Recent Articles

Vikings in bold move sign QB Freeman

Third-year quarterback Christian Ponder will no longer be treated with kid gloves. Last year Joe Webb was his backup; this year the Vikings in the off season signed veteran QB Matt Cassel as his backup. Last week, in a surprise move, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released starting quarterback Josh Freeman, and Sunday the Vikings signed the former Pro Bowl quarterback to a one-year $2 million deal. Freeman last season threw for 4,065 yards and 27 touchdowns. This season, he and Tampa Bay Head Coach Greg Shiano were at odds. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

More Vikings impressions



According to an inside source, I wouldn’t be too far off when I said to them that there were more Black workers than Black fans at Sunday’s Minnesota-Cleveland football game at the Metrodome. A three-year Black female stadium worker told the MSR that she estimates at least 70 percent of the game-day workforce is Black – her husband has worked at the Dome for eight years.  As a result it’s safe to say that maybe three to five percent of the 63,000-plus in attendance were Black. “I’m a diehard Vikings fan, and I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida,” says Sylvester Blue, who now lives in Dallas, Texas.  “I’ve been a fan since I was four years old, and I’m 48 now. I work hard all my life and for me to get a chance to come see them live and in person, that’s the ultimate for me.”


J.T. Jones, who was part of a traveling group from Atlanta, Ga. admitted that his group earlier talked about not seeing more Blacks at pro football games, whether in the Twin Cities or his hometown.  “We got a good price on tickets,” says Jones.  He added that a possible reason for the lack of Blacks at NFL games can be attributed to financial concerns.  “We can’t splurge as much as we want to.  We pick and choose what we splurge,” he explains.  “You look on TV and it never looks like there are Blacks at games.”

“I’m a big football fanatic.  I work hard to enjoy the things I love, and football is one of them. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Vikings’ latest loss comes at high cost — for the team and fans










This reporter normally people watches at sporting events, and attending my first Minnesota Vikings game in this century Sunday, I caught more than two eyefuls: Nordic flag waving, horn wearing and other pagan-like rituals. One man wore an “I Bleed Purple” shirt, and a very obviously pregnant woman fed her unborn child by guzzling beer as she walked to her seat. Meanwhile, a row of knuckleheads stood pretty much the entire game and blocked my field vision — all except three wore Adrian Peterson jerseys, but mostly all were decked head to toe in purple. The only thing missing was a human or animal sacrifice — but I can’t be 100 percent certain that didn’t take place, especially after the home team’s third

straight defeat of the 2013 season. Before the game, I spent about an hour walking in the dome’s concourse in search of Black fans. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Browns upset Vikings 31-27!

It was not supposed to end like this, not the final season of Vikings football at Mall of America Field (the Metrodome), which opened in 1982. The Cleveland Browns traded away their best player, running back Trent Richardson, mid-week to the Indianapolis Colts for the Colts number-one 2014 NFL Draft pick. Big trades are rare indeed during an NFL season. In fact, I can remember only one when the Vikings traded six players and six draft picks to Dallas for Herschel Walker. The deal gave the impression that the Browns had given up on 2013 and would come to Minneapolis and get spanked by the hungry Vikings. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

How does the State of MN pay its $50 million?

Has there been a breach of contract?  
“Drop-dead” dates sends chills through lawyers advising legislators, executives and investors, because of the consequences of failing to comply with legal/contractual obligations on time. Minnesota’s Vikings drop-dead date is February 15, 2014: the date the NFL requires teams to submit notice if they will not play in their city in 2014. Will we save the stadium and our beloved Vikings? As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” (“I have a dream”), Minnesota is pushing aside stadium employment equity and diversity considerations. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Lions roar, beat Vikings 34-24

What a difference a year makes. Last year, the Vikings, 10-6, were hungry and focused and determined to turn their program around — and they did. Adrian Peterson, the NFL’s MVP, ran for an incredible 2,097 yards while the team was 4-2 in the NFC North. In 2012, eight of the 12 playoff teams won their first game of the year. But NFL, by one definition, stands for Not For Long. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

State bill aims for athletic concussion protection, prevention

Law would set standards for head injury care, education for student-athletes and those who work with them

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

(Originally published May 5, 2011 in the MSR)

A bill that would establish education and return-to-play standards for youth athletes following a concussion currently is moving through the Minnesota Legislature. Five states this year already passed such laws: South Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, Colorado

and Utah. Bill supporters are optimistic that it will be passed before this year’s session concludes in May. A concussion is a type of brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works. It is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, and can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Concern grows over long-term effects of football head injuries


(Originally published July 5, 2012 in MSR)

Thomas Darden is among more than 2,000 former players who are suing the National Football League, arguing that the league concealed information from them about football-related injuries and long-term brain damage. We are slowly learning that playing football can be dangerous to one’s health. At least three former pro players’ deaths, all ruled suicides, may actually be attributable to brain damage suffered from years of playing the sport. “I forget things,” says Darden, who played defensive back for nine seasons for Cleveland (1972-81). “I may have a thought and lose that thought. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Concussions: a knock-out blow to football?


Head injuries or concussions — it’s been called “getting your bell rung” — have been around since Fred Flintstone strapped it up for old Bedrock U. Too bad that in recent years it took pending lawsuits against the NCAA and the NFL to finally get the issue the rightful attention it deserves, including any long-term and short-term effects from head injuries. Some even have suggested doing away with such sports as football among youngsters, which frankly is a knee-jerk reaction, since anyone is susceptible to concussions by simply falling down while walking. Instead, what’s probably needed is better teaching at the youth level. Mike Pettis, a longtime North Commons youth football coach, strongly disagrees with those critics who advocate the end of youth football, calling them members of “a scared society.”

“I’ve been coaching [youth] football for about 35 years,” continues Pettis. “The first time I’ve heard of a concussion with one of our kids was last year. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Tensions divide stadium partners

Vikings and MSFA at odds
Is there a future for reconciliation between two partners who thought they had the world at their fingertips just a year ago, when in August of 2012 it was like a love fest, as the Vikings (Wilfs) and the state of Minnesota (Minnesota Sports Facility Authority) both declared their love, trust, and respect for each other? What difference a year can make. The New Jersey court ruling against the Wilfs led Minnesota (State, Sports commission, City) to question the integrity of the Vikes owners, the Wilfs, by ordering a forensic audit and an analysis of the Vikings’ owners ability to pay their portion of the $975 million so-called “Peoples” stadium. People tend to forget that just a year ago, as required by the legislation of 2012, the Vikings delivered $50 million to the Sports Facility Authority, when the MSFA was extremely cash flush ($50 million from the Vikings, $24 million transferred from the now defunct ballpark authority). Everyone expected that by now the State of Minnesota would be reaping the millions of dollars in revenue expected to be coming in from electronic pull tabs (and later electronic bingo), isn’t happening. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,