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!

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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.

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!

Monday morning, my offseason predictions and the offseason lull hits top/bottom gear

Top of the morning to you all. It well and truly is the offseason now, 4 weeks after starting this blog I come into a Monday morning with 3 open tabs, and nothing new to report on. I suppose I can’t really complain too much though, we’ve had more news than most teams and there are still plenty of exciting (though perhaps not se dramatic) stories that are still to play out in the coming months.

So in the fine tradition of pretty much every football blog out there I’m going to lay out my predictions for the Vikings in the offseason.

1) There’s no point sitting on the fence, Brett Favre is coming back. There may be some out there who don’t want another year of the Silver Fox, but the way I see it, we need the guy. Sage and T-Jack just don’t seem up to the job, and our only other option is to trade up in the draft and get a quality QB straight out of college early on, but I just can’t see that happening. Favre must still be hungry for more, and as bruised and battered as he was after the Saints game, he won’t want to bow out on yet another heartbreaking interception. Plus he knows there’s money in the bag, the fans love him, the team loves him, he loves the team and he really does have another shot at making it to the Super Bowl.

2) The new stadium will not be confirmed until the 11th hour (end of 2010 at the earliest). The financial situation in Minnesota means that getting the legislature through to build a new stadium will be nigh on impossible for the time being, and whilst Gov. Pawlenty (who’s quotes are being recycled so often they’re starting to taste like Dutch Lager) is very vocal about getting it all set in stone, but money is the biggest factor here, and money in the present, not the future (money that a stadium would bring in). I also do not think the Vikings will be moved from Minneapolis,  but at the same time I recognise that this is a real threat. The people who will make the decision on a new stadium cannot be complacent, because places like LA want a football team, and if the Vikings do come on the market someone will snatch us up and move us away, which in my opinion will destroy the soul of the team.

3) The StarCaps saga will not go on an on. Whilst Pat and Kevin Williams have won a few battles in this Never Ending Story, the war they are waging against the NFL, in my opinion will end in a 4 game suspension. Betting against the NFL is like betting on the Lions, you gonna lose! The NFL will throw everything they have at this case to stamp their authoritah on the situation because if they lose it sets a worrying precedent from their perspective. Personally I think the NFL are in the wrong though, but they need to win this case and I think they will.

4) Chester Taylor will leave us this offseason. You can’t blame the guy, he had some very productive seasons, and then came AP, relegating Taylor to a 3rd down back, possibly one of the best in the league, but not the #1 choice. We need Taylor, he is a great go-to player, and is so versatile, catching, running and blocking when we really need it. But he wants, and if we’re honest, deserves another crack at being at #1. The only thing that could persuade him apart from $$$ is that he isn’t a spring chicken anymore, and as a 3rd down back in a very good team he still has a shot at glory, as well as potentially being able to prolong his career  due to the fact that he won’t be taking regular punishment like he would be as a starter. But if a team like New England do come-a-knocking it could be too good to pass up on, and if they do, I think we’ll see the end of him in Purple.

5) In the Draft this year, defence should be our priority. I’m no expert on the College football scene as it barely gets any coverage in the UK, so I’m just going to say where I think we will strengthen the team with new blood.

Rnd1) A cornerback should be top of our shopping list after injuries to both our starters and some questionable form from Antoine Winfield towards the end of last season. Despite promise from rookie Asher Allen, our secondary was the weakest area of the team last year and it needs fixing. A strong CB in round one should offer up good competition for the starters as well as cover when we need it, which could be as early as week 1 if Cedric Griffin hasn’t recovered from his surgery.

Rnd2) This is more dependant from what’s available, but if the opportunity is there, we should get a QB on the roster. Regardless of whether Brett comes back, having a rookie QB on the team is a must for the future of the team. Sage and T-Jack do not realistically have a long term future with the team and with a supposedly strong draft crop in 2010, this could be a great year to pick up a future star.

Rnd3) An offensive tackle. The other key failing of the team last year was the O-Line. Losing Matt Birk at Centre caused a few problems but John Sullivan should be able to grow into the role, as should Phil Loadholt. Bryant McKinnie on the other hand seems to be burning bridges on a daily basis and I don’t want to see him playing next year after finding out what a total plank he really is, the fact he likes to advertise this on Twitter so often only goes to reinforce my opinion of him. Whilst he may not be cut from the team, a new OT would give him the kick up the arse, he need in the short term and if he doesn’t perform then the rook takes his place, it’s a win-win… almost.

Rnd4 onwards…) Beyond the first 3 rounds I think another CB/Safety should be on our shopping list as that secondary really needs patching up, and then depending on the Chester Taylor situation, a new Running Back could be needed, and finally another addition to the O-Line, possibly a centre to put pressure on Sullivan.

Whatever happens, it’s going to be a cracking few months though, I just hope there aren’t too many more days with a news drought like today otherwise I may end up making predictions on the length and style of Ol’ Chilly’s beard.

Friday roundup. Harvin is Rookie of the Year, McKinnie still doesn’t get it, Rice is waiting and Jared needs saving!

One of the few advantages of being a Vikings’ fan in the UK is that following our loss to the Saints it was quite easy for me to avoid being reminded of that painful night. I could avoid the NFL website altogether, very few of my friends know anything about the game so there was no talk about the Super Bowl from them, and as the game isn’t that big of a deal here, TV station and news papers stuck to reporting on how our Soccer Captain is a cheating piece of scum.
I was doing so well, and then out of the blue, on BBC Breakfast on came a very badly put together promo for the Super Bowl. Any illusion I was under about being over the game disappeared, and now I’m back to feeling like crap, having been reminded that we aren’t and yet should be in the Super Bowl! A crap start to the day! Still, at least it’s Friday!
One person who should be feeling a darn soft better than me is the new NFL Rookie of the Year. Ladies and Gentlemen, show your horns for Mr Percy Harvin! I actually posted a video tribute to this guy a few days ago, so check it out, just in case you needed reminding of how awesome he is!

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Bryant “I ain’t getting on no Pro Bowl fool” McKinnie doesn’t think missing the Pro Bowl was that big of a deal… yadda yadda yadda, bla bla bla, something something something… My gawd this bloke is really starting to do my head in! Please just admit that you were a bit of a silly boy, apologise and stop being such a gimptard!

Thankfully, if, like me you are sick of hearing about McKinnie, Vikings Gab reckons that the new stadium story is going to take off in the coming days/weeks/months. This should prove a lot more interesting than anything BigMac can throw at us (am I tempting fate there?). Also worth checking out on Vikings Gab is a smorgasboard of articles assessing every position on the Vikings’ roster, and how it holds up for next season, so do check it out.

So it seems that, quite rightly, the stadium is going to be a massive priority for Vikings’ management this offseason. But, looking at the poll I ran earlier in the week, 54% of fans would rather see Favre re-signed for next year, whilst only 26% would want a new stadium with a mechanical roof confirmed. It’ll be interesting to see whether this changes in the coming months as talk of the new stadium increases. Personally I think that re-signing Favre is more important at this point, as I can’t see the people of Minnesota embracing the team in the same way if Favre isn’t part of it next year, and they will be a huge factor in swinging political favour towards a new ground. But time is running out on the Metrodome, and whilst I was lucky enough to go there last year, and I fell in love with the place, it is about time we got a new home.

On a totally different note, the head of the Mullet Mullitia, Jared Allen is one of 3 players up for the cover of Madden NFL 2011. But as pretty much everyone is pointing out, it would be a curse to put him on there, so make sure you get voting to keep him off the cover. Personally my vote is going to the Mardi Gras Runt, Drew Brees.

And that’s today’s news… Now time for Friday’s edition of FAVRE WATCH!

The Star Tribune has expanded on the Billboard Campaign to get the Silver Fox back in Purple.

And whilst the fans can’t wait to tell Brett they want him back, Wide Reciever Sidney Rice told ESPN that he is going to give it a couple of weeks before giving the old man a call.

And that’s really about it for now, a very quiet day on the watch… Starting tomorrow, I’ll be running down my Top 10 moments from this season, so do drop by to take a look.

Tuesday morning, and it looks like the Bores missed a trick…

Just like my bus to work this morning, Vikings news is very, very slow at the moment. But ask and ye shall receive, so here is the best of what’s on offer from the Purple world today:

The Chicago Bores have turned down the opportunity to sign our QB coach Kevin Rogers, opting instead for Mike Martz as their offensive co-ordinator. What this means for us, is that we should now have all the same coaches back for the 2010 season, and whilst there have been some complaints about the way certain areas of the team have played (particularly our secondary and O-Line), by keeping our coaching staff, we are hopefully keeping the spirit of last year’s team together.

On The Viking Age blog today, there’s a good article in their series on how to improve the team for next year. The O-Line is the subject of scrutiny today, and it’s hard to disagree with much of what is said.

There are obvious dilemmas in this area, particularly the furore surrounding Bryant McKinnie. Let’s be honest, he has acted like a total plank this past week, and whilst I feel the Pro Bowl is a total waste of time, McKinnie is senior enough to know better, and should have just pulled out rather than acting like a 16 year old with a fake ID. And there are many Vikings fans who are a lot more pissed off with him than I am (See Vikings Gab and PJD *parental advisory, particularly for PJD), but the fact remains that we don’t have many other options in his position, so if the Vikes do stick with him we shouldn’t act surprised. On his twitter, McKinnie says that he’s going to be stronger as a result of all the “haters”, hopefully he’ll also be a little wiser.

But the Vikings aren’t all in the Boo Box this week. In fact 2 of our current roster, and 2 former playersannounced to the NFL’s all-decade team. #93 Pat Williams and #76 Steve Hutchinson, along with Randy Moss and Darren Sharper. Huzzah!

Percy Harvin is up for NFL’s Rookie of the Year, so if you haven’t voted yet, do it now! And if you have, do it again. Percy was immense for us this season, and should be honored!

And that’s it for today. Nothing left to do but get comfortable for another edition of FAVRE WATCH

And…. well, nothing is actually happening at the moment. It’s so quiet that all I can do is point you in the direction of the poll I’m running, on the subject of what you want more this offseason, the QB situation resolved or a new stadium confirmed. We’ve had a fair few votes already, but I want to give it a few more days, and then I’ll report on the findings.

Hey, at least I’m being honest that there’s nothing. If this were happening in England, Sky Sports News would have their copter circling the Silver Fox 24/7, and they’d employ forensics teams to dissect his left over KFC buckets to determine his mood based on whether he ate the skins or not…

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