Sunday, December 4, 2016

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Photo courtesy of vikings.com

I have forever been a superstitious sports fan. Even when playing any sport growing up, I had my rituals. I’d tap my glove twice before a pitch was thrown or purposely left my chinstrap unbuckled while in the huddle.

I realize it seems crazy. Most people don’t understand, but there is something about the ‘butterfly effect’ and the way you feel it impacts your favorite teams.

After last night’s news of head coach Mike Zimmer’s emergency eye surgery, you have to wonder why the 2016 Vikings seem so snake bitten.

Well…maybe I have an explanation.

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Minnesota Vikings-Dallas Cowboys

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are heading for a showdown at Historic US Bank Stadium with the NFC leading Dallas Cowboys. The Vikes need to wrassle out an improbable win to help save the season and keep their playoff hopes alive. To help us take a look at the team with an actual offensive line is show favorite Shea in Irving. We chat with Shea about the emergence of rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott and if he’s made peace with The Ginger (Jason Garrett). Our show wraps with a few loose Purple thoughts and a look at key matchups I’m excited about.

All that and more “I’m your Huckleberry” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

Subscribe and listen to the Shea In Irving Podcast. (After this one, obv)

An Andy Carlson Joint

SWAG! Order The GREATEST T-SHIRT OF ALL-TIME

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

When Vikings Territory teammates Brett Anderson and Austin Belisle booked their tickets to travel from the west coast to Minneapolis, they expected to see a playoff-destined team coached by Mike Zimmer destroy the Dallas Cowboys and their rookie quarterback.

The joke is on them.

The Vikings released a statement late Wednesday night indicating that the downward plummet that has been the post-bye 2016 season now might include the absence of Mike Zimmer on the sidelines Thursday night.

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Ugh, the Vikings lost again, so much for going back to a winning streak. They did very well keeping the game close and right when Adam and I thought the game would go into overtime, they lost against the Lions, again.

The Vikings will have a lot of work to do from here on out if they would like to make it to not only the Super Bowl, but really just the playoffs. This week the Vikings are playing the Cowboys. This is not going to be an easy game for them, the Cowboys are on a 10-game winning streak. I truly hope that the Vikings can beat them but if not, I have prepared some delicious comfort food.

I made chili this week for the game. As the temperature continues to drop everywhere, including here in southern California, I have been thinking of all of the foods that I love to eat in this time of year. When you think about comfort foods, it is no surprise that everyone loves to eat them. They make you feel warm, full, happy, and often remind people of home and family, all of the important comforts in life, and every family has one recipe that is always made when comforts are needed.

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Examining Rick Spielman's failed record in drafting offensive linemen.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Rick Spielman is an above average general manager. This is clear to most levelheaded observers.

There are voices online that will tell you otherwise; for a segment of the Minnesota sports viewing public, criticizing Spielman seems to be something of a sport. Just a cursory search of the man’s name on Twitter usually reveals a sizable dose of anger directed at the Vikings GM, often laced with misspelled profanity and other vitriol. The particular grievance is ever-changing, but currently, it has become en vogue to begin proclaiming Spielman’s preseason trade for Sam Bradford is an abject failure. Perhaps it’s the nature of the job he holds, or perhaps it’s the fact that ten years with a franchise is certain to yield at least a handful of bad moves, but for all the observers who tell you Rick Spielman has done good work assembling the Vikings roster, there are just as many who will tell you he needs to be fired tomorrow.

Perhaps it’s the nature of the job he holds, or perhaps it’s the fact that ten years with a franchise is certain to yield at least a handful of bad moves, but for all the observers who tell you Rick Spielman has done good work assembling the Vikings roster, there are just as many who will tell you he needs to be fired tomorrow.

Do not listen to this latter group. They are an emotionally volatile bunch who choose to nitpick over specific happenings rather than step back and look at the big picture. And the big picture is this: with the Vikings, Rick Spielman has been a good GM. I’ve already laid out my thesis at length over the course of examining his best and worst moves with the club, so I won’t drone on here, but in a nutshell, I believe Spielman has built a deep and talented roster that has allowed the 2016 Vikings to remain competitive despite an avalanche of injuries at key positions, and I think his good moves far outweigh his bad ones. There are more early round slam dunks (Barr, Bridgewater, Rhodes, Rudolph, Smith, Kendricks, Peterson, et al) and mid- or late-round steals (Diggs, Hunter, Griffen, Sullivan, Robison) than there are outright draft busts. There are more shrewd, economical trades and free agent acquisitions than there are wasteful, fruitless ones. Overall, Spielman has navigated the cap well and put together an impressive roster of talent, and I think any objective analysis of his work over the long haul will show that.

But.

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