Minnesota Madness: Announcing Vikings Territory’s and PurplePTSD’s Best Play Bracket and Charity Prize

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Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

At long last, the 2023 NFL season has its champion: the Minnesota Vikings the Kansas City Chiefs. While the Chiefs bask in glory, the rest of the NFL will be seeking to emulate elements of their success while still carving out a unique identity that will lead to future triumph.

The upcoming events – the combine, free agency, the draft – will all be playing a starring role in what’s to come in 2024. Before getting there, though, the brain trust at Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD wants to have some fun reliving the Minnesota Vikings’ top plays from 2023. And, crucially, we need your help to bring Minnesota Madness to life so we can determine which play is the best.

Minnesota Madness: The Basic Rules

The title is (obviously) gesturing toward March Madness, a wonderful event that’s appearing on the horizon. We’re taking our cue from college hoops in the hope of replicating just a tiny portion of the tournament’s magic.

Over the course of the season, we’ve been tracking Minnesota’s best plays. Those plays have been assembled from Games 1-16 (Game 17’s Johnny Mundt magnificence got axed to make the numbers work, so our apologies to Mr. Mundt). Each game is offering a single play and, for the most part, a single player behind the play.

David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports.

Now, a brief word on play selection. Determining the “best” plays is a subjective exercise that will inevitably lead to disagreement. The point, folks, isn’t to offer the final, definitive word on the year’s top plays but, rather, to capture a broad range of tremendous moments from different players.

So, priority was given to including several different players (with one notable exception of a player seeing his name included twice). At times, that meant overlooking some of a single player’s many marvellous moments (looking at you, Dobbs).

Furthermore, there was also an effort to represent all three phases of the game: offense, defense, and special teams. The play selection reflects that effort.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The bracket will see Game 1 take on Game 16, Game 2 will take on Game 15, and so on. Our readers will then be given the chance to vote on which play is better. Whichever play gets more votes will survive, getting pushed into the next round. Eventually, we’ll shrink things down to a final pairing. Whoever is responsible for the season’s best play, as voted on by our readers, will see a $1,600 donation made to charity in his name.

Which charity is going to get the cold, hard cash? Good question. The plan is to donate the money toward The Vikings Foundation. More specifically, the intent is to offer the money toward one of the youth football initiatives, thus reinvesting in the game that keeps the lights on at our websites (which is to say nothing of the player himself).

On Friday, February 16th, 2024, the competition will begin. Each of Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD will have an article that gets published at 8:00 a.m. Readers will then have until Tuesday, February 20th at 12:00 p.m. to vote. The cumulative votes from the pair of sites will be combined to determine a winner.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports – Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

We’ll do the tally and then prepare for the next round, which begins on Friday, February 23rd. We’ll follow the same timeline throughout until we have a single play standing.

Look at the full schedule:

  • Round 1, 16 Plays: Friday, February 16th to Tuesday, February 20th
  • Round 2, 8 Plays: Friday, February 23rd to Tuesday, February 27th
  • Round 3, 4 Plays: Friday, March 1st to Tuesday, March 5th
  • Round 4, 2 Plays: Friday, March 8th to Tuesday, March 12th
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The winner will be announced on Friday, March 15th and we’ll then be sending along our donation: $1,600 to match the original number of plays that were under consideration.

So, spread the news. Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD are running a Vikings bracket of best plays and we need people to participate. The more votes, the better. Let’s have some fun and give back while doing so.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.