November 21, 2016

Vikings beat visiting Cardinals 30-24

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 12:48

With the CFL’s Eastern and Western conference finals being played, there was no Canadian broadcast coverage of the Arizona Cardinals visiting Minnesota that I could access, so I had to follow the course of the game on Twitter. Many Vikings bloggers were billing this game as a make-or-break for the Vikings season after enduring a four-game losing streak and yet more injuries on the offensive line. It would be especially important because the team is playing again on Thursday in Detroit. Another loss and a short week before facing the Lions at home was probably going to be too steep a hill to climb.

During the pre-game introductions, a Fox sound technician had an unwelcome encounter with the Vikings defence:

Despite the violence of the collision, he was able to continue working after the hit, and had a brief cameo during the halftime coverage.


November 16, 2016

Vikings release kicker Blair Walsh

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 09:59

The Blair Walsh Project has finally come to an end. I’m sorry to see him go, but I believe the Vikings made the right decision, if a bit later than many fans might have liked. Walsh had a brilliant rookie season after being drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 draft and was rewarded with a big contract (for a kicking specialist, anyway), but his missed kicks, blocked kicks, and miscues since the playoff game against Seattle finally forced the team to release him. Jim Souhan says it was a mistake for the team to give him as many chances as they did:


November 14, 2016

Vikings drop fourth straight game to Washington, 26-20

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 10:48

I don’t know who all the guys wearing the purple jerseys on Sunday were, but they sure didn’t play like the team that won five straight games to start the season. The names were (mostly) the same, but the effort just didn’t match what the Vikings had been doing earlier in the season. There were a few individual performances that stood out (Diggs, Thielen, Bradford), but many who just seemed to be sleepwalking through most of the game (Barr, Alexander). There were, of course, more injuries during the game (Long, Rhodes, Kendricks) and those still not playing due to injuries in earlier games (Sherels, Floyd, Munnerlyn), but the team just didn’t seem to have the same passion they had to start the season, and the responsibility for that falls on the coaches.


November 7, 2016

Vikings suffer first home loss to Detroit, 22-16

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 10:15

It was not a pretty game to watch, but it did have enough drama to keep watching to the end. As a rule of thumb, any time the fans on Twitter are bitterly complaining about the officiating, their team is losing … and I saw a lot of complaints about the refs on my Twitter feed during the game. Of course, if Blair Walsh had been able to convert an extra point, the game wouldn’t have gone to overtime. The Walsh death-watch may be back on the table in Minneapolis after Walsh missed and had a field goal attempt blocked (and the replays looked as if it was going to miss the target even if it hadn’t been blocked).


QotD: American sports

Filed under: Football, Humour, Quotations, Soccer, Sports, USA — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 01:00

If Football is Handegg, then Soccer is Divegrass. Basketball is FlopDunk, Hockey is IcePunch, and Baseball is CrotchGrab.

Dave Rappoccio, “Soccer Rules!”, The Draw Play, 2015-04-01.

November 2, 2016

Norv Turner resigns as Vikings offensive co-ordinator

Filed under: Football — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 11:30

As I mentioned in the game wrap-up post the other day, rising fan dissatisfaction with the Vikings’ predictable play-calling was putting some pressure on offensive co-ordinator Norv Turner. In the news this morning, Turner has offered his resignation to the team and will be replaced on an interim basis by tight ends coach Pat Shurmur. Jim Souhan reacts:

Norv Turner’s resignation is surprising in terms of its timing. It is also a logical development.

Turner took over from the oft-criticized Bill Musgrave and could not match Musgrave’s offense either in terms of running efficiency or pass protection.

He could not match Musgrave’s creativity in using Cordarrelle Patterson.

He couldn’t protect either Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Bradford.

And his willingness to allow failing offensive tackles to lose two games without helping them was likely to lead to Norv’s departure, whether by his choice or coach Mike Zimmer’s.

Pat Shurmur will take over as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator with the knowledge that he needs to improve offensive line play, protect the quarterback and improve both running and short-passing efficiency so the offensive line and Bradford don’t have to run so many plays in obvious passing situations.

If nothing else, Turner’s departure should mean we’ll see fewer seven-step drops for Sam Bradford … behind this offensive line, he was literally taking his life in his hands every time he dropped back. A lot more quick release pass plays will help Bradford stay on his feet.

November 1, 2016

Vikings drop embarrassing game to the Chicago Bears, 20-10

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 10:18

Nobody really expected the Vikings to go undefeated in 2016, but the loss last week to Philadelphia was supposed to be the exception, not the blueprint for following weeks. On Monday night, the Vikings looked like a struggling 1-5 team, not a 5-1 team that was briefly the last undefeated team in the NFL. There were a few good individual performances, but overall the team looked flat and uninvolved. The offensive line was its usual hot-mess self, demonstrating an inability to pass block (allowing five sacks and a multitude of hits on Sam Bradford) or run block, but perhaps the most shocking development was the ineffectiveness of the defensive line. The defensive line has been the bedrock strength of the team this year and they just didn’t get pressure on Jay Cutler. The best run defense in the league gave up nearly their average yards per game on a single early run by rookie running back Jordan Howard.


October 31, 2016

It’s called “Next Man Up”

Filed under: Football, Health — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 15:44

In the current edition of ESPN Magazine, Tim Keown talks to members of the Minnesota Vikings about what happened to Teddy Bridgewater. It’s hard reading:

THE MEN WHO agree to talk about what happened do so reluctantly. Their eyes invariably drift to the spot in question: the grass practice field, somewhere near the 30-yard line, right hash. It happened with the offense heading north, 22 men on the field, no contact allowed.

They won’t talk about what the injury looked like, out of respect. These are men who long ago came to terms with the inhumanity of their game. They laugh about concussions and broken bones as a defense mechanism, the way an electrician might laugh with his buddies about getting a jolt from a faulty circuit. Occupational hazard.

But this is different. They close their eyes and wince, the image flashing in their minds. They shake their heads reflexively, as if they can dislodge the memory and evict it from their brains. They watched Teddy Bridgewater go down on that field on Aug. 30, his left leg separating at the knee, during the first minutes of a Vikings preseason practice. Every time they think about it, every time they stand near this field and close their eyes, they see it again.


Minnesota’s coach, Mike Zimmer, canceled practice. NFL teams never cancel practice. The game never stops. In a way, it’s a repudiation of Next Man Up to send everyone home — an acknowledgment that some injuries transcend the transactional. Sometimes, even in such a brutal world, circumstances dictate that the next man can’t reasonably be expected to step up, at least not right away.

“It happened at the beginning of practice, and obviously Coach made the right call to cancel,” Vikings quarterbacks coach Scott Turner says. “We weren’t going to get anything done that day.”

At his first news conference after the injury, a still-shaken Zimmer said his team would mourn for a day and move on. If anything, this meant his players needed to recommit to the mission. “No one is going to feel sorry for us, or cry,” he said. “I’m not going to feel sorry for us either.” He said he’d spoken with his mentor, Bill Parcells, for advice on how to deal with the trauma his team experienced. He said he spoke with his deceased father “in spirit.” As he continued, the coach in him drained from his eyes. He transformed from functionary to human being, and when he was asked a question about grieving — a question that somehow seemed utterly appropriate — Zimmer paused and looked down. After a deep breath, he looked to the sky as his lower lip quivered. “My wife passed away seven years ago,” he said. “It was a tough day. The sun came up the next day, the world kept spinning, people kept going to work. That’s what we’re going to do.”

In my early twenties, I had a knee injury — nowhere near as serious as Teddy’s — and to this day I can’t watch replays of leg injuries that the networks seem to always want to show as often as they can. It doesn’t just upset me, I get nauseous and have to look away. Later in the article, Keown mentions that there are no images available of Bridgewater during that practice, despite the fact that NFL teams film just about everything that happens at team events. I’m very grateful that those images are being kept from the public.

October 26, 2016

Zim Tzu on the faceplant in Philly

Filed under: Football, Humour — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 12:22

After every Vikings game, the Daily Norseman‘s chief Zimologist analyzes the finely crafted koans of Zim Tzu to tease out the finer, hidden meanings of the otherwise inscrutable and mystical words of the Vikings head coach. This week’s press conference followed the “game” that was “played” in Philadelphia against the Eagles:

The Vikings warrior poet/head coach dispenses his profane words of wisdom.


That’s not a word or emotion a warrior poet takes lightly. It’s an emotion that if channeled properly can be used effectively, but if allowed to go unchecked leads to one’s own destruction. Rage most assuredly didn’t overcome the Vikings in Philadelphia did so much as incompetence did … but in the aftermath of the Letdown at the Linc rage is what consumed Mike Zimmer.

[ED NOTE: Also, if you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, don’t read the first paragraphs that has asterisks, or the asterisks, because I give away a spolier. And rage is what you will feel if you haven’t seen it yet. Also, bad language warning.]

And the warrior poet harnessed it, allowed to to grow into a fireball of genius on Monday, and will use it to light a fire under the asses of the Minnesota Vikings next Monday in Chicago. And it is a fire that will metaphorically burn Chicago to the ground once again, if Cubs rioters haven’t already done so. Because there is nothing Mike Zimmer can’t harness and ultimately use to his advantage. Not. A. Fucking. Thing.

Because he is Zim Tzu: High Septon Of Mankato, Eviscerator of Titans, Maître Fromager, Spinner of the Charlotte Web, Beanstalk Chopper, He Who Implodes The Lone Star, and Warden Of The North.

And speaking in front of the Great Unwashed Poletariat of the Free Press is the ultimate in rage control, as the questions they ask make you want to snap necks and go all Negan on Glenn. But you can’t. You must harness that rage, focus it like a laser, and aim it at your next opponent.

And that’s where we come in, The Greatest Blog In The History Of The World.* We take your rage, and unleash it for you.** We are Negan, we wield the baseball bat, and we give you some eye popping results.***

*Maybe a slight bit of hyperbole here

**We really don’t as we have undergone no formal training to do this. Is there formal training to do this?

***I don’t watch The Walking Dead so if you just read a spoiler HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA not sorry because this was a good joke and I warned you up top.

So what do we do in the channeling of rage?* It’s quite simple, really.** We take Mike Zimmer’s weekly day after the game press conference and interpret the true meaning of words that come out of his clenched jaws.***

*This is a rhetorical question as we literally do nothing.

**Writing sophomoric jokes is actually hard, man.

***We literally do nothing close to that. It’s just all made up, stupid shit. I’m stunned it’s as popular as it is, tbh.

October 24, 2016

Vikings lose 21-10 in Philadelphia – Vikings fanbase, in unison, “The Sky Is Falling!”

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 10:11

The NFL’s last unbeaten team has faceplanted, allowing the surviving members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins to pop the champagne one more time (I doubt that any of them actually follow this tradition, but it’s a sports writer’s meme that just won’t die). As a football game, Sunday’s match between the Vikings and the Eagles was painful to watch for fans of either team, as the turnover bug bit hard and repeatedly. “How bad was the game?”, I pretend to hear you ask. It was literally this bad:

And that wasn’t even the entire first quarter of “action”.


October 13, 2016

The wisdom of Zim Tzu, 5-0 edition

Filed under: Football, Humour — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

The re-interpretation of Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer’s weekly press conference with the local Minnesota media, as interpreted, expanded, and re-coarsified by Ted Glover of the Daily Norseman:

The Vikings warrior poet/head coach dispenses his weekly words of wisdom

Complacency. That’s a word you despise, a word you abhor, a word that is your mortal enemy. Complacency has no place in your life, and it is something you seek to destroy at every opportunity. Much like the football teams you play. Complacency is for the weak, the bloggers who spew their vile in their underwear from Mom’s basement, and the Green Bay Packers. You seek out and destroy complacency wherever you see it, much like the Kardashian family snuffs out good taste and decorum at every turn.

And that’s what the Houston Texans represented this past Sunday. A trap game, one that trips up complacent teams. Teams that think they’re better than they are. But you won’t let complacency creep into your team, or in to your psyche.

For you are Zim Tzu: High Septon Of Mankato, Eviscerator of Titans, Maître Fromager, Spinner of the Charlotte Web, Beanstalk Chopper, He Who Implodes The Lone Star, and Warden Of The North.

When you need discuss the latest mauling like a lion eating a gazelle on the Serengeti, you need to do it in a way that doesn’t offend the senses, because this is America, damn it, and we need safe spaces from your fucking trigger words.

Oops. My bad.

So, we here at The Daily Norseman would like to offer you our services, free of charge.* We will take what Mike Zimmer says in his weekly Monday/Tuesday press conference, translate it for you,** and give you the true meaning of those words, unfiltered and fresh,*** much like that homemade beer you have percolating somewhere in your basement right now.

* We provide no service at all. As a matter of fact, we legitimately waste the precious oxygen resource on this planet by breathing, and give you nothing in return. We’re basically killing you and destroying the planet with this piece of satire. You’re welcome, World.

**I just add swear words and stupid jokes. Literally. Killing. You. Nothing. Redeeming.

***Just like no one wants to hear about your fantasy team, no one really wants to try your homemade beer, because 99% of homemade brew literally tastes like shit. Including mine. But my fantasy team, though…

Hey, it might taste like panther piss when it’s fermented, but By God it’s raw and real.* Much like Zim Tzu.** As always, what Coach Zimmer literally says will be in block quotes, and what he literally means will be immediately below.***

*Seriously, I made beer once from one of those home brew kits. Worst shit I ever had. Gross, man. Much like Clay Matthews’ greasy ass hair.

**This is so fake.

***We do use his actual presser quotes. Everything else is fake and made up. Like Roger Goodell’s method of fining and suspending players.

October 10, 2016

Houston Texans come up short against the Zim Reapers, 31-13

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Going into an early bye week, the Vikings dominated the J.J. Watt-deprived Texans in every phase of the game until late when the Texans finally managed a first down (other than by penalty) and scored their lone touchdown of the day. In four total meetings between the teams, the Texans are still winless (they’re the only team in the league without a win against Minnesota). At one point, the Texans had more yards on penalties (mostly against cornerback Xavier Rhodes) than they did in combined offence, making this tweet rather appropriate:

Before the game started, Minnesota’s leading receiver was ruled out with a groin injury. Without Stefon Diggs, could the rest of the Vikings receiving corps step up to replace him? Yes, both Adam Thielen (7 for 127 yards) and Cordarrelle Patterson (4 for 39 yards) scored receiving touchdowns, along with a 79-yard punt return touchdown by Marcus Sherels (the fifth in his career, extending his team record), and a rushing touchdown from Matt Asiata. Tack on a perfect day from kicker Blair Walsh who made a field goal and all four of his conversion attempts, which at least keeps him on the roster for another week…


October 6, 2016

Your weekly Zim Tzu meditation

Filed under: Football, Humour — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 13:57

At the Daily Norseman, Ted Glover takes on the weighty task of interpreting the words of Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer as he debriefs the local media after each Viking game. Glover is perhaps the best suited of all Viking fan bloggers thanks to his many, many years of study of zen wisdom, middle-American profanity, and the many glories of Minnesota culture:

The Vikings warrior poet/head coach dispenses his weekly words of wisdom.

When you’re a warrior poet, you know one of the keys to victory is one that a lot of people overlook — psychological operations. When you can get inside an opponent’s head that’s covered by Ramen noodles, you make your job easier, and victory that much more attainable.

Because you live for victories, and don’t stomach defeat. You will do everything in your power to put your opponent at a competitive disadvantage, and if that means trying to make him cry on national television, you’ll do that, too. Because you are Zim Tzu: High Septon Of Mankato, Eviscerator of Titans, Maître Fromager, Spinner of the Charlotte Web, Beanstalk Chopper, and Warden Of The North.

And when you talk about making opponents cry, you can’t do it in your no bullshit, no nonsense manner. Well I mean, you’re Zim Tzu, and you can pretty much do what you want, but you don’t want to be fined by that pinhead Roger Goodell, so you have you use your verbal judo skills to tell us what you mean without telling us what you mean. Because Roger Goodell and his Magical Spinning Wheel Of Bullshit and Arbitrary System of Fines And Suspensions makes about as much sense as a fucking BronyCon. [ED note: seriously, I just heard about these things, where grown adults dress up as My Little Pony characters and go to conventions. It’s more terrifying than being stuck in Green Bay for more than two hours. Also, Aaron Rodgers is a Brony. I would bet money he is.]

And as the Officially Licensed Interpreter Of Zim Tzu*, this is where we come in** to make life simpler for you.***

*There’s no officially licensed anything. Although sometimes I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea, because if I could make money doing this it might be the best thing ever the next time my Dad tells me about excessive profanity never paying off.

**And by coming in, I mean I hope I can sucker you in to waste part of your day reading this nonsensical bullshit

***This simplifies nothing.

We take Zimmer’s weekly Monday/Tuesday press conference*, run it through the Fuckyougronifier,** and when it comes out on the other end we have what Mike Zimmer really said,*** if he could use swear words.

*We really do use his actual press conference quotes the day after games. It’s the only thing that’s legitimate in this whole piece.

**Look, you’ve seen Zimmer swear a lot. I’m just using it as top cover to write a lot of bad words and not get in trouble. Also, there is no such thing as as … whatever the hell that made up word is I wrote up above.

***Again, completely made up bullshit on my part. What Zimmer actually said during his presser is in block quotes, the not even close to authentic interpretation immediately follows.

October 4, 2016

Vikings defeat New York Giants, 24-10

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 11:26

The Minnesota Vikings finally developed something resembling an early-game offensive effort capped off with a Matt Asiata rushing touchdown. From that point onwards, the Vikings never relinquished the lead. The Giants’ vaunted receivers were widely expected to take control of the game, but were blanketed by the Vikings secondary until late in the game, while quarterback Eli Manning had his traditional bad game against Minnesota (25-for-45, 261 yards and an interception). The Vikings pass rush wasn’t getting to Manning but he frequently threw the ball to the turf when a defender got close to him, so even though there were no sacks in the game, the pass rush was definitely disrupting the Giants’ plans.


September 27, 2016

Bud Grant to be added to Winnipeg’s Ring of Honour

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Given that Bud Grant is a legendary coach in both Minnesota and Manitoba, I’m surprised this hadn’t already happened:

Legendary coach Bud Grant, a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Vikings Ring of Honor, is joining another distinguished group.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Monday announced Grant is the seventh inductee to the team’s Ring of Honour presented by the Insurance Brokers of Manitoba (IBAM) at Investors Group Field. He will be formally inducted on Friday.

Grant first came to the Bombers as a player in 1953, and played for four seasons before hanging up his cleats and becoming the team’s head coach at the young age of 29. In those four seasons, Grant was named a West Division All-Star three times (1953, 1953 & 1956), and set the still-standing league record for most interceptions in a playoff game with five.

“I enjoyed playing so much. I enjoyed Winnipeg so much. I enjoyed my teammates so much. I enjoyed the atmosphere around the Bombers, Canadian football… everything,” Grant said in a press release from the Blue Bombers. “The town, the people… It wasn’t only the football, it was the whole experience.”

Under his guidance, the Bombers appeared in six Grey Cups from 1957-66, winning four in 1958, 1959, 1961 and 1962. He racked up 102 regular season wins – still tops on the Bombers’ all-time list – and was named the CFL’s top coach in 1965.

“Bud Grant is not only a legend around these parts, but a legend in Minnesota and across both the CFL and NFL as well,” said President & CEO, Wade Miller. “After his career here in Winnipeg, he left for the Vikings and became an icon with that franchise, too. He is the first coach in history to appear in both the Grey Cup and Super Bowl. His accomplishments are truly incredible, and we couldn’t be happier to add his name to the Ring of Honour.”

Bud Grant - Winnipeg Blue Bomber coach

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