Thursday, July 28, 2016

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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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Crowning Mr. Mankato
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

This 10-part series focuses on the biggest questions facing the Vikings as they head into Mankato for their training camp festivities. Be sure to answer the first eight questions HEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHERE, HERE, and HERE.

Who will be this year’s ‘Mr. Mankato?’

The Minnesota Vikings are back on the National Football League’s map after an impressive 2015 season. They’re dark-horse contenders for the Super Bowl and a near-lock to battle for a second-straight NFC North title. On both sides of the football, the roster is loaded with up-and-coming stars, from Anthony Barr to Teddy Bridgewater.

Joining them at training camp, which begins next Thursday, are a slew of rookies, under-the-radar players, and fresh faces. Their names won’t jump off the page, but they will have a chance for recognition elsewhere — as candidates for the annual ‘Mr. Mankato’ award. Each year, ESPN 1500 bestows the honor on one deserving player who surprises and impresses at training camp. Last year, it was Stefon Diggs, and the year before, it was Adam Thielen.

This offseason, a few candidates stick out as the ‘cream of the crop.’ Who has a chance to walk away with the award at the end of training camp?

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