I know what you are thinking...Why on earth would someone who hates preseason do a Q&A with a Vikings blog? Well, the peeps at The Purple Jesus Diaries reached out to me and asked, that's why. Yes, the two snakebitten franchises when it comes to choking in the big game would have absolutely no luck playing Party Bingo, are facing off. However, maybe they will have better luck in the future. Here are 7 hard hitting questions about the Vikings and if you wanna hear my responses to their questions, check out their site.
1) How has Christian Ponder looked to you guys?
Better? But that's not saying a ton. In most fans eyes, he is a guy that was drafted probably higher than he should have been, who had a rookie season where his learning was interrupted by the lock out and fat ass McNabb, but has still shown flashes of cold blooded-ness and smart quarterback play. Obviously, mixed in with some bone headed throws. But it was a typical rookie performance last year. We are anticipating a big step for him this season. We're not looking for Aaron Rodgers' numbers (although that'd be nice) but would like to see smarter decision making, more down field throws, and greater chemistry. In the first game so far, there's been potential shown for all of that, so we're still cautiously optimistic that we have a franchise quarterback for the first time since Daunte Culpepper. Remember him? God we've sucked for a while.
2) I've always had a soft spot for Randy Moss. He's the biggest asshole ever, which is why I kind of like him. How do you guys feel about him?
It really depends on who you talk to. He has always rubbed some of the old blue hairs the wrong way, but nobody likes old people anyway, unless they're cool as shit like Bud Grant or Jerry Burns. He didn't do himself any favors either when we traded for him two years ago and he made a scene about some shitty buffet the Vikings fed the team. Personally, I don't care at all and he will always be my second favorite Viking to Adrian Peterson. There are several fans out there who feel similar, too, and are just continuing to cheer him on wherever he is.
3) Are you worried you guys are rushing Adrian Peterson back to quickly?
I admit that I was. I initially was sucked into the darkest corners of depression and cutting when I watched him tear his knee all up. I was SURE it was over, that his career was done, that he was going to be a shell of his former self. But this dude is ridiculous. People who have seen him at camp so far say he looks completely normal, and videos I've seen of his rehab from back in May, he was doing box jumps like 30 inches high already, 5 months after the injury. He's amazing. I'm worried about the injury happening again, of course, but at some point, where the coaching staff is trying to hold him back, they are going to realize that they just can't any more and that he's good to go. That's going to come pretty soon, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's back to starting by week one.
4) Why do people in Minnesota love wrestling so much?
I honestly don't know and that is a fantastic question. We have so many of the local media that will spend Monday nights tweeting about WWE Raw like it's women watching the Bachelor, it freaks me out. I don't get it. I mean, I use to love some Ultimate Warrior and Andre the Giant back in the day, but come on now. These guys are terrible. It must have something to do with it being an indoor sport and people living here having to be stuck inside half of the year because we'd freeze our genitals off anywhere else.
5) What are the team's strengths and weaknesses?
Pffft, strengths? .... Uhm .... Isolated skill positions? Percy Harvin is awesome, Adrian Peterson is godly if he's in top shape, and tight end Kyle Rudolph has had a nice off season and looks pretty sharp so far. Our offense has played better with Ponder in their, and I think it will surprise some people this season. It depends on how comfortable Bill Musgrave, our offensive coordinator, gets calling players though. Other than that ...
We're weak in a lot of other areas, especially the defense. Although, it is getting better. Our cornerback cupboard is bare, but we added some draft picks and value free agents to help out. Our safeties are easily the worst I have ever seen on any level of football, but we added Harrison Smith from Notre Dame and he's getting the start on Friday. Our defensive line has Jared Allen and Kevin Williams, which is nice, but no one of that level of production around them. Likewise, the linebackers are a mess, with only Chad Greenway showing any consistency. The defense is going to cause a lot of thrown objects around my household.
6) How the fuck did you guys lose 4 SBs? Oh, wait, we lost them too. Um...Got it! How the fuck did you guys lose to Kerry Collins and Chris Chandler in NFC Title Games?
I don't know, fuck. We have a wonderful tendency in Minnesota as fans to be self defeatist with an inferiority complex and I'm pretty much convinced that these behaviors carry over to most of our professional sports teams. It's actually pretty impressive. We've been favored in Super Bowls, have had record breaking teams, have appeared to be shoe ins in big games across the board, but crumble under the pressure. We should do a life-bet as fans to see who gets a Super Bowl first. I'll attend your parade, and celebrate vicariously.
7) What is going on with your stadium issue? Is the stadium being built? Seems like that has been going on forever. Also, you guys have always been linked to LA in some capacity for relocation. So have we. How do fans feel about it? I know in Buffalo, it is 65/35 fans think the team will stay after Ralph dies.
After about two decades, we finally got approval this past spring to build a new stadium, so that's all wrapped up. It's going to be built on the current Metrodome site with the team playing 1+ years as necessary at the Minnesota Golden Gophers stadium, which is a pretty good venue. We had been linked to LA forever, and while the threats grew greater and greater, I was always unconvinced that the team would actually make the jump. I feel kind of the same with Buffalo, because of the strong history both teams have in their locations. It's not the 60's anymore where the NFL is a background entertainment piece. This is big business, and while on one hand it means that teams should be in areas that will drive that business, for historical teams like us, it also means that people have invested a lot more into the team as well, financially and emotionally. I think it's going to be real hard for teams to relocate in the NFL anymore, unless it's the Jaguars or Rams or something. They can get the hell out.