Okay. . .with the weekend and everything, there hasn't been enough activity to justify doing the Vegur this week, so we'll get back to it next week. In lieu of that, I've got some different thoughts on a few different things we've seen on the Interwebs about the Vikings over the past few days. No particular order here, just the way things flow into my mind.When Hearing from Dr. Andrews is a Good Thing
As we've detailed numerous times on this site before, the three words that you generally don't want to hear about anyone associated with any of your favorite sports teams are "Doctor," "James," and "Andrews." However, in this case, it's actually a positive thing. Andrews came out on Friday and said. . .well, here's what he said:
"I'm not supposed to say anything but Brett kind of let that cat out of the bag on that HBO show," Andrews said. "I did his shoulder (arthroscopic) a few weeks ago. I visited him in Hattiesburg two weeks ago. He wants to play and he wants to play for the Minnesota Vikings. He wants to end his career on a high note and I hope he can. He's a tough guy, a great guy. I'm pulling for him. He wants to play. He just wants to make sure his shoulder and arm are healthy enough."
Well. . .if there was any doubt, that should pretty much exterminate it. Now, as Anthony has already speculated, it truly isn't a matter of "if" Brett Favre is coming to Minnesota, it's a matter of "when." My guess is the relatively popular one, that being 17 July. Single-game tickets go on sale on 20 July, which is a Monday, and announcing the signing on Friday the 17th not only allows them to avoid a mini-circus at Winter Park. . .well, for a whole week, anyway. . .but will also give a boost to those ticket sales.
My advice? If the Favre signing is announced on 17 July, program the Vikings' ticket line into your phone and have it on speed dial. That number, by the way, is (651) 989-5151. You're welcome.
Rankings, Rankings Everywhere
It's getting to be that time of the off-season where different sites are doing different rankings and lists and so forth. The first ones I've seen have come from Fox Sports, where they've ranked the quarterback and running back situations for each of the 32 NFL teams.
Now, as you'd probably expect, the Vikings didn't fare terribly well in the quarterback rankings, where Fox has them 30th out of 32 teams. Of course, they throw in the caveat that they didn't take Brett Favre into consideration when they made these rankings.
As of this writing, this ranking does not include a certain veteran from Mississippi. So judging the quarterbacks currently on the roster, it's clear why coach Brad Childress is entertaining Brett Favre — even at his age and physical condition. You can argue that Favre's been wrong in how he's handled all of his retirement drama the past few years, but not the reason for his current summer fling — the Vikings are one QB from a Super Bowl run. Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson would be hoped simply not to screw it up as a starter.
Now, the disparity between the Vikings and the rest of the NFC North isn't really as great as fans of other NFC North teams would probably lead you to believe. While only two teams, the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos, were ranked lower than the Beloved Purple, none of the teams in the NFC North managed to crack the top half of the rankings. The Packers came in at #18 on the list, the Bears came in at #19, and the Lions were at #26. When Favre gets to Minnesota. . .that has to put us higher than those three teams, doesn't it?
However, as you'd also probably expect, the Vikings did remarkably well in the running back rankings. How well? How's about second place, trailing only the Carolina Panthers in the race for the best stable of running backs in the league. Yeah, that's how well.
Kudos to Brad Childress for finally giving the game's best back the keys full-time last season, though many Vikings fans wondered what took so long. But Adrian Peterson showed he was definitely worthy with an NFL rushing crown in his second season. His only issues are an occasional case of the fumbles (which occur mainly out of fighting for extra yards when none are there, something that can be cured) and the eight-nine man fronts he routinely faces due to the team's suspect QB situation — thus, explaining Childress' dance with Brett Favre. Behind Peterson, Taylor is a strong No. 2 back and you may recall rookie Ian Johnson, who famously proposed during a BCS on FOX telecast while back at Boise State. Ultimately, the best medicine for this running game would be a legitimate passing game.
While the debate between the Panthers and the Vikings for the best running backs in the NFL is a pretty even one, there is no debate as to who has the best running backs in the NFC North. In order to find another NFC North team on this list, you have to go all the way down to #18 to find Chicago. Then, if you go even further down, you find the Packers at #23 and Detroit at #27.
Fox also has another new list to ponder, as Pater Schrager has ranked his Top 99 for '09. Let me spoil the ending for you. . .the Vikings have players on the list. Guard Steve Hutchinson appears at #57, defensive tackle Kevin Williams makes the list at #40, Jared Allen is ranked the 8th best player, and Adrian Peterson came in at #5. Seven teams had more players on the list than Minnesota's quartet, including the Bears, who somehow managed to score five. (Please, attempt to keep your giggles suppressed as best you can.)
The Percy Harvin Situation
Here's the thing. . .there IS no Percy Harvin "situation," unless you're an idiot that's holding their breath of anticipation of the kid being a flop. In that case, all I can say is "keep hoping." Oh, and try to come up with some tangible proof other than "PERCY HARVIN WAS HIGH ON TEH POT SO HE WANTED TO GO HOME LOLZ!!" Seriously, the guy isn't stupid.
However, situations like this give people the opportunity to freak out about something and/or declare some level of mental superiority over fans of the Vikings or whatever it is that makes them happy. If you want a fine example of this, check out the Pro Football Talk comments section on any story relating to the Minnesota Vikings. . .then remind yourself that these people are allowed to vote and allowed to reproduce. I'm not sure whether that's sad or frightening. Probably a bit of both.
ESPN's New Useless Rankings Are Out
Yes, the folks at ESPN do this every year. . .and, just like every other year they've done them, the "Ultimate Standings" are still stupid. Though a deep, complex formula that involves a dart board, numerous games of rock/paper/scissors, and literally throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks, it's been determined that the Vikings are the 89th best franchise in professional sports.
Honestly, I've never understood what ESPN hopes to accomplish with these standings, other than making a lame attempt to tick off fans and make them feel that their teams are somehow less worthy than others. (And, really, it doesn't have that effect on. . .well, anyone, to be honest.) See, here are my Ultimate Standings:
1) Minnesota Vikings
2) Minnesota Twins
3) Minnesota Wild
4) Minnesota Timberwolves
5 - 122) Honestly, who the hell cares?
I don't project a change in these standings any time soon. Of course, ESPN probably won't ask me, either.
And that's all for this evening, folks. If you have the day off tomorrow, continue enjoying the rest of your weekend! If you have to work. . .sorry, man, but feel free to check us out at work.