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.

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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!

Happy 4th July

While I kick back and enjoy a glorious BBQ with my nearest and dearest, I just wanted to wish my readers a happy 4th July! It’s a very quiet time in the footballing world, and a very busy time in my life, but I’m hoping that come Autumn, I’ll be back to full blogging power bringing you all the best from the Purple Land!

Have a good one everybody! Skol!

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I’m still here…

Hello People of Purple. I’m just firing off a quick post to let you all know that I’m still here, and still on the lookout for all Vikings news, but right now there really isn’t any and it’s doing my head in.
Luckily this lack of news is coinciding with a very busy period in my own life, so rest assured that when there are stories I will be posting them, but otherwise I might not have the time to be my usual chirpy self.
Do check out my Blogroll as there are sure to be other great Vikings sites which are still rocking on. And hopefully soon, I’ll have some time to write up some more from the Chilly Beard Chronicles and some other blurbs of my own design about being a football fan in the UK.

Skol!

Guest Post: Top 5 Vikings Draft Busts

G’day readers, in the interests of diversification (I’ve been watching a lot of The Office) here’s a guest post from Branden over at Lemke’s Lot, it’s a great site so do go check it out.

Lemke’s Lot Guest Post: Top 5 Vikings draft busts

Hey, let me just start out by giving a shoutout to the Vikings UK. It is a great website, and an awesome guy that runs it. Way to represent the Vikings all the way over in Europe!

Top 5 Vikings draft busts of all time:

5. Running Back Michael Bennett (2001 1st round, pick 27 overall) Michael Bennett had a good run his first couple years in the NFL, but only managed to crack 1,000+ yards one season. After that season, he was used primarily as a 3rd down back throughout the rest of his Vikings career, and since leaving the Vikings has only managed to become a 3rd string Running Back on other teams.

4. RB D.J Dozier (1987 1st round, pick 14 overall) Let’s just put it simply; He did NOTHING as a Viking. Served as a backup throughout most of his career.

3. DE Erasmus James (2005 1st round, pick 18 overall) This guy was supposed to be the next Warren Sapp, a bigtime star. All he ended up doing was keeping the bench warm and staying out of games due to injurys. He was traded to the Redskins in 2008 after his disapointing Vikings career, but has yet to see the field as a Redskin.

2. WR Troy Williamson (2005 1st round, pick 7 overall) A few months after we traded Randy Moss to Oakland, we went into the draft looking for his replacement. BHowever, if I remember correctly, Randy could catch… Funny how we replace him with a guy who couldn’t catch the EASIEST of passes. I can’t even count the times Williamson would beat his man and be WIDE OPEN, and still show off his stone hands. Glad he’s gone to another team.

1. DE Demitrius Underwood (1999 1st round, pick 29 overall) All anyone can remember this guy for is for stabbing himself in the neck and retiring after just 4 games of his pro career. What a waste of money this guy was.

So that’s my view of the Top 5 Vikings draft busts of all time, and feel free to stop by my site, Lemke’s Lot, as well!

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From the Beard of Chilly

Good morning Vikings on all sides of the Atlantic and beyond. It’s another slow day in Purple Town, and most of our interest is drawn by the dark clouds surrounding the possibility of a new stadium. Things are not looking good, and the powers that be seem to be more concerned with keeping Minneapolis on the right side of bankrupcy and a new convention centre, as opposed to forking out $800mil for a new home for our beloved Vikes. Depressing thoughts surround this so I’m not going to entertain them, instead it’s time for my weekly look at what’s been going on in Brad’s facial foliage.

6.30am: Brad overslept, so didn’t have time to trim me this morning. Man, I look like crap, and I think I’m starting to matt. Breakfast was last night’s leftovers, chicken pot pie, what did I do to deserve being stuck to such a slob?

7.30am: Arrive at Winter Park to take a look at the new recruits. Joe Webb is busy jumping over everyone, Toby Gerhart is getting picked on for looking like a chubby Matt Damon, and most of my staff keep calling Chris Cook, Jimmy by mistake; I told Rick this would happen.

8.30am: Noobies have been fed, kitted out and Brad’s trying to give them all nicknames now. Trouble is, he can’t think of any, so keeps scratching me instead and getting his fingers snagged in my untrimmed mess.

11.30am: End of morning practice, these guys are pretty good, though I still don’t know what to do with Joe Webb. Is he my new T-Jack, Sidney Rice, or barber? What can I say, man’s got skills with scissors, fixed me up real nice after Brad got bubble gum stuck in me. Now I’ve got a bit of a d’Artagnan going on, think I might get Brad to audition for the next Pirates film.

1.30pm: Lunch over, gonna get over the courthouse to try and intimidate the StarCaps jury, and then onto the State meeting about the stadium. How can they say no when I look this good?

3.30pm: Dammit Brett! Just as Brad was about to unleash me on the money men after they said they’d rather waste their money on a convention centre and a funnel cake stand, the old man calls. From what I gather he’s worried that Jimmy… sorry, Chris (dammit, now I’m doing it) can do a better rendition of Pants of the Ground, so he’s not coming back.

3.45pm: Brett called back to apologise. Said he’s going find Jared to slap his butt, that should calm him down. Just as he was hanging up I swear I heard him mumbling…”looking… hmmm, hmmm…witcha….. hmmm, hmmm ground”.

5.00pm: Driving home, and a P*ckers fan cut me up on the freeway, flipped me off and called me Friar Tuck! Jerk, not like Aaron Rodgers could pull this kinda look off, he’s just a pre-pubescent Brett clone who spends more time kissing facemasks than he does throwing touchdowns. Think I’ll sick Joe Webb on him, he could jump over their O-Line, then morph into a linebacker and sack his ass, then grab the ball and throw it backwards to himself, before running it in for a touchdown. Note to Brad, sack McKinnie, and make Webb an OT.

8.30pm: Forgot Lost wasn’t on this week, gonna have to watch House instead. My money’s on Lupus this week, Brad thinks it’s gonna be a tumor.

10.30pm: We were both wrong, it was a bee sting. Off to bed now, I wonder if Joe Webb also has a degree in Medicine, he could be the Gregory House of the Vikings. Maybe we’ll finally figure out what’s wrong with Brett’s ankle.

No fireworks, but plenty to cheer about

A bit of a short one today because I’m on filming duty and it’s the opening day of the season for the London Olympians as they take on the Bedford Blue Bombers, so COME ON THE O’S!!!!

In more Purple matters we’ve completed the 2010 Draft and whilst it was a somewhat drab affair, with no big headline signing, I think we got just what we needed in order to push for a Super Bowl. True, we passed up on Jimmy Clausen and a couple of other players who could be future stars of the game, but the truth is that, short term at least, we don’t need them.

So we welcome to the Vikings the 2010 Draftees; Chris Cook, CB, Toby Gerhart, RB, Everson Griffen, DE, Chris DeGeare, OT/OG, Nathan Triplett, LB, Joe Webb, QB/WR, Mickey Shuler, TE, Ryan D’Imperio, ILB/FB and some undrafted Free Agents too. For a better run down of each of these guys I recommend taking a look at The Daily Norseman.

Now overall I’m pretty pleased with our picks, like I said, we filled in gaps that needed filling, and there’s a couple of exciting players, I’m particularly interested in the future of Joe Webb who is a QB/WR hybrid who could prove a very versatile player indeed. But despite the fact that he can play QB, the extra string to his bow does suggest he’s a jack of all trades and master of none, which begs the question, why didn’t we address our long term QB situation?

As I said after day one, I thought we’d be sure to grab Clausen, and invest in the future with a QB who could carry the franchise for a great many years. Instead we passed and strengthened the secondary which in the short term would have been equally shaky. I guess the Vikes were somewhere between a rock and a hard place when it came down to the draft. We don’t grab a premier DB and our season could spring the same leaks it did last year, ending in disappointment and a lot of flak for the management for not addressing the secondary; or we do what we did and wonder about the what-ifs of a very promising player who is likely to start for Carolina. It’s a tough call, I guess the team believe they have what it takes to win it all with a few tweaks, rather then compromising with a choice for the future.

All in all, yes I’m a bit disappointed that we passed on Clausen, but at least we’ve addressed the key areas and look stronger going into next season. All we gotta do now is wait for a certain grey haired bloke to turn up.