Monday, November 30, 2015

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(photo used with permission)

Brian Heintz is no stranger to unforeseen challenges and obstacles in life. However, he is just as familiar with a determined, positive attitude. Maybe it’s the combination of these things that make Heintz such a well-suited and dedicated fan of the Minnesota Vikings.

Heintz grew up in Minnesota, a product of the East Side of St. Paul. He recalls his earliest memories involving the Vikings:

“My mom was always a big Vikings fan, and she got me into it,” he explained. “One of her many great parenting skills.”

In fact, the 29-year-old cannot remember a time when he wasn’t rooting for the team; at age five, he owned his first jersey—Tommy Kramer.

Years of memories surround the Vikings, but one stands out to Heintz as more special than the others: a year he attended the Vikings training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs in River Falls.

“As the players were loading onto team buses, Korey Stringer threw his glove out the window right at us. I got his glove and had Chris Walsh autograph it before they took off. RIP, Big K.”

Heintz experienced many great Vikings moments this season, as well. He attended eight games, and the Vikings won all but one of those contests. “Apparently, I should have gone to all of them,” he joked. Heintz went on to emphasize that the team’s final 7-8 record seemed pretty good, considering the challenges on offense.

“Leaving a few wins on the field is always tough,” he admitted, “but good for Teddy [Bridgewater] as far as situational football goes. Finally, a quarterback to invest in and get excited about that’s not [over the hill].”

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Here at VT we know that we attract a very diverse group of readers.  After all, people from all walks of life can become Vikings fans willing to endure all that comes with it.  Last week, our own Lindsey Young kicked off her series about this very topic by profiling a Dreamworks animator who has made his fandom a family affair.

Now, if you bleed purple and you happen to have an artistic side, then you might be able to convert your combined passions into something that can live on inside the new stadium.

The Vikings have announced that they are seeking proposals from Minnesota-based artists to help bring the new stadium to life through their work.

“One of the primary goals throughout stadium construction and operation is to utilize Minnesota companies and Minnesota people, and this partnership with Sports and the Arts fits that theme,” said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. “This is an opportunity for Minnesotans and Vikings fans to further impact the design of this stadium with artwork that recognizes the history of the Vikings and celebrates the many attributes of this state and region. When fans see this art throughout the building, it will further emphasize that this stadium is for their benefit and enjoyment.”

The Vikings are keeping an open mind to all artistic ideas.  Paintings, sketches, drawings, objects, photography, sculptures, murals, and digital creations will all be considered.  They will begin accepting submissions on February 1st and the closing date will be March 31st.

If you are interested then I encourage you to CLICK HERE for more information.  If you get commissioned, then please do come back and share your story with us!  I just happen to know an up and coming reporter (Matt Blair’s words, not mine) that would like to interview you.

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The Minnesota Vikings have announced that they’ve signed former Toronto Argonaut Jalil Carter to a futures deal. This is their statement:

The Vikings have signed CB Jalil Carter to a reserve/future free agent after spending 2012-14 seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts and was a member of the 2012 Grey Cup championship team. Carter recorded 48 tackles in each of the previous two seasons with the Argos and added a career-best five sacks in 2014. Carter initially signed as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams where he attended training camp in 2011. Carter played safety his first 3 years at Akron before transitioning to WR for his senior season. As a receiver in 2010, Carter recorded 30 receptions for 412 yards and two touchdowns.

Carter is a bit of a speed demon, having run a 4.38 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, but without a lot of other physical traits (after adjusting for weight) to his name. Average-to-below average agility means he may be better suited to outside coverage (and at 6’1″ it’s possible), though the Vikings may simply be interested in his kick returning. There aren’t a lot of scouting reports on Carter out there because he declared for the draft as a receiver, and that’s what the Rams signed him as in 2011—not something he did in the CFL or evidently with the Vikings. Definitely someone to look at later and get a better picture.

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[Note: Brad Davis found methodological disagreements with an article written by the ever-productive CCNorseman at the Daily Norseman, which suggested that Adrian Peterson was in for a decline based on his career numbers. Davis, who doesn’t take a stance on Peterson’s trade value in these pieces, ran through the data with rigorous statistical analysis—here are the results to part two of his study, answering some criticism. Part Three, which looks at 33 other running backs, will be up later]

In the first part of this blog post, I attempted to address the question of whether there was any evidence for a decline in Adrian Peterson’s performance as a running back during his career in the NFL up until this point. A number of people on here and elsewhere on the internet brought up a number of questions and I am going to take this opportunity to try and respond to the one I found the most interesting.

A user on reddit questioned the use of all 7.0625 (7 full seasons + the first game of the 2014 season) in trying to determine if there has been any decline in Adrian Peterson’s play.  Specifically they were concerned that by including all of the early seasons into the analysis could mask any recent declines in his performance.  This brought up a good point underlying the bigger question of ‘Which data/games should be included in the analysis’?

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Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman had a long press conference today, and talked (as much as he could) about Adrian Peterson. No matter what he said, it was going to drive speculation. In this case, I don’t think there’s much to be drawn on his press conference that lets us know whether or not the organization is thinking of keeping him or trading him, but that doesn’t mean it’s uninteresting. At the end, it’s worth remembering that Spielman actively attempts to keep his cards close to the vest.

There are a lot of bits and pieces from his presser you’ll hear, but likely the most common one is something that could be seen as a wink and a nudge towards a trade:

“I don’t know if there’s a team in the NFL that wouldn’t want Adrian Peterson on the football team”

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