This is a great time – let’s just call it an era – to start paying attention to the Vikings and what changes are being made throughout the organization.
This club has been stagnant for years with the same ol’, same ol’ with not much changing besides the QB position (which would be nice to solidify for a change – at least a decade or more). Their current home, “Hubert Humphrey Metrodome”, was born in ’82 and let me tell ya, it sure had its ups and downs, literally.
The Vikings have ridden waves of success in the past up to this point in time, having some not so great seasons where others were a whole heck-of-a-lot of fun, namely the 1998 season with WR Randy Moss entering his successfully dramatic career being a fireball to the franchise that lost that NFC Championship game that everybody remembers so vividly. Another image permanently stamped to our minds was in 2009 when the longtime NFC North rival in Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers became an ally to the Vikings franchise and was responsible for developing Percy Harvin into who he is today (or was? minus the hip injury?) by helping him to be that season’s Rookie of the Year and taking the Vikings to the NFC Championship game. However, this is also where the all-time great threw an interception in the waning moments of that game causing hearts to be broken all over Vikings nation, all over again. Do you see where I’m going with this? Being a Vikes fan has been an emotional roller coaster!
However, to be a true Vikings fan through the years, it sure takes a special person. We have managed to make it this far and so why stop now? Especially with all of the exciting changes the franchise is undergoing, including being presented with appealing, new uniforms and helmets that have garnered many opinions and perspectives, it is hard not to get anxious for the next turns of success.
In recent years, the Vikings had excellent drafts and free agency decisions since Spielman and Co. took over the front office. Although initially untrusted, making Leslie Frasier the head coach was a smart move by the ownership at a time when everything else seemed to be going wrong. Quietly and strategically, Spielman and Frasier have been following a business model/game plan that the players have been buying into while still keeping it fluid to allow for any changes necessary to better the team.
Fast forward to the present and we have half of the roster either starting their rookie seasons or are just a few seasons deep into their careers. It doesn’t seem like it has been 3 years since QB Christian Ponder was drafted. That same year LT Matt Kalil and TE Kyle Rudolph were drafted, both Pro Bowl selections last season with “Rudy” being the MVP of that game. Although we do have a young group of talent on the roster now, we still have a solid core of veterans who are the heart and soul of this Vikings team. Adrian Peterson was dubbed the MVP of the NFL last season. Our defensive line is prepared with seasoned veterans all across. We have heard time and time again that the Vikings have one of the best offensive lines in the league. Our special teams unit has improved dramatically with the additions of our Pro Bowl kicker, Blair Walsh and rookie punter, Jeff Locke, who has looked promising during training camp.
With the new additions to starting positions, it’ll be hard to continue the momentum from the last regular season wins. However, we all share the enthusiasm of those changes. Also be paying attention to the 2013 opponents and the changes they are making. Some teams will be tough but others on the schedule are “dropping the ball” due to the injury bug. Lets just hope the bug doesn’t decide to pay a visit to Minnesota.
VikingsGab will be paying close attention to those opponents week to week while still keeping an eye on future opponents and being ready for changes, drama, and injuries. For those who don’t think about the big picture and have a short attention span, there is plenty happening now and this time of year is when it’s most fun to discuss your NFL team with training camps in full swing. The game alone on Sunday is just never enough. Which is why you should pay a visit to VikingsGab on both Facebook and Twitter.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this is an exciting time to be a Vikings fan! As many of you already know, for quite some time the team fought hard to get the approval for the construction of a new $1 billion stadium that will be physically replacing the current home of the Vikings starting at the end of this football season. The new stadium will be under construction and the team will be playing outdoors at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium for the next few years. There will be plenty to discuss and dream about in the coming months as the Vikings are finishing this season, hopefully in the Super Bowl, and the Metrodome receives the “Gage Hall treatment” (which means BLOWN UP for those of you who haven’t seen the video). Mr. Ziggy Wilf, owner of the Vikings, is responsible for these changes and there are going to be a lot of positive, interesting things happening in Minnesota in years to come. Brace yourself, Vikings fan – we are in a new era!