Friday, April 17, 2015

Monthly Archives: June 2012

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Some of us have been a Vikings fan for a few years.  Some for a few more.  Some for a few decades, and some have been supporting the team since the very beginning.

No matter how long you have been a fan of the purple and gold, however, we all have one thing in common:  heartbreak.

Reminders of our most memorable moments are everywhere, and they all sting.

One reminder this offseason comes in the form of an NFL.com list of the greatest play calls in NFL history.  The short list includes some fun one, but Paul Allen himself gets the top “honor” in this list for a certain meltdown during a certain Arizona Cardinals game following a certain Josh McCown pass.

It might sting to watch it again, but something tells me you have thick enough skin to handle it, Vikings fans.

Click here to view the whole list.

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You thought the Vikings stadium debate was a drawn out, controversial one?  That pales in comparison to a number of hot button issues that have dominated our social politics for decades, including same sex marriage.

Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who never seems to shy away from speaking his mind, has lent his celebrity voice to a series of ads aimed at shutting down a Minnesota ballot initiative that would redefine marriage within the state as only between a man and a woman.

Kluwe says that his wife’s brother is gay but that he doesn’t really know if he has any friends that are.

“Honestly, I’ve never really asked anyone,” said Kluwe.  “I’m more interested in if you’re going to play video games with me!”

Kluwe, a married man with two daughters, believes that the same sex issue is a clear cut one and has no qualms about saying so.

“One of the things my parents [Ron and Sandy] brought me up with is that you should have equality for everyone,” he said.  “I would like to think I have a pretty strong sense of justice and right and wrong. [The proposed marriage amendment] is just blatant discrimination and that’s not right, that’s wrong.”

In a league that has a fairly strong reputation as being homophobic, Kluwe’s involvement with this campaign is noteworthy if for no other reason than to point out that there, in theory, could be a risk of backlash.

Of course, Kluwe has never been the type to care what anyone else thinks about him.

“People should treat each other the way they want to be treated and that’s basically what life boils down to,” Kluwe concluded.

When the Vikings released former Saints bounty hunter defender Remi Ayodele, it was widely assumed due to the timing of the move that it had to do with his involvement as a member of the 2009 Saints that we now know think had a $35,000 bounty on Brett Favre in the NFC Championship game.

On Thursday, however, the team opted to sign another player that was a member of that team.

29 year old defensive end Jeff Charleston signed with the Vikings Thursday after spending four seasons in New Orleans, after a rookie season in Indianapolis.  During that time he has played in 65 games with four starts accumulating 87 tackles, eight sacks, five batted passes, and three forced fumbles.

At 6’ 4” and 265 pounds, Charleston figures to provide depth and competition at defensive end which may end up losing Everson Griffen to the linebacker position if he can excel there during training camp.

Terrell Resonno, an undrafted rookie defensive tackle out of Missouri, was waived as a result of the signing.

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[Note: This is the continuation of a series where I attempt (that word is extra important) to make predictions regarding the Minnesota Vikings 2012 season. The previous two iterations (Part One and Part Two) take an in-depth look at the Vikings first half of the regular season. Today, we move onward to the third quarter of the schedule.]

Since the 2012 schedule was released, I’ve maintained that the Vikings, in my opinion, have an incredibly favorable schedule. There was a caveat though: the daunting string of games where we play division opponent after division rival after division opponent. This series of games will be the Vikings true test of the 2012 season and will ultimately determine where they stand when all is said and done Week 16.

This intimidating chain of games though doesn’t really begin until Week 12 when the Vikings travel to Soldier Field to square off with the Bears. Positive matchups in Weeks 9 and 10 (followed by a bye in Week 11) are crucial for the Vikings to get ahead far enough to brace themselves for the following brutal, division battles.

So without further delay, let’s look at Week 9 when the Vikings face off with the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.

There are a number of interesting position battles to keep track of during next month’s training camp, but perhaps no position has a higher level of competition than that of the currently vacant right guard position.

By drafting left tackle Matt Kalil fourth overall, the Vikings were then able to slide Charlie Johnson inside to left guard.  With Phil Loadholt and John Sullivan being near certain starters, that leaves only the right guard starting spot available to the best candidate.

During last week’s minicamp all indications are that Brandon Fusco will enter camp as the penciled-in starter.  Geoff Schwartz, however, plans to have something to say about that.

Unfortunately for Schwartz, who started 19 straight games in Carolina, his hip is still bothering him and he needs to heal up before he can truly give the Vikings coaches a glimpse of what he’s got.

“Just need to get back on the field,” Schwartz said during OTA’s. “That’s basically what it is. Get 100 percent healthy and let my play do the talking.”

Jeff Davidson coaches the Vikings offensive line, but he came over from Carolina where he got a firsthand look at Schwartz in the locker room and on the field.  Davidson, however, is not tipping his hand as to who might be the preferred option at right guard.

“I’d say the jury’s still out on that right now,” Davidson said. “We’re hopeful.”

Schwartz openly cites his familiarity with Schwartz as a primary reason he signed with the Vikings after receiving interest from both Detroit and San Francisco, but he also wanted a legitimate chance to start, and felt that joining a team that had just released their two previously starting guards was an easy choice.

“I believe I’m a starter,” Schwartz said. “So I was looking at spots that had competition at my position, and this is one of them. So it was another reason why, I came to compete.”

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