Jared Allen (Michael Steele/Getty)
Jared Allen often tries to incite the Metrodome crowd to be noisier, but he will even embrace the noise of opposing fans, saying CenturyLink Field in Seattle is among the finest for noise.
One of the reasons the Seattle Seahawks have been almost unbeatable at home over the last two years can be attributed to their fabled 12th Man.
Few venues are louder and more intense than CenturyLink Field, where the fans are raucous and as loud as any stadium in the country. For opposing teams, it can be a difficult environment to play in.
For Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, it’s his kind of place. Allen, who is known for encouraging Metrodome fans to bring on the noise, said he looks forward to games like this because it gets the adrenaline going to have the fans into the action and making it hard to hear – and beats the alternative.
“It makes it fun,” Allen said. “No offense to Jacksonville or any teams like that, but you go down there and the crowd is empty. It feels like fans are 100 yards away. And you know, you go to Seattle and it’s loud. Trash talking, it’s the way it’s supposed to be. Those environments are fun to play in, especially if you can get a win there, it makes it that much sweeter.”
Allen said the influence of the fans is a little overplayed, saying that it isn’t a “Monica Seles situation.” Seles, one of the top tennis players in the world 20 years ago, was stabbed by a crazed fan at a tournament in Germany. Allen quipped that the fans won’t be coming onto the field, they’ll simply be making noise in the stands.
“They talk about tough environments to play in, it’s just loud,” Allen said. “It feels like fans are going to come onto the field and attack you. People talk about, ‘Oh, it’s a crazy environment,’ but it’s just loud. It’s what fans are supposed to do. It makes it fun.”
The best way to neutralize a crowd is to get the lead. When the home team is behind, it tends to quiet down the loudest fans. Whether the Vikings can accomplish that will play itself out Sunday, but, if the fans are in full throat, they will have a fan of their own in Allen.
The final injury reports will come out Friday, but the Seahawks aren’t making any assurances that, despite practicing, Percy Harvin will be active Sunday. Head coach Pete Carroll reiterated Thursday that Harvin is practicing and the plan is to get him on the field Sunday, but, with a bye week for Seattle following the Vikings game, the Seahawks may err on the side of caution and limit the number of snaps for Harvin if he is active Sunday.
As if Seattle isn’t a daunting enough opponent, they have the league’s best punt coverage. Of the 40 punts that Seattle has had this season, only 11 of them have been returned for a grand total of 15 yards, less than Marcus Sherels’ average per return.
Christian Ponder is expected to wear a harness on his injured left shoulder. He believes that having three extra days to heal after last Thursday’s game with Washington will give his shoulder the stability it needs to not hinder him Sunday.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton announced that he has rejected a request from the American Indian Movement to delay the sale of bonds for the new Vikings stadium as a way to force the NFL to take action to get Washington to change its Redskins nickname. Dayton said that he finds the Redskins name offensive, but that stopping the bond sale has nothing to do with changing the nickname of another franchise.
Kyle Rudolph and Adrian Peterson were the only Vikings who didn’t practice at all Thursday. A.P. was sat for precautionary reasons while he heals from a groin injury. Rudolph has a broken foot and is expected to miss the next month.
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.