Monday, February 27, 2017

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Mankato Minnesota Vikings Training Camp

On the ground in Mankato. Some AM showers rolled over the Crown Jewel of South Central Minnesota Thursday morning, but it didn’t stop the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings from taking the field for walkthroughs. It also didn’t stop me from rounding up Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL), Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) and Eric Thompson (@Eric_J_Thompson) at the media center and playing a quick NAME GAME.

Names Include:
• Jayron Kearse
• Willie Beavers
• Matt Kalil
• Tre Roberson
• Charles Johnson
• Matt Kalil
• Tom Johnson
• Brian Jerome Robison
• Mortiz Boehringer
• TJ Clemmings
• Laquon Treadwell
• Chad Greenway
• Jeff Locke

All that and other “How You Gonna Get Fired on Your Day Off?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Seems like the Minnesota Vikings just started this year’s training camp in Mankato, Minnesota, yet they are about to begin their sixth day of work already. In a little over a week, the Vikings will head to Cincinnati to play the Bengals in their first preseason game of 2016.

Here at Vikings Territory, we have got you covered for the latest from Mankato. So find somewhere comfortable to sit and enjoy some football this morning.

Let’s go!

https://vimeo.com/109249764

There are two minutes left on the clock at the Metrodome. Tommy Kramer drops back, surveys the field, and desperately tries to find an open receiver. He spots Hassan Jones streaking down the sideline and heaves a pass down the field. It’s caught! Touchdown, the Minnesota Vikings win the game!

Only, it’s not Kramer throwing the football or Jones sprinting into the end zone. This story isn’t unfolding in the Metrodome, where thousands of Vikings fans cheer in excited anticipation. No, this is the Troftgruben backyard in Adams, North Dakota, where young Darin is creating his own memories. He’s the quarterback and the receiver in this boyhood-dream-come true; the hero at the center of an improbable Vikings comeback.

Fast forward 30 years, and “Gruben” as he’s affectionately called by friends, is thriving in the middle of a very real, very personal comeback. Like many Vikings fans, he has experienced loss, and disappointment in his life. He’s been to more than 150 games, witnessed countless defeats, and seen firsthand the pain of a victory slipping through the cracks. Through them all, he’s donned his horns, his beard, and most importantly, his mask; symbols of his unwavering support for the purple and gold.

But the costume only reveals so much about Gruben. Behind the armor is more than just a fan; behind the mask is a loving husband, a dedicated friend, and an inspiring individual.

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Another year at training camp means another great series of interview by Tom Moore of VikeFans fame. Tom was just dusting off his best set of conversational chops this morning when he was able to snag Vikings kicker Blair Walsh for a few words.

The video is above and you can listen to all of the fun for yourself, but it is certainly worth noting that Walsh seems as confident as ever and says as much. Having proven to be an honest individual, even when the cameras are on, Walsh sounds determined to rebound from his playoff miss in a way that leaves Vikings fans forgetting about what could have been in 2015.

“I think the people of Minnesota have recognized that I’m one of the best kickers in the league,” Walsh told Moore on Wednesday. “That’s how I feel and that’s what the stats show, so I’m out here, you know, exuding confidence I have in myself and in my abilities. And they know I’ve come through for this team before and I will in the future.”

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