Blowing off the cobwebs

The day is finally here! Football season is upon us all and tonight we have the chance for revenge against the team that lucked out in every area of the field to claim the NFC Championship and eventually the Super Bowl. Yes it still hurts, but tonight we can salvage some pride and get our season off to the best possible start.

Late hits will be landed, deep passes thrown, footballs held onto and we can announce ourselves as the biggest team in the NFC and not the P*ckers as most analysts would love to tell you.

It’s going to be tough but if we play real football we can walk away from the bayou with our heads held high.

Going into the game Brett said “I would have to give the edge to the Saints, first of all, as far as first game, where are you from a team standpoint overall as far as chemistry and things of that nature?” So yeah, thanks for the vote of confidence dude. But in all seriousness, we need to protect Brett for key plays, have All Day run all over the Saints shoddy run D, and hope that our secondary can stand up to Brees and the smorgasboard of receivers he has at his disposal. It’s gonna be a toughie!
As for my prediction, despite the fact I know we can win this, something tells me the mood in the camp isn’t quite right. No Rice is a biggie, and nerves will by sky high compared to the do no wrong Saints who are also at home (please don’t talk about crowd noise again). A 30-20 loss is what the pessimist in me says, it could be closer but it’s what my head tells me. My heart on the other hand says a 71-3 win with Brees’ arm falling clean off after a tasty hit from Ben Leber and Jared!

But don’t just ask me, there are other places that have a more positive outlook on things. The gab has a great in depth preview covering all areas of the field.

And Jazzy at the Viking Ship has been working overtime, playing Madden, checking the history books and getting all creative! Awesome stuff!

Well, it’s good to be back that’s for sure! I’ve had a torrid summer, full to the brim with work, work, work and wedding, wedding, wedding, not to mention the London Olympians who go into the Division 2 Southern Conference final this Sunday against the Hampshire Thrashers, and then hopefully the Div 2 Championship the week after. I’m hoping I can keep up the same volume of postings that I started this blog with, it was a lot of fun, and I hope this season I can really settle down in the blog and get some quality posts under my belt. There will certainly be plenty to talk about over the next 17 weeks and beyond. Here’s to a Super Bowl year for the mighty Vikings! Skol.

Speedy round up, Vikings stop/start

Good afternoon Vikings, the busy summer continues and my blog is suffering as a result, hopefully with the season just about the corner I will have more to write about but until then it’s going to be more of me rounding up what’s been going on and pointing out the places that do have the time to report on this great team.

First up here are 2 reports on our loss to the 49ers last weekend, at the Viking Ship and Viking Nation. It’s always disappointing to lose, especially with Favre back under centre, albeit for 4 snaps and a nice meaty sack, and the issues thrown up are very concerning, particularly the run blocking and general O-Line effectiveness as these were massive issues last year. Still, 2 more games to go until the curtain raiser, so hopefully we can sort it.

Another factor in the loss was the absence of #1 WR, Sidney Rice. Reports are suggesting he could miss our first 6 games. If this is true, it’s very bad news. True, we have Berrian, but last year him and Favre didn’t quite click as much as we’d hoped…

Right, that’s your lot… back as soon as I can be.

Favre looks like he’s coming home!

“Stay tuned for breaking news from the Minnesota Vikings today on Brett Favre’s possible return. Visit the Vikings.com and Officialbrettfavre.com for more information.”

These are the words currently on Brett Favre’s official website. The man himself has arrived in Minnesota, and a private jet has taken him, Jared Allen, Ryan Longwell and Steve Hutchinson to Winter Park. It looks like Favre Watch may finally be over for another year!

I’ll try to keep as up to date on this one as possible, but it is my bedtime already! Otherwise Adam at the Vikings Gab is also on the case!

Linkacopia

Morning all you Vikings fans out there! I hope your week has been a productive one so far, and unlike me you didn’t leave your laundry out in the pouring rain for 2 days, when really you should have just brought it in when it was dry on Sunday rather than being lazy and just going to bed.

But I digress, in this period of anticipation at the new season there are a few topics I’d like to tackle over the coming weeks. The most burning is which Vikings’ players should be top of your draft list, and that will be coming soon…

The other topic is of course the roster, and thanks to Branden at Lemke’s Lot, here’s a very well informed guess at who should be there when we go kill dem Saints.

On the subject of the depth chart, the Vikes have released a post camp one, which you can see at the Viking Ship. As Jazzy points out, this is still very “fluid” at this point in time. Basically that means we’re still waiting on Favre!

Next up is a link from the Viking Nation, who pays tribute to one of the finest players to wear the Purple, John Randle. Here he is with his HoF induction speech. What a legend!

And finally, a general link and shout out to the Vikings Gab which has been probably one of the most consistent blogs this offseason, and well worth checking out! There’s some good articles on the camp, Sidney Rice and FANTASY FOOTBALL!!!

Right I’m off to scout some fine fantasy studs for my team this year… and possibly Matt Forte if I start to feel suicidal.

Judd Zulgad in his own words.

Any of you who read my piece yesterday on what was, in my opinion, bad form on the part of Star Tribune writier, Judd Zulgad should check out this interview with the man himself on Vikings Gab.

A big thanks to Adam for conducting the interview.

Exclusive Interview* With Brett Favre

The mouth of the horse is here! And by horse, I mean Siver Fox. And by here, I mean in my mind. Yes, in honour of recent news stories which may or may not have been based on nothing but here say, I’ve decided to unleash my previously unreleased/unimagined interview with the one and only Brett Favre.

Me: Sooo, Brett, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal. How’s your summer been?

Brett: Yeah, it’s been okay. I’m a grandpappy now so I’ve been spending some time with the kid, trying to impart some of my wisdom. Lil Parker Brett is a future hall of famer, mark my words on that one. Last week he even drew out an I-38-Sweep play in spaghetti hoops, but I intercepted his meatball before it reached the end zone, ha ha ha.

Me: So has Parker told you he wants to follow in your footsteps?

Brett: Not yet, I’m still waiting to hear on that. Parker keeps making noises which I think sound like “I’ll let you know in my own sweet time.” But I’ve bought all the gear just in case, and should have hung up my boots by the time the 2028 draft comes along, so I’ll be waiting at Radio City Music Hall just in case he decides to show up.

Me: And what about you? Any news on this coming season?

Brett: Oh yeah, I’ll be back unless my foot falls off… aaarrrrrgggghhhh!

Me: You okay there Brett?

Brett: Yeah I’m fine. I mean my foot just fell off, but I’m alright.

Me: So you probably won’t be playing next season then will you?

Brett: Did I say that? Well never say never, that’s what I always say. Nah I’ll probably still be back. Just need to get this thing re-attached. Say, can you hold on a sec while I send a text?

Me: Sure. Do you mind me asking who it’s to?

Brett: Yeah, it’s the guy who paints the fences at Winter Park. He was just asking if I knew any good jokes. Right all done. Next question…

Me: So do you ever get tired of people asking you about your retirement?

Brett: What retirement? Who said anything about retirement?

Me: You know, what with your foot falling off, and the story which just broke about you texting people at the Vikes that you are going to retire?

Brett: Oh that! Yeah, I’ve decided that I should call time on everything. It’s been a great year, but I’m getting on a bit now and just want to sit back and enjoy life.

Me: And how do you think the Vikings and their fans are going to react to this news?

Brett: What news?

Me: You retiring?

Brett: I’m not retiring.

Me: Oh, but I thought you just said…

Brett: I didn’t say anything. That was Shank. Next question.

Me: Ooookay. So what are you looking forward to next season?

Brett: Beating the Saint. Beating the P*ckers. Rubbing Chilly’s beard for good luck. Slapping Jared. Singing to Percy before he goes to bed. And then, once I’ve lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy, prank called Aaron Rodgers, and put a potato in Tahi’s tailpipe, I think I’m going to call it a day.

Me: I didn’t realise you called the scum, P*ckers too?

Brett: Everyone calls them the P*ckers.

So there you have it, and by it, I mean nothing, apart from some cheap laughs perhaps.

* The above interview, is entirely fictitious. Any similarities with real people or events are purely coincidental, and a result of cunning satire.

Favre and Falsification

There are times when I hate the press. I really hate them. I appreciate they have a job to do, but sometimes they are just parasitic vultures, who love to pounce on any scraps they can find and then try to pass them off as caviar.

And now, 2 days after the Favre’s Textgate scandal, I am reminded once again of how flawed the press system is, and why so many are going out of business as the blogosphere continues to grow. At the end of the World Cup, I read an excellent article on Three and in about the terrible television presentation by British broadcasters during the World Cup, and what I particularly agreed with was how the old guard of bitter and cynical journalists need to be replaced by positive and enthusiastic bloggers, because viewers are sick of pundits moaning incessantly, rather than conveying their passion and enjoyment of the sport, and getting behind their team. It’s a great article and I suggest you read it.

From this awful World Cup coverage, my attention was then drawn to day-in, day-out stories centred around Arsenal’s captain, Cesc Fabregas, as the media in both Spain and England decided to have a competition to see who could come up with the most stories based around an “unnamed source close to the player” in an effort to unsettle him and Arsenal, and help Barcelona sign one of the most coveted players in world football. The trouble is that it all gets a bit tiring after a while, there are only so many “unnamed sources” you can read about before things start to smell very fishy indeed. And worse than this was British papers printing articles that supported the exploits of a Spanish team, rather than backing up the British side.

Perhaps this explains why my blood boiled when I watched Chip and Judd’s roundup video this morning on the Tribune’s website. Now let me start by saying that I appreciate how difficult Favre is to cover. He’s very elusive, and loves to throw the media the odd curveball to keep them on their toes. I also appreciate that the press are in a bit of a fix at the moment, they need to sell papers and get online ad revenue because times are very tough. But this does not excuse the reporting of stories that are damaging to the team these guys are meant to represent, and I think this Favre text story has backfired on them a bit. Now before I go into full rant mode, I just want to say that I do enjoy most of the work from the Star Tribune and the team lead by Chip and Judd. They are very close to the team, give excellent coverage during the season, and I do think that they broke this story believing that it was true (which it may be), but I think this time they may have shot themselves in the feet by reporting on something detrimental to the Vikings and their fans.

Okay, I’ll start by paraphrasing the key points of the video… First off the pair are sticking by their guns that Favre did send text messages to the team, despite Favre’s denial yesterday, but once again they reveal nothing about their source, or how they’ve verified the claims. They then go on to point out that Favre likes to mess with the media, and is lying. Then some bla bla bla about Favre’s absence from Training Camp possibly annoying some of the players who might not think it’s fair that the Silver Fox is at home playing football with high school kids. Then they move onto the key point for me. Then there’s their take on the 24hr news coverage around Favre, and how it’s left readers confused and frustrated (I’m guessing with them). They say that the Favre camp and the Vikings camp aren’t always truthful, and that they need Vikings fans to use their common sense when reading news stories on the team. Don’t blindly follow the Vikings they say, apparently there are fans who just wanna believe what they hear. They then say that they have worked hard to build up sources within the teams, and there is no doubt that Favre sent those text messages.

Sorry but this all sounds like they are trying to justify their actions to a group of disgruntled fans who are sick of hearing stories which seem to have no basis. There could well be a source, and a reliable one at that who broke the story to the Tribune, but because they have not offered anything apart from their word that the source is reliable, they have left many of us feeling very pissed off. And while they mention that both the Viking and Favre camps tell lies, they say nothing on themselves, and I’m afraid that the press are not infallible, far from it. And how dare they tell fans how to read the news! I’m sorry but it is your responsibility to report things truthfully and reliably (which often means going beyond basing a story off just one source). Yes, we should use common sense when we watch or read the news, but sometimes it is hard to know what is fact and what is fiction, especially when there are stories coming 24 hours a day from places that need to make money and who cite someone who we as readers cannot verify. We rely on them for our news, but we don’t have the access they do, so we need them to be honest rather than arrogant.

But more than that, we need them to fly the flag for the Vikings. Let ESPN or one of the other big sports networks run with stories like this, because they have no affiliation to the Vikings. But knowing how important Favre is to the team and how much most of the fans admire him, they should have showed some control rather than running wild with the story, because it left many of us, me included, fearing for the future of the team. And I think they need to acknowledge that their release of this story left many readers this way, or worse in a state where they started slagging off the team, and a player who could still come back for another year wearing the Purple.

Instead of jumping on the team, they need to get behind them. If stories like this come along, they should really try to verify them beyond just the anonymous source, if they can’t get through to Favre (they couldn’t), then hold the story for a day or two before they have the truth or a more verified version of it.

Maybe this whole article is naive, in fact I know it is, but for me the newspaper of a team should not spread gossip, especially when it can damage the team or just upset the fans, leave that to the big networks who cater to everyone. Like team specific blogs, papers like the Tribune should always endeavour to be positive about the team (like they were after the NFC Champ game last season), and in the case of the past two days I think the Tribune have found out what happens when they aren’t.

Agree, disagree or are you just totally lost in my ramblings? Comment and tell me! And Chip, or Judd? If you are lucky enough to read this, know that I still love you both, but you won’t be getting an invite to my wedding. And Brett? I’m still waiting for your RSVP, I even left a box saying “I’ll let you know the day before” just for you!

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