Vikings Territory

I can’t tell you with any certainty, one way or another, whether or not I’ve ever written a blog post from my mother’s basement. It is entirely possible.

Either way, this site essentially started exactly like the cliches would have you believe most blogs are created, a hack blogger with little-to-no expertise decides to start pecking away on a keyboard. I am that hack blogger.

With that being said, we have come a long ways here at Vikings Territory and the eve of the New Year seems like the most appropriate moment to take a look back at what was an amazing 2015. This year was absolutely our best in every measurable way, but everyone on our team should also be personally proud of the accomplishments we’ve managed by merely pecking away on our various keyboards.

OUR NEW LOOK

Brett Anderson (the real brains behind all of this) and I approached 2015 with one goal in mind: We wanted to make Vikings Territory the best possible experience for our readers, all of our readers. We wanted them to have a consistent quantity of high quality content every time they visited and we wanted people to enjoy reading it no matter how they were getting it.

That led us to make a redesign of the whole website a high priority and Brett delivered the newest version of VT back in January. The redesign was met with mostly rave reviews and we took a huge leap in terms of making the site responsive, meaning it should work great on every smart phone and tablet on the market.

We’ve continued to tweak and make improvements where we can and when we can, but we always welcome constructive criticism from our readers, and any suggestions can always be sent our way.

WE WENT FOR THE WIN

On top of wanting to look good, we wanted VT to also have some added features, and we wanted to make sure that we also sounded good… especially for those that prefer to get their Vikings news, analysis and opinion in podcast form.

We welcomed Andy Carlson and the Purple FTW! Podcast to our team back in January and we hope you’ve enjoyed the shenanigans as much as we have. I have no idea how Carlson, a new father, has the time to put together the ridiculous amount of content that he does… but I’m glad he has it figured out!

Purple FTW! has a great lineup of weekly guests during the season that include Di Murphy, former VT editor Arif Hasan, and eDraft analyst Luke Inman. He has also hosted numerous special guests that range from our own writers here at VT to former Viking Todd Steussie to the always enthusiastic Paul Allen.

In addition to checking out Andy’s The Dad Mode Podcast, you should always consider subscribing to Purple FTW! and making the show a part of your weekly routine… Andy won’t be slowing down during the offseason.

All episodes can be found right here at any time and you can also check out all the highlights from 2015 compiled in one place by clicking here.

MORE THAN WORDS

As a group, we strive to find ways to make VT more than a destination… our goal is to make it a community. Even more, we want to be a place that brings together the larger community of online Vikings fans and provide more meaning to our existence beyond the standard transaction reports and news bits that can be so easily found just about anywhere else.

One way we tried to accomplish that this year was to start the “More Than Words” campaign that essentially resulted in a friendly challenge to numerous other great Vikings sites in an effort to raise money for a very worthy cause.

This year (hopefully the first of many) we elected to support Chad Greenway and his Lead The Way Foundation. More specifically, we wanted to help raise funds for the “Chad’s Locker” initiative that provides comfort for children and their families when forced to spend extended time in hospitals across the Minnesota area.

“I will never forget what you all have done,” Greenway wrote in a thank you letter to our online community. The efforts raised over $4,000 and we’re already scheming ways to make an even larger impact in 2016.

Working with Greenway’s foundation was a great experience and I really hope to see him get the much-deserved Man of the Year Award this next month.

BUD GRANT INTERVIEW

For most people, publishing an original interview of the greatest Viking of all time, Bud Grant, would be a clear indicator that it is all downhill from that point forward. I mean, what else could possibly be cooler than that?

Well, Lindsey Young did publish this excellent interview piece on Coach himself (oh, and, you know… she also talked to Fran Tarkenton in the article). That article was posted here at VT back in May and Lindsey, through hard work and determination, had her dream job at Winter Park about six months later.

So much for the interview being her pinnacle.

On December 6th, just prior to the home game versus Seattle, Lindsey began her work with the Vikings and was walking down a hallway with a new co-worker when Bud Grant approached her. Grant grabbed Lindsey’s face, kissed her on the cheek and stated “My favorite lady” with everyone else left a little on the stunned side.

I can’t overstate how proud we are to have had any direct connection to Mr. Grant here at VT, and definitely cannot overstate how proud we all are of Lindsey and everything she has achieved… and will achieve as an official member of the Minnesota Vikings.

ASSEMBLING A TOP NOTCH CREW

With an increasingly busy life as a father of three, I simply cannot keep this thing afloat on my own, and so I put a lot of thought and consideration into building a roster of the best possible contributors here at VT… which works out great considering each one of them are better writers and football minds than I am.

The veterans, Brent LaBathe and Carl Knowles, continue to bring their consistent and dependable analysis. The more recent of additions of Austin Belisle and Adam Patrick have proven to be perfect fits, with Brett and I filling in from time to time.

While we are always looking for valuable additions to our team, it is this talented group that we will carry into 2016 with hopes of reaching even higher, regardless of how the Vikings actually do on the field. Our coverage of free agency, the NFL Draft, training camp and the 2016 NFL season will bring plenty of exciting reasons to keep on coming back.

In the meantime, however, we have a playoff run to prepare for. So, enough about us, onto Green Bay!