Tuesday, June 28, 2016

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(photo courtesy of Vikings.com)

Babatunde Aiyegbusi may not have panned out as a long-term NFL option, but that doesn’t mean he won’t make an impact in the United States sports arena. In fact, the 6’9″ Polish athlete that most know affectionately as “Babs” is on to his next endeavor: the WWE.

Aiyegbusi’s marketing agent Adam Bair said that the World Wrestling Entertainment organization showed serious interest in the former football player following his release from the Vikings’ roster.

Interestingly, the opportunity came through a connection Bair and Babs made in August when Jimmy Kimmel hosted Aiyegbusi on Jimmy Kimmel Live for an entertaining segment called “Can Babatunde Move It.” During the LA visit, Bair met talent scout John Carlin. A former long-time employee of ESPN, Carlin offered to introduce Bair to a few former associates, which quickly led to a correspondence with WWE Vice President of Talent Acquisition Canyon Ceman.

“Canyon was very excited,” Bair said. “They had been following Babs from the start of [Vikings] training camp because of his size and had been trying to reach him.”

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(photo courtesy of Vikings.com)

In Monday’s 2 p.m. press conference, head coach Mike Zimmer addressed the media and announced that center John Sullivan underwent another surgery and is “unlikely” to return during the 2015 season.

In early September, the Vikings placed Sullivan on Injured Reserve after he underwent back surgery; the team announced he was designated to return but would likely miss at least eight weeks. Sullivan hadn’t practiced since mid August due to back spasms, and it now seems the problems will be more long term than originally thought.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Locker room chemistry in the NFL is underrated. Look at Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, who yesterday confronted teammates and nearly fought a special teams coach during . Dez Bryant, his fiery teammate, stepped in to stop Hardy from taking the tirade too far, but the damage was already done. Reporters are questioning Jerry Jones for signing a player with a history of domestic violence, and Ian O’ Connor of ESPN believes the Cowboys should suspend Hardy for his actions.

Incidents like that will only divide locker rooms, and the tension’s building outside of Dallas, too. In Philadelphia, one player entered the locker room after last night’s loss to the Carolina Panthers screaming, specifically telling his teammates to catch the football. Eagles receivers dropped seven passes last night, some of which may have kept the team competitive in an important conference game. It’s a problem that’s affecting teams negatively, on and off the field. The Cowboys have lost four straight, the Eagles are 3-4, and they’re losing ground on the division-leading New York Giants.

For the Vikings, it’s a much different story. They’re 4-2 after an impressive comeback victory on the road against the Lions and look like a team that enjoys playing football together. They’re young —with a number of rookies contributing on both sides of the ball — and the mix of veteran leadership and Mike Zimmer’s coaching mentality is creating an environment players want to be a part of. Just look at this clip after Stefon Diggs’s electrifying 36-yard touchdown grab:

Image courtesy of NFL Game Pass
Image courtesy of NFL Game Pass

Mike Wallace appears fired up as he speaks to Joe Berger and Matt Kalil, likely as a result of their sound blocking on the Diggs touchdown. Diggs overhears the excitement and rushes over to give Berger a hug. It was a candid moment caught by the Fox cameras and one that shows the connection at every level of this roster, from the veteran starters to the rookie sensations. Teddy Bridgewater, not unaccustomed to these interactions, spoke to the “Diggs Effect” after the game:

“You have to love that guy because he’s so energetic and so excited about playing in the NFL,” Bridgewater said. “Even (Saturday) at our walkthrough, when everyone was at walking tempo, he was running at full speed. That’s just how he is.”

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings got their second divisional road win since 2009 Sunday afternoon at Ford Field, rebounding from a slow start to top the Motor City Kitties 28-19. The Zimmer Hellfire Defense sacked Matthew Stafford seven times en route to a 2nd half defensive shutout as the Purple roll to 4-2 and hope to catch playoff momentum as we barrel along the 2015 campaign.

Other “I Still Think It Was Shellfish” Talkers Include
• #SnuffGate
• Stefon F. Diggs
• Teddy is Tougher Than a $2 Steak
• The Zimmer Hellfire Defense Rebounded Well
• Adrian is Feast or Famine. Like he always has been
• Harrison Smith is the Best Safety in the League. Period.
• Get Sendejo the Hell Out of There (#FreeVereen)
• Cordarrelle Patterson is Done
• Kyle Rudolph. No Comment
• Points on the Table – Redzone Playcalling
• Playoffs? Don’t Talk About Playoffs
• Can Diggs go back-to-back for Pepsi Rookie of the Week?
• Hai, Blair Walsh
Bookmark us on Amazon & show some love!

All that and other “Vikings…. Come out and play-ayyyyyy” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of vikings.com

Adrain Peterson was held in check for most of the game, but his 75-yard run in the third quarter set up a 35-yard Blair Walsh field goal to give the Vikings a 25-17 lead and help Minnesota secure a much needed road win over the Detroit Lions 28-19 at Ford Field. Peterson rushed for 98 yards on 19 carries for the day.

Blair Walsh was 5-for-5 on field goal attempts with his longest being a 53-yard kick in the second quarter. Walsh finished the game with 16 points and his three field goals in the first half kept the game close as the Vikings trailed by two 17-15 at the half.

Matthew Stafford and the Detroit offense was clicking on all cylinders to start the game finding the end zone on their first two drives to take an early 14-3 advantage in the first quarter.

Teddy Bridgewater was 25-of-35 for 316 yards and two touchdown guiding the Vikings to 22 unanswered points in the second and third quarters. Rookie Eric Kendricks led the Vikings defense with 6 total tackles and 2 sacks. The Vikings defense got off to a slow start, but they dialed up the heat on Stafford sacking him 7 times and holding Detroit to 1-of-10 on third down efficiency and 0-of-2 on fourth down attempts.

The Vikings first touchdown of the game was a 1-yard pass to Kyle Rudolph who made a great one handed catch off a nice play action on 3rd-and-goal cutting the score to 17-12. The grab capped off a solid 7-play 79-yard drive that left 1:51 on the clock before the half. The Vikings defense then forced a 3-and-out in 36 seconds giving the Vikings just enough time to move into field goal range before the break.

The Vikings took the lead on the first possession of the third quarter when Bridgewater hit rookie sensation Stefon Diggs on a deep out and up for the score that gave the Vikings a 22-17 advantage that they never relinquished. Diggs caught 6 balls for 108 yards and the go ahead diving touchdown reception that Vikings fans will be talking about all week.

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