Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Monthly Archives: October 2012

The NFL extended the NFL trade deadline to Thursday due to Hurricane Sandy shutting down the league offices, so we got a bonus two days of speculation that will almost certainly end up being anticlimactic.

Leslie Frazier somewhat fueled the fire on Wednesday, however, when he was asked about the open roster spot resulting from Chris Cook’s injury status.

“Without giving too much away, the trade deadline is Thursday, so you want to do everything you can,” Frazier said. “I know Rick (Spielman) and our personnel department is doing everything we can to improve our team and help our team be better. You want to exhaust all avenues in doing that.”

It is suspicious that the Vikings have yet to fill Cook’s spot but it is unlikely that the Vikings make any major moves on Thursday.  Still, speculation is fun, so let’s do some of that:

Michael Vick:  Some have brought this idea up.  I won’t.

Tim Tebow:  See: “Michael Vick.”

Steve SmithPro Football Talk started this one off by suggesting the Panthers receiver could be an answer to the Vikings passing woes.  I don’t buy it.  Tell me where an aging receiver with questionable leadership abilities fits into a rebuilding roster.

Dwayne Bowe:  The player makes great sense.  The draft pick compensation and subsequent contract extension probably wouldn’t.

Ramses Barden:  This one is an Adam Warwas special.  Tremendous potential (with low mileage) that has been stuck behind Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, and Victor Cruz in recent years.  At 6’ 6” and 224 pounds, Barden could possibly be pried away from a Giants team that seems to view him as more of a luxury than a necessity and lend the Vikings deep game a helping hand.

Toby Gerhart:  Sell?  That’s right, I said it.  The Vikings have gradually been taking more and more of the load away from Gerhart and there are a number of teams hungry for running backs right now.  The market is flooded with aging and expensive veteran backs, so perhaps Gerhart would represent a more attractive option to certain teams.

Okay, what off-the-wall speculation do you guys have for me?  Only a few more hours to throw something out there!

Local beat writers, perhaps in the spirit of election season, couldn’t wait to pounce on Chris Kluwe and Leslie Frazier this week in an attempt to generate interesting quotes about how Kluwe’s recent struggles on the field can, or cannot, be linked to his endeavors off the field.

Kluwe and Frazier predictably answered the questions appropriately, despite the media’s best attempts to use the phrase “child’s game” in provocative fashion, and everyone seems willing to move on with the only goal being to get better production out of the punt game.

I know that gay marriage is a hot button issue in the nation right now and Kluwe’s choice to take a stance is unpopular with about 50% of the population, but I can’t help but think that the extra attention being paid to this is strictly a result of the subject matter.  It is because people oppose his cause that this is drawing so much criticism as I am confident that nobody would be saying a word if his “cause” were raising money and awareness for cancer, fighting to save the rainforests from destruction, or supporting military members and their families.

We have a defensive end that trained to be an Olympian.  We have another that holds a golf tournament, published his own cook book, hunts whenever he gets the chance, appeared on MTV’s “Cribs,” and was willing to campaign on behalf of the Vikings controversial stadium efforts.  Our star running back filmed an episode of “Entourage,” has missed part of a training camp due to Adrian Peterson Day in Texas, and just yesterday visited a classroom of school children.  Christian Ponder and Chad Greenway have been spokesman for a program regarding financial literacy.

NFL players are people with lives, families, hobbies, beliefs, passions, and flaws.  Just like the rest of us, their personal lives probably do spill into their professional output but it is quite the stretch, in my opinion, to conclude that Kluwe’s recent activism has resulted in poor punting.  Unlike the rest of us, they have crazy schedules including TV appearances, endorsement deals, photo shoots, and so on and so on.

Did Peyton Manning’s recent purchasing of a piece of the pizza pie impact his production?  How about Matt Birk’s taping of an ad speaking out against gay marriage?  The list goes on and on and I won’t bore you by going through them all, but I will say this:

I have already talked with one person that swears up and down that Kluwe is distracted.  That very same person argued emphatically with me a couple of years back that there was no way, no how that Brett Favre could have possibly been distracted by the alleged claims of sexual harassment and sexting scandal.  Double standard much?

So, the point I am trying (and failing miserably) to get to is that Chris Kluwe needs to punt better.  I know it.  You know it.  He knows it.  The coaches know it.  However, trying to proclaim his personal time is the reason for his professional struggles, without any sort of proof, is just an oddly lazy route to take, whether it is by the media or the fans.

The bigger issue here is whether or not his punting is just experiencing a bad run, or if this will become a trend.  Kluwe is in the second-to-last year of his seven year contract and is set to make $1.3 million this season and $1.4 million next season, both of which are very high for a punter.

If his production doesn’t match his pay pretty soon he may not even reside in Minnesota any longer, let alone impact the political landscape.  He may have to figure out how to attend band practice via Skype, and he probably won’t be employed by the local radio station very long.

Football is far more likely to impact his personal life, rather than the other way around.

First off, I want to give a genuine and heartfelt welcome to Gil, our newest writer.  I admire Gil’s ability to write for so many different outlets and produce such interesting content, and I think he will bring another fresh perspective to VT as we wade through this very intriguing 2012 season.  Glad to have you aboard, sir!

Second, happy birthday Brett!

Okay, after a very disappointing home loss to Tampa, the Vikings will soon pack their bags and head to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Seahawks. Whether we are talking about the loss that is in the past, or the game that is in the future, there is a ton of great content out there right now and I wanted to round up the best of the best for you:

  • The Vikings have brought in a punter for a workout which is interesting because the Vikings have one of the most popular/unpopular punters ever.
  • An update on how the whole stadium thing is progressing.  SPOILER:  At this point, it kind of looks like a breakfast danish.
  • Throughout his career Adrian Peterson has set a lot of bars very high, but this one is a new accomplishment.
  • I know this is predictable quarterback-speak, but Christian Ponder has the right attitude right now.
  • There are at least two very good reasons to expect that the Vikings will qualify for the postseason.
  • 17 missed tackles.  That is one stat that will jump out to you in this article about Thursday’s loss to Tampa Bay.
  • A “source” told PFT that opposing defenses have figured out Christian Ponder.
  • Super famous Viking Territory writer Gil Alcaraz IV takes a look at just how explosive Percy Harvin has been in 2012.
  • The topic of this article is so outlandish I can’t even bring myself to type the general subject description to tell you what it is about.
  • Some took Thursday night’s performance as verification that Christian Ponder is not, I repeat: is NOT, the franchise quarterback the Vikings have been looking for.
  • While the Vikings lost Chris Cook last week, Mistral Raymond appears to be making his way back to 100%.
  • Sidney Rice is healthy and looking for a big game against his former team.
  • Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson may prove to be a tough combination for a struggling Vikings defense.
  • This is just simply cool.  Check it out.
  • Leslie Frazier refuses to single out his quarterback and says the entire offense needs to step up.
  • According to my math, Bryant McKinnie has to pay up for about 3,750 lap dances.
  • Route running was a point of emphasis during this week’s practices.

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To the readers of Vikings Territory,

I, Gil Alcaraz IV, would like to formally introduce myself to the VT community as one of the new contributors.

Although a few of you may already know me from my other sites TheVikingDen.com or RantSports.com, I’ll give you a quick rundown of my credentials as a Vikings writer and NFL analyst. After playing football for seven years, including a brief stint at Occidental College (D3), I took my football prowess to the written word. Including work with Yahoo! Sports and USA Today, I’ve spent the last four years honing my skills as a sports journalist and football expert.

Enough about the writing experience, though. What matters is my standing as a Vikings faithful.

My love for the purple and gold started when I was much younger, around the age of 10. While watching a Vikings-Panthers game with my dad, I witnessed a phenomenal play courtesy of then-Minnesota quarterback Daunte Culpepper. I immediately told myself that I wanted to make plays like that, and I joined my local Pop Warner team shortly after. At that point, I was hooked.

Since that day, I’ve possessed an unwavering passion for the Vikings. From the years that they flirted with the playoffs, to the huge letdowns via Brett Favre and everything in between, I’ve worn my horns with pride.

I started The Viking Den a year ago in hopes of sharing my purple thoughts with the public, but have since seen it suffer with my ever-growing role with Rant Sports as a Network Manager. Still, I’ve decided to join Brett and Adam, and am ready to begin spilling my Vikings knowledge out onto the pages of VT.

My presence on VT might be sporadic at times, but I’m always available via email (galcaraziv@yahoo.com) or Twitter. If you have any questions or just want to talk Vikings, don’t hesitate to contact me.

I’m excited to be a part of the VT team and can’t wait to help this site become one of the best Vikings blogs on the Web.

No matter the end result of this 2012 season for the Vikings, always remember: SKOL!

Gil Alcaraz IV

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The 5-3 Vikings have a nice long week to prepare for their trip to Seattle which might be just what the doctor ordered after a brutal loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday.

With half of the season behind us, and a daunting schedule remaining, we want to know your opinion on ten different subjects.

Ten polls after the jump are waiting for you, as well as the comments section!

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