Here at Vikings Territory, we know better than most that it’s possible to find writing opportunities in all sorts of ways. Meet Tom Speicher. He got his start in 2003 when he entered a contest to be a Star Tribune web columnist for a year … and won.
Speicher was awarded the column for a season, after which he looked for new venues to write for and came across Vikings Update, which had been transformed into a monthly magazine.
“Eventually they hired me to write the ‘Where Are They Now?’ features on former [Vikings players],” Speicher explained. “It’s been a lot of fun! I have also had the opportunity to do assignments for the magazine at NFL Films and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
Interestingly enough, Speicher did not live in the Minnesota; rather, he is an East Coast boy.[pull_quote_center]Growing up during the mid 1970s in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania and being a Vikings fan was tough. Most of my friends and classmates loved the dreaded Steelers. It was next to impossible to find and buy Minnesota merchandise. I’m still thankful that my mother ordered some Viking paraphanlia through the Sears catalog.[/pull_quote_center]
Speicher stuck with the Vikings, though, and his enthusiasm for the team and its future is evident. To the fan and writer, it’s clear that the Vikings are headed in the right direction. Looking ahead to the 2015 season, Speicher emphasized the continued development of Teddy Bridgewater as key. The rookie QB showed incredible poise last year, and Speicher is confident that—assuming an improved offensive line—Bridgewater can overcome a difficult schedule and lead the team to a winning record.
When asked about the position Minnesota is currently strongest at, Speicher pinpointed the defensive line. Everson Griffen and Sharrif Floyd already offer a strong threat for opposing offenses, and Speicher believes that veteran Brian Robison has a few more years in the tank. Add the potential of Linval Joseph to the pot, and Mike Zimmer has a quality line to work with.
In Speicher’s opinion, the team is lacking most at cornerback.
“Xavier Rhodes is solid, but the Vikes desperately need another high-caliber corner,” Speicher said. “Captain Munnerlyn showed last year that he is more of a nickel, and Josh Robinson remains a work in progress. As for newcomer Terrance Newman, who knows how much he has left?”
Come Thursday night, you can bet Speicher will be watching (in Steeler territory, no doubt) to see who the newest member to don the purple and gold will be …
Play-by-Play with Tom
Favorite current Viking: Chad Greenway. The guy is a class act. He’s been a reliable performer on the field since 2007 and has contributed so much to the community. He really is a throwback.
If you could spend a day with any Viking, who would it be? Fran Tarkenton. The man is fascinating. Interviewed him last spring and was so impressed by his energy and enthusiasm. He might be 75, but he’s more like a 25-year-old in spirit.
Hobbies (other than football): I like to play golf (which I stink at), and I like to read.
Favorite restaurant: Venice Pizza. It’s an amazing pizza joint near where I live in Williamsport, PA. If you ever visit here for the Little League World Series, make sure you experience Venice!
Favorite social media outlet: Twitter. Follow me @tomspeicher