Field Is In Good Shape

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 25, 2009 – 11:52 am

I just returned from the field and found the playing surface to be in good shape. There’s been a lot of attention focused on the field this week because they recently re-sodded in between the hash marks and there was a college game between the Pitt Panthers and South Florida Bulls last night in Heinz Field.

You often hear about the poor playing conditions inside this stadium, but I found them to be pretty ideal. The sod is in good shape and it doesn’t look torn up at all.

Furthermore, as I was walking off the field, I asked both P Chris Kluwe and K Ryan Longwell about the conditions. They both said the footing was excellent.

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Mr. Hippe’s Weather Report

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 25, 2009 – 11:49 am

Our regular road game weather man, Mr. Hippe, has checked in with his weather report.

Game time conditions will include sunny skies with little wind and a temperature of 64 degrees.

A beautiful fall day for football in Pittsburgh.

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Historic Day For Vikings, Zamberletti

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 25, 2009 – 10:49 am

Today’s game in Pittsburgh is an historic day for the Vikings – it’s the franchise’s 1,000th game (including preseason, regular season and postseason). It’s also historic because one Vikings employee has been with the team for every game in franchise history and he, too, is about to begin his 1,000th career game.

Fred Zamberletti, the Vikings 1st ever trainer, has been with the franchise since Day 1 and he still serves with the club as a consultant and team historian. “Freddy” as he’s affectionately known by all of us, is a wise voice within the organization and truly personifies what it means to be a Viking.

In 43 seasons (1961-2003) as the club’s trainer, Zamberletti also never missed a day of work. He won numerous awards in his field, including being named the Professional Athletic Trainer of the Year in 1986. In 1996 the Vikings staff was honored as the NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year.

Because of his invaluable and continuing contribution to the franchise, Zamberletti, a Melchior, Iowa, native, was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor on December 20, 1998.

He’s been a great friend of mine during my time with the Vikings, helping me out with various stories for the website, game programs, the yearbook and many other publications. He’s often the man I go to when I’m in need of some perspective, whether it’s historical perspective or just some advice on life in general.

But I’m certainly not the only individual whom Freddy has influenced. Many Vikings employees would share similar sentiments about Freddy if they had this medium at their disposal. Well, I do have this medium at my disposal. But unfortunately not even I could conjure up the right words to appropriately express the influence Freddy has had on me and certainly on the franchise over his career here.

So, congratulations, Freddy, on your 1,000th game! Even though you don’t want to make a big deal of it and you are the last person who yearns for attention, today is an historic day for the franchise and for you, and it’s more than deserving of plenty of attention.

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Today’s Inactives vs. Pittsburgh

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on October 25, 2009 – 10:37 am

Here are the Vikings inactives for today’s game vs. the Steelers:

QB Sage Rosenfels (3rd QB), CB Antoine Winfield, WR Darius Reynaud, RB Albert Young, LB Erin Henderson, C Jon Cooper, DE Jayme Mitchell, and DT Letroy Guion.

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A Pretty Good QB Showdown Today

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 25, 2009 – 10:25 am

When you think Vikings and Steelers, you think smash mouth football. Run the ball. Play tough defense.

And while the 2009 version of the Vikings and Steelers are certainly capable of doing those things, today’s matchup between them at Heinz Field actually features 2 of the NFL’s hottest QBs. Ben Roethlisberger is playing at a league MVP level, according to ESPN’s Ron Jaworski, and it’s easy to build an MVP argument for Favre as well, after he’s guided the Vikings to a 6-0 record.

Take a look at some of the impressive statistics Favre and Roethlisberger have put up so far in 2009…

– Roethlisberger ranks 2nd in completions with 150 and Favre ranks 8th with 124

– Roethlisberger ranks 2nd in completion % at 72.5 and Favre ranks 3rd at 69.7

– Favre ranks 3rd in passing TDs with 12 and Roethlisberger ranks 8th with 10

– Favre ranks 3rd in passer rating at 109.5 and Roethlisberger ranks 4th at 104.5

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Stepping Back In Time – Vikings vs. Steelers Tug-Of-War

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 25, 2009 – 9:45 am’s NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert has posted on his blog a classic video of a Vikings-Steelers tug-of-war from 1975 in Hawaii between members of the Vikings and Steelers, just 2 weeks after the Steelers defeated the Vikings in Super Bowl IX.

It’s a cool sight to see – guys like LB Jeff Siemon and DL Carl Eller in a tug-of-war against Franco Harris and several other Steelers greats from the 70s. As Seifert points out, perhaps the coolest part of the video is the post-even celebration, where the winning team (we won’t tell you who won) is celebrating as if they had just won the Super Bowl. Also, O.J. Simpson does post-even interviews with players and it’s amazing to see how gassed they are after the tug-of-war.

The event was part of ABC’s Wide World of Sports presentations, classic series of sporting events that entertained Americans for years.

Enjoy the video. And then come back here to read more updates.

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Here At Heinz Field – Pregame Updates

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 25, 2009 – 9:29 am

The 1st group of team buses has arrived at Heinz Field as game time for today’s Vikings-Steelers game approaches. Players and coaches are slowly making their way onto the field to begin warming up. It’s a beautiful day here in Pittsburgh – sunny skies and a current temperature of 48 degrees.

There’s been much attention centered on the playing surface here at Heinz Field, which is known as one of the poorest playing surfaces in the league. I haven’t gotten down to the field yet, but from the press box it looks like the field is in good shape. The field has been recently re-sodded in between the hash marks, and it doesn’t look like yesterday’s Pitt-South Florida game tore up the surface too much. After I go down to the field in a little bit, I’ll come back with a field surface report.

There is no update on the injury front. The prevailing thought is that CB Antoine Winfield won’t go today, but that WR Percy Harvin will be able to give it a go. It also seems as if Steelers S Troy Polamalu will play. But we’ll have the official update 90 minutes before kickoff, so be sure to stay tuned to the Blog.

There is going to be a pretty heavy national media presence here today – that’s the feeling I’m getting anyway. NFC North ESPN blogger and former Star Tribune Vikings beat writer Kevin Seifert is here, as is ESPN’s information man John Clayton. I expect to see even more national guys because this is the NFL’s best matchup this weekend.

That’s it for now, but be sure to stick here because we’ll have several more updates before game time. Also, we’ll be hosting a live chat during the game.

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