The Vikings held their 1st-ever “State of the Vikings” event last night at the State Theater in downtown Minneapolis. The event was emceed by radio voice of the Vikings Paul Allen, and allowed season ticket owners to get an up-close and personal look at select members of the Vikings organization in a “town hall” type of atmosphere.
Along with Allen, Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf, head coach Brad Childress, VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman and LB Chad Greenway were seated in chairs on the stage. Allen went through a bevy of questions, many submitted by the fans and then several others that he came up with either before the show or in the middle of conversation on stage.
We’ll have more coverage on this event throughout the rest of today, including an “on-demand” video of the event that will allow you to replay “State of the Vikings.” Last night’s event was streamed live right here on vikings.com.
You can also read the updates posted by Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune last night by reading the “Access Vikings” blog on the Strib’s website.
We’ll be back later today with more coverage of this event, but here are just a few highlights…
– The first topic was of course QB Brett Favre. Wilf said he didn’t see the HBO interview of Favre by Joe Buck in person, but that from what he heard Favre came off as a guy who loves the game of football. Wilf also said, in more general terms, “We will do the most we can to get the players we need to be a better team. If that means Brett Favre or means somebody else, we’ll go after them. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Childress added that Favre “said everything he needed to say” and that it was up to the QB as to whether he would play again or not.
– Allen got to nearly every topic relevant to the Vikings in the 90-minute program, including a general discussion about DE Jared Allen. When talking about the All-Pro DE, Wilf pointed out that Allen played much of last season in pain after sustaining injuries. He even said that what Allen was going through would’ve sidelined 9 out of 10 players. Wilf illustrated his point perfectly and with humor by comparing Allen in 2008 to a “wounded bear.”
– The atmosphere was light in the State Theater, with Allen inserting plenty of humor and jokes into the program and with the audience staying involved by yelling out comments. At one point, 1 member of the Vikings organization on stage challenged Allen to do a play-by-play call of WR Percy Harvin scoring a touchdown…and Allen obliged.
Childress had high praise for the 2009 1st-round draft pick and compared seeing him on the field for the 1st time to seeing Adrian Peterson on the field for the 1st time. Allen then asked Greenway what about Harvin would give a good defensive football player headaches. Greenway responded by saying that Harvin can “line up anywhere on the field.”
– The crowd was very gracious and supportive, and would give ovations to players when Allen mentioned them on stage. But it was interesting that the 2 players who received perhaps the loudest ovations were Jim Kleinsasser and Antoine Winfield.
That’s it for now, but we’ll have more coverage of the 1st ever “State of the Vikings” event right here on vikings.com later today.
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