Monday, January 22, 2018

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In 2009, despite the disgust from many fans and at least one hack blogger, Brett Favre joined the Minnesota Vikings and provided some of the most memorable moments in franchise history.  Months after that faithful game in New Orleans, Favre appeared set to retire for good.

So, what changed his mind?

“First of all, the money was too good,” Favre recently said on NFL Network. “The money was too good, and I hate to say it’s about money. But, you know, I felt the money was a lot.”

It is hard to remember all of the twists and turns of the circus that was the 2010 season, but I remember clearly the day that reports surfaced that Favre texted that Favre was hanging the cleats up for good.  In the middle of training camp, with Tarvaris Jackson taking reps as the starter, the Vikings brass pulled together on the field and found a way to raise Favre’s salary.  A trip in Zygi Wilf’s private jet was taken by Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson, and Ryan Longwell in an attempt to bring Favre back into the fold.

The whole thing was a mess and it should have been a sign of things to come.  The 2010 season turned out to be one of the worst (and weirdest) in franchise history, and Favre claims he knew the magic from 2009 wouldn’t be regained.

“Now, that’s not to say I didn’t give my all,” Favre said. “It just wasn’t to be, and I think I knew that. I really know it now.”

I’m not one to pull punches when it comes to ragging on Favre, but I can hardly blame him for playing another NFL season for over $16 million.  Being on a losing team may not be much fun, but most people would do much less enjoyable jobs for that kind of money.

If you are a professional athlete with the financial ability to spend tens of thousands of dollars in one weekend, and happen to enjoy seeing naked women, then you are the stuff dreams are made of for strip club owners.

Of course, you are also the stuff police blotters are made of.

The Vikings are constantly struggling to keep their players out of trouble (hey, facts are facts) so their efforts to do so have now reached unprecedented heights.

Sean Bishop, a felon and former strip club owner (and current strip club worker) is flown to Winter Park every year to let the team’s rookies know some blunt truths about the industry.

“I don’t need their money,” Bishop said. “I tell them I am a scumbag club owner who will use and abuse you. I just don’t want to see any of them ruin their lives. They need to be protected from themselves.”

So how does a guy with such questionable morals make his way into the locker room of an NFL team?  Well, Bishop himself was once a football player that was coached by Les Pico.  Pico is the executive director of player development for the Vikings.  Oh, and Zygi Wilf is happy to sign the checks to make it happen.

“He’s not a choirboy by any means,” Pico said about Bishop. “I can’t legislate morality. Sean’s a guy who isn’t afraid to talk negatively about the business he’s in. Our owners give us great latitude allowing us to run these programs and put a convicted felon on a plane to come here and talk to our rookies about why they shouldn’t be in strip clubs.”

“We have two gentlemen who own car dealerships in Pennsylvania and lumberyards in North Carolina who don’t pay for anything here, but average about $15,000 per night in tips (and dances), and they’ll do it for 10 straight nights,” Bishop continued. “There’s plenty of money out there. I don’t need (players’) money. I’m in a dark business. It’s almost sad. They’re too easy to push into trouble.”

Bishop also explained why strip clubs can become such traps for young athletes.

“These guys get comfortable in the VIP section and think they’re not being seen and forget where they’re at,” he said. “Being a competitive athlete, it’s hard for them to turn the other cheek or swallow their pride and walk away from bad situations. Instead, they make a scene and forget where they’re at because the owner’s treating them like a king, they’re young and think they’re invincible when all it takes is one snapshot and you’re done.”

Anytime I hear of the Vikings going to extra lengths to keep their players out of trouble it makes me happy.

Maybe one of these days it will start working.

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Let’s do a little synopsis, if you will, of what’s been going in Vikings world. There hasn’t been tons happening that doesn’t involve the Houston Police Department, but I thought it would be a good idea to cover some of the smaller stories that we haven’t really touched on yet here at Vikings Territory.

So, here we go:

New Stadium Retractable Roof

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about the stadium here. There hasn’t been tons happening since the stadium bill was passed a couple months ago, but there is some news regarding the roof. Yesterday, Lester Bagley, Vikings VP, told Bob Sansevere of the Pioneer Press that while, as of right now, the design is for a fixed-roof facility, if they can cut costs their goal is to have a retractable roof feature. Now, while that sounds great, I probably wouldn’t get your hopes up. If the retractable roof is not currently in the (almost) 1 billion dollar budget, it probably won’t find its way in unless it gets funded some other way. These things almost always come in over budget and stuff ends up getting value engineered out (not in). While it would be nice to have a “portion of the roof that can be opened to view downtown,” I just don’t know how likely it is since it wasn’t in the original scope.

McKinnie Says Vikings Exaggerated About His Weight

Bryant McKinnie is trying to melt off his extra weight before training camp… again. It seems like this is a yearly story with this guy. Anyway, when speaking with a reporter from the Baltimore Sun about being released by the Vikings because he “weighed 400 pounds at the time,” McKinnie said, “I never was… That was exaggerated by the Vikings.” Instead, McKinnie claims he was only 386 pounds when he was at his highest. That is a huge difference!

Josh Gordon Via Supplemental Draft

The Supplemental Draft takes place this afternoon and it is unknown how involved the Vikings will be. What is known, though, is that the organization has shown interest in a receiver named Josh Gordon who will likely cost a third round pick to obtain. The Vikings attended the wide out’s “pro day” earlier this week and, despite having made multiple moves during the offseason at the position, still have a need for a sure deep threat receiver who can stretch the field. Gordon, the former Baylor receiver, is 6’4”, 200 pounds and has been said to have 4.3 speed. Those are the type of intangibles that are sure to catch any teams’ eye. Gordon does not come without some concerns, though. While at Baylor, he was arrested for marijuana possession. That infraction got him transferred to Utah where he sat out the entire 2011 season.

We’ll know later this afternoon whether or not the Vikings obtain Gordon’s services. I’m going to predict the Vikings will pass on this one, though. While the Vikings took a similar risk on, future Hall of Famer, Cris Carter, I’m not sure the organization will be willing to give up a third round pick for an unproven receiver with character concerns after just spending two fourth round picks on young receivers as well as signing Jerome Simpson over the offseason. Stay tuned on this one, though.

Everson Griffen At Linebacker

Tom Pelissero from ESPN 1500 is reporting that when Everson Griffen reports to training camp in a few weeks, it will be as a linebacker.

AP & HPD: More Details

There are some new details in the Adrian Peterson case involving high-profile attorneys, black eyes, denials, etc… If you’re interested, this article by Dan Wiederer at the Star Tribune does a good job of outlining everything that’s happened so far.

Roll Call

Not really Vikings related but, one of our readers had a good idea to host a little “roll call” at the VT Forums. You should head over and let everyone know where you’re from. It would be cool to know a little bit more about our great readers.

That’s it for now. We’ll keep you updated if anything happens this afternoon in the Supplemental Draft.

Brett is busy compiling an extensive “Links of the Week” feature and I have finally gotten a brief moment amongst the chaos that is life to write a quick blurb.  Everybody in the world seems to have weighed in on the Adrian Peterson arrest, so this is probably a little redundant.  Still, it is a topic worthy of discussion, obviously.

I’m not going to rehash all of the TMZ “reports” and supposed eyewitness accounts, and I’m not going to copy and paste all of Peterson’s lawyer’s recent comments.  Instead, I just want to make a few simple points.

1.  Ever since hearing of the news on Saturday I have wracked my brain in an effort to imagine a situation in which it took three police officers and a pair of handcuffs to subdue me.  I couldn’t.  First of all, I’m not Adrian Peterson so one police officer (male or female) could surely take me down easily enough.  Second, I couldn’t imagine a situation in which this would be necessary if I were doing nothing wrong as Peterson asserts was the case in his scenario.  If one cop doesn’t do the trick… I have a hard time believing the guy in handcuffs wasn’t resisting arrest in some fashion.  I’ve never been to Houston, however, so maybe they really do have cops that jump people and rough them up for no apparent reason.

2.  What is the deal with Peterson only being arrested for resisting arrest?  In order to resist arrest you must have been doing something illegal to warrant the initial attempt at an arrest in the first place.  So… what were they arresting him for?

3.  I’m not one to defend criminal actions, but this is probably being blown out of proportion because of Peterson’s celebrity status.  To me, this isn’t the same as a DUI or beating up your girlfriend.  No lives were put in danger and you will be hard pressed to find many guys that didn’t have some late nights that they regret while in their twenties.

4.  I’m guessing this whole thing gets dropped because of the mess Peterson and his lawyer intend to turn this into.  This type of thing will gain extra attention during the slowest part of the NFL year, but I’m guessing it ends up living on as an obscure punch line reference, perhaps a Jeopardy question, but dies a quick death from a legal standpoint.

So, yeah, I’m not calling for his release or trade.  I’m not prepared to get on a soapbox and cry foul on Houston’s finest.  In general, I guess this thing is just kind of a yawner.

And for that I am grateful.

As you may have read at the onset of the weekend, I packed up the family and headed to the famous Tangle Lakes for a weekend fishing trip with long-time Vikings Territory (and Vikings Gab) reader Fran the Man.

So, after getting approval to take off of work a few hours early on Friday, I headed to the house to get the family ready to go.  These days, the family consists of Mrs. Warwas who is about a month away from having our second child and Gates, my almost-two-year-old son.  Additionally, my two brother-in-laws (ages 8 & 13) are staying with us this summer, wanting to get their fill of a true Alaskan adventure.

We were all looking forward to a peaceful fishing trip up north and I was also looking forward to yet another weekend of uneventful Vikings news.  I’m guessing you can tell from this lead in that things didn’t go quite as planned, but go ahead and continue reading if you are interested in the full story from this weekend (and some pictures, too).  This is more of a journal entry than a football post… but that’s okay, I make the rules around here!