December 2007 Archives
December 30, 2007
Live Game Blog

Yeah, Pro Football Talk does live game blogging better than anyone but I figured I could try it. And now that the Saints have lost, that last Wild Card spot is down to the Vikes and the 'Skins.

So, here we go.

Chad Mustard, why am I humming the Beatles, "Mean Mr. Mustard?"

Oh boy, no Antoine. I bet Cutler passes all day.

Hey, nice screen boys! Nice pass to Chester. Will we see Adrian today?

Who the heck is Garret Mills? He's my new favorite player!! Buh-bye Shiancoe. It's been fun.

Just got an e-mail from Mike in England saying, "Well after my predictions for last week proving to be a complete bust I am not making any for this week. Have just sat down to watch the game, keeping an eye on the Dallas game as well on the other channel."

MeMo!! Go man, go. Will Adrian play? What's the deal?

Not sure that TD from Chester is going to stand. But nice effort by him.

Uh-oh, Redskins 7-0 over Dallas after a long TD run by Portis. Yippee. I'm happy for ya.

Wha-wha-what!?!? A touchback and Denver ball! Great.

Another three and out for the Vikes defense. Stellar as they have been most of the year. Here comes Adrian onto the field. There has to be something to this story being held out for the first series.

Suisham kicks 46 yards from WAS 30 to DAL 24, out of bounds. DAL has the ball on their 40. C'mon Romo!

Gosh, another story about Adrian's handshake. Haven't heard that one before. Nice digging you stellar announcing crew.

Third and a yard, give it to All Day. Easy money. Nice block by Kleinsasser.

I keep thinking Barry Sanders whenever All Day dances in the backfield and loses yards.

Aw, Romo tosses a pick. Redskins already at Dallas 36.

CHESTER!!!! Only tackled by the phantom white line.

New team rushing record beating the record set in 2002.

Portis fumbles!! Dallas ball.

Mike from England says another good play by Mills. I agree. I swear the bozo announcers said he was from North Dakota when in fact Mills is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. On September 1, 2007, Mills was released by the New England Patriots. On September 2 he was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Vikings and is currently on their 53-man roster.

Jackson in the Red Zone is just plain scary. Did Cook totally miss his block or what?

The former Cheesehead puts the Vikes up 3-0.

End of the first in D.C. Cowgirls down 7-0. Like Coach Jimmy said on the FOX pregame show, Dallas does not want to face Washington a third time and that is what will happen if the 'Skins get in and beat Seattle. Dallas would rather face the "one-dimensional Vikings" according to Coach Jimmy. So, look for Dallas to keep the heat on.

T.Collins pass deep right to S.Moss to DAL 24 for 35 yards (J.Reeves). (Under Review) Please reverse that call!

Nice late hit E.J. Not like the playoffs are on the line or anything.

Ah, nuts. C'mon Sharper! You gotta help out Griffin on that play. Or is your mind in Hawaii already?

Chilly has All Day back to receive the kick. Starting to smell of desparation or smart like a fox?

Shaun Suisham, 46 yd field goal , 11:15. Drive: 13 plays, 54 yards in 6:02. WASH now leads DAL 10-0. C'mon Miss Momentum, time for your turn on the Vikes side!

Enough seeing T-Jack getting coddled on the bench. Someone needs to get into his face a scream at him.

That a way Leber. How bad is Cutler's speed...he could only see Leber coming from 15-yards away.

Inactives for today, how much will we miss Rice?

LB Vinny Ciurciu
S Mike Doss
QB Kelly Holcomb (#3 QB)
OT Chase Johnson
WR Sidney Rice
FB Naufahu Tahi
LB Dontarrious Thomas
CB Antoine Winfield

My question was just answered.....buh-bye Lobster Hands Troy Williamson.

OMG! Taylor fumbles! The Vikes battle wagon may be down to 3-wheels. Dallas at the WASH 3-yard line. Still some hope.

No, no, no! K-Will was tackled!! Oh good, they threw the flag. TD called back. There is Mean Mr. Mustard again.

N.Folk 28 yard field goal is No Good. Nice job by a recipient of a Terry Bradshaw award.

Another TE TD for the Bad Guys. Down 14-3. Will the team dig down deep or roll over? This will be a good test for how the team feels about Chilly and how much influence Chilly has.

Back to D.C.: (6:38) 15-T.Collins sacked at WAS 17 for -7 yards (94-D.Ware). FUMBLES (94-D.Ware), RECOVERED by DAL-66-T.Johnson at WAS 18. 66-T.Johnson to WAS 18 for no gain (45-M.Sellers). Washington challenged the fumble ruling, and the play was Upheld. (Timeout #1 at 06:30.). Good news for us. Dallas gets the ball deep in WASH territory but only comes away with 3 points.

Another 3 and out for the Vikes. Another shot of Chilly with both hands up in the year as if he is totally lost.

Nice punt coverage again by my favorite Vikings rock star (Frampton).

Halftime. Time to refuel and get ready for the team to come back. Vikes will get the ball first. T-Jack needs to have more than 37-yards passing in a half. We also need to give the D a break.

How can we have 125-rushing yards and only have 3-points? Hold onto the ball men!

Mike check's in from England with: Halftime, time to reflect and tuck into my cherry pie .... fresh from the oven. lo-lights for the first half ...The dropped pass that should have been an esay walk in for a TD for Taylor. Chester's fumble. Some very poor tackling from the Vikings D. Childress needs to do some motivating team talk.

Here we go. This will be the Vikes half! Nice return from Adrian. Lets get it going. I'm starting a wave.....

Old Man Ferguson is our speedy deep guy? Are you kidding me?

Why the heck is Lobster Hands on the field? That's two drops by Williamson. DUDE!!!! Send him to the shower. Here comes the wave......whhhhoooOOOOOOOoooooooooo....

Did Griffin just knock Marshall out of the game?

Lets get some pressure on Cutler, please! Anyone have the number for Mr. Philip Rivers? If the Vikes D can't pressure Cutler we know Rivers can.

Oh golly, another EXCELLENT challenge by Chilly and crew. Who needs time-outs any way?

Oh Pat! So close to another INT for a TD and we needed that.

I guess Marshall is OK since he just escaped 42 "tackles" to get a first down.

Someone help Griffin find his jock. It's right there on the 50-yard line.

Now THAT is a stop on 3rd and one. Way to fill that hole E.J.

Broncos go for it on 4th. Make it look easy as Mitchell bites big time on the fake.

Start chanting, "Jared Allen, Jared Allen, Jared Allen...."

The wave has died. Paper airplanes now hitting the field in VU Stadium.

Yep, the Vikes do look as flat as my first girlfriend was way back in 5th grade.

Another Elam FG brings the score to 17-3 Broncos. I just know Miss Momentum couldn't have forgotten the Vikes. I feel a comeback at some point!

Wow, Romo still playing for the 'Boys into the 3rd QTR.

Oh boy. Adrian is just snake bit right now. He has lost his mojo. Can someone find Adrian's mojo please? APB for all Vikings fans: Please find Adrian's mojo.

Looked like Herrera got the Evil Eye from Chilly. The whole OL should be getting the Evil Eye. Those boys look like they are thinking about their golf clubs all ready.

May not matter if the Vikes can swing back any more. C.Portis left tackle for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN. WAS 20 DAL 3. That is now a three score game.

I've just been notified that the Fat Lady has just entered VU Stadium. Miss Momentum continues to be a no-show.

Big Bad Brad Johnson now in at QB for Dallas.

Two false starts in a row. One on the QB. Yeah, Chilly, that's YOUR future. Not ours. Yours! You chose to link your future to T-Jack. Now you can live by it. I'm hope I am wrong and next year T-Jack develops into a stellar NFL QB. Pardon me if I don't see that happening.

Maybe I can get some dusting down, clip my toe-nails, and fold my underwear.

Nice catch by Marshall. I wonder if the Vikings WR's are watching?

Best post I've seen all day: "JESSICA SIMPSON JUST HELD UP A SIGN AT THE WASH/DALLAS GAME, “YOU HAD YOUR CHANCE PURPLE."

My son Graham comes in with this astute observation, "Kevin Williams was throwing up because he saw the offensive plays Chilly-Willy had drewed (sic) up."

Graham also asks the readers out there, "Anybody else thinking that the players have quit on Chilly-Willy? Nobody looks very excited today."

I've just been informed that the Fat Lady has stopped by the Wilf owner booth at VU Stadium. Zygi asked the Fat Lady if she can play defensive end.

Sad commentary on Vikes passing game that a first time TE, Garrett Mills, is drawing double-team coverage. Wow.

Nice pressure pass by T-Jack to Fergy to keep the drive alive.

TD! Wade! Gotta go for two.

T.Collins pass deep right to S.Moss for 42 yards, TOUCHDOWN. WASH 27 DAL 3

Someone get Jay Glazer from FOX to query the equipment boys about the players respect for Chilly like Glazer did in Baltimore when he polled Ravens players as to whether Baltimore coach Brian "The Brain" Billick has lost the locker room. Glazer says that the questions were also posed to non-player personnel in the locker room, like the guy who washes the jock straps. But then Chilly probably has a special method for washing jocks.

I was hoping to see T-Jack run more today. That's as good as a pass and helps both the passing and running games by holding those DB's. That was a nice run.

Ooooohhhh. Shades of Scramblin' Fran Tarkenton. TD Wade! Go for two.

Jackson converts again! Tied game. Hey, truly nice character by the team and by T-Jack. Again, I hope he eventually proves my assessment of him wrong.

And Dallas still down by 21. The Fat Lady is now gargling and applying make-up.

England Mike asks what we are all thinking, "TJ has put up a good display in this 4th quarter. The question is why could he and the team not play like this in the other 3 quarters?!" Mike, it is now 6 minutes after midnight in England. You are a true fan to stay up....but I want some of that cherry pie you just pulled from the oven!

Marshall is on my fantasy team next year I tell you what! Already in FG range for Elam.

The Fat Lady is waiting for the curtain to rise.

Oh boy, Vikes catch a break. I'm starting to smell O.T. The Fat Lady has sat back down.

Washington just won and the Fat Lady is in the middle of her aria. You go girl.

My best to Tim the Barrel Man in Denver. Hope you enjoyed the game today my man!

barrel.jpg

My sincere congratulations to the Washington Redskins for overcoming the death of Sean Taylor and making the playoffs. I look forward to seeing my Hogette buddies Mikey T. and Hogette Howiette cheering on their team in the playoffs next week in Seattle. In the photo below, Mike is on the left and Hogette Howiette on the right. Good luck boys!

hogettes.jpg

Get some sleep England Mike! Thanks for joining me from across the Big Pond! I enjoyed it!

Posted by maasx003 at 3:18 PM
December 29, 2007
VU Videocast Friday

The Viking Underground's own analyst Cheer or Die Jr. takes a look at the Vikings upcoming game in Denver as well as the Vikes playoff chances. He also discusses the AFC playoff picture and makes his Super Bowl picks.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:44 AM
December 27, 2007
Culture of Crap?

stoner.bmp

From Keith Millard in the drive-through lane at Hardee's to the Love Boat, there is just no team like the Minnesota Vikings. Under owner Zygi Wilf and head-coach Brad Childress, the Vikings sold us a bill of goods when Wilf issued a 76-page Code of Conduct for all purple personnel to follow after the sex-boat debacle. Childress was hired because Wilf believed that both men saw eye-to-eye on discipline.

Childress has said that:

“One of the reasons that I’m here in this job and one of the mandates from the Wilf family is that they want this ship run right,? Vikings Coach Brad Childress said Wednesday at training camp. “I’m trying to create a culture of accountability."

The Vikings got off to a slow, scandal ridden, and sexually bizarre start in 2005. When a football team's weird sex-capades are public knowledge, there are bound to be a few distractions on the football team. But the Vikings were saved from the ashes and returned to respectability by the veteran leadership of QB Brad Johnson. Though Johnson may not have had a big contract or the strongest arm in the league, there is no offensive scheme that he can't operate. I bring up Big Bad Brad here simply because he is the Vikings best friend this coming Sunday. The Purple People Eaters need the Johnson led Cowboys to somehow care enough to beat the Washington Redskins Sunday in order to be eligible for a playoff game. More on Brad later.

In the case of Dwight Smith getting busted for supposedly (I'm waiting on the facts ya know) smoking the wacky weed, Childress set a precedence by not fining or suspending Smith under the so called Code Of Conduct. His reasoning was that "not all the facts were yet in" which under my Bull Shit Translation dictionary means, "had this been Week 1 and not a game with playoff implications you would be standing in the soup line now."

Now enter Mr. Darrion Scott. There is a great summary of this latest Code of Conduct casualty over at the Daily Norseman in case you missed it. Who can blame Scott for rolling the doobie? Scott says to himself, "who cares if I get caught with pot, Dwight Smith did and he didn't face any reprimand." So now, the organization has set itself up for trouble due to the lack of action with Smith. The 76-page Code of Conduct can be used for rolling paper for all that it is worth.

So, I've started a tongue-in-cheek Culture of Accountability Wall of Fame on the upper right navigation pane. Let me know if I'm missing any!

Big Bad Brad

One of Johnson's favorite targets with the Vikings was the large and in charge tight end, Jermaine Wiggins. Wiggins had 69 catches in '05 and was always tough in the red zone (unlike He Whose Name We Will Not Mention Let Alone Attempt to Spell). Brad Johnson is the Pope-of-the-check-down pass; he knows how to get the ball to his beefy tight ends. Here is hoping Jason Witten isn't sitting on the pine Sunday. If Witten does play, I think we could see the Cowboys make a game of it.

As good as Brad Johnson is, every 40-year old QB is going to have some major limitations. With T.O. out, I'm not sure who will be the Cowboys go-to receiver (Patrick Crayton?) and it seems likely the Cowboys will have to settle for a dink-and-dunk attack under Johnson. Johnson is not much of a scrambler, but the most dangerous aspect of an aging QB with an average arm is the inability to make all of the throws on a football field. Not being able to make all of the throws can shrink the field and allow a defense to cheat on certain pass routes, and that is a dangerous thing against a defense as good as the Redskins. (If any Packers fans are reading this -- think of Brett Favre's future).

So what will happen Sunday? I think the Cowboys will win with their reserves. Johnson hates 'Skins owner Dan Snyder, the two teams hate each other, and the 'Skins are due for a let down after their big away victory this past Sunday.

Prediction: Dallas 24 Washington 17


Posted by maasx003 at 8:02 PM
December 24, 2007
The Day After

Last week I wrote about Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and the need to stay patient with him. I wrote how it would be better to stick it out with this young man and not go reaching for a veteran QB, such as Donovan McNabb.

This is what one of my friends asked of me shortly after reading that blog entry, "Is you crazy?"

I am no football expert. I played the game and played it well, once bringing my highschool team back from defeat while scoring four touchdowns and a two point conversion in the second half.....my Al Bundy moment in time. But I have enough knowledge to know that Jackson will never be anything but servicable middle of the road NFL QB at best. And that's just not good enough for a team with a powerful running attack and killer run-defense.

We need to simply admit this a grand epxeriment that has not turned out as planned, tear up the formula, go back to the lab, and start over again. In short, cut the cord on Jackson now and move forward in time for the 2008 season. Unless we get a passing attack started, Adrian Peterson will be lucky to have a few hundred-yard rushing games let alone any two hundred-yard ones.

Jackson did show a glimmer of hope in the second half when he started to run with the ball. But Jackson's rebound from a disastrous start came too little, too late for the Vikings, who could have clinched a playoff berth with a victory. And if you are like me, you are wondering if the Vikes could have won that game with any QB capable of playing mistake free football and the ability to move the offense through the air.

This then begs the question: Who is out there and available in the 2008 or even the 2009 season to bring into Winter Park and solidify the woefully inept QB position? There are a lot of lists out there.

Any name float your boat? I'm not even sure how up-to-date the list is. Derek Anderson of the Cleveland Browns looks the most promising in terms of age, leadership, and ability. But then he and the Browns might have choked away their playoffs chances Sunday as well. There have been rumors that the Browns may look to trade first-round quarterback selection Brady Quinn. Whether or not the potential rumors of the Browns looking for a suitor are true, Cleveland can’t afford to let Anderson leave town after the way his play has helped the franchise turn around. The franchise tag could be applied to Anderson, but the Browns will likely to sign him to an extension before it reaches that stage.

And the Vikes have probably played well enough to not even have a top 20 pick in the 2008 NFL draft. So I doubt any help would come there and if it did, we'd be another two to three years behind in developing another young QB anyway.

So where does that leave the Vikings? We have a cerebral coach who knows more about the NFL rules than the referees. But the same coach fails to understand that if you want to play "Lawyerball" instead of football, then one should be prepared to have decisions go against you.

Can we count on Brad Childress to see that he may be a little underwhelmed at the QB position? I'm not confident enough in said coach to believe that he will see the weakness at quarterback, or the lack of courage to make adjustments during the game. Two telling post game quotes from Chilly:

“We’re going to have to do some work in terms of, if they’re going to have an extra guy in there (in the box), we’re going to have to do a few different things.?

“We probably should have started throwing it a little bit earlier just to back them away from some of those forcing units.?

Open mike to Chilly: You've had no less than three weeks to adjust to having extra people in the box and begin the game by throwing earlier. And you are only now contemplating those moves?

And that is my main worry. If Chilly can't recognize that he's getting his butt whooped on the field during a game, what makes anyone think that he will recognize that one of the reasons for the whooping may be at the QB position?

So here are your options Mr. Armchair GM:

One: Cut the cord with Chilly and T-Jack. Realize you might have to delay any grand thoughts of playoffs for a few more years as a new program is installed.
Two: Cut the cord only with the QB and get the best QB the team can. Realize that said QB may go Torry Holt on Chilly at some point during thr '08 season.
Three: Cut the cord only on Chilly. Let's see what a real football genuis (Marty Ball? The Chin?) can do to develop T-Jack. Then again, maybe T-Jack is the best he can be right now!
Four: Hold the line. Everyone is panicking. The team will open a can of whoop-ass on the Bronco's and the 'Skins will lose to the 'Boys and MPLS will be playoff central.

Vote now or forever hold your peace. Happy holidays!





Posted by maasx003 at 12:49 PM
My Balloon Popped

I've time for a few quick thoughts before I head off to bed. Two thoughts actually, each of which kept popping into my head as I watched the Vikes roll over like puppy dogs Sunday night while hosting the Washington Redskins.

One was a movie quote from the Steve Martin flick, "Don't Men Don't Wear Plaid". The quote was:

"All dames are alike: they reach down your throat and they can grab your heart, pull it out and they throw it on the floor, step on it with their high heels, spit on it, shove it in the oven and cook the sh*t out of it. Then they slice it into little pieces, slam it on a hunk of toast, and serve it to you and then expect you to say, "Thanks, honey, it was delicious."

Change out "dames" for "Vikings teams" and you begin to understand my forty years of misery.

The second thought that kept popping into my noggin was that there are three current assistant coaches on the Redskins staff that could come in and do a much better job that our current head-coach, Brad Childress. I'm not ripping on Chilly based off this heartbreaking loss to the 'Skins. Heck, I've even warmed to him a bit. But I just couldn't help but think, "Wow, would you look at that staff that Gibbs has! Any of which I'd take over Childress any day."

Those three Redskins coaches are, Gregg Williams (Asst. HC - Defense), Al Saunders (Assoc. HC - Offense), and Joe Bugel (Asst. HC - Offense). In fact, Williams was someone that I wanted the team to hire as head-coach as recently as January, 2006.

At least I'm looking good to become the first three-time winner in the Beer Brotherhood Fantasy Football League. I came into the playoffs as the number seven seed and rode the likes of Warner, Jackson, Grant, Jennings, Boldin, and Witten to what appears to be a win in the championship. My opponent needs to have 36-points from a Mr. Tomlinson on MNF....so one never knows...but I like my chances. Here is a photo of our league's traveling trophy:

ff4.jpg

And yes, special VU analyst Graham Maas will return this week to talk about the Vikes game with the Denver Broncos and to talk about the AFC playoff picture.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:24 AM
December 23, 2007
Viking Underground Sunday Breakdown

I break down the upcoming game against the Washington Redskins with Viking Underground analyst Cheer or Die Jr.

Download videocast file

Or watch on YouTube:

Posted by maasx003 at 1:17 AM
December 22, 2007
Saturday Sports Talk

Almost time for the Vikings biggest game since, oh, January 9, 2005 when Randy Moss caught two touchdown passes, and the Vikings rolled to a 31-17 upset victory over the stunned Green Bay Packers. Don't remember? Take a little trip down memory lane:

So once the game is over this coming Sunday night against the Washington Redskins will it be just another washout?

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Or will people be clamoring on the Chilly bandwagon?

chilly for president.jpg

It is any one's guess as to how this game will go down. It may end up taking only about 2 hours and 15 minutes to play as I expect both teams to be stubborn in their respective attempts to establish the run and screw the pass.

How important is this game for each team, the Saints, and the Giants? Let's run down the six scenarios:

1 The Vikings will clinch a playoff spot if they win their final two games to finish 10-6. If New Orleans loses to Philadelphia on Sunday and the Vikings beat the Redskins, the Vikings would clinch a wild-card berth.

2 If the Vikings and Giants both finish 9-7, the Vikings win the tiebreaker (head to head) and would get a higher seed.

3 If the Giants finish 10-6 and the Vikings and Saints tie at 9-7, the Saints would get the final playoff spot based on better conference record.

4 If the Vikings, Giants and Saints are tied at 9-7, the Saints would get one spot because they would have an 8-4 conference record. The Giants will finish with a 7-5 record vs. NFC teams. The Vikings will be 7-5 vs. NFC teams if they beat the Redskins. They would then edge out the Giants because of a head-to-head victory.

5 If the Redskins, Saints and Vikings are tied at 9-7 for the final wild-card spot, the Saints would get the edge (better conference record).

6 If the Vikings, New Orleans, Washington and the N.Y. Giants all finish the season with 9-7 records, the two NFC wild-card teams would be the Saints and the Redskins based on assorted tiebreakers.

Yeah, this game can now simply be called Armageddon 2007. This will be a heck of a collision. And it now appears the Vikes will be without the services of Sidney Rice (ankle) or Antoine Winfield (shoulder) as neither player was able to suit up for practice on Friday.

Look Ahead

Depending on the source, the Vikings are projected to be in the neighborhood of $28 to $33 million dollars under the NFL salary cap heading into next season. Does that mean we are going to spend big on free agents and upshore some vital areas? Probably not, and here is why.

The current ownership, coaching, and front office philosophy is about getting a bang-for-the-buck. Don't look for the Vikings to pick up the big names this coming free agency. They will simply be looking for value. With that in mind, here are some names I have heard coming from my moles deep in Winter Park in recent weeks:

Bernard Berrian, WR (Chicago Bears)
Berrian was able to put together a decent season in ’06. His 51 receptions and six touchdowns aren’t overly impressive, but they do suggest that he is an improving talent and may be a strong number two option or a decent number one option down the road. His size isn’t ideal, but his speed and athleticism has countered that enough to allow him to be a solid contributor. At just 26 years of age, Berrian will garner interest from teams looking to capitalize on his growth at the position.

Bryant Johnson, WR (Arizona Cardinals)
Johnson could fly under the radar this season, but those in the know consider him quite talented. He’s overshadowed by star receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, but Johnson runs great routes, has good hands, and at 6’3? his size makes him an appealing option. He’s caught at least 35 passes in each of his four seasons, including 49 receptions in 2004, and has a touchdown scored in each season, with four coming in ’06. Johnson will likely find a bigger role in another offense in ’08.

D.J. Hackett, WR (Seattle Seahawks)
Could this finally be the field-stretching burner the Vikings need to further flumox opposing defenses putting as many as nine men in the box to slow down the Vikings run. Some say yes.

L.J. Smith, TE (Philadelphia Eagles)
Another younger tight end, Smith has 50 receptions or more and over 600 yards receiving during each of the past two years with the Eagles. He scored five touchdown in ‘06 and ’04 while becoming a top option for quarterback Donovan McNabb. Smith seems to find the right place on the field and has shown great strength at his spot. This is yet another Eagles connection that Brad Childress could look at to upgrade a position that is so vital in a West Coast offense but has yet to develop for the Vikings under Chilly.

Jared Allen, DE (Kansas City Chiefs)
This is the FA that some people are already saying is the coveted name at the top of the Vikings FA wish list. There is a good chance that he’ll try the market out come next offseason. He’s just 25 years of age, and has shown that he is among the league’s best at his position. He’ll be a high priority for several teams once the signing period opens.

Are there names you are hearing or wish the Vikes would make a play for this coming off-season? Leave a comment below.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:31 AM
December 21, 2007
The Undoing of Todd Sauerbrun

There was a story that came out of Denver this week that caught my eye. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday that he cut punter Todd Sauerbrun not because of anything related to on-field performance, and not even because he was charged with hitting a cab driver, but because he was rude to the police officers who arrested him.

"The bottom line was, the way he treated the police officers, not to get into the situation that happened with the taxi cab driver, but the way he talked to the officers and the way he handled that situation was very un-professional," Shanahan said, per Bill Williamson of the Denver Post. "The police officers here in Denver have done an unbelievable job for us, working with the Darrent Williams case, they've just been very good. For him to handle himself that way, in that situation, was uncalled for. That's why he's not with us."

On December 8, Sauerbrun was cited for simple assault after a cab driver accused Sauerbrun of slapping him in the back of the head. Sauerbrun denies that he hit the cab driver. Sauerbrun has said he thinks Broncos owner Pat Bowlen made the decision to cut him, but Shanahan indicated that it was his decision.

The reason I found this story so interesting was that back in November of 2004, one of the major sports web sites posted a poll asking which NFL player would be the first to "go Artest" refering to the NBA fiasco in which Ron Artest went into the stands to beat on some fans "Walking Tall" style.

One of the selections to the question was Todd Sauerbrun. Before one asks what in the name of Bud Grant would a punter be doing on such a list let me bring you back to the 1996 Vikings season.

The Vikes were hosting a game against the Chicago Bears, Sauerbrun's team at that time. Sauerbrun had been arrested the previous week on a drunk driving charge. To make matters worse, he had been driving off-road.....through a children's playground. I'm not making this up.

During pre-game warmups, I first attracted Sauerbrun's attention from my first row seat by making fun of his "guns". You see, Sauerbrun thought he had huge biceps....ala Keith Millard. You remember former Vikings defensive end Keith Millard? He was arrested once and told his arresting officer that his "biceps were lethal weapons".

Anyway, back then Sauerbrun was telling everyone that his biceps were so huge that he needed a specially designed jersey to accomodate the bad boys. Sauerbrun did not appreciate that I compared his biceps to the arms of my grandmother.

I further continued asking Sauerbrun if he needed a ride home after the game. I even offered up that I had a case of cold beer in the trunk and that I knew a special short-cut.....through a children's playground. Would he care to drive? Good stuff, right?

Well, Sauerbrun had to be literally restrained by two teammates as he tried to climb the wall separating the two of us. It was very funny to me at the time. But after seeing what happened in Detroit with Artest, it could have ended ugly. I guess steroids and punters just don't mix.

And I certainly hope that Sauerbrun's NFL career is over and he gets the counseling he needs.

I love this YouTube video which bills itself as a "A mugshot tribute to the NFL's best and brightest." Sauerbrun is second from the end, right before Mr. O.J. Simpson.

Oh, Barf

I can't believe how the pieces have been falling into place for the Vikings on their recent winning streak and run to the playoffs. One cannot deny that Lady Luck has donned purple and is not only on the Vikings bandwagon but is driving it!

Latest to come is this news: Redskins running back Clinton Portis and wide receiver Santana Moss did not practice on Wednesday due to the stomach flu, the Washington Post. Um, that's like 95% of the Redskins offense. Now, you know both players will suit up. But how would you like to be bending over the porcelein pony all week and then run into the likes of Pat Williams and Kevin Williams for sixty minutes?

Free Michael Polk!!!

Yes, not Michael Vick but Michael Polk. This story caught my eye and we, as Nordic brothers, have to work to free Polk.

An inmate is suing the Utah Department of Corrections for denying him his right to practice an ancient Nordic religion while behind bars.

Michael Polk is serving time for aggravated assault and robbery. He filed a lawsuit against corrections officials in federal court, accusing them of denying him religious items that he says are necessary to practice the Asatru religion.

The religion worships ancient Nordic gods like Odin, Thor, Tyr and Heimdal.

In the lawsuit, Polk says he has been a member of the Asatru faith since 2005, and in order to properly practice it he needs items including: a Thor's Hammer, a prayer cloth, a Mead Horn used for drinking Wassail, a drum made of wood and boar skin, a rune staff and a sword.


Posted by maasx003 at 1:03 AM
December 20, 2007
Video Thursday

coverCD.jpg

Yet another classy move from the Wilf's, all season ticket holders were sent a 2007 multi-media CD this week. I was quite impressed with it. From the Vikings You Made the Team CD, the following videos can be downloaded for Quicktime:

Download KickoffHighlight file

Download OpenHighlight video file

Download PreSeasonHighlight file

Download MidSeasonHighlight file

The following audio highlights can also be downloaded:

Download the audio MP3 file

(Still need more Vikings media? Those looking for the photo gallery from the Oakland game click here)

Posted by maasx003 at 1:13 AM
December 19, 2007
QB The Problem?

All the talk about the Vikings this week will be the play of youngin' Tarvaris Jackson against Da Bears on MNF. You are going to hear talk about picking up Philadelphia Eagles veteran Donovan McNabb who many think would look good in purple and reunite himself with former Eagles offensive coordinator and now Vikes head-coach Brad Childress.

I am not a member of that camp.

Sure, McNabb would be better able to handle the "Eight in a Box" defensive formula that every one is now employing against the Vikings running game. Sure, McNabb would not make poor choices throwing the ball in the red zone. And McNabb would be a mentor to the young Jackson and help him develop into an elite NFL quarterback.

And that's why I would be against it.

The only way McNabb comes to the Vikings is to play another two to three years as the starter. He isn't going to come to sit on the bench. He isn't going to come and carry a clipboard and mentor Jackson. And the Vikes aren't going to admit that they may have over-reached for Jackson in the 2006 NFL draft and sit a QB who is 8-2 as a starter in the NFL.

Jackson is still going through a process of learning an NFL offense. There will be growing pains. The game against the Bears was his first national appearance and his nervousness showed. I would be very surprised if he had the same type of performance this coming Sunday night against the Washington Redskins. The kid is a winner and his record shows it. And at this point, I'm comfortable staying the course with him.

Sure, the Vikes need to bring in a veteran quarterback next season but it should not be a McNabb. It should be a veteran that knows his role is to be the backup and mentor to Jackson. But you can have your own say using the poll below.




My main concern with the game is the running game. Why the sudden drop in production? I blame this man:

manusky.jpg

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky has provided the blue-print to slowing down the Vikings running attack. And while the Bears didn't limit rookie Adrian Peterson to a mere 3-yards rushing, they did keep him from breaking any "would you look at him go!" runs that we've become used to this season.

When you get down to it, it is helmet-against-helmet. Mano-a-mano. Who is a man and who is a boy. With the offensive line, tight-ends, and Pro Bowl full-back this team has it shouldn't matter how many people opposing defenses put into the box. We should be knocking the defenders onto their rear-ends and Peterson and Chester Taylor should be running free.

I look for whatever is bugging the Vikings blocking scheme to be fixed by this Sunday. Whether it be communication as in "Who has Urlacher!?!?"....to just playing the smash-mouth football required for a long playoff run. WIth that many defenders in the box, the slants and other quick passing plays (recall those quickies to Cris Carter and Randy Moss in the late 90's?) should be wide open and will serve to loosen up the running game even more.

And who doesn't want to see Fred Smooooot get burned like a piece of breakfast toast Sunday night?

I was also quite pleased to see Childress bench the 2007 NFL Rookie of the Year in the game against the Bears. That sent a strong message that no one is untouchable. Peterson was benched a whole series after the fumbled exchange with Jackson early on in the game. We'll see a more focused Peterson this Sunday.

Think I Ain't?

So, at what point did you start to miss Mike "Super Star" Morris on Monday night? With Morris as long-snapper for the Vikes a fan never had to pay attention to whether or not Mitch Berger got a good ball to punt or Gary Anderson would get a good ball to kick.

Vikes current long snapper Cullen Loeffler had three poor snaps this past Monday, with one of the poor snaps leading to a missed extra point in the third quarter. So what was the deal?

Loeffler's pregnant wife had the audacity to go into labor Monday night!!! You marry someone and think you know them and then the spouse pulls something like this!

Loeffler admitted that his thoughts were with his wife all night long...and rightly so. Expect the new Daddy to be back at the top of his game this coming Sunday due to the extra mouth to feed. Improved performance usually goes hand-in-hand when a family starts to grow. As the Super Star would say, "Think it doesn't?"

Playoff Scenario Update

Minnesota can clinch a playoff berth in Week 16 with a win over Washington and a New Orleans loss or tie to the Eagles. This is based off the tiebreaker scenarios for the NFL playoffs. There was no head-to-head game this season between the Vikes and Saints so it goes to the second tiebreaker, which is conference record.

If the Saints were to win out, they would finish with a 9-7 record overall and a record of 8-4 against the NFC (as both of their remaining games are against NFC opponents...Phil and @ Chi). The best the Vikes can do is finish with a NFC record of 7-5 by virtue of beating the 'Skins.

So, outside of the Washington game the Saints need to lose 1 against either Philly or at Chicago combined with ONE Vikes victory to lock in a Wild Card.

Whine from the East

The Vikings current five game winning streak has the Packer fans upset. Example, working hard in my office this week I was interrupted by a Cheeshead who barged in and started flaying his arms around while saying, "Who have you beat? Huh? Tell Me! Who have you beat?" and then promptly left before I could ask him the same thing.

So I did some research and added up the combined records of the teams that the Vikings and Packers have beaten this season. Bottom line: The Vikes have won against a 0.402 combined won-loss record while the over-rated Packers have won against a 0.445 combined record.

Both teams have beat the Giants. Both have beaten San Diego. Both have lost to Dallas. Not much difference, I say. So if you are a Cheeser, who exactly HAVE YOU BEATEN?

It would appear that neither team will face a true playoff team until the playoffs start. So for now, both sides should just shut the Hell up and concentrate on finishing off the season.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:38 AM
December 16, 2007
The Aftermath

We'll have to talk more about the victory over the Bears later this week. Especially the position of quarterback, but for now I'll take the win and being one step closer to the playoffs with the best defense in the NFL.

I started talking about the Vikes leap-frogging the wild card seeds with the N.Y. Giants a couple of weeks back. I saw the Giants dropping two and the Vikes running the table enabling Minnesota to fall into the #5 NFC seed.

Last week, I flip-flopped as I was fully expecting one of those Giants losses coming against the Eagles with the Giants then falling to the Patriots in week 17. The Giants beat the Eagles in week 14, but this past Sunday the Fred Smooooooot lead Washington Redskins stuck it to Big Blue and I'm flip-flopping again. The Vikes will travel to Tampa for their first playoff game. Let me take it one step further: The Giants will beat the Seattle Seahawks and travel to face the NFC #1 seed Dallas Cowboys while the Vikings travel to artifically heated Lambeau Field to play the Packers. January should be a lot of fun!

If the Playoff Started Today

Wild-card round, Jan. 5-6

No. 5 Giants (9-5) at No. 4 Buccaneers (9-5, NFC South leaders)
No. 6 Vikings (8-6) at No. 3 Seahawks (9-5, NFC West leaders)

Second round, Jan. 12-13

Lower-ranked team at No. 1 Cowboys (12-2, NFC East champ)
Higher-ranked team at No. 2 Packers (12-2, NFC North champ)

Explaining the seedings:

Cowboys seeded ahead of Packers because of head-to-head result.

Seahawks seeded ahead of Bucs because of head-to-head result.

Giants seeded behind Tampa Bay, Seattle because they're not a division champion.

How Long Will Favre's Record Last?

Anyone else watching the Packers-Rams game this past Sunday come away thinking that as the season goes along, Favre has started to decline? He's been throwing poor passes and making horrible choices. Against a playoff caliber team, Favre and the Packers won't get away with those types of errors. But hats off to Favre for eclipsing another Dan Marino record by becoming the all-time NFL leader in passing yards.

As I watched Favre achieve that record, I wondered how long his record will last. As a comparison, when Fran Tarkenton held this record, he held the title for 18 years. I immediately thought of Peyton Manning and wondered how far behind Favre he was. So it was off to WIKI land where I located the following table.

If one considers that Manning tosses for 4000 yards a year, he will eclipse Favre in 2012-13. And there is no reason to think that Manning won't play for another five to six years. So, enjoy it while you can Brett!

This is a list of National Football League quarterbacks by total career passing yards.

Rank[1] Player Seasons by team Total passing yards[2] Year of induction into
Pro Football Hall of Fame
1 Dan Marino Miami Dolphins (19831999) 61,361 2005
2 Brett Favre Atlanta Falcons (1991)
Green Bay Packers (19922007)[3]
61,178 Not applicable[4]
3 John Elway Denver Broncos (19831998) 51,475 2004
4 Warren Moon Houston Oilers (19841993)
Minnesota Vikings (19941996)
Seattle Seahawks (19971998)
Kansas City Chiefs (19992000)
49,325 2006
5 Fran Tarkenton Minnesota Vikings (19611966, 19721978)
New York Giants (19671971)
47,003 1986
6 Vinny Testaverde Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19871992)
Cleveland Browns (19931995)
Baltimore Ravens (19961997)
New York Jets (19982003, 2005)
Dallas Cowboys (2004)
New England Patriots (2006)
Carolina Panthers (2007)[3]
46,149 Not applicable[4]
7 Drew Bledsoe New England Patriots (19932001
Buffalo Bills (20022004)
Dallas Cowboys (20052006)
44,611 Not applicable[4]
8 Dan Fouts San Diego Chargers (19731987) 43,040 1993
9 Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts (19982007)[3] 40,944 Not applicable[4]
10 Joe Montana San Francisco 49ers (19791992)
Kansas City Chiefs (19931994)
40,551 2000
11 Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts (19561972)
San Diego Chargers (1973)
40,239 1979
12 Dave Krieg Seattle Seahawks (19801991)
Kansas City Chiefs (19921993)
Detroit Lions (1994)
Arizona Cardinals (1995)
Chicago Bears (1996)
Tennessee Oilers (19971998)
38,147 None
13 Boomer Esiason Cincinnati Bengals (19841992, 1997)
New York Jets (19931995)
Arizona Cardinals (1996)
37,920 None
14 Jim Kelly Buffalo Bills (19861996) 35,467 2002
15 Jim Everett Los Angeles Rams (19861993)
New Orleans Saints (19941996)
San Diego Chargers (1997)
34,837 None
16 Jim Hart Saint Louis Cardinals (19661983)
Washington Redskins (1984)
34,665 None
17 Kerry Collins Carolina Panthers (19951998[5])
New Orleans Saints (1998)
New York Giants (19992003)
Oakland Raiders (20042005)
Tennessee Titans (20062007)[3]
34,611 Not applicable[4]
18 Steve DeBerg San Francisco 49ers (19781980)
Denver Broncos (19811983)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19841987, 19921993[6])
Miami Dolphins (1993
Atlanta Falcons (1998)
34,241 None
19 John Hadl San Diego Chargers (19621972)
Los Angeles Rams (19731974[7])
Green Bay Packers (19741975)
Houston Oilers (19761977)
33,503 None
20 Phil Simms New York Giants (19791993) 33,462 None
21 Steve Young Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19851986)
San Francisco 49ers (19871999)
33,124 2005
22 Troy Aikman Dallas Cowboys (19892000) 32,942 2006
23 Ken Anderson Cincinnati Bengals (19711986) 32,838 None
24 Sonny Jurgensen Philadelphia Eagles (19571963)
Washington Redskins (19641974)
32,224 1983
25 Mark Brunell Green Bay Packers (1994)
Jacksonville Jaguars (19952003)
Washington Redskins (20042007)[3]
31,826 Not applicable[4]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Rank is as of the conclusion of the 2006 season.
  2. ^ Total is through the conclusion of the 2006 season.
  3. ^ a b c d e Player was on an active roster during the 2007 season.
  4. ^ a b c d e f A player is not eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame until he has been fully retired for five calendar years or is deceased; player was not eligible for induction upon the commencement of the 2006 season.
  5. ^ Collins was traded during the pendency of the 1998 season; he played four games for the Panthers and seven for the Saints.
  6. ^ DeBerg was traded during the pendency of the 1993 season; he played three games for the Buccaneers and eight for the Dolphins.
  7. ^ Hadl was traded during the pendency of the 1974 season; he played six games for the Rams and eight for the Packers.

[edit] External links

Posted by maasx003 at 5:23 PM
December 15, 2007
Saturday Sports Talk

This coming Monday night the Vikes will play the Bears in what could be the biggest game in the series since the Mike Ditka era. Ditka hated the Dome and referred to it sarcastically with such nicknames as The Rollerdome, The Tinkerdome, The stockyard.

This will be another fun game to watch as the Bears play the Vikings in this building. The stories of their visits already approach renowned status. Many of the games have featured a circus atmosphere, with Ditka as ringmaster.

"[Mike] Ditka hated that place," former Bears receiver Tom Waddle said. "He wasn't real fond of indoor facilities anyway, but for whatever reason, he really hated that one. I didn't think it was all that bad. It did get awfully loud and was hard to breathe in there."

Bears games at the Dome were about Ditka and Vikings cheerleaders on roller skates. There were plastic cows, horses and pigs. In 1998 there was dancing and prancing at the end of a blowout.

The games have seen heartbreak for Vikings fans with a below par Jim McMahon producing a mind-blowing comeback. The games have also produced euphoria for fans of the Vikings as well. Especially when it involved seeing Ditka at his worst such as when he directed a tirade at Jim Harbaugh on the sideline after a Harbaugh audible resulted in an interception returned for a touchdown. That was perhaps the loudest I have ever heard the Dome and I swear the roof was going to come off. More on that later.

Although the Bears' first visit to the Metrodome was in 1982, the fun didn't start until Sept. 19, 1985, the third game of the Bears Super Bowl season. It was a rare Thursday night game, and McMahon had hurt his neck four days earlier and been put in traction. Then he developed an infection in his knee.

The Bears were losing 17-9 midway through the third quarter and McMahon was beseeching Ditka to let him play. Ditka relented and inserted McMahon who threw a touchdown bomb to Willie Gault on the first play. On his next play, McMahon threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Dennis McKinnon. Five plays later, he threw another touchdown to McKinnon. The Bears won 33-24. I was heartbroken.

The next significant episode came in December 1987, when Ditka said the Metrodome was only good for roller-skating and called it the Rollerdome. Ditka in later years developed other names for the Dome. He compared the stadium to a stockyard, and the Vikings put up plastic animals. He called it a Tinkerdome, and someone erected a Tinker Toys monument.

Someone sent Ditka some Rollerblades after his Rollerdome comment, and he rode them around his office for the TV cameras. During the game that Sunday, the Vikings' cheerleaders wore roller skates, as well as headbands and sunglasses to ridicule McMahon. The Bears went on to win 30-24 on Dec. 6 on a last-minute pass from Mike Tomczak to Dennis Gentry. Another heartbreaking loss for the Purple.

Then things changed for the Bears and Vikes fans. Things started to curdle for Ditka at the Metrodome on Oct. 4, 1992. The Bears were leading 20-0 when Harbaugh changed a call at the line of scrimmage. Ditka had instructed Harbaugh not to call any audibles because of the noise in the dome. No one heard the change.

Harbaugh's pass was intercepted by Todd Scott and run back for a touchdown. Ditka went wacky, screaming at Harbaugh on national TV and on the Metrodome scoreboard. It prompted the crowd to yell even louder and helped bury the Bears, who lost 21-20. The clash was seen as the unraveling of the Bears and also of Ditka, who was fired at the end of the season.

Then there was December 1, 1994. Two plays after the Bears' Kevin Butler missed a 40-yard field goal attempt in overtime, the Vikings' Warren Moon passed 65 yards to Cris Carter for a touchdown and an improbable 33-27 victory on a rare Thursday night game at the Metrodome. The victory pushed the Vikings into a first-place tie with the Bears. It was more significant because it gave the Vikings the tiebreaker on the Bears by virtue of their two victories in head-to-head games.

The most recent significant moment came on Dec. 6, 1998, when the Bears were faltering under Dave Wannstedt. The Vikings won the Sunday night game 48-22, and late in the blowout, the Vikings Dwayne Rudd recovered a fumble and ran 94 yards for a touchdown. He slowed at the 10 for some dancing, and then walked into the end zone.

I recall the better story that the Vikings John Randle sat on Bears quarterback Steve Stenstrom's head and asked him if he "had a Snickers bar because they'd be there awhile".... as Rudd ran the fumble back the length of the field. Ah, those were the days.

No one on the Bears team retaliated against Rudd. Wannstedt was gone soon thereafter. But bad blood from the Rudd episode lingered for years.

So what now? Will bad blood linger from Adrian Peterson embarrassing the Bears back in October?

No one is promoting more clowning around, but for the Bears at the Metrodome--plastic animals or not--the circus music always is playing. Expect nothing less this coming Monday night. Expect a lot of Adrian Peterson jumping into the stands (yes, that is yours truly in the purple suit just after AP's first TD of his career against the Falcons).

derek and brian 2.jpg




Jottings: Join the Vikings team on Facebook! Create waves, take Vikings trivia, look at photos, talk smack. Check out Facebook if you haven't already.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:44 AM
December 14, 2007
The Bears QB

I thought I'd put together a few choice photos of the man who will be leading the vaunted Bears offense during their visit to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome this coming Monday. This is the man who will stiffle the Vikings defense with his cunning, his leadership, his....ah hell, who am I fooling? This should be fun to watch the Vikings defense roll over Orton who will be looking for the nearest bar by half-time.

orton1.jpg

orton2.jpg

orton3.jpg

orton4.jpg

orton5.jpg

orton6.jpg

Posted by maasx003 at 1:41 AM
December 13, 2007
New Music Thursday

(Note: Those looking for the photo gallery from the Oakland game click here)

I only have one suggestion for this week's "New Music Thursday" and that is Mark Knopfler's Kill to Get Crimson.

QUICKLY go and get this new work from Knopfler. If you liked his winning 2006 collaboration with Emmylou Harris on All the Road Running, you will have a fabulous experience with it. Knopfler takes you, with every song, on a journey through a cast of characters, capturing mood, time and space, and even different eras. From the straight forward love ballad opening song: "True Love Will Never Fade", to the melodramatic "A Heart Full of Holes" with it's rising crescendo bridge, I consider this album an epic. Truly a masterpiece. But then, I've always liked Knopfler.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:28 AM
December 12, 2007
What to Watch Sunday

With the Vikings playing on Monday night, what does a football fanatic do this Sunday? You tune into the Patriots-Jets game, that's what. Why? Not because these teams hate each other, but because of the potential for some new NFL records to be set. Some of which are currently owned by the Vikings.

The record for points in a season (556) belongs to the 1998 Vikings, and the Patriots need just 54 more to move to the top of the list. I bet they could even do it by halftime Sunday against the Jets! To wit, the Patriots this season put up 56 on the Bills and 52 on the Redskins. They even put up 48, on the road, on the Cowboys, the so-called elite of the NFC.

The most points scored by one team in an NFL game is 72. The Washington Redskins beat the New York Giants, 72-41, on Nov. 27, 1966. The talk nationally is that the Patriots have their eye on that record as well.

Tom Brady needs five touchdown passes to break Peyton Manning’s single-season record of 49, and 990 yards to eclipse Dan Marino’s record for passing yardage in a season. At least Marino's record should be safe this Sunday....I think! Afterall, the Jets have the league's eleventh best pass defense.

Randy Moss needs four touchdown catches to break Jerry Rice’s single-season mark of 22. The all-time record for touchdown catches in a game is five. Hmmmm, I like Moss' chances.

If you liked watching Adrian Peterson set records earlier this season, tune into the Jets-Pats game Sunday and watch more records be eclipsed.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:26 AM
December 10, 2007
SI Names Two Vikes as Hidden Gems

Sports Illustrated has named its NFL Class of 2007 Hidden Gems and two Vikings made the top ten. We can expect a lot of awards and Pro Bowl berths in the coming weeks, so let's get started.

aundrae_allison(2).jpg

At number nine was Aundrae Allison, KR/WR, selected in the fifth round of the '07 draft. SI had this to say about Allison:

"Allison hasn't played much for the Vikings, but in a league where kick returner is rapidly becoming a vital position, several teams probably wish they had scooped up the former East Carolina receiver. Allison has three returns over 60 yards, including a 103-yard TD, and has averaged over 37 yards in 10 returns this season. He's still raw, but he seems to have a knack for making the big play."

brian_robison(2).jpg

At number five was Brian Robison, DE, selected in the fourth round of the '07 draft. SI writes:

"The former Texas star has 4 1/2 sacks this season and has added a lot of energy to a line that needed a lot of help rushing the passer."

That's great for our rookies, the Vikes draft gurus, and coaching staff. Congrats all!

Jottings: Anyone else see that Kyle Orton is starting at QB for the Bears Monday night? Remembeer this guy from the DeadSpin "Drunk on Display" article? This is what the Bears are bringing to town Monday? It just gets better and better.....The game between the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 23, a matchup with potential NFC playoff implications, will become the Sunday night game on NBC. So you now have an excuse to get out of that dreaded holiday party!....Anyone else see that Adrian Peterson is already the 5th best selling wall decal on Fathead? Has anyone ordered a Fathead decal yet? If so, how did you like it?

Posted by maasx003 at 9:25 PM
December 9, 2007
They're In

There are three tough games to be played. But two are home (Bears & Redskins) and one away (Broncos) while the Vikes wild-card opponents have equally or harder schedules to contend with. But after Sundays win over the Niners, here are things are stacking up:

Here is my post Week 14 final NFC playoff picture:

1) Dallas (15-1)
2) Green Bay (14-2)
3) Seattle (12-4)
4) Tampa Bay (11-5)
5) N.Y. Giants (11-5)
6) Vikings (10-6)

In a change from last week, I now have the Vikings falling from the 5th to the 6th seed. The Eagles made a game of it against the Giants but couldn't get 'er done. So the Giants will end up one game ahead of the Vikes. Fun games to watch in the coming weeks:

Week 15

Arizona at New Orleans: You probably cheer against the Saints in this one
Philly at Dallas: Root against the Eagles
Washington at Giants: Pretty clear by now we want the Redskins to score an upset if the Vikes are to have a chance to score the 5th seed.

Week 16

Philly at New Orleans: Cheer for the Eagles to beat the Saints.

Week 17

New England at Giants: This is where the Vikes could move into a tie with the G-Men if the Giants were to lose in week 15 (Redskins) or 16 (Bills)
New Orleans at Chicago: Go Bears.

Right now I have the Vikes as the 6th seed traveling to Seattle to open up the Wild Card playoffs. A very winnable game. The Seahawks have the NFL's 14th best run defense and the 21st best rushing offense.

Bunching up behind the Vikes will be in the wild-card run will be:

8-8 Record

New Orleans
Arizona

7-9 Records

Detroit

Who'd of thunk it only a month ago?

Posted by maasx003 at 6:39 PM
December 8, 2007
Saturday Sports Talk

It is colder that a witches behind in Minnesota this fine, sunny Saturday morning. We woke up to -4 degrees with the promise of more snow on the way. It feels like I've been moving snow every day this December. But while the state of Minnesota is in the deep freeze, the state's only legitimate sports team is just beginning to heat up. Here is what needs to happen Sunday for the Vikes to have a perfect day:

Early Games

Dallas at Detroit: The Cowboys have already clinched a playoff spot. They move one step closer to locking up home field throughout the NFC playoffs by clobbering the free-falling Lions. Key: the Lions drop to 6-7.

N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia: If you are like me and expect the Giants to go 2-2 over the last four games (giving the table running VIkes the 5th seed), you'll cheer for the Eagles. If not, then you'll cheer for Big Blue dropping the Eagles to 5-8 and taking them out of the playoff picture.

Late Games

Arizona at Seattle: The Vikes need the Cards to drop this one. Expect the Seahawks to play very well at home against the Kurt Warner led Cards....who might also be playing without Fitz and Boldin. Key: the Cards drop to 6-7.

Minnesota at San Francisco: The local talk has been that this would be a game the Vikes would lay an egg in. They played poorly in a 9-3 loss to the Niners last season. But the team and players are doing and saying all the right things. Pat "The Planet" Williams said earlier this week, "Everyone is going to have some fun. We've got our mind on this game." Key: Vikes improve to 7-6 and take sole possession of the 6th seed.

MNF

New Orleans at Atlanta: Reports are now circulating that Saints star RB, Reggie Bush, will miss the game against the Falcons and might be done for the season due to a partially torn left knee ligament. So you never kow, the Falcons could rally and surprise the Saints. Key: Saints fall to 5-8.

TV Viewing

It will be a great Sunday for watching some football. The champion channel clickers amongst us will be switching between the Vikes-Niners game and the Steelers-Patriots game. If the Pats are to lose their first game of the year, this is the one. The Pats are coming off a tough win over the Ravens and look to be reeling just a bit.

The Sunday night game pits the Baltimore Colts against the Cleveland Browns. Er, I mean the Indy Colts against the Baltimore Ravens. The history of the two franchises always means bad blood. Expect more of the same.

Must Read

The Greet Machine recently started a weekly "Knucklehead McSpazatron of the Week" theme at that blog. Sort of a take on Patrick Reusse's "Turkey of the Year" award. The first weeks award went to Torii Hunter. Check out who won the award in Week 2. Hint: It is Vikings related.


Posted by maasx003 at 9:03 AM
December 5, 2007
New Music Thursday

It won't always be Vikings talk here. I wil deviate from time to time to other topics. Especially as I decide if I will be back doing this blog on a regular, semi-regular, or rarely-regular basis.

I wanted to share some new music and bands with you. Some things you may or may not be aware of. First up is Super Furry Animals. This is a Welsh band and since my wife love to visit Wales we were naturally drawn to them. Sort of pop, sort of Beatles....well you decide.

Next up is a Brazilian singer named CéU. Great stuff for background music at dinner or sitting around the fire. Her music really grows on you.

And I may be behind on this band, but for those who have not heard of The Fratellis you need to stop and take a listen....or a look.

Got a band for me? Let me know and leave a comment.

Posted by maasx003 at 2:40 PM
December 4, 2007
Stadium Hopes?

There is a great recap over on the Greet Machine on the current state of Zygi's hope to build a new Vikings stadium. I don't think I can state this any better.

I especially like how the GM poses the question, "where will they move to?" As I suggested to the GM, I'd say we might even get a Buffalo (let's play a game in Canada, eh) situation where a few of the Vikes games are played outside in another city. Can you imagine the Vikes playing in the Fargo Dome?

But the GM is right. Where would they go if a stadium deal can't get done here? Las Vegas is just not ready. San Antonio is possible but that's something Dallas and Houston would not approve as that would eat into their market share.

Zygi will eventually sell. That's the key to look for. What will be the intent of the owner after Zygi? Keep the team here or buy with the intent to move? At least with Zygi, we have his promise to never move the team as long as he is owner.

Keep your chin up! Playoffs are coming!!!!

Posted by maasx003 at 10:26 AM
Rush

No, this blog entry is not going to be about the Canadian rock band. I just wanted to share some numbers with you on how dominant the Vikings rushing attack has been this season. To wit:

Rushing Yards

The Vikes lead the league with 2,122 yards. In second is Jacksonville with 1,692 yards.

Avg Rush Per Attempt

The Vikes lead the league with a 5.6 yard average. In second is Philadelphia with 4.5 yards

Rushing Yards per Game

The Vikes lead the league with 176.8 yards per game. In second is Jacksonville with 141 yards per game.

Rushing TD's

The Vikes lead the league with 17 rushing touchdowns. In second is Indy with 15

Rushing First Downs

The Vikes lead the league with 105 rushing first downs. In second is Indy with 98.

Rushes for Greater than 20-yards

The Vikes have sixteen rushes for greater than 20-yards. Ten of those were by Adrian Peterson. In second is Pittsburgh with fourteen.

Rushes for Greater than 40-yards

The Vikes have five rushes for greater than 40-yards. All five were by Adrian Peterson. In second is Jacksonville with four.

That is a very impressive rushing attack. And in case you were wondering, the Vikes next four games face these rushing defenses:

San Francisco: Currently 26th against the rush
Chicago: Currently 27th against the rush
Washington: Currently 10th against the rush
Denver: Currently 31st against the rush

So, those numbers are only going to get better.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:17 AM
December 2, 2007
Shock the World?

I really hate it when athletes talk about "shocking the world". Like the kids in Ethopia are really sitting on pins and needles awaiting the the score of the Browns-Cardinals game. Heck, did you know that England shocked the world earlier this year by beating Australia 12-10 in October in the World Rugby Cup? Yeah, I bet you are still shocked over that one. Riiigghhhht.

But, Vikings fans are currently in a state of shock around the world. Once standing at 3-6 with no hope of making the playoffs the team has won three straight to climb back to 6-6 and actually gain some control of their own destiny. And I received this e-mail from Mike Salmon....of England.... a few hours after the Vikes demolished the Detroit Lions 42-10:

42 to 10 ... made my Sunday, well the highlights did. Adrian Petersen looked good, with no ill effects form his injury, I love the way he runs AT people and the the little "right, left, right" shoulder shimmy he does to throw off defenders. The Vikings are now 6-6 and certainly seem to have gathered some momentum over the last few weeks, looking to get in the playoff race for sure. Okay, I know that Detroit are sliding backwards and they did play poorly, with some awful coverage on their defence, but hey .... a win is a win.

And Mike is no ordinary Vikings fan having held Randy Moss in his arms not all that long ago. That's Mike in the purple hat in the photo below.

img36 big.jpg

Well, Mike. How's this for shocking? I now project the Vikings as not only making the playoffs but making the playoffs as the #5 seed.

(Pause for dramatic effect.)

Here is my post Week 13 final NFC playoff picture:

1) Dallas
2) Green Bay
3) Seattle (hold tie-breaker over the Bucs)
4) Tampa Bay
5) Vikings
6) N.Y. Giants

In a change from last week, I now have the Vikings running the table (I'm giddy!) and finishing up with a 10-6 record. The road will be tough with the Bears MNF game looming large in a few weeks. And there will be plenty of key games for Vikings fans to watch in the coming weeks.

Week 14

Chicago at Washington: You cheer for the Redskins to beat up the Bears
Giants at Philly: Really, it doesn't matter who wins as either team losing helps the Vikes

Week 15

Arizona at New Orleans: You probably cheer against the Saints in this one
Philly at Dallas: Root against the Eagles
Washington at Giants: Pretty clear by now we want the Redskins to score an upset

Week 16

Philly at New Orleans: Too far out to know which team we want. We do know it may be important

Week 17

New England at Giants: This is where the Vikes move into a tie with the G-Men
New Orleans at Chicago: Go, oh Hell, I don’t know any more.

Right now I have the Vikes as the 5th seed traveling to Tampa to open up the Wild Card playoffs. A very winnable game. The Vikes can afford to drop one game, maybe two. This is a team who has the leading run offense and run defense. The Vikes will be on every analyst’s lips as a team to fear in the playoffs. Bunching up behind the Vikes will be:

8-8 Record

Philadelphia (hold tie-breaker over Vikes)
New Orleans
Arizona

7-9 Records

Detroit

And don’t forget about the Bears but the Vikes do hold the tie-breaker currently.

That's it for now. I have to check flights to Tampa in early January.

Posted by maasx003 at 4:47 PM