FeaturedQuestion Of The Week

The Vikings’ Most Popular Player

With U.S. Bank Stadium just days from opening its doors and the Minnesota Vikings less than a week from training camp, it’s clear this team is set for some major changes. The same can be said for the roster, which will surely shift in the coming months.

As the team transitions into a new era of Vikings football, so do its players, many of whom have been a part of the franchise for years. There’s Adrian Peterson, longtime face of the Vikings. There’s also Chad Greenway, Minnesota’s longest-tenured defender and hometown hero.

But in their wake lie up-and-comers, like quarterback Teddy Bridgewater or the über talented Anthony Barr. Their surge to the forefront of the franchise marks another shift for the Vikings; a changing of the (popularity) guard. After the jump, we try to determine who’s the most popular Viking — player or coach — heading into the 2016 season.

Heading into 2016, who is the Vikings’ most popular player?

Sam: Teddy Bridgewater

This feels like a trick question. I can maybe see making a case for Harrison or Peterson, but in terms of pure popularity, it’s gotta be the young, up-and-coming quarterback.

The perception I get is much of the fan base has lost interest in Peterson—which is somewhat of a travesty considering he’s one of the best to ever play the position, has spent his whole career in Minnesota, likely still has something in the tank…but that’s for another time—and has shifted its love to the signal-caller with the excellent smile.

Truthfully, Teddy has shown promise at the most important position in sports, and the team’s fortunes are directly tied to how he performs, so all eyes are on him, now and in the future. Locally and nationally, he’s the most popular Viking.

Adam P.: Adrian Peterson

Somehow, someway, Peterson still remains the Vikings most popular player. While it may not be the case with those who cover the Vikings, the majority of Minnesota’s fan base still seems to adore him. Word of advice for anyone who runs into some trouble in the future: Score a couple touchdowns and all may be forgiven.

Adam W.: Mike Zimmer (Wild Card Answer!)

There are so many great candidates. Chad Greenway is the local good guy. Adrian Peterson’s popularity was split in half recently, but he’s still one of the greatest runners in history. Plenty of people believe in Teddy as the answer. Harrison Smith is a force of nature. But the vikings have had talented rosters in the past and still, this is the first time in a very long time that things just feel… right.

And most of the Vikings fans I talk to attribute that to the leadership and attitude of head coach Mike Zimmer. Seldom does a coach reach the popularity level seen by the likes of Bud Grant, and Zimmer isn’t there yet, but if things keep trending the way they are then he could get to that elite level of popularity. I’m not willing to give him that award yet (a Super Bowl trophy would do the trick), but I am willing to say he’s the most popular Minnesota Viking headed into the 2016 season.

Austin: Teddy Bridgewater

Whether it’s the gifs, the memes, or the rock-paper-scissors videos, Vikings fans have an obsession with Teddy Bridgewater. The presumed quarterback-of-the-future won an entire state over as soon as the Vikings jumped back into the first round to draft him. He’s a likable, genuine, and humble person. Add that to the fact that he’s led the Vikings to playoffs, and you’ve got a winning combination in No. 5.

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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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  1. I went with Zimmer. There is absolutely nothing NOT to like about this guy. I truly believe he will win us a championship within 3 years. He’s got a shot at doing it THIS year. He’s that good. Teddy would be my second pick, then Smith.

  2. “The perception I get is much of the fan base has lost interest in Peterson”

    This is Minnesota. Kicking your dog is frowned upon. It is difficult to remain popular when you feloniously abuse a 4 year old child.

    “Chad Greenway is the local good guy. Adrian Peterson’s popularity was split in half recently”

    This was an interesting juxtaposition. Can anyone imagine Chad Greenway engaging in any of the egregious acts which we have seen from Peterson in the last 2+ years? Of course not. Chad would never embarrass himself, his family and the team the way Peterson has.

    Once he has retired, the Vikings will fall all over themselves trying to entice Greenway to remain affiliated with the team in any way they can. Like any business, the Vikings want to maintain a positive public image, and Greenway is the epitome of the image that the Vikings want to present to their fans.

    It will be interesting to see if Peterson receives any public recognition from the team once he retires. The Ring of Honor? How do you put a child abuser into the Ring of Honor?

    1. Mike, this is straight from the National Institute of Mental Health

      Rumination – A term used to describe all obsessional intrusive thoughts. In your case Peterson.
      With most ruminations, it never leads to a solution or satisfactory conclusion.

      ……… let it go Mike

      1. That was some funny stuff. The most amusing part of it is your belief that you possess the intellectual capacity to understand something from the NIMH site.

        I will counter with Kübler-Ross, and your ongoing inability to process the emotions experienced from the trauma of having your idol exposed for what he really is. You appear to still be stuck in denial, which leaves you a long way from reaching acceptance.

        Given the length of time involved, and you familiarity with the NIMH site, you may want to consider getting the appropriate mental health care.

        I am sure that it galls you that people with with my belief systems control the world. That is why Peterson was indicted, and why Goodell suspended him indefinitely.

        You are still so emotionally brittle that my comment on why Peterson’s popularity has dropped, in response to an article about the rise and fall of the popularity of various Vikings players, has caused you to search for something to lob at me until 1:03 am. Let’s be real about who is suffering from compulsive behavior.

        1. I don’t know about all that other mental health issue stuff Mike, but I see that Ole has 6 ‘Likes’ and you have 8 ‘Dislikes’. A lot of Peterson fans still seem to be around. Good to see that Ole is up and around at 1:00am, proves he’s a deep thinker, even long into the night. . .So lets just cut right to the chase of this whole discussion; Who is your favorite Viking? (THAT was the point of this Thread)

          1. Fran, is this the part where you try to convince me that the average VT commenter disliking what I say matters? Real life must have told them by now that the likes/dislikes of people like them really do not matter.

            People like the average VT commenter do not control anything in this world, and for good reason. Corporate America has been shipping “their” jobs overseas at a rapid pace, simply because the quality of the average American has been dropping at a precipitous rate. The comment section of VT captures that phenomena quite well.

            I only comment here for 2 reasons

            1) To dissuade any impressionable young people from throwing their lives away by becoming like the average commenter here. I would hate for them to never have access to a knowledgeable person. That is how ignorance spreads.

            2) To be amused by the “deep thinkers” here as they try their best to rebut the arguments I craft in a couple of minutes. Most of the “deep thought” in the comment section is reflective of a substandard high school student. That is bad enough, but I get the impression that many of them are old enough to be adults.

            Like Corporate America, I consider most of the VT commenters to be a lost cause.

            As to your final question, I picked Zimmer. I wasn’t pleased with the pick, because the question was “who is the Vikings’ most popular player?”, and Zimmer isn’t a player. It didn’t seem to matter, because Zimmer was in second place when I voted.

            My guess is that Harrison Smith would have won if he had been listed. He would have also been my choice.

            Peterson was in last place, getting the vote of the kind of people who could in good conscience vote for a child abuser.

            1. No Mike, this is not the part “where you try to convince me that the average VT commenter disliking what I say matters?”
              This is the part that I would suggest you move on to another site, where maybe your quickly crafted comments might be of better use to more worthy readers. Adios.

              1. By the way, a total of 25 ‘dislikes’ for you and counting. So you see? Even from a bunch of “substandard high school students”, they were able to see through your delusions of grandeur, ‘lost cause’ or not. I guess we’ll find out if it’s a lost cause or not and wait and see if you continue to post here on Vikings Territory. Again, Adios!

                1. I am sure that the thoughts of a competent person does sound like “delusions of grandeur” to someone like you.

                  I have been on the internet ever since 1993, when the initial web browser Mosaic was released. (As a software engineer, being on the internet was essentially a requirement.)

                  VT has the second worst comment section I have encountered in those 23 years. The worst comment section was a website which had the bizarre idea of seeing who could craft the most inane, repugnant comment.

                  That other website quickly became quite boring. Watching people try to engage in lowest common denominator activities quickly loses its charm.

                  The VT comment section, on the other hand, is like rubbernecking a crash site on a highway, without putting public safety at risk, and without the possibility of seeing something I would prefer not to see.

                  I doubt that many people intentionally cause crashes, and I doubt that most of the commenters here are trying to be this bad. The fact that they are this bad is simply jaw dropping.

                  From a sociological standpoint, the grouping mechanisms which have forced these apparently unrelated people to all congregate in one place (where they would be tolerated) is quite interesting.

                  I any case, I have a firm commitment to charitable work. That work takes many forms, but commenting here is certainly one of them. If nothing else, if reading my words makes someone like you uncomfortable enough that they reflect upon who they actually are, that would be the greatest gift they could ever receive.

                  1. nah Mike, reading your words doesn’t make us uncomfortable……..

                    …… we just think you’re a dumbass

                  2. Holy hell what a douche. I think this is the first clear Dunning–Kruger effect I’ve seen on a football blog. Congrats?

                    1. ah c’mon now Tomb. VT has the second worst comment section Mike Kano has encountered in 23 years. With posts like yours, we will never be the worstest

                    2. I’ll be honest here Tomb (Good to see you posting again, by the way), I had to google “Dunning-Kruger effect”. And wow, it totally describes Mike K.!; “The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which relatively unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than it really is.” Mike K., look into to this ailment, it has your name all over it.

                    3. me too, fran. tomb is a very smart dude (who goes missing around here for far too long). i’d be surprised if the average guy knows what that is, let alone football fans. mention kruger and i think of freddy

                    4. I enjoyed your reference to the Dunning–Kruger effect. I use it often in discussions, mainly in politics, but it is widely applicable.

                      You might enjoy this article. I keep it on my Facebook page, to share with people who could benefit from reading it: http://thefederalist.com/2014/01/17/the-death-of-expertise/

                      If you keep this up, I may have to bump this comment section up a notch or two in my rankings.

                      Of course, the Dunning–Kruger effect is usually referenced during a discussion where someone displays a blatant lack of factual knowledge.

                      Calling me a “douche” really doesn’t rebut anything I said about Peterson, or the other people who frequent this comment section.

                      In fact, your lack of rebuttal on a factual basis instead points to the likelihood that someone tossed it at you during a discussion, apparently for good reason.

                      Who knows, it might have even been me. If that was your “A game”, I have probably tossed it at you more than once.

                      The decline of the lower middle class and working class in this country is largely due to their gross overestimation of their own knowledge (which is essentially nonexistent.)

                      They make up for it with their extraordinary level of entitlement and emotional brittleness. From what I have seen so far, that seems to fit you to a “T”.

                      If you want to bring some game, bring some game. Fair warning, I am not going to give you the “short bus leeway” that I accord these other people.

                    5. ohhh, Mike Kano, you are sooo hawt. Do you promise whip out your big brain when we meat at the Vikings vs Chargers exhibition game next month. Your brilliant missives here at VT inspire me to get current with my estrogen treatments. I am (almost) all woman and eagerly await the day I can give you a ride in the back of my tow truck. I want to explore all of my favorite spots at Loring Park with you. Don’t forget to confirm out date via e-mail. Send your love notes to [email protected]

        2. ……wow……..
          Let it all out Mike. Don’t hold back. It’s ok. Time to heal bruddah

          p.s. Mike, I live in Hawaii. Our local time here was 8:03 p.m. Aloha

          1. Hey Mike, I’m a pretty good judge of a person and I’ll have to say that you should probably hit back ‘Big Johnny’s Bigger Sister’ sooner, rather than later. Pretty sure after you lambasted VT like you did, you’re most likely outa’ here. So, quick! Copy down BJBS’s address so you can stay in touch. (You know you want to, just admit it and move on)

  3. Linval Joseph! Gotta give some love to the big guys up front.
    If Linval was included as an option he would surely be leading this poll 😉

  4. Well HELLO there Mike Kano! I love a man with a big brain, I sure hope you have other big organs. I’m Johnny’s big sister. I drive a tow truck in Traverse County and work with people who have accidentally been rear ended. My ex, Fred Evans, has departed and I am seeking a man who has lots of experience and is willing to look past those periods when I’m not up to date with my estrogen treatments. Are you that guy Mike Kano? I just love that people who think like you run the world. What a turn on! A man with no prejudice or bias, you are like a dream come true. Let’s meat at a Vikings exhibition game and do some tail gating. Could you please e-mail me your contact info. Please send it to the transmission shop where I park my tow truck. My e-mail is [email protected] Bye Mike, hope to hear from you soon!

    1. Funny as hell. I was convinced that Mike was in 8th or 9th grade considering his responses. I love his resorting to name calling if you don’t agree with him, and then his condescending responses when he can’t accept that an OPINION is not fact that he wishes to believe. You have the right to your opinion, as do we all. But no one resorted to preaching their superior intellect when they disagreed with you. But you resort to childish name calling and the above reproach response “I am too intelligent for you all”. F. U. shite for brains. Teaching the young? Give me a break shite for brains. The only thing your posts teach is to not accept the opinions of others (funny you brought up the nazi analogy on a different thread, perhaps the most intolerant of others’ view.. news for you Mike. The nazis were not trying to teach the Jews a lesson, they were trying to exterminate them) I think that you are really a disciple of Al Gore.. your B.S. regarding the internet.. did you help the liar Gore invent that too? News for you Mike. I am a chemical engineer. Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Master’s in Polymers and coatings from North Dakota State. I am a 30 year member of Mensa and a 25 year member of the American Chemical Society.. Neither of which you could ever join as the membership is intellect and accomplishment based. Your family has my condolence. I hope that your Junior year of High School goes well.