Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

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

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Vikings former Training Camp residence hall is imploded

On Saturday June 29th the Gage Towers which housed Vikings players during training camps along with students during the school year was imploded at 9:30 am.

The Gage Towers were built in 1965 and lasted 48 years. The place housed 50,000 students during its existence and the Vikings had stayed there 47 years as well.

I stayed there in 1987, the year the Twins won the World Series. My memory of that year was kid’s pulling the fire alarms when the Twins won the division, the American League pennant and the World Series. Three times the building were evacuated. My daughter also lived there in 2007.

The memories of me living there and knowing the Vikings lived there made that place just that more special in my heart.

I went over and watched this incredible scene. I arrived at 7 am with gates opening at 7:30. There were already around one hundred people or so.

The gates opened and fans made their way to where they would like to stand to watch the implosion.

On the way vendors were set up giving people free coffee, pop, donuts and cookies. MSU also had a tent set up where keepsakes were being sold such as T-Shirts and for former students old mail boxes were available to buy for 5.00 if had not been sold already.

The day started out with rain but the closer the time got the rain subsided. There was a podium set up under a small tent in which Benchwarmer Bob Lurtesema spoke of his memories while staying there during camp. MSU president also spoke.

The time was getting closer and the announcement was made how things would work. A horn would sound with 2 minutes then 1 minute until the detonating would occur.

A 1986 alum along with her husband were the ones to push the button to get the implosion started.

The countdown began 10, 9, 8, 7 all the way down to one then we heard a few loud explosive type noises. It seemed like it was such a delay with no action. The next things you saw was the 2 building falling as one to a mass amount of smoke.

It was the most incredible sight I have ever seen. I was told 26 seconds for the first blast until the last of the buildings had fallen to the ground.

The amount of ooh and aahs was like a 4th of July night. There were tears with memories coming crumbling down.

We were allowed to go over to the place where the towers had stood. There was a fenced area but we could still get close enough to see a monstrous pile of debris.

I do not know if I will ever forget this day as long as I live.

I will be making my trip to training camp for the 20th straight year.  It will be so strange not to see the players heading to the Gage Towers.

I have been to so many move in days by the Vikings where the fans were allowed to come to the Gage Towers and welcome their favorite players.

It will be strange to see or I mean not see the Gage Towers as I sit and watch practice.

A new chapter begins in the Vikings organization with a new residence hall and it all begins July 25th when the team moves in.



What is left of Gage A and B Towers on Saturday June 29th,2013

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

AP ranked best amongst top 100 NFL players, Was there ever a doubt?


The weeks of waiting are finally over as the final 10 best players in the NFL were announced Thursday night.

There are 1696 players in the league and to make the top 100 being voted on by their peers is quite the honor.

It was great to see 3 Vikings get in the top 100 with Chad Greenway coming in at 70 and Jared Allen in at 60. The third Vikings got exactly what he deserved after his performance last season. Yes, Adrian Peterson was voted the number one player in the NFL.

The awards just do not stop coming for this machine of a man. I think we all could look at ourselves in whatever occupation we are and know hard work and a great attitude could lead to success.

It is incredible to know the Vikings own division had 3 players in the final 10. Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers came in at 6 and Calvin “Megatron” Johnson came in at third. What does this say for the best division in football?

I love the choice of Payton Manning at number 2 but coming into the night I was figuring Packer’s Rodgers would be 2 and Peterson 1.  It is incredible to think that Peterson and Manning would undergo serious surgeries and then both would play out of their minds. Would they survive a 16 game season? The answer was emphasized Thursday with an exclamation point.

I love being wrong on this one. The fact the Rodgers came in so low at 6 and Houston’s defensive end, J.J. Watt came in ahead of Rodgers was a great surprise.  Lions’ receiver Johnson even finished higher than Rodgers. What a great night to be a Vikings fan.

CONGRATS ADRIAN PETERSON!!!!!

 
 
 
 
Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Training camp schedule released




Thursday June 27th the full training camp schedule was released so you can now make definite plans knowing the dates and times. If the weekdays do not work notice there are weekend practices at times as well.

The first practice is Friday July 26th so we can now say less than a month before the men come rolling down Highway 169 to their new home for 3 weeks.

The schedule is as follows:
 

DATE
A.M PRACTICE
P.M. PRACTICE
Thurs., July 25
--
Players report
Fri., July 26
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Sat., July 27
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Sun., July 28
Camp closed
No practice
Mon., July 29
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Tues., July 30
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Wed., July 31
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 1
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 2
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 3
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
7-9 p.m. scrimmage
Sun., Aug. 4
Camp closed
No practice
Mon., Aug. 5
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Tues., Aug. 6
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Wed., Aug.  7
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 8
Camp closed
No practice
Fri., Aug. 9
Preseason game
7 p.m. Texans at Vikings
Sat., Aug. 10
Camp closed
No practice
Sun., Aug. 11
10:55-11:40 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Mon., Aug. 12
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Tues., Aug. 13
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 14
10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through
2:30-4:45 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 15
Camp closes
No practice


Thanks for reading
Purplestick
Source: Vikings.com

Monday, June 24, 2013

Checkmate, Vikes now have Bishop


A Packer player coming to the Vikings organization continued Monday as Desmond Bishop signed a one year deal to be a Viking for 2013.

Greg Jennings and Desmond Bishop are now in the fold and looking to help the 2013 Vikings get back to the playoffs.

I am very excited about this move as long as Bishop can stay healthy. I look at his 2010 and 2011 tackle numbers which he made 218 of them. 2012 was a lost season for Bishop due to an injury.

I trust the Vikings organization that they did the necessary investigation to make sure Bishop could play again. There is no one better than Eric Sugarman, Vikings head athletic trainer.

As a fan do these signings get any better when the two rivals go head to head?  How many Packer fans live in Minnesota and the same with how many Vikings fans live in Wisconsin?

This game is like no other when the teams meet. I have met fans that go to only one game a year, and that is the Green Bay game. It is an atmosphere I cannot do justice to describe to you. One word that comes to mind and that is crazy.

The announcement also makes me excited about the possibility for this outstanding linebacker corp. Bishop, Henderson and Greenway are young and athletic. The tackling machine on the outside otherwise known as Chad Greenway is a fixture there. I am still for Erin to play the middle. Bishop is versatile and would love to see him add to his 218 tackles on the outside.

Reality is coming soon as players report to camp July 25th. All I can do is dream about the possibilities. As they say only time will tell.

The Vikings are building with youth and now with Bishop, 28 destination playoffs 2013 continues.

I am looking for one of the better Mankato training camps with competition up and down the roster.

Welcome, Desmond. I look forward to seeing you in purple.

GO VIKES

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

Monday, June 17, 2013

Changes made for fans


The Minnesota Vikings to me mean more than just going to or watching road games and meeting players it includes collecting souvenirs, taking pictures. It is a total package. It becomes harder and harder to find new collectibles at times. The art of taking action shots at games is a work in progress for me.

I got bad news on both fronts of collecting and potentially taking pictures. I received some info saying the company that puts out the yearly semi has decided to produce only for a select amount of teams in the NFL and the Vikings are not one of them.

I was married in 2001 and received my first semi that year. My wife has got me a semi every year for Christmas since. This year the streak comes to an end. I know nothing is forever but I can still be disappointed. If one comes out next year then of course I will start the streak over. I love the look of the semi every year and often wonder will they be able to design a different one?

An announcement was made by the NFL on Thursday, June 13th that affects potentially what I love to do at games and that is take pictures. My wife and I invested into a nice camera that has a nice zoom that I can take pictures from the 2nd deck.

I remember the first game we attended that we brought our new investment. We found out that only a certain size zoom is allowed. The security took our camera and measured it. It passed the test and they put a colored band on the camera bag allowing us to bring it in.

We get checked every Sunday which I fully expect as the security is only doing their job. I came in every Sunday a couple hours early and took pictures of not only the Vikings but their opponents. The NFL is full of super stars and taking their picture in pregame is a true thrill for this diehard fan.

I have almost more fun taking picture in pregame than the game itself. I did get a game picture when Jared Allen got the sack that broke Chris Doleman’s team record. I also got a picture of the Vikings lined up offensively. Brett Favre at quarterback, Randy Moss, wide receiver and Adrian lined up in the backfield. What a memory.

The new NFL policy is as follows: Under the new policy, fans will be allowed to bring one bag into stadiums and that bag must be clear and not exceed 12 inches by six inches by 12 inches.

Here's a list of items from the NFL that you will not be allowed to bring into stadiums: purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.

Just to be clear: You can still bring a camera, binoculars or a tablet into the stadium; you just can't bring any of those items in a non-clear bag

I can still bring my camera I know but it is concerning how to get it in safely and depending on the weather is. I will abide by the rules but I can still be disappointed

I know the reason for change is for safety of the fans and make the checking of bags easier and more efficient.

I do understand and by no means am I a trouble maker. I am a diehard fan who wants to get the total enjoyment out of each game as a season ticket holder. We will search and find a bag that fits the criteria.

It is the last year of the dome and I really wanted to take a lot of pictures for memory.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

Source:

CBSSports.com by John Breech

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Training Camp- Come and get the experience of a football lifetime


The month of June is here even though it has not felt like it in Minnesota with rain and cold. The next month on the calendar is July. I know it is a known fact the order of months on a calendar but my point of bringing up July has the focus of Vikings training camp.

I would invite each and every one of you to try out one day and just see how you like it. It is a family atmosphere with a football theme. There is much to do for younger kids set up behind the bleachers.

Practice twice a day with morning and afternoon. I invite you to check out the Vikings website for dates and times.

The morning practice is followed by an autograph session from different groups of players each day. One day might be the linebackers, wide receivers, etc. There will be info coming the closer we get to camp. Once again check the Vikings website for the info.

There is concession stands set up for people to grab a bite to eat or drink or both. There are bathrooms behind Blakeselee Field Stadium.

The one warning I always give people is to make sure you drink plenty before you come in. The late July early August heat can be overwhelming.

The practice itself you can watch from bleachers, but there is no protection from the hot Minnesota sun.

There is plenty of parking but just know there is usually a cost unless you can find something off campus that might be free.

On the campus if you don’t feel like leaving between practices there is such food places as Chipotle, Noodles, and a few more choices. They are right across the street from the stadium.  There is a Kwik Trip down a couple blocks from campus. It is nice to make a day of it and save some gas and just hang out on campus.

 
The one common bond all people attending camp has is the Vikings. I find it easy to talk to people in Mankato regarding the Vikings. It is passion that I cannot describe.

Once again please come and make a day of it. My email is breyerstick@yahoo.com if any questions arise.
  view of  the 3 practice fields from the bleachers. All field usually have action on them. This year we will not have the Gage towers in the background as they will be imploded in late June.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cook faces big challenges in 2013


This season coming up will be a great test for the Vikings veteran of the defensive backs, Chris Cook. The departure of Antoine Winfield in the offseason leaves a big opening to fill as far as leadership goes.

Chris Cook was drafted in the 2010 draft out of Virginia. He is 6’2” and weighs 212. He is big and I love his physical play he brings.

The NFC North is full of big athletic receivers which Chris will see two times a year. It is a challenge I cannot wait to see. I believe Chris will be up for the challenge. The secondary is fairly young including Cook although he has been with the team the longest in this group of men.

Chris will get the chance to go against players like Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Brandon Marshall and Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. Chris will have to bring his A+ game facing these big men. 2013 is full of stories waiting to happen including Cook and how he fares each Sunday as the leader in the defensive backfield



Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Friday, June 7, 2013

A look at 2 of the areas of strengths for the Vikings in '13


The upcoming season Vikings fans have reason for optimism after how the 2012 season ended. The way we saw the team need 4 wins and get 4 wins to make the playoffs was so refreshing not to see the team quit. The 3-13 season in 2011 followed by a 2012 record of 10-6 leaves me wanting more.

I believe 2 of the strengths of the teams will allow this team to go places. The defensive line I am most excited about due to free agency after the season. This fact makes me believe we are going to have some extremely hungry men that are going to want a sack or 2 each game.  The fact the team has 17 free agents after the year is even more incentive. A team simply cannot resign everyone so players are going to want to make it hard for the management to decide. We the fans may reap the benefits seeing these players work their butts off for more years with the organization.
The offensive line did so well last year and helped Adrian Peterson have his monster year to only fall shy by 9 yards of the all time record. The fact the team had a rookie left tackle that started all 16. Charlie Johnson who played left tackle in 2011 was moved to left guard and played outstanding. John Sullivan should have made the Pro Bowl and is a constant performer. Brandon Fusco was inserted at right guard and got some much needed experience. Phil Loadholt played well enough the team resigned him.
These 5 men have one year under their belt and will only get better. The more reps they get the stronger they will get. This has got be scary for opposing defenses knowing what they did last year in opening holes for “All Day” Peterson.  This line has a chance to be awesome and I know they will. Peterson for 2500 plus yards? It can be done and with this line I feel confident we will see records. The pass protecting will need to be the best it ever has with Christian Ponder working on being the quarterback of the future.
 
 
 
 
This year has so much potential Vikings fans. Coach Frazier is the man to lead us back to the playoffs. All teams are 0-0. There is reason for EXCITEMENT IN 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for reading
Purplestick

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Walsh, king of the NFC North kickers?

 
 
 
 
 
 
The NFC North kickers have some longevity and now add in 2012 rookie sensation Blair Walsh you have a fascinating group of men to look at.

Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings in 2012 went 35-38 in field goals for a 92 percent clip. The NFL record also broke as Walsh goes for 10-10. There were many wondering how he would do after some struggles his senior year at Georgia University. The question was answered in a major way.

Jason, Hanson, Detroit Lions retired this offseason after kicking 22 years for the same team. Hanson kicked 495 field goals in his career and had an 82 percent career success at kicking. The Lions now bring in David Akers who had his struggles with the 49ers last year. Hanson had 495 while Akers has 367 successful field goals for an 81 percent success rate. Akers came into the league as an undrafted rookie free agent in 1997. He is now 38 years old. How many years are left in his leg?

Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears was 21 of 25 last season for a 84 percent efficiency. Gould came in as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2007. He is now 31 years old. Gould like Hanson and Akers is up there in field goals as well. Gould stands at 208 for his career.

Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers had a miserable year in 2012 making on 64 percent of his tries. He went 21 for 33. He also was 2 for 9 in over 50 yard attempts. I was not too disappointed in his lack of success. 

Crosby and Walsh share a fact together. They were both 6th round draft choices. Crosby was in 2007 out of Colorado University and Walsh out of Georgia.

The advantage is this group will go to Walsh with his youth. The Vikings have a man for years to come while the Bears have a 31 year old; the Lions have a 38 years old and Packers with a 28 year old.

The story this season is will youth outscore the long timers? Only time will tell.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

The Marcus Sherels story keeps on going

 35-Marcus Sherels
 
 

This story has to be one of the rare stories in the NFL. Marcus Sherels was born in Rochester, Minnesota. He attended Rochester John Marshall High School then played 4 years for the University of Minnesota for 4 years. Friday March 7th the Vikings resigned Marcus making me one happy fan.

The man has been able to follow a dream and not leave his home state for any reason. How many players in the NFL can lay a claim to this fact?

Marcus has paid his dues coming in as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2010 to the Vikings in 2010 and was cut. He was brought back in 2011 to try out and ending up on the practice squad and then elevated to the 53 man roster late in 2011.

The magic year was 2012 when he made the 53 man squad coming out of training camp. I am a big fan of Sherels on the punt return. He seems to have a knack at finding the crease. It was 2012 on his 25th birthday in Detroit when Marcus took the ball 77 yards for a touchdown. Happy Birthday, Marcus!!! What a way to celebrate a birthday and the Vikings won to top the day off.

Marcus is a case of hard work paying off so far. 2014 brings another season to show his talents. His size has been questioned for years but all the man does is use his speed and quickness to his advantage. We saw the results once again in 2013. I love the signing and believe he deserves every dollar he signed for. Marcus represent those who work hard will be rewarded. If you do not succeed at first do not give up. Marcus has been cut in the past but did not stop him and now look 2014 he gets a new contract.

A story I do not want to end we have here watching a home grown man make the most of his opportunities in football life.

Continued success, Marcus

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Can year 2 top rookie year for Walsh and Kalil?


2012 was filled with many pleasant surprises including 2 of the draft choices that left a lasting impression with the hope these 2 players will be at this position for years to come.

Matt Kalil was picked 4th overall in the first round. A high pick you hope he can help sooner than later. What does he do? He starts all 16 games and did not miss a snap. He even had a blocked kick on special teams.

The Vikings have been in so much need for someone who is consistent and can stand up against the NFL’s best pass rushers. He did so and was an absolute blessing for this team. His efforts put him in the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Vikings fans we have much to be excited about this man. First year and in the Pro Bowl, can you imagine the potential this giant man has?

Year 2 or as some say, the sophomore year where many struggle I believe the man is up for the challenge. He plays on a very gifted line that works well together. 2013 is a huge year for Kalil because it will be another year of facing the best each team has for pass rushers.

Kalil now has a years’ worth of film to look at to see how he did and what he can do to be better. He will get 2 more shots at the Packers, Bears and Lions. I can’t wait to see him put Julius Peppers (Bears) and Clay Matthews (Packers) on their butt.
The biggest advantage Kalil has comes in practice where he faces the best pass rusher in the NFL, Jared Allen. If this does not make him better I do not know what can.
75-Matt Kalil
 
The Vikings drafted Blair Walsh in the 6th round in 2012. A bigger shock was seeing the release of veteran, Ryan Longwell. The Vikes were trusting Blair Walsh to be the kicker of the future.
I needed to trust the team in this decision. I went to training camp eager to see how this kid out of college would do. I spent most of camp shaking my head in disbelief. The cannons that were coming off his foot were amazing. The distance was incredible hitting 60 plus yards time after time. He was the talk of camp by fans.
That was training camp now onto the regular seasons and how would he do in game action? We got the answer in the first game hit a 55 yard field goal on the last play of the game to send the game into overtime. He then proceeds to hit a 38 yarder in overtime to win the game for the Vikings.  The season Walsh goes 10-10 in 50 yard field goals breaking the Vikings record. He also scored 141 points breaking the rookie scoring record.
The kickoffs never got old to watch as we saw the return men for the opposing teams time after time shaking their head in frustration not being able to bring the ball out of the end zone.
The man was gold time after time. The kick he made on the last play of the game to beat the Packers at Mall of America Field sent the Vikings into the playoffs was incredible.
It will be hard to duplicate these stats but after seeing what Walsh did all year I am a believer over and over again. I saw it happen in Mankato, the Mall of America Field and watched the road games on TV. This man is an iron leg who is calm under pressure.
Walsh was deservedly rewarded with a trip to Hawaii. What a find in the 6th round in the 2012 draft. Thank you Rick Spielman and staff for finding these players and I look forward to see what the 2013 draft choices can bring.
 
 3-Blair Walsh

 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Felton and Rudolph, just 2 of the success stories of the 2012 season


As each season begins I am so hopeful the Vikings can go to the Super Bowl. If the team does not make it I love to see how many Vikings can get a Pro Bowl invite. As each camp comes and goes and the position battles are fought and won you just never know who will make the Pro Bowl in the end.

The Vikings were represented well in Hawaii.  Two of the players that made it were a pleasant surprise to me. Is this the start for these two to get more respect in the league?

Jerome Felton

Felton came into Minnesota as a free agent in 2012 and made the team beating out such players as Ryan D’Imperio and Lex Hilliard. He not only made the team but became a huge part of the success the Vikings had in the running game. I can remember the days of Naufahu Tahi  as the lead back from 2006-2010. It never seemed to be a go. Peterson did not seem to like this method but last year things changed for the better.

Felton not only made the Pro Bowl but scored a touchdown and scored again in the offseason by signing a 3 year contract for 7.5 million dollars. What a winning year for this free agent. Who would have known this success was coming. A compliment to the Vikings organization for finding Felton as a free agent and keeping him for 3 more seasons in Purple.

 
 42-Jerome Felton
 

Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph might be one of the best finds in the draft in quite some time. He is 6’6” and weighs 258 along with monstrous hands that will be huge every game.

Let’s look at his improvement:

2012     Rec    Targets    Yards     TD’s

              26      39            249           3

2013     Rec    Targets    Yards     TD’s

               53     93             493          9

What an improvement and only 23 years old. Do we have a star in the making or what? If this can guy can stay healthy the sky is the limit.

Rudolph gets am invite to the Pro Bowl and all he does Is bring home the MVP trophy. The NFL linebackers and defensive backs had better get ready for a headache for years to come.
    82-Kyle Rudolph
 
 
 
 
Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway, Blair Walsh, Jared Allen and Matt Kalil made it as well. It was a great year both record wise and individual honors. Love my Vikings
Thanks for reading
Purplestick
Next up:  A look at 2 rookies who made the Pro Bowl. How will year 2 treat them?