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!

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Goodbye Chester & My Top 10 Moments of 2009 – #4 Beating the P*ckers @ GB

Balls, I’m going to need a new home shirt (I have JA and AP, so who do you think I should get next?), my shining #29 is now at the back of the closet because Chester Taylor has signed with the Chicago Bores, who also picked up Jared Allen’s nemesis, Julius Peppers. Gotta give credit to Chicago, they’re making waves with some big signings, but then again, they did that with Cutler last year and it amounted to absolutely nothing. However in an uncapped season it’s a bold move, so it looks like NFC North is going to be an even more fierce division that’s for sure. Gutted to see us lose Chester, but we now can grab a free agent, so hopefully we’ll use the choice wisely.

Now on with the next Top Moment of 2009:

There’s nothing quite like beating your neighbour in your own home. Your family are all there to see it and the atmosphere is amazing. But at the same time, beating them in their own back yard is even better. Their fans go home dejected, and for the chosen few away fans who made it to the field, the victory is even sweeter.

Last year, the Week 4 win over the P*ckers in the Metrodome was amazing, but going to Green Bay with their old #4 under our centre, and handing their asses to them again was even better.

The week before the game, we went 6-1 after losing to the Steelers. It was a game which could have gone either way, and ended with a Chester Taylor missed catch which was picked up for a TD. Certainly it burst the bubble that was made at the start of the season, which made the game against the P*ckers even more important.

If Favre was under pressure in Week 4, it was nothing compared to when he walked out on Lambeau Field dressed in Purple (White actually…). But once again it was a game that we totally dominated, with another massive performance from the Silver Fox.

Apart from the stutter at the start, where Sullivan snapped to an unsuspecting Favre and we turned over, we killed them. A great kickoff return to the GB 12 by Percy, and the ensuing 4th down TD from Peterson put us ahead. And then Favre connected with Shank to put us in control, with Longwell making it 17-3 at the half.

Then came one of my favourite scores of the year, when Favre connected with Percy whose quick feet made 3 GB defenders fall like skittles. From there the P*ckers rallied and came within 4 points before Jeff Dugan got his 1st score in 3 years! GB came back again, but Bernard Berrian caught Favre’s 4th TD of the game to wrap it all up.

If there was any doubt that Favre wasn’t the missing piece in our puzzle, it was erased by this game. Like I said, beating your neighbour in their own back yard is the best feeling. After all the crap we’d heard from the GB faithful, we could now just laugh at them! The belief was back, the team was united and this game played a huge part in the story of our season.

Tuesday morning – McKinnie loses the power of speech, and Chester is beginning to Bore me.

Good morning Purple Nation! It’s another glorious day in London, there is a giant box of fine Belgian chocolates next to my desk, my chair is creaking under the weight of a man who nom’d his way through an epic Wing Night @ The Maple Leaf in Covent Garden, and it seems that Bryant McKinnie has lost the power of speech!

This morning the news on the great lummox is that he has plantar fasciitis in his feet. What I love most about this is how the silly bugger announced the news to the world. Not through his agent, not on Leno, not through Captain Janks from the Howard Stern show calling ESPN; no, it seems the only way Big Mac can communicate with the outside world is through twitter. This is all starting to make perfect sense; I mean the silly-fat-wanker is probably only capable of stringing a sentence together which contains under 140 characters, and he can do it with the least possible effort whilst simultaneously chugging down $25k worth of champers alongside the finest ladies in Miami.

Truth be told I’ve actually enjoyed following his antics on twitter the past month, much in the same way I love watching fat people fall through a frozen lake, it’s painful, but hilarious to behold.

But I’ve finally had enough. The difference between McKinnie and the fat bloke is that as soon as that guy hit the freezing water, he realised he was a total plonker. But Bryant seems to like acting like a complete gimptard every single day and then broadcasting his stupidity to the world and expecting to be worshiped for it. On an early post I announced that he was already in my Boo Box, well he’s also made my Stephen Colbert – On Notice List:

Just be glad you're not "Dead To Me" yet...

Now that’s off my chest, on with other business. PJD reports on the Chester Taylor situation, who, according to his insider knowledge (courtesy of ESPN) is a target for the Chicago Bores…Don’t do it Chester! Seriously, you’ll be in close proximity to Jay Cutler and probably contract Chinballitis.

For today’s FAVRE WATCH, just a single story today with more fans taking out newspaper ads. Please stop, no seriously, please just stop. At first I quite liked the whole “Let’s show Brett how much we want him back”, but now it’s just a pathetic game of one-upmanship from people who really should be doing something better with their time. Hell, they could donate the money spent on the ad to the Favre Foundation with a message. Stop being so bloody pathetic people, I know that most of us want Favre back, but there are ways of getting your message across without looking like a Michael Jackson fan.

Keep on rocking it people! It’s been a very slow start to the week, but hopefully we’ll soon have something interesting to get stuck into.

Monday Morning Vikings News – Playing the Waiting Game

Good morning Viking Clan! It’s a beautiful spring morning here in London, and I’ve just about recovered from a very, very long weekend. It’s a good thing too, cos the next 3 or so weeks are going to be utter chaos. Crazy busy this week, and then I’m off to see my future sister-in-law get married so I’ll be updating from California for a fortnight. Still, it’s all fun and games, till someone loses an eye, then it’s just fun…

Why am I telling you this? Well it’s probably going to take its toll on the blog and the amount of time I have to write it each morning. There will probably be less commentary and more links to Vikings news (unless you prefer my ramblings, in which case speak now and I’ll cut down on my scouring for news items and just talk up the main points). I’m also going to try to throw in some more polls and encourage you lot to comment amongst one another about the state of our team by bringing up a few contentious points, and I’ll conclude my Top 10 of 2009 series too.

So all that to look forward to, I’ll make sure I do my best to keep going every day though. The first item of business today is the return of WR Greg Lewis. The former free agent re-joins us for another year, to beef up our receivers, and I’m sure we’re all hoping for another San Francisco moment in 2010. So that’s 1 UFA down, and Chester Taylor to go. In the slightly adapted words of Paul Allen “GREG LEWIS, WELCOME BACK TO MINNESOTA!”

In other news Judd Zulgad reports from the Combine on our QB Scouting and some talk on overtime changes. And in the Pioneer Press, there are a couple of interesting stories, the first concerning the Williams’ lawsuit after the pair waived the right to a jury trial over whether the NFL violated MN state law, and the second reporting on the Vikings apparent ignorance when it came to knowing the extent of Harvin’s migraine issues. We are also apparently sending in the A-Team to lobby like crazy for a new stadium.

For today’s FAVRE WATCH, we join Ol’ Chilly Beard. Brad says he happy to give Favre time (apparently to pave his ma-in-law’s driveway), but I’m more inclined to agree with a lot of the Vikings blogs out there who are beginning to worry about this softly-softly approach. Some sort of time-frame needs to be laid out, otherwise we could be left out in the cold for a long time not knowing what direction the team is going in, and as much as I want Favre to come back, I don’t want another will he/won’t he fiasco to play out as I don’t believe it will be constructive for the team as they begin to prepare for next season.

Right, on with crazy week #1! Back tomorrow!

Friday Morning Roundup – Longwell gets a Bonus, we get nothing but cereal.

Good morning all. It’s another day in Viking paradise, Phil Collins is playing off in the distance, I saw two pigeons eating a pile of sick on the way into work, and Ryan Longwell is owed $500k. Ahh yes, what a day! For a blog which relies on fresh news, I’m actually starting to feel like those pigeons I saw this morning. Every day I make my usual travels around the interweb, scoping out anything related to the Purple, sometimes there’s a gem, sometimes there’s a turd, but most recently there’s been nothing, or even worse than that, whole articles on nothing.

Judd Zulgad from the Star Tribune is currently at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, and managed to catch up with the Vike’s head of personnel, Rick Spielman yesterday to try to talk about our plans for the offseason. So what news of Favre..? What’s the sketch with Sage and T-Jack..? How about draft prospects..?

“I don’t want to get into what we’re committed to and what we’re not committed to because I think this time of year everything is in flux, everything is etched in oatmeal.”

Whaaaaaaaaaat? What does that even mean? “Etched in oatmeal”??? Is that like the opposite to etched in stone, is that better than etched in country gravy, is it on a par with scribbled in crayon? Okay maybe there’s more to come from the Spielmeister, what else did he have to say?

“Our focus now is basically doing what we normally do and going through our normal process and procedures. Trying to get prepared for everything that’s coming ahead and trying to add players to our roster that we think can help us win and continue to win.”

Oh, thank god for that! I was worried that we weren’t going to do things normally, I thought we were going to ask Captain Crunch for his recommendations in the draft… Hang on, maybe that’s it, maybe etchings in oatmeal is Crunch’s preferred method of communication… My head hurts.

You see what this lack of news does to a Vikings’ fan? It’s like ruddy Cabin Fever. Please Judd, please, no more articles reporting on nothing. You could just as easily have said, I spoke to Rick, he told me nothing, then I went to the pub. There, done!

The only good thing to come from this is that it makes what would usually be a very mind numbing FAVRE WATCH seem as good as The Wire:

Yes, Kolette Lind from Pine City penned this little number. At this rate I predict that fans will also make Brett his own iPhone App, branded Crocs, and a special edition Subway sandwich with “Will he/Won’t he Sauce” and bread with “We want you” cooked onto each slice. Watch this space…

Okay, apologies for the slightly wacky post today. I’ll be back over the weekend with more from my Top 10 Moments of 2009, guaranteed crazy free.

Thursday Morning – Favre to go Primetime next week

Good morning Vikings’ fans (albeit a little late cos I wrote all this 5 hours ago and for some reason it didn’t post…). There are some mornings which just fail to inspire, and today is one of those mornings. I probably wasn’t helped by the incredibly drab headline on BBC Breakfast this morning over salt levels in soup! Yes you read that right, salt levels in soup. Salt in soup, over and over again in the news this morning, the banal duo of Bill Turnbull and Sian Williams droned on and on about soup… bugger me this country is boring sometimes…

Luckily however, we have a full-blooded, high caffeine, extra salty edition of FAVRE WATCH!

The main headline today is that the Old Man is going to be appearing on Jay Leno on March 4th! I doubt that any news will come on his future, in fact I doubt we’ll hear anything new at all. Leno will probably just trawl over old ground, the Saints game, playing the P*ckers, playing in Purple. Favre may have said that he won’t take long to make his mind up over his future after the NFC Championship game, but I think he’ll want to break the news on his own terms. It could still be an interesting interview, but I doubt that any bombshells will be dropped.

One subject that is almost certain to be brough up will be the amazing support Favre has had from his fans. The latest chapter in this story is that a newspaper ad has been taken out to run on Monday in the Hattiesburg American newspaper trying to convince the Silver Fox to make his return in Purple. Benjamin Nelms, 39, is the man responsible for the ad and said that he ” hope[s] that if he’s on the fence, this can be a piece of wind that pushes him back onto our side.” Hopefully he won’t land on his busted ankle when he does though…

And on that same link, there is an interview with the Star Tribune’s Sid Hartman, who says he strongly believes Favre will come back for another year having talked to some of Brett friends over the past couple of weeks.

On with other Vikings stories and there isn’t a great deal else going on. The Combine in Indy seems to be drawing most of the attention, so hopefully in the coming days we’ll be getting something of an idea of who our scouts are looking at for the Draft.

I’ll leave you in the capable hands of the Purple Jesus Diaries, and their take on a brand new Vikings comic called The Rube… I’m off to check salt levels in mouse mats. Skol!

Rumour Mill Tuesday – LT, CT, Randy and other random buzzcocks.

Good morning nation, I hope I find you all well this morning. And me? Well I’m nursing my usual caffeine fix, and wondering how, when I started this blog, I thought vikingsuk was a good url… I mean I was going for Vikings UK, because I’m a limey, and I like the Vikings, but in my post-colonial naivety, I failed to notice that really my site sounds more like a P*cker lover paradise. Having had a few people point this out to me, I have managed to change my twitter account to something more suitable, but sadly this page remains a nice fat *facepalm* moment in my blogging career. So let me be clear, it’s Vikings UK not Viking Suk, I love the Vikes, but I can also see how my url might have suggested I was a gimptarded cheesehead.

Right, with that out of the way it’s time to wade into the quagmire of speculation that has arisen this morning. After very little yesterday the rumour busses have all arrived at once serving up a mixture of pure drivel and interesting opinions.

I’ll open with something which caught my eye yesterday saying Chester Taylor Is On The Move , well actually it doesn’t say that, it’s just a cheeky eye-catching headline but there is heavy speculation on his future and our options should CT fly the nest particularly in the draft, and also on how his possible departure could affect the mileage of AP. As I said yesterday, I don’t expect Taylor to stay, the grass for him can be a lot greener on the other side, the only thing it could come down to is whether he doesn’t mind playing second fiddle to AP in a big team, or whether he wants to be a bigger fish in a smaller team.

With CT likely to leave, and the news yesterday that LaDainian Tomlinson has left the Chargers, it didn’t take long for his name to be touted around as a new backup to Purple Jesus. Offering their takes on this today are danzinski on Viking Age and Adam Warwas on Vikings Gab, and both bring some interesting points to the table. The former is for the most part against the move, citing in particular the injury prone nature of the former Charger, whilst Warwas offers up a more balanced point of view with both the pros and cons of any potential trade.

In my humble opinion we should leave LT alone despite any benefits we may get in terms of trade options, keeping CT whilst unlikely should be our priority. The thing is that Chester Taylor is our Toyota Camry, no frills, but nice and reliable. On the other hand, Tomlinson is a Ferrari 355, a legend of its time, but now only good for the occasional thrill before it breaks down and costs a fortune to repair.

Also on Viking Gab yesterday, Warwas touched on the Semi-Annual Randy Moss Rumours. Courtesy of Mike Florio at PFT, it appears Moss wants out of New England and they seem willing to let him go to free up money for other players. There’s some interesting stuff from Warwas again, pointing out that it could well be the icing on the cake to entice Favre back for another year, though it would also be likely to cost Berrian his place in the team. There is no doubt that Moss is a quality receiver, but he also carries the risk of his ego, and whilst Berrian was quiet for most of the season, he did pick up his game in the playoffs. I think Moss would be a good acquisition if the opportunity were to arise, despite the apparent risks, but there is a lot which has to happen before the team can even consider signing him. In an ideal world perhaps, but at the moment my gut says it’s not going to happen.

So there we have it, try to keep CT, steer clear of LaDainian “Ferrari Cake” Tomlinson, and snatch up Moss if the 12 moons of Saturn align. Oh sweet, sweet rumours, caress me with your foundation free guff.

And it doesn’t stop there, because adding his hot air to another rumour is Linebacker, Ben Leber, which brings us to today’s FAVRE WATCH!

Yes, not content with just letting the man enjoy his billboards in peace, is Leber whose gut is producing some good vibes and noxious fumes:

“I think my gut feeling is that he is gonna come back, and I hope my gut is right. A respectable timetable is to let us know as early as possible.”

Yes Brett! Please make up your mind soon for the sake of Ben’s gut, it’s just not been the same since he went over to Jared’s ranch for a BBQ and went for the Veggie option!