Tuesday, June 28, 2016

pro bowl

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Jared Allen Will Retire a Viking
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

He’s back! For a day. The Vikings announced today that Jared Allen has signed a one-day contract with the team and will officially enter retirement as a Viking. Allen spent six years with the team and was named one of the 50 Greatest Vikings. 

Allen began his career in Kansas City, but spent his most productive seasons in Minnesota. He came to the Vikings via trade in exchange for a first round draft pick and two third rounders, plus a swap of sixth round picks with the Chiefs in 2008. Allen posted 83.5 sacks in purple, third most in team history. He was part of the NFC North champion teams 2008 and 2009, and in 2011 he notched 22 sacks, which ties for the second highest single season total in NFL history.

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SEC Conference

The NFL Draft: the consistent, inescapable exercise of trying to predict the future. Determining how college kids will react to becoming overnight millionaires and being thrust into foreign locker rooms with men a decade their senior who will probably haze and/or ostracize them for a month or two. The psychological part alone is enough to make it a crapshoot—forget everything else.

But, hard as it may be to accurately foresee who will excel at the next level, that of course won’t stop NFL teams—or us—from trying. The Vikings will continue to do their due diligence leading up to next month’s draft, but in the meantime, I like to look at trends when it comes to which players succeed and which don’t. Lately, it’s been the correlation with college conferences I’ve been focused on; mainly, how big is the difference between power five and mid-major conferences when it comes to developing top-tier NFL talent, and which conference produces the most “good” players?

So, behold, a limited and unscientific, but hopefully somewhat enlightening study. I looked at the first round of every NFL draft in a ten-year span, from 2004-2013, and noted every player that had made at least one Pro Bowl, and which college conference that player came from. A few notes on the process:

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Pro Bowl was played last Sunday and boy, what a game it was. So many football fans were ecstatic that they wasted precious time of their lives to watch a bunch of professionals play two hand touch.

Not quite.

Not to mention the absolute worst part about the game being that the Pro Bowl was the last chance to watch anyone on the Vikings play football until next July. Well, hopefully these links will cheer people up enough to forget about a life without football after the conclusion of Sunday’s Super Bowl.

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We’re in offseason mode, but my ego can’t take not talking for a few days…. That’s why we put together a short Blitz Edition of the podcast to go over some latest Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings news and notes. We dig into Pat Shurmur interviewing with the team and what that could mean for Scott Turner, the Vikings making a change in strength and conditioning, Everson Griffen finally makes a damn Pro Bowl, and we look ahead at the 2016 schedule!

All that and other “Evan Marcus is a scary looking mofo” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Today, Adrian Peterson underwent surgery to repair the ACL and MCL ligaments in his left knee. The procedure was performed by Dr. James Andrews, a well-known orthopedic surgeon who has helped mend many knees, shoulders and elbows of big name athletes. According to Coach Leslie Frazier, the operation was “successful” and Peterson is somewhere “resting comfortably.”

Chad Greenway will be a Pro Bowl alternate at linebacker this year. The only other Viking that will represent our team in this year’s Pro Bowl is Jared Allen, who currently leads the league in sacks with 18.5. Although alternates only play if one of the Pro Bowl starters can’t play, it’s good to see Greenway get some recognition after racking up 165 tackles, 11 being for a loss, this season.

At the beginning of the season, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe made a deal with temporary, fill-in quarterback Donovan McNabb that allowed McNabb to wear Kluwe’s number 5 jersey. The deal, among other things, required McNabb make a $5,000 donation to Kick for a Cure, Kluwe’s preferred charity. Well, about a week ago, everyone’s favorite Vikings blogger, Adam Warwas exclaimed, “McNabb needs to pay up!” as he had not yet made the donation. Today, Kluwe put the story to rest by tweeting, “ATTENTION MEDIA VULTURES – I talked to Donovan and he’s more than happy to write the check to Kick For a Cure, since he’s a standup guy…Like I said originally, this was on me because I hadn’t had a chance to ask him since midseason. You may now return to pecking at the dead horse carcass of Tim Tebow.” Kluwe has such a way with words…

In an odd coincidence (or is it…?!), Mike Tice returns to Minnesota 6 years after he was fired as head coach of the Vikings. Tice, who is now the offensive line coach for the Bears, was fired immediately after a win in the final game of the 2005 season… over the Bears… who the Vikings play this Sunday… who Tice is a coach for now… Strange how things work out. If I were Frazier, I’d be a little worried and would probably hide somewhere for an hour or two after the game (Tice was fired thirty minutes after his final game).

This Sunday, Jim Kleinsasser will play his 181st and last game as a Viking. Coach Frazier made it no secret that, if the opportunity presents itself, the team plans on trying to thank him with one final touchdown. Frazier said, “I’m not letting out any secrets there. If we get down to the 1 [yard line], Chicago, you better stop number 40. We’re going to find a way to try to get him into the end zone if we can.”

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