Vikings Radio Analyst Pete Bercich and Vikings Entertainment Network Executive Producer Bryan Harper are in Kuwait as part of the St. Paul based “Serving Our Troops” trip to visit Minnesota National Guard troops. Below is their fifth blog entry regarding their trip so far.
We fired up the grills and started the actual grilling at 3 pm. When all was said and done at 8 pm we had grilled 2736 Mancini’s steaks for some very appreciative troops here at Camp Arifjan Kuwait (I have heard the other sites experienced similar success).
Since the MN Nat’l Guards arrival 7-8 months ago, it has rained a total of 7 days… today was one of them. Seems like we brought more from home than just steaks as it was chilly and wet. The rain didnt set us back though… we simply set up a tent and kept working.
We had 13 people working the Arifjan project (49 overall at 5 bases) and it took focus from everyone to get the job done. There were several moments when the emphatic thank you’s coming from the troops made you stop in your tracks a bit… they were so appreciative but yet we are so appreciative of them. Thats what Serving Our Troops is all about… we brought some “home” to them and like true Minnesotan’s, they let us know how appreciative they are.
I heard comments like, “you came all the way to Kuwait just to grill us steaks” or the best was when we’d get a request for a steak… “medium rare” and our response would be 1 or 2? The look on the faces was priceless… “I can have two?!” Of course!!
We have more MN National Guard troops over here now than ever before. They are dedicated, love serving our great nation, but certainly do miss home. Pete and I and the Serving Our Troops crew will not forget that as it reinforces why we do this… its an impactful one-of-a-kind event that accurately reflects the support of an entire state for those who sacrifice for us.
We hope you enjoyed following along this project. It’s been an honor to be a part of another Serving Our Troops project. Pete and I will recap on-air during the morning show on KFAN 100.3 FM likely on Wednesday (I’m not getting up that early on Tuesday after returning Monday night). Feel free to tune in.
For more information on Serving Our Troops, visit ServingOurTroops.com.
Tags: Kuwait 2012
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Today the OL and special teams players will have their on-field workouts, QBs, WRs and RBs will go through more administrative duties and the DL and LBs will arrive. But before we worry about today, let’s go over a few important developments from Friday.
– I once again joined radio voice of the Vikings Paul Allen for his 3-hour morning show on KFAN and we had a rock-star list of guests all day. Dallas Morning News columnist Rick “Goose” Gosselin joined us right out of the gate and was excellent. If you’re not familar with him, Gosselin is known as a heavy hitter in the draft analyst world, specifically as it relates to researching players, speaking with NFL teams and then compiling highly accurate mock drafts. Last year, Gosselin had Tennessee taking Jake Locker and he even had the Redskins taking Christian Ponder at #10. Anyway, we had an NFL-wide type of conversation with Gosselin, but he did say he is optimistic on Ponder for the Vikings and he also thinks this year’s draft features great depth at CB, which is good news for a Vikings team that will need to add CBs in the middle rounds of the draft.
– Leslie Frazier joined us midway through the show and we touched on a variety of topics with him. I’ll refer you to KFAN’s on-demand page so you can listen to the whole interview, but Frazier was great with us and it was fun to catch up with him. One of the most interesting points came right at the end when PA brought up the Chris Cook situation. It’s a sticky issue to speak on, even for me, so I won’t get into it much here. But Frazier said the team basically has to plan as if he won’t be on the team because of the uncertainty that surrounds his off-field issues. That’s not to say Frazier is predicting Cook won’t be with the team, but it is to say that in some cases you have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
– One more interesting takeaway from the Frazier conversation is that he indicated the Vikings may be looking to play some more man coverage in the future, rather than relying on almost exclusively zone coverage. That part of the conversation began when I asked him about the physical characteristics he looks for in a CB. The stigma with Frazier and his defense is that he wants big, physical CBs who jam receivers at the line and then drop back into zone coverage. Frazier responded with his comment about playing more man coverage and about looking for CBs who are just good football players, regardless of size and build.
– NFL Network and CBS analyst Charley Casserly joined us just after Frazier and he provided some great insight as well. On Ponder, Casserly said: “I think he’s going to be fine. I think they reached on him when they drafted him, but most quarterbacks are reached on.” That’s a great point by Casserly, a guy who was a GM in the NFL for 20+ years and who wisely chose DE Mario Williams over RB Reggie Bush – despite consensus that Bush should’ve been the top pick – when he was GM of the Houston Texans.
– We also had other guests on the show, including NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, Rich Gannon, former Vikings S Jack Brewer, MN native and sports agent Blake Baratz. To check all of it out in on-demand format, head to the KFAN audio section of vikings.com by clicking here or you can also go to this page on KFAN.com.
Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, Chris Cook, Leslie Frazier, Paul Allen
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Vikings Radio Analyst Pete Bercich and Vikings Entertainment Network Executive Producer Bryan Harper are in Kuwait as part of the St. Paul based “Serving Our Troops” trip to visit Minnesota National Guard troops. Below is their fourth blog entry regarding their trip so far. Stay tuned to vikings.com for more updates over the coming days.
This morning at Camp Arifjan we prepped the steaks for grilling this afternoon/evening. It was a true team effort as all of us worked at a very steady pace to get 3000 steaks ready. A few soldiers flagged us down to communicate their excitement for this evening’s meal. Word continues to spread… should be a HUGE crowd tonight.
Oddly enough we have had some rain in Kuwait today and the sky is orange. Hopefully it doesnt rain and put a damper on the evening. We’re ready rain or shine though. Back to the grind, stay tuned to vikings.com, KFAN.com and ServingOurTroops.com for more updates as the event progresses and the 2012 project nears its end.
Tags: Kuwait 2012
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