Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It has been too long. I won’t bore you with reasons for my absence as none of the excuses are legitimate. Instead, I want to jump right back into being a more involved writer here at Vikings Territory. There have been quite a few things happening behind the scenes here at VT. We’ve definitely evolved in the quality and quantity of content. Above and beyond that, a complete redesign of the entire site should be making its way to all of you soon.

Enough of that, though.

We’re going to start a new reoccurring post here at Vikings Territory. It’s a pretty simple concept. Every week or so I will host various people out there on the interwebs and ask them a series of questions for them to respond to. The questions may be regarding a recent Vikings news talker. It might be an off-the-wall question that has nothing to do with the Vikings. Sometimes there may be a theme to the questions. Other times there won’t. Who knows? Quite honestly, it’s going to be whatever I think is fun and interesting that particular week. I do know that I will try and keep the questions light hearted and the responses blunt.

It won’t always be the same people. And it won’t always be writers from here at VT. We will try and mix it up and have an array of different people join in on the fun. And after our guests have provided their responses, I will end each question with a response of my own. There are two rules to make things more interesting:

  1. Responses must be less than 140 words. If the responder goes slightly over this boundary, they aren’t disqualified or anything. This isn’t a contest. Really, the restriction is to simplify things a little big and get a straight-forward answer.
  2. There are “Unacceptable Answers.” I will decide what these are on a case-by-case basis. Typically, I will try and think of answers that I deem unworthy. (Primarily because they don’t really answer the question.)

With that being said, let’s get to it. As it is the first installment of this post, I wanted to keep things in house. This week our guests are everyone’s favorite Vikings blogger Adam Warwas and our beloved Vikings super brain, Arif Hasan.

Despite being stuck in the dumpster fire that was the 2013 Cleveland Browns, wide receiver Josh Gordon was easily one of my top five favorite players to watch last season.  With Norv Turner as offensive coordinator, it didn’t matter who was the latest starting quarterback in Cleveland, Gordon was going to be a hell of a lot of fun to watch each Sunday.

Gordon has always had struggles when it came to staying clean.  The result was getting kicked off a team, sitting out a year, and having to enter the NFL via the supplemental Draft.  The Browns took a gamble, giving up a second rounder to get him, but it looked like a gamble that would pay off if he could stay clean.

Apparently that “if” was just too big.

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Soon you’ll notice a “fantasy projections” page now at Vikings Territory at the top (UPDATE: It’s up at the top now!), which is my attempt to provide preseason predictions for every relevant fantasy player in the league. As with most projections out there, there’s a strong statistical approach with rigor and history applied, followed by completely subjective modifications that ruin the whole point of rigorous statistics. Even more precariously, the statistical approach is relatively untested and openly experimental.

I wouldn’t necessarily stake my fantasy league on these projections if I were you, but I think it’s a good experiment to see if a game script-centric approach is one worth pursuing. If you don’t want to read the thoughts behind the process, just take a look at the projections for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends directly. They should change as the offseason progresses. There’s going to be some interesting numbers in there. If anything seems off, it’s probably misperception on my part, but I’ll just blame the model.

 

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Some aren’t giving the Vikings a chance in 2014.  Some think they immediately make the jump back into contention.  Regardless of how you think they will do, the fact of the matter is that their first order of business has to be winning football games in the NFC North.  Here is our weekly look (after taking a week off) around the net at our greatest foes.

GREEN BAY PACKERS

There is no doubt that the Packers want to retain their ultra-productive wide receiver Jordy Nelson.  Nelson is 29 years old, entering a contract year, set to make only $2.55 million in 2014, and is clearly a favorite target for Aaron Rodgers on a weekly basis.  The running theory seems to be that Green Bay would like to extend Nelson this season, instead of waiting until next offseason, as they also have to get deals done with others such as Randall Cobb.  Nelson is likely the first domino that needs to fall before Ted Thompson can start working on the rest of his list of pending free agents for 2015.  Vikings fans (and defensive backs), of course, wouldn’t mind seeing Nelson’s extension hit a snag or ten between now and next March.

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IMG_3646A number of you have been following me since my very first posts at Vikings Gab over five years ago.  If you have been, then the nature of this post will not surprise you in the slightest.

Many of you are new to Vikings Territory due to our recently expanded roster of writers, however, and may not be familiar with me or much of our history. In short, every year at about this time we try and use our little corner of the internet to make a little bit of a difference out there in the real world in the form of a fundraising effort for a meaningful cause.

In the past we have supported numerous educational and athletics programs across the country, via the great website DonorsChoose.org. We tried to help a pair of our readers head to Haiti not long after the country was devastated. In general, we will gladly promote great causes throughout the year, as it becomes apparent that a certain fight is something our readers care about as a whole.

As summertime got underway, with VT’s popularity and traffic taking an obvious and substantial leap, I started to wonder what heights our next charity drive might be able to reach. I wondered how our new readers would react to our annual efforts.  I wondered how it might coincide with Arif’s efforts to raise funds so that he can cover the 2014 training camp for us.

One thing I didn’t wonder about, though, is what we were going to be fundraising for.  My mind has been made up on that for quite some time. This year’s fundraising efforts are a lot closer to home for me than I’ve ever attempted in the past, but if you all knew Dakota Schonlau I have no doubt you would understand why I have chosen her and her family.

So, allow me to introduce you.

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