Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Training camp begins in exactly 10 days. I repeat, training camp begins in exactly 10 days. No need to pinch yourselves — we’re so close to the start of the season!

Now’s the time to buy your Bridgewater jerseys, purchase tickets to the most exciting home games, and plan out your tailgates before football takes over. Come Saturday of next week, the team will be in Mankato and coach Zimmer will be whittling his roster down to the 53 best players. Once we get into the thick of training camp, there’s no turning back.

For now, enjoy the calm before the storm and soak in some of the best new Vikings stories from your favorite Vikings site and the rest of the web:

Earlier today, Lindsey wrote about her trip to Children’s Minneapolis Hospital, where Chad Greenway is making a positive impact through his Lead the Way foundation.
Last night, Vikings Territory debuted its More Than Words page, where you can learn about “Chad’s Lockers” and donate to help children in need.

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    Jaimie Senger has been a patient at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota for a little over three years… but she’s been a Minnesota Vikings fan her whole life.

    “We’re huge Vikings fans,” Senger tells me. “My dad is a big-time fan. He and my uncles and a couple of their buddies bought one of the bricks and put their names on it for the new stadium […] We watch all the Vikings games together.”

    One of Senger’s favorite players to watch is linebacker Chad Greenway—but she loves him for a lot more than his on-field performance. Senger is just one patient that benefits on a daily basis from Greenway’s Lead the Way Foundation and more specifically, the Chad’s Locker program.

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    Image courtesy of Vikings.com

    When the Vikings re-signed 34 year old long snapper Cullen Loeffler to a one year deal this offseason, and then signed free agent long snapper Kevin McDermott to a two year contract, it was fairly easy to draw some conclusions implying that the Vikings are searching for Loeffler’s replacement.

    Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer essentially confirmed that Loeffler will have to win a competition if he wants to spend a 12th consecutive season on the Vikings roster. Loeffler and McDermott will essentially face off in one of the least sexy, but somewhat important, training camp battles of 2015.

    “I think he wore down a little bit as the season wore on last year and I think he came back strong,” Priefer said of Loeffler to the Star-Tribune. “You know, Cullen is a great guy and he’s very competitive and he’s very passionate about what he does and he’s got a great work ethic.”

    Priefer also spoke highly of McDermott, however, and revealed a plan to split snaps equally between his two long snapper options well into the preseason action.

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    Image courtesy of Vikings.com

    If you’re like me — hundreds of miles from Minnesota — the chance to attend a Vikings game comes once in a blue moon. This year, I’ll be fortunate enough to see Teddy Bridgewater and Co. twice, when the team travels to California for matchups with the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.

    For the lucky fans living in Minnesota, each season brings a handful of home games to TCF Bank Stadium, and soon, to U.S. Bank Stadium. This year, the Vikings face a number of new opponents at home, as laid out in the picture below:

    Image courtesy of Vikings.com
    Image courtesy of Vikings.com

    The first two games listed are preseason games, so we’ll ignore those for now. Preseason means little to most fans, unless you’re a diehard like most of us here, right?

    Seeing as single-game tickets go on sale today, there’s no better time than now to play the hypothetical polling game! Many of you own season tickets and attend every game, but let’s throw reality out the window for a second —at least until training camp begins and the news cycle kicks into high gear.

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    Help Vikings Territory raise funds for #MoreThanWords and get an awesome shirt in the process.

    Most of you are probably aware by now that Vikings Territory and other Vikings blogs have teamed up to raise money for Chad Greenway’s Lead The Way Foundation. Amongst other things, the Lead The Way Foundation provides lockers filled with the latest technology and games for patients at Children’s Hospitals to make them feel more at home during their stay. When we started planning #MoreThanWords, we set a lofty goal for ourselves to raise a total of $10,000 across all the participating sites. The Vikings Territory team has been racking their brains trying to figure out how each person can contribute individually to help meet that goal, win the trophy awarded to the site that raises the most and support a great cause in the process.

    Our very own Matt Engstrom, both an avid Vikings fan and an incredible artist for Dreamworks Studios, has recently started designing and selling Vikings themed t-shirts with his own, original artwork. Some of you may have seen some of Matt’s incredible work posted here at Vikings Territory not too long ago.

    Well, in addition to being incredibly talented, it turns out Matt is also greatly generous and came up with the idea to donate all profits made through the sale of these brand new t-shirts to the #MoreThanWords fundraiser.

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