For those politicians who were so vehemently opposed to the state partnering with the Vikings on a stadium deal that would keep the team, today should once again serve as a reminder of what the Vikings mean to the state.
This afternoon the Vikings will hold their annual golf tournament to benefit the Vikings Children’s Fund at Rush Creek Golf Club. The sold-out tournament will include more than 30 Vikings players, including Christian Ponder, Kyle Rudolph and Toby Gerhart, former Vikings, including Randall McDaniel and Scott Studwell, the entire Vikings coaching staff, team executives, team mascot Viktor and the Vikings cheerleaders.
The event is one of several the Vikings run each year to benefit the Vikings Children’s Fund. In addition, several players have their own charitable causes they support and the Vikings players also do numerous community events throughout the year. Most don’t get publicized, but for a kid battling cancer at the University of Minnesota Hospital, a visit from Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen. Christian Ponder or Percy Harvin can provide them a good day in a life relatively devoid of good days.
The tournament will include on-site radio coverage on the KFAN Radio Network from noon until 6:30 p.m.
Since its creation in 1978, the VCF has raised almost $10 million, with more than half of that supporting research at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Pediatrics.
The event isn’t something this is done merely for the political-style grip-and-grin. Spots in the event were sold out quickly and it isn’t a public spectacle. It’s simply a day of golf with the Vikings and supporters who can afford to give to a charitable cause (not charitable gambling, just a charitable cause).
For those who bellowed so loudly during the last Legislative session that the Vikings were merely a parasite feeding off its Minnesota host, they should be in attendance today at Rush Creek to see just what kind of value the Vikings provide to those who need it most.
The City of Minneapolis is expected to announce this week the formation of the Stadium Implementation Committee, which will have a hand in the design plan of the new stadium and the infrastructure around the new domed stadium. At a committee meeting Thursday, the city council committee of the whole is expected to approve the S.I.C. co-chairs Tom Fisher, the dean of the University of Minnesota School of Design, and David Wilson, a director at Accenture. The committee will also include Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and city council members Barbara Johnson, Dian Hofstede, Kevin Reich and Meg Tuthill.
Pro Football Weekly is out with its annual NFL preview issue and is picking the Vikings to finish last in the NFC North with a 4-12 record, which by PFW’s projections, would tie the Vikings among a handful of teams for the worst record in the league. The Packers are predicted to win the division with a 12-4 record, followed by Chicago at 10-6 and Detroit at 9-7.
In an interesting note in the PFW preview magazine, Adrian Peterson is projected as the team’s offensive MVP, but in the magazine’s fantasy rankings, Peterson, who has been the No. 1 running back the last three years, has dropped to No. 20 out of fears that he won’t be 100 percent during the 2012 season … or at least not early in the season.
Brian Banks, whom the Vikings could host for a visit/tryout later this week, had a workout with the Kansas City Chiefs Tuesday. He has previously worked out with the Chargers and Seahawks and accepted a minicamp invitation from Seattle.
Linebacker Chad Greenway has missed most of the Vikings’ organized team activities. On Tuesday, the reason was revealed as KeloLand.com in South Dakota reported that Greenway’s father is in hospice care while battling cancer. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Greenway would be excused if he needed to miss next week’s minicamp.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.