Hey everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful holidays and whatnot and are prepared for New Year's Eve. Mind you, try and be sober(ish) enough for the 1pm Sunday finale... I make no promises myself, quite frankly I think the game's timing is absolutely cruel considering my tradition to get together with friends and... ah, imbibe heavy amounts of alcohol.
Anyways, with the Christmas crush and all, I know a few stories have happened that we haven't had a full chance to cover here. Some are a day or two old, some are far more recent. No matter. What I'm going to do here is basically list a few key stories and quotes from recent days in bullet point format- not because I'm lazy, but because I don't feel like writing five full-length stories.
Oh wait... that means it's because I'm lazy. Oh well, regardless. Read on and discuss below.
- Jared Allen is going to the Pro Bowl. This is his fourth Pro Bowl selection, and somewhat unsurprisingly, also the only selection for the Minnesota Vikings, as the other usual nominee was essentially disqualified this year (read more below). No shocker here, seeing as how Allen once again leads the league in sacks, and has even a theoretical shot to tie/break the record on Sunday.
- In a related note, Adrian Peterson for the first time in his career is NOT going to the Pro Bowl. Sadly, this really shouldn't surprise anyone, as he does not lead the league in any RB stat... in fact, in most of them, he's not even in the top 5. (Toby Gerhart actually has a higher average run stat than Peterson as of right now.) Of course, it's pretty hard to qualify for the Pro Bowl when you are only able to play 12 games in a 16 game season, have coaches that barely know how to use you at times, and played a game where said coaching staff was so nervous about an ankle they all but sat you. Regardless for all the reasons, it does sting to see the streak broken.
- In other AP news, he will undergo surgery on his knee tomorrow (Friday), with renowned sports surgeon Dr. Andrews performing. Once again, that tidbit is no surprise, as Dr. Andrews is typically regarded as head and shoulders the best sports surgeon around- he was largely responsible for ensuring Brett Favre was able to start for 297 games, after all. The team continues to anticipate a full return by the 2012 season opener, but we'll see; undoubtedly, there will be more on that post-surgery.
- If you haven't heard, Vikings legend Jim "The People's Champion" "Sauce MAD Sauce SMASH!" Kleinsasser is retiring after the season finale. It seems that us fans aren't the only ones with huge man-crushes on the dude. (OK, regular crushes for the female readers here. Sorry for the snub Skol Girl!) Here's a few great quotes from fellow Viking players on The Sauce and his retirement. First up, fellow TE Visanthe Shiancoe- "He's a Neanderthal man, no bull. He's just strong. I remember guys come up to me after the game or even during the game and say, `Why is No. 40, or they say Kleinsasser, why's he so ... strong? I'm like, `Hey, that's the way they used to build them back then. That's the way they used to make them'." Even better from Shank- "I'm going to get his jersey. I asked him to sign it, an authentic jersey, so I can hang it up in the house. It's been an honor to play with him." And from Percy Harvin, WR/RB/KR/PR/Sheer Awesomeness- "Oh man, I love Jimmy. He plays this game only for one reason and that's his teammates and the love of the game. This week is probably going to be emotional for him so we want to send him out the right way." Pretty cool to know that the locker room feels the same way about The Man as we do.
- To wrap this up, a few gems from Christian Ponder, after being medically cleared to start the last game of the season- "I guess I actually scored higher on my baseline tests so maybe I got some sense knocked into me." "My modeling career's out the window. I got busted up. I was bleeding everywhere. ... Fun times." And in regards to the threat posed to his starting job by one Mr. Joe Webb- "There's always pressure to perform. This is the NFL and you always have to perform otherwise your job is going to be taken away. But I think it's a positive thing. Whenever there's competition I think you're always going to get better. Obviously Joe is a heck of a player and has done a great job. That's going to motivate me more to make my job secure and try to play better." "Especially for me, personally, I want to finish strong and have some momentum going into the offseason. Looking back on the games I've played in, I've got a lot of film to show that I have a lot to work on and get better at. It'd be great to finish on a positive note."
So there you have it fellow Viking faithful- now we're all caught up. Fire away below. You're welcome.