Tuesday, August 4, 2015

harrison smith

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In Minnesota, it’s hard for sports fans to be optimistic. For years, they’ve watched team miss playoff after playoff, or go on to finish seasons with losing records after losing records. It hasn’t been an enjoyable run, but things seem to be getting brighter in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

At the shiny new Courts in Mayo Clinic Square, Timberwolves rookies Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyus Jones are invigorating the franchise with excitement, buoyed by the early success of second-year player Andrew Wiggins. Down the road at Target Field, minor league call-up Miguel Sano is launching home runs to help the Twins to a 45-39 record. And in the Excel Energy Center, the Wild look to make another playoff run after signing goalie Devan Dubnyk to a six-year contract last month.

But this isn’t a Minnesota Sports site — it’s Vikings Territory! How are things up in Winter Park? Most fans would say they’re great; Adrian Peterson is back, Mike Zimmer is leading the charge, and the defense is finally capable of stopping the offenses of the NFC North. Given the team’s unfortunate history, though, it’s no surprise that Teddy Bridgewater is serving up slices of humble pie, per USA Today’s Tom Pelissero:

Personally, it’s refreshing to see such a young player handle the pressure so elegantly. For many Bridgewater’s age, the limelight can be a difficult place to live, and he’s proven he’s comfortable under the stressful spotlight — or should I say, “Great Under Major Pressure”? In interviews throughout OTAs and minicamp, Bridgewater’s been deferential, heaping praise on his teammates and attributing the team’s heightened expectations to the coaching staff and front office.

Sure, Vikings fans have had it rough for years, but this may be the season our luck changes. When the time comes, we can celebrate, but for now, I’m comfortable watching Teddy operate like a pro — on and off the field.

And now, some of the most popular Vikings links from around the web!:

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Matt Vensel (@mattvensel) of the Star Tribune joins the show to talk about our Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings as we count down the days until we’re back in the hood in Mankato ready to launch this 2015 season into orbit. This year’s version of 4th of July has come and gone (without any Vikings pulling a JPP, FTW), so grab some leftover BBQ, toss some aloe on the sunburns, and listen to some Purple FTW! goodness!

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Dave Schwartz (@Dave_Schwartz) of Kare 11 sports fame joins the show to talk about the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings, Bowties, and I explain what a PhunkeeDuck is.

Other “Uptown. PhunkeeDuck. Uptown PhunkeeDuck.” Talking Points Include:
• Whatever a PhunkeeDuck is, it looks stupid
• Amazon Shoutout to JP!
• Dave Schwartz
• Dave went to Hobart. Which is NOT Hogwarts
• Backstory, how did he get his start?
• Is sports news as fun as he makes it seem?
• Quick Wolves Chat: Karl-Anthony Towns + Tyus Jones #OneOfUs
• Oddest Vikings offseason he’s covered?
• What it was like covering “Favre Watch”
• Visanthe Shiancoe eats chicken wings weird
• Thoughts on the Adrian Saga Wrapping Up
• Second chance for Adrian Peterson
• What to expect from Teddy in 2015
• Cordarrelle Patterson is boom or bust this year
• Thoughts on the Draft
• Biggest question mark remaining: Offensive Line
• Biggest Surprise So Far: Mike Wallace
• Dave’s STONE COLD HOT TAKE
• The Gauntlet
• Do Adam Thielen & Marcus Sherels have to worry?
• Dave compares his hockey game to Matt Cooke. Take note, #WildTwitter
• Josh Robinson’s Social Media Gaff
#BuyDavesTies for Parkinsons Research

All that and other “6 Weeks Til Training Camp Seems Like a Lifetime” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

Bridgewater Minicamp 2015

[Editor’s Note: As you all know, it’s important to us at Vikings Territory to provide a platform for voices other than ours to be heard through Guest Posts. This time around, we’re welcoming back an old friend, Branden Lemke, who wanted to do a series of five bold Vikings predictions headed into next season. Today, we’re posting predictions #5 and #4. Check back in the near future for the rest of his predictions. You can follow Branden on Twitter at @BrandenLemkeMN and make sure to be on the lookout for his new blog launching in the near future.]

Let me start by saying I couldn’t be more pleased to be back contributing to Vikings Territory with Adam and Brett. I took a long break from sports writing in general for personal reasons, but decided it was time to start up again. For those who don’t know me, I used to work with Adam at Vikings Gab, and then with Adam and Brett here at Vikings Territory for a short period a few years ago. I have a new Vikings blog launching this summer with Jake Schroer, so be sure to keep an eye out for that as well!

Bold Prediction #5: Teddy Bridgewater Eclipses 4,500 yards, 25 touchdowns.

Needless to say, there are no question marks at quarterback this year for the Minnesota Vikings. (That sure feels good to say after struggling to find a long term quarterback for about a decade.) Although Bridgewater’s numbers themselves last year (2,919 yards, 14 touchdowns, 12 interceptions) were nothing statistically shocking, he clearly showed that he has what it takes to be a leader for years to come. He boasted a completion percentage of 64.4% and a league leading 75% under pressure – all without playing the entire season.

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