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Harvin Named 2009 Pepsi NFL Rookie Of The Year

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 4, 2010 – 1:03 pm

Vikings WR/KR Percy Harvin added the 2009 Pepsi Rookie of the Year Award to an accolade-filled rookie resume on Thursday. Harvin was selected by fans – who decide the award with online voting – out of a talented group of finalists that included Bills S Jairus Byrd, Texans LB Brian Cushing, Packers LB Clay Matthews and Ravens T Michael Oher.

“This is a tremendous honor and I want to thank all the Vikings fans and NFL fans who took the time to vote,” Harvin said. “This really does mean a lot and I appreciate the support. I also have to thank my teammates and coaches who helped me out so much this season and put me in positions to succeed.”

Harvin was also named the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year, Pro Football Weekly Offensive Rookie of the Year and was selected to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner, though he did not participate.

Dubbed “the little phenom” by teammate Adrian Peterson, Harvin joins Peterson (2007) as the only other Viking to be the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year and is the first WR to garner the honor in its 8-year history. He was nominated as the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week 7 times throughout the season, winning twice after outstanding performances against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers in Weeks 8 and 9.

Harvin, the Vikings 1st round pick (22nd overall) in last year’s NFL draft, quickly transitioned into an explosive and productive NFL player after a prolific career at the University of Florida that included a pair of BCS National Championship victories. His versatility and toughness made him one of the Vikings most dangerous weapons, both on offense and on special teams.

In 15 regular season games, Harvin set a Vikings record with 2,081 all-purpose yards, a total that ranked him 2nd in the NFC. He had 60 receptions – tied for the lead among rookies – for 790 yards and 6 TDs and 135 rushing yards on 15 attempts, setting a franchise record for rushing yards by a WR and also leading all rookie non-kickers in scoring and registering 24 receptions on 3rd down. Harvin became the 2nd Vikings player (Peterson) in the past 3 seasons to be named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Harvin also recorded 2 kickoff returns for a TD, including a 101-yarder, and ranked 4th in the NFL with a 27.5-yard kickoff return average (42 returns for 1,156 yards) despite teams consistently kicking away from him during the 2nd half of the season.


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Jared Allen Among Madden Cover Contenders … So Vote For The Other Guys!

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on February 4, 2010 – 9:41 am

Usually here on vikings.com, when a Vikings player is up for a fan vote, we encourage fans of the Purple to head over to whatever site the vote is being held on and vote away for said Viking.

Not in this case.

Yesterday, EA Sports and Doritos announced that, instead of naming the player that would be on the cover of the next edition of the popular Madden video game around the time of the Super Bowl, they are now going to let fans vote on who should be on the cover.  The choices this year are Saints QB Drew Brees, Colts WR Reggie Wayne, and Vikings DE Jared Allen.

Now, as cool as it would seem to have a Viking grace the cover of one of the best-selling video games on a yearly basis,  most people are now aware of the “Madden cover jinx” and therefore we are encouraging all Vikings fans to cast their votes for Brees or Wayne by clicking here.

A quick Google search will illustrate the jinx.  Here is a look back at the proof:

Madden 99 – Garrison Hearst

This was the first year that a player — and not John Madden himself — graced the cover.  Hearst, a running back for the 49ers at the time, had a great regular season, but suffered a nasty ankle injury in the playoffs that caused him to miss the next TWO full seasons.

Madden 2000 – Barry Sanders

Sanders didn’t have a chance to get hurt during the season in which he graced the cover since he — seemingly out of nowhere — retired before training camp started that season.

Madden 2001 – Eddie George

For former Titans runner broke the trend and actually had a pretty good season in 2000, but then his career dropped off the following season and was never the same player again.

Madden 2002 – Daunte Culpepper

The last Viking to grace the cover, Culpepper had thrown for 33 touchdowns the season before, but during the season in which he was on the cover, he tossed just 14 touchdown passes, missed five games, and the Vikings finished 5-11.

Madden 2003 – Marshall Faulk

Faulk was coming off a season where he had over 2,000 combined yards and over 20 touchdowns.  But, as the cover boy, he started just ten games and had about 1,400 total yards and ten touchdowns.

Madden 2004 – Mike Vick

Vick was one of the league’s top dogs the year before and thus earned the nod as the cover guy for Madden, but he broke his leg during a preseason game and missed 11 games.  I think he may have had some off-the-field issues later on in his career as well.

Madden 2005 – Ray Lewis

Lewis was the first ever defensive player to be on the cover, and he pretty much avoided the curse, though his numbers were slightly down from the prior season.  He did miss several games the following season with an injury.

Madden 2006 – Donovan McNabb

McNabb was injured after week nine and missed the rest of the season, and Eagles missed the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 season, finishing 6-10.

Madden 2007 – Shaun Alexander

Alexander had nearly 2,000 yards the season before and 28 touchdowns, but in 2006, he missed six games due to an injury, scored just seven touchdowns, and his yards per carry dropped by 1.5 yards.  He was never a factor in the NFL again.

Madden 2008 – Vince Young

After winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2006, Young following that up by throwing for just nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 2007.

Madden 2009 – Brett Favre

Favre almost pulled a Barry Sanders in terms of retiring before the game was released, but he of course made his way to New York to play for the Jets.  He hurt his shoulder late in the season and the Jets missed the playoffs.

Madden 2010 – Larry Fitzgerald / Troy Polamalu

Fitzgerald has almost 400 less receiving yards than the season before, but the real story here is Polamalu, who suffered a knee injury during the opening game of the season and though he played in a handful of games the rest of the way, he was not the same force that he had been up to this season.


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