Monday, October 23, 2017

matt birk

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Why There’s Hope For A Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl Victory

“A team is only as strong as it’s weakest player.”

I’m not a fan of that expression, partially because I know how it feels to be the weakest player and partially because if it were up to me, I’d simply replace the worst player on the team. But I digress.

Why bring it up then? It’s because nowadays, too many people analyze teams that way. A player has a bad game or a rough stretch of games and suddenly he’s garbage, and so is the team if they don’t replace the player immediately.

It’s simply not a fair judgement. There’s more to a team than meets the eye. A team wins and loses together, rolls with the punches, celebrates the good times, and changes individuals for the better.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already familiar with Mike Wobschall. Affectionately known as “Wobby” among the Vikings faithful (and, as he says, among pretty much everyone else, too), Mike is the Content Manager for the Vikings Entertainment Network, the official digital media arm of the Vikings. He’s the most visible part of the team’s online presence—as a writer and on-camera interviewer for Vikings.com—and acts as a link between the legions of Vikings fans and the organization itself.

Wobschall grew up in Waseca, Minnesota, and went to college at Gustavus. He began working for the Vikings as their Written Content Coordinator in 2005, and has been with them ever since. Beyond his online contributions for Vikings.com and the VEN, Wobby makes regular appearances on KFAN, where he riffs with his good friend Paul Allen and keeps fans up to date with the happenings around Winter Park.

As Wobby has become more and more familiar to Vikings fans, his popularity has grown, largely because of the genuine, approachable way he does his job. Whether it’s on the radio, on camera, or in print, there’s something about Mike Wobschall that’s intrinsically relatable; he’s professional, but an everyman—a reporter, but a fan. He isn’t just someone doing a job, but a Minnesota native tasked with the unique responsibility of sending daily dispatches from inside the belly of the state’s most beloved franchise. He’s one of us, and, all Dan Barreiro joking aside, that means something.

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(photo courtesy of Vikings.com)

In the spirit of the holiday, we decided to have a little more fun with this week’s question. We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section as well. All of us at Vikings Territory are wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!

Name one Viking (past or present) most likely to ruin your Thanksgiving dinner.

Austin: “The Williams Wall”
Together, Pat and Kevin created havoc for the Vikings defense, with their best seasons together coming between 2006-2008. Their large presence inside helped the Vikings field the league’s best run defense for three years straight, and I’m sure they’d put a stop to leftovers at Thanksgiving as well. While both always seemed like great teammates, I think they’d make terrible dinner-mates, if only because there would be little in the way of leftovers. One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is the leftovers, and Pat and Kevin would easily put a stop to that by eating most of the food on Thanksgiving night. No turkey soup and no turkey sandwiches the day after would ruin Thanksgiving for me.

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Lindsey Young and her father.

I have heard countless sports journalists say that you simply cannot be a fan of a team that you cover. Vikings Territory‘s own Lindsey Young is well on her way to being an exception to that rule.

Lindsey is also incredibly humble, vocally refusing to use VT to promote her other works, so I decided to hijack this week’s “Fan Spotlight” (which she normally authors) and make it all about her.

Literally since before she can remember, Lindsey has been a fan of Minnesota sports of all varieties, and the evidence is on tape.

“There is a home video my parents have where I’m in the living room playing, and you can hear my dad watching TV in the other room,” she tells me of those early days of watching the Twins with her dad.

“Kirby Puckett is on!” he could be heard yelling from the other room. Little Lindsey hops right up, in this video, and books it for the room with the television in it to watch Puckett at bat. Even at that young age, she was interested in sports and knew which players were a cut above the rest.

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This week’s Vikings Fan Spotlight is the final segment of a 3-week project. I had such an amazing response on Twitter from Vikings fans all over the world, and I decided to break this feature into three separate parts. 

Simon Bruus – Denmark – @Bruusen

SimonQ: How did you first become a Vikings fan?
A: My grandfather’s great grandfather is from Minneapolis, and my grandfather […] calls himself “The biggest Vikings fan in Europe.” He religiously follows the Vikings every Sunday when they’re on, and he also religiously watch[es] the University of Minnesota’s football team, the Golden Gophers. Sometimes when I was younger, [I would] stay at my grandparents’ just to watch the Vikings with him, therefore the transition to becoming a Vikings fan was very easy.

Q: Are there a lot of other Vikings fans in Denmark?
A: In Norway [where I am studying abroad], there are almost none as I know of, but in Denmark there is a huge Vikings community. Denmark in general is a very “NFL-happy” nation and as far as I know one of the biggest followers of the sport outside the U.S.

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