Sunday, May 1, 2016

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(photo used with permission)

When the 2015 NFL schedule came out, I found myself frustrated and complaining because the Vikings’ season opener doesn’t start until after 9:00 p.m. Which means I will be awake until after midnight. On a Monday. I couldn’t believe this level of inconvenience.

And then I met Erik Sandgren.

Sandgren lives in Täby, a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden. There is a seven-hour time difference between Minneapolis and Täby. When the Vikings play the 49ers on Sept. 14, Sandgren will be tuning in at 4 a.m. And suddenly, just like that, I feel like a much less dedicated fan.

Sandgren’s story is a good one. Now 35 and loving life with his wife and daughter, Sandgren first became a Vikings fan almost 20 years ago when he lived in Boise, Idaho as an exchange student. His host family, the Fends, provided Sandgren with plenty of rich experiences and helped integrate him into the U.S. culture.

As Idaho has no NFL team of its own, John Fend adopted the Denver Broncos as his team years ago. His son, Kyle, supports the Green Bay Packers (but we won’t talk much about that). Sandgren was a big fan of European soccer, and he was disappointed that the U.S. did not have a big emphasis on the sport at the time. Both being big American football fans, John and Kyle introduced the sport to Sandgren. At first, he was less than fascinated.

“I enjoyed watching the games, but I really had no tooting interest,” Sandgren recalls.

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The 2015 Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings preseason is in the books and now we are only 10 long days away from actually FOOTBALL football when the boys in Purple head out to Santa Clara to take on the San Francisco Shells of Their Former Selves next Monday night.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) stops in for his weekly spot to touch on the upcoming season, who’s in/out for the final 53 man roster, and we make fun of RG3.

Other “We’re Lucky We Got Kalil Instead of RG3” Talkers Include
• Andy The Yellow
• New Rating System – The #AndySnorkel Rating
• Minnesota State Fair Food PFF Ratings
• The Washington Dumpster Fire
• What has Arif done for a scoop?
• Will RG3 get cut?
• Brady Free. What does this mean for Goodell?
• Movement on the 53 Man Roster projections? (Spoiler: Nah)
• Tyrus Thompson vs David Yankey at backup LT
• Dominique Williams vs Matt Asiata
• Fullback or Taylor Heinicke on the 53???
• Will Matt Kalil & Mike Harris’ decent preseason play translate?
• Arif: Bad signs in Clemmings play
• Robert Blanton is Denny’s… I explain why
• Heinicke love & analysis
• What to expect from Adrian Peterson
ESPN Top 100 Rankings. ONLY ONE VIKING? Who got snubbed?
• Adrian is #11. Too high?
• 2015 Season W/L Predictions Week-By-Week
• Weekly Hypothetical – NFL Players as Presidential Candidates – Who Be Who?
• Donald Trump is Cordarrelle/RG3
• Visit our new sponsor Victiv for Daily Fantasy Sports!
Support us on Amazon!

All that and other “See You In Santa Clara!” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of vikings.com

The Tennessee Titans capitalized on two fumbles and held off a late rally by the Vikings (4-1) to improve their preseason record to 2-2 on Thursday night.

Marcus Mariota hit Harry Douglas on a short crossing route that the receiver was able to turn up field and race 59-yards for the score to give the Titans a quick 7-0 lead. Mariota was 2/3 for 74 yards and a touchdown in one series of action.

Third string quarterback Taylor Heinicke got the start for the Vikings and played the entire game going 27/41 for 279 yards and two touchdowns. Heinicke is hopeful his solid showing was enough to earn him a spot on the 53-man roster.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[Editor’s Note: As you all know, it’s important to us at Vikings Territory to provide a platform for voices other than ours to be heard through Guest Posts. This time around, we’re welcoming Adam Patrick, who currently writes about the Vikings at Pro Football Spot. You can follow Adam on Twitter at @Str8_Cash_Homey, and make sure to be on the lookout for more of his work!]

At 12:45 am on Monday July 7, 2014, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson was pulled over by police on Bush Lake Road in Bloomington, Minnesota. During the traffic stop, Simpson was given citations for possession of marijuana, violating the guidelines for driving on a limited license, and for driving while in possession of an open bottle of alcohol.

A few months later, on September 18, Simpson was informed that his services were no longer needed by the Vikings as the team had decided to release him. With Simpson’s release, Minnesota now had an open spot on its roster.

Before he landed with the Vikings in 2014, Minnesota’s offensive coordinator Norv Turner had spent the previous season running the offense for the Cleveland Browns. When Simpson’s release created an opening on the Vikings roster, Turner had a very good idea of who the team should consider bringing into Minnesota to fill that spot.

At the time of Simpson’s release, Charles Johnson was a young wide receiver awaiting his call up to the big leagues as a member of the Browns practice squad. Turner and his son, current Vikings quarterback coach Scott Turner, had developed an admiration for Johnson when they were all in Cleveland in 2013.

The Vikings and head coach Mike Zimmer had faith in the Turner’s recommendation of Johnson and decided to offer the young receiver a contract. Despite the Browns still wanting to keep Johnson in Cleveland, the opportunity to work with the Turners ultimately became the determining factor in Johnson’s decision to sign with Minnesota.

Signing with the Vikings was Johnson’s latest step in his long journey to the NFL. A journey that began almost 11 hours away from his current employer in Minnesota.

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(image courtesy of Vikings.com)

Austin: Week 14 | Minnesota Vikings at Arizona Cardinals
In their only Thursday Night Football game of the year, the Vikings will travel to Arizona just four days after hosting the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. Both games are likely to be physical battles, and it will be difficult for the team to turn around and win a game against the Cardinals on the road. I think the Vikings have the talent, and defensive line, to compete with the high-powered Cardinals offense, and this game will be a true test of their mental and physical stamina. Norv Turner can negate the Cardinals’ double A-Gap blitzes with a mix of quick passes and draws, while Mike Zimmer’s crop of cornerbacks will have their hands full with John Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, and Michael Floyd. I expect a low-scoring, defensive battle this late into the season, and we’ll find out if Zimmer’s unit can keep fighting just one week after a tough matchup with the Seahawks.

Carl: Week 11 | Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
The biggest rivalry game on the schedule also represents the biggest challenge this season for the upstart Minnesota Vikings. The Packers have won nine of the last 11 meetings, and 58 of the 109 overall contests since the two teams first played in 1961. The Vikings will have nine games under their belt this season when they face the four-time defending NFC North Division Champs at TCF Bank Stadium on Week 11. I’m confident the Vikings will have a 3-0 divisional record heading into this all-important statement game. The Vikings appear to be on the verge of becoming a very good football team… just how good will certainly be answered when the Cheese Heads come to town.

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