January 2008 Archives
January 31, 2008
Rush has a Point

Yeah, I know. It is Super Bowl week and I'm now posting another political blog entry. I dunno, maybe my hormones are out of whack and before you know it I'll be hiking my pants up to my armpits and spouting about, "those young whippersnappers and their damn skateboards."

My guy, Rudy-Rudy-Rudy has dropped out of the race leaving us with Senator John McCain as the likely elephant candidate. I like the guy...I just can't get excited about him. And it is that apathy that worries me. How many other conservative types will not bother to vote come November and make it easy for the donkey's to regain the White House (and I'm not saying that's bad....just that I don't swing that way any more).

There was one voice in the wilderness that was able to summarize my frustration: Mr. Rush Limbaugh. I don't always agree with Rush.....but he nailed it Wednesday and I bring that summary here for you to peruse and comment on. Enjoy! Maybe we'll talk pigskin later this week.

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now from EIB Election Headquarters: Rush Limbaugh is about to make an important statement.

AUDIENCE: (sounds of milling about)

RUSH: (tapping the microphone)

RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen?

AUDIENCE: (applause)

RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you. Thank you very much for coming. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

AUDIENCE: Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush!

RUSH: No, no, no, no. No. Thank you. Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, to all of those gathered here -- my loyal staff, my enthusiastic supporters, those of you who spread the word to every neighborhood, every precinct -- thank you. Thank you so much for all of your tireless hard work. We all work tirelessly, even I. I personally travel from my home to my studio, and back -- and I travel from my Florida studio to my New York studio. But, alas, we did not win. Now, I know that there are reports of campaign irregularities, but I want to point out to all of you: This is no time to quit. This is no time to feel down. This is no time to feel defeated. (wild applause and cheers) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. The same media... (boos) The same media that could not call New Hampshire right still... (boos) Ladies and gentlemen, please. The same media that couldn't call New Hampshire right still shamelessly in the prediction game, is predicting my demise and your demise. (boos) But I say, "Bah!" The same media that's losing circulation and readers and viewers and respect (applause) is predicting my demise.

AUDIENCE: Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush!

RUSH: Thank you. Thank you.

AUDIENCE: Rush! Rush! Rush!

RUSH: Thank you. Thank you. We did not win. But we did not and we have not lost. I know of all these reports of campaign irregularities. It has been revealed and documented, ladies and gentlemen. My name was left off the ballots in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties, Broward County. (boos) My name was not to be found on the ballots in Orlando, Jacksonville, in Tampa, St. Pete. (boos) No, no, no, no. Elections are what they are, and one thing we know is there will always be another. This election might have been stolen from us, ladies and gentlemen, but let me assure you we will not -- I repeat -- we will not. We will not pull an Algore and sue anybody. (applause) We will not look at hanging chads, nor lawyers, no lawsuits. Thank you.


AUDIENCE: (cheers and applause)

RUSH: Thank you. Thank you. (cheers and applause) Thank you.

RUSH BABE: We love you, Rush!

RUSH: Thank you. I love you, too.

AUDIENCE: Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush!

RUSH: My friends, my friends, there is reason for optimism, there is reason for hope. By the way: "Change" is a stupid slogan, and so is "hope," but I know some of you want hope. Be of good cheer. From the shadows of this setback, let me offer this uplifting thought. In Florida, half the liberals voted for Mrs. Clinton. One-third of the Republicans voted for Senator McCain. Our friends in the media predicting my demise (boos) talk about how conservatism is dead. Let me ask a simple question, ladies and gentlemen. Why is it that all of the Republican candidates claim, to now carry the mantle of Ronald Reagan? Senator McCain is the most recent. "McCain Claims Conservative Mantle." Said McCain (doing McCain impression), "It shows one thing: I'm the conservative leader who can unite the party." How can I be said to have lost, ladies and gentlemen, when what I stand for is rock-ribbed conservatism, and each one of these candidates -- each one of them flawed, by the way, which has caused many conservatives to be wandering aimlessly in the electoral woods. How can it be said that I have lost or that conservatism has lost, when all of our Republican candidates claim to be conservative and to carry the conservative mantle?

AUDIENCE: Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush!

RUSH: In fact, it looks to me like Fred Barnes' candidate, Rudy Giuliani, has now dropped out. It looks like David Brooks' candidate, Mike Huckabee, has no traction -- he hasn't won anything since Iowa -- and he needs to get out. Tom Brokaw's candidate, Hillary Clinton, she's in deep trouble going into Super Tuesday. The race card didn't work. She needs the "firewall" of the Latino vote. But Tom Brokaw's candidate is floundering. Tim Russert's candidate, Barack Obama, seems to be doing better than expected. Good for you, Tim. I'm proud of you. Olbermann's candidate, Kucinich, is now gone. He's back in Ohio, trying to keep his seat against a primary challenger. Mort Kondracke's candidate, Ron Paul, gets weirder by the minute. (boos) Thank you. And I want to stress once again, ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you for your support, and I want to assure you that I cannot -- and I will not -- leave the Golden EIB Microphone. (applause) I will not retire. I will not concede. (cheers and applause) I will not drift away! I will not fade away, until every American agrees with me --

AUDIENCE: Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush!

RUSH: -- as I have always said.

AUDIENCE: (cheers and applause)

AUDIENCE: Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush!


RUSH: Thank you. Thank you. (wild cheering) Here is the bottom line, ladies and gentlemen. I think this is it. There was a lot of anxiety among a lot of conservatives about Senator McCain. It's simply indisputable. But there was no figure in our roster of candidates who rose up to challenge him or galvanize conservative support. All the candidates on our side, for various reasons, are uninspiring or worse -- and so, just as I predicted, the base has fractured. Some going here, some going there. Senator McCain's been able to cobble together enough votes to win in a few states. Fine. He deserves credit for that. But to pretend that Senator McCain is the choice of conservatives when exit poll data from every primary state show just the opposite... He is not the choice of conservatives, as opposed to the choice of the Republican establishment -- and that distinction is key. The Republican establishment, which has long sought to rid the party of conservative influence since Reagan, is feeling a victory today as well as our friends in the media. But both are just far-fetched and wrong. Thank you. Thank you very much for your steadfast support, and I trust it shall continue because I shall.

AUDIENCE: (applause) Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush! Rush!

RUSH: Thank you.

AUDIENCE: Rush! Rush!

RUSH: Thank you.

RUSH BABE: We love you, Rush!

AUDIENCE: (applause)

RUSH: What is that, Mr. Snerdley? What do you mean, "How do I keep going?" (tearing up) How...? How...? How do I do this? (voice breaking) You know...I have such a... a vision for this country. (sniffling) I...

HILLARY: I have so many opportunities from this country. (voice breaking) I just don't want to see us fall backwards. (crying) No.

AUDIENCE: (smattering of applause)

HILLARY (emotional): So, it's not just political. It's not just public. I see what's happening. We have to reverse it. (quivering voice) And some people think elections are a game. They think it's like who's up or who's down.

RUSH: (sobbing) I don't want to fall backwards, either. (sniffle) Do you think this will help me with the women's vote?

END TRANSCRIPT

Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 1:01 AM
January 30, 2008
Chip on North Dakota's Shoulder

First,let me state upfront that I'm a born & bred raised North Dakotan. From the thriving metropolis of Jamestown; current population 15471 and stagnant. Go Blue Jays!

But my home state had its collective pride stung recently when National Geographic did a unsavory piece...dirty buggers as my Grandma would say....called the "Emptied Prairie".

The article portrays North Dakota as a state littered with dead towns. Recently, the state's governor sent a letter to the magazine's Editor-in-Chief inviting a crew back to cover what he says the article left out.

North Dakota governor's letter to National Geographic

January 18, 2008

Dear Mr. Johns:

The recent article about North Dakota in the January 2008 issue of National Geographic was way off the mark. To give the magazine's readers a more accurate picture of our state, I've asked our Commerce Commissioner and Tourism Director to contact your editors and invite you back to cover what you left out - the fact that North Dakota is a growing 21st Century state with a bright future.

What you left out is the fact that North Dakota has a growing economy, well educated citizens, low crime, great infrastructure and one of the cleanest environments in America. All this adds up to a great quality of life. Our cities are growing, and our rural areas are finding new ways to create jobs and opportunities for our people.

For example, new ethanol and biodiesel facilities are transforming rural communities like Richardton, Underwood, Hankinson, Casselton, and Velva. Just a few years ago, North Dakota produced less than 40 million gallons of ethanol a year. With these new facilities, we will produce half a billion gallons. Your article also makes mention of the "moan of the wind" on the prairie, but that same wind is on its way to producing nearly 1000 megawatts of clean renewable energy on commercial wind farms across North Dakota.

In addition, Dakota Growers Pasta, a native North Dakota company, is now the third largest pasta manufacturer in North America, and other value-added enterprises like it are helping agriculture in North Dakota change and grow.

These are all small town, rural enterprises that reflect the spirit and ingenuity we have in North Dakota. Your article featured the small town of Mott, N.D., but failed to mention that every fall it is a destination for pheasant hunters from around the country and around the world. It's ironic that you represented this town with a photo of an abandoned homestead, when a more revealing image for your readers might have been a photo of sports fans lining the highway for 18 miles last year to cheer on the local football team, the Wildfire, on its way to the state championship games in Fargo.

Whether it's tourism, agriculture, energy, manufacturing or technology, North Dakota is moving forward. We're home to innovative firms like Microsoft Business Solutions, a subsidiary of Microsoft, which now employs 1,400 people at its Fargo campus. The company is currently expanding and will add nearly 500 more employees by 2010. Other companies, like Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing, Goodrich, Cirrus and Aerosmith are working to manufacture technically advanced components for the U.S. military and aviation industry.

As a consequence, we've created thousands of new jobs and careers. Our research universities and Centers of Excellence are creating the businesses and products of the future; our manufacturing sector is one of only a handful in the country that's expanding; and our energy sector is supplying the nation with clean, efficient energy, from both renewable and traditional sources.

For all of these reasons, and more, North Dakota is garnering national attention as a great place to live and work. This year Forbes Magazine has ranked the state of North Dakota 9th among all states for Business and Careers. Among 180 cities nationwide, Bismarck ranked 2nd and Fargo 4th. Most recently, the Beacon Hill Institute last month announced that North Dakota ranked 4th among all states for competitiveness - 1st in infrastructure and 4th in human resources.

There is certainly growth and opportunity in North Dakota these days, but more importantly, there is a mood of optimism across the land. At the same time, we are working hard to take our efforts to the next level, and an article that showcases the spirit, inventiveness and progress we're making would certainly be in order. I encourage you to take a broader look at our state and help us convey to the world what North Dakotans already know: that North Dakota is a great place in which to live, work, visit, study, have fun, and do business.

Sincerely,

John Hoeven Governor

This has become big national news. ABC has taken North Dakota under its wing. Did you watch the ABC news on Friday night? Check it out!

Tuesday night they aired yet another piece on the on going saga of National Geographic.

Let that be a lesson to National Geographic and their editorial board! Maybe next time, they'll paint a truer picture!

Just how cold is it here? Not so bad actually. I mean, Monday it was a balmy 46-degrees here in my Minnesota suburb. Tuesday (that's 24-hours later) it was a refreshing -1 with a windchill factor of -26. Even this polar bear (video taken in my backyard) was too warm. Better than Fargo, North Dakota where it on Tuesday it was -12 with a wind chill of -41....at 3 pm in the afternoon with the sun still up!

I hope I don't get a letter from the NoDak governor.....

Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 1:00 AM
January 29, 2008
Nut Job of the Week

I don't believe that selecting a Viking Underground Nut Job of the Week will become a weekly award. But every now and then I'll toss it out there when the opportunity presents itself. And there are a lot of nut jobs running around in the sports world this week.

First up, you have Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins. Joe Gibbs decided to return to NASCAR and has left the team without a coach. Not only should Snyder have seen this coming and had a short list of candidates, he has chosen to put the horse before the cart and hired new offensive and defensive coordinators without a head coach in place! No "great" coach is going to be interested the job if he will be unable to run the show. The heir apparent, former Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, was interviewed four times and then promptly fired. Yep, Snyder is a strong candidate for this week's Nut Job award.

Next up is Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones. Jones deserves consideration for having the same plastic surgeon as Michael Jackson but that's not why he's being thrown in the mix this week. ESPN's Chris Mortensen suggested during a special edition of Sunday NFL Countdown that Jones is eyeing the possibility of swinging a trade with the Dolphins for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft. The trade would send Marion Barber to the 'Fins in return for the #1 overall pick in which Jones would select Arkansas running back Darren McFadden. Yeah, trade a Pro Bowl running back that was under-used (and obviously under-appreciated) for an unproven rookie that would command huge signing money. Jerry Jones, Nut Job candidate #2.

Our next Nut Job candidate is playing in the Super Bowl this coming Sunday. Let me introduce you to Giants offensive lineman Grey Ruegamer. What has Ruegamer done to have me place him on the short list? Um, before we go further, please send any young children away. Okay, here we go. Ruegamer admits that he once assisted in the castration of 200 young lambs. And he accomplished the task without the aid of any tools or knives or other instruments. He used his teeth.

"You grab the forelegs and pin them to the ground, and then you grab the back legs and throw them on their back," Ruegamer said. "[A]way you go. It's the way the Basques do it. . . . [Y]ou pull them out with your teeth, spit them in a bucket, next one."

All fine candidates for the VU Nut Job of the Week but there is one nut job that has been, well, nutty as a fruit cake for a long time. And that person deserves the award this week not only based on past merit but for recent events.

gif animation

Earlier this week Raiders owner Al Davis asked head-coach Lane Kiffin to resign. Big Al even went as far as to write the letter himself. All Kiffin had to do was sign. Kiffin refused.

Want to know what's even crazier? There are reports that Davis is considering hiring Dennis Green to be the new head coach. Green is YouTubes nut job #1.

But back to Big Al. Think this guy has a screw loose?

Kiffin has been the Raiders' coach for one year, which followed the one-year tenure of Art Shell, which followed the two-year tenure of Norv Turner, which followed the two-year tenure of Bill Callahan. Since moving back to Oakland from L.A. in 1995, the Raiders have had six head coaches. They also had a bad boy that only "played when he wanted to play" and knew when it was time to get out. How did that work out for ya Randy?

Yep, Al Davis has taken down the once great Oakland Raider franchise. Black hole indeed.

Did I miss anyone? Let me know of any other nut jobs out there. Leave a comment.

Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 1:00 AM
January 26, 2008
Leader of the Free World

I consider myself something of a presidential historian. This fascination with U.S. Presidents started in grade school when I picked up my first book on past leaders. Jump forward forty years and I still am a sucker for books on the past leaders of the free world. My last such read was The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey which provided additional information on Teddy Roosevelt that I didn't already know.

One would think that all this knowledge would mean I can really pick 'em when it comes to voting in our presdential elections. Nothing could be farther from the truth. At great risk of embarrassing myself, here is my past voting history:

1980
Ronald Reagan - Republican
Jimmy Carter - Democrat
John B. Anderson - Independent

In my very first vote for president, this 19-year old know-it-all voted for the peanut farmer from Georgia. Hey! The man had seen UFO's. I was sold and I was 0-1 out of the chute. And I was not even close.

1984
Ronald Reagan - Republican
Walter F. Mondale - Democrat

Four years wiser and went to the polls and voted for the guy from Minnesota. Seemed honest, but maybe too honest.

And I found myself 0-2. After moving to metropolitan Washington D.C., I came to appreciate Reagan and consider him one of the three greatest U.S. presidents.

1988
George H. Bush - Republican
Michael S. Dukakis - Democrat

I was now living in Texas and should have known better. But in my third time at the polls I stayed true to my democratic upbringing and voted for Dukakis. I mean, the man looked pretty good riding around in that tank.

I was starting to think I might not ever vote for an actual presidential winner. I now stood at 0-3.

1992
William J. Clinton - Democrat
George H. Bush - Republican
H. Ross Perot - Independent

I was now living in Minnesota. I was married. My positive feelings about the Democratic party were beginning to unravel. I found Bush to be dull and he wasn't giving me the answers I was looking for. I was very, very angry at both parties. I revolted. I placed my first and only "protest" vote and voted for Perot. I mean, the man had charts. Very nice charts....and a crazy aunt in the attic.

I was now 0-4 on the loser scale.

1996
William J. Clinton - Democrat
Robert J. Dole - Republican
H. Ross Perot - Independent

In 1996 I was firmly turning conservative. I was now thirty-five years old and I was tired of having to pay for every damn program the liberals could think of. So I placed my first vote for the Elephant candidate. I mean, Bob Dole had that presidential quality, right?

0-5 for presidents. I was starting to laugh about it.

2000
George W. Bush - Republican
Albert A. Gore - Democrat
Ralph Nader - Independent

I now had a child. I was listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. I wanted the Dems out of the White House. I voted Bush. I was now 1-5. It remains to be seen if I actually "won" or not.

2004
George W. Bush - Republican
John F. Kerry - Democrat

There was no way I was going to vote for Frenchy. I kept true to the Republicans and voted for Bush a second time. I recall staying up very late to watch the electoral totals in Ohio. Can I get back to .500?

It is now 2008. I am back to being disgusted with both parties and the state of politics in America. I'm not sure when I'll make up my mind on who I'll vote for but it is wide-open currently.

It is early yet, but by all accounts Hillary Clinton and John McCain are starting to get hot. Sort of like the Giants heading into the playoffs. You want to be on a roll when it counts and Super Tuesday is right around the corner.

And maybe a Clinton vs. McCain race wouldn't be a mud-slinging type of affair and bring a presidential campaign back to respectability, which would be refreshing for America....don't you think. The two certainly admire each other.

mch.jpg

So, leave a comment and help me decide. Swing me one way or the other. If you force an answer from me at this very moment I would commit to Rudy-Rudy-Rudy Giuliani as he is at least promoting some new ideas rather than just the typical non-answer blather we're getting pre-convention at the moment. Giuliani has a plan for the largest tax cut in American history that will simplify the tax code, allowing tax payers to file on a single piece of paper and create new jobs.

My 2008 and future presidential predictions? Here you go. Lock these in. I mean, look at my track record!!!

2008 - Hillary Clinton
2012 - Hillary Clinton
2016 - Jeb Bush
2020 - Jeb Bush
2024 - Chelsea Clinton
2026 - Chelsea Clinton

Have a good one! We'll shoot for some football talk soon.


Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 12:05 PM
January 23, 2008
Cold Day, Hot Video

The week is just flying by. I have a case of writers block in addition to a very busy work schedule. It is still frozen here in the Minnesota Tundra so in order to warm you up I have created a new VU YouTube video. This one is a collection of my personal photos from the Vikes 29-22 win over the Raiders on November 18, 2007.

Enjoy!

Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 9:25 AM
January 22, 2008
More Good from Giants Big Win

I've only time for a quick blurb. My son was giddy for the Giants win over the Packers Sunday night for numerous reasons. One: I allowed him to stay up late to watch the whole game. He was doubly excited when the game went into overtime as that meant he could stay up even later!

Two: For some reason, my son is a die-hard Vikes fan and abhors the Packers. I can't quite figure that one out ;)

Three: His second grade class held a contest. The children were asked who they thought would win the NFC Championship game. The losing side would then be required to perform six "real" pushups and thirty situps. Only two people selected the Giants, my son and his best friend. And today is the day that the "losers" have to perform these feats. My son plans to do the Nelson voice (Ha-Ha) from the Simpsons the whole time these exercises are being performed. That would have been a great one for YouTube.

Anyone else have a bet with a Cheeser go your way? If so, leave a comment and tell us about it!

Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 10:39 AM
January 21, 2008
Favre Exposed

Just a week ago Tony Romo was chastised for taking a trip to Mexico with Jessica Simpson. Simpson and Romo werer spotted everywhere from snuggling together in the back of an SUV, to sunbathing on the patio of their luxurious beach digs.

Dallas then lost to the New York Giants and many 'Boy's fans and even some teammates accused Romo of not having his head on straight for a playoff game.

In overtime on Sunday night, the NFL's all-time interceptions leader choked away a potential Super Bowl appearance by tossing a interception in O.T. costing the Packers a trip to Arizona and allowing the NFC's fifth seed, the Giants, to advance.

Some wonder if Favre had his head on straight. Had Favre taken a sunny vacation? The Viking Underground sent out its best undercover reporters to uncover the truth. The following video link will shock you. If may even disturb you. But it clearly exposes Favre as being ill-prepared for the NFC title game.

Favre exposed

(Note: Do to heavy traffic, please allow 10-30 seconds for the video to start. Please be patient. The video isn't over until the music stops!)

Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 2:28 AM
HOF Color of Choice: Purple

Breaking: This just in to the VU. Coach Brad Childress has been seen in the Swiss Alps learning special dancing techniques that he hopes endears him to the fans in 2008. Chili has been viewed as a cold fish. Take a look at this two dance segments and think again. (Note: Wait for the flash to engage..usually in just a few secs after you have clicking on these links)

Chili Moves One

Chili Moves Two

This year's class at the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions in Canton, Ohio should have a distinctive purple hue to it.

At the top of the list for possible Vikings inductee's is Cris Carter who is one reception away from Canton.

Carter, 42, was named as one of 17 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. The class of 2008 will be announced Feb. 2, the day before the Super Bowl. Carter played 16 seasons in the NFL for three different teams (Philadelphia, Minnesota and Miami). He ranks second on the NFL's all-time list in total receptions (1,101) and receiving touchdowns (130). Carter, who was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s, was selected to play in eight Pro Bowls (1993-2000 seasons).

I don't see how in the world they can keep him out of Canton. The only thing that could hold Carter back is that it is difficult to be voted in during the first year of eligibility. A minimum of four and maximum of seven finalists can be chosen. To be elected, a finalist must receive 80 percent of the 44 votes from the Hall's Board of Selectors.

The other finalists are Fred Dean, Richard Dent, Marshall Goldberg, Randy Gradishar, Darrell Green, Russ Grimm, Ray Guy, Bob Kuechenberg, Art Monk, Andre Reed, Paul Tagliabue, Derrick Thomas and Emmitt Thomas, Andre Tippett and former Vikings Gary Zimmerman and Randall McDaniel.

Last year McDaniel missed the cut in his first year of eligibility. A true travesty and I look for McDaniel to be a finalist this year and be inducted this year. Gary Zimmerman did make the cut but fell short of induction. McDaniel belongs over Zimmerman in my mind.

Consider: Randall McDaniel has embodied the characteristics that define Hall of Famers. The NFL’s Record and Fact Book is 784 pages long. On Page 750, the league lists the records for the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. In the very first category, the first record listed is service (games played). One name sits atop the list – Randall McDaniel with 12 Pro Bowl games played.

While the numbers are compiled from 1971-2006 and don’t include the 14 selections for Merlin Olsen or the 12 for Ken Houston, nobody in the modern era played in more Pro Bowls than McDaniel – Reggie White was selected 13 times but played in 11, Jerry Rice was selected 13 times but played in 10 and Bruce Matthews was selected 14 times but played in 10 games.

One would think that in the only honor that distinguishes individual play, that the Pro Bowl would be the benchmark for induction into the Hall of Fame. It would seem that, like Vikings that have preceded him, not playing in a Super Bowl – a team achievement – is what prevented him from being on the first ballot.

Only seven offensive linemen have been elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot –- Forrest Gregg, Jim Otto, Jim Langer, Gene Upshaw, John Hannah, Anthony Munoz and Jackie Slater. What do they all have in common? They played in at least one Super Bowl. Coincidence? Don’t bet on it.

Of the offensive linemen that made the cut of 17, all of them share the same history of having played in at least one Super Bowl or NFL Championship Game – Bruce Matthews, Russ Grimm, Gene Hickerson, Bob Kuechenberg and Zimmerman.

While this doesn’t mean that McDaniel won’t eventually get the call to the Hall, it is disheartening to think that, of the ultimate individual honor in a team sport, that the Vikings' inability to get to a Super Bowl would be the biggest stumbling block for McDaniel to get the recognition he so richly deserves. He couldn’t have done anything more to deserve induction in his career and was acknowledged by his peers as the best guard of his era. Unfortunately, it’s going to take longer than some had figured it would for McDaniel to end up in Canton. I do think it will happen this year.

But back to CC. I remember being at the game on November 30, 200 when Cris Carter caught the 1,000th pass of his career for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions on a rare Thursday night game. Going into the game, Carter needed five receptions against the Lions to become the second player in NFL history with 1,000 catches. Jerry Rice has 1,259.

From my end zone I can still see the Vikings marching to a score on the opposite side of the field. I was nervously watching the clock tick down to the end of the first quarter as Carter caught his fourth pass of the game, and 999th of his career, at the Lions' 4 on the final play of the. That meant the team would be trying to score right in front of me as they switched direction.

The Vikings went back to Carter on the first play of the second quarter. The following play took place right in front of me: Carter beat safety Kywin Supernaw in the end zone and caught a four-yard pass from Daunte Culpepper to give the Vikings a 14-0 lead. And Carter had his 1000th catch followed by a hug from the Super Freak (Randy Moss) and a huge celebration.

In honor of that event, I was able to locate my own personal photos from that game and put together the following YouTube video:

My prediction is that McDaniel and Carter make the hall along with Green and Tagliabue. Yours? Vote for each person you think should be inducted:

Which Belong in Canton?
Select each name you think belongs in the HOF
Cris Carter
Fred Dean
Richard Dent
Marshall Goldberg
Randy Gradishar
Darrell Green
Russ Grimm
Ray Guy
Bob Kuechenberg
Randall McDaniel
Art Monk
Andre Reed
Paul Tagliabue
Derrick Thomas
Emmitt Thomas
Andre Tippett
Gary Zimmerman
Poll starter: Mr. COD See Results

Looking Like No London Game

There is a huge Vikings fan base in Great Britain. They were hoping that the Vikings might be selected to participate in a follow-up event to the 2007 regular season's game between the Giants and Dolphins held at London's Wembley Stadium. The New York Giants beat the Miami Dolphins 13-10 in front of 81,176 fans on Oct. 28.

Instead of regal purple, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head a list of four teams under consideration to play in the NFL's 2008 game in the United Kingdom, a league source said Sunday. The source identified the Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks as the leading candidates for the international series game to be played in the United Kingdom, probably in October.

The site of the game is undecided as the league is looking at two or three large stadium venues, as well as Wembley Stadium. The teams, date and venue will be announced during Super Bowl week late this month or in early February.

Wembley officials weren't so ecstatic because the game, played through a persistent drizzle, tore up the field and left it in rough shape for England's crucial European Championship qualifier against Croatia on Nov. 21. The English lost that game 3-2 and failed to qualify for Euro 2008. Besides Wembley, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, is another possible venue for next season's game.

I actually would prefer Cardiff over London should the Vikes be involved in a overseas game. The Millennium Stadium is a beautiful facility and we have close friends in Cardiff as well. And Wales is simply a lovely country to travel in and visit.

Here's to hoping for a Vikes game in Great Britian in 2009.

Movie Recommendation

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After watching so much football in January, you'll need to do something with your significant other. Mrs. Cheer Or Die and I watched Sweet Land this past weekend and our expectations were blown out of the water. By the end, Mrs. COD was in tears and I was a little verklempt myself. Since this movie takes place in rural Minnesota just after the turn of 1900's it resonated with us as we could have been watching a documentary on our respective grandparents. I wouldn't call this a chick-flick but it is a love story. Give it a whirl. From IMDb:

A young Inge Alltenburg travels to Minnesota in the 1920's to marry Olaf Torvik, a Norwiegan man who lives there. It is Inge's story of not being able to marry Olaf due to there different citizenship's, and not being accepted because of the war with Germany. Over time she learns English and befriends Olaf, Frances, and Frances' family. As Inge buries her husband Olaf on their Minnesota farm in 1968, we relive her life story as she tells her grown grandson about how she arrived from Germany in 1920 as Olaf's postal bride and of the obstacles they overcame in order to marry.
Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 1:00 AM
January 19, 2008
Slow As Molasses in January

It's one day before the NFL Championship games. Should I run to the beach for a quick dip? Mow the lawn? Wash the car? Um, no. You see, when Mr. Cheer Or Die woke up this morning the outside temperature was minus 11 degrees with a little bit of a breeze bringing the windchill to minus 22. I use to love it....now I hate it.

So, instead I bundled up and went for a run. Yep, I even wear Vikings colors when I exercise.

Actually, it wasn't all that bad and I actually overdressed. You heard that correctly, running in a minus 22 degree windchill was "nice." The worst part is that I've been fighting a nagging right calf pull the last few weeks and my mileage has dropped way off. That's going to hurt me when triathlon/duathlon season opens up in April.

At least I have been able to test out two Xmas gifts: the Nike Amp+ and the Nike Hatphones. The Amp+ is a wireless device you wear on a wrist which provides feedback as you run. I recommend both products highly other than being overpriced.

For those fellow runners who use the Nike + iPod Sport Kit, be sure and sign into my current Nike challenges which can be located on the right navigation area of this blog. Nothing like being miserable together!

We've also been extremely busy with Cub Scouts. There was the recent pinewood derby annual event in which COD Jr. won the Wolves den division, much to the surprise and joy of his father. And then there was a recent visit to our local fire station to learn valuable safety tips and learn more about firefighters. Three YouTube videos are available should you have a lad in scouts and are interested in watching.

Finally this week was car problems, possibly brought on by the cold weather. I own two BMW's and have nothing but praise for my dealership, BMW Motorwerks, quite possibly the best dealership in the upper midwest if not the country. And I don't tout that lightly. Take a virtual tour to see the dealership for yourself.

I had been out in my sedan Friday morning for coffee. On the way back home my "Service Engine Soon" light came on. Since it was a yellow indicator light I knew I could keep driving it and I took it straight to the dealer. With no appointment, I figured it would be sitting there for a while. But Saturday morning I received a call that the car was ready for pick-up. They had replaced my ignition coil and two cylinders that had been misfiring. Since my car was out of warranty I expected as big bill. I ended up paying $0. That's right, a major repair was covered by the dealership under "good will", the second such time that I have been extended such a perk. The other time was replacing a single Xenon headlight that would have otherwise cost me a cool $900. That's something that just doesn't happen every day in corporate America where nickels are thrown around like man-hole covers.

My salesperson at Motorwerks BMW is also great to work with. When I dropped my car off for service Friday, she saw me and came over to greet me by first name even though she had not seen me since I purchased a Z4 from her two years earlier. So, here's to the team at BMW Motorwerks!!

Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 12:37 PM
January 18, 2008
Leave a Caption: Friday

You know the drill (see Tuesday and Wednesday).

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Classic Story

Thanks to Kevin for giving me a heads-up on this Green Bay Packers dad who took it to extremes with his son. Of course, the typical Packer fan would just say this is "funny." I don't think so.

Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 1:00 AM
January 17, 2008
Leave a Caption: Thursday

You know the drill (see Tuesday and Wednesday).

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Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 1:00 AM
January 16, 2008
Leave a Caption: Wednesday

Because I am old and bitter..and also very short of time this week...I plan to post a classic Packer related photo each day this week. I ask that you take a moment and leave a witty-funny-pithy comment as to a possible caption for each photo.

Today's photo: what's your suggested caption? Notice the hand placement!

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Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 1:00 AM
January 15, 2008
Leave a Caption

Because I am old and bitter..and also very short of time this week...I plan to post a classic Packer related photo each day this week. I ask that you take a moment and leave a witty-funny-pithy comment as to a possible caption for each photo.

A new videocast should be up in time for the championship games this weekend. Other than that, I'm working on getting Billy Volek for the Vikes via trade (straight up for Troy Williamson) and assisting in locating an anger management course for Mr. Phil Rivers who has become the leading candidate for As**ole of the Year.

Today's photo: what's your suggested caption?

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Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 1:00 AM
January 14, 2008
Musical Podcast Monday

We'll take a slight deviation from football this excellent Monday and go with a new Viking Underground podcast. On VU Podcast fifty-five, I introduce and play five songs for you. Enjoy! And if you have some suggestions for future VU musical podcasts segments, send me your suggestion and I'll see if I can work it in.

YouTube Sammy White video produced by the VU as mentioned in the podcast.

Subscribe to Podcasts/Videocasts

MP3 iTunes Podcast link

Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 1:01 AM
January 12, 2008
VU Live Blog: Seahawks at Packers

Due to my son's pinewood derby day for his Cub Scout pack, the expected start time of 3:30 pm CST (on Saturday) may, and probably will be, a little delayed. I'll start the Live Blog once we return and I'll keep it going into the AFC late game (Jags at Pats) as long as people are on.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:01 AM
January 11, 2008
VU Videocast Friday: The Divisional Playoffs

Here we go with the latest VU Videocast with VU analyst Cheer Or Die, Jr. Watch as we make our picks for the NFL Divisional Playoff round.

Coming Saturday

Saturday, the VU will again host another Live Blog. It's Instant Messanger for football fans. Come and share your thoughts as we watch Saturday's games!

Due to my son's pinewood derby day for his Cub Scout pack, the expected start time of 3:30 pm CST (on Saturday) may, and probably will be, a little delayed. I'll start the Live Blog once we return and I'll keep it going into the AFC late game (Jags at Pats) as long as people are on.

Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 1:00 AM
January 10, 2008
For the Married Football Fan/Book Review

Today we move away from football so you can turn your attention to your wife. You know, that other adult person in your house that brings you chips and dip whilst you park your large rear-end on the couch every Saturday & Sunday through the entire playoffs? You better lavish her with attention this week so she doesn't give you the Evil Eye this weekend.

With that purpose in mind, I bring you a review of Key Female Words. Study these and you'll live to be 80:

1. "Fine"
This is the word women use at the end of any argument when they feel they are right but can't stand to hear you argue any longer. It means that you should shut up. (NEVER use "fine" to describe how she looks. This will cause you to have one of those arguments.)

2. "Five minutes"
This is half an hour. It is equivalent to the five minutes that your football game is going to last before you take out the trash, so women feel that it's an even trade.

3. "Nothing"
"Nothing" means something and you should be on your toes. "Nothing" is usually used to describe the feeling a woman has of wanting to turn you inside out, upside down, and backwards. "Nothing" usually signifies an argument that will last "Five Minutes" and end with the word "Fine."

4. "Go Ahead" (with raised eyebrows)
This is NOT permission; it's a dare! If you mistake it for permission, the result will be the woman will get upset over "Nothing" and you'll have a "five-minute" discussion that will end with the word "Fine."

5. "Go Ahead" (normal eyebrows)
This is NOT permission, either. It means "I give up" or "do what you want because I don't care." You will get a raised eyebrow "Go Ahead" in just a few minutes, followed by "Nothing" and "Fine" and she will talk to you in about "Five
Minutes" when she cools off.

6. "Loud Sigh"
This is not actually a word, but is still often a verbal statement. Very frequently misunderstood by men. A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are a complete idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "Nothing!."

7. "Soft Sigh"
Again, not a word, but a verbal statement. "Soft Sighs" are one of the few things that some men actually understand. It means she is momentarily content. Your best bet is to not move or breathe in the hope that the moment will last a bit longer.

8. "Oh"
This word -- followed by any statement -- is trouble. Example; "Oh, let me get that". Or, "Oh, I talked to him about what you were doing last night." If she says "Oh" before a statement, run, do not walk, to the nearest exit. She will tell you that she is "Fine" when she is done tossing your clothes out the window, but do not expect her to talk to you for at least two days. "Oh", as the lead to a sentence usually signifies that you are caught in a lie. Do not try to lie more to get out of it, or you will get a raised eyebrows "Go ahead," sometimes followed by acts so unspeakable that I can't bring myself to write about them.

9. "That's Okay"
This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can say to a man. "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding what the penalty will be for whatever you have done. "That's Okay" is often used with the word "Fine" and in conjunction with a raised eyebrow "Go Ahead." Once she has had time to plan it out, you are in for some mighty big trouble.

10. "Please Do"
This is not a statement, it is an offer. The woman is giving you the chance to come up with an excuse for what you have done. In other words, a chance to get yourself into even more trouble. If you handle this correctly, you shouldn't get a "That's Okay."

11. "Thanks"
The woman is thanking you. Don't faint and don't look for hidden meaning. Just say "you're welcome."

12. "Thanks A Lot"
"Thanks A Lot" is dramatically different from "Thanks." A woman will say "Thanks A Lot" when she is really ticked off at you. It is usually followed by the "Loud Sigh." This signifies that you have hurt her in some callous way. Be careful not to ask what is wrong after the "Loud Sigh," as she will only tell you "Nothing."

New Kids Book Series

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DK publishing is launching a new series of books for kids called History Dudes ("Dudes from the past tell it like it was"). They do a good job of presenting both the daily life and important events in the lives of civilizations of the past. My son was genuinely interested in them, and we had fun going through them together. They are written by Laura Buller, and illustrated by Rich Cando, the creator of the fun Star Wars cartoon tribute, Star Dudes. Like most DK books, the information is presented in a highly graphic, non-linear form.

Egyptian Dudes inside.jpg

So far, DK has announced two titles in the series: Viking Dudes and Ancient Egyptian Dudes.

Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at 1:00 AM
January 9, 2008
Number 17

It's way to early for me to think about April, that time of year when my son and I celebrate our respective birthday's. That time of year that I pull my annual April Fool's Day joke and piss off the poor saps that fall for it. But its never too early to look back and take a sneak look ahead.

Last year the Vikes had the number seven overall pick. There was a lot of talk of whether the Vikes had the grapefruits to move up into the number 1-3 spots or whether they would fold like a card table and move down later in the first round or even out of the first round altogether. Instead, they held at number seven and picked up this stiff.

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Yeah, that really didn't work out so well for the Vikes. And this year they fall to the 17th overall selection.

So where does the team go from here? I start by reviewing the NFL's past selections at #17. NFL Draft Scout has a nice summary and the Vikes have picked twice from this spot, both with good results. In 2006 the Vikes selected LB Chad Greenway and in 1974 they selected LB Fred McNeill. Other notable selections at #17 have yielded Emmitt Smith (1990) to Steve Hutchinson (2001).

Let's assume the team is going to proceed with T-Jack at QB, go after one to two WR's via free agency and retain the services of Mr. Chester Taylor. The Vikes have a very good linebacker core. They have studs manning the interior of the defensive line. Where are the weak areas and which areas are aging and will need replacements in the coming years?

One area of concern to me is offensive line. The right side needs to be more productive and Matt Birk is not getting any younger at center. While I will agree that using your first draft pick on a offensive lineman is not glamorous, it has consistently shown to be a smart pick and often produces immediate results.

With that in mind, I like OT Chris Williams out of Vanderbilt. He is imposing at 6'6" and 315 lbs. The only downfall is Williams has played the left side of the line during his college career and he would have to be trained to play the right. And he is heading into his senior season so I'm not sure he will declare.

Another possibility would be Sam Baker out of Southern Cal. Baker lists at 6'5" and 312 lbs. Baker also plays the left side of the line but may be more polished that Williams at this point.

I don't believe the Vikes need to use a first round pick for center, if that's a position they want to solidify. Two names come to mind and would be there for the Vikes to consider in the second round. Those are Steve Justice out of Wake Forest and Mike Pollak out of Arizona State. Baker could have opted for the '07 draft but chose to return for his senior year and actually played better than in '06 and will better his draft position. Pollack and his Sun Devils teammates showcased one of the most experienced and honored offensive lines in the Pac-10. Either would do for me.

What about defensive end? If the Vikes do not address this during free agency (Jared Allen, please!) then DE could be the Vikes first round selection. One possible consideration would be Miami Hurricanes defensive end Calais Campbell who made it official Thursday by saying he will skip his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.

Campbell would be the Ed "Too Tall" Jones of this generation as he is listed at 6-foot-8 and 240-pounds and is considered a mid first-round pick by many analysts. Despite a disappointing season, scouts are still impressed by his size and potential.

Since Chris Long will be long gone by pick #17 the only other DE that the Vikes could consider is Derrick Harvey out of Florida. Harvey has decided to skip his senior year and enter the NFL Draft. You may recall seeing Harvey as the last time he appeared in a bowl game, he collected a career-high three sacks and recovered a fumble against Ohio State in the BCS national championship game. He tied for the team lead in 2007 with 14 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.

And what about the defensive secondary? Darren Sharper is aging and there has been some speculation he may not return. Dwight Smith is almost certain to not return. Antoine Winfield ended the season hurt. So, who may be available for a first round selection at #17? Answer: Kenny Phillips out of Miami. Phillips, a 6-2, 211-pound safety out of Miami Carol City High, will forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft. Phillips was named to the All-ACC first team and for the season, Phillips ranked second on the team with a career-high 95 tackles (69 solo). A third-year junior, he added made two interceptions, three forced fumbles and 6.5 tackles for loss.

These are just some very early names. Every one and their uncle will have names and projections. Have some of your own? Leave a comment and we'll start our researching department looking into them.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:00 AM
January 7, 2008
Paper Cuts

Well, this blog entry was to have been an exclusive VU interview with Troy Williamson but his cell phone kept dropping the call. Sorry, comedy is not my thing.

I have been reading a book suggested to me by Shane over at the Greet Machine. Winter, especially after the Vikes are done, is my prime reading time. The book is “Old Man’s War? by John Scalzi.

This is a sci-fi book in which humans have gone to the stars to colonize other solar systems. As with other sci-fi books, the humans are hard against it because they must go up against many other sentient species that want the same real estate we do. So it is the human race against all comers. Do we crank out clones or robots or some other techy way to address populating the military? No! Earth creates an army full of retired, old people with a lifetime of know-how and an eagerness to leave Earth behind.

If I had not bothered to see who wrote the book, I would have thought that someone had found a long-lost manuscript in Robert A. Heinlein’s attic, the deceased sci-fi master. I read and own Heinlein’s entire library of sci-fi work. Such was his hold on me that during my first date with my future wife she expressed how much she had enjoyed reading Heinlein’s masterpiece “Stranger in a Strange Land? which was the 1961 Hugo Award-winning science fiction novel.

When we married, the inscription “May you never thirst? was placed inside our wedding bands in remembrance of that line from the novel and of our first date. “Old Man’s War? is a tribute to the old master.

As I read through “Old Man’s War? I came across a line that gave me pause. The line was part of a passage from boot camp and went, without giving too much away, “….was a slow death by paper cuts…? and I immediately equated this to being a Vikings fan.

Paper cuts are nasty. They hurt like hell for a very brief moment. Then the pain is gone until you are reminded of the cut when you soap up in the shower, or get salt in the cut when making dinner, or Tabasco sauce drips into it as you eat some tacos. Think about it. The pain is the same for Vikes fans no matter your age.

The Drew Pearson push-off in 1975.

The fumble on the goal-line as the Vikes drove to score first in Super Bowl XI after blocking the punt from the Raider’s Ray Guy.

Darrin Nelson against the Redskins in 1987.

Gary Anderson gagging on a 38-yard attempt with just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter in the '98 NFC Championship game.

Paper cuts. They all hurt like hell when they happened. The pain went away, but the pain sometimes returns when you least expect it. And it still hurts.

Note: If any one can locate YouTube videos for the blocked Ray Guy punt from SB XI or the Gary Anderson missed FG from the '98 NFC Championship game please let me know.

Live Blog Test Goes Well

The VU had a very good initial test of its Live Blog application (courtesy CoverItLive) and will do it again this coming Saturday during the Packers-Seahawks game. Please join us then.


Posted by maasx003 at 1:00 AM
January 5, 2008
Live Blog Test Session

I have no honest idea if this is going to work or not. That's why I'm going to tentatively schedule this test session for the Giants/Bucs game on Sunday. If it doesn't fly, we'll try it again the following weekend. In theory, you should be able to view the live game blog right here on the VU site...and participate in real time. Until Sunday!

Posted by maasx003 at 7:51 PM
Wild Card Videocast Picks

On this weeks VU Videocast with VU analyst Cheer Or Die Jr., we make our wild card picks for the slate of this weekends NFL games.

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MP4 iTunes Videocast Link

Posted by maasx003 at 9:46 AM
VU Podcast Fifty-Four

On Viking Underground Podcast Fifty-four I speak with Ohio Jim to talk about two NFL playoff chokes (Vikes and Browns), Derek Anderson, Joe Thomas, our wildcard picks and the OSU-LSU college title game.

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MP3 iTunes Podcast link

Posted by maasx003 at 1:04 AM
January 4, 2008
Sammy White: Former NFL Rookie of the Year

I'm not sure if you heard the news, but Adrian Peterson was the run-away winner of The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award for the 2007 NFL season. He received 46 1/2 of the 50 votes from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the NFL. Cleveland left tackle Joe Thomas received the other 3 1/2 votes. Joe who!?!? We'll talk more about that on the next VU podcast with my special VU mole deep in Ohio.

The Vikes have had other ROY's in the teams history. First there was Paul Richard Flatley. Flatley played in the league from 1963 to 1970. During his career, he played for the Minnesota Vikings from '63-'67 and then with the Atlanta Falcons. Drafted by the Vikings in the 4th round in the 1963 NFL Draft, Flatley was selected as the UPI NFL-NFC Rookie of the Year. As a Viking, Flatley played in the 1966 Pro Bowl.

Then there was Chuck Foreman (born Walter E. Forman) whom the Minnesota Vikings made their first round draft choice in 1973, selecting him with the 12th overall pick in the draft. He was a consensus choice as the National Football Conference (NFC) Rookie of the Year in 1973, when he rushed for 801 yards on 182 attempts and caught 37 passes for 362 yards.

Later on there was some dude named Randy Moss. In 1998, Moss helped the Vikings to become the number one ranked offense that season while they set a then record (thanks Pats!!) for total points by a team. At the end of the 1998 regular season, Moss was named a Pro Bowl starter and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for his rookie record 17 touchdown receptions and the third highest receiving yardage (1,313) total of 1998.

But in between Foreman and Moss there was another ROY honoree for the Purple. Often forgotten about I wanted to make sure he was remembered if for no other reason that he was a Vikings WR that actually held onto the ball. If the ball was in the general area of of him, it was caught. If the play involved crossing the middle there was no pussy-foot dance routine as the route was finished even if it meant losing his helmet. Don't believe me? Take a look at this little video I put together.

Yes, you saw that correctly. Incredible hit, right? No doubt. But White hung onto the ball. During a 3rd and long play, Fran Tarkenton dropped deep into the pocket and delivered a bullet to White who was on crossing route, with Raiders DB Skip Thomas meeting him in the middle. As White made a spectacular catch on the ball he was hit helmet-to-helmet by Raiders Safety Jack Tatum, while Thomas closed the gap. The collision knocked Sammy's helmet and chin strap off, sending the helmet tumbling about eight yards backwards from where they landed. Although shaken on the play, he held onto the ball gaining the Vikings a first down. He would return to the game, however the Vikings were outscored 32 to 14, losing their fourth Super Bowl in eight years.

They don't make them like White any longer. I just wanted to make sure this former Vikes WR and ROY was not forgotten.

See you Saturday.

MP4 iTunes Video link

Posted by maasx003 at 1:00 AM
January 3, 2008
Lazy Thursday

Winter break is over. It's back to the drudgery of work and cold winter days. I didn't have any time to put together a thoughtful blog entry (I know, like anyone would know the difference) so I'm taking the lazy man's way out by suggesting links to other insightful blogs with great information that you may want to read. It is also a great way to introduce you to other blogs you may not otherwise be aware of. And this also gives me more time to fine-tune the pinewood derby car that Cheer Or Die Jr. and I are getting ready for his Cub Scout derby day on the 12th.

Coming this weekend will be a new VU podcast as well as a new VU videocast with Cheer Or Die Jr., so you have that to look forward to. Here we go with the links of the day:

Greet Machine: This blog is the grandfather of the VU. Without the Greet Machine there would be no VU. This is a blog that I check out every day. This week, the Greet Machine has selected its Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins of the Year Award. You can always check back each week when the Greet Machine selects the Knucklehead McSpazatron of the Week award...which has been dominated by the Purple so far.

The Daily Norseman: If there is a better Vikings blog out there, I don't know where. The DN is my favorite Vikings related stop. A very good entry this week takes a look at which QB had the better season: Matt Leinart, Vince Young or our own T-Jack. Take a look. You may come away surprised.

Deadspin: My good friends at the Deadspin wrote a nice piece on the New England Patriots saying what we were all thinking as we watched the game last Saturday night. PS: I confess that I ordered a Patriots Moss jersey this week....shhhh!

Lost Forest After Dark: What other blog has a tracker for "Brett Favre Interception Watch"? Is that classic or what?!? In case you were wondering, Brettsy is at 288 and counting.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:01 AM
January 2, 2008
Left Over Stew

This blog entry is going to be a lot of ramblings and such as we wind down the Vikings season and start all the off-season thoughts.

First up, the 2008 opponents. This schedule looks a little more daunting than the 2007 one in which the Vikes finished at 8-8. At first blush, I see the Vikes again floating around the .500 mark with a possibility of a ten win season. Leave a comment and let us know what your initial reaction to these teams may be.

Vikes on the road: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Arizona and Tennessee.
Vikes at home: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, N.Y. Giants, Atlanta, Carolina, Houston and Indy

The NFL schedule is released in April.

We Need a Bench Monkey

After watching soon-to-be ex-Viking Troy Williamson drop two key passes in the Vikings loss to the Denver Bronco's Sunday, I'm going to start a fund so the Vikings can hire a bench monkey. A player screws up, the coaching staff releases the bench monkey who then takes out the player. Of course, should the coaching staff also screw up during a game by throwing a challenge flag when it is clear the correct call was made, the owner will also be able to release the bench monkey.

Of course, this is an idea that came to me while watching the marvelous ads for Suburban Auto Group over the weekend. Here is a summary of the ads via YouTube. Let me know if you have other suggested uses for a Vikings Bench Monkey!

The Mail Bag

Chad in Osceola, Wisconsin asks, "COD, will you begin doing podcasting again anytime soon?". I have given it some thought and decided to once again begin podcasting. VU Podcast Fifty-Three is now available on the VU podcast page. iTunes users can subscribe via the XML podcast link shown there or you can listen via the embedded player found on the podcast page. I'm not sure how often I'll be doing podcasts but I would hope for at least two a month to start with. Maybe we'll start lining up some guests as well. If you have a question that you'd like answered on the podcast, just e-mail me and we'll work it in. I will keep doing the videocasting via YouTube and now have a YouTube embedded player in the left navigation area. Podcast Fifty-Three.

Patrick "Purple Pilager" Moharter asks, "Rumor has it that the Rams are going to say "Goodbye" to Issac Bruce after the season. Any chance that we might see him in purple next season if he doesn't retire?" Thanks for the messaage Pat. I've got my moles out working again and I have heard a couple of things: One, the Vikes are going shopping at DE and have their eye on Jared Allen. Now, my moles state further that rumor started at KFAN radio so I'm not sure how much street-cred it has but then those boys have better connections at Winter Park than I do. Second, the Vikes will blow up their WR corp and try and land a possession WR and a speed WR. Personally, I think Bruce will land where ever Mike Martz ends up and see little chance that the Vikes make a play. I've heard Bryant Johnson as a possibility for the possession WR and then D.J. Hackett as the look-see for the speed WR. The issue is whether any of these names would want to come to a team with an unproven QB which is one consideration currently going on with the Vikes decision for Tarvaris Jackson for next season.

MN Vikes Running Club

I have created a year-long Nike Challenge for all Vikings fans who use the NikePlus/iPod running gear. This challenge is for fans of the Minnesota Vikings football team (or anyone who just plain loves to run). This is a year-long race to keep everyone in tip-top shape for the soon-to-be-Super Bowl champion Minnesota Vikings! Join today and chart progress via the Nike section on the right navigation pane of this blog.

Viking Underground Playoff Fantasy Group

I won the Beer Brotherhood Fantasy League this year, but that does not mean that fantasy football is over! I just signed up for the NFL.com Playoff Challenge, and I'm inviting you to start a team and play against me and other Minnesota Vikings fans. I've set up a private "buddies" page to track our team's performance against each other, and against the rest of my "buddies" group. To join the VU Playoff Fantasy group, please click here. Good luck!

Posted by maasx003 at 1:10 AM
January 1, 2008
Lurtsema and the Dolphins Perfect Season

Was any one else sick of seeing interview after interview of members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins team this past weekend? I found myself rooting for the New England Patriots on Saturday night if for no other reason to shut up former Dolphin running back Mercury Morris who has obviously been practicing his rhyming shtick for so long he could easily be confused with Jesse Jackson.

For years, members of the '72 Dolphins team have popped champagne bottles when the last unbeaten team suffered its first loss. I wonder how many cases of champagne have been sent to Minnesota Vikings former defensive lineman Bob "Benchwarmer" Lurtsema over the years. Why do I ask that question? Sit down and let me tell you youngin's a little story about a man named Bob.

You see, back on '72 the Minnesota Vikings had an opportunity to amend history and remove the Dolphins from future "greatest team" arguments. Instead, the Vikings blew an eight-point lead in the final four minutes and lost a 16-14 decision.

I was only eleven at the time. I'd be lying if I said I remembered the game, but history has shown it was Miami's toughest game of the year, one of only three games in which it trailed in the fourth quarter. Take it from former Dolphins coach Don Shula.

It was the third game of the season and it was a typical Indian summer fall day in Minneapolis, with 70-degree temperatures, clear skies, and the wind a very mild 7 miles per hour. The game was played in Bloomington at Metropolitan Stadium, site of so many cold, snowy affairs. And so many famous Vikings games.

The Vikings' legendary Purple People Eaters defense stuffed Miami on the opening possession, and Minnesota scored on its fifth offensive snap when Fran Tarkenton fired a 56-yard touchdown pass to John Gilliam for a 7-0 lead.

Dolphins running backs Larry Csonka and the aforementioned Mercury Morris were thwarted again and again by the magnificent Minnesota defense led by Alan Page, Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, and linebacker Wally Hilgenberg.

Miami's passing game didn't fare any better, as the Dolphins QB, Bob Griese, completed just 5 of 14 attempts for 24 yards before half-time. However, the Dolphins' No-Name defense was just as grudging after Gilliam's score. On Minnesota's next six possessions, it gained a total of 70 yards.

Fittingly, Miami's first points were set up by the defense, as cornerback Tim Foley picked off a Tarkenton pass on the third play of the third quarter to set up Garo Yepremian's 38-yard field goal. After a Minnesota punt, the Dolphins mounted a 42-yard drive that ended with Yepremian's 42-yard field goal, and with 9:37 gone in the quarter the Dolphins were within a point at 7-6.

The Vikings responded, however, as Bill "Boom-Boom" Brown's 1-yard plunge on fourth down capped a 13-play, 80-yard drive for a 14-6 lead 33 seconds into the fourth quarter. Given the way Minnesota's defense was playing, the eight-point deficit seemed overwhelming, especially when linebacker Roy Winston picked off a Griese pass on the ensuing series.

Later in the fourth, Griese drove the Dolphins into position for Yepremian's 51-yard field goal, which at the time was the longest of his career and in club history. The key was a fourth-and-1 gamble from the Miami 29 that Morris converted with a 3-yard run. The score was now 14-9.

Now it was up to the Miami defense to get the ball back for Griese, and it did so in three plays. Mike Eischeid's punt was fair caught by Dick Anderson at the Miami 41 with 2:11 remaining. And this is where The Benchwarmer enters the picture.

Facing a second-and-8 situation, the Dolphins benefited from a questionable 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty on Lurtsema that resulted in a first down at the Vikings' 42. A 14-yard Morris run and two Howard Twilley receptions later, Miami was at the 3, at which point Griese found tight end Jim Mandich wide open in the end zone for the winning score with 1:28 to play.

The Dolphins' march to perfection was still on track, scarcely. And thanks to that penalty on Lurts, we have had to put up with years of the media talking to members of that Dolphins team.

I'm really going to enjoy listening to Tom Brady and Randy Moss in the years to come over Morris and Shula. Aren't you?

Miami vs. Minnesota


Oct. 1, 1972




NFL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
MIAMI 0 0 6 10 -- 16
MINNESOTA 7 0 0 7 -- 14 FINAL


SCORING SUMMARY


MIN - TD, Gilliam 56 pass from Tarkenton (Cox kick)
MIA - FG, Yepremian 38
MIA - FG, Yepremian 42
MIN - TD, Brown 1 run (Cox kick)
MIA - FG, Yepremian 51
MIA - TD, Mandich 3 pass from Griese (Yepremian kick)


TEAM STATISTICS


MIA MIN
-------- --------
FIRST DOWNS 14 12
TOTAL NET YARDS 254 240
NET YARDS RUSHING 120 131
Rushes 26 35
Average per rush 4.6 3.7
NET YARDS PASSING 134 109
Completed-attempted 16-33 10-23
Had intercepted 2 3
PUNTS-AVERAGE 6-44 7-46
RETURN YARDAGE 61 48
PENALTIES-YARDS 5-55 3-45
FUMBLES-LOST 0-0 1-1


PLAYER STATISTICS
Minnesota rushing: Reed 9-52, Osborn 14-47.


Miami rushing: Csonka 10-66, Morris 8-28.


Minnesota passing: Tarkenton 10-23 for 109 yards, 3 INT, 1 TD.


Miami passing: Griese 16-33 for 112 yards, 2 INT, 1 TD.


Minnesota receiving: Gilliam 3-91, Beasley 3-23.


Miami receiving: Mandich 3-39, Kiick 3-25, Twilley 2-25.


A: 45,766.

Posted by maasx003 at 1:00 AM