Monday, November 30, 2015

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As someone that now qualifies as a father (actually, very recently, a father of three), I’m hard pressed to think of a better way to celebrate Father’s Day than to be surrounded by Vikings players and cheerleaders, enjoying some great Minnesota weather and food, and doing something genuinely awesome that helps support a great cause.

If that sounds like something you also would be interested in, and you happen to be in the Minnesota area, then I highly recommend planning to attend the 9th Annual Gridiron Gallop presented by Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway and his wife, Jenni.

There is a 5K run/walk and also a kid’s run around Lake Nokomis in addition to a day filled with fun activities for all ages, with proceeds benefiting the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation.

Greenway’s Lead the Way Foundation is one of the most highly regarded in the world of professional sports and we have all grown accustomed to our veteran linebacker making headlines for all the right reasons as a result.

His off-field impact resulted in him being named the 2015 winner of the NFLPA’s Byron Whizzer White Award which is a recognition of all the various ways the Greenway family have given back to help those in need.

There are prizes and t-shirts available to registered participants in addition to autograph opportunities. The event is scheduled for June 21st with check-in beginning at 7:30 a.m.

If you are interested in registering online, or would like more information, please CLICK HERE. Also, be sure to follow Chad on Twitter for more updates.

This is sure to be a great event, once again, and a reminder that Chad Greenway has always been a Vikings player that can make fans proud off the field.

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    The Vikings legend shares about the Purple People Eaters, outdoor practices, and his best friend Sid.

    Bud Grant Interview
    Blue jeans. One leg crossed over the other. He’s wearing a casual button-down shirt, tan and camo, and he proudly displays two baseball caps within reach. One—Vikings purple—covers silver-white hair, while the other—Winnipeg blue—sits near a can of Tab soda on the card table.

    He’s manning a garage sale, carefully counting out dollar bills and quarters, and it all seems rather ordinary… except he also signs autographs for the visitors.  “Bud Grant. HOF ’94,” he writes. Over and over again. On a worn leather football. The rod of a fishing pole. An old game program.

    Harry “Bud” Grant will forever be known as one of the top coaches in NFL history, and many remember him as the straight-faced coach who soldiered the sidelines and held players to an exceptionally high standard of conduct.

    “I wasn’t that tough,” Grant tells me. “I don’t think so. I suppose you’d have to ask the other players or coaches – I can’t answer that question. We had rules, but it was an easy job, really.”

    He breaks his signature stoic expression for a split second, just long enough for me to question his sincerity. I prod a bit, ask him about the no-heaters rule he implemented during winter games.

    “We had no indoor practice facilities in those days. We had to practice outside, so why not play outside?” He answers matter-of-factly. “We became acclimated, learned to play with no gloves, no heater, no underwear […] so Sunday was easy for us. It was tougher for other teams that wanted to come in and wanted to be warm. We were cold, but we still played.”

    For Grant, it’s all about practicality.

    Case in point, you may not know that the former coach stands alone as the only man to ever play in both the NBA and the NFL. In fact, Grant won the first championship in NBA history with the Minneapolis Lakers. He left the Lakers, however, to join the Philadelphia Eagles as a defensive end. The decision proved a no-brainer.

    “The bottom line was that I could make more money playing football than I could playing basketball,” he explains.

    Grant viewed sports—playing or coaching—as just a job, a way to make one’s living, not concerning himself with the spotlight or the fame. For an icon like Grant, media requests are not uncommon, although he says they now come very few and far between. League reps and cable stations hounded the coach for appearances shortly after his career, asking him to audition for game-day commentary and halftime interviews.

    “I figured out it would be like 24 road trips,” he says, scoffing. “I’m out of this to stay home, not to get on the road again. My ego didn’t need it.”

    Eventually, people just stopped trying.

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    I know, I know… you’re sick of Adrian Peterson, the drama surrounding him, and our inability to not post about it. As true as that might be for a lot of you, I can promise you that we are not exactly enjoying this particular storyline, and we’ll have a very special article posted Friday morning that will be a great chance to take a break from the Peterson nonsense.

    Seriously, you’ll want to be here tomorrow morning to witness one of the best, if not the best, articles we’ve ever posted here at VT.

    In the meantime, our star running back took to Twitter Thursday afternoon to vent some frustrations and the result was a cyclone of speculation spewing venom in just about every possible direction.

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    Last month we looked at some offensive players and predicted stat leaders, so now we’ll dive into the defensive end of the field.

    Which Players Will Lead the Vikings in Sacks for the 2015 Season? 

    Adam: Everson Griffen
    Everson Griffen was the leader in 2014 and it wasn’t even close. The Vikings did a lot to help their defense this offseason, particularly in the Draft, but none of those additions should do anything other than help Griffen’s pass rushing production. While the defensive tackles and linebackers will rotate to stay fresh, the pass rushing attack will again center around Griffen who might find himself in a position to be even more aggressive in 2015. Health has a ton to do with it, and Anthony Barr might take a huge step forwards, but I still see this season ending with Griffen as the sack champ of Minnesota.

    Andy: Anthony Barr
    Conventional wisdom says Everson Griffen will lead the way and continue to build on last year’s coming out party of 12.0 sacks, but I’m going to bet on youth and Anthony Barr. He’s a physical specimen heading into only his fourth year of playing defense and second under Mike Zimmer. Barr started slow his rookie year, but picked up a lot of steam before getting injured and finishing the season with only 4.0 sacks. I think a full-offseason and a year of good health could not only double that number, but possibly triple or quadruple.

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