Minnesota Vikings

Meet the NFL’s version of Linus

When you’re 6 foot-6 inches tall, weigh around 270 pounds and play defensive end in the NFL, you’re automatically a tough guy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a soft side. For the Vikings’ Jared Allen, his soft side includes a never-leave-home-without-it blankie. Awwwww.

“On one side, it’s brown and red, almost like a plaid layout,” Allen said, squinting into the sun after Saturday morning’s practice. “The other side has blue, with little strings on it, and ‘All-Pro’ written on it in little footballs.

“Grandma made me my first blankie. They wrapped me in it when I was born, and I had it up until I was 14, when it got all torn up.

“I wouldn’t let it go, so my dad’s customer made me a replacement.”

Discovering that Allen sleeps with his blankie — which he also refers to as his “b’ankie” — is like finding out Superman crocheted his own cape, watches “Will & Grace” and unwinds with lilac-scented candles after saving the world. (As Jerry Seinfeld said, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”)

“It’s my little slice of home,” Allen said. “What I really like is, even when it’s hot, my blankie stays cool. It’s always the perfect temp. You just cuddle up with it.”

Having a b’ankie might be kinda silly (don’t tell him we said that though), but it’s much better than what most NFL players “cuddle” up with at night; primarily hookers and skanks.


[]: Newest Viking goes nite-nite with his b’ankie

Minnesota Vikings

Randy Moss has officially lost his marbles, again

Just when it appeared Randy Moss had his head screwed on straight for the first time in who knows how many years, he decides to go bonkers once again and start talking about a reunion with Daunte Culpepper?!?!

Apparently, Moss is toying with the idea of heading elsewhere in an attempt to finish some unfinished business with his old QB hurling the pigskin to him. We know Randy is getting frustrated with the Patriots and their decision to let him slide into free agency, but this is lunacy. Perhaps Moss hasn’t seen Culpepper’s horrible stints in Miami and Oakland, but he is nowhere close to being the same quarterback that used to hurl 60-yard bombs for Moss to haul in. Sure, it might sound like a pretty sweet duo in theory, but with the way Culpepper’s career is going, Moss might want to go ahead and head back to Minnesota for a stint with Tavaris Jackson.

Like we said, we know Randy is slightly peeved at the Pats for not locking him up, but c’mon man, it’s the Pats. He has always said that he wants a Super Bowl ring and then he goes perfect through 16 game season, falling just short of his goal and suddenly he’s ready to bolt back to mediocrity?! Losing the biggest game of the year has to be sheer disappointment, but the alternative is going 8-8 (and if Culpepper is worthy of a starting gig then that’s the best possible outcome) and probably throwing a cup of water on a referee or driving down the street with a cop on his hood.


[]: Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper: Reunited?
[]: Moss connects with Culpepper

Minnesota Vikings

Bryant McKinnie arrested after spitting and hitting

The Minnesota Vikings are at it again. Only this time, the good stuff is going down on dry land instead of on the Love Boat. Vikes tackle Bryant McKinnie went Street Fighter early Sunday morning, brawling outside of a Miami club. McKinnie found himself in the pokey as a result, arrested on counts of aggravated battery, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence. Nice work, Bryant.

Authorities were called to Club Space after a fight broke out. McKinnie had been thrown out by a nightclub security guard and was arguing and spit on Eric Otero, according to a police report.

Otero, 32, said he wouldn’t press charges if McKinnie left. Authorities said the former University of Miami football player then went to a nearby strip club, but later returned to Club Space and fought with Otero again.

Miami Police found McKinnie “in the middle of a large crowd, throwing punches and again yelling obscenities,” according to the police report.

Police told McKinnie to stop. He refused and boarded a bus. The bus driver was ordered not to drive away.

McKinnie, who has been a staple on the Vikings offensive line since being drafted out of Miami in 2002, was arrested and bonded out for $9,000 at 2:25 p.m., Miami-Dade County Corrections Department spokeswoman Janelle Hall said.

It’s pretty impressive when you think about it. McKinnie has criminal charges against him on the ground and on the water, so the only place left for McKinnie to get into trouble is in the sky.


[]: Viking’s tackle arrested after street fight

Detroit Lions

Jon Kitna overcomes a concussion and then overcomes the Vikings

The whole world was reminded of the amount of guts it takes to be a big league football player when Kevin Everett possibly lost the ability to walk during a fairly routine tackle. And while that’s one of the scariest examples there is of inherit dangers within the game, one of the quieter dangers of the game involves those hits that leave someone’s bell ringing. Of course, we’re talking about those nasty concussions.

Steve Young knows all about it. Troy Aikman has plenty of experience with `em. And now Jon Kitna has a great ‘tough guy’ story to tell, even though he might get a headache just thinking about it.

Kitna took a nasty shot during the second quarter of a game between Detroit and Minnesota and was sidelined with a concussion until being cleared in the third. Then in the final period, Kitna led the Lions on a game-winning drive. But it wasn’t easy.

I’ve never felt anything like that, and for it to clear up and go right back to as normal as I can be, is nothing short of a miracle,” Kitna said Monday. “I just definitely feel the hand of God. That’s all it was. You can’t explain it.

“I have no headaches, no symptoms, no lingering effects. But that was the worst my head has ever felt, and the worse my memory was in the second quarter. Yet, after halftime there was nothing.”

Kitna said it was the third concussion of his NFL career, and the first since 2001.
After saying he knew who he was during the game, a reporter asked Kitna if he knew where he was.

“Barely,” he said.

Kitna appears to be just fine now, but we all know how quickly the effects of multiple concussions can add up. Just look at what happened to this former NFL QB after taking too many shots to the melon. Poor guy can’t even dress himself properly anymore.


[]: Kitna on concussion: `I’ve never felt anything like that’

San Antonio Spurs

Odds and Ends: Tony Parker would like you to know he’s getting some

We’re pretty sure that this was prompted by Tony Parker getting sick of everyone asking him why he wasn’t getting any — Eva Longoria went on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show (the world is indeed ending) and announced that she and Tony were still having sex and that the rumor that she was holding out for the duration of the playoffs / until they were married is false.

Well, that makes us sleep better at night.

In other news…

[Star Tribune]: Woman sues ex-Viking over credit card

[NY Post]: Stephon Marbury and his $15 sneakers ready for world domination on Oprah

[The Offside]: Let’s hope he washed his hands before returning to goal.

[Sports By Brooks]: Warriors owner owes the IRS $160M in unpaid taxes.

[]: Ideas to shorten sporting events

[11 Alive]: Blind 106 year old bowler is better than you

And finally, Michael Vick actually gets some good news. It turns out that his herpes will protect him from bubonic plague and other germs. Unfortunately, there’s no immunization from animal rights activists.

NFL General

Odds and Ends: You know who Chunky Soup should sign? Jesus

Chunky Soup has announced their latest lineup of “Mama’s Boys” and fans are hoping that their players aren’t affected by the Chunky Soup Curse. The eight man roster of LaDainian Tomlinson, Matt Hasselbeck, Vince Young, Larry Johnson, Jonathan Vilma, DeMarcus Ware, Devin Hester and Todd Heap is the largest that Chunky has ever had.

In a completely unrelated bit of info, we’ve previously stated that Jesus shouldn’t have any part in sports, especially in the Masters, but apparently some people don’t agree. And apparently he plays for the Dallas Cowboys.

In other news…

[Our Book of Scrap]: Speaking of curses, some Chargers fans are so concerned about the Madden Curse that they’ve started a petition against having LaDanian on the cover.

[10,000 Takes]: Cedric Griffin kicked out of a nightclub for not pulling up his pants. Hey, at least it wasn’t for pulling down his pants.

[Yahoo]: Oh sure, Agassi, go to the ‘I accidentally hit my wife with a racket during a fundraiser’ excuse. Jason Kidd sure does wish he’d thought of that one.

And finally, we’ve seen elephants playing soccer and puppies getting flagged for pooping in the Puppy Bowl but this might take the cake. Check out this video of a bunch of crazy Japanese drivers in some sort of weird demolition derby/soccer game.

General Sports

Odds and Ends: Is Beyonce the worst SI cover ever?


The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue sales must have been down last year because this year, they are jumping on the celebrity bandwagon by having Beyonce on the cover. How is it possible that Marissa Miller (possibly the hottest SI swimsuit model ever) has never graced the cover but Beyonce gets it? The SI cover has been pretty sacred ground… until now.

Beyonce is perhaps one of the most overrated celebrities of our time. She is the Derek Jeter of pop stardom. Hell, for someone who is desperately trying to launch an acting career, she was out-acted by an American Idol loser in a movie she should have owned. Not only that, she wasn’t even the first choice for her role.

OK, so clearly Beyonce looks super hot on the SI cover but that’s because they fixed her wig and her mustache.

In other news…

[The Offside]: It’s always satisfying to see a professional blow a goal

[Steroid Nation]: The Dominicans love their juice

[10,000 Takes]: A list of special Valentines Day presents

[The Gold Seat]: David Carr to Vikings?

[Bright Side of the Sun]: Zoo names baby tigers Raja and Nash.

And finally… Valentine’s Day Pat O’Brien Style. Forgot to get a card? You can print out our handy version.

NFL General

Jan 17 in Sports History: 15-1 Vikings go down in the NFCCG

In 1999: Normally, a 14-2 team advancing to the Super Bowl wouldn’t shock anyone, but when the Atlanta Falcons faced the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game, few expected Atlanta to move on. The Vikings were, 15-1 and one of the most dominant regular season teams in recent memory. Minnesota, led by rookie Randy Moss and a rejuvenated Randall Cunningham rolled up a league-record 556 points and was rarely challenged. Still, the Falcons decided to take the field anyway as 11-point underdogs in the noisy Metrodome. The Vikings had a chance to ice it in the fourth quarter, but Gary Anderson missed a 38-yard field goal (his very first miss of the year) that would’ve put them up by 10. Instead of being down by 10 with 2:00 minutes left, the Falcons were able to force overtime with a Chris Chandler (who outgained Cunningham 340-266) to Terrance Mathis (who scored twice to Moss’ one TD) touchdown with :49 left. The Falcons defense bogged down the Vikings in overtime and Morten Andersen kicked the game-winner to send the “Dirty Birds” to the Super Bowl for the first time, where Eugene Robinson was arrested for propositioning a prositute and the Falcons were beaten by the Broncos. (For those who might not remember the Dirty Bird—, lucky you. It was cool like the Macarena was cool.)

In 1997: Normally getting kicked in your bag just nets a lot of pain and embarrassment. And chances are, you probably deserved it. But when Eugene Amos, an in-house photographer at Minnesota’s Target Center had the audacity to be in the way of a diving Dennis Rodman, his pain turned into a winning lottery ticket. Rodman, then a member of the Chicago Bulls, was scrambling for a loose ball, collided with a prone Amos under the basket and introduced himself Nike-first into Amos’ crotch. The NBA kicked Rodman harder, but in his wallet. He was fined $25,000 and was suspended for 11 games. Rodman also agreed to pay Amos $200,000. Since the suspension was without pay, Rodman cost himself over $1 million dollars and an infinite number of stupid points, even for him.

NFL General

Dec 28 in Sports History: The Greatest Game Ever Played

In 1958: It is known as the “Greatest Game Ever Played,” and it was the first NFL game to go into overtime. The Colts, led by a young Johnny Unitas, defeated the New York Giants 23-17 in Yankee Stadium to win the NFL championship. The highly anticipated game saw the Colts blow a 14-3 halftime lead, only to rally to tie the game in the final seconds behind the coolness of Unitas. Fullback Alan Ameche’s famous one-yard plunge clinched Baltimore’s first NFL title. The game was a coming out party for Unitas, who, a few years earlier was a Pittsburgh Steelers castoff playing semi-pro ball. He completed 26 of 40 passes for 349 yards, and converted many key first downs. Not only did the game make Unitas an icon, the high television ratings were a sign of things to come for the burgeoning league. The Colts defeated the Giants again the following year in the NFL Championship game

In 1975: The “Hail Mary” was born on a frozen Metropolitan Stadium field in Minnesota. Trailing the Vikings 14-10 with just 24 seconds left to play, Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Roger Staubach flung a desperation pass from the 50-yard line down the right sideline in the direction of receiver Drew Pearson and Vikings’ defender Nate Wright. Pearson came down with it at the 5 and ran into the end zone for the stunning score. The Vikings protested that Pearson had pushed off Wright (which he later admitted to intentionally doing), but the field judge (who was hit in the head with a whiskey bottle for missing the call) upheld the touchdown and the Cowboys stole one from the Vikings 17-14. The Cowboys won the following week on the road as well, before losing to Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl.

Boston Red Sox

Oct 25 in Sports History: Bill Buckner Day!

In 1986: Until 2004, the 20 most hated words in Red Sox Nation: “Little roller up along first
behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!” Buckner was universally blamed for the Red Sox 6-5 defeat in Game 6 of the World Series, but it was a rickety bullpen, two other Red Sox errors, a wild pitch which scored the tying run and horrible managing by John McNamara that led to their demise. The Sox blew leads of 2-0, 3-2 and 5-3 before the Mets won what is probably the most famous World Series game in history. Boston also blew a three run lead in Game 7, as the Mets won their second World Series.

In 1964: In one of our favorite NFL Films clips ever, Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall picked up a San Francisco fumble and rumbled 66 yards to the end zone for the score. Problem was, he ran the wrong way. Marshall is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, played 20 seasons without missing a game as an anchor of the famed “Purple People Eaters,” all the while being an average of 20 to 30 pounds smaller than his opponents. But he will mostly be remembered for taking the longest safety in NFL history. As he threw the ball into the stands after he crossed what turned out to be his own goal line, some 49ers players came up and tapped him on the helmet to say thanks. The Vikings did win the game, however, 27-22.

In 1998: Even though – much like Mike Ditka – we don’t recognize kickers as real football players, Jason Elam of the Denver Broncos tied Rick Dempsey’s record by booting a 63-yard field goal in a 37-24 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Mile High Stadium. Only five times in history (including this past Sunday) has a kicker converted a field goal attempt of 60 yards or more.