Posts Tagged ‘Vikings’


The following is not the idea of a reasonable person. It is neither well-thought out nor plausible. Rather, it’s a desperate plea from a (largely theoretical) fan of the Green Bay Packers that could also apply to the Minnesota Vikings:

The NFL should allow teams that lose a starting quarterback to injury to steal the back-up from another team. This sort of exists already to an extent; teams are free to pluck practice squad players away from other clubs for use in the active roster. (more…)

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I actually got a little chilly on Wednesday night after playing some pickup hoops. Summer will end soon. And winter is coming (but not Game of Thrones, not for many months, sadly). Onto the links.

* It’s the first profile of Jim and Jeanie Buss since Jerry Buss died. What kind of future does it paint for the Lakers? Umm.

* Hunter S. Thompson’s Harrowing, Chemical-Filled Daily Routine.

*  I love this. The very first issues of 17 famous magazines, from Time to People to ESPN the Magazine. Designs change just a bit.

* Bryan Goldberg, who created Bleacher Report, is starting a new website for women. People have not been impressed.

* The Atlantic examines why ESPN is so dominant.

* Drew Magary on the Vikings. Always fun.

* Some guy in Bolivia might be 123 years old. These oldest people in the world stories always enthrall me, even though they’re all exactly the same and many times you don’t know whether it’s even true. “Look, old person. How do they do it?” “I walk. Drink. Eat.”

* Charles Simic on some of his favorite finds at used book stores.

* The diminutive Aaron Rodgers — copyright RandballsStu — with an interesting Q&A with Peter King. 

* Great story on Zander Hollander, who edited the old NBA and MLB Handbooks back in the day. I still have five or six basketball ones in boxes in my parents’ house.  Here’s what I wrote about the books a few years ago.

* Courtesy of New York Magazine, 10 subway tricks and tips, in GIFs.

* Grantland has the square’s guide to the Kendrick Lamar call-out situation, the biggest story in rap at the moment.

* Steve Kerr thinks he has found a way to fix the NBA Draft Lottery and eliminate tanking.

* The Babe Ruth 13-year-old World Series is being held in a North Dakota boom town, creating an odd situation. Our old pal Dave Kolpack has the story.


Happy New Year, people. Or, as our viewing habits indicate, happy extended football season.

Yes, college bowl games are in full swing and the NFL playoffs kick off Saturday and Sunday. TV and Fury discuss both this week on the podcast, including – teaser alert – some controversial viewpoints on Pete Carroll.

Enjoy. Here’s the link.


With the way he runs and the numbers he compiles and the awe he inspires, Adrian Peterson draws comparisons to Jim Brown, Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith.

But the running back legend he might be most similar to? Barry Sanders. Unfortunately for Peterson and the Vikings, that has as much to do with their fates as it does their incomparable skills.

Peterson’s in his sixth season now. Only once — in 2009 with Brett Favre — has he shared a backfield with a quarterback who could match his own productivity or help the team thrive through the air the same way it dominates on the ground.

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Christian Ponder’s new role as the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings became inevitable about the time the team blew a 20-0 halftime lead against the Detroit Lions in the third week of the season.

Since that debacle – the third time the Vikings squandered a double-digit halftime lead to start the season – fans have clamored for Ponder to replace the fossilizing Donovan McNabb, a once-great quarterback who hasn’t been good for a couple of seasons and now just looks bad. When people compare a quarterback’s throws to Magic Johnson’s bounce passes instead of Dan Marino’s spirals, he’s not long for the starting role.

Now Ponder gets his chance, against the defending champion Green Bay Packers in a game that many people expect will use running time in the second half once the score gets out of hand. If Ponder survives that game, he could be the starting quarterback for the next decade. Or he’ll prove over the final 10 games that he doesn’t have much of a future in Minnesota and the Vikings can again look for another new young – or old – quarterback next spring. But unless Ponder grows into a Pro Bowl quarterback who leads the Vikings to numerous playoff seasons and the Super Bowl, chances are he’ll never be as popular as he was during these first six weeks of the season.

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Someday my parents will probably leave the three-bedroom Janesville house they’ve lived in for nearly 30 years and I’ll get the dreaded call telling me it’s time for me to come home and collect all my old stuff. I still have about 10 boxes of books, a plastic bin stuffed with old newspapers that I will still hoard when I’m 85, and a few dozen old videotapes – why buy a DVD of A League of Their Own when I can watch the recording I made off of HBO in 1995? And hey, that same tape has some old Dream On and 1st & 10 episodes.

And this will also be the time when my dad officially passes his Sports Illustrated collection down to his son. Emotions will run high. He’s subscribed since the early 1970s and each issue resides in the basement. Last year, my mom and oldest nephew actually conducted an inventory – there’s not always a lot to do in Janesville on the weekends – and the count was close to 2,100. They’ll all be mine someday, cardboard containers and all – unless my wife first steals them, then burns ’em or sells them.

On every trip home, I’ll pull a magazine out several times, randomly choosing one from 1980 or ’88 or ’98 or any year since about 1974. As a magazine geek I like seeing how Sports Illustrated evolved over the years. Look, there’s an eight-page spread on a random track and field event. Here’s 12 pages on a swimming competition. Here’s a feature on heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney. And there’s another feature on Cooney a few months later. I’ll read the old classic features and scan the Faces in the Crowd for youngsters who grew up to be famous faces.

The thing is, I can do all of that online now, too. A few years ago, SI started the SI Vault, an online collection of every magazine in its long history. And I do spend hours poring through the Internet archive, gazing at the old covers and the new stories. I’ll dig for old Frank Deford pieces and memorable Gary Smith profiles. I’ll read about a young Lew Alcindor and an old Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

With the NFL season upon us, I took a tour through the Vault to dig up classic pro football covers and stories. It’s not as fun as digging through my dad’s old-school collection – which maybe I’ll put in a real vault sometime – but there is a bit less dust. So climb into your Tommy Kramer throwback jersey, put some black paint under your eyes, shoot up with some ‘roids and take a ride through the NFL’s past with the SI vault.

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It’s football season. Not sure if you’ve heard that or not.

Of course, you have. Everyone has. The game is now, without any question, the official sport of the U.S. and A. Accentuating that point, I watched – on purpose – part of the Vikings-Seahawks contest Saturday night, a meaningless exhibition featuring two teams I care little about.

A new year means new football fashions on the field, on the sidelines and in the stands. The common link between the three: Casual. Futuristic fabrics, meandering stripes and jerseys. The only dress clothes are worn by the broadcasters.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick and his infamous hoodie.

It’s a stark contrast to what things looked like in the 1960s, the start of the Super Bowl era. Back then, coaches wore suits and ties and sometimes sharp fedoras. So did many of the fans, if you look closely at classic NFL photos.

Now, coaches wear long-sleeved polos at best and have to get special permission to dress as if they’re going to work. And fans? Well, you’re more likely to find one without sleeves (and teeth) than one wearing a sportcoat.

It’s all casual all the time. Might this be an indication of where we’ve gone wrong as a society?

I’m hardly an expert on international affairs, but it sure seems like things have gotten off track. The national debt is, well, huge and we’re no longer certain to do better financially than our parents. Those seem like fairly important facts.

Think about it: Casual implies something less professional, not quite on point. The more relaxed state of dress within our favorite game may be conveying an attitude of indifference, could be contributing to underachievement.

Remember the saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you’ve got”? Well, there seems to be a lot of aspiring hobos.

Certainly, there are some valid reasons for the change in dress. Wealth has accumulated over generations (until now), meaning more disposable income and more clothing options. You didn’t need to wear a suit all the time. And, in theory, comfort could lead to greater productivity – not being buttoned down means more freedom of movement.

Plus, sharp dress alone doesn’t equate to sharp humanity. Take the guys on Mad Men, for example. America was hardly perfect in the 1960s; people just looked better when drinking and degrading women.

Former Cowboys coach Tom Landry was a stylish winner.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m as guilty of this as anybody. Right now, I’m wearing a pair of gym shorts that I’ve had since college, a t-shirt I’ve had since 1995 (seriously), I need a haircut and haven’t shaved in a couple weeks. I also haven’t showered in a couple days. (Don’t ask.) Yes, I’m a hot mess. I’d like to think this post is going as well as it might if I were wearing one of the two suits that I own.

I wear a tie to work maybe seven times a year and usually take some guff from co-workers for it yet there’s no question that I feel more confident and somehow smarter on those days. It sets the tone for my attitude.

In that regard, perhaps my lot in life would be better if I didn’t so often give in to my casual urges. Maybe I’d be living up to the potential I once figured I had. Perhaps my wife would be able to stay at home with the kids, just like most women did when Tom Landry first began roaming the sidelines.

Makes sense, right? And probably worth a shot? Totally agree. Yet I very much doubt that I’ll make any change to my appearance. Why? I don’t know – laziness? The extra cost that’s often associated with being a sharp-dressed man?

Yes and yes. On the other hand, clothes don’t necessarily make the man. Here’s to hoping that we start putting as much thought into our, well, thoughts as we once put into our gridiron wardrobes.


What's worse: Being in prison or living at the time of Gangs of New York?

The Tapes are back for another week – been a good one, too, here at TVFury. Glad that a few folks are finding their way to our weird little project.

Now that the NFL lockout is over, it’s safe to assume there will be more talk of foobaw – that’s pretend Southern slang for football. Then again, some pretty solid TV shows are making their returns so we may delve into that, too. Your weekend assignment is to define “social assassin.” Mine is to set the DVR for Breaking Bad – I lost track roughly two episodes into the first season:

  • Can’t believe we’re about to say this, but the Minnesota Vikings might have done pretty well at the quarterback position in this unusual NFL offseason in drafted Christian Ponder and trading for Donovan McNabb. While it’s entirely possible that neither set the decrepit Metrdome ablaze, the club addressed a need by adding a proven if declining veteran and a rookie with more realistic promise than Tarvaris Jackson. (Good luck with that one, Pete Carroll aka Pia Sundhage.) And at least there seems to be a plan in place.
    Not that we MIND when the Vikings are disjointed at the most important spot. Fury supports America’s Team, while TV backs the Pack. (Related note, it’s hard to operate in the third person. How did Rickey Henderson do it for all those years?)
  • Checked out the third annual Dakota Irish Fest in Sioux Falls on Saturday. And, yes, I am Irish by virtue of my late paternal grandmother being full-blooded. Lorna Coughlin. Doesn’t get much more Irish than that.
    Anyway, one of the (many) pleasant surprises was the way that my 7-year-old daughter embraced the concept of learning about another culture, her culture. She genuinely enjoyed it and asked when we get to go to the German, Russian and Czech festivals (those are some of our other ancestries).
    That got me to thinking: The older this country gets, the more American we all become. The traditions and histories of what brought us here are fading away. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. It’s not the like the Gangs of New York Era was overly good to a lot of people.  (Everything in that movie was true, right?) But I was encouraged by one little girl’s desire to learn more about her heritage. Knowing where we came from just might help us figure out where we’re going.
  • Fury here. For the record, during the Favre Era – was it an era? – I threw my full support to the homestate boys, a blatant example of bandwagoning and one I don’t regret. I couldn’t help it, I loved that old bastard. And when they lost to the Saints, I felt, finally felt, what it was like to be a Vikings fan, even though I was in Cape Town at the time and had to read about the crushing defeat and hear about it from my dad on a subpar phone connection. The pain of Hank Stram, Darrin Nelson, Drew Pearson, and the Kick. Maybe it’s happened because I’ve been in NYC for seven years and want to connect to my Nordic roots.
  • More Larry David. The new Rolling Stone’s cover story is on David, and it’s a great read. The story’s not online – you actually have to buy the paper product. I know, commies at Rolling Stone trying to make money. But they do have an extensive collection of interesting pieces on their website.
  • An amazing story by Michael Kruse in the St. Petersburg Times. It’s about a woman in Florida who disappeared, but never actually left her home. It’s depressing, incredibly written, sad, and will make you want to hug a neighbor, or at least check on them. When people like, oh, me, talk about what newspapers are still capable of delivering, it’s stories like these they talk about.
  • Kobe talks about the lockout.