December 2005 Archives
December 23, 2005
Game Day (Happy Holiday!) Podcast

This weeks Game Day Podcast is with my two favorite Vikings fans, The Commish & Milwaukee Mark. Listen in as we discuss the loss to the Steelers, the playoff outlook, and other Purple tidbits.

Next Update will be Next Year!

I've been burning the candle at both ends for quite a while now and I decided to take a break from this blog and spend it entirely devoted to my family. I made this decision after reading the tragedy that my favorite Vikings assistant coach of all time, Tony Dungy, is going through right now. There can never be enough time spent with one's family.

And I figure most of you will be doing the same, spending time with family and loved ones over the next ten days.....so why not take a break now since many of you won't even have your computers turned on anyway!

To that end, I will see you all on January 1, 2006. Look for my Live Game Day Moblog updates from the Metrodome and I should have something posted later that evening.

I wish everyone a wonderful holiday. Thank-you so much for your support of this blog over 2005. Now then, go spend some time with your friends, family, and loved ones.

God bless!

Posted by maasx003 at 6:16 AM
December 22, 2005
Your Midweek Playoff Update

Sorry I feel behind with posting the playoff scenarios this week. The workload at the real job continues to haunt me. With two weeks left in the season, the playoff picture is more in focus. In the AFC:

PLAYOFF TEAMS
• Colts (13-1)
• Broncos (11-3)
• Bengals (11-3)
• Patriots (9-5)
• Jaguars (10-4)
• Steelers (9-5)

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
• Chargers (9-5)
• Chiefs (8-6)
• Dolphins (7-7)

ELIMINATED
• Dolphins (7-7)
• Browns (5-9)
• Ravens (4-10)
• Titans (4-10)
• Raiders (4-10)
• Bills (4-10)
• Jets (3-11)
• Texans (2-12)

AFC playoff matchups at the moment

Wild-card round, Jan. 7-8

No. 5 Jaguars (10-4) at No. 4 Patriots (9-5, AFC East champs)

No. 6 Steelers (9-5) at No. 3 Bengals (11-3, AFC North champs)

Second round, Jan. 14-15

Lower-ranked team at No. 1 Colts (13-1, AFC South champs)

Higher-ranked team at No. 2 Broncos (11-3, AFC West leaders)

Explaining the Seedings

Steelers seeded ahead of Chargers (Steelers beat Chargers 24-22 on Oct. 10)

In the NFC:

PLAYOFF TEAMS
• Seahawks (12-2)
• Bears (10-4)
• Giants (10-4)
• Panthers (10-4)
• Bucs (9-5)
• Redskins (8-6)

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
• Vikings (8-6)
• Cowboys (8-6)
• Falcons (8-6)

ELIMINATED
• Eagles (6-8)
• Rams (5-9)
• Lions (4-10)
• Cardinals (4-10)
• Packers (3-11)
• Saints (3-11)
• 49ers (2-12)

Wild-card round, Jan. 7-8

No. 5 Buccaneers (9-5) at No. 4 Panthers (10-4, NFC South leaders)

No. 6 Redskins (8-6) at No. 3 Giants (10-4, NFC East leaders)

Second round, Jan. 14-15

Lower-ranked team at No. 1 Seahawks (12-2, NFC West champs)

Higher-ranked team at No. 2 Bears (10-4, NFC North leaders)

Explaining the Seedings

Bears seeded ahead of Giants, Panthers by better record vs. NFC (Chicago 9-1, N.Y. 8-3, Carolina 7-3)

Redskins seeded ahead of Cowboys because of head-to-head sweep and Falcons, Vikings by better record vs. NFC (Washington 8-2, Minnesota 7-4, Atlanta 5-5)

COD Carnac

cod-carnac2.jpg
Artist rendition by Shane Nackerud

Here is the continuation of my highly scientific analysis of the remaining schedule to try and ascertain how the Vikes will end up: Invited to the party or on the outside looking in. Here is the playoff picture based on my Carnac-like powers:

•AFC: Division winners: New England at 11-5 (East); Cincinnati at 13-3 (North); Indianapolis at 15-1 (South); Denver at 12-4 (West); wild cards: Pittsburgh at 11-5 and Jacksonville at 12-4.
•NFC: Division winners: N.Y. Giants at 12-4 (East); Chicago at 11-5 (North); Carolina at 11-5 (South); Seattle at 13-3 (West); wild cards: Tampa Bay at 11-5 and Minnesota at 10-6.

We'll certainly have a clearer picture after Xmas Day. What a day for football that will be!

VU Fantasy Updates

The VU Pick 'Em League is heading into the last two weeks. Can Coworker Jim of the league leading Cuyahoga Riverdawgs hold onto the lead he has held for nearly the whole season? We'll see if he can hold or if he folds like the Browns against the Bronco's circa 1987.

The Commish's tteam, Bubbling Farts, won Week 15 missing just three picks. And Bubbling Farts moved to within 13-points of the lead!

The Top 15:

1 cuyahoga riverdawgs
2 Bubbling Farts
3 The Wizzinator
4 C.J.'s pix
5 Straight Cash Homies
6 Pogo
7 FITZ
8 Ron Burgundy
9 Wisconsin Vikes?
10 paviking
11 hawgdawg
12 Big Dogs
13 Oracle of Cheese
14 Ragnar
15 Mr. Cheer Or Die

Over in the Beer Brotherhood Fantasy League, I reached the Super Bowl! It's all about the money now! Forget about pride and all that other jazz. I want some green backs.

My tenative lineup heading into the Super Bowl game:

QB C. Palmer, CIN BUF
RB S. Alexander, SEA IND
RB T. Barber, NYG @WAS
WR T. Holt, STL SF
WR J. Porter, OAK @DEN
TE C. Cooley, WAS NYG
PK N. Rackers, ARI PHI
Def Seahawks IND
Avg Total FP 75.7


My opponents tenative lineup heading into the playoff game:

QB M. Hasselbeck, SEA IND
RB S. Gado, GB CHI
WR T. Houshmandzadeh, CIN BUF
WR R. Smith, DEN OAK
WR R. Wayne, IND @SEA
TE T. Gonzalez, KC SD
PK S. Graham, CIN BUF
Def Dolphins TEN
Avg Total FP 56.4

Return next week to find out how I did.

Vikes Geek Writes

If you are looking for something more tangible to read, head over to Vikes Geek column where he puts up some rather interesting prose on Tice.

Posted by maasx003 at 6:45 AM
December 21, 2005
Hiking Viking Update: A Special Report by Guest Author Daren Bloomquist

On the fourth consecutive Saturday, another hike was planned to show our enthusiasm our Vikings’ recent efforts. We overcame many obstacles on our hike this past Saturday and raised the Viking flag at 6390’ on Baylor Pass.

Unfortunately, our Vikings couldn’t overcome their own personally manufactured obstacles, as they lost to Pittsburg. This time I set out with my kids on an ambitious hike. Fortunately, my kids ignored the sign at the beginning of the trail. Even if they saw it, they wouldn’t have said anything. They know how dangerous it can be if you go off-trail. The plan was to hike over 3 miles to Baylor Pass and back again. It’s a 6.2 mile hike with an elevation gain of just over 1,500 feet. Along the way the kids raised the flag on a rock outcropping.

Baylor Pass Hike 011.jpg

I knew my two girls aged 12 and 7 could make it but I had doubts about my three-year-old boy. Robbie was a real trooper. I’m so proud of him and the girls. He hiked about 2 miles up a gradual incline. I carried him in the backpack carrier when he got tired and all the way down the trail back to the SUV. The wind was blowing about 40 mph at the pass.

In the background here you can see White Sands Military Base and the White Sands Missile Range. It is a key site in the development of Star Wars technology.

Another hike is planned for next Friday. We’re not out of the playoff race yet. Let’s go Vikes. Put this game behind you and come out firing on Christmas night. Until next time….your friendly New Mexico correspondent, “The Hiking Viking.?

VIkings Xmas Greeetings

I got my personalized (cough-cough) Xmas card from Zygi Wilf and the team today. I use to get them from Red McCombs as well. Red's would have he and the wife with the current coach and three or four "select" players. Zygi has gone with the team concept showing the team on the front of the card and the staff inside the card. I like that Zygi has done that as I think the entire organization should be shown as it is truly a family. Here is the front of the card:

xmascardfront.jpg

And the inside:

xmascardback.jpg

Upcoming Podcast

The next podcast should be up Friday. If you have a question or comment you'd like addressed during the podcast, just drop me a line.

Posted by maasx003 at 6:42 AM
December 20, 2005
Daunte Wants Our Love

Our very own Poutin' Quarterback is back in the news. And I'm starting to wonder what the hell has happened for Daunte to be spouting twaddle like this:

Injured Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper reportedly raised the possibility of playing elsewhere in 2006 during an off-camera interview Sunday morning with ESPN.

"I want to play where I'm wanted," Culpepper told reporter Andrea Kremer, who relayed the statement during ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown."

Owner Zygi Wilf said as recently as Tuesday that Culpepper will be on the Vikings' 2006 roster, even if his surgically repaired right knee is not fully healed in time for training camp. Two days later, Culpepper was charged with three misdemeanors in connection with an alleged Oct. 6 sex party aboard two boats on Lake Minnetonka.

Culpepper, who has refused to speak with the Star Tribune, reiterated his innocence Sunday to ESPN and said that he was charged even though only one employee of Al & Alma's Supper Club identified him. Team officials are not happy that Culpepper plans to fight the charges in open court, but there are no indications the situation would change Wilf's mind.

Nevertheless, Kremer reported that Culpepper said: "Whatever team gets me next year, the team where I'm wanted, they'll get a bigger, better, faster Daunte Culpepper."

Culpepper also told Kremer he has lost 25 pounds from his 265-pound frame in order to reduce stress on his right knee.

What in the name of Santa Claus is Daunte's major malfunction? "I want to play where I'm wanted." Um, Daunte...it is you who doesn't want the team. It is you who has decided to take a page out of Denny Green's book and decided to not chat to the local media. It is you who decided to not grace us with your presence at any of your teammate’s games....with that lone exception when Reggie Fowler kidnapped you and brought you to Detroit. There, you were warmly greeted on the field by your teammates, and what did you do? When asked by Mike Tice to address the team before the game you refused.

So, don't you dare turn around and tell us that the fans don't want you back next year. Don't you dare turn around and tell us that your teammates don't want you back next year. Fans, coaches, and ownership have indicated concern for you, indicated that they want you around, and indicated that you are the guy. And you've responded each time by slamming the door in our collective faces.

And don't use the Love Boat scandal on us as an excuse either. In fact, I've gone relatively light on you in that incident. I figure you have enough on your hands explaining your presence on the boat to Mrs. Culpepper. So, you are off the hook with me there.

And if you are mad at us for the boos earlier this season....GET OVER IT! Every NFL quarterback gets booed. Your play earlier this season was horrible...and you deserved to get booed. Don't respond by standing on the sidelines, armed crossed, pouting. Instead, work harder, be more visibly in the leadership role. Work the sidelines looking for answers. You'll find that when you are back on top, we'll be once again cheering our lungs out for you.

And don't even play the race card. I hate to even bring it up but I know someone will so I might as well initiate the conversation. Yes, there are those like Larry Fitzgerald (a favorite of mine), the longtime sports editor of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, an African-American newspaper, who will tell you that race matters in this state.

Baloney.

In 1978, Fran Tarkenton threw 32 interceptions. That was Sir Francis Tarkenton, Hall of Fame quarterback. I remember him getting booed as well and fans clamoring for the a young backup by the name of Tommy Kramer. That season, the Vikings went 8-7-1, and they lost their first playoff game at the Metrodome, 34-10. Fitzgerald would have you believe that Sir Francis went unscathed. Memory is a fickle thing. Tarkenton took major heat. And I can also point out that talk radio wasn't as pervasive then so fans vented around the water cooler....not to call in-shows.

And one of the great black Vikings quarterbacks, Warren Moon, said he fondly recalled his Minnesota experience, noting he dealt with racial issues the most in Houston.

"To this day, I get more compliments from people who were Minnesota fans than anywhere else I played," he said. "I went through a tough time in my personal life, with my wife, in Minnesota, and still I didn't feel like the fans turned their back on me that much."

I know Zygi Wilf would be the first to tell you that the people with the decision-making powers are going to play the players they feel give them the best opportunity to give them success. I don't believe race comes into that equation with the Vikings organization, having been behind the closed doors at Winter Park plenty myself. You, Daunte, are the best opportunity for the Vikings eventual success.....to compliment that vastly improved defense. And every indication from Winter Park is that everyone wants you back.

Maybe it is you Daunte that doesn't want to be here. I mean, never before I have witnessed an injured player.....on any NFL team....completely vanish from the face of the earth post injury. Your actions have told us that you simply don't want to be associated with anything Minnesota Vikings. This is the team that gave you your start in the NFL. This is the team whose fans have cheered wildly for you.

And you have walked out on the collective Vikings fan base, your teammates, and the ownership. Ownership that, I might add, gave you a new contract with a lot of guaranteed money during training camp. Ownership that recently stated openly that you will be on the Vikings' 2006 roster, even if your surgically repaired right knee is not fully healed in time for training camp.

So Daunte, you better think about changing the tune you are currently whistling.....and fast. You better start walking, talking and emanating “team leader?. Otherwise, don't let the door hit your slimmer backside as you depart. We Vikings fans will appreciate what you have down, but we tend to look forward to the next game…not back wondering what might have been.

What About You?

Here is you chance VU readers, to vote on whether you want Daunte back next season.




Bears Game Time Change

The Minnesota Vikings have been notified by the National Football League that the game on Sunday, January 1st vs. the Chicago Bears has been selected as the premiere national game broadcast on FOX. In order to accommodate FOX, the game time (originally scheduled for 12 noon) HAS BEEN CHANGED TO 3:15 p.m. C.S.T.

Posted by maasx003 at 6:36 AM
December 19, 2005
BBB's BBD

Let us face the facts. The Steelers did not so much beat the Vikings on Sunday as much as the Vikes beat themselves, especially at our QB position. Big Bad Brad just had a Big Bad Day.

I can't even blame head coach Mike Tice for the loss as a coach should not have to be responsible for poor decisions made in the Red Zone by players trying too hard to make a play. Our team had won six straight by avoiding mistakes and forcing their opponents to create heaps of errors.

BBB threw two damaging red-zone interceptions Sunday. Including one in the end zone with 23 seconds left in the first half that had me holding my head and groaning just like the weekend before when I had to miss the win over the Rams when I was suffering from the flu. Consider the field position the Vikes found themselves in: Minnesota was past the Pittsburgh 20-yard line four times, managing only a Paul Edinger 20-yard field goal.

That’s why I am saying the Vikings lost the game. Pittsburgh did just enough to win it but can’t really be holding their heads high after the win. Many Steelers fans were in attendance at the game and those that I spoke with afterwards were sheepish about the win.

Early in the first quarter I turned to my game day guest, Vikes Geek, and suggested that special teams would win the game for the Vikes. Boy, was I ever wrong as the special teams play turned sour and also provided one thing I could blame Tice for: keeping ailing punter Chris Kluwe in the game.

Kluwe’s punts were, to put in mildly, horrible. And he clearly was hurting as the best he could do was hobble gamely on one leg after each punt. Only one of his punts had any air under them. I wonder openly why Tice did not put in a dressed Darren Bennett if for no other reason to prevent a serious injury to Kluwe. One that could have not only ended his season but his career.

Then there were my friends, the Pig Farmers. There seemed to be no play that was not followed by yellow fabric lying on the field. Referee Ed Hochuli's crew called 25 penalties. And most seemed to be thrown for the sheer joy of getting their mugs on TV. I was livid, and so were Vikings and Steelers fans alike. Hochuli is usually very professional on the field. His crew, well, sucked this past Sunday.

One unit I lay no blame for the loss on is the Vikings Defense. I fact, one can argue that only six of Pittsburghs eighteen points can be placed squarely on their shoulders. Is it not great to have a defense to rely on once again? How long has it been? I told many a fan Sunday that the Vikings deserve to be in the NFC playoffs simply because of the defense. Unfortuanately, the D did not come throw with a defensive touchdown today. But they certainly kept the game close for as long as possible. The Vikings offense simply did not score when the chance was presented.

But, not to fuss Minnesota Vikings fans. While we did see the wild-card hopes ebb, we still have a very good shot to win the NFC North. The Vikings play at Baltimore next week and finish with a home game against division-leading Chicago. The Bears, even after beating the Atlanta Falcons Sunday night, travel to Moon-beau field to lose to the Packers before coming to the Dome on January 1. Lose that game and the Bears finish tied with the Vikings atop the NFC North and the Vikes win because of the divisional tie-breaker.

Chins up Vikings fans!

Tice Approval Poll

Head Coach Mike Tice continues to ride a wave of support. Following the win over the St. Louis Rams his approval rating rose to 72%. What will it be following the game against the Steelers? Vote to the left.

And a new poll can also be found to the left. Why do you think the team lost to the Steelers?

The Day Superstition Died

Vikes Geek pointed out one good thing to me when it was clear the Vikings were going to lose in the waning moments Sunday. To see what the little goodie is, see the VU Videocast page.

Posted by maasx003 at 6:27 AM
December 16, 2005
Who Cares!!!!

I was alerted earlier this morning that one of the local media pundits was calling me out. Jason DeRusha said on his blog on the WCCO site:

The blogosphere is all a twitter with talk about the four Vikings charged in the sex boat scandal. Although I'm disappointed the guy who runs the Vikings Underground blog hasn't written a thing! Come on, buddy! I run a general blog here and I'm talking about it.

As you all know, I'm tremendously engaged at my real job currently and I honestly do not have time to write my thoughts down at the moment. I will try and get something up Sunday evening after the win over the Steelers. But for now, my initial retort on the story of four charged Vikings players is simply, "who cares!?!??

It is the media that is making this a witch hunt. It is the media that is making this into a story and keeping it on the front page. It is the media trying to create a mountain out of a mole hill.

The best quote I read on the whole thing was Hennepin County Sheriff Pat McGowan questioning the media if they would have even bothered to attend his press conference had the individuals being charged not been Vikings players.

That is the question that should be answered. So what do you say Mr. DeRusha? Would you be writing about this story had it not been a professional athlete?


Posted by maasx003 at 11:12 AM
Gameday Podcast

This weeks Game Day Podcast is with Harvey "Mr. Steeler" Aronson who maintains his own Steelers site. A fellow HOF inductee, Mr. Steeler was Pittsburghs winner of the 2001 Visa Hall of Fans Award, and inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2002.

hotlinephoto.jpg

Join us for an insightful podcast as we discuss the Steelers season and this weekends game. And here is a key quote from Mr. Steeler from the podcast:

The Vikes can win the game if they hold the Steelers to under 100-yards rushing.

I hope this man is listening.

Coming Sunday

Join me Sunday over at the VU Moblog section where I bring commentary and 'crap-cam' photos via my cell phone live from the game.

Posted by maasx003 at 6:06 AM
December 15, 2005
Hi! Bye!

Ring-ring. Ring-ring

"Hello? Yes, COD speaking. No. No time to chat. Too busy at the job that pays the bills. What's that? You want something to read? Hmmm. I know! Head over to Vikes Geek where he is touting the possibility of trading the Poutin' QB! Vikes Geek is either smoking some good weed or he knows something I don't. You're welcome. Bye."

Coming Friday

Mr. Steeler? Meet Mr. Cheer Or Die. Podcast, be there or be square.

Posted by maasx003 at 6:21 AM
December 14, 2005
Your Midweek Playoff Update

With three weeks left in the season, the playoff picture is more in focus. In the AFC:

PLAYOFF TEAMS
• Colts (13-0)
• Broncos (10-3)
• Bengals (10-3)
• Patriots (8-5)
• Jaguars (9-4)
• Steelers (8-5)

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
• Chargers (8-5)
• Chiefs (8-5)
• Dolphins (6-7)

ELIMINATED
• Bills (4-9)
• Raiders (4-9)
• Ravens (4-9)
• Browns (4-9)
• Titans (4-9)
• Jets (3-10)
• Texans (1-12)

AFC playoff matchups at the moment

Wild-card round, Jan. 7-8

No. 5 Jaguars (9-4) at No. 4 Patriots (8-5, AFC East leaders)

No. 6 Steelers (8-5) at No. 3 Bengals (10-3, AFC North leaders)

Second round, Jan. 14-15

Lower-ranked team at No. 1 Colts (13-0, AFC South leaders)

Higher-ranked team at No. 2 Broncos (10-3, AFC West leaders)

Explaining the Seedings

Broncos seeded ahead of Bengals because of better record agaisnt AFC (Denver 7-2, Cincinnati 7-3)

Steelers seeded ahead of Chargers, Chiefs (one team from AFC West must be eliminated, and Chargers beat Chiefs 28-20 on Oct. 30; Steelers beat Chargers 24-22 on Oct. 10)

In the NFC:

PLAYOFF TEAMS
• Seahawks (11-2)
• Bears (9-4)
• Bucs (9-4)
• Giants (9-4)
• Panthers (9-4)
• Cowboys (8-5)

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
• Vikings (8-5)
• Falcons (8-5)
• Redskins (7-6)

ELIMINATED
• Eagles (5-8)
• Rams (5-8)
• Lions (4-9)
• Cardinals (4-9)
• Packers (3-10)
• Saints (3-10)
• 49ers (2-11)

Wild-card round, Jan. 7-8

No. 5 Panthers (9-4) at No. 4 Giants (9-4, NFC East leaders)

No. 6 Cowboys (8-5) at No. 3 Buccaneers (9-4, NFC South leaders)

Second round, Jan. 14-15

Lower-ranked team at No. 1 Seahawks (11-2, NFC West winners)

Higher-ranked team at No. 2 Bears (9-4, NFC North leaders)

Explaining the Seedings

Bears seeded ahead of Bucs, Giants, Panthers by best record vs. NFC (Chicago 8-1, N.Y. 8-3, Tampa 7-3, Carolina 6-3)

Cowboys seeded ahead of Vikings, Falcons by best record vs. NFC (Dallas 6-3, Minnesota 7-4, Atlanta 5-4)

COD Carnac

cod-carnac2.jpg
Artist rendition by Shane Nackerud

Here is the continuation of my highly scientific analysis of the remaining schedule to try and ascertain how the Vikes will end up: Invited to the party or on the outside looking in. Here is the playoff picture based on my Carnac-like powers:

•AFC: Division winners: New England at 11-5 (East); Cincinnati at 12-4 (North); Indianapolis at 16-0 (South); Denver at 13-3 (West); wild cards: Kansas City at 10-6 and Jacksonville at 12-4.
•NFC: Division winners: N.Y. Giants at 12-4 (East); Minnesota at 11-5 (North); Carolina at 12-4 (South); Seattle at 13-3 (West); wild cards: Tampa Bay at 11-5 and Dallas at 10-6. That puts the Vikes hosting Tampa Bay in one wild card matchup and Dallas going to Carolina. Seattle and New York would have byes.

I do think the Bears are playoff pretenders. Even if the Vikes were to lose to Pittsburgh this coming Sunday, I still think the Purple win the NFC North.

VU Fantasy Updates

The VU Pick 'Em League is heading into the last three weeks. Can Coworker Jim of the league leading Cuyahoga Riverdawgs hold onto the lead he has held for nearly the whole season? We'll see if he can hold or if he folds like the Browns against the Bronco's circa 1987.

Straight Cash Homies won Week 14 missing just two picks. In fact, Straight Cash Homies and I picked the same games but SCH was a bit smarter with his confidence points. So while I was leading going into the MNF game, I dropped to fourth after it. The Wizzinator and FITZ also made the same selections and had better luck with the confidence point system and finished 2nd and 3rd respectively for the week. Nice job all!

The Top 15:

1 cuyahoga riverdawgs
2 Bubbling Farts
3 The Wizzinator
4 C.J.'s pix
5 Straight Cash Homies
6 Pogo
7 FITZ
8 Ron Burgundy
9 hawgdawg
10 Ragnar
11 paviking
12 Mr. Cheer Or Die
13 Wisconsin Vikes?
14 Big Dogs
15 Oracle of Cheese

Over in the Beer Brotherhood Fantasy League, I defeated The Curse! If you'll recall, The Curse has struck every #1 seed as far back as we can remember by losing to the #8 seed. It is now onto round two.

My tenative lineup heading into the playoff game:

QB C. Palmer, CIN @DET
RB S. Alexander, SEA @TEN
RB T. Barber, NYG KC
WR T. Holt, STL PHI
WR J. Porter, OAK CLE
TE C. Cooley, WAS DAL
PK N. Rackers, ARI @HOU
Def Seahawks @TEN
Total FP 74.8

My opponents tenative lineup heading into the playoff game:

QB J. Plummer, DEN @BUF
RB T. Jones, CHI ATL
RB L. Johnson, KC @NYG
WR K. Curtis, STL PHI
WR R. Moss, OAK CLE
TE J. Witten, DAL @WAS
PK J. Feely, NYG KC
Def Panthers @NO
Total FP 60.1

Could I return to the Beer Brotherhood Fantasy League championship game once again? Return next week to find out how I did.

Meanwhile in Motown

Did y'all see this news coming out of Detroit? Think of what could have happened here in the Twin Cities had the team not turned it around. Talk about getting ugly!

Courtesy of the lads over at PFT:

With an "Orange Out" planned for Sunday's home game against the Bengals and raucous chants of "Fire Millen" expected to ring through the rafters, a radio station in Motown is doing its part to stoke the flames that soon could consume the guy who by all appearances thinks the initials "CEO" mean "Chew Every Oreo."

WDFN 1130 invited listeners to suggest slogans for a billboard, and the winner is:

bilde.jpg

Well done, Tim Latimer of Farmington. At least two copies of the board will be up by Sunday, with one in the same neighborhood as Ford Field.

WDFN also is organizing an "Angry Man March" (why not call it the "Millen Man March"?) prior to Sunday's game.

"We want to promote people protesting, showing their feelings in a creative way, and having fun with it," Rona Danziger, programming director at WDFN, told The Detroit News.

"It's about showing the Lions how fans feel in an organized, peaceful way."

So why do we have a feeling that "organized" and "peaceful" won't be the adjectives ultimately used to describe the events of this coming Sunday?

Wonder what the most requested game on the ol' NFL Network will be this weekend!?!!?!

Of course, the boys over at PFT are also complete idiots. To wit:

Vikes' Bubble Is About to Go Boom.

We've been watching the Minnesota Vikings carefully during their implausible six-game winning streak, and we still can't figure out how they're getting it done. The offense excels only in spurts, while primarily avoiding fatal mistakes. The defense bends plenty, but comes up with timely stops and/or turnovers when it's time to break.

Besides, who have they beaten during their string of victories? The Browns. The Packers. The Rams. The Lions twice. Oooooo.

The only quality win came against the Giants, and that was the fluke of all flukes, with three touchdowns coming on returns.

So even at 8-5 with three games to go, the bubble is going to burst.

Violently. Convincingly. Permanently.

And it could happen as soon as Sunday, when the suddenly rejuvenated Steelers come to the Metrodome for the first time since 1986. Though the 'Burghermeisters didn't look too good when they ventured indoors last month, that one came against the Colts. This time around, the Steelers will be facing a squad that has been winning not with speed and strength, but with smoke and mirrors.

Another fine example of East Coast bias wherein the so-called sports experts are so fixated on watching yet another Jets team misfire and still can't accept that the Vikes spanked the Giants...at their house no less...that they come out swinging against a team that has won with defense and no mistake offense. Nothing more simple that that. No smoke and mirros needed. Take Pat "The Planet" Williams for instance when asked about The Bus:

Yet to a man on Monday, the Vikings remained confident they will continue their streak Sunday -- even against the Steelers (8-5), who would be only the second team with a winning record the Vikings have defeated this season. Nose tackle Pat Williams said Vikings opponents "are in trouble now" and expressed disdain for Pittsburgh running back Jerome Bettis: "I've run through the Bus plenty of times," Williams said. "He ain't really no problem."

You go Pat! And I ain't seen no bus yet that can carry a planet.

I expect a full apology from PFT editor Mike Florio about 3:30 PM CST Sunday. Just send it to the Vikings lockerroom c/o The Planet.

Fun Stuff

No time to post my own VU videos but here are some quick links not to be missed. The first is Mr. T singing a tribute to mother. Love those shorts Mr. T!

The second is an amazing 8+ minute video from Russia about some Spiderman pretenders. Actually it is something called Free Running which is a craze in Europe right now.....and another reason why European kids will be skinny and American kids fat. I mean, can you see American kids doing this? They'll wait for the video game so they can play it!


Posted by maasx003 at 6:18 AM
December 13, 2005
Hiking Viking Conquers another Pinnacle: A Special Report by Guest Author Daren Bloomquist

Hello again from Las Cruces, New Mexico. This is the third, in a continuing series of hikes, to celebrate our Minnesota Vikings and encourage them to persevere through the challenges that face them as they make their playoff run.

Big Juniper to Organ Peak 047a.jpg

I thought this past hike was going to be much longer than the Needles hike. With such limited sunlight this time of year we were very nervous about making it back to the car before dark. It reached 60 degrees during the day, but once it becomes dark the temperature in the mountains plummet to the teens this time of year.

As a volunteer fire fighter for 7 years I’ve helped carry injured hikers and dead hiker from these mountains and I didn’t want to be another statistic. I’ve got more flag raisings planned. I couldn’t let myself get injured. Just in case, I packed in a sleeping back, long underwear, a winter hat and gloves, emergency blankets, a Sterno can, my fire radio, and plenty of water. My pack must have been about 20 pounds. Good thing because my hiking partners didn’t bring squat. If you go hiking…be prepared. Near the summit I dumped my pack and climbed the rest of the way with my waist pack.

Just under 4 hours from time we left we reached the summit as seen in this picture. Just under my left arm you can see White Sands National Monument. It’s a spectacular 200 square miles of white gypsum sand dunes. This second picture shows my hiking partners Scott on the left and Ron (the photographer in all earlier pictures). Far in the background you can see the mountains around Juarez, Mexico.

On the way back we found this dead deer covered with grass. We assume it was a mountain lion kill. Finally, you can see the tail section of an airplane that crashed in these mountains years ago. I’m sorry but I don’t know the story behind the plane crash. Until the next flag raising…the Hiking Viking.

Note From COD: If you missed the earlier podcast with Hiking Viking, you can still catch it at the VU Podcast page. Look for VU Podcast Thirty-Three

All I've Got Time For

As I said Monday, this is my intense time of year at the real job so there will be days between now and the end of the year when I simply have no ticks in the clock to put together a blog entry. All I've got time for in this entry is a couple of links. The first one is just pure fun for those wishing to waste time.

The second is, well, if you missed it Sunday then take a look.

Video Description: Frank Caliendo consoles a distraught QB that you may remember.....and remember that sometimes you have to be able to laugh at yourself.


Posted by maasx003 at 6:53 AM
December 12, 2005
Yawn. Another Monday Following a Win.

I was hit hard with the stomach flu on Friday and although I was feeling a bit better by Sunday my stomach just wasn't quite there yet. I think the older one gets, the harder the flu can be. At any rate, The Commish was able to enjoy the game from the famed front row seats with a buddy of his. The tickets did not go to waste!

Just a short note that I now enter my "insane time" at the real job. My postings could be erratic at best. It will be this way probably until the end of the year. I'll do my best to keep it going.

Hiking Viking

You've read about his legendary exploits here all season long. Now the big boys are picking up on it. Daren Bloomquist, aka Hiking Viking, had a short story in Sunday's STrib. Missed it? Read it!

And look for yet another exciting story from Hiking Viking later this week.

Tice Approval Poll

Head Coach Mike Tice continues to ride a wave of support. Following the win over the Detroit Lions his approval rating shot up from 68% to a regular season high of 73%. What will it be following the game against the Rams? Vote to the left.

And a new poll can also be found to the left. Earlier this season I had asked you for your opinion on the teams MVP and 75% of you voted for the teams punter, Chris Kluwe. Will that change this time around? I think so.

VU Podcast Thirty-Three

In a special "Guest Only" podcast I talk with Daren Bloomquist, aka Hiking Viking, about his recent excursions to place a Vikings flag at the summit of his climbs in New Mexico as well as Brian Beckey of the San Francisco bay area. Both great Vikings fans. Listen in.

VU Videocast Seven

Time to change patches on the Game Day helmet and talk some more Bears smack.

Dr. Phil

Anyone else see the FOX pregame show in which Frank Caliendo dish out his picks as Dr. Phil and console a distraught Daunte? If you haven't, you can head out to the FOX NFL home page and look for the Dr. Frank link. What did you think? Funny? Not funny? Deserved? Not deserved?

Posted by maasx003 at 6:15 AM
December 9, 2005
Game Day Podcast

VU Podcast Thirty-Two has the return of Vikes Geek as we choke down the comment by Terry Bradshaw following the victory over the Lions that Mike Tice should be considered for NFL Coach of the Year. And at the end of this very special podcast is our very own Brad Johnson singing a duet with country star JoDee Messina called "I'm a Survivor".

You sure are Big Bad Brad!

VU Videocast Six

Videocast number six is now available and should make every Bears fans very, very, um, happy.

Coming Sunday

Join me Sunday over at the VU Moblog section where I bring commentary and 'crap-cam' photos via my cell phone live from the game.

Then later Sunday evening come back for a very special podcast as I check in with our very own Hiking Viking to see which mountain summit the Vikings flag was flying from this weekend.

Update: I am home with the stomach flu and will not be able to attend the game. Sorry, but no moblog today.

Posted by maasx003 at 6:25 AM
December 8, 2005
O Daunte, Where Art Thou? Part Deux

milkcarton.jpg
Artist rendition by Shane Nackerud

To: Daunte Culpepper
From: Mr. Cheer Or Die
Re: Please Come Home

You were a no show for the 11/6 victory against the Lions. You were nowhere to be seen when the Vikes beat the Giants. Must have missed the flight to Green Bay when the Vikes beat the Packers on Monday Night Football. We all missed you when the Vikes rolled to their fourth straight victory over the Cleveland Browns.

But then Reggie Fowler stops and gives you a lift to Detroit. You stop on the field and give a brief interview to Greg Coleman and greet your teammates. The teammates are thrilled to see you. You make an appearance on television during the game and you are looking great.

I’m thinking you have finally snapped out of your funk and all is right with the world again. But, hold the fort.

Injured quarterback Daunte Culpepper declined Tice's invitation to speak to the team Sunday at Ford Field.

Why would you not want to speak to the team? We've seen you mope on the sidelines when things aren't going well during a game. Are you still languishing now? If so, snap out of it and make yourself visible to your teammates and fans. Let us know how you are doing through the media. If you don’t want to speak to the media, feel free to contact me and I’ll put you on a podcast so you can speak to us, your adoring fans. Let us all know that you expect to be back next year. That the injury will not get you down.

We need you on the sidelines to serve as a second set of eyes for Brad Johnson who is old enough to need reading glasses when studying the play book. We need you standing on the bench, ala Burleson, waving a towel during the games and wearing a headset listening to plays. We need you in the face of your teammates, ala Matt Birk, as the Vikes try and make the playoffs.

So, snap out of it Daunte. Get back into the swing of things. Yes, you have a long road back but you will find it easier if you share your feelings and pain with your teammates and fans.

Daunte, if you wait too long, you might just find that there will be no one to greet you at the door to Winter Park when you do decide to pop in.

Playoff Ticket Requests

I was just commenting to The Commish the other day that I should be expecting my playoff ticket deposit request any day now. Well, it came:

playoffticsfront.jpg

playoffticsback.jpg

Wow. For my seats that would be $100 a seat for the first playoff game and then $145 a seat for the NFC Championship game. A total deposit of $490. Of course, I receive credit for games that are not played. But, it is perhaps the worst time of year to have to worry about coming up with that kind of dough!!!!

And look at that rise in the price of attending a potential NFC Championship game. In 1998, that price was $62. In 2000, had the Vikes actually hosted instead of traveling to New York, the price would have been $80. Now it will be $145 if they host this year. A mere $83 increase. I think I want to be a NFL owner!

There is always the blood bank down the road......

Coming Friday

Come back Friday for VU Podcast Thirty-Two. I'll be speaking with Vikes Geek about Terry Bradshaw's comment about Mike Tice being considered for NFL Coach of the Year honors. And, as a very special treat for all the VU listeners, you'll be able to hear Brad Johnson sing a duet with JoDee Messina called "I'm A Survivor". How very apropos! Call it a VU exclusive. See you then!

Posted by maasx003 at 7:49 AM
December 7, 2005
One More Win, One More Mountain: A Special Report by Guest Author Daren Bloomquist

Hi, everyone.

I’d like to thank COD for continuing my series of flag raisings on the Viking Underground.

Our team found a way to win this past Sunday, despite far too many penalties. I hope all Viking fans are as inspired as I am to show their support to our team in any way they can, just like last weekend when I climbed a peak and raised the Viking’s flag.

The 6500-foot Squaw Mountain peak was this past Saturday’s goal. It was a much easier hike than the Needles hike last Saturday. According to Ron, my hiking and geologist friend, Squaw Mountain is a small mountain consisting of volcanic tuff, rock made from compressed volcanic ash, minerals and other stuff.

It only took four hours to complete the hike. Bush whacking the entire way, Ron and I reached the peak and took a few snapshots.

The first shot of me holding the end of the flag shows the Organ Mountain Needles peak on the left side of the picture. Of the two high points on the left side of the picture, the peak to the right is the one I reached last week to begin my Viking flag-raising series.

The second photo shows no flag, but gives you a glimpse of this coming Saturday’s hike to the second highest peak in the Organ Mountain Range…Organ Peak (in a far background).

Squaw Mountain 12-3-05 022.jpg

Finally, the third picture shows me holding the flag with an unnamed peak in the background that looks like a shark’s fin. I’d like to fly the Viking flag on that one, too.

So, as the season continues, I will hike a new peak and raise the Viking’s flag the day before each Viking game.

Until next time…your friendly New Mexico correspondent, Daren the Hiking Vike.

Note From COD: Look for a possible blurb about Daren the Hiking Viking in this coming Sunday's STrib. I'll pass on more information as it becomes available.

VU Fantasy Updates

The VU Pick 'Em League had another interesting weekend. Coworker Jim of the league leading Cuyahoga Riverdawgs almost ran the table getting only one game wrong. And he has some explaining to do after picking against one of his Ohio teams, the Bengals. Coworker Jim finished one point ahead of The Wizzinator who also very bearly ran the table...picking only the Carolina-Atlanta tilt incorrectly. Congratualtions both!

The Top 15:

1 cuyahoga riverdawgs
2 Bubbling Farts
3 C.J.'s pix
4 The Wizzinator
5 Straight Cash Homies
6 Pogo
7 Ron Burgundy
8 FITZ
9 hawgdawg
10 Ragnar
11 paviking
12 Big Dogs
13 Mr. Cheer Or Die
14 Wisconsin Vikes?
15 Smooth Jimmy Apollo

Over in the Beer Brotherhood Fantasy League, all hail the #1 Seed! All hail the #1 seed! ME!

That's right, I took home $50 for winning my division and another $50 for the Most Points Scored Season title. The latter was assured when the Seattle Seahawks defense posted 36-points for me Monday night. The 36-point score was the most ever for any position in the BBFL's history.

And I'll have to be happy with that money because in the BBFL being the #1 seed means you also are stuck with The Curse. The Curse has struck every #1 seed as far back as we can remember. What happens? Well, the #1 seed loses to the #8 seed in the first round of the playoffs. It has happened time after time after time. And I get stuck this year. Or do I?

My tenative lineup heading into the playoff game:

QB C. Palmer, CIN CLE
RB S. Alexander, SEA SF
RB T. Barber, NYG @PHI
WR T. Holt, STL @MIN
WR J. Porter, OAK @NYJ
TE C. Cooley, WAS @ARI
PK P. Edinger, MIN STL
Def Seahawks SF

My opponents tenative lineup heading into the playoff game:

QB B. Johnson, MIN STL
RB D. Davis, HOU @TEN
RB L. Jordan, OAK @NYJ
WR D. Branch, NE @BUF
WR S. Moss, WAS @ARI
TE R. McMichael, MIA @SD
PK J. Brown, SEA SF
Def Giants @PHI

I know, I know....there is no way I lose this game, right? But then, it is a curse....THEE curse. And not only do I have to worry about the curse, I also will get muscle spasms and twitching each time Big Bad Brad throws a TD pass this Sunday! OH, THE HUMANITY!

Check back next week and see how I fared.

Quoting COD?

This was just too much of a coincidence to let go. I mean, what are the chances of Sisyphus being referred to when speaking about the Vikings? Let me explain.

Last week I spoke about how updating this blog can be a chore. The direct quote:

Earlier this season it got to be a chore to keep this blog going. The Vikings were losing and were not even competitive. I was tired of everything NFL. Tired of the Vikings. Tired of this blog. Tired of updating the blog that, in my already limited time, was just barely able to sustain.

Yet I had no choice but to continue. Even though on most days I felt like Sisyphus forever rolling his stone up the mountain. For I have seen slow starts by NFL teams before and felt that the Vikings future was not determined. Not all the options had been foreclosed.

Later that week, I was interviewed by the Star Tribune’s Michael Rand for a small piece that appeared in last Sunday’s STrib. In Rand’s latest article, he speaks with Chuck Klosterman who writes for Spin magazine and occasionally for ESPN. This quote made me think, “Hey, the Chuckster reads the VU!?:

If Minnesota ever won a Super Bowl, it would be like Sisyphus losing his rock. As such, Viking fans are not tortured at all. They are simply embracing their self-reflexive doom to the highest possible degree. It's actually somewhat noble.

So, I did some more searching and stumbled across this article penned by STrib sports dude Kevin Seifert. Who knew that the tortured soul Sisyphus was such a renowned Vikings icon? I think we have our new mascot!

sisyphus-helga.jpg
Artist rendition by Shane Nackerud


Posted by maasx003 at 6:40 AM
December 6, 2005
Updated Playoff Picture

Playoff Picture

Last week I started looking at the playoff picture and tried to forecast what would happen. I said the Vikes would fall one game short of reaching the playoffs. That has changed after this past weekend.

With four weeks left in the season, the playoff picture is beginning to come into focus. In the AFC:

PLAYOFF TEAMS
• Colts (12-0)
• Broncos (9-3)
• Bengals (9-3)
• Patriots (7-5)
• Jaguars (9-3)
• Chargers (8-4)
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
• Chiefs (8-4)
• Steelers (7-5)
• Dolphins (5-7)
• Bills (4-8)
ELIMINATED• Raiders (4-8)
• Ravens (4-8)
• Browns (4-8)
• Titans (3-9)
• Jets (2-10)
• Texans (1-11)

AFC playoff matchups at the moment

Wild-card round, Jan. 7-8

No. 5 Jaguars (9-3) at No. 4 Patriots (7-5, AFC East leaders)

No. 6 Chargers (8-4) at No. 3 Bengals (9-3, AFC North leaders)

Second round, Jan. 14-15

Lower-ranked team at No. 1 Colts (12-0, AFC South leaders)

Higher-ranked team at No. 2 Broncos (9-3, AFC West leaders)

Explaining the Seedings

Broncos seeded ahead of Bengals because of better record agaisnt AFC (Denver 6-2, Cincinnati 6-3)

Chargers seeded ahead of Chiefs because of head-to-head record (San Diego won 28-20 on Oct. 30)

In the NFC:

PLAYOFF TEAMS
• Seahawks (10-2)
• Bears (9-3)
• Panthers (9-3)
• Giants (8-4)
• Bucs (8-4)
• Cowboys (7-5)
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
• Vikings (7-5)
• Falcons (7-5)
• Redskins (6-6)
• Eagles (5-7)
• Rams (5-7)
• Lions (4-8)
• Cardinals (4-8)
ELIMINATED
• Packers (2-10)
• Saints (2-10)
• 49ers (2-9)

NFC playoff matchups at the moment

Wild-card round, Jan. 7-8

No. 5 Bucs (8-4) at No. 4 Giants (8-4, NFC East leaders)

No. 6 Cowboys (7-5) at No. 3 Panthers (9-3, NFC South leaders)

Second round, Jan. 14-15

Lower-ranked team at No. 1 Seahawks (10-2, NFC West leaders)

Higher-ranked team at No. 2 Bears (9-3, NFC North leaders)

Explaining the Seedings

Bears seeded ahead of Panthers by head-to-head matchup (Chicago won 13-3 on Nov. 20)

Cowboys seeded ahead of Vikings, Falcons by better record vs. NFC (Dallas 6-3, Minnesota 6-4, Atlanta 4-4)

I did a highly scientific analysis of the remaining schedule to try and ascertain how the Vikes will end up: Invited to the party or on the outside looking in. And let me say there are a ton of huge matchups that will figure into the playoff possibility for the Vikings. Here is the playoff picture based on my guess:

•AFC: Division winners: New England at 10-6 (East); Cincinnati at 13-3 (North); Indianapolis at 16-0 (South); Denver at 12-4 (West); wild cards: Kansas City at 10-6 and Jacksonville at 12-4.
•NFC: Division winners: N.Y. Giants at 12-4 (East); Minnesota at 10-6 (North); Carolina at 13-3 (South); Seattle at 13-3 (West); wild cards: Tampa Bay at 11-5 and Chicago at 10-6. That puts the Vikes hosting Tampa Bay which would be a rematch of the regular season opener. I like our chances this time around.

Go ahead and call me Homer. I'll wear that tag until proven wrong.

Scary Quotes

Besides the ultimate in scary quotes with FOX analyst Terry Bradshaw openly mentioning head coach Mike Tice as a Coach of the Year candidate, Kevin Seifert had a quote in this past Sunday's Star Tribune that had me experiencing a cold sweat....and why I cannot count on this coaching staff quite yet:

With that mix of styles, Johnson took over as the Vikings' starter Nov. 6 against Detroit. Courtesy of two Lions turnovers, the Vikings used short fields to score 21 second-quarter points and cruise to a 27-14 victory.

Johnson threw for only 136 yards in the game while the Vikings rushed for 164. They managed just 137 yards of total offense in a 24-21 victory over the New York Giants, and by halftime of the following game at Green Bay, Tice was agitated.

The Vikings hadn't scored an offensive touchdown in eight quarters, and Johnson had completed 10 of 19 passes for 82 yards. Coaches held a brief discussion about replacing Johnson with backup Shaun Hill. Eventually, they implored Johnson to have patience with the downfield passing game rather than checking down to short-range receivers.

Are you shitting me!?!? Even a fleeting chat about replacing Big Bad Brad (BBB) with Hill should never have occurred. All because BBB was checking off the long ball and dunking off to the short route? All because BBB was going against the orders of a Coach of the Year (cough-cough) candidate? All the more reason to love BBB.

The players sure do. And here are some quotes on why you should have confidence in the players more than the coaching staff at the moment:

"To me, the systems [Brad's} been in throughout his career, they're the kinds where you get the ball out a little quicker," said tight end Jermaine Wiggins, the primary beneficiary of Johnson's read progression. He is averaging 9.8 yards on a team-high 19 receptions in Johnson's four starts. "He goes with what he sees," Wiggins added. "He's calm and even-keeled. He never really gets flustered."

And:

"Basically," receiver Travis Taylor said, "it took us a game or two to get ourselves into game condition with him. ... The biggest thing was timing. I know with Brad, he likes a lot of different routes. He likes things that go across the field, with receivers coming under the coverage. That's his type of thing. So we adjusted our routes. It was all things we had in this offense, just that we weren't using it as much."

You have to fancy BBB and you have to love the fact that the players are adjusting to him. The Vikings are finally turning into a T-E-A-M...the kind that wins championships with no big stars ala the New England Patriots. Not to mention the "let's draw a play in the dirt and see if it works" BBB way of life. Such as:

The decision had been made to open the game with an "all-go" route Thursday at Winter Park -- in part the creation of a coaching staff that wanted to get a quick start on an opponent, and also a veteran quarterback who saw flaws in the Lions secondary.

In particular, the flaw was with Detroit cornerback R.W. McQuarters, in whom the Vikings showed interest during the offseason when he was a free agent. Johnson's plan: Whoever drew McQuarters was going to get the deep ball.

"We call it, 'Dart right, all go,' or 'Louisiana -- by you,' " Johnson said of the play. "The limit is usually 40 yards. [Backup quarterbacks] Shaun Hill and J.T. O'Sullivan were standing down on [the Detroit] 40. I said to Koren, 'Look at those guys; go 5 yards past them.' "

How many fans will be screaming "Louisiana -- by you" from the stands this Sunday against the Rams? Here's another BBB innovative example:

[Koren] Robinson finished the first half with two catches for 125 yards, more receiving yards than he had in any game this season, and ended the day with four receptions for 148 yards. His 45-yard grab on third-and-3 from the Vikings' 39 on the first play of the second quarter set up a Michael Bennett touchdown run that made it 14-3. Unlike the long-planned 80-yarder, the 45-yard pass was drawn up quickly.

In the huddle, Johnson told Robinson: " 'There's a cameraman in a red hat. Run to him.' It was sort of like Thanksgiving football ... run to this spot. Koren made a tremendous play and was there."

So, while the likes of Terry Bradshaw wants to cuddle with Mike "I Need a Hug" Tice, I'll continue to look for BBB to lead this team into the playoffs. If Tice wants to be patted on the back, he can call his good friend Terry...who could perhaps lend some fashion tips.....

bradshaw_front_thumb.jpg

Terry Bradshaw also produced a fine album of cover tunes, with his version of "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" actually sounding pretty good. But we can't pass him by without showing you the back cover of the album he recorded, just for Terry's outfit.

bradshaw_back_thumb.jpg

Nice, eh?

I'm having too much fun right now. And I hope the ride won't end any time soon for the Vikes.

You?

VU Videocast

Sent in by Coworker Jim. It is not football related but since Xmas is coming......perhaps this is your neighbor?

Latest Desktop from Cindy

You love 'em and now Cindy has a new one. Called 'Clean Sweep' it is another in a fine line of Vikings desktops for your computer. Check it out.

Posted by maasx003 at 6:31 AM
December 4, 2005
Ginormous Winning Streak

First, A Public Service Video for Cheeseheads and Kitty Kats

kbroom1.gifkbroom1.gif

The Boy® started using the word ginormous in his everyday lexicon earlier this year. I've wanted to use it in a blog entry ever since and often thought of using it to depict Pat Williams but I preferred Pat "The Planet" Williams. Well, thanks to a 5-0 winning streak, I at long last have an outlet for using it.

A dominating first half defensive effort combined with an offense that has found its identity is leading to a team that has captured America's attention. Even Terry Bradshaw is now speaking of Mike Tice as a Coach of the Year candidate....and who would have thunk that five weeks ago?

Two things made this game fall just short of an all-out party. Chris Kluwe went down with a ankle injury in the second half. We'll have to monitor the injury report. Secondly, that pansy to the East, Brettsy Favre gave the game away to the Bears who were unable to score an offensive TD against the lowly Packers. So the Vikes remain two full games behind da Bears.

Next week, the Bears will lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers. As John Wayne used to say, I God damn guarantee it. With a win over the Rams, the Vikes will move just one game behind the Bears. That Xmas night double-header treat looms. If the Packers can beat the Bears and the Vikes keep winning.....look out baby!

Tice Approval Rating

Head Coach Mike Tice held steady with a 68% overall approval rating following the win against the Browns. How does he rate with you this week following the win over the Lions? Vote to the left.

Also, just for kicks, which QB do you start next season if both come into training camp 100% healthy and ready to go? Brad or Daunte? Again, vote to the left.

Daunte Shows!!!!

Speaking of Daunte, I've given him a hard time the last several weeks about being a no-show at games. Given that Pepper is the unquestioned leader of the team, I thought it strange to not have him at games. Was he pouting? In severe pain? What was the deal?

Well, I was alerted by VU reader Gonzo right before game time that:

Greg Coleman just said on KFAN that he saw Daunte and Reggie Fowler walking around on the field prior to the game. They're talking to Daunte right now, in fact (about half an hour before game time).

That made me feel great and all but assured me that the Vikings would win today. Like icing on the proverbial cake. Football is a team sport and even if you are injured, I feel it is vital that those players represent their teammates on the sidelines and provide support and insight.

We were then treated to Daunte sporting a suit and purple tie sitting in a suite. And by the way, who looked more professional: Daunte or Matt Millen?

Thank-you Daunte for making an appearance! It sounded as if your teammates were thrilled to see you. I hope we see you next Sunday when the team plays the Rams.

VU Videocast Four

The latest videocast is up and running. In this videocast, I talk sports Xmas ornaments.

VU Podcast Thirty-One

Also now available is VU Podcast Thirty-One in which I recap the Lions games with non-other than Milwaukee's biggest Vikings fan. And we learn a little about the stat of Packer fans as well from deep inside enemy territory

STrib Hit

As I mentioned this past Friday, I was asked for a quote for part of Michael Rand's Daily Buzz piece that appears in the STrib. Here is the quote as it appeared Sunday:

a quandary

What, oh what, is a Vikings fan to do?

That is the question being lobbed around this week, as the Vikings attempt to catch Chicago in the NFC North race. The Bears, of course, play the out-of-the-picture Packers. Can diehards stifle their feelings toward their border rivals for three hours today and root for Green Bay to knock off the Bears?

To offer guidance, we turned to Brian Maas of Plymouth. Maas writes a blog called "Mr. Cheer or Die's Viking Underground." Plus, in January 1999, he was the first Vikings fan inducted into a fans-only exhibit at the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- part of a wing in which one fan from each team has been inducted in every subsequent year.

Here is his take on the situation:

"We've been in that position before where we needed some help, and in this case we'll be cheering for Brett Favre and the Packers," Maas said. "I have no problems doing that. I actually look at it as a win-win situation. Either they beat the Bears, which absolutely helps us, or the Bears beat the Packers and they're even further down in the dumps in Green Bay."

Posted by maasx003 at 9:02 AM
December 2, 2005
It's The Weekend! That Means Another Vikings Win!

The farther we get into the NFL season, the more exciting it gets. Can the Colts go undefeated? Which coach will be fired next? Will T.O. be picked up by another team? And perhaps most importantly, can the Bears drop one divisional game....to the Packers no less....before the showdown with the Vikes on January 1, 2006?

The Packers will have two chances to beat the Bears and one is this Sunday. The next is the lead-off game of a fantastic Xmas Day double-header. (Did you know most games will be played Saturday the 24th?)

On Xmas Day at 4 PM CST the Packers host the Bears. That is followed at 7:30 PM CST by the Vikings playing at Baltimore. Doesn't get much more exciting than that for NFC North fans. And both games will most likely be meaningful and ripe with playoff possibilities.

For more on how I feel about cheering for the Packers this coming Sunday (and again on Xmas Day!) just pick up the Sunday Star Tribune and look for a story by Michael Rand.

The Last Time This Happened Was, Uh, I Don't Know!

Our very own Darren Sharper was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for November this week. Wow! A defensive player....not an offensive player....was named player of the month!?!?! Somebody pinch me! I must have fallen asleep and been dreaming about the 70's!

And I really love the quotes that have been coming from Sharper. To wit:

"You know what it is? I'm around better guys that really allow me to do what I do," he said, when asked how the Vikings' scheme suits him. "The players I'm around are extremely talented. You think about it. I don't really have to worry about the run because we shut the run down. So I just can concentrate on defending the pass. One thing I always notice is that when you play with scrubs you can look like a scrub. When you play with good players, you look like a good player, too."

So, I guess what Sharper is saying is that the Packers are scrubs. Couldn't have said it better myself!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Sharper is the first Viking to receive the award since defensive tackle John Randle earned it in December 1999. Six long years!

Pro Bowl

Recall when we were talking about Chris Kluwe as being the only Vikings representative in the Pro Bowl this season? Well how about Sharper, Pat "The Planet" Williams, and Antoine Winfield? Would that be great or what? You can help in making that happen by voting for them, and other deserving Vikings players, at the NFL site.

Videocast Three

I've posted another videocast over on the VU videocast page. In this videocast, I talk about my "old" tailgate jacket.

If you have an old favorite Vikings hat, or jacket, or whatever....tell us about it by leaving a comment below. (Mark G., that means you have to talk about that white Vikes cap!)

Speaking of Curses

I blame Shane over at the Greet Machine for bringing up Vikings related curses. This week he wrote about the Vikings Kensington Runestone curse. So, that got me thinking about curses while I was going over the remaining home games and looking at the tickets. Take a look.....and it is not for the squeamish...what do you see?

curse tickets.jpg

That's right, the players featured on the remaining home game tickets are Matt Birk (out for the season), Kenechi Udeze (out for the season), and Daunte Culpepper (out for the season and whereabouts unknown).

Shane, you better not have started something or so help me.......

Posted by maasx003 at 6:20 AM
December 1, 2005
Thursday Updates

VU Podcast Thirty

Just a very short podcast with me going solo. I cover the upcoming game against the Lions as well as some other NFL news.

Introducing the VU Videocast Page

I decided I needed a place for my videocasts ala my podcast page. So, I put one up. I'll work on getting an XML for people with iPods that play video.

Get Out the Vote

Minnesota Vikings rookie defensive tackle C.J. Mosley is a finalists for DIET PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK honors. Feel oour guy is worthy? Then vote!

VU Pick 'Em League Update

It was another wild week in the VU Pick 'Em League. Coworker Jim's Cuyahoga Riverdawgs retained the number one spot but not all went well for him...more on that in a bit. The weeks winner went to FITZ who only missed two games.

The Top 15:

1 cuyahoga riverdawgs
2 Bubbling Farts
3 C.J.'s pix
4 The Wizzinator
5 Straight Cash Homies
6 Ron Burgundy
7 Pogo
8 hawgdawg
9 FITZ
10 Ragnar
10 paviking
10 Smooth Jimmy Apollo
13 Big Dogs
14 Mr. Cheer Or Die
15 Wisconsin Vikes?

Poor Coworker Jim of Ohio. First his beloved basketball, the Cleveland Cavaliers, lost to the Timberwolves. Which was followed by the Vikings beating the Browns. And perhaps worst of all, yours truly took the whip to Jim in the Beer Brotherhood Fantasy League and took over as the number one ranked team. It was a complete sweep for Minnesota over Ohio last weekend!

Amazing & Funny Links

Ever wonder if you can really use a gun to shoot off a lock like in the movies? Wonder no more.

Would you buy a house from this person? It’s a real name folks.

Another reason to love the British press. Who knew?

Sign of the Apocalypse? I mean, really!

I take that back, this is the true sign of the impending Apocalypse.

Why I refuse to visit Kuala Lumpur. Let alone go there and drive a car.

Posted by maasx003 at 6:49 AM