Tuesday, August 4, 2015

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Image courtesy of Chris Price

As part of the U.S. Bank’s Vikings Biggest Fan contest, I joined 100 lucky fans for the experience of a lifetime yesterday — touring U.S. Bank Stadium and attending Vikings Training Camp in Mankato, Minnesota. Below, I’ll give my impressions of the day and my takeaways from a blustery day of padded practice. Enjoy! 

As I stood at the fence outside of U.S. Bank Stadium, I couldn’t help but marvel at the Vikings’ future home. I’d seen pictures of the building, but a picture doesn’t capture the sheer size of the stadium on Bud Grant Way. On my last trip to Minnesota, I visited the Metrodome, and my 10-year-old self left disappointed by the concrete husk of dome. This time, things were much different.

I strapped on my bright yellow vest, buckled my purple hard hat — reminiscent of the Vikings’ current helmets — and pulled my gloves on before stepping through a narrow passage into the stadium. We were the first 100 fans to ever take a tour, and we didn’t care that we looked ridiculous in our fluorescent construction gear.

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Image Courtesy of Vikings.com

Thursday’s an off day for the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings in Mankato, but we’re still on the grind with our man Daniel House (@DanielHouseNFL) of Vikings Corner. He stops in to recap the first week of Vikings Training Camp, show a little love to the nice surprises of camp (Danielle Hunter, MyCole Pruitt, Mike Wallace, Gerald Hodges, and Antone Exum), as well as some of the not so great surprises. (You’ll never guess who…)

All that and other “Is Yankey International?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Original Photo Courtesy of Thad Chesley (@Skolviking75) | Modified (Obv)

The Minnesota Vikings continue to grind on in absolutely, in no shape or form, not hot and humid Mankato – The Crown Jewel of South Central Minnesota. Eric Thompson (@Eric_J_Thompson) of the Daily Norseman joins the show to talk about his exploits at Training Camp, which players are rising in Mankato (Teddy, Diggs, Kendricks, Exum) and which are falling (Kali, Babs, Waynes), as well as what it’s like to walk away from exploding fire (the worst kind of fire) with Arif Hasan.

All that and other “Eric is a VIP” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

For this run of Question of the Week, we left it more open-ended. Now that Vikings training camp is underway, we all weighed in with our thoughts. We would love to hear your reactions as well, so please let us know in the comments section!

What is your biggest observation or take-away from training camp so far?

Brent:
Thus far, my biggest take away is that my suspicion that Terence Newman would start opposite Xavier Rhodes seems to be correct. Newman has spent time with the first team since camp opened and is seemingly in position to be dethroned from the starting role. Arguably one of the most important positions on a team in the NFCN, it will be interesting to see how well Newman’s body holds up at 36 years old.

Andy:
People need to calm down about Trae Waynes. Outside of quarterback, cornerback is the most difficult position to transition to in the NFL from college. Yes, Trae Waynes was the Vikings’ first-round pick and yes, he was the first cornerback selected in this year’s draft, but the dude is going to look terrible at times this year. May as well get as many growing pains out of the way in camp and the preseason. I wouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t start a game as a rookie and only sees time on subpackages and special teams. #VikingsTwitter should not freak out about this fact when it happens, but they will. Personally, I like the fact that Zimmer, Edwards, and Gray are seemingly throwing everything at Waynes right away and showing him no quarter. Fans and even Waynes himself may not like it at the moment, but everyone will be happy he was thrown in the fire right away when he and Xavier are the best cornerback combo in the NFL in a few years.

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DONATE TO THE #MoreThanWords CAMPAIGN

With the backing of Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, and a friendly competition between four other great Vikings sites, we still consider our charitable fundraising goal of $10,000 raised by August 22nd to be within reach.

In an attempt to raise those funds for the “Chad’s Locker” program, run by Chad Greenway and the fine folks at his Lead the Way Foundation, we here at Vikings Territory have pulled every trick out of our hat that we could think of to motivate the online Vikings community to lend a huge helping hand to families in need.

So far, in our efforts, we have:

We might have a few more tricks left up our sleeves, and we certainly won’t miss our goal due to a lack of effort, but let’s take a look at where things currently stand.

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