified.
One item to add on Jeff Locke is not only will he  try to replace Kluwe but we will see a left footed punter. It is strange to see how the ball comes off a left footer when the Vikes have played against one. There are not many, so it will be a unique chance to see our own. I am looking forward to camp and see how the return men cope with this. Ah yes, another reason to be a fan who makes a trip to Mankato.

The middle linebacker question of who should be the starter is getting real intriguing. I for one am on the Erin Henderson side. I have read like probably most of you that the name Brian Urlacher keeps popping up. I found a quote from Erin Henderson regarding this upcoming chance. He stated’ “I don’t think I have been this pissed in my entire life, to just hear people talk about stuff that they have no idea what they’re talking about, he told ESPN Twin Cities.  He also added “I guess it’s getting to the point where it’s like. “Dang. I just want a little bit of respect.”

I love Erin’s attitude as I have followed his whole career making it from the start as an undrafted rookie free agent and then becoming starting outside linebacker.

He added in the interview, “I’’ve got to hear they might bring in Urlacher,” Henderson said. “Cool bring him in. And if he’s better than me, if he can outplay me at this position then let him play.”

If I had to pick a position fight I am most excited about coming into training camp it will me the middle linebacker. I have 100% faith in Erin he can do it. The guy has a personality you want to see make it big. I am a huge Henderson fan.

The decision to move Joe Webb to full time receiver will be a blast to watch. I believe other than Adrian that Webb is the 2nd best athlete on the team. It is about time the team sees what they have sitting on the bench. The team has nothing to lose and everything to gain by making this switch. His height, the leaping ability will all be on display coming late July, early August in Mankato. I hope you can make the trip and see the day in and day out battles.

If you ever have a question about anything regarding Training Camp or anything during the season please feel free to email me at breyerstick@yahoo.com. I would be more than happy to meet you in Mankato and we can talk football.

The defensive line will be a treat to watch in camp. We have guys on contract years. You think they won’t be hungry? The 2 starting defensive ends, Jared Allen and Brian Robison are free agents after this season. Pass rush specialist, Everson Griffen is playing for a contract as well as starting defensive tackle, Kevin Williams. I feel it in my heart we are going to see a lot of quarterbacks lying on their backs after a sack. I will even go as far as saying we will see the Purple People Eaters 30 years later. This group will be a top 5 sack group in the NFL I boldly predict.

These are 4 of the major thoughts I have for now and will keep on thinking as the time gets closer to camp.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick
Source: NFL.com
Chris Wesseling, Around the League writer

 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Taking in the Vikings unveiling of the new stadium plans


Monday May 13th I made my way to Mall of America Field in hopes of being one of the luck 200 fans to see the unveiling of the new stadium plans.

I took the light rail and was sitting with my back to where we were going. The closer we got the more nervous I got. How many people would be in line? Would I be lucky to get a ticket? If I don’t, was it a waste of time to come? These are some of the questions rolling through my head.

We came by the dome and I saw gate B where tickets would be handed out. I had to look in hopes of thinking I had a chance.

It was 2:20 when I got to gate B and found myself to be 14th in line. The first guy in line was there at 10:30am. I thought I was crazy. I pulled up a piece of concrete and sat my but on it for 2:40.

5:00 finally came and I felt like I was the winner of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory golden ticket. I am in and the feeling was like no other. The wait was so worth it.

The next step was going to the Guthrie Theatre where the event would take place. I went up to the Balcony level on the 5th level.  They had a restaurant so we could grab a bite to eat.

We were told seating would begin at 6:15. I had never been to the Guthrie Theatre in my life so when I got to my chair I spent time looking around in amazement how beautiful the theatre was.

The event finally began at 7:15, 5 hours after I had started waiting for tickets. The presentation was absolutely wonderful. Paul Allen was the emcee and did an amazing job.

If you had a chance to watch this on line you had to be impressed. HKS, design principal, Bryan Trubey gave the layout of the stadium. I will not go through the details as you may already know or you can read about it on many websites. I am here to tell you sitting in the theatre the ooh’s and ah’s I was hearing. It was like a 4th of July fireworks as people watch those.

It was a thrill to be there and see what the future has for a multipurpose stadium. I wish it was 2016 already. If I am shaking my head in amazement at picture’s I can hardly wait to be in there and take it all in.

The guests that were brought in were amazing. It was my first chance to see Governor Dayton in person. The welcome he got when his name was called brought chills knowing this is the man who helped get the project dome amongst many others.

Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak was amongst the speakers of the night. The owners Mark and Zygi Wilf, Leslie Frazier, Phil Loadholt and John Sullivan along with GM Rick Spielman also took their turns at the microphone.

I sat in the Vikings fans section in the balcony taking picture after picture. The fans stood up 3 times with one at the beginning, middle and end of the presentation singing the Vikings fight song. “Skol Vikings.” It was awesome to be a part of such passionate fans.

One of the last speakers of the night was Hall of Fame coach, Bud Grant. The standing ovation he got was simply amazing. The guy still looks the same. He just not seem to change, He had said he hopes he is still around when this stadium opens. I hope he does as well.

The night ended at 8:30 and we were provided with coffee and cookies. The special thing about these cookies is they were yellow and purple. It made them taste even better.

I was on my way out when I saw two Minnesota legends talking, Walter Mondale and Sid Hartman. They were talking with Vikings offensive coordinator, Bill Musgrave. What a thrill to see Mondale.

What a night as I made my way back to Owatonna thinking about everything I had taken in tonight. It was worth every minute. The excitement in the Guthrie Theatre is something I can’t put in one word.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Involvement in the new stadium as much as I am allowed


It was Saturday April 28th, I went to the State Capitol along with my wife and one of my daughters. We wanted to show the goverment how much we care about the stadium vote by coming.

I had my purple turtle neck, a jersey and my horns and braids on as we came in. The first thing we saw was a beautiful sight, a lot of purple, as fans were waiting in hopes of seeing some success today.

We went up to the third floor and sat in on the House of Representatives in hopes of stadium talk. It was for now, no avail. We left and went down to second floor where we ran into Owatonna's own, Korey Kath, a House of Representative. It was a fantastic question and answer session with him. We did ask the most important question. "Korey, can we get your yes on the vote?" Korey's response was, "You have it." This was exciting and encouraging.

We went back up to the third floor in the House in hopes with all the other Vikings fans. We did not have any luck as the House did not bring up the subject. We did get a pleasant surprise as House Rep from Cottage Grove, John Kriesel, a stadium supporter came up. He thanked all for showing up and gave us updates what he knew about the stadium. He did feel it was close, but to have this many people show can do nothing but help the cause.

We left and were headed out of the capitol when Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak came up to us to thank us for coming and showing support for the stadium.

The day was not successful as far as the government discussing the stadium. The day was succesful as we talked to three stadium backers in Kath, Kriesel and Rybak. I know Rybak has no control but it was still fun to talk to him.

We as Vikings fans did what we could and that was drive up to the capitol to show our support for a stadium. I would do this again in a heart beat and encourage all fans to voice their opinions.
 
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.
 
Fri May 10th, 2013 was one year when Legislation and the Vikings agreed on a price and now the ball can get rolling.

Friday also was a big day as The University of Minnesota and the Vikings came to agreement on several issues that will allow the Vikes to call TCF Bank Stadium their home for 2 years and possibly 2 more after that starting in 2014.
 
My next step is to hopefully be one of the first 200 people at the dome on Monday to receive a ticket for the unveiling of the stadium plans.
 
I am willing to wait for hours as I am a fan who wants to follow this all the way. I will go to ground breaking as well if fans are allowed. I can not wait for 2016 and the opening of the new stadium.
 
Thanks for reading
Purplestick

 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A look at numbers regarding the upcoming season


The Vikings have been doing a nice job of keeping with their desire to go with a youth movement and building through the draft.

I looked through the roster to see just exactly how young we are getting. I found 7 players over 30 and that is it. There are 4- 30 years old and they are Matt Cassel, Chad Greenway, Brian Robison, and Joe Berger. Jared Allen is 31 and Cullen Loeffler and Kevin Williams are the oldest at 32.

The team is building through the youth and in 2014 may have to go heavier with the youth because 18 of the current players are in the last year of their contract.

This I believe is another reason to think the Vikes will be even better than last year with these guys playing for contract renewals.

The list is as follows for free agents to be after 2013:

Unrestricted Free Agents

Jared Allen DE

Brian Robison DE

Kevin Williams DT

Charlie Johnson OG

Jerome Simpson WR

Fred Evans DT

AJ Jefferson CB

Chris Cook CB

Toby Gerhart RB

Joe Berger OG/C

Everson Griffen DE

Seth Olsen OG

Troy Kropog OT

George Johnson DE

Lawrence Jackson CB

Jacob Lacey CB

Joe Webb QB

Marvin Mitchell LB

 

It is scary looking at the list and seeing the defensive line with the names we have gotten use to up. I could not imagine no Jared Allen.

Restricted Free Agents

Tyronne McKenzie LB

Larry Dean LB

Marcus Sherels CB

Andrew Sendejo CB

 

2013 season is going to be so exciting. I also came upon an article on power rankings in the NFL provided by one of my favorites, Brian Billick.

He has listed the teams and I see he believes all 4 of the NFC North are in the top 18 in the NFL.

The rankings:

1)      San Francisco

2)      Denver

3)      Seattle

4)      Atlanta

5)      Baltimore

6)      New England

7)      Green Bay

8)      Houston

9)      Cincinnati

10)  Minnesota

11)  Chicago

18) Detroit

It is so nice to see the Vikings getting some national support. We have a tough schedule and will play in a tough division.

As I write this article on Wednesday May 8 the first game of the season will be on Sunday September 8th in Detroit. It is hard to believe 4 months until we kick it off.

 

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

Source: Foxsports.com

A flash from the past

As the Vikings come to the end of their years at Mall of America Field and moving into TCF Bank Stadium I have a fond memory of an experience at TCF one winter night in December of 2010. This is just one memory and I look forward to many more in this outdoor stadium. Will we see all the weather elements?

            It was a night to remember as my wife and I went to the Monday night game at TCF Bank Stadium, the 1st outdoor game in 29 years to the day.

            The trip took about 3 hours but we made it and stood in line from 3-5 o’clock waiting to get in. It was so funny looking around as I am seeing human snowmen with snow just piling on people’s hats.
            The gates opened a little earlier than planned and what happened at our gate was ugly with fans pushing their way through. You could not get out of line if you wanted to. There was absolutely no bag check or pat down due to the amount of people coming. We could have any seat lower or upper deck. There was supposed to be bracelets handed out to determine lower or upper deck.

            I felt a responsibility to be honest so we sat upper deck on the 30-yard line 9 rows up behind the Vikings bench. I have no idea how they figured the attendance that night.

            The tractors were pushing snow and leaf blowers were in abundance as the fans in the front row of the end zone were getting face washes as the equipment went by.

            The pregame warm-ups were funny because there were 2 sets of hash marks with one for college and one for NFL. The kickers in pregame were on the wrong hash mark kicking.

            Another funny sight I saw also was in the upper deck with some empty bench seats fans running and sliding as far down the seats as they could. It looked so funny from across the stadium.

            The teams came out on the field as the Vikings had a snowmobile lead the charge with non other than Cris Carter riding on it. The Vikings came out but this time something I have waited for   2 years. The PA announcer announced the team captains one by one to a standing ovation with the last being Brett Favre.

            The honorary captain this night was Bud Grant. It brought so many memories as he came out with his breath coming through the air like old Met Stadium days. It was an awesome sight to see Bud. It was a true honor to witness this.

            The first touchdown of the game was so crazy not that the Vikings scored so fast but what happened in the seats was a snow throwing frenzy looking so awesome a blizzard of snow.

            In the first half, a fan decided to be part of the game. I happened to see a man about the 5-yard line walk all the way out to midfield. I could not believe no one stopped him. He walked up to the ref and pointed to the Vikings players. All of a sudden down the man went as the tackle of the game came from security and the police followed.

            The halftime show was unforgettable as the top 50 players with most being there introduced. It was so cool to see Kramer, Rashad, Sammie White, the Purple People Eaters and even Daunte Culpepper was there doing the “Daunte Roll.” The highlight of the halftime for me was when Bud Grant came out in a short sleeve shirt. The player carried him off the field on their shoulders. It was truly memorable.

            The stadium scoreboard showed clips from the past but the one that brought tingles was Kramer to Rashad Hail Mary pass to put the Vikings in the playoffs. The camera came live on Rashad and Kramer.

            The snowballs flying throughout the night was something but by the 4th quarter security and police came up and started hauling people out one by one as they were being caught.

            The whole upper deck as far as I could see every single person stood for the entire game. It was just so fun to be part of it.

            I saw one vendor the entire game in our section. The steps were so slippery from the entire night of snow.

            The no liquor in the game I felt was not going to happen. I saw many flasks being passed. In fact, when we left our seats after the game we came upon a bench where someone had put 8-10 liquor bottles in a row. The funny thing is people would stop to take a picture.

            I feel bad for the cleaning crew with all the snow and the garbage in the snow in the seating area, How are they going to clean it up? You cannot sweep it up. It was a sight with 10 inches of snow and garbage all combined.

            That was our night at TCF Stadium

Thanks for reading

Purplestick



Monday, May 6, 2013

Thank you, Chris Kluwe


On Monday May 6th, Chris Kluwe was given his release by the Minnesota Vikings. It does not come much of a surprise to me. I am a huge fan of this man and wish him well in the future wherever he signs.

I have met so many Vikings players over the last 20 seasons but Kluwe was one of a kind and would like to leave you my thoughts in poem form.

CHRIS KLUWE, THE CROWD PLEASER

 I will always remember the days at Training Camp as players rode bikes, but only Kluwe was found walking.

He took time out of his days to spend time with fans taking pictures and talking.

The man’s heart was second to none

He would sign for fan after fan until they were done.

Game day at the dome the scoreboard would replay the taping featuring Kluwe as the host called, “Know your Viking” with different player guests.

Each week got laugh after laugh by me as he seemed to always bring out the best.

Purplestick

 

I will never claim to know Chris but will say I met him several times and will say I know it’s a business but I for one will miss this personality along with his football skills.

The holding he did on kicks I hope people will appreciate what he did through the years. I know we are all replaceable in all our jobs.

I am a huge fan and supporter of the team and I do know it is a business and with that I welcome our new punter, Jeff Locke. He is now a Vikings and now has my support throughout his career.

In a quote in the Star Tribune Kluwe said about Locke, “I wish him the best. I hope he breaks every one of my records.” This comes from a man who I believe is a true professional.

In 2012 I was shocked when the Vikings cut veteran Ryan Longwell in favor of rookie, Blair Walsh and look what happened. Walsh sets several Vikings records. We now face the same in losing veteran Kluwe and look to replace him with rookie, Locke. It can be done so the best things we can do as fans is support the decision.

Good Luck, Chris Kluwe and thank you for the last 8 ½ years you served as the Vikings punter.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

Source: StarTribune.com

 

 

 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Training Camp is getting closer


It has only been a little over a week since the draft and now we are talking minicamp. The word minicamp alone gets me fired up as it is one step closer to the next word camp and that is Training Camp.

How weird was it to see on the news Friday night seeing the news guys in uniform? I cannot see the practice but can imagine the matchup of two first rounder’s, Cordarrelle Patterson and Xavier Rhodes going at each other in drills.

I would love to be at Winter Park taking this in. The big talk is Cris Carter’s son Duron who is trying to follow in his father’s footsteps. Carter was one of 34 rookie free agents invited for a try out. Duron stands at 6’5”. What a story line if Cris’s son gets a shot at training camp.

I saw pictures of Duron posted from Friday’s practice and I could not believe how much he looks like his dad. It will be a story to follow for sure.

Football is here all you football junkies.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A home schedule featuring opposing teams with newness


The 2013 season will be the last season in the dome with some exciting players coming in with their respective teams.

The Vikings will face new coaches; new players, whether free agents or draft choices. It will be a smorgasbord of fun coming in to be part of the last year in the stadium.

Cleveland is the Vikings home opener opponent. The Browns are coached by Rob Chudzinski who is in his first year on the sidelines. We will get to see Quaterback, Brandon Weeden and running back, Trent Richardson, 2 of last year’s pride of the draft for the Browns. The 2013 draft provided at number 6 pick out of LSU, defensive end Barkevious Mingo for the Browns. Yes, a top 10 pick we shall see how he does against Minnesota’s front line.

Prediction-Vikes win

Carolina is led by Coach Ron Rivera coming into his 3rd season. I can’t wait to see former number one pick overall Cam Newton to see how the Vikes can contain this big athletic quarterback. Carolina in this past draft took at number 14, Star Lotulelei, defensive tackle out of Utah. This will be another good test for Minnesota’s O-Line .

Predication-Vikes win

Green Bay, defending NFC North division champ comes in trying to avoid another devastating loss to the Purple. Aaron Rodgers just got the huge contract just see if he can earn it. The Pack no longer has Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. The team still has I hate to say but honestly they have impressive receivers in James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.

 The draft provided them with the 26th pick Datone Jones, defensive end out of UCLA and in 2nd round running back Eddie Lacy from the NCA A Champ, Alabama. I watched Lacy a great deal when he was in college and I will say the Vikes had better be able to wrap this man up because he is one physical running back.

Prediction-Vikes win

Washington, defending NFC East division champ comes in lead by Hall of Fame to be Coach Mike Shanahan. The intriguing in this matchup is the Vikes defense gets another shot at RGIII.

Prediction-Vikes win

Chicago led by Coach Marc Trestman in his first year trying to replace Lovie Smith. Jay Cutller will make or break this team with his attitude. It will be strange no Brian Urlacher in the middle. The Bears many thought would go linebacker with their pick in the first round instead took Kyle Long, offensive guard out of Oregon. Long is the brother of Jake Long, now of the Rams and their father is Hall of Famer, Howie Long. I would love to see Vikes rookie Sharrif Floyd destroy Long over and over.

Prediction-Vikes win

Philadelphia led by Chip Kelly, coaching in his first year coming from the college ranks where he coached at Oregon. He loved to run a fast paced offense so we will see if he can succeed as well in Philadelphia.  He is trying to replace a legend in Philly with Andy Reid leaving for the Chiefs job.

Philadelphia took with the number 3 overall pick Lane Johnson, tackle from Oklahoma. Please welcome him to the NFL, Jared and Brian Robison. The Eagles took quarterback Matt Barkley in the 4th round out of USC. He had been thought to maybe be a first round or potential 2nd round but not 4th.  The Eagles have Michael Vick, Nick Foles and now Barkley.

Prediction- Vikes win

Detroit ends the home schedule and brings with them the number 5 pick overall, Ziggy Ansah, defensive end to try and improve their pass rush. They also added a key free agent in Reggie Bush. The one thing missing that we have seen over 20 years in a row and that is Jason Hanson who retired in the offseason. What a kicker he was all those years and all the losing years.

Prediction-Vikes win

The only game we will not see in the dome is the Pittsburgh game which will be played in London.

Prediction- Vikes win giving a perfect home schedule. 2 wins on the road to tie last year but we will not settle for just 2.

Final prediction: 8-0 at home

We will see 3 first year coaches and 4 top 20 picks play against the Vikes in the home part of the schedule. I am ready for my 14th season of season tickets I hope you can make it to at least one of the games to see these players and coaches.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick