Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mankato Vikings Training Camp

Random thoughts running through my head while at Vikings Training Camp. Apologies in advance.

1. Mankato is very chill. I always love the vibe of college towns (Kato is similar to Winona where I went to college) and you can tell that the city really ramps up for the Vikings to come down. It’s essentially their town celebration. You know how every small town has a get-together/fair during the summer where the funnel cake carts pop up out of nowhere and the carneys show up with those rickety rides and rigged games on flatbeds? Well this is Mankato’s. The threat of Vikings Training Camp moving to the new facilities in Eagan when their contract is up after 2018 is real (the Vikings also hold an option to have camp in Mankato in 2019), but I’m rooting for it to stay in the Crown Jewel of South Central Minnesota. It’s like ‘End of Summer Camp’ for the fans.

by -
Mankato Minnesota Vikings Training Camp

On the ground in Mankato. Some AM showers rolled over the Crown Jewel of South Central Minnesota Thursday morning, but it didn’t stop the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings from taking the field for walkthroughs. It also didn’t stop me from rounding up Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL), Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) and Eric Thompson (@Eric_J_Thompson) at the media center and playing a quick NAME GAME.

Names Include:
• Jayron Kearse
• Willie Beavers
• Matt Kalil
• Tre Roberson
• Charles Johnson
• Matt Kalil
• Tom Johnson
• Brian Jerome Robison
• Mortiz Boehringer
• TJ Clemmings
• Laquon Treadwell
• Chad Greenway
• Jeff Locke

All that and other “How You Gonna Get Fired on Your Day Off?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

by -
Image courtesy of

Seems like the Minnesota Vikings just started this year’s training camp in Mankato, Minnesota, yet they are about to begin their sixth day of work already. In a little over a week, the Vikings will head to Cincinnati to play the Bengals in their first preseason game of 2016.

Here at Vikings Territory, we have got you covered for the latest from Mankato. So find somewhere comfortable to sit and enjoy some football this morning.

Let’s go!

There are two minutes left on the clock at the Metrodome. Tommy Kramer drops back, surveys the field, and desperately tries to find an open receiver. He spots Hassan Jones streaking down the sideline and heaves a pass down the field. It’s caught! Touchdown, the Minnesota Vikings win the game!

Only, it’s not Kramer throwing the football or Jones sprinting into the end zone. This story isn’t unfolding in the Metrodome, where thousands of Vikings fans cheer in excited anticipation. No, this is the Troftgruben backyard in Adams, North Dakota, where young Darin is creating his own memories. He’s the quarterback and the receiver in this boyhood-dream-come true; the hero at the center of an improbable Vikings comeback.

Fast forward 30 years, and “Gruben” as he’s affectionately called by friends, is thriving in the middle of a very real, very personal comeback. Like many Vikings fans, he has experienced loss, and disappointment in his life. He’s been to more than 150 games, witnessed countless defeats, and seen firsthand the pain of a victory slipping through the cracks. Through them all, he’s donned his horns, his beard, and most importantly, his mask; symbols of his unwavering support for the purple and gold.

But the costume only reveals so much about Gruben. Behind the armor is more than just a fan; behind the mask is a loving husband, a dedicated friend, and an inspiring individual.

Get Social