The dream it seems, ends here… Favre will retire

It’s been a very long time since my last post owing to a very slow offseason and a very busy summer with both work and wedding preparation. But I knew that the one thing most likely to bring me back into the blogging world was the Silver Fox.

Sadly however, it’s because of the news that is starting to come out of Minneapolis, reporting that he’s told Chilly he’s not coming back for another season because his ankle just isn’t healing as well as it needed to in order to play for another year. The original Star Tribune story is here but has taken 5 mins to load so far which suggests this is pretty big news, and not an overly belated April Fools joke. Either way a presser is scheduled for later today which I fear will call time on the career of one of the game’s greats.

Now, knowing the history of Favre and his retire-unretire-reture-unretire way of life, there may still be a glimmer of hope for him staying on to lead the team, but I’m not clinging to it, more holding my pinkie lightly to it. But it’s too early to say anything else right now at risk of making a fool of myself. So I will wait till tomorrow to make further comment. All I will say now is that if this is it, it’s been one hell of a ride, but we’ve gotta get our sh*t together for next year and move on. If it’s not, I’m going after Judd Zulgad armed only with a spoon!

From the Beard of Chilly

We’ve got a hung Parliament in Blighty! Huzzah, life is good! And that slimeball-toff-w*nker David Cameron is going to have to do some serious dealing if he’s going to become PM. But all in all, election night has been pretty disappointing. Nick Clegg, leader of the Lib Dems has had to endure some disappointing results, and is left to marvel at our electoral system that sees someone who gets around 23% of the vote only take about 10% of seats in the House of Parliament. Whilst Gordon Brown is hanging in there, but only just. I’m hoping for a Labour coalition government because the Tories are scumbags who are going to line the pockets of the aristocracy, but I’m gutted the lib dems didn’t get more seats…

But enough of Politics, its time for our weekly visit to the mind of one of football’s greatest figures. I’m talking of course of Chilly’s Beard.

3.30am – Brad can’t sleep, so I can’t sleep. Every time I drop off the bugger grunts something about a “good football team” or “how do you like these Wranglers?” STFU!

8.25am – So first he keeps me awake, then he oversleeps. Useless Brett Favre Bobblehead Alarm clock apparently decided to wake him up when it’s ready, despite being told numerous times to sound off nice and early.

10.03am – Late to court, Judge is not best pleased. Not looking good for my unrelated brothers from 2 different mothers.

12.00pm – This is why I hate court. Brad get’s restless, so he chews on his pen. Then he grabs that soggy pen with his stubby fingers, twirls it around, and then rubs those stubby, soggy fingers through me. After nearly 2 hours of this, I’m starting to smell like an Alice Cooper fan after a night of Jager-bombs. And then to cap it all off, the court rules against my boys! If only the Bobblehead had gone off an hour earlier, I could have arrived and intimidated the judge with my magnificent bushyness.

12.45pm – Pat’s been crying, and Kevin is nursing a hoagie the size of… well let’s not get into that now. I think Pat’s worried about losing his place to BigMac. Personally I’d love to throw that mug into the trenches, teach him a lesson about what happens when you piss of Roger Goodell. As for Kevin, well, while he’s engrossed in his bread-bundled, meaty-magic, I’m wondering if Loady can manage the load if we subbed him in. Like Maccy, he’s a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic, but he’s big, and scary, and big, maybe it’ll toughen him up a bit.

2pm – Some would call it lunch, I call it the frenetic shovelling of pot pie into hole in face. I think he’s stressed. Can’t blame him. He just got a call from Gov Pawlenty. Back-stabbing SOB.

3.30pm – My “ears” are burning. Brad decided to invite Rick, Jared and Tahi to go “intimidate” Pawlenty who decided he didn’t like the stadium bill despite crowing on about it a couple of months ago. Basically Brad just kept yelling “Heart of a Champion” whilst Rick tried to sign Pawlenty as our new DT, and Jared kept asking Tahi why he’s still there. Then Rick got bored and started playing Risk on his iPhone, and Jared said he’d treat Tahi to chicken wings after Tahi started sulking. On their way out the door I swear I heard Jared mutter; “I’ll show you what a dozen is”. This left Brad, red faced and feeling rather foolish. Think they’re going to try and work something out.

5.35pm – After a few awkward man-hugs, Brad left Pawlenty’s place with a revised bill. Whiskers crossed.

8pm – Brett called. Brad was a bit grumpy because Brett usually calls at 7, but he said he was busy laughing at JaMarcus Russell. “Funny you should mention that…” Brad said, “… he’s our Plan B if you don’t show.” It’s going to be a long summer.

Minnesota Momentum Picks Up – And More Turd from the Favre Mediawagon

Good morning to you all, it’s a chilly morning in London, and after another lovely three day weekend filled with my Grandma’s trifle and another London Olympians win, it’s back to the week, and todays Purple News.

First off the bat today, we’re looking at the ongoing situation with the new stadium. The Tribune reports that there is a bill in the mix for the new Legislature, which in a nutshell would give the go-ahead for a $791mil home for the Vikings. Some $264mil of this would have to be paid by the Vikes themselves, which I guess would come from re-morgaging Favre’s ego and hawking Bryant McKinnie to Douchebags Anonymous.

Now whilst it is very exciting that there is a bill in the mix, something that looked unlikely a couple of weeks ago, this bill it seems is very flawed. In fact, the issues with it have caused many supporters of the new stadium to come out against it. Gov. Tim Pawlenty is one of them who was very vocal about getting a new stadium organises as soon as possible. The trouble is that the money will have to come from taxes, in a state which has a huge deficit, and whilst I’m sure the stadium will bring in masses of revenue, perhaps this bill does not properly address the balance.

So expect this rather rushed bill to be stepped on at some point soon. A shame really, because I think that you can’t put a price on having an NFL Franchise in a city, but at least it shows that there are a lot people in the right places who are pushing for something to happen soon.

Away from the political side, Vikings Gab reports that we’ve given contracts to two undrafted free agents. This is very exciting indeed and I hope these two continue to show their worth and fight for a place on the team. Of course one of our biggest ever players to come through in this way was John Randle, it is too much to hope that these two end up like him?

Over at Bleacher Report, Kevin Roberts unleashes hell on SI’s Peter King for reporting that he knows a bloke who knows a bloke who knows a bloke who said that he spoke to a bloke who said that Favre told his mate who knows a bloke that he is 100% certainly going to retire. Using my bullsh*t media translator this boils down to… I need a quick buck so I’ll make some sh*t up. W*nker! Journalists really need to start behaving themselves, and stop using Fuzzy Dunlop as their source for any story that they think is going to put them on the front page. Fair enough, King tracks back on the “quote” saying Favre is always changing his mind so he’s not sure how 100% he really is, but even so, if you aren’t going to name your source, or put your money where your mouth is then just don’t write it. King just discredits himself by discarding his own “exclusive quote” under the pretence of Favre being indecisive. Until I hear it from the Silver Horse’s mouth, I’m going to keep on believing that Favre is going to come back, but under no circumstances am I just going to make up something just for the sake of a few hits.

In other news a friend of SI’s Peter King; let’s call him Snot Boogie,  told a squirrel who told my dog who told me that he is out of a job for being a spineless parasite… ohhh snaaap!

Right, that’s your lot for today! Back tomorrow with more Purple goings on! SKOL!

Weekend’s Six of the Best

My weekends are really starting to fill up at the moment, which means less time for blogging. And so from now, every Saturday I’m going to offer up my six top link of the week to stories and sites which will nourish your hunger for Vikings news.

1) Vikings Gab this week have been running very good and in-depth profiles on our latest draftees. Here’s the link to Nate Triplett (shouldn’t his name have 3 T’s in it though?), but I also recommend checking out the rest of the site to see their analysis of the other new recruits.

2) Having nearly given up on my own Favre Watch, it’s good to see others keeping up to date on the Silver Fox, including The Vikings Ship. There’s also a cracking video of the Silver Fox’s Super Bowl commercial outtakes. That man can improv better than Will Ferrell after a gallon of milk!

3) Lemke’s Lot has more analysis of our draft picks, with insight into how they will likely fit into the team. Short, sharp and to the point.

4) The ever hilarious Purple Jesus Diaries have a good review of the week, including some epic facepalm action re: Favre’s ankle and the reporting thereof.

5) Over on PFT, there’s a selection of one liners about draftees and the unsigned ones who are partaking in practice. By far the most interesting is Ryan Perrilloux, a QB with a troubled past, sent back through time to change the course of the future, for one lucky lady. Maybe I’ll call him Sherman if we sign him…

6) And finally, completely off topic, I recently discovered this British journalist called Charlie Brooker, who is a bloody genius. So here are a couple of his finest moments, as he dismantles some American TV, and praises my favourite TV show of all time, The Wire.

Brick Keeps Us Waiting

Good morning Purple Nation. Well I didn’t see that coming I must say, I was hoping to wake up this morning to see us with a shiny new draftee, but there were a confusing few moments when I logged onto NFL.com this morning. First off, I saw that Sam Bradford went to the Rams, okay pretty standard stuff, so then I scrolled down to #30, and saw… the Lions with a new running back… Ummmmay, so did we trade up for 2nd overall, and grab Ndkdkaakahhagmmgmggmnng? No… Detroit got him too, so where the bugger were we in round one? Well it seems that Rick and Brad (Brick if they were a celebrity couple) decided to pounce on this years very deep draft and trade 30th overall for the Lions’ 2nd, 4th and 7th round picks. Score!!!

Unlike Jim Souhan at the Tribune who frets that the choice to allow our divisional rivals the chance at another solid player could result in Detroit being half decent in a year or seven’s time, I for one am excited at us making a very smart move in the draft. And, like Gonzo at the Norseman, I feel like it’s given us an opportunity to take a franchise Quarterback, in Jimmy Clausen at the top of round 2, and still have the picks to strengthen the defence, plus we didn’t really miss out on anyone we were needed from the later picks by the Colts and S*ints, so it seems to be a win/win.

From what I’ve heard Clausen is a real top prospect, and if we do take him, he is a player we can school for a year or two, and then unleash. He was meant to be first round, high-pick material and it is a bit of a mystery why gimps like Tebow were picked above him, but it is the way it is and I think we’d be mad not to take this opportunity. A good QB will last a long time, can take the team places, and we need someone like that. Favre or no Favre, T-Jack/Sage are not franchise material and I can’t see us getting another opportunity next year to take such a promising player. Plus if we take him now, he’d have the opportunity (probably) to learn from one of the greatest of all time. There have been questions over Clausen’s temperament but surely a couple of seasons under the wing of some quality players will ground the guy and ready him for the big time.

And if we did take him, the extra picks we have would let us still make quality signings to strengthen the team. We are not as desperate for a CB either, so in my opinion it makes sense.

But if yesterday taught us one thing, it’s to expect the unexpected, and this could well be a move from the Brick to make wholesale changes to key areas of the team. Regardless, if you’re a Vikings, suddenly round 2-7 are going to be a lot more interesting.

And to add some spice to the mix, and possibly influence our decision, we have the return of FAVRE WATCH!!!

NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci claims that he had a phone conversation with Brett Favre a couple of days ago, and the Silver Fox claims that he is still unsure about 2010, mainly because his poor little ankle still hasn’t recovered from the battering it took back in January. So expect the man’s agent to release more pics, we all remember the old ones of course…*cue miniature violins*

So what will this all mean? Well I won’t know till tomorrow morning, but it should be tasty whatever happens.

Mocking the Mock and Montying Monty?!?

Just what is the point of Mock Drafts? Every time I read one I end up asking myself the same question. And after reading this one I just want to hit someone, probably JP Frederick with a big “Duh!” sign. The thing is that if you are the top team, pretty much everyone knows who you are going to pick, you pick the best player, whether it’s an unpronouncable DT or a possible franchise QB you take the best player in the position you need.  But beyond about the top 5 things get cloudy as teams begin to chop and change based on their opinions of certain players and weighing that up against what they need. This always happens, so why in bloody hell do analysts bother wasting their time predicting it and writing pointless articles pointing out what fans already know?

In the article I linked to it says that if Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford, a potential superstar, was still unpicked we’d grab him in place of tightening up the defence. Well of course we’ll grab someone that good if they are still available! But that’s like asking, if someone offered you free money would you take it? Trouble is that it ain’t gonna happen! And the mock draft offered up in the article is just a waste of space, as are pretty much all of them out there which either consist of a standard list, or a cookie cutter explanation of the choice, for example:

Rnd 1 – #30 – Vikings pick: Jeff Crapinthehead, CB from Dingletown. I like Jeff, he’s big, he’s got nice hair, he listens to Justin Beiber and his mom said to my sister’s friend’s dog that he really wanted to go to play basketball for the Wizards but the Vikings need a 6’7″ tall bloke to jump up and down and wave his hands cos Winfield’s leg fell off after McKinnie took him for a night out with some diseased transvestite donkey witch (SJP). But he might be picked higher up by the Raiders who might pick this other guy who looks like John Travolta.

If I really had some spare time on my hands, I’d get the list of all 7bn players in the draft this year, and put Ndkkkkaamaamamaoo, McCoy and Bradford at the top and then pick the rest out of a hat, and I’d probably get the same amount right as most mocks out there because you just can’t predict them. Look at Percy Harvin, I saw pages out there last year that had him going to the 49ers, and Colts, that’s #7 and #28! Yeah there were some other places who got it right, and fair play but I think time is much better spent analysing the needs of a team and coming out with a nice healthy list rather than making a mock for the whole bloody league.

Phew! Sorry if that didn’t make any sense whatsoever, I just needed to let off some steam. I also am going to try to concentrate on only reading draft talk from Viking sites rather than NFL-wide places to try and get a better idea of who is available to suit our needs. I know mocks can be entertaining, but I just don’t see the point, especially when they are openly pointless, playing about with the most unlikely situations in which a team is able to pick the second-second coming (the first is All-Day).

On the side of real news, we’ve signed that Montgomery chap. He’ll be there to back up Ray Edwards but as the Gab points out, he’s one of 4 defensive ends who’s 2010 will also be a contract year, should make things interesting at least.

We’re also looking at veteran corner, Tye Hill, who is due to make his mind up about either the Vikes or the Titans today. More experience in defence should be a good thing, I wonder if it also means we are going to be less active on defence in the draft now though… maybe I should make a mock draft to reflect this.

I’ll end today with a brief ode to FAVRE WATCH which has been a little quiet of late, and today is no exception. My link today is from an article on Vikings Update, in particular point 2. Ed Thompson things the Vikes and Favre should end their silly charade, man up, admit Farve is coming back, and just say that he isn’t going to be attending the opening training camps because they are about as useful as a football to the groin, “rather than hide behind what appears to be a poorly conceived charade that opens up integrity questions for everyone involved.” Hmmmmmm….. very interesting point. I think a lot of us out there would be very happy/relieved if you are right on this one.

Rocks, hard places and the Raiders

Since my last news related post in which I asked fans if they want McNabb if Favre called it a day (most of you do by the way), the situation has sort of/not really been turned on it’s metaphorical/literal/proverbial head(?). D-Mac came out and said that if he isn’t playing for Philly next year then he’d want to play for the Vikings, and at the same time the Raiders said that they are interested in Sage “Oh, so that’s what a snap looks like” Rosenfels. This has prompted the Vikings Nation to come out in full force airing their views on what these  stories could mean for the team, and more importantly how they feel about them.

Let’s deal with MaccyD first, because he is certainly the bigger of the two stories. The crux of a potential trade for McNabb of course centres around the future of Brett Favre, like Mr Potter and Voldemort, one cannot live while the other survives, in other words we can’t have both of them. Of course who is Harry and who is He Who Must Not Be Named (sorry, I watched some of the Half Blood Prince on the plane last week to send me to sleep) depends on how you view the respective Quarterbacks. PJD of course sees Brett as the the Devil incarnate, and wishes that we’d just ditch Foxy, save a few bob, and have a 5-6 year starter at QB, rather than missing the opportunity and only have to address this situation again next year.

Part of me does agree with PJ, we are in a corner with Brett, and I’m not convinced that if Brett is back in 2010 that the magic will be quite the same, but neither am I convinced with McNabb. He’s certainly taken Philly places, but is he really an upgrade on Brett or just Tavaris Jackson only not completely shite? Of course long term he is the better option, but we never brought Brett in to be a long term fix did we? If only Brett would announce what his plans are, that way we can move forward, but as it stands he almost certainly knows and we don’t. This whole McNabb situation really has hit home what a lot of us have been worried about since Brett said he would take his time and Chilly et al said they’d let him do it; what if an equally good offer comes along? We are now left with three options as I see it:

1) Screw Brett, take McNabb

2) Wait on Brett, hope McNabb remains available just in case

3) Lose Brett after waiting 3 more months, McNabb, fed up waiting, signs with the Bengals.

Being a pretty unscarred Vikings fan, I’m going to put my trust in the coach and hope he knows what is really going on, but I understand that a lot of you out there are a lot more wary, there are 2 win situations and 1 lose as I see it, but that 1 lose is just as likely as the 2 wins if not more so, but in Chilly I Trust (just as long as he grows his beard back).

The situation with Sage is a lot more straightforward as pointed out by the Gab. Have a read, and you’ll see why.

The only other news worth item today is that we are meant to be meeting with former P*cker, DE Mike Montgomery. Looks alright on paper, not sure about taking on another former P*cker but needs must…

Have a good one people. Skol

Quickie Time – Scraps in the desert of the offseason, no LT, green green grass and Tebow can throw…

Well I’m back from a 1200 mile road trip and the good news is that my fiancée has a shortlist of 3 wedding dresses, and I have a shit-ton of stuff from the Oregon outlets!

It’s amazing how a week away from the Purple leaves a void in my life, but then at the same time when I do get back to find out what’s been going on, there really isn’t that much to catch up on. I”m not surprised that LT decided not to come to us, and I’m glad he didn’t, as good as he was, I’m sorry but the man is past it. I’m also glad that the Brian Westbrook brigade have quieted down, but it looks like the Tim Tebow circus keeps on making its way to town. I don’t get it, he’s not #1 pick material, in fact from the look of things he’s not even NFL material but for some reason he’s stealing all the press who seem to be wetting their pants over how he’s found a new way to throw the ball. I thought there was only one way to throw the ball, maybe he’s spent some time in Thailand and adapted that ping-pong ball trick for use in the Shotgun formation…

In other, equally dull news, it really is looking like a Vikes @ Saints opener, whilst the first team at the Metrodome will be welcomed with new turf….. ooohhhhhhhh!

Having recovered from a small case of Offseason Fever, Adam at Vikings Gab has been fielding your questions about such matters as Ray Edwards and the draft. It’s good to see other Purple bloggers finding ways to make ends meet during these troubling dry spells.

As for me, my future sister-in-law in getting married today so I’m off to demand the finest wines available to humanity. I want them here and I want them now!

I’ll leave you with a brief FAVRE WATCH in which Joe Montana says Favre is coming back, and in doing so earned a box of Twinkies.

Tuesday Morning – The floodgates are open

Well it’s finally happened. The Vikings have signed a player! A kicker and former Gopher (like my loafers) by the name of Rhys Lloyd. A man who will bring order to the Vikings’ Special Teams, a man whose right foot is capable of launching the space shuttle, a man who strikes fear into the opposition with the mere whisper of his name, a man who hasn’t attempted a field goal in three seasons… woah!! Wait, what? Well actually that last bit really doesn’t matter, because for the moment at least he is going to step up to kick off and that’s about it. Jones’ speciality it seems, is touchbacks, something which should really help our Defence dominate even more than they already do, and take the pressure off the rest of the Special Teams as they should have less KO returns to defend. A very smart signing by the looks of things, and one which won’t break the bank.

On the flip side of concrete signings, we’ve also been treated to some lovely speculation. First off the bat was that we’ve been linked to former Lions CB Phillip Buchanon. And the second, any my personal favourite is that according to Judd Zulgad, we “appear to have a genuine interest” in LaDainian Tomlinson. According to who exactly though, Judd? The Muffin Man? Jay Leno? This rumour may well be true (though if it is I’m not that keen on the idea), but come on Judd, at least cite someone who made you write that we “appear to have a genuine interest”. Hell, I’d even settle for a  “source close to the Vikings said” or “LT’s agent’s long-lost brother told the guy at the local Starbucks who then told me” for crying out loud! No instead you just say we appear to have a genuine interest and go on to state what we already know about LT, and how he would fit into the team, duh… as 3rd down back perhaps? Thanks to the lovely Judd, pretty much every NFL site is running this story, which “appears” to be based on absolutely sod-all!

In other news, the StarCaps Episode V: The NFL Strikes Back continues, with the Williams’ due to take to the stand today. Hope that all goes well…  but it probably won’t.

Also might I point you in the direction of the Daily Norseman today who have a good, balanced look at the state of the team in the wake of losing a couple of players whilst our pathetic neighbours sign anything that moves. A worthwhile read for anyone panicking that we’ve lost a couple of our players but haven’t signed anyone yet…

In today’s FAVRE WATCH the bookies reckon that Favre is pretty much odds-on to return next season.

That’s all folks!

Monday News Roundup – You turn your back for a second…

Well after an impromptu day off yesterday, I came back late on Sunday to find a whole manner of activity going on in the Vikings World.

First off Artis Hicks has signed a 3 year deal with the Washington Redskins. Now as I understand it, Hicks was our top backup on the O-Line, but I don’t think he really had much of a chance playing starter for this team and is right to want away and give it a shot somewhere else. The downside of him leaving is that he is quite a versatile player, but on the plus side, as with Taylor leaving, we now have another Free Agent we can sign if one presents himself.

Obviously losing 2 free agents has caused a minor storm in the Vikings’ teacup but Zygi Wilf insists we didn’t lose CT or Hicks because we’re cutting back. He threw up a couple of reassuring sound-bites about the direction the team is going and it seems to bode well for the future. First off he addressed the losses of CT and Hicks:

“I work with my guys. When we want somebody, we go after them; that’s the way we’ve been doing it, and we’ll continue to do so when the time comes. When the opportunity arises and when the time comes, we will go out and get that person, but right now we’re really working on the draft.”

Pretty standard stuff here, but it is nice to know that we aren’t just spending money or using our Free Agency buys because we have them. There is no point signing anything that moves, especially when the team was so nearly complete last year. True, we need a couple of additions who have experience on the field, but with the strength we have already, we can afford to take our time, and not blow vast sums of money like the Bores are doing right now.

On the stadium situation, Zygi said:

“I think there’s a lot of enthusiasm for our team, and the importance that our team has for everybody in Minnesota makes it something that we have to deal with… I think everybody realizes that we need to get something done, not just for the football, for the Vikings, but we need to have a facility that can really attract all those events that the great cities of America are getting. We should be able to get the Final Four, we should get the Super Bowl, and we should get things like Indy is getting. Why shouldn’t we get them in Minnesota?”

Once again, this is what we expect him to be saying at this point, but it’s good to know that he is in touch with all the factors involved in the stadium campaign, and he is the right person to lead the way. He also expressed the need for an indoor stadium, hopefully he’ll have the budget to get a nice mechanical roof to cover the field…

Childress also spoke about the loss of CT. And so did Purple Jesus. Guess which one is more interesting? Also on PJD is a quick blast of the Bores and their idiotic free agency signings, Mark Craig disagrees saying the Bores are closing the gap, but I’m on the side of PJ, the Bores a gash, and big signings are not what they need to patch up the crock which is their entire team. What do you lot think? Are the Bores better, worse or just the same old pile of overpriced FAIL?

The Vikings v NFL trial begins today too. I’ve spoken about this before and I’m still of the opinion that the NFL need to win this precedent setting case. They are going to throw everything at the Williams’, who in my opinion are innocent, but somehow I think that 4 game suspension will finally catch up with them, the case is too important for the NFL to lose. But you never know, it is in a Minnesota court, and apparently Chilly could be brought  to the stand to impose his Beard of Justice upon the “pencil pushing” Roger Goodell.

And it is Chilly who leads today’s FAVRE WATCH. Apparently old Silver Beardpopped in to see the Silver Fox last week. They had punch and pie, and enjoyed a Hannah Montana marathon.

Soooo, I’m going to be cutting back on my posts over the next few weeks. A long overdue holiday to California beckons so I’ll be kicking back for a while to let the drama unfold without comment. I’m sure that by the time I return, Favre will have picked his nose in such a way to suggest he’s coming back, but will then scratch his arse which will be seen as a sign that he isn’t. So enjoy the next couple of weeks, but I will be posting intermittently, so do drop by.

SKOL!