March 2005 Archives
March 31, 2005
I Know Who the Vikes are Drafting at #7

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Back in March of 1998 I was at Winter Park to attend a going away party for Mary Ann Dallas. Dallas was the Director of the Vikings Cheerleader squad up until that time. She was leaving to move south and get away from the Minnesota winters.

Here's a photo from that party that I took of Mary Ann and Sheri Anderson, the current Vikings Game Day Coordinator:

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The whole facility was open for people to wander around. Only Vikings employees and V.I.P.'s were invited. I stopped by to see then V.P. of Marketing, Stew Widdess. Stew was not in his office and his secretary told me he was down the hall in Scott Studwell's office.

Sure enough, Stew was there with Studwell and he invited me in. I sat down and started to shoot the bull with these two front office high rollers. It was then that I noticed Studwell's huge white eraser board that took up much of one office wall. It was the Draft Day Big Board for the Vikes. And the name at the top of that board did not surprise me in the least.

It was Randy Moss.

We spoke about Moss briefly and Studwell and Widdess swore me to secrecy. And when you have the top linebacker in Vikings history looking at you with his steely blue eyes you just gulped and shook your head in the affirmative.

And we all know how that pick turned out.

This past week I was back in Winter Park visiting with Bob Hagan, Director of Public Relations. Bob was not in his office and his secretary told me he was down the hall in Scott Studwell's office. I started to get that "I've been here before" feeling. I sauntered over to Studwell's office.

Hagan was seated with Studwell and the two were sitting looking at The Wall. The Big Board of the Vikings. Where every single prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft is ranked by the Vikes. I saw who was at #1.

Wow.

As before, I am sworn to secrecy. I cannot give you the name or school as that would be a dead give away. Or maybe not because it is a name that has not been mentioned in the various media mock drafts to date...including Kiper's. I'm not sure how these people have overlooked this player. Studwell is so confident that no one has found out about this guy other than the Vikings that he said I can provide some statistics on him.

Fast? Try a wind-aided 4.1 time in the 40-yard dash.

At 6-feet-6 and 241 pounds he is a specimen. Imagine that player coming at you at that speed.

He can throw the ball 94-yards. Studwell said it actually makes a sound....a little pft, pft-boom when the football leaves his hand. But QB is not the position destined for this player.

Let's put it this way. Good-bye Michael. Good-bye Onterrio. Good-bye Mewelde. Oh, we'll hold onto Moe for special teams sake but there will be no need for Moe to see the backfield.

When the Vikes break out the video of this rookie on Draft Day after he has been announced as the Vikes #7 selection you best have some extra underwear along....cause you're going to need them.

Man, is next season going to be great. He's a potential Pro-Bowler yearly. And pure, real, instinctive, love for football.

Oh, yeah!

Posted by maasx003 at 6:29 AM
March 30, 2005
Vikings Survivor: Last Week!

Vote a Player off the Ship

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Ten long weeks ago we began the little Vikings Survivor poll. The goal: vote one Vikings player off the ship each week. Someone you think is the weakest link...or maybe just dislike.

The result of Week One was that Chris Hovan was voted off the ship with a mandate. 70% of you told poor, misunderstood Chris to shove it.

In Week Two you showed that Vikings fans can hold grudges. For years. With almost 60% of the vote, you gave the finger to Morten Andersen. Who can forget the 1998 NFC Championship game?

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Well, we couldn't and it is bye-bye Morten.

Week Three saw the closest voting to date with loquacious Kelly Campbell getting the boot by just a few votes over E. J. Henderson.

Week Four did finally put an end to swabbing the poop deck chores for E. J. Henderson. In spite of Randy Moss being traded to the Raiders, Henderson easily was voted off with nearly 60% of the vote.

In Week Five, you elected to boot Michael Bennett. Maybe an early indication that you expect him to be traded before the April draft. You did this despite the fact that Randy Moss is now longer a Viking yet remains on the ship for another week.

Something surprising happened in Week Six. The angry Moss Got Traded fans came out in force and vented their collective displeasure towards Daunte Culpepper. The vote was nip and tuck throughout the week but eventually Randy Moss was tossed from the Vikings longboat onto the pirate ship of Oakland by a mere 3 votes over Culpepper.

Week Seven came and away went Onterrio Smith in a puff of smoke.

In Week Eight it was bye-bye to Mewelde Moore.

We are now down to Daunte Culpepper and Kevin Williams. The offensive leader and the defensive leader of the Vikings. Sweet!

So who will it be? Who will be the standing survivor on the Vikings war ship? Voting will be open until Wednesday morning (4/6). Make your vote count!

Fowler Continues to Fade

The NFL owners appear to be a little confused and bewildered by prospective Vikings owner Reggie Fowler's lack of money and presentation skills.

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"I'm really surprised that he doesn't have it put together," said New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, chairman of the finance committee. "I thought I was coming here for a presentation."

So, Fowler is off on the wrong foot with the NFL Chairman of Finance. Nice one Reg. Read more at USA Today.

Holding, Number 73 on Offense

How many times did we hear that during Todd Steussie's stint with the Vikings?

Now comes this. On Wednesday, 60 Minutes will air a report linking three members of the Panthers to banned substances less than two weeks before the team's appearance in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Jeff Mitchell, Todd Steussie, and punter Todd Sauerbrun each received a prescription for testosterone cream from Dr. James Shortt -- and Sauerbrun obtained syringes and the injectable steroid Stanozolol.

I mean, I knew Sauerbrun had to be on the juice per my run in with him back in 1996.

Wow! I'm glad he didn't go all Romanowski on me that day! Moral....don't go pissing off a NFL player. You just don't know if the rage control button is shut-off or not.

Posted by maasx003 at 8:55 AM
March 29, 2005
Antrel Rolle

On Monday, my friend and Vikings game-day buddy, The Commish, sent me a link about Antrel Rolle.

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It was a interesting read. A young man actually approaches his next stage in life with the kind of vigor not usually seen today. A class act, no doubt. A career in Vikings purple, though, is in doubt. But to quote from the story:

"While these interviews can be extremely repetitive I knew going in that since I'm different than the rest of the guys, I needed to do something that would stand out in these interviews. So I did what just about every other kid fails to do — I dressed up for a job interview. I donned a full suit, just like I would if I was interviewing for a job at a Fortune 500 company. Everyone else showed up in sweat suits. I showed in a suit.

I present myself professionally. Some may look at it as me being a pretty boy and that's fine because you'll never see me look raggedy — especially for a million dollar job interview! Why more don't view it this way I don't know. I talked it over with my mother and my DB coach and both agreed that I'm not the average Joe Blow walking the street."

I wouldn't mind seeing Rolle come to the Vikes. He could learn from Smoot, Winfield, and Sharper. He could fulfill a role at safety. But I just don't see it happening.

I've posted version 1.0 of my Mock Draft (silly as all these Mock Drafts are!) to the right. Currently, I have the Vikes holding true to all the pre-season hype and drafting Derrick Johnson from Texas. The great unknown is whether Mike Tice wants to deal with yet another young linebacker.

My dark-horse candidate might surprise you. Since I believe the players the Vikings covet (Braylon Edwards, Mike Williams, Ronnie Brown, and Cedric Benson) will already be off the board by pick #7, I will throw out yet another running back for consideration and debate.

Carnell "Cadillac" Williams from Auburn.

As I have spoken to ever since the Randy Moss trade, the Vikings can now expect eight men in the box on a regular basis. There is no other receiver within the Vikinmgs line-up to keep the strong safety honest like Moss did.

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Michael Bennett and Mewelde Moore are too injury prone to run the 25-30 times a game Tice is now expected to deploy. Onterrio Smith could be the big, banging back but he can't seem to ignore the bong.

Carnell has a great feel for the game and was one of college football’s top playmakers this past season. He fights for every yard and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He makes up for his lack of ideal size with a great combination of speed and agility. Williams reminds one of Clinton Portis.

The Vikes could then trade either Smith or Bennett to shore up the defense a bit more. Carnell would be the featured back with Moe Williams serving as the 3rd down specialist once again. Either Bennett or Smith would spot Carnell with Moore serving as insurance for an injury to one of the top two backs.

Since the Vikes will be a run-focused team this coming season, they need to hold onto four backs.

And since there will be two Williams (Pat and Kevin) featured on defense, why not two Williams (Carnell and Moe) on offense.

Now it's your turn to either rip my Mock Draft or rip my dark-horse candidate. Use the Comments field below.

Posted by maasx003 at 10:10 AM
March 28, 2005
Slowest Time of the Year

I was going to do a parody of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" into "It's the Slowest Football Time of the Year" but with Easter and all, I ran out of time and also needed to catch up on sleep.

It is the slowest time of year. Without a doubt. Free agency is winding down. Most team headquarters are empty. And every male in America (and a good portion of females) have their own mock drafts for the upcoming NFL Draft. These mock drafts bore me to no end.

I did find a parody song on mock drafts. And since I was going to do a song parody here is a cut and paste job. I have enough energy to at least do that.

"Rock the Casbah" Based on the performance by The Clash
"Mock the Draft Board" Parody by Charlie Decker

Now the boss told the team's GM
"You know your team is on the clock"
The phone up in the war room
Has been ringing, it won't stop
He called his coaching staff to him
He had a twinkle in his eye
"I wasn't paying attention,
Did that team just take our guy?"
The GM don't like it!
Mockin' the draft board, mock the draft board!
The GM don't like it!
Mockin' the draft board, mock the draft board!

"By order of the owner
With the seventeenth pick
We take the Texas lineman
With him we're gonna stick"
But the fans all in attendance, who had never heard his name
Wanted the guy from 'Bama, and the team they're gonna blame
As soon as the commish, they thought was through
They began to boo!
The GM don't like it!
Mockin' the draft board, mock the draft board
The GM don't like it!
Mockin' the draft board, mock the draft board

Now over at the sports bar
Oh! They really pack 'em in
The in crowd say it's cool
Our pick at seventeen
But as they thought of their mock drafts
Thought 'bout who they'd have picked
They all changed their minds
At the team they're really ticked!
The GM don't like it!
Mockin' the draft board, mock the draft board
The GM don't like it!
Mockin' the draft board, mock the draft board

The boss called up his coaching staff
He said "You better earn your pay,
This kid is a project
Every which way."
As soon as the GM was taken out of there
The coaches all turned to the wall, began to swear
They looked at each other, their heads bowed in prayer
"That pick wasn't fair!"
The GM don't like it!
Mockin' the draft board, mock the draft board
The GM don't like it!
Mockin' the draft board, mock the draft board

The GM don't like it! (The pick is a bust now!)
Mockin' the draft board, mock the draft board
The GM don't like it! (Fundamentally he can't make it!)
Mockin' the draft board, mock the draft board
The GM don't like it! (The fans, we really hate it!)
Mockin' the draft board, mock the draft board

Other Blogs o'Mine

The Demon Dog returns in my Dog's of Our Lives blog.

Spring has sprung over at The Wife's® blog, Through the Garden Gate.

Posted by maasx003 at 8:38 AM
March 24, 2005
Marriage of Mothers and Medications

First, before we get into today's topic go over to a great site currently showing a clip called The Scalper. This is the same outfit that brought us the Brett Favre Excuse-O-Matic.

Now, onto to today's entry.

I'm going to try something new. Every now and then I'm going to write about
drugs. Yep, drugs, drugs, drugs. Nothing wrong with popping pills, is there? And who better to pontificate on them than a licensed drug dealer, me.

I've been a pharmacist for over twenty long years. I've seen many changes since I first graduated. Some good and some bad. Today, I want to speak to a piece that The Wife® and I have joked about ever since The Boy® entered the picture.

Sanity at home for mom (and dad!).

Before Prozac there was Valium, which consistently ranked among America's best-selling prescription drugs until the 1980s, and before Valium there was Miltown, a "tranquilizer" developed in the 1950s specifically for the anxiety of ordinary life. At the height of its popularity, Miltown was being taken by one American in twenty.

Not that we ever felt especially proud of that statistic. The Miltown boom was widely criticized as yet another symptom of American moral decline. Like Prozac in the 1990s, Miltown was called a "crutch," a "mental laxative," "emotional aspirin," a "prescription for happiness." Beyond these clichés, however, it is not all that easy to say just what is wrong with medicating away our anxiety, our shame, or our fear of death. Crutches, aspirin, and laxatives are very useful if you happen to have a broken leg, a headache, or a stubborn case of constipation. Anxiety about death is deeply unpleasant. Why not medicate it?

Miltown, America's "first psychopharmacological wonder drug." Miltown was being replaced by Valium as Mother's Little Helper by the time I started pouring and counting for real. But it was still in demand. I even dispense it now and then today.

Miltown was also popular in the books written by my favorite science fiction author, Robert Heinlen. In one of those books, Farnhams Freehold, the "heroes" at the beginning of the novel mix booze, Seconal and Miltown. Heinlein doesn't even blink in writing it. In fact, he appears quite enthusiatic. Miltown has been etched into my mind ever since as the first true crutch for people trying to deal with life.

Now comes a book trying to capitalize on the anxiety of modern motherhood. As if mother's throughout history haven't always had a rough go of it! The book is Perfect Madness. And it is a stitch. And is the reason for this entry today.

For an antidote to the perfect madness of perfectly neurotic überparents, we need only look back to the childhood days of baby boomers. There we find a very different model of parenting, which I believe has been unfairly trashed.

I'm talking about the mothers you read about in novels set in the '50s like the one in the aforementioned Heinlen novel, who sat around drinking and smoking while the kids ran wild. I call them "Cocktail Moms."

Here's my favorite real-life "Cocktail Mom" story. A friend who grew up in a family of six kids said every time they embarked on a long car trip, his mother doled out spoonfuls of a mysterious green liquid to each child. It made the kids sleep, allowing mom and dad to enjoy a peaceful ride. (My friend does this hilarious imitation of himself as a child, trying to fight the green stuff's effects, but he always succumbs.) Today's parents don't do stuff like that anymore - ply children with some potentially addictive narcotic!

Nooooooo. They dose them with Ritalin and Adderall. But that's for another day.

Mary Jacobs of the The Dallas Morning News also has been having a good time with the book Perfect Madness and wrote this recently:

Let's see how the mom of yesterday operated, compared with some mommy models of today.

Child: Mom, I'm bored.

Entertainment Mom: I'll take you to Chuck E. Cheese's.

Cocktail Mom: Bored? I wish I had time to be bored, but I need to clean the house. I don't want to see your face around here before dinnertime. Now, go on out and play.

Child: Mom, Billy hit me!

Therapist Mom: (mirroring) Billy hit you? (probing) How does that make you feel?

Cocktail Mom: Tell Billy to cut it out or else. Now, you two go turn on the TV and be quiet.

Child: Mom, I'm thirsty.

Nutrition Mom: Here, let me fix you a glass of organic soymilk.

Cocktail Mom: Fix yourself a glass of sugar water.

Child: Mom, could you help me with my math homework?

Übermom: Better yet, I'll hire a tutor.

Cocktail Mom: You know better than to ask for anything while General Hospital's on.

Cocktail Mom didn't mistake herself for her child's friend or his therapist or his personal-success coach. She might drive the kids to the park, but she'd never climb on the monkey bars with them. She might run her home like a tight ship, but never a Disney cruise ship. She might hug a child with hurt feelings, but she'd never meddle in playground politics to protect his fragile self-esteem.

Before you get any ideas, The Wife® has no plans to become a Cocktail Mom. She will not take up smoking, and she'll still spend way too much time auditing The Boy's® time.

But once in a while, she and I will pay homage to the Cocktail Mom and all the decent human beings she managed to raise, in spite of herself. We'll fix ourselves an adult beverage, put our feet up, and tell The Boy® to go on outside and play.

And we'll be better parents for it.

Your Cocktail for the Weekend

So, I can't run off and leave you without a cocktail to try. So here's two, one of which was previously posted and a new one I stole from a bar in Salem, Massachusetts.

The Dry Toast
Ice cubes
3 tablespoons vodka
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Cointreau
1 teaspoon apricot jam

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, lemon juice, Cointreau and apricot jam and shake for at least 1 minute to break up the jam. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve.

The Wharf Rat
3/4 oz. Light Puerto Rican Rum
1/2 oz. Apricot Brandy
6oz. Orange Juice
3 3/4 oz. Sour Mix
1/2 oz. Grenadine

Blend and pour over ice in 22 oz. Snifter. Float 1/2 oz. 151 Proof rum. Garnish with Lime Wheel and 8" straw.


Posted by maasx003 at 2:11 PM
You Might be A Packer Fan if....

OK, so I stole the idea from a great thread (You might be a Vikings fan if...) over at the ESPN message board. Great idea and some great entries have been written so go take a gander.

So I decided to twist it a bit. And since I haven't picked on the miserable team east of the Minnesota border in quite a while....

You are a Packers fan if....

Your house still has the "WIDE LOAD" sign on the back.

You got stopped by a state trooper. He asked you if you had an I.D. And you said, 'Bout What?'

Your sister is the third generation of women in your family to conceive a baby as a result of an alien abduction.

The centerpiece on your dining room table is a foam cheesehead.

You think a quarter horse is a ride out in front of the Wal-Mart.

You and your dog use the same tree.

You think the last words to The Star Spangled Banner are "Go Pack Go."

You agree with Brett Favre who thinks the Mountain Men in Deliverance
were just "misunderstood".

You stare at an orange juice container because it says, "CONCENTRATE".

You're banned from the Milwaukee Zoo because you disturb the monkeys.

You know what "cow-tipping" is.

The "Big Three" means Miller, Old Milwaukee and Pabst.

You got a passport to go to Minnesota.

You know how to polka.

You think the four basic food groups are Brats, Beer, Cheese and Chew.

You refer to the Packers as "we."

You've ever said "Of course they'll win. They're God's team."

You expect to have off of work whenever the Packers are playing.

You own more than 10 articles of blaze orange clothing.

You used to think Deer Season was an official school holiday.

Got some of your own? Leave a comment.

And since it's Pick-On-The-Pack day, let's bring in some national perspective.

Kudo's to ProSportsNut at the aforementioned ESPN message board for finding this nugget.

bob (nyc): The Packers have a glaring need at safety. Do you see a drop-off after davis and pool, or should the packers get a DE in the 1st and address safety issues in the 2nd?

Mel Kiper: They have glaring needs all over. They are falling apart at the seams. They lost people in all areas. Their def. was horrible. They look like they are crumbling. It's not just safety, it's LB, DL, OL, etc. To say they are just worried about Thomas Davis, they are worried about all kinds of players. If Davis is there, he would be a great fit though. The drop off after Davis would be to Pool. He's a diff. type of player. Ernest Shazor is a safety built like a LB that I'm high on.

And

Edge (Atlanta): Who's got the biggest uphill battle in the draft?

Mel Kiper: Green Bay. Picking in last first round and they are in as bad a shape as teams in the top 5. Talent is developing in Chicago and eroding in Green Bay. Packers are picking 24th! They have to be very concerned.

Links and Tidbits

Denny Green in Arizona has given 3 teams until April 1st to decide if they will accept his trade proposal for a starting RB at which time if a deal is not completed they will pull all offers and attempt to trade into the #2 or #3 spot in the draft. Teams are believed to be Buffalo, Minnesota, and Seattle.

Looking for the lowest gas prices in your area? Try this great link. Just enter in your zip code and away you go! And aren't you glad you don't live in Needles, CA ($2.79 a gallon)?

The owners voted against adding the "down-by-contact" call to the list of reviewable plays, voted in favor of banning "peel-back" blocks, and tabled consideration of "horse-collar" tackles until May.

This is a HBO movie I have got to see.

Billy Idol is, well, Billy Idol.

A German scientist has calculated a formula for a happy relationship where criticism needs to be cancelled out by five compliments.

Gone Global Update

A list of countries that have visited the Underground to date. Let the Cowboys be called America's Team. The Vikings belong to the world!!!!

Previously stated are the United States, Canada, Korea, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Japan, Italy, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand, Spain, Mexico, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Netherlands, Venezuela, Panama, Latvia, Iraq, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Dominican Republic, China, Turkey, Guatemala, Brazil, and Cuba.

New to the VU are Argentina, Ireland, Finland, and Morocco.

Interesting story about Ireland.

Back in January I had told you about a song that I heard by a group called Two Time Polka. Apparently it is a group that originated in Ireland but plays Cajun music. It was very captivating and I ordered the CD. It was great stuff.

Well, earlier this week I received an e-mail from the band:

Greetings from Cork in Ireland. We just spotted your post with regards to our band Two Time Polka. Thanks for the kind mention and we're glad you liked the music.

I thought that was really neat of them to contact me and thank me for the plug. Blogs have power!!!!

Posted by maasx003 at 6:54 AM
March 23, 2005
Vikings Survivor: Week Eight

Vote a Player off the Ship

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In light of the boring off-season period, for the next 10-weeks we are going to try something fun. Each of the next 10-weeks we will vote to kick one Vikings player off the ship. Someone you think is the weakest link...or maybe just dislike.

Each following week, I'll repost the poll with one less player and the process will start all over again! So we'll start with ten and end up that you will have to make a choice between two players! We'll select the one player you cannot live without. That one player that gives you the most confidence each time you see him in purple. Who will it be!?!?

The result of Week One was that Chris Hovan was voted off the ship with a mandate. 70% of you told poor, misunderstood Chris to shove it.

In Week Two you showed that Vikings fans can hold grudges. For years. With almost 60% of the vote, you gave the finger to Morten Andersen. Who can forget the 1998 NFC Championship game?

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Well, we couldn't and it is bye-bye Morten.

Week Three saw the closest voting to date with loquacious Kelly Campbell getting the boot by just a few votes over E. J. Henderson.

Week Four did finally put an end to swabbing the poop deck chores for E. J. Henderson. In spite of Randy Moss being traded to the Raiders, Henderson easily was voted off with nearly 60% of the vote.

In Week Five, you elected to boot Michael Bennett. Maybe an early indication that you expect him to be traded before the April draft. You did this despite the fact that Randy Moss is now longer a Viking yet remains on the ship for another week.

Something surprising happened in Week Six. The angry Moss Got Traded fans came out in force and vented their collective displeasure towards Daunte Culpepper. The vote was nip and tuck throughout the week but eventually Randy Moss was tossed from the Vikings longboat onto the pirate ship of Oakland by a mere 3 votes over Culpepper.

Week Seven came and away went Onterrio Smith in a puff of smoke.

Who will be booted in Week Eight? We're now down to just three players. Voting will be open until Wednesday morning (3/30). Make your vote count!




Oh Yeah, That L.A. Thing

For those who continue to blow off the whole Vikes to L.A. thread that I started here earlier this week, now comes this story out of the heart of California itself.

The Terminator wants a team back.

The NFL received a powerful endorsement last Friday in favor of putting a team back in Los Angeles.

My guy for president in 2008 or 2012 (yeah, I know but we'll get the damn amendment put in by then), Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a thumbs up to the idea after meeting in Sacramento for an hour with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who stopped in on his way to Hawaii for the annual league meetings.

Where was this story in the local rags?

"A Los Angeles NFL team means good jobs, increased tourism and economic growth for California," the governor said in a written statement. "As you know, I love action and I want to bring NFL action back to Los Angeles."

Tags left happy, saying, "I’ll be back."

Oh, and just who is handling all of Fowler's legal work in the purchasing of the Vikings? That name belongs to Kevin Warren.

Name not familiar to you? Well, Warren was vice president and legal counsel for the Los Angeles Rams at one time in his career.

And people want to think that just because Fowler said he's not moving the team that his word is golden. His word. Let's once again review Fowler's word for those keeping score at home. Especially those born after Norm Green left for Dallas.

Prospective Minnesota Vikings owner Reggie Fowler has a wee bit of a credibility problem.

We all know about the whole resume' issue. According to Fowler's explanation, his PR firm made up a bunch of slight improvements on a press release, and then sent it out before he'd had a chance to correct the, er, errors.

And those errors included some real whoppers. Contrary to a three-page biography that Minneapolis-based Tunheim Partners released at the initial introductory news conference when Fowler announced he was buying the Vikings, the Tucson native did not:

• Play for the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL or Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. Instead, Fowler acknowledged that he was in their preseason training camps.

• Enroll in Arizona State University's MBA program. The university said that Fowler did attend graduate school between fall 1984 and summer 1988, but he never declared a major and did not receive a degree.

• Earn a spot in the Little League World Series. Fowler in a follow-up said that he played on a Tucson Little League All-Star team.

I can buy the explanation that the PR firm got a little overzealous. (PR people can be like that.) I'm a little skeptical of this explanation:

Fowler, in a brief phone interview, said he did not review the initial biography before it was issued to reporters. He referred all other questions to Leslie Kupchella, an account supervisor for Tunheim Partners.

Neither Kupchella nor Tunheim Partners returned phone calls to the media after the initial dog and pony show.

The company told the Star-Tribune that Fowler's Chandler-based Spiral Inc. supplied the biographical information to the firm. Fowler confirmed that to the newspaper.

Later on, the firm issued a new "fact sheet" about Fowler.

That biography states that Fowler is 46, has two children, four siblings and was raised in Tucson.

It made no mention of his marital status. Fowler told The Republic this week that he was single, but he declined to answer whether he was divorced.

A 1998 St. Petersburg Times story on a small-plane accident involving Fowler and his family said he was married to Lori Fowler. Numerous Maricopa County public records have listed them as a couple.

Fowler's marital status could become an issue for NFL owners if they believe that it could have an impact on his financial status.

So he supplied the false information, and wouldn't come clean about his marital status until pushed by the media?

Yeah, that's just a little suspicious.

On the bright side, "Reggie Fowler" does appear to be his real name. Whether he's actually wealthy enough to purchase an NFL team remains to be seen.

Fowler's deal seems to be contingent on the sale of 25 percent of his aviation simulation company (SATCO) to UBG Financial Corporation. As of March 24 that sale was incomplete. Red McCombs said he was not initially aware that Fowler intended to include the SATCO deal as part of his financing.

As for SATCO, Fowler told the Arizona Republic newspaper last month that it is one of the top three simulator manufacturers in the world.

Asked about that ranking, Bob Glenn, manager of training devices at United Airlines, said, "You want a one word reaction? 'Hah!' "

Glenn called SATCO "a small company that not many people have heard of. I would rank them as an upstart."

Stefan Sobol, the principal engineer of Pan Am International Flight Academy in Sterling, Va., said he did not believe that all of SATCO was worth $300 million.

"There's just no way," said Sobol, who added his firm is worth a bit more than $100 million but is much bigger than SATCO.

This transaction involving SATCO was suppose to have happened March 11.

It did not.

It was then suppose to occur the week of March 15. It did not.

Delays in finalizing the deal have left the league unable to complete its review of the Fowler group's proposal. As of Friday, March 18 the reported $300 million deal to sell 25 percent of SATCO, still had not been finalized. An investigation by the Star Tribune has called into question the value of SATCO and the wherewithal of its reported buyer, UBG Financial Services.

We've now come full circle. As of today, Fowler's deal to sell 25 percent of SATCO to UBG Financial Corporation is still incomplete. A full thirteen days after we were told the deal was going through.

Reggie ain't got the money people. As I stated earlier this week, don't be surprised if the NFL actually buys the team for Fowler.

Whether or not he, or the NFL, actually keeps the team in Minneapolis, well, that's why I'm here.

Posted by maasx003 at 9:01 AM
March 22, 2005
Speaking of Wookies

Hey! I spent a great deal of time on my Fowler-L.A.-connect-the-dots entry from yesterday so go read that again if you want some football. This will be a distinctly From the Sidelines entry.

Quickly all fellow Star Wars geeks, who is this and where is it from?

lumpy.jpg

Anyone?

If you said Chewbacca's son Lumpy from the November 17, 1978 CBS broadcast called "The Star Wars Holiday Special", then you are either old (like me) or deranged (like me). Either way, I hold you in high esteem.

What the hell C.o.D?

Okay, okay let me back up a piece. You see, I'm just so damn proud of the The Boy®. During the Christmas holiday we spent five nights watching all the episodes of Star Wars. The Boy® (soon to be five) was already interested in stars, galaxies, black holes and such. Let's just say it was like throwing a match onto an open flame.

To say that The Boy® was transfixed would be a major understatement of galactic proportions.

We battle with light sabers (cardboard paper towel inserts). We fly our star fighters (pillows). We play Star Wars computer games. Doesn't everyone?

Last Saturday, The Wife® had to run some errands. The Boy® decided he again wanted to watch Star Wars VI. We watched it twice. We even forgot that The Wife® had been gone for four hours.

You see, Star Wars VI is The Boy®'s favorite because of the Ewoks and also because we find out that Darth Vader is Luke's father. That just blows The Boy®'s mind every time.

The Boy® knows we have Star Wars I, II, IV, V, and VI on DVD. He takes them out and lines them up in numerical order and then begins to illuminate me on the finer points of each episode.

He also knows Episode III is due out any time now. He's knows this because his buddy Quinn at pre-school is something of a Star Wars Jedi-Apprentice-wannabe and updates The Boy® on the progress of Episode III on a daily basis.

Monday, when The Boy® arrived home, he screamed (yes, screamed) up the stairs. "Daddy, daddy, daddyChewbaccaisgoingtoshowhisfamilyonStarWarsIIIQuinnsaidso."

Come again?

Now here you have to imagine The Boy® pausing about 3 seconds in between each word as he rolls his eyes in disgust at a father who can't understand toddler quick speak.

"I...said...Chewbacca...is...going...to...show...his...family...on...Star...Wars...III... Quinn...said...so."

"Oh," says the dense one.

"It's the first time we will see his family, Daddy!," says The Boy®.

"Um, actually it isn't."

"Yes, yesyesyesyesQuinnsaidso!!!!!," screams The Boy®

"Well, a very long time ago in a city very far, far away (believe me, North Dakota in winter is as far as it gets) there once was a Christmas special in which Chewbacca went home to his family and we got to see them."

"You...got...to...see...them?!?!," says The Boy® now dancing circles in excitement.

"Yep, that's right. Back when Daddy was a little boy."

After answering some questions posed to me from The Boy®, we then watched the second season opening of Star Wars: Clone Wars on the plasma during dinner and spent the rest of the night exploring the 'Net for references to the Star Wars Holiday Special.

(A very funny review, by the way, can be found at Salon.com.)

The Boy® squealed with delight since he was talking about how he could return to pre-school on Tuesday and inform the Jedi-Apprentice-wannabe Quinn that Chewbacca's family had already appeared previously. And that he had seen pictures and everything.

And that his father was a Jedi Master. Not some apprentice in waiting.

The Boy® is now counting down the days to May 19. I can't blame him. Can you?

Posted by maasx003 at 8:59 PM
March 21, 2005
Fowler Snooping Around L.A.?

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Like most males, especially logicians like myself, I'm able to ponder things through to their logical, inevitable conclusion. This is a major consternation for The Wife® who I have to gently remind now and then to slow down and think things through.

The latest lack of forethought begot by my siginificant other came to critical mass in a young puppy’s cage recently. On the previous evening, this young male puppy destroyed a liner pad filled with stuffing inside his crate. The Wife® then provided the young, eager male with a blanket that also contained stuffing.

Let’s see if you can determine the hilarious conclusion.

The rest of this story may not be as much as a rib tickler for you. But you still should be able to determine the conclusion.

Currently we have the constant flirtation between the NFL and a new team in Los Angeles to provide the grist for rumor and innuendo and interpretation of signals.

I could dismiss all of this talk of the NFL putting a team in LA by making the simple observation that the NFL will actually put a team in Los Angeles the day that Paul Tagliabue gets to shovel in some dirt on the coffin of Al Davis and then hangs around to see the grave completely filled in with cement so he can be sure there isn't a breathing tube connected to the coffin.

That might avert a lawsuit from Al Davis. A while back, Davis tried to claim exclusivity over the L.A. market/territory but a court said that claim had as much merit as Jesse Ventura has political savvy. So moving a team there would be a way for Tags to say “Neener, neener, neener…” to his old nemesis. And since I believe that small-mindedness is part of the human condition, I will not rule out its role in such a decision.

The “problem” in LA is a stadium. The Coliseum is antiquated and sits in a neighborhood that resembles downtown Baghdad as much as it resembles a prosperous American metropolis.

The Rose Bowl is even less like a modern NFL stadium than the Coliseum. The city fathers have not come across with the funding and the locale for a new stadium. In the past when Hollywood Park offered to build a stadium for an NFL team on its property, the NFL politely declined. The latest “story” is that the Rose Bowl would be willing to build in the requisite luxury boxes and simultaneously to reduce the number of seats from 93,000 to 65,000 in order to get a team to play there.

The NFL has hinted that it might pay to build a new stadium in LA assuming a place can be found and somehow the infrastructure gets upgraded. If the NFL owns the venue, you can be certain that they will be the sole determinant as to which franchise is located there.

Will it be an expansion team? Or might the league look at recent L.A. experience with NFL ownership and see Georgia Frontiere and Al Davis and come to the conclusion that the only way to complete that trifecta is to add Bill Bidwell to the list? The latest NFL pronouncement is that it will NOT be an expansion team and that LA will have a team by 2008.

Some people see the situation in Minnesota as a signal that the Vikes may move west. Lame duck owner Red McCombs wanted a new stadium and tried for 6-years to have one approved. The Minnesota legislature was not going to give him one supposedly because they want “local ownership” for the Vikes and other various inane reasons.

Now a guy from Phoenix named Reggie Fowler is purportedly putting together a consortium to make an offer to buy the team. But depending on the day of the week, he either is in way over his head financially or is fat with cash because he has East Coast money behind him.

And the intrigue continues because an alternative scenario (should Fowler fail in his bid) has McCombs paying off his Metrodome lease with a $40-60M payment and moving the team to LA where he would sell it at an inflated price to a new owner.

But the intrigue continues further because Fowler is African-American and the league desperately wants an African-American owner. So much so that the NFL might actually buy the team for Fowler if he can't put together the requisite financial muscle.

This is why Al Davis is probably openly advocating Fowler. Starting to see the dots being connected?

And for all those advocates of the “the Vikes are locked into a lease” party, let me throw another wrinkle your way.

According to the Viking Update, Reggie Fowler has made contact with a fact-finding leader on getting a stadium deal in Los Angeles. I think this is something not to be taken lightly. Take for instance, recent happenings out in Blaine, the proposed future home of the Vikings much hyped new stadium.

Tom Lander, an M.A. Mortenson executive, recently requested that Blaine planning officials approve that the construction firm remove the sign on its property that said, "Proposed site for future Vikings stadium."

Golden Valley-based Mortenson wanted to market its 18-acre parcel, and the city approved because Vikings stadium planning had fizzled once again in the previous legislative session.

But that was prior to Fowler’s deal to buy the Vikings. News of the pending deal refueled stadium talk for the site at 109th Ave. N.E. and Interstate 35W.
But Minneapolis-based CSM Corp. doesn't want to wait.

Developers, land owners and city officials say stadium proponents better hasten their efforts, because they're all set to start using that land for other purposes.
"The site is still there, but it's not going to be there very long. Everything is being bought up," said Tom Ryan, mayor of Blaine.

Ryan is trying to set up a meeting with Fowler.

CSM already is constructing a 126,000-square-foot distribution center for Aveda, a division of New York-based Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. That building was approved by the city last summer, along with $1 million in tax increment financing. Aveda's new building borders the proposed stadium site and wouldn't affect the city's master plan.

However, when the next building goes up in CSM's Lexington Preserve Business Park, it will get in the way of the stadium development, said John Ryden, a broker at CB Richard Ellis who is marketing Lexington Preserve on CSM's behalf. CSM plans to break ground in the spring on an 85,000-square-foot building, said Ryden, who is nearing deals with three prospective tenants.

The city and county's 740-acre stadium master plan includes a mixture of office buildings, hotels, stores and housing. It would cost $1.6 billion to develop, with about 30 percent being funded by the state, county and city.

Mayor Ryan said even with CSM's deal, the site still can be configured to meet the needs of the stadium, but that won't be possible if the Legislature doesn't approve a stadium deal this spring.

"I don't think we're going to hold it beyond this year," he said.

So what's cooking at the Minnesota legislature then? One would think that movement to protect the state's most important sports franchise would be taking center stage. Nope.

The dopes in St. Paul have instead taken a shine to erecting a gosh dang new stadium for the University of Minneota Fighting Golden Gopher football squad. You know, the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl champions.

Let's flush this out some more. The Gophers have a commitment to play in the Metrodome through 2011, as do the Vikings. However, the Univeristy of Minnesota isn't going to be backing up the loading vans anytime soon and heading to Stanford.

Stadiums are a necessity for the Vikings and the Twins. Where is high-ranking official over in St. Paul who realizes this and can connect the links?

Where, oh where indeed.

Posted by maasx003 at 11:02 AM
March 20, 2005
Monday, Monday

Sorry, but I don't have enough time to write something substantial this morning. Perhaps later today or Tuesday. So, here are some jottings.....

Mock Drafts

VikesBlues over at KFAN Vikes Rube Chat saw a whole series of mock drafts on the Packer page at Espn.com...these are the Vikings picks and the number of mocks that picked them.

#7 Pick
WR-Williams, M - 10
WR-Edwards, B - 4
WR-Williamson, T -1
LB-Merriman, S - 1
HB-Williams, Carnell - 1
LB-Johnson, D - 1
DL-Spears, M - 1
HB-Brown, R - 1
DL-Cody, D -1

#18 pick
LB-Pollack, D - 3
DL-Cody, S - 3
LB-Crowder, C - 2
DL-James, E - 2
WR-Williamson, T - 2
DL-Roth, M - 1
OG-Brown, Elton - 1
CB-Miller, J - 1
S-Shazor, E - 1
WR-White -1
DL-Johnson, T -1
DL-Spears, M -1
LB-Merriman, S - 1

Of course, this is assuming the Vikes keep those picks! Who would you like to see at the #7 and #18?

Photos

We invested in a new digital camera this past week. The Canon 20D and it's a real beauty and we can utilize our exisiting array of Canon autofocus lenses. I highly recommend this one. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail. I can't wait to use it outside at mini-camp in late April. Check out the detail on some recent shots I posted of my dogs over on the Dogs of Our Lives blog.

Links and Tidbits

Here's a shocker -- a columnist in San Diego is lobbying for the league to change pass interference to a 15-yard penalty as the local team prepares to face Randy Moss twice a year.

Hmmm. Broncos DE Trevor Pryce is still available via trade.

The Dolphins want the NFL to set up a standard rotation for the Super Bowl site -- since, obviously, Miami would be one of the regular locations.

What do you do when your Cheesehead neighbor leaves town for the weekend. Build Viking snowmen to block his entrance when he returns, of course. Then return and build some more.

Prospective Vikings owner Reggie Fowler needs to sell one of his companies in order to come up with the required 30 percent of the purchase price of the team (which explains why scrutiny of the proposal by owners inexplicably had been back-burnered until May).

If LB Sam Cowart is injured or doesn't make the team in Minnesota, the Jets owe the Vikings a seventh-round pick in 2006. If LB E.J. Henderson has a strong training camp, he'd remain as the starter in the middle, and Sam Cowart would move to the outside.

The Vikings could have cat scratch fever for Ohio State K Mike Nugent in the draft. Remember, you can keep track of league-wide interest in the kicker via the Nuge O-Meter

Posted by maasx003 at 4:58 PM
March 18, 2005
Pepper with Stick and Ball Guy

Today I exchange interviews with Stick and Ball Guy in a game he calls Pepper and has been doing on his blog for some time. So after you read this entry, head over to his blog to ride the Pepper exchange.

1) Can you tell me a little about your blog "Stick and Ball Guy?"

I look at my blog as my chance to have fun and spout off about sports. It's not very serious, and I like to have fun with it. At the same time, it helps me to enjoy the game more, because I spend time thinking about it. And, for good or bad, I have my thoughts on record.

As time goes by, I'll look like a genius or an idiot. I talk mainly about the Twins and some Timberwolves. Another thing that I (obviously) like to do is connect with other bloggers by having them contribute on my site on Fridays. I think it's fun to interact with other like minded people and hear what they have to say. Considering that my readership is highest on Fridays, maybe what I have found out is that my readers like to hear what others have to say more than me!

2) Where did your love of the game (baseball) come from?

I played baseball from when I was seven years old. My Dad, my brother, and I played catch all the time. The kids in the neighborhood all got together and played sandlot baseball all summer long. Plus, when I was a kid, we went to see Twins games alot. I've always been a baseball guy from day one.

3) Are you surprised at all about the longevity of Terry Mulholland and other geezers on the Twins roster?

Not really. Guys take care of themselves a lot better than they did back in the day. Considering the money you can make, who wouldn't? I'd take care of myself, too, if I had the opportunity to make six or seven figures a year playing baseball. I think that's why you are seeing old guys play longer.

4) What's more boring to watch on television, golf or baseball?

What a setup! Golf, I suppose. I love to watch great golf -- Nicklaus in the '86 Masters was awesome. Tiger when he's charging is great. But Vijay Singh against Justin Leonard? Maybe there's a cooking show on I can watch.

Baseball can be very exciting, but I will admit to sleeping through a couple, thirteen, fourteen Sunday afternoon games.

5) How do you prepare yourself to write every day?

Because I have a set format -- I have kind of defined my topics for a week, I usually have two or three columns floating in my head on my various topics at any one time.

For example, this week I knew on Sunday what I would write every single day this week. I come home, sit down and pound it out. Sometimes I'll enjoy a cold beverage during the writing process. That seems to help.

6) How do you keep the blog fresh?

I hope people think it's fresh. I think a lot of what I try to do is not write the same thing over and over. And have a sense of humor.

Another thing that I like to do is talk about people in my blog. Like my friend Moss (not Randy), Drew, Butch, Gleeman, Shane from Greet Machine, Cheesehead Craig, etc. I've been known to take a swipe at other blogs (in good fun). I just try to carry on a conversation.

7) Does your significant other have to refer to you as SBG?

Yes, but it means Stupid Big Galoof to her. No, she doesn't refer to me by that name. And her name really isn't Lucy. And she doesn't look like Lucille Ball. (You'll have to check out the site on Saturday to see what I mean.) She only cares about one day a week on the website. Saturday.

8) How do you relax after a Twins game?

It's not exactly like a Vikings game. I usually go to bed.

9) How much freedom do you think celebrities like us should have to sacrifice?

All I ask is when I am out with Lucy that you respect my privacy and not ask for autographs while I'm eating.

10) I read that they're filming Curious George for the big screen starring Will Ferrell as The Man in the Yellow Hat. What do you think about that?

I'll go see it.

SBG one word responses

Sid Hartman - Homer

Tom Kelly - Legend

Joe Mauer - Anxiety

Tony Olivia - Great

Boog Powell - Ribs

University of North Dakota - Sucks

Cheesehead Craig - Misguided

Randy Moss - Exciting

Mike Tice - Doofus

R.T. Rybak - What?

There you go, the first part of Pepper with SBG. Now head over to his blog and finish part two!

Kicker Anyone?

Mike Nugent is one of the most sought after kickers in draft history. DraftSeason.com has come up with the "Nuge O-Meter" which carefully goes over each team that may be looking for a kicker or looking to replace there current kicker. Go to the site to see the percent chance that team may end up with "The Nuge".

But Is It Sponge Worthy?

Based on Elaine Benes of the great Seinfeld sitcom, each week or so I will introduce another blog that I have come across and have begun reading on a regular basis. You, my valued reader, will decide if it deserves a permanent link on my site under the category of Sponge Worthy Links.

You recall the Seinfeld episode. Elaine only uses the sponge as her form of birth control. When the sponge is to be discontinued she scavenges the city buying in hordes any sponges she can find. From then on, if a man was not sponge worthy, then he was not worth Elaine's troubles.

The blogs chosen at random, may have nothing to do with football..or even sports. If you have a favorite blog, please pass it along to me by leaving the web address under the Comments section found at the end of each entry.

Two weeks ago, the NFL Cheerleader Blog was up for vote. It was overwhelmingly considered as Sponge Worthy and now finds itself in the SW Hall of Fame.

This week I give you the Vikes Geek blog. So go check it out. Then come back and vote and let me know if this blog is truly Sponge Worthy and deserving of a permanent link on the Worlds Number One Vikings blog.

Voting will be open for one week, ending next Friday (3/25) morning.




Friday Fun Stuff

For all you Trekkies....

Wedgie joins new definitions in Webster....


Posted by maasx003 at 9:11 AM
March 17, 2005
Green Eggs and Two Tickets in Hand

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First off, a very happy St. Patrick's Day to all you lucky Irish blood brothers and sisters out there! Don't you just feel like skipping work, heading to the pub and singing could ol' Irish diddies? Here's one for you that should get you a lot of attention. OK, it's not Irish, but you are in a Vikings blog and we have to keep it real....

Ode to Mike Tice

Have you sold them on a boat?
Have you sold them to a goat?

Have you sold them while in bed?
Have you sold them to the dead?

Have you sold them while getting gas?
Have you sold them to SOD while he was high on grass?

Have you sold them in the car?
Have you simply gone too far?

Have you sold them on the beach?
Have you sold them to the ‘preach?

Have you sold them on your back?
Have you sold them while talking smack?

Have you sold them in a box?
Have you sold them to a fox?

Have you sold them in a tree?
Have you sold them on the sea?

Have you sold them in the rain?
Have you sold them to forget the pain?

Have you sold them to some Brits?
Have you sold them wearing mitts?

Have you sold them to Danny Glover?
Have you sold them undercover?

Have you sold them on a perch?
Have you sold them in a church?

Have you sold them to a virgin?
Have you sold them while fishing for sturgeon?

Have you sold them on the light-rail train?
Have you sold them while insane?

Have you sold them on the stage?
Have you sold them underage?

Have you sold them to all your friends?
Have you sold them to make amends?

Have you sold them to your dog?
Have you sold them on a log?

Have you sold them while getting damp?
Have you sold them standing under a street lamp?

Have you sold them without style?
Have you sold them with a smile?

Have you sold them for all to see?
Have you ever sold some to me?

Have you sold them while traveling south?
Have you sold some to put food in your mouth?

Have you sold them while on tape?
Have you sold them out of shape?

Have you sold them on live TV?
Have you sold them while you pee?

Have you sold them in the gym?
Have you sold them on a whim?

Have you sold them on a dare?
Do you really think we care?

Coach Tice, answer these and count your "no"s,
Pray this number never grows.
Fifty questions we asked thee,
Score times two is thy Purity.

The Boy® from 2001

A special St. Patricks Day message from The Boy®, our Irish Prince!

Coming Friday

Please join me on Friday as I play a game of Pepper with Stick and Ball Guy. SBG and I interview each other with inane questions and provide insight about each other that, perhaps, you were unaware of. So return and partake in the fun!

Posted by maasx003 at 11:13 AM
March 16, 2005
Opie Returns

opie.jpg

"I Shot the Sheriff" (Opie Version)
Based on the performance by Eric Clapton

I use to play for the Sheriff
I was his deputy, Uh-Oh-Oh!
I use to play for the Sheriff
I was his deputy, Uh-Oh-Oh!

Yeah! All around in my home town,
of Black Mountain, North Carolina they were so proud;
The Sheriff believed in me
Made me the starter, I played so well
I knew the fans believed in me
And I say....

Oh, now, now. Oh!
Where is The Sheriff?
Where is my Denny?
Oh, no! Yeah!
I say: Where is The Sheriff? Oh, Lord!
I gotta scalp tickets for this new clown?
Yeah! Ooh, ooh, oo-oh Yeah!

Sheriff Green always trusted me
But sent me away when Randall replaced me
I went to another team and played for Chucky
I got lucky and won a ring.
I was even team MVP
And so.....

Oh, now, now. Oh!
Where is The Sheriff?
Where is my Denny?
Oh, no! Yeah!
I say: Where is The Sheriff? Oh, Lord!
I gotta scalp tickets for this new clown?
Yeah! Ooh, ooh, oo-oh Yeah!

I was cut by Tampa one day
I still want to play
Got a call from Arizona, saw Sheriff Green
And I shot him to the ground
And I shot - I shot - I shot him down and I say:
I wish Sheriff Green were 'live today

Oh, now, now. Oh!
Where is The Sheriff?
Where is my Denny?
Oh, no! Yeah!
I say: Where is The Sheriff? Oh, Lord!
I gotta scalp tickets for this new clown?
Yeah! Ooh, ooh, oo-oh Yeah!

I didn;t want to play in the heat
I wanted to finish in Purple, feel the Metrodome beat
Going back to Minneapolis and gonna raise some hell
Opie's back in town
Time to ring the bell
I say

Oh, now, now. Oh!
Where is The Sheriff?
Where is my Denny?
Oh, no! Yeah!
I say: Where is The Sheriff? Oh, Lord!
I gotta scalp tickets for this new clown?
Yeah! Ooh, ooh, oo-oh Yeah!

Welcome home Brad!!!!

bj.jpg

Posted by maasx003 at 8:25 PM
Vikings Survivor: Week Seven

Vote a Player off the Ship

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In light of the boring off-season period, for the next 10-weeks we are going to try something fun. Each of the next 10-weeks we will vote to kick one Vikings player off the ship. Someone you think is the weakest link...or maybe just dislike.

Each following week, I'll repost the poll with one less player and the process will start all over again! So we'll start with ten and end up that you will have to make a choice between two players! We'll select the one player you cannot live without. That one player that gives you the most confidence each time you see him in purple. Who will it be!?!?

The result of Week One was that Chris Hovan was voted off the ship with a mandate. 70% of you told poor, misunderstood Chris to shove it.

In Week Two you showed that Vikings fans can hold grudges. For years. With almost 60% of the vote, you gave the finger to Morten Andersen. Who can forget the 1998 NFC Championship game?

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Well, we couldn't and it is bye-bye Morten.

Week Three saw the closest voting to date with loquacious Kelly Campbell getting the boot by just a few votes over E. J. Henderson.

Week Four did finally put an end to swabbing the poop deck chores for E. J. Henderson. In spite of Randy Moss being traded to the Raiders, Henderson easily was voted off with nearly 60% of the vote.

In Week Five, you elected to boot Michael Bennett. Maybe an early indication that you expect him to be traded before the April draft. You did this despite the fact that Randy Moss is now longer a Viking yet remains on the ship for another week.

Something surprising happened in Week Six. The angry Moss Got Traded fans came out in force and vented their collective displeasure towards Daunte Culpepper. The vote was nip and tuck throughout the week but eventually Randy Moss was tossed from the Vikings longboat onto the pirate ship of Oakland by a mere 3 votes over Culpepper.

Who will be booted in Week Seven? We're now down to just four players. Voting will be open until Wednesday morning (3/23). Make your vote count!




The Latest Wild Rumor

The proposed deal that has been getting play on various Arizona Cardinal message boards goes like this:

ARIZONA- gets RB Edgerrin James, Minnesota 2nd round pick, Von Hutchins

INDIANAPOLIS- gets RB Michael Bennett, Arizona 2nd round pick, Arizona 6th round pick, S Corey Chavous

MINNESOTA- gets WR Anquan Boldin, OL L.J Shelton

Minnesota and Arizona then swap early first round selections. Vikes get the #8 overall and Cards the #7.

You are the G.M. of the Vikes. Do you make that trade? Why or why not?

Gone Global

A list of countries that have visited the Underground to date. Let the Cowboys be called America's Team. The Vikings belong to the world!!!! By order of rank based on number of visitors:

United States, Canada, Korea, Republic of United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Japan, Italy, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand, Spain, Mexico, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Netherlands, Venezuela, Panama, Latvia, Iraq, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Dominican Republic, China, Turkey, Guatemala, Brazil, and Cuba.

Links and Tidbits

How fast is your reaction time? I reached Rocketing Rabbit status. How 'bout you?

Posted by maasx003 at 2:20 PM
March 15, 2005
Vikes Sign Travis Taylor

Guess all that Burress talk was for naught. The Vikes have picked up a wide receiver and it wasn't Plaxico.

Could this mean that the Vikings draft experts at Winter Park are thinking that Mike Williams and Braylon Edwards will be gone early in the draft or is Taylor to replace Kelly Campbell?

What do you think of this pick-up?

Posted by maasx003 at 2:34 PM
Time to Get Your Roll On

Pep.gif

So, it has come to this. Vikings fandom is a deeply divided family at the moment. There are the How Could You Trade Moss? fans on one side of the fence and the Good Riddance! fans on the other side.

And no where is this deep division more evident than in the Vikings Survivor poll for Week Six. For Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss are dead-locked in the voting to boot the next player off the ship.

Culpepper is still with the team. He is the man people point to when the question of leadership is asked.

Moss is now with another team. He was the man people pointed to when the question of dedication was asked.

So, why are fans hating Culpepper right now? A time when everyone should be lining up 110% behind the man who Moss once asked of, "lead us Daunte."

Could it be that the How Could You Trade Moss? fans are placing the blame for the loss of Moss directly onto the very large shoulders of #11? Remember that at the Pro Bowl, Culpepper said he thought it might be time for Moss to be moved to another team.

What Culpepper underestimated was the backlash of furor that statement would have. Next season during introduction when Daunte is getting his roll on, will he hear 50% boos and 50% cheers? Will five months be enough time to forgive and forget? That is until the half-time highlight reels shown at the Metrodome show a silver and black #18 scoring a touchdown on a deep throw? Then what?

The now telling underlying story behind the story will be an interesting one to watch both this off-season and during the 2005-06 NFL campaign. And one I'll return to often.

Which side of the fence are you on?

Bring Back Brad?

Back on February 10, I had let you know that quarterback Brad Johnson was even money to be let go by the Bucs.

Well, Monday Opie was visiting with the team regarding a possible return. I hope Johnson does sign. He'd be a good mentor to Daunte Culpepper and help keep Culpepper's feet grounded in his first season without Randy Moss to throw to.




From the Sidelines

I took some time off from the blog the past few days as The Wife® and I enjoyed celebrating her 40th birthday. The movie we ended up seeing on Monday was Bride and Prejudice, a Bollywood film from India.

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Bollywood is the informal name given to the popular Mumbai-based film industry in India. Bollywood is also commonly referred to as Hindi cinema. Bollywood films are usually musicals. And this movie had several numbers that had us chuckling out loud. It's a good movie and I encourage you to see or rent it in the near future.

To read more about The Wife's® big weekend, you can always check out her blog.

Links and Tidbits

Vikings safety Darren Sharper will make $1 million less this year than he was scheduled to make in Green Bay, but his Minnesota contract is worth $3 million more than the Packers' best offer.

Vikings DT Chris Hovan visited the Giants on Monday.

QB Brad Johnson left Minnesota without a contract, and is on his way to Seattle for a visit; he won't make a decision between the Seahawks, Vikings, and Bears until Tuesday at the earliest.

The Texans have released LB Jay Foreman and S Eric Brown; the Vikings are interested in Foreman, whose dad was a key cog in the 1970s-era team that lost three Super Bowls.

Posted by maasx003 at 7:42 AM
March 10, 2005
World Premiere Video

Courtesy of Josh Nelson (KrayzieViking) the Viking Underground brings you the World Premiere Video release of a Randy Moss tribute. Special thanks to Shane Nackerud of the Greet Machine for his help in finding server space.

We’re a little worried about bandwith, so if you have any issues, let me know. The file is a ZIP so you will have to download and save to your computer to view.

Moss Tribute Video

Posted by maasx003 at 7:42 PM
Good Gawd, They're Going to Sign Burress

It's all over now. We had a such a great free agency period taking place. Now the front office is going to take a step backwards as it is being rumored Plaxico Burress arrives in the Twin Cities later this afternoon to hold a private workout session for the Vikings.

Messenger board rumors are flying but several people on the inside are providing information that Burress will arrive on a Northwest passenger flight today around 5pm CST.

I am really against this signing, if it goes down. I would expect him to sign a one-year deal only. I just cannot see the Vikes adding another head-case to the locker room after getting rid of the best player in the NFL today because of that very reason.

Stand by.




Update One

Per the Strib, free-agent receiver Plaxico Burress turned down an offer from the New York Giants and is heading for Minnesota tonight to visit with the Vikings on Friday, Burress' agent, Michael Harrison said today.

The Vikings had lost interest in Burress last weekend, but are back in the hunt partly because Burress' market value appears to be diminishing.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:18 PM
NFC Favorites?

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When strong safety Donovin Darius signs with the Vikings this week or next (Fred Smoot all but assured it on a KFAN interview), the Vikings defensive backfield will be the best they've had since the Joe Namath I Guarantee A Victory Era. Some of you old timers like myself may argue that point with me but you have to agree that next season the Vikes will field the best defensive backfield since the Joe Namath I Want to Kiss You Era.

Add into the mix a strong, run-stuffing defensive line with Williams One and Williams Two and the Vikings have the makings of a Top Ten defense. Even if the Moss-less offense looses some fire power and drops from its typical NFL top ranking but stays within the Top Ten stats-wise, you are looking at a balanced total package much like the current Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

And that, in my mind, makes the Vikes legitimate NFC Title contenders this coming season.

Is It Sponge Worthy?

Based on Elaine Benes of the great Seinfeld sitcom, each week or so I will introduce another blog that I have come across and have begun reading on a regular basis. You, my valued reader, will decide if it deserves a permanent link on my site under the category of Sponge Worthy Links.

You recall the Seinfeld episode. Elaine only uses the sponge as her form of birth control. When the sponge is to be discontinued she scavenges the city buying in hordes any sponges she can find. From then on, if a man was not sponge worthy, then he was not worth Elaine's troubles.

The blogs chosen at random, may have nothing to do with football..or even sports. If you have a favorite blog, please pass it along to me by leaving the web address under the Comments section found at the end of each entry.

Last week, NFL Cheerleader Blog was up for vote. It was overwhelmingly considered as Sponge Worthy and now finds itself in the SW Hall of Fame. So go check it out. You know you want to!

I did not run across a blog to be voted upon this week. If you have a blog that you think should be up for vote, just send me a note.

March Madness Last Reminder

As stated last week, I have set up an official March Madness NCAA tournament pool. It's totally free and winner receives bragging rights only.

To join my Private Group in this Yahoo! Sports Tournament Pick'em, just go to the game front page and click on the "Sign Up" button to create a team. After completing registration, or if you already have a team, click the "Create or Join Group" button and follow the path to join an existing private group. Then, when prompted, enter the following information...

Group ID#: 12506
Password: purple

This private group is limited to just 50 people. So sign up now!

Links and Tidbits

Car Talk is conducting a interesting poll on their site. Vote for the Ugliest Car for Sale in the U.S. Today.

Note

This will be my last entry until next Tuesday. It is birthday weekend for The Wife® and we're taking some time off as a family to do some celebrating as this is number 40 for her. Saturday night I grill up some imported Scottish Salmon for a small dinner party. I'll probably even mix up some chocolate martini's, Dry Toast (see below), and pour some port.

Sunday it's off to The Boy's® favorite eatery, Space Aliens Bar and Grill in St. Cloud.

Monday, The Wife® and I drop off The Boy® at preschool and then take in a movie or two. (Any suggestions on what we should see!?!?!)

So, see you Tuesday! It's not like anything is going to happen at Winter Park anyway!

The Dry Toast
Ice cubes
3 tablespoons vodka
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Cointreau
1 teaspoon apricot jam

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, lemon juice, Cointreau and apricot jam and shake for at least 1 minute to break up the jam. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:00 PM
March 9, 2005
Breaking! Tice Fesses Up

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Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reports that Vikings coach Mike Tice has admitted to scalping Super Bowl tickets as an assistant coach, but not as a head coach.

It's a reversal for Tice, who told SI.com he's had nothing to do with selling Super Bowl seats at a mark-up.

Tice also told Mortensen that media reports regarding his involvement contain "innuendos that might force me to take legal action."

More as it becomes available....

Drive By

Today, I drove by Winter Park on my way back from lunch. Ton’s of press and vehicles out there. It was just nuts and lots of press had to park on the street as there was no room left in the parking lot.

And there was Mike Tice standing on the corner, waving tickets in one hand and talking on his cell phone with the other.

Update One

Just spoke with the Smooster (he and I are good buddies and I’m allowed to call him this…not you common people). So what does he think about this Tice fiasco?

Smoot, a former second-round pick whose deal included a $10.8 million bonus, said he didn’t regret joining Tice’s team despite the allegations.

“That’s he-say she-say,” said Smoot. “You know what? That didn’t really concern me. It ain’t like he went out and hurt nobody or nothing like that.”

“Half the players don’t even go to the Super Bowl,” added Smoot, noting he usually gives his tickets to his father. “…I know I don’t. (If) I’m not playing in it, I won’t be there.”

Smoot, who called Tice “a genuine guy,” said scalping won’t be an issue with him in a Vikings uniform next season.

“For what I’m trying to do as a Minnesota Viking, he is not gonna need a ticket to the Super Bowl,” Smoot said. “We gonna go free.”

You can read the text from the Smoot press conference here.

More…Assuming Smoot's bonus money is paid as a roster bonus -- the Vikings' usual practice, allowing the entire bonus to be counted against the cap this year -- the Vikings' available cap space will be cut from $31 million to roughly $18-$19 million.

More…ESPN now reporting a 5 PM press conference!

More…Teddy Cotrell is suppose make an announcement Thursday that will cause all the fans to go “crazy”. KFAN speculating a 2-5 defense (that’s a joke!). But Teddy is going to speak and no one knows what its about.

Crazy off-season, eh!?!?!

Update Two

Agent Dante' DiTrapano, who represents Raiders receiver Randy Moss, said earlier this afternoon that neither he nor his client are the source of the anonymous tip to the league office that Vikings coach Mike Tice has been scalping (allegedly) Super Bowl tickets.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:26 PM
Vikings Survivor: Week Six

Vote a Player off the Ship

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In light of the boring off-season period, for the next 10-weeks we are going to try something fun. Each of the next 10-weeks we will vote to kick one Vikings player off the ship. Someone you think is the weakest link...or maybe just dislike.

Each following week, I'll repost the poll with one less player and the process will start all over again! So we'll start with ten and end up that you will have to make a choice between two players! We'll select the one player you cannot live without. That one player that gives you the most confidence each time you see him in purple. Who will it be!?!?

The result of Week One was that Chris Hovan was voted off the ship with a mandate. 70% of you told poor, misunderstood Chris to shove it.

In Week Two you showed that Vikings fans can hold grudges. For years. With almost 60% of the vote, you gave the finger to Morten Andersen. Who can forget the 1998 NFC Championship game?

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Well, we couldn't and it is bye-bye Morten.

Week Three saw the closest voting to date with loquacious Kelly Campbell getting the boot by just a few votes over E. J. Henderson.

Week Four did finally put an end to swabbing the poop deck chores for E. J. Henderson. In spite of Randy Moss being traded to the Raiders, Henderson easily was voted off with nearly 60% of the vote.

In Week Five, you elected to boot Michael Bennett. Maybe an early indication that you expect him to be traded before the April draft. You did this despite the fact that Randy Moss is now longer a Viking yet remains on the ship for another week.

Who will be booted in Week Six? Wouldn't it be soemthing if Moss hung around until the last week and had to go toe-to-toe with Daunte Culpepper or Kevin Williams? We'll see what the voters have to think.

Voting will be open until Wednesday morning (3/16). Make your vote count!




Sharpen that Pencil Tice

Sung to Two Tickets to Paradise

I've got two tickets at twice the price.
Make your check out to Coach Mike Tice.
I've got two tickets at twice the price.
I've got two tickets at twice the price.

You know, back after the season ended I thought to myself, "How can I possibly find anything to write about daily for this blog?" I forgot that the team I cover is the Minnesota Vikings. I could do multiple entries each day if I chose to do so.

As I posted last night, Don Banks and George Dohrmann of Sports Illustrated report that Tice is under investigation for allegedly heading up and profiting from a Super Bowl ticket-scalping ring within the Vikings organization.

Apparently it is very common that NFL players and personnel routinely buy Super Bowl tickets and re-sell them at a profit. The profit, which can be $2,000 to $3,000 per seat, seldom if ever is acknowledged as taxable income.

Tice reportedly was doing more than re-selling his own tickets at a profit. Instead, he was brokering the sale of his players' tickets and then pocketing a piece of the action. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that, per an anonymous informant who reported Tice to the league office, the coach traveled to Chicago on January 19 with his cache of tickets and returned with $250,000 in cash. But as the story states, Tice was not in Chicago on that date and has proof.

Yes, Tice is drawing the focus of NFL Security, but he's hardly the only violator.

"A lot of teams do it," an NFL assistant who once worked for the Vikings told Banks and Dohrmann. "Everybody can do it. Every team has a guy who takes care of moving the tickets. I'd hate to see it end because coaches have always used that as extra money. Coaches do count on that as a little extra deal. [Team] owners will probably stop doing it now, because they don't have to give us those tickets."

Tice acknowledges that he has been questioned, but he denies any wrongdoing. "They were in there here talking to me and others about how we deal with our Super Bowl tickets, and how they're distributed,'' Tice said. “I'm confident when the league finishes looking at this, everything will come out fine. It's a shame assumptions are being made about my role in this. I did not approach any player about Super Bowl tickets as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.''

However, the Banks and Dohrmann narrative lays out a fairly critical indictment against Tice, which could induce some type of injunction by the league office. Not to mention a not so friendly phone call Tice should expect from the Internal Revenue Service.

Think this is not a big deal? Think again. Consider the experiences of several NBA referees, who faced suit in the 1990s for converting their first-class airfare to coach, pocketing the difference, and not declaring it as income.

Then on January 1, the NBA began withholding taxes from referee's wages for the two complimentary premium tickets they are eligible to receive for each game they work represent income. Officials who accept the free tickets for every game they work will realize more than $25,000 in additional annual income.

The Banks and Dohrmann story also does not explicitly address a key question that instantaneously came to mind when this story broke.

Who turned him in?

One has to think it was a player who Tice recently pissed off, and seemingly someone who was in the club long enough to observe Tice's demeanor in the past few years.

So here’s my short list of people secretly laughing at Ol’ Pencil Ear today:

• Randy Moss
• Larry Ned
• Terrance Shaw
• Rhett Nelson
• Cory Withrow
• Kenny Clark
• Chris Hovan

Tice couldn't stand Moss, and it's possible that Moss opted to convey his disdain for getting belittled by the head coach by making a shadowy report to the league office regarding Tice's activities.

Hovan was put on the inactive list several times this past season by Tice. On a Monday Night Football half-time expose', Tice openly criticized Hovan for the entire nation to see. And a hooded sweatshirt Hovan strikes me as the kind of guy who would look for a way to exact a little retribution against Tice.

Or could it be Ned? Picture this. Ned sits in jail for his recent escapade at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix and decides to work a deal with the local authorities and NFL investigators. In exchange for leniency, Ned will give up a Big Fish involved in a much bigger game. Namely Tice.

In any event, Tice should engage a fine lawyer, buttress himself for the ride of his life, and get his resume in order.

I leave you with this quote:

"Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid." -- Heinrich Heine

From the Sidelines

The Wife® had a story published in the STrib today. Give it a read.

Posted by maasx003 at 7:25 AM
March 8, 2005
Got Smoot?

Guess which team now how the best 1-2 punch at corner in the NFC? That’s right baby, your soon-to-be-Super-Bowl-Champion Minnesota Vikings. So, join me in a toast. Raise your glass of milk to Mr. Fred Smoot who's mug should be up on Minnesota billboards everywhere asking, Got Smoot?

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Fred Smoot signed a six-year deal worth $30 million, including a $10 million bonus.

Last year, the Vikings gave a comparable contract to cornerback Antoine Winfield, with the weight of the up-front money coming in the form of a roster bonus, given the team's mammoth cap room.

This year, the Vikes were $31 million under the cap prior to signing Smoot. I’ll wait for the final figures, but it appears the Vikes will still have around $20 million left in which to play.

Since the Vikings will no longer be in the market for Pac-Man Jones or Antrell Rolle in the upcoming draft, we now know they will focus on the positions of receiver, defensive end, and/or linebacker with their two first-round picks. Let the guessing begin.

Now Your Downer

Now that I have you smiling from ear-to-ear it is time to turn that smile into a frown. Maybe even a look of, "What in the name of Francis Tarkenton is going on at Winter Park?"

I blame it on the Red Menace, you see. Since McCombs has been so friggin' cheap with the all mighty dollar the last several years the players and coaches have had to resort to other means to put food on the table.

First was Larry Ned. Shipped off the Arizona to play for the Denny Green and the Cardinals, Ned instead decides to steal a fellow passenger's laptop computer after passing through the airport security check. The Cardinals released Ned later in the day.

We all knew that head coach Mike Tice was vastly underpaid in comparison to other NFL coaches. But we didn't know how much until today.

Tice is being investigated by the NFL for allegedly heading up and profiting from a Super Bowl ticket-scalping operation within the Vikings organization, a violation of NFL rules that league sources say has been going on for years.

In mid-January, after the Vikings were eliminated by the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC divisional playoffs, a team source said Tice organized the re-selling of Super Bowl tickets for players and club employees. (Each NFL player has the right to buy two Super Bowl tickets at face value, which this year was $500 and $600 depending on the location of the seat). Those who gave their tickets to Tice received $1,900, a mark-up of at least $1,300 per ticket, sources said. Last season, individuals brokering tickets through Tice received $1,100 per ticket, a former Vikings player said.

"Tice has been turning around tickets for years and years," said one player who was with the Vikings in 2003. "He's been selling them to the same guy. He commits to a certain amount every year."

Said another coach: "Mike's the wheeler dealer. But it's just stupidity doing it as a head coach. Maybe the NFL wants to send a wake-up call about scalping, and they're going to come down on Mike."

Did I say frown? Well, I am going to predict that ol' Pencil Ear has coached his last game for the Vikings. For me, the fact that Tice needs to stock up on soap-on-a-rope for his soon-to-be-served jail time will turn my frown upside down.

Let's begin the debate on who is best suited to coach the Vikings next.

Posted by maasx003 at 9:25 PM
Darius Playing Dangerous Game?

Donovin Darius hates Jacksonville. How much so? Remember that time in your youth when you were playing two women at the same time? You were so proud of yourself but eventually it blew up in your face, didn’t it.

Well, now Darius is plainly playing with two different teams, and creating the notion in each city that their team is the one he loves and wants to play for. That’s a dangerous game to be playing and someone is going to get hurt. I just hope it is the Dolphins.

Back on January 31, I wrote that I’d love to see Darius suit up in purple. If for no other reason than to draw the wrath of Packers fans when the team goes to Lambeau. That as a result of the safety laying out Green Bay receiver Robert Ferguson with a clothesline hit that resulted in Darius receiving a $75,000 fine.

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The storyline goes like this: Darius recently sent e-mail messages to the media in both Minnesota and Miami, lobbying for a trade to the Vikings and Dolphins.

He 51-word e-mail to the Minneapolis Star Tribune was followed by a 30-minute phone call.

"Tell the fans up there that if I had my choice of any team in the league to play for, it would be the Minnesota Vikings," Darius said. "I've looked at every team in the league, and it's definitely the best fit for both sides."

He also e-mailed an interview request to the Miami Herald.

"Miami expressed some interest in looking into the situation further after my agent contacted them,'' Darius said. "Where that will go, who's to say right now? But I would love it if something could be done . . . I have no more desire to wear the emblem on the uniform of the Jacksonville Jaguars.''

Darius wants out of Jacksonville because the team has used the franchise tag to prevent his exodus for three straight seasons. Most recently, Darius confronted owner Wayne Weaver regarding the tactic.

"I told him he has abused the franchise tag long enough and that I can no longer put on that Jaguars uniform with the same kind of pride I used to," Darius said. "I'm not saying I will never play for them if they don't trade me. But I did tell Wayne Weaver that I lost respect for him as an owner and the entire organization. I said, 'You guys really disgust me.'"

I’m sure to some people in Minnesota and Miami, they might view this pandering to the each locale as he tries to fulfill his only real objective, getting out of Jacksonville.

But I'd love to see him in purple. Wouldn't you?

Burress Back On Table?

I do not want Burress on the Vikings roster next year. Not at any price. If this organization can speak to Randy Moss being a bad influence on the team then in the same breath speak highly of Burress I will go on record that the current ownership is as two-faced as they come.

Burress missed his visit to the Giants on Monday due to a case of the flu. Uh-huh, I’m buying that. Now the New York Daily News reports that the Vikings and Eagles might be entering the bidding for his services.

One guess is that Burress and his agent, Michael Harrison, were hoping to smoke out other teams once word broke of the Giants' intended six-year, $20 million offer. Presumably, the Eagles and Vikings have perked up because they believe that they can compete with such a package.

It's also possible that the Eagles are feigning interest in order to drive up the price that the Giants ultimately pay for his services.

In any event, I’d rather the Vikings look elsewhere for help at receiver.

At Winter Park Today

Cornerback Fred Smoot and tight end Freddie Jones visit today.

Reminder for Vikings Survivor

A reminder to vote in the Vikings Survivor series of polls that started a few weeks ago.

In Week Five of the series to vote one Vikings player off the ship one-by-one, it appears that trade-bait Michael Bennett will walk the plank. But a late flurry of votes could chaneg that as Raider Randy Moss sits just a few votes back!

If you haven't voted yet, get your vote in today!

Then come back Wednesday as I'll repost the poll with one less player and the process will start all over again! We'll be down to five survivors. Who will be the sixth player to be voted off the ship?

Reminder for March Madness Tourney

As stated last week, I have set up an official March Madness NCAA tournament pool. It's totally free and winner receives bragging rights only.

To join my Private Group in this Yahoo! Sports Tournament Pick'em, just go to the game front page and click on the "Sign Up" button to create a team. After completing registration, or if you already have a team, click the "Create or Join Group" button and follow the path to join an existing private group. Then, when prompted, enter the following information...

Group ID#: 12506
Password: purple

This private group is limited to just 50 people. So sign up now!

Links and Tidbits

Bored today. Bored, bored, bored. What to write about? Borrowing on an idea from the Greet Machine, how about a bunch of neat links for y'all to browse while I head over to Winter Park to sit down with Tice and the boys to chart out the Draft Day Big Board?

Enjoy!

The Wife® writes an entertaining entry in her blog about The Boy® suggesting a new Victoria Secret's bra for her. (That's my boy!)

Here's a good way to waste a fine Sunday afternoon.

Worst Superhero ever? Or what male Green Bay Packer fans marry?

An important lesson for guys. Bookmark it for future reference.

Bison Porn? Who is monitoring the people at the Mint?!?!?

Before you go cow tipping (or worse if you live in Wisconsin) please consider this.

What I wanted The Boy® to bring to show-and-tell before The Wife® stepped in.

Remember the bad Super Hero from above? I wonder.....

For all my college student readers...YEEESSSSSSSSS!

I see a Xmas present for Pont and Glynis (my dogs) in the making!

I may be whipped but The Wife doesn't control me THAT much!

From the Sidelines

What is it about the French that draws the ire of other countries? They seem to make good wine and the Maas wine fridge is stocked about 50% French and then a mix of other countries. But other than that, I can't say much good about France.

That might have a little to do with 1987 when I was in Paris. My then girlfriend and I went out to eat. We chose a little bistro. Since no tables were open we were seated next to another French couple at a table for four since two chairs were open. I thought this would be a great chance to strike up a conversation with some locals. Instead, the French couple up and left when they found out we were American. Again, this was 1987. I wonder how we'd be treated now?

Anyway, here are some great quotes that I located that speak volumes about the French throughout history:

"France has neither winter, nor summer, nor morals. France is miserable because it is filled with Frenchmen, and Frenchmen are miserable because they live in France." --Mark Twain

"Only thing worse than a Frenchman is a Frenchman who lives in Canada." -- Ted Nugent

"How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?" --Charles de Gaulle

"A Frenchman both common and noble is quite self-assured because he regards himself personally both in mind and body as irresistibly attractive to both men and women. This is why the French are constantly attacked by the Prussians and the English." --Leo Tolstoy

"In France one must adapt oneself to the fragrance of a urinal." --Gertrude Stein

"Basically, the French are all peasants." --Pablo Picasso

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Posted by maasx003 at 1:34 PM
March 6, 2005
That Weekend Went Fast

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I really didn't have much time this past weekend to come up with much of an entry for Monday. First on Saturday, we continued the fine tradition of buying new appliances before the previous ones wear out much earlier than expected. So off we went to Eden Prairie Appliance to select a new dishwasher and a new water softener.

For the dishwasher we chose a Bosch. Very cool as all the controls are inside so the front has a clean look to it.

For the water softener, we went with a new system from the Water Doctors. Hey, as a pharmacist who deals with doctors all day long I might as well have PhD's in water take care of our hard water problem. Right?

On Sunday was The Boy's® very first Irish Dance recital. He is about to reach his fifth birthday and has been practicing Irish Dance for about a year now. One, it has helped him get over his shyness. Two, have you ever meet an ugly Irish lass? The Old Man is always thinking long term!

This was a recital held before an estimated 400 people at the O'Shaughnessy Auditorium on the campus of Saint Catherine's in St. Paul. I was really worried. Here was a previously shy boy that as going to be performing before all these people. Would he even hit the stage?

Not only did The Boy® perform. He really seemed to enjoy himself. I swelled up with pride when I saw him enter from Stage Right. I was so proud of him.

The Boy® said he looked for us in the crowd but couldn't see us. I told him he had done fantastic as both myself and The Wife® praised and hugged and kissed him afterwards. The Boy® said he was mad though because he had missed a step. But we thought he was Mikal Barishnokov.

Afterwards, The Boy® stood with the other younger dancers for a group photo. The Boy® is the lone male on the bottom row. The sun was smack dab in his face so he had a hard time looking up. But his future is very bright indeed. This young man who can already read, speaks Spanish, works on the computer, knows the planets and most of the moons in our solar system, yet still finds time to be a kid and toss the football with the Old Man.

If you are a parent, I know you'll forgive my bragging. These kids of today are under so much pressure so early. It's nice to see everyone of them not only survive but excel.

Note: You can read a little more about The Boy® and his puppy at the Dogs of Our Lives.

Links and Tidbits

As I said, I really didn't have much time to pull together a good Vikings entry. I usually try to have two to three entries waiting on deck but that just wasn't the case this past weekend. I did have time to pull together some interesting links for those that haven't read these stories yet.

The Star Tribune looks at prospective Vikings owner Reggie Fowler's upcoming chllanges.

The Vikings are talking to the Redskins about WR Rod Gardner, who drew comparions to former Minnesota great Cris Carter when he was drafted in 2001.

Interesting comment left at the Greet Machine last week: "I've done business with Reggie in Denver, and he was bragging about his NFL career the whole time. Reggie is a complete scum bag as far as I'm concerned. A friend of mine who ownes a construction company that built a building for Reggie had to take him to court to get the bills paid. Good luck Minnesota." Anyone else out there have direct business dealings with Fowler? I'd like to hear about it.

The Vikings reportedly aren't interested in receiver Plaxico Burress, even though Burress' agent, Michael Harrison, has tried his best to drum up an offer.

Posted by maasx003 at 8:22 PM
March 5, 2005
1st Annual March Madness Tourney

As stated earlier in the week, I have set up an official March Madness NCAA tournament pool. It's totally free and winner receives bragging rights only.

To join my Private Group in this Yahoo! Sports Tournament Pick'em, just go to the game front page and click on the "Sign Up" button to create a team. After completing registration, or if you already have a team, click the "Create or Join Group" button and follow the path to join an existing private group. Then, when prompted, enter the following information...

Group ID#: 12506
Password: purple

This private group is limited to just 50 people. So sign up now!

Posted by maasx003 at 12:41 PM
March 4, 2005
The Red Menace

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Some think he is senile. Some think he is the anti-Christ. Ask any follower of Minnesota Vikings football their opinion of Red McCombs and you will not receive an indignant shrug of the shoulders. McCombs has been vilified in the press the last few years for his mismanagement of the Vikings. From the lowest paid coaching staff in the NFL to coveted free agents walking away from the table because of deferred payment clauses, McCombs has eroded any good feelings Vikings fans had towards him.

During Thursdays teleconference McCombs proved once again that he may not have ever heard the adage, “Be sure brain is engaged before opening mouth.”

McCombs wanted so badly to "get a spark out of Randy" that he nearly fired Mike Tice before Randy Moss returned from a hamstring injury. Asked about McCombs' comments, Tice joked that he thought about quitting last season, so he believes that he and the boss are even.

Moss was hurt at the time, and just before he got hurt, he was torching the Saints with yet another highlight-reel performance. So what kind of a spark did McCombs want?

The fact that McCombs would even say with a straight face that he thought there was a causal link between dumping the coach and getting Moss to be all he can be gives me cause for why he didn’t follow Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor’s example.

The Timberwolves also were experiencing issues with star players. The ‘Wolves were also underperforming. But instead of keeping a very good coach and getting rid of some two-bit players, Taylor fired the coach and kept the team intact.

On the other side of town, McCombs was in the same position. But he did the opposite. He kept a mediocre coach and fired the best player in the NFL today. Just take a breath and think about that for a moment.

It isn’t as if the Vikings have a future hall-of-fame coach leading the team. Under Tice the Vikes have been fast out of the gate and basically 0-for-2nd half of the season. Tice’s lone playoff win came about because the team backed into the post-season and the game was won by a true future Hall of Fame wide receiver.

Tice could have been easily replaced. We may never see another player with the caliber of Randy Moss ever don a Vikings uniform again. Taylor made the wrong call with the ‘Wolves. McCombs made the wrong call with the Vikings. Tice should be coaching the offensive line in Oakland. Moss should still be wearing purple.




March Madness

No, we are not talking NCAA basketball. But, as long as I mention that, check back soon for information on the 1st Annual Mr. Cheer Or Die Viking Underground March Madness tourney. I'll set up a board on one of the fantasy sites and everyone can sign up and play for bragging rights.

But that's not the topic today. It's absolute madness on the NFL rumor mill currently. That should be the new March Madness. Here's a taste of things sent to me or found on various message boards. True or false?

Onterrio Smith has been caught with the Wacky Weed once again. Unknown. Probably has little weight unless S.O.D. was partying with Ricky Williams.

Ragnar to be Fired! False. I know Ragnar. We hosted a radio show during the 1998 season and I can tell you that Ragnar is looking forward to next season and tormenting Cheeseheads once again.

Tice Gets New Contract! False. This was followed by the, "I gave serious thought to replacing Mike when Randy was coming off injury," statement from Red McCombs in Thursday's teleconference.

Marcus Pollard a Viking. False. Vikes have no need to spend big money on a tight-end when trying to get Jermaine Wiggins to resign and starter James Kleinsasser returing from injury.

"We have some freakin' players that can freakin' play offense." True. Uttered by Mike Tice at Thursday's press conference.

Rob Brezinski has shot down any rumors of a reported trade involving the Vikings sending RB Michael Bennett and their 2005 second-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals for WR Anquan Boldin. Unknown. Could be Brezinski blowing smoke towards Denny to get Arizona to panic.

Vikes close to a deal with Miami for Surtain. The holdup is Miami wants Onterrio and we are offering Bennett. Unknown. But I seriously hope not. Surtain doesn't want to play in the cold ala Darrin "Disco" Nelson. Vikes can do better.

But Is It Sponge Worthy?

Based on Elaine Benes of the great Seinfeld sitcom, each week or so I will introduce another blog that I have come across and have begun reading on a regular basis. You, my valued reader, will decide if it deserves a permanent link on my site under the category of Sponge Worthy Links.

You recall the Seinfeld episode. Elaine only uses the sponge as her form of birth control. When the sponge is to be discontinued she scavenges the city buying in hordes any sponges she can find. From then on, if a man was not sponge worthy, then he was not worth Elaine's troubles.

The blogs chosen at random, may have nothing to do with football..or even sports. If you have a favorite blog, please pass it along to me by leaving the web address under the Comments section found at the end of each entry.

Last week, Stick and Ball Guy was up for vote. It was overwhelmingly considered as Sponge Worthy and now finds itself in the SW Hall of Fame.

This week I give you the NFL Cheerleader Blog. So go check it out. You know you want to! Then come back and vote and let me know if this blog is truly Sponge Worthy and deserving of a permanent link on the Worlds Number One Vikings blog?

Voting will be open for one week, ending next Friday (3/11) morning.




From the Sidelines

Received this in my e-mail box from The Wife®. I wonder if she's trying to tell me something?

Men vs. Women

1. NAMES: If Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara go out for lunch, they will call each other Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara.

If Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Scrappy.

2. EATING OUT: When the bill arrives, Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.

When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

3. MONEY: A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.

A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.

4. BATHROOMS: A man has five items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, bar of soap, and a towel from the Marriott.

The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.

5. ARGUMENTS: A woman has the last word in any argument.

Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

6. CATS: Women love cats.

Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats. (Unless you are Stick and Ball Guy who allows his sports blog to transcend into a Cat Blog each Saturday.)

7. FUTURE: A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.

A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

8. SUCCESS: A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can
spend.

A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

9. MARRIAGE: A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.

A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change and she does.

10. DRESSING UP: A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.

A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

11. NATURAL: Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.

Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

12. OFFSPRING: Ah, children.

A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.

A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Any married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing.

AND FINALLY...A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position. As they passed a barnyard of mules, jack asses, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?"

"Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."

Posted by maasx003 at 7:25 AM
March 2, 2005
Caw-Caw-Caw

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While other so-called insiders are still scrambling with the rash of free agent signings taking place in the NFL, I'm just hanging out doing my Crow Strut.

Twenty-four hours before it happened, I told you that Pat Williams was going to sign with the Vikings. My source now proven, never doubt me again.

FoxSports.com reports that free-agent defensive tackle Pat Williams has agreed to terms with the Vikings on a three-year, $13 million contract, including $6 million in bonus bonus.

Incentives can push the value of the deal to $15 million.

Although the Vikings were pleased with undrafted rookie Spencer Johnson, who helped render former first-rounder Chris Hovan irrelevant, the combination of Pat Williams with Pro Bowler Kevin Williams gives the Vikings a formidable one-two punch in the interior of the defensive line.

Pat Williams, is an eight-year veteran who signed with the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 1997.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the Vikings lost out on much coveted Antonio Pierce. The Giants soon will sign Pierce to a six-year contract worth up to $25 million.

Pierce, an undrafted free agent signed by the Redskins in 2001, had 112 tackles, one sack and two interceptions in 2004, his fourth season as a pro. He is generally considered to be the top linebacker available in free agency this year.

Porch Swingin' In Mississippi

From the I'll believe it when I see it file comes this. The independent web site Sportsbrief.com that Packers quarterback Brett Favre has informed the team that he plans to retire, and that he'll announce his decision on the Friday before the draft.

Party at my place starting at noon that Friday. Get in your reservations now.

From the Sidelines

I'm in a three day stretch of working 14-hour days to make sure I can bring home the bling-bling for the Well-Kept-Woman (aka, The Wife®). So, I'd love to write more about what has, and will be happening, during the free agency period. I just ask your patience. I'll get to it.

But, I can now tell you this as further enticement to bookmark this blog. I have received confirmation from the Vikings front office that I will once again be allowed to attend the May mini-camp (closed to the public) to take photos and get a gauge on the new blood. Also, I will once again conduct interviews this year and post those here. Just a matter of lining up interview candidates and finding time in my busy life to actual conduct the interview. But I will! Sleep be damned!

One Last Look at Moss

The following was posted in May of 1998, weeks after the Vikings drafted Randy Moss. It was the first entry I ever posted about Moss, and perhaps, was my favorite. I wonder how many Chicken Little's will be back in the stands this year?

Once upon a time there lived a Minnesota Vikings fan named Chicken Little. A few days before the 1998 NFL Draft, Chicken Little was telling all his farm yard friends, "We need a cornerback; we need a cornerback." And all of Chicken Little’s friends shook their heads in agreement.

On draft day Chicken Little was watching the coverage on his 60 inch big screen TV inside his chicken coop when the Vikings picked, not a cornerback, but a speedy wide receiver. In fact, the Vikings didn’t even pick a cornerback until round three. "Good gracious me!" said Chicken Little, "We’re going to lose every game. I must go to the Viking Underground Purple Thoughts page and tell everyone."

The only computer was way over on the other side of the farm in Farmer Green’s house so he was rushing through the farm yard when he met Cocky Locky. "Where are you going, Chicken Little?" said Cocky Locky. "Oh! I’m going to tell all the Vikings fans that we’re going to lose every game," said Chicken Little. "May I come with you?" asked Cocky Locky. "Certainly," said Chicken Little. So Chicken Little and Cocky Locky went to tell all the Vikings fans the team was going to lose every game.

So they rushed along and rushed along through the farm yard when they met Ducky Daddles. "Where are you going to, Chicken Little and Cocky Locky?" said Ducky Daddles. "Oh! We’re going to tell all the Vikings fans that we’re going to lose every game," said Chicken Little. "May I come with you?" asked Ducky Daddles. "Certainly," said Chicken Little and Cocky Locky. So Chicken Little, Cocky Locky and Ducky Daddles went to tell all the Vikings fans the team was going to lose every game.

So they rushed along and rushed along through the farm yard when they met Goosey Poosey. "Where are you going to, Chicken Little, Cocky Locky and Ducky Daddles?" said Goosey Poosey. "Oh! We’re going to tell all the Vikings fans that we’re going to lose every game," said Chicken Little. "May I come with you?" asked Goosey Poosey. "Certainly," said Chicken Little, Cocky Locky and Ducky Daddles. So Chicken Little, Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddles, and Goosey Poosey went to tell all the Vikings fans the team was going to lose every game.

So they rushed along and rushed along through the farm yard when they met Turkey Lurkey. "Where are you going to, Chicken Little, Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddles, and Goosey Poosey?" said Turkey Lurkey.

"Oh! We’re going to tell all the Vikings fans that we’re going to lose every game," said Chicken Little. "May I come with you?" asked Turkey Lurkey. "Certainly," said Chicken Little, Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddles, and Goosey Poosey. So Chicken Little, Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddles, Goosey Poosey, and Turkey Lurkey went to tell all the Vikings fans the team was going to lose every game.

So they rushed along and rushed along through the farm yard until they finally reached Farmer Green’s house and Chicken Little sat down on the computer to sign onto America Online and tell all the Vikings fans that the team was going to lose every game by leaving a posting on Purple Thoughts on the Viking Underground.

Chicken Little tried six times but the line was busy on all six. That’s when Farmer Green walked into the room. "What are you doing Chicken Little, Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddles, Goosey Poosey, and Turkey Lurkey?" asked Farmer Green. "The Vikings didn’t draft a cornerback with their first or second round pick so we are going to tell all the Vikings fans that the team will lose every game this year," said Chicken Little, Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddles, Goosey Poosey, and Turkey Lurkey.

"Oh! But maybe they won’t lose every game this year Chicken Little, Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddles, Goosey Poosey, and Turkey Lurkey," said Farmer Green. "I know what to do; shall I tell it to you?" "Oh, certainly, Farmer Green," said Chicken Little, Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddles, Goosey Poosey, and Turkey Lurkey. So Chicken Little, Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddles, Goosey Poosey, and Turkey Lurkey all listened to Farmer Green speak. They listened along, and listened along, and listened along, until it was time for the first regular season game. Now this was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a divisional game and very important indeed.

Farmer Green said to Chicken Little, Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddles, Goosey Poosey, and Turkey Lurkey, "Let’s see how this game turns out, and then the next, and then the next, then perhaps you should decide how many games the team will lose this year?" "Why, of course, certainly, why not?" said Chicken Little, Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddles, Goosey Poosey, and Turkey Lurkey.

So Farmer Green turned up the volume and brought out the chips and beverages, and they hadn’t eaten very much when Brad Johnson threw an 85-yard touchdown to that new speedy receiver. "Hrumph," Chicken Little said, "The Buccaneers will score twice as fast because we didn’t get a good cornerback." It was then that John Randle flushed Trent Dilfer from the pocket right into the arms of that new defensive end. Dilfer fumbled and that new cornerback scooped up the ball and ran it in for a touchdown. "Hrumph," Chicken Little said, "That was just lucky."

But no one was paying attention to Chicken Little any longer for Farmer Green, Ducky Daddles, Goosey Poosey, and Turkey Lurkey were all doing the wave out in the farm yard as the Vikings had won their first of many games that season.

Chicken Little, feeling very stupid, strutted out into the farm yard to join them on the wagon that Farmer Brown had brought out from the barn. Farmer Brown was driving them all into town to buy tickets for the next game so they could watch the Vikings in person.

And Chicken Little never got to tell all the Viking fans that the team was going to lose every game.





Posted by maasx003 at 9:54 PM
It's Official: Moss Gone

Moss Officially Joins Raiders. The Raiders will hold a at a 7 p.m. EST news conference on Wednesday to announce the trade.

And the Vikes already lost out (if they even tried) on the guy I had rated as the #1 FA on my big board, Derrick Mason.

The Baltimore Ravens and two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Derrick Mason agreed in principle to a multi-year deal Wednesday, giving Baltimore the big-play wideout it has lacked for years.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome announced the deal at a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

Posted by maasx003 at 2:06 PM
Vikings Survivor: Week Five

Vote a Player off the Ship

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In light of the boring off-season period, for the next 10-weeks we are going to try something fun. Each of the next 10-weeks we will vote to kick one Vikings player off the ship. Someone you think is the weakest link...or maybe just dislike.

Each following week, I'll repost the poll with one less player and the process will start all over again! So we'll start with ten and end up that you will have to make a choice between two players! We'll select the one player you cannot live without. That one player that gives you the most confidence each time you see him in purple. Who will it be!?!?

The result of Week One was that Chris Hovan was voted off the ship with a mandate. 70% of you told poor, misunderstood Chris to shove it.

In Week Two you showed that Vikings fans can hold grudges. For years. With almost 60% of the vote, you gave the finger to Morten Andersen. Who can forget the 1998 NFC Championship game?

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Well, we couldn't and it is bye-bye Morten.

Week Three saw the closest voting to date with loquacious Kelly Campbell getting the boot by just a few votes over E. J. Henderson.

Week Four did finally put an end to swabbing the poop deck chores for E. J. Henderson. In spite of Randy Moss being traded to the Raiders, Henderson easily was voted off with nearly 60% of the vote.

Who will be booted in Week Five? Wouldn't it be soemthing if Moss hung around until the last week and had to go toe-to-toe with Daunte Culpepper? We'll see what the voters have to think.

Voting will be open until Wednesday morning (3/9). Make your vote count!




Free Agent News

As I reported last night, the Vikings will announce the signing of defensive tackle Pat Williams, perhaps as early as today. What else might we see happening over the next week or so?

First, the Vikings may actually decide to free up even more dollars. Corey Chavous and Kenny Mixon may both be released. If so, that would put the Vikes at nearly $40 million under the NFL's salary cap.

Next? Even more upgrades at linebacker with the Vikings pursuing Washington Redskin Antonio Pierce even harder than they did last season.

New to the list of people the Vikings are reported to be keen on is Kenoy Kennedy of the Denver Brocnos who would play safety. And the Vikings are one of a number of teams interested in kicker Falcons kicker Jay Feely. Especially since the team did not tender kicker Jose Cortez.

The Redskin's Fred Smoot is regarded as the top available cornerback, should the Vikings decide to go that route, and they have an interest in Ty Law, who was released last week by New England. However, look for a bidding war for these two DBs to take place between the Cowboys and Chiefs which may push the Vikes to look elsewhere.

Posted by maasx003 at 6:54 AM
March 1, 2005
First Free Agent Signing

A very reputable source has informed me that the soon-to-be-Super-Bowl-Champion Minnesota Vikings will be announcing the signing of former Buffalo Bills tackle Pat Williams possibly as soon as Wednesday. Williams is known as one of the better-run stuffers at the defensive tackle position in the league.

Also, The Arizona Republic reports the Cardinals have cooled on a trade that involves Travis Henry. This means the Cardinals could look into other free-agent options or decide to select an RB in the draft. Could the Cardinals bee looking north for a running back? There may be something to Vikes - Cards trade rumors involving Anquan Boldin (WR) and Michael Bennett (RB).

Posted by maasx003 at 5:49 PM
Tice Brothers Football Camp

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Do you have a son looking to learn football from the best minds in the NFL today? Why, look no further than the Tice Brothers Football Camp! Let's meet some of the instructors and what they'll be teaching these young players.

Instructor
Mike Tice
Classes Taught
Red Flag Throwing 101 - Learn how to throw a red flag over 20-yards to challenge a call after the replay has clearly shown that the play was called correctly.
Advanced Red Flag Throwing - Learn how to hold onto the flag when the replay clearly shows an incorrect call was made.
How to Wear A Pencil Behind Your Ear - No NFL coach should be out on the field without first taking this critical safety class on the proper storage of your valuable game-day pencil.

Instructor
Daunte Culpepper
Classes Taught
On Field Celebration - Learn how to get your roll on.
Charitable Donations - Learn how to present someone with jewelry and then ask for it back without batting an eyelash.

Instructor
Michael Bennett
Classes Taught
Bench Etiquette - Learn how to miss half the NFL season due to injury and then whine how you should be named the starter upon your recovery.

Instructor
Chris Hovan
Classes Taught
Advanced Bench Etiquette - Learn how to underachieve while starting; get benched; and then pout on the sidelines and wear a hooded sweatshirt over your head in embarrassment.

Instructor
Kelly Campbell
Classes Taught
Gangsta 101 - Learn how to be the most obnoxious punk on the team! Learn to drive a 2003 Denali, with a stolen gun and an ounce of Marijuana inside! All while driving in a lane of on-coming traffic!

Instructor
Dontarrious Thomas
Classes Taught
No Football Skills 101 - Study zone coverage and come away absolutely lost. Learn to be taken out of the game on third downs until you get enough experience to understand a zone concept.

Reminder for Vikings Survivor

A reminder to vote in the Vikings Survivor series of polls that started a few weeks ago.

In Week Four of the series to vote one Vikings player off the ship one-by-one, it appears that E. J. "Deer in the Headlights" Henderson will walk the plank. If you haven't voted yet, get your vote in today!

Then come back Wednesday as I'll repost the poll with one less player and the process will start all over again! We'll be down to six survivors. Who will be the fifth player to be voted off the ship?

House-Keeping

I've added my direct e-mail link into the right navigation bar area. Have a question that you'd rather not post under the Comments section at the end of each blog entry? Just e-mail me!

On the right navigation bar, you'll now notice two temporary tables. One is for the top ten free agents that I hope the Vikings consider signing. I'm not saying they should sign them all, but being almost $40-milllion under the cap, I would hope (and pray) that some are brought in for consideration. Right now, they are ranked in order that I would prefer they be signed. By your feedback (either by leaving comments or e-mailing me) these names will move up, down, off or on the chart. So, partake already! I'm sure most of you have an opinion!

Same for the Draft Board right underneath. These are 10-people I wouldn't mind if the Vikes drafted in the first round. I'm not saying with the #7 pick, but within the first round. Again, via your feedback (either by leaving comments or e-mailing me) these names will move up, down, off or on the chart.

Posted by maasx003 at 6:49 AM