Monday, August 21, 2017

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Well, this is getting interesting.

It has long been assumed that the Indianapolis Colts would be getting the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.  A Thursday night win against the Houston Texans, however, has given the Colts their second win of the year with only one more game left to play.

The Vikings and the Rams each also have two wins, but they each have two more opportunities to win (or lose (or tie)).

So, for those of you who consider a bad team to be a bad team regardless of their record, the silver lining could end up being in the position to select or trade away one of the highest rated college quarterback prospects in history.

For those fans wanting to see the Vikings end up drafting first overall, you should be cheering for three things:

  1.  The Colts to beat the Jaguars next week.
  2. The Vikings to lose to the Redskins this week and the Bears next week.
  3. The Rams to win one of their final two games.

At a time when Vikings football appears to have hit an all time low, the stakes in this “race” are surprisingly high.

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Dear Donovan McNabb,

I know you are old and have taken a number of hits to the head, but surely you remember a big multi-million deal you signed with the Vikings prior to the 2011 season, right?  And you must remember the slightly less impactful, but equally important, deal that you made with Chris Kluwe shortly after getting paid that $5.05 million, right?

Well, just in case you forgot, I wanted to remind you about a little commitment you made to help the kids.  After all, it is almost Christmas and we don’t want you ending up on the wrong side of Santa’s list.  What would your mother say about that?

Anyways, Chris Kluwe reminded me today that you were granted permission to wear his number 5 jersey as a Viking in exchange for three reasonable favors.

The first was to give his band Tripping Icarus some mentions in non-consecutive pressers.  You kind of half-assed your way to fulfilling half of that commitment but, like Kluwe, I’m willing to let you off the hook there.

The third stipulation was that you would give Kluwe an ice cream cone.  No word on whether or not you have ever been willing to share any food with anybody but I’m willing to be flexible on that one, once again.

See, Donovan, it’s that second item you agreed to that really needs to be fulfilled if you want to fall back into favor with Mr. Claus. 

You signed your name in agreement to this second item.  You said you would give $5,000 to Kick for a Cure which benefits Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is Kluwe’s charity of choice.

And, according to my sources, you have yet to pay up.

Now, I know you are really busy right now and all, but it only seems right that you would find the time to make right on your agreement.  After all, Kluwe has put his money where his mouth is by relinquishing his jersey number to you and also by donating $500 to the charity for every punt that lands inside the 20.

Your inadequate performances while wearing purple caused Kluwe to punt a lot, sure, but that does not count as a donation on your behalf.

If you don’t make this donation then I will never be able to properly enjoy a claymation Christmas special again, as their slow and awkward movements would only remind me of the way you played in a Vikings uniform with a number on it that you never earned.

Get to it, Donovan.  Time is of the essence.

Merry Christmas,

A Hack Blogger

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I remember as a kid one of my favorite players being Jim Kleinsasser. It wasn’t that he was an incredible pass catcher (he wasn’t). It wasn’t that he ran great routes and always found ways to get open (he didn’t). Nor was it that he managed to bring in tons of touchdowns (he never really did). To be absolutely, 100% honest, it was his name.

Yes, that’s right – his name.

As a kid, it was just fun to shout out Jimmy’s last name. Go ahead, try it. (See?) It just sounded like he was a Viking. I couldn’t imagine a better last name for a Vikings player. My family and I would also come up with other odd names that we could give him – just random things that started with “Klein” and ended with something sounding like “saucer.” I remember “Kleinsausage” being one of them… The point, though, isn’t why Kleinsasser was one of the most interesting Vikings to me as a kid. Instead, it’s that as a kid, Jim Kleinsasser was a Viking. 

As I grew up Kleinsasser was always there. Yet, he was always not there, too. I know, confusing, right? But let me explain… Kleinsasser is not a flashy guy. He doesn’t make one hand grabs, shake defenders and bolt to the end zone. He doesn’t have any clever celebration dances. And you probably won’t see him be the star in any Sportscenter highlight reels. But look closer and, I assure you, he is there.

Kleinsasser is the type of player who lives in the shadows of big name playmakers – constantly contributing but never really getting full recognition for it. He is an incredibly hard worker and, for a long time, was one of the best blocking Tight Ends in football. Kleinsasser has started 119 times for our Vikings. 119 times. He bulldozed through defenders as he made 7 of the 8 single-season rushing records in Vikings history. And on top of that, Kleinsasser has not missed a single game since 2005.

Everything about Kleinsasser just screams Viking which is why it pains me to report that, after this season, he won’t be back for another year.

I’m not going to say he has “thrown in the towel” because I don’t think Jimmy is a quitter. And I won’t say this is his last season as a Viking because I think he will always be one (at least in my mind). Instead, I will say that Kleinsasser has simply made the decision to move forward with his life and do other things.

When asked what has been the highlight of his career, Kleinsasser said, “…But coming into work and just hanging out with the guys and sitting in meetings and just the camaraderie of a bunch of guys sweating and bleeding together for a common cause, I think that’s one of my biggest memories.”

And that says it all right there, folks. Jim Kleinsasser is a class act and a great model for future players of what it is to be a Minnesota Viking. I know I’m not the only one who will miss him.

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At the beginning of the month, I theorized that the Vikings could benefit from seeing some of the big name junior quarterbacks declare for the NFL Draft.

Today, USC quarterback Matt Barkley announced that he has decided to stay in school for another year.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it will likely drive up the value for a guy RG3, and potentially drive up the value of the Vikings top three draft pick.

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The Vikings haven’t been shy about making major mid-season moves this season in response to individual performances or serious injuries.

At this point, however, there aren’t many major moves to be made.  Few street free agents available will generate much excitement (Randy Moss!) and there aren’t many players left on the Vikings roster in danger of being cut.

Still, I am committed to reporting every single transaction this team makes so all of you Vikings nerds (don’t take offense, I would be the lead nerd) know this roster inside and out.

On Monday the Vikings deleted receiver Owen Spencer from the practice squad and Tuesday they brought back guard Butch Lewis.  Lewis had been cut last week.

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