Thursday, July 28, 2016

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Madden 17 Rankings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

If you’re like me, you shell out $50 or $60 each year for EA Sports’ latest and greatest Madden video game. It’s always a blast to play as the Minnesota Vikings, challenge other players online, and come out victorious. No other game allows you to control your favorite team, and with today’s systems and technology, the experience is more lifelike than ever.

According to many players, though, the ratings are a different story. Around this time each year, the developers at EA Sports begin releasing player ratings and rankings. Earlier this week, it was the rookies, the quarterbacks, and the running backs. They’ll continue this countdown until the game releases in August, and players will continue arguing their place in the virtual hierarchy.

Rookies always rank themselves higher than they fall on the list despite the fact that they’ve yet to play a down in the NFL. Veterans, on the other hand, usually end up where they should; some higher, some lower than the previous year. With the first three lists available to the sports and gaming world, it’s time to see where a couple of Vikings landed in Madden’s ratings system.

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Denny Green

Former Vikings head coach Denny Green passed away this week at the young age of 67. Denny coached the Vikes from 1992 to 2001, was the 2nd winningest coach in franchise history (behind only Bud Grant), and was a pioneer in the African-American head coaching world. Both in the NFL and in college football. We take time to look back and remember the life of Coach Green and the legacy he leaves behind.

Also in lieu of flowers, Denny’s family requests donations to the Boys and Girls Club of San Dieguito. Here’s the Link.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Mike Zimmer

Head coach Mike Zimmer met with a herd of Vikings fans Thursday night at the Fan HQ Eden Prairie. Coach signed autographs and took photos as part of the #MoreThanWords campaign benefiting the Mike Zimmer Foundation. Happy to say that this event helped smash MTW’s original $10,000 fundraising goal and we’re currently over $12k. Still plenty of time to donate before the August 9th deadline. Let’s run up the score on this mother!

In the podcast I recap the event and playback the chats I had with Coach Zimmer, his daughter and MZ Foundation Director Corri Zimmer, Fan HQ’s Shaun Hagglund, and a few Purple People Fans that made the trek — including Vikings luminary 100% Cheese Free (sans outfit). Photos and video below.

All that and other “It’s Herbie Hancock” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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VT QOTW

Vikings' most popular player
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

With U.S. Bank Stadium just days from opening its doors and the Minnesota Vikings less than a week from training camp, it’s clear this team is set for some major changes. The same can be said for the roster, which will surely shift in the coming months.

As the team transitions into a new era of Vikings football, so do its players, many of whom have been a part of the franchise for years. There’s Adrian Peterson, longtime face of the Vikings. There’s also Chad Greenway, Minnesota’s longest-tenured defender and hometown hero.

But in their wake lie up-and-comers, like quarterback Teddy Bridgewater or the über talented Anthony Barr. Their surge to the forefront of the franchise marks another shift for the Vikings; a changing of the (popularity) guard. After the jump, we try to determine who’s the most popular Viking — player or coach — heading into the 2016 season.

Heading into 2016, who is the Vikings’ most popular player?

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already familiar with Mike Wobschall. Affectionately known as “Wobby” among the Vikings faithful (and, as he says, among pretty much everyone else, too), Mike is the Content Manager for the Vikings Entertainment Network, the official digital media arm of the Vikings. He’s the most visible part of the team’s online presence—as a writer and on-camera interviewer for Vikings.com—and acts as a link between the legions of Vikings fans and the organization itself.

Wobschall grew up in Waseca, Minnesota, and went to college at Gustavus. He began working for the Vikings as their Written Content Coordinator in 2005, and has been with them ever since. Beyond his online contributions for Vikings.com and the VEN, Wobby makes regular appearances on KFAN, where he riffs with his good friend Paul Allen and keeps fans up to date with the happenings around Winter Park.

As Wobby has become more and more familiar to Vikings fans, his popularity has grown, largely because of the genuine, approachable way he does his job. Whether it’s on the radio, on camera, or in print, there’s something about Mike Wobschall that’s intrinsically relatable; he’s professional, but an everyman—a reporter, but a fan. He isn’t just someone doing a job, but a Minnesota native tasked with the unique responsibility of sending daily dispatches from inside the belly of the state’s most beloved franchise. He’s one of us, and, all Dan Barreiro joking aside, that means something.

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