A Unique Perspective Thanks To Former Viking Kalis

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 28, 2010 – 8:28 am

Vikings fans who still can’t get enough football but are looking for a distraction from last Sunday night’s heart-breaking loss in the NFC Championship Game have some good news. Former Vikings offensive lineman Todd Kalis has worked with his friend – Dr. Stephen Below – on an interesting book that lends a unique perspective on the NFL.

Read the end of this post for information on a book signing in Minnesota this week.

Kalis’ book is called “Pigskin Dreams: The People, Places, And Events That Forged The Character Of The NFL’s Greatest Players” and it provides readers and football fans with an in-depth look at 22 Hall of Famer’s and what happened in their younger years to help develop them into great NFL success stories.

Kalis interviewed over 55 former NFL players but chose to include the 22 Hall of Famers, many of which will be very familiar to Minnesota football fans – Bobby Bell, Dick Butkus, Paul Krause and Bart Starr, just to name a few. The forward is excellent and is written by legendary NFL head coach Don Shula.

Don’t just take my word of praise on this book. Many high-profile individuals closely associated with the NFL have read it and give it great reviews.

“Playing in the National Football League requires more than physical skill,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “It also takes qualities of good character that lead to success in life—qualities like integrity, perseverance, and a strong work ethic. Pigskin Dreams provides an interesting look into the early lives of some of the best football players in history and the positive influences on their character that helped lead them to greatness.”

An author himself, NBC Sports and MLB Network Bob Costas also enjoyed the book.

“Many of those who have the greatest impact on their teammates, and the game itself, possess qualities beyond mere athletic talent,” Costas said. “In Pigskin Dreams, the personal testimony of many of the NFL’s most impressive figures movingly illustrates that fact.”

As mentioned above, Kalis will be in the Twin Cities area this week for a few book signings. On Sunday, January 31 from 2-4 p.m., you can meet Kalis and pickup Pigskin Dreams at Magers and Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis. You can click here for more information on Magers and Quinns, including directions on how to get there.

Also, you can click here to go to the Pigskin Dreams website to learn more about the book, Kalis and all the work that went into this piece of literature. I’ve read much of it myself and I recommend it for young athletes, parents, teachers and anyone else interested in gaining a unique perspective on some of the greatest players to ever play football and what happened in the early parts of their lives to help develop their character.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 37 Comments »

37 Responses to “A Unique Perspective Thanks To Former Viking Kalis”

  1. By Vikings Stink on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    Tuesday Morning Quarterback,on His Favreness…

    “Hamartia. The ‘tragic flaw’ described by Aristotle: A leader cannot control his own inner shortcoming, which causes him to achieve the reverse of what he desired. In ‘Antigone,’ the king, Creon, tells himself he is acting in the interest of the city, when actually he is acting to glorify his own ego — this hamartia destroys him. Favre comes up a bit short of a character in ancient Thebes, but on Sunday he was brought low by hamartia all the same. It was not enough for Favre’s team to reach the Super Bowl, he had to get the credit. All he needed to do was run a few yards, hook-slide, call timeout, and the Vikings’ kicker, Ryan Longwell,had a chance to win the game. But the credit had to go to Favre; he had to throw a spectacular pass at the end, so television announcers would swoon. So he heave-hoed a dramatic across-the-field pass. It was intercepted, and the Saints won in overtime.”

    Hey, Bart Fever, we’ll never forget you.

  2. By namonyvikesfan on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    Hey! Why don’t you quiet down! With his pass Farve was only trying to make it easier for Longwell. Remember he had just hurt his ankle. Running with the ball may have only caused more damage to be done putting him out of commision for the Super Bowl. WHat would that have helped. I am proud of what Farve has done for my team and hope he comes back next year to stage another super bowl run. If he doesn’t come back as a starter he could be a personal coach for the young quarterbacks like Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels sharing more of his extensive knowledge with them.

    Go Get Them Vickes! 2010 could be your lucky number!

  3. By bigpatsaint on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    Thank you Brett. You, as a former Packer and life-long Saint fan, you, helped deliver one more crushing defeats to the Vikings and as an NFC Champion Saints fan who was at the game, watching you take brutal blow after blow from our NFC Champion Saints defense, again, I just want to say thank you. You’ve got your ring, we’ll have ours soon and as for the Vikings: I’ve heard that the fifth time is the charm, but you have to get there first!

  4. By Ali AB on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    OMG bigpatsaint! I was actually rooting for the Saints after we lost since they have never been to the Superbowl but if that is how the Saints fans feel and act, Go Colts. I hope you are not representative of the majority of Saints fans but that is…disturbing to say the least.

  5. By Jamie on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    Ali AB, who cares, but, no, he doesn’t represent the average Saints fan’s opinion, believe me!

  6. By Jamie on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply


  7. By Robin S. on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    To bigpatsaint, your entry is rediculous. I was a packer fan for 56 years and now can’t stand them because of the administration. They lost my respect. Brett Favre gave them something they had been missing for 24 years. He made them big and winners again. He gave them a magnificent identity and everyone repected them. That is now gone. Brett will always have mine and millions of others great respect for his love of the game and for the wonderful person that he is. He has given our family and millions of others so much joy. We always looked forward to football season to watch Brett and his team. He has introduced millions of people to the Vikings and their great organization and great team. This was our favorite year for football with Brett and this fabulous team of guys who we now love. For him to come to a new team and they played so magnificently speaks wonders of his greatness. I only hope he comes back and finishes his dream and that is to get to the Super Bowl again with this great team. His Viking team deserves it. The chemistry they had was incredible. As for the Saints, I hope they lose. I too fell for the poor Saints story, for years felt sorry for them because of Katrina. But when I saw they could only win with playing dirty, I have changed my mind. Go Colts! The Saints should have been called for the low blow to Bretts legs. They missed it. I don’t know how they could have. But the Vikings should have had the ball on the 19 and the interception would not have counted. If the calls had been correct Brett would not have been in that position at the end. The Vikings are a great team and Brett is the best. I hope to see them all back next year. I would take Brett over any quarterback. We love you! The Saints kept knocking you down. What cowards they are. You showed your strength and courage. Come back!

  8. By vikeforever on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    reading the saints bloggers views I say let them have the glory, no amount of debate is going to change the outcome. I myself believe the Vikes should have been in it but they control their fate by the penalty and poor decision to throw to a covered receiver.Which makes the defeat so hard to swallow. So for the Saints fans enjoye & party but when all said and done when you watch the Colt players hoist their coach on their shoulders, welcome to our reality as fans. The would of, could of, should of(s) will set in nicely.

  9. By Steve Berk on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    I have been a fan for forty five years. It pains me too see my boys go out the way they did. This is where the coaching staff fell apart. 12 men on the field. Your kidding me. If not for that. A run up the middle for a few. A kick . Game over
    I love my vikings. Im so sorry to see the season end this way.
    Steve B
    New York

  10. By VikeOfsthun on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    First of all the Saints was called only 1 time for personal foul on Favre Jamie get it right second the Saints did not even move enough yards on their own in the ot to deserve a change at the field goal it was placed there by the refs second not 1 member of the Great team of the vikings ever complained about the calls but the fans stuck by them and complained about the issues at hand they were hitting Favre to hurt him out of the game on low hits as well as late hits driving him to the ground only 1 was called just a few years back not so long ago the Saint fans were embarrased to be fans and wore bags over their faces hmmm not so good then.

  11. By VikeOfsthun on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    correction change was to be chance

  12. By Flamcake on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    Jamie, you are out of your mind if you thought those roughing the passer calls were bad. We should have had more. Sharper took 3 FULL steps before he drilled Favre late and it wasn’t called. That was the Saints game plan, and it’s what they did to Warner. Sharper knows thats how you get to Favre, frustrate him by taking cheap shots, even if it gets a penalty. He knew we were weak for backups and thats what the Saints defense was told. It was obvious. Im not blaming the refs but cannot beleive Saints fans are upset about the refs, especially after every yard on their final drive was given to them. Just be happy with your superbowl birth and shutup. Sore winners are worse than sore losers. Skol Vikes! The better team was not the winner.

  13. By Joe B on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    Jamie, I dont think you are old enough to comment here.
    . . . this is where the Big kids get to comment.

  14. By GW on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    VikeOfsthun…. Right on. BigFatSaint… Look up dirty players in the dictionary. There is a picture of the Aint’s. Jamie…. You are freaking delusional. Go back and watch the replay and count your blessings. Go Colts. Give Brees a taste of thier own medicine. Some of the acts on that field on Sunday were criminal and the fine will be Payton Manning exploiting your criminal defense. I hope the Colts get their favorite ref team like the Saint did and pay them well. Not whinning. Replay the game and try and be ojectionable and you will see what I am saying. Another thing: Thank God the Vikings had 6 turn overs or ya’ll would have been blown out like the Cow Girls. Can’t wait until we meet again.

  15. By Caviar on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    The Vikings played hard with honor and dignity. I witnessed BF being brutalized. Yet, he kept coming back. I haven’t seen that type of brutality since Gayle Sayers. I don’t understand the game where there is no protection for the quarterback.

  16. By Randy Ortega on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    Got a take a piece of this for the play book next year. If the Mississippi Mud Slinger comes back. Dont run away from T> Jackson to come in on ideal situations. 53 man team plus coaches and we couldn’t find 7 points. Com on” man.

  17. By Randy on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    Jamie…..your a moron. your a bias saint fan….and talking in caps doesnt make you look smarter. so ill take a similar approach that you did in your post. ahem…..what about the TD that was given to you in the first half? pierre thomas was nowhere close to the endzone and his knee was down at the 3 yd line. While we are on old pierre, how about when he clearly lost control of the ball lunging for the first down, and got it anyway? OT was a joke. remember when colston didnt catch the ball but they gave it to him anyway??? oh and btw….when you hit the QB after he had handed the ball off and had been watching the running back for close to 5 seconds…..i dont call that a BS roughing the passer penalty. what about the rediculous Pass Interference penalty?? Ben leber wasnt even close to dave thomas, and if he had touched him it wouldnt matter because the ball was uncatchable. We outplayed you in every sense of the game….its a shame the better team wont be in the super bowl this year. i was going to root for the saints….but seing as you saints fans act this way after your team performed like a bunch of classless barbarians…..GO COLTS!

  18. By paul on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    Favre throws an interception and Longwell is denied a chance at a game winning field goal,
    There’s no guarantee that Longwell makes the kick.
    Game goes into overtime, Vikings called heads, tails it is. Good chance this coin toss might of cost the Vikings the game.
    Vikings kick off, N.O.kick returner, returns ball 40 yards.
    Vikings defense allows N.O. to advance the ball for the game winning field goal.
    Favre interception didn’t cost the Vikings the game, its what transpired in o.t..

  19. By Greg F on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    What’s up with these knuckle-heads sAINTs fans on our Vikings Blog–sore winners, or just true losers who got away with one?

  20. By Ali AB on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    Thank you Randy. I was just going to point out what you already did to Jamie. The Saints were given that touchdown because it wasn’t one. The Vikes totally outplayed them but unfortunately they made some mistakes. The fact that it was so close, Saints given touchdown, and the missed penalties on them, especially the low blow, and their homefield advantage, we would have killed them. The saddest thing is, if the Vikes had won and prevented the same mistakes in the Superbowl, they really have as much potential as the Colts and could have won. The Saints will find out at the Superbowl how short they fall when the Colts win. I, like many others, were rooting for the Saints but have now decided to cheer on the Colts. I just hope the Saints don’t play with the same lame strategy and go after Manning, its just not the honorable way to win.

  21. By MNSvikes1969 on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    I saw the way Bacon 93 used his helmet & then sholderpad on Favres Ankle. All game Brett and others on this team did not to show discouragment but continued to come back to solidify their chemistry. After playing 1 1/2 quarters
    and enduring what other pain their was, I can see how this last last decision of this game could have been affected. I think Brett Favre has always
    tried to advance and prepare all of his Viking teamates for the next game. I believe I saw this again immediately after he threw the ball to Shincoe at the end of the New York game. I have activly studied the Vikings since 1969 and the respect they get from the media and know they deserve better.
    Rest and heal well.
    I hope ithey all come back no matter how old with their personal goals and play as they can upon the arivial of the following Super Bowl.
    Thanks Brett
    Thanks Vikings

  22. By Stephanie on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    If Brett’s pass falls incomplete, it’s the same result as an interception. it would have been fourth down and out of fieldgoal range. he had to pass it somewhere, and unfortunately it was not a good one. but it wasn’t 1st or 2nd down. they had one shot to get the ball down the field, at least 5 yards to make it a 51 yard field goal. no guarantee Longwell makes it, but they didn’t lose the game on that play b/c the game was tied. they went into overtime and it was a brand new game.

  23. By MNSvikes1969 on Jan 29, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Stephany,
    Correct me if I am wrong But I know ESPN dosen’t show it much but in the overtime when N. O. were going for another down and the Viking jamed the ball into runners lap, when they show during the challenge and it is Right down the Bulllseye of the two line markers, it dosent make it, Their 3 shots of this the other from this side if angled off of the line markings and the third which the show the most
    is shieded by the runners body. I thought that was a great play even if the ball didn’t come out.

  24. By GW on Jan 29, 2010 | Reply

    Paul….You are right. In particular a third down pass interference call on a uncatchable ball. If you look at the replay not only was it uncatchable, but there was very little if any contact at all. That put the Saints in position for the field goal. I had a house full of non Viking fans that said that was a great game but a horrible way to lose. Lost to a bunch of dirty players and poor refferee’s. Go Colts.

  25. By bob on Jan 29, 2010 | Reply

    it was tough enough with the turnovers, but the refs should be held accountable for the non calls and the pass interference at the end, the saints even admitted to taking cheap shots at brett. i guess the nfl got what they wanted. can somebody tell me the name of the officiating crew?

  26. By bigpatsaint on Jan 29, 2010 | Reply

    Sorry if my comments upset some of you viqueen fans, but as some defensive end said, whose name escapes me now, “I’m just stirring the pot!”

  27. By tdj25 on Jan 29, 2010 | Reply

    Hey JAIME..To take a quote from your post…

  28. By Football LoLo on Jan 29, 2010 | Reply

    Wow, did you hear that the VP of the NFL officiating came out and said that the hit on Favre that hurt his ankle should have been a 15 yard penalty which should have given the Vikes that ball on the Saints 19 yard line, and the 3rd down play in OT appeared to have hit the ground when viewed on film, and the receiver did not appear to have it firmly in his grasp.

    Can you imagine with so many things going against the Vikings: Crooked Officiating, 6 fumbles, 2 interceptions, and Saints Fans screaming in their ear, that the game ended in a tie at the end of regulation!

    I don’t care what anyone says, by all means, the Viking are a much better team than the Saints. If just one fumble was taken back, or one bad call by the official was taken back, the Vikes win!!

    I am a Packer Fan, and did not like it when Favre went to the VIkes but his play this year was truly inspiring!

    Choose the glass half empty, or the one half full. Same Glass but different outlook!

    I choose to see Favre as someone that played his heart out, and inspired millions!


  29. By paul on Jan 29, 2010 | Reply

    To bad J. Allen didn’t have a chance to take his customary cheap shots.

  30. By Sean Sarro on Jan 29, 2010 | Reply

    Paul- At least McCray was able to deliver those shots for Jared huh!

  31. By TW Vike on Jan 29, 2010 | Reply

    Favre took the best (CHEAP) shots the TAINTS had to offer & still stood tall ! Nobody expected us to get that far. Maybe next year the refs wont be wearing BLACK & GOLD !

  32. By Robin S. on Jan 30, 2010 | Reply

    Brett, you were robbed by the dirty plays and the blind refs so please come back. Finish what you started and take your team to the Super Bowl. You are so great together and you had so much fun. We love you all and have the greatest respect for you and your great team. Thanks for my favorite year in football. Brett, you are so amazing to have done what you did in one year playing together. You have so much courage and your love for the game rubs off on everyone and you make everyone around you so much better. Thanks to all of you Vikings for a great, wonderful year. Next year it will be the Super Bowl. Love to all of you guys! Now I just hope the Colts beat the dirty Saints. Brett, you make us so eager for Sundays to come as we know you give it your all. You are so much fun to watch! Thank you.

  33. By Douglas Que on Jan 31, 2010 | Reply

    Brett Favre has something that I haven’t seen in any other QB or player of any position and that’s HEART. That’s what makes him great to me. that’s what makes him a legend and that’s what makes him my favourite QB. You can argue and say he’s not the greatest and I wouldn’t argue because I would say Montana is the greatest but there will never be another Favre. He makes the game exciting and no QB is capable of doing that. Look at the ratings his games get. He breaks records off the field. Manning is a great QB but he is so boring to watch. He doesn’t congratulate his teammates after a good play. He just looks like a robot on the field. And aside from football Favre is a great person and a true warrior. In college he got into a car accident and the doctors had to remove 18 inches of intestines. He recovered came back on the field and won the game for his College football team. We watched him and his wife battle with cancer. We seen how he performed the day his dad died. The consecutive starts after so many injuries. The hate and criticism he gets on a daily basis especially after he left Green Bay. The organziation didn’t even want him any more and I understand the move because Rodgers is a good QB but to bribe him to stay retire and then refrain him from joining the Vikings last year which he wanted all along. that is the only reason he was playing for the Jets. Then most recently being knocked down 17 times in a NFC Conference game and the hits that the defense was laying on him were not all clean and some may have been driven with more force to knock him out the game like Kurt Warner but somehow he comes back drives his team all up and down the field just to see them make mistakes after mistake but you could obviously see he was fighting. This is why people love the man and he’s the greatest to them. To those who follow Rap music it’s like when people say 2pac was the greatest rapper. Everyone knows Tupac wasn’t the greatest rapper lyrically, but he represented something so much more than rap, he was a warrior, he made you feel his pain, his lyrics were meaningful. Same thing with Brett, he may not go down as the greatest QB considering now a QB is validated with the number of rings he has but Favre will always represent something so much more than football.

  34. By jonathan h. on Jan 31, 2010 | Reply

    Lets get Michael vick, yes sah

  35. By B.C. on Jan 31, 2010 | Reply

    I think Doug hit the nail on the head. While the loss of the NFC title game will be great deal of doubt for Favre wanting to return to football, I hope he notices that he is one of the best football players of all time. Despite the many remarks that Favre is one to keep the glory for himself, this game shows that the man keeps playing even when he is being beaten down. Now some might say that the intercepetion that Favre threw was a bad call but in the grand scheme of things….if Favre managed one more year and came out strong after such intentional beating then it would be hard for anyone to suggest that Favre is not the type of person that legends are made about. Great year Vikes, can’t wait until next season.

  36. By B Barninger on Feb 2, 2010 | Reply

    Would absolutely love if Brett Favre returns to the Minnesota Vikings! What an exciting year for the Vikings in 2009. With all the chemistry and experience the Vikings have had with this season, just think how great next season would be with the same players. What happened in the NFC title game was so dissapointing as the Vikings were the true winners. The refs missed the calls and that surely helped the Saints. I am so proud of this team and the way they played especially #4 with the no calls and playing like a true warrior.
    Please come back Brett, the VIkings need you!

  37. By JoeB on Feb 2, 2010 | Reply

    I hope Favre comes back too. This was the most exciting season for me in years. Deknee Green and Mike Tice made for some dormant Viking spirits. I think Brett has another season left in him. BUT. I think for him to go another full season he needs to know that coach Childress has to keep him healthy and that means possibly taking him out from time to time and giving his aging body a rest.

    I watched ‘Inside the NFL’ during the playoffs and was looking forward to what Chris, Phil, Warren and Jim would have to say about the ‘no call-face mask’ on Aaron Rogers in the Cardinals/Packers game. To my surprise they didn’t even mention it. I thought what a bunch of a*s kissers. What’s the deal? Is there an unwritten rule that they can’t critisize the refs for a missed call?

    Then I watched ‘Inside the NFL’ after the conferance championship games. This time I was wiser and not surprised. Just as I suspected none of those guys had anything to say about a couple of late hits Favre took or a couple of borderline late hits. Or the unchatchable pass that resulted in pass interference call against the Vikings. Aikman and Buck were a little more objective…but barely.

    My point is that it’s my belief that the powers that be in the NFL are telling commentators to NOT CRITISIZE NOR CHALLENGE AND NFL OFFICIAL’S CALL.. EVER. Isn’t that what they’re supposed to do? Of course we’ll hear a commentator critisize a coach for poor clock management, play calling, or a player’s lack of concentration. But they don’t dare critisze the refs anymore. I rarely watch Chris Berman and his crew anymore and I won’t be tuning into Inside the NFL anymore.

    You younger ones don’t remember the old NFL Today show back in the 80s. Those were the days with Brent Mussberger, Jimmy the Greek, Irv Cross and the hot Phyllis George.

Post a Comment