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