Vikings Finally Have Their Hype Man
When it comes to the NFL, there are a couple of different types of players. You have those that are a bit reserved and get excited when something exciting happens. Then, some bring the excitement with them every day.
If you have been watching the Vikings play for the last couple of years, you might have noticed a lack of the latter. There were two hype men before the 2020 season, Stefon Diggs and Everson Griffen. However, the Vikings lost both of them. They traded Diggs to the Bills in 2020, and Griffen is battling mental health issues.
You may not think that NFL teams should need these types of guys. After all, these are all professional players, right? They should be plenty motivated and bring their own juice. They get paid for this.
However, that is not always the case. Hype men are necessary to bring the energy to the team. This could not have been any clearer than after the very first game in 2020 when there were no fans in the stands.
Kirk Cousins infamously said that they lacked the energy necessary. He said without the fans it was difficult. If the Vikings had had Diggs on the team, the energy would have been entirely different. He just had that personality about him — that infectious energy.
The Vikings have been lacking this energy for two years now. They need a guy who can come in and infect everyone with positive energy and be the hype man. Well, the Vikings finally have their hype man again.
Za’Darius Smith Brings the Juice to the Vikings
Za’Darius Smith was by far the best free-agent signing of the offseason for the Vikings. He injects some much-needed talent on the defensive front. If he and Danielle Hunter can stay healthy, it is not farfetched to say the Vikings have the best pass-rushing duo in the league.
However, Smith is so much more than an injection of talent. He is an injection of energy. If you watch his interviews or clips from OTAs, you can feel this energy through the camera.
There are not very many people that can get you fired up through a camera. However, Smith is one of those guys. And if he can get you hyped up, what kind of energy is he injecting into that locker room?
In a recent interview, Dalvin Cook took note of that energy. Cook said, “He’s crazy. Practices are fun. He will be one of those players that gets our whole team better, just bringing that energy. Having Z over there on the other side of Danielle is just a scary look.’’
This is the type of energy missing from the past two seasons. Sure, Zimmer might have had something to do with it. However, the Vikings were clearly missing a hype man.
Now, the Vikings have their hype man in Za’Darius Smith. This is going to be a fun season with him in Purple. September cannot come soon enough.
Mitch Massman is a life-long Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was the 1998 NFC championship game. His full-time job is as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He fantasizes about the Vikings winning a Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter @skol_vikings3