Alright. I fully admit this is weird as shit. "What is?" you may ask. Writing actual words out of my brain mush about football. FOOTBALL. IT'S REAL FOOTBALL OH DEAR GOD I'VE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY.
Wait, that's not true. I was supremely happy just a minute ago until I realized what state of affairs this franchise is in heading into the 2012 Training Camp season. Our star running back has a spaghetti knee, our defensive backfield features three rookies and a World War II veteran, and the guy who PROBABLY has the largest donger on the team no longer hilariously plays the "tight end" position (for the record, my bet is now with Phil Loadholt). Things are WEIRD in Vikings land, people, and if anything, this refresher course on what exactly football IS in the state of Minnesota during 2012 will help us all get caught up for when the season starts.
So flip your boss the bird, hover your hand on or near your genitals, and dive muff first the first real football post on this site in MONTHS as we take a look at the Minnesota Vikings 2012 Training Camp.
Position Battles: Heading into camp, every NFL team is faced with intriguing position battles. I'm here to burst your bubble and tell you that they are mostly full of shit, and really, it's reasons of economics and ego. With the NFL, if someone sucks, you can just cut them and take a minor financial cap hit. But if that is someone you drafted, invested in, put your name on the line, if he has potential ... WELL ... YOU, sir, are responsible for that grown adult to perform and do his job well! For instance, let's say Joe Webb ends up doing better than Christian Ponder in training camp. Could the Vikings just cut Ponder and play Webb? It'd be cheaper. And then maybe they could invest in a real cornerback who's not a billion years old. But of course that would never happen. Ponder isn't going to get any real competition for the starting job because the team already spent a high draft pick on him and have to save face by giving him 13 years to prove himself. I call this the "Troy Williamson Rule." As is, let's look at some actual positions on the team where people may end up fighting for roster spots:
Flashy Men - Wide Receivers: Technically, there are 12 people listed on the team roster at wide receiver. In actuality, the Vikings only have one person who can play that position with any real competency in Percy Harvin. The rest of them are just a gaggle of slap jacks running around at this time. You figure the rookies Greg Childs and Jarius Wright will be given a chance to prove themselves (the ego piece again), and that you'd need to balance them out with a veteran presence like Jerome Simpson and Michael Jenkins, who I guess I didn't think was half bad last year when he was healthy. At least it wasn't Bobby Wade, right?! That least guys like Stephen Burton, Aromashadu, Arceneaux, and whoever else probably on the outs or, at best, one available spot for them. I imagine lots of practice squad and special teamers to come out of this group.
Backup Defensive Linemen: I'm taking a general look at the backup defensive linemen here because the truth is the starters are probably set. Jared, Williams, Robison, and whatever other fat ass you want to throw in the middle. The team reinvested in Fred Evans for some reason, and are still holding on to the potential of Christian Ballard and LeTroy Guion. I don't know why, because after Fat Pat left there hasn't been a soul who could plug an interior hole like that rolly polly bastard could. On the outside, guys like D'Aundre Reed are still on the team amazingly, and Trevor Guyton was a late round draft pick in 2012 that they signed to a contract. I'd be surprised if they cut him. Potential, guys!
Some Linebackers or Something: This position is looking worse and worse as we get further and further away from 2009. Who ever thought you would miss Ben Leber the football player as much as you do? Also, with EJ Henderson gone now, the team is going through a major overhaul at the position which they haven't seen in quite some time. Erin Henderson may switch to middle, if Jasper Brinkley can come back healthy he's got potential, and Audie Cole is a rookie who will probably be given an opportunity. But beyond that? Position scares me, bro. They're suppose to make our cornerbacks look good. It's frightening to even think about that.
Again with the Cornerbacks: Speaking of ... Outside of Antoine Winfield being mana from heaven, the team apparently realized after Calvin Johnson lit their asses on fire that they probably need to invest in the position. Chris Cook and his Choking Hands are back, and will likely stay around. But then the team went out and signed anyone they could find to test out at the position, including Zachary Bowman, Chris Carr, and then drafting Josh Robinson and bringing back Marcus Sherels and Brandon Burton, nothing that gets anyone's lacy panties moist. Honestly, I kind of hope Sherels sticks on the team again, because why not. It's the most improbable story ever, yet here we are.
Safety, or, I Guess Every Defensive Position: This pretty much wraps up the entire defensive unit, but we also have pretty much no idea about who will be our starting safeties. Sure, guys like Harrison Smith and Robert Blanton were drafting to take over the position at some point, HOPEFULLY, but will they do so right away? After losing Hussain Abdullah to his Muslim pilgrimage this year, the Vikings are left with Jamarca Sanford, Mistral Raymond, and Eric Frampton as their other options. Sanford and Frampton have seemed like good special teamers, but I'd actually rather have safeties at my safety position than wedge busters. Just me, IMHO!
Predicted Training Camp Mushroom Stamp of Approval Winner: For those who are new here, Purple Jesus Diaries hands out a Mushroom Stamp of Approval every game the Vikings win to the player who had the best performance. Likewise, we make predictions during training camp of who will tickle the under butt of Viking fans everywhere and get people all excited about some unheralded players chances of making the roster and taking the NFL by storm. For example, I'm pretty sure the guys at KFAN have been harping on Jaymar Johnson for seven years now, but he has a total of something like three NFL catches and isn't even on the team anymore! Let it go! This year, I see Jerome Simpson making a big impression on fans. He's got a dashing smile, and a veteran skill set that he can use against our horrendous cornerbacks to make everyone think he's a Pro Bowler when he's probably just average if you were to put him up against a real NFL defense, or at least Alabama's championship defense from last college season. The problem comes when he's going to get suspended for the first three games of the year because he likes to hang out with John David Booty. So everyone will forget about him stellar mini camp until about midseason (frankly, I forgot that we even signed him until I did this post), by which point we'll already be 1-7 and no one will care. Can't wait!
Predicted Training Camp Mushroom Stamp of Disapproval Winner: Just as there players who inspire a team and fan nation to cheer, there are players who leave us booing and kicking our hats across the rooms. These individuals win the PJD Mushroom Stamp of Disapproval award during every season loss. Last year, there were a lot of these assholes, because we lost a lot of games, you see. Likewise, in training camp, there are always players who fans have high expectations for that the player never meets, for whatever reason. Most of the time, it's because my expectations are totally reasonable and it's just their fault for not being good enough. This year, PJD is predicting the Magical Everson Griffen will really struggle with his transition to linebacker and kind of get lost in the crowd. Which is too bad, because I love the dude. Have you ever seen a picture of him shirtless? Well here you go, Shirtless Everson Griffen. It's a sight to behold. His boobs are probably bigger than most of the female readers here, no offense.
Most Attractive Shirtless Man Award: In the past Purple Jesus Diaries has featured the "Ugliest Viking" award (which was an actual award the players would hand out to each other at least when Childress was around [He didn't allow voting for himself I bet!]), but with the way PJD is going recently we've changed this award to the Most Attractive Shirtless Man Award for training camp. I won't lie, as a heterosexual male who TOTALLY HAS SEX WITH A WOMAN ALL THE TIME, LIKE A BUNCH OF TIMES A WEEK IN FACT, I'm not afraid to say there are some attractive looking dudes on this team, especially when they get all hot and sweaty and have to take their shirt off and then use it to dampen their drenched foreheads over by the bench as they drink a cold glass of water out of a Gatorade cooler and then dump the remaining water over their hair and shake their hair dry in slow motion. I mean ... IF ... that were to happen ... Anyway, last year Christian Ponder was the obvious choice, and although he's poised for a repeat, I'm going out on a limb and suggesting that Greg Childs is going to surprise some people with his Randy Moss-looking features and boyish grin. But really, as long as any of the players are shirtless, we all win.
Irresponsible 54 Man Roster Prediction: OK, enough gay stuff, here is our prediction of the 54 man roster for the season. It's totally going to be right, so you can take this to the bank, bros. The players with question marks are just weirdos I had to take a flyer on. You can insert your own personal favorite player there, but you'll probably be wrong. If you count them up exactly, there's actually going to be 56 because I'm accounting for Purple Jesus' potentially devastating start of the season on the PUP list, and Jerome Simpson selling drugs or whatever and being suspended three games, so someone has to pick up the slack:
-QB: Shirtless Ponder, Joe Spider Webb, Sage Rosencopter
-RB: Purple Jesus (PUP), White Rhino, Lex Diamonds Hilliard, Derrick Coleman (until PJ returns)
-FB: The Guido, Mickey Shuler (listed as an HB, yo!)
-TE: Kyle Rudolph, John Carlson, Rhett Ellison
-WR: Sir Smokes-a-lot, Jerome Smokeson (3-game suspension), Michael Jenkins, Greg Childs, Jarius Wright, Bryan Walters?
-OT: Matt Kalil, Phil Loadholt, Demarcus Love
-OG: Charlie Johnson, Geoff Schwartz, Chris DeGeare, Brandon Fusco?, Joe Hamburger?
-C: JOHN SULLY!, Quentin Saulsberry?
-DE: JA, Robison, D'Aundre Reed, Trevor Guyton, Eric Latimore?
-DT: KWills, Fred Evans, Christian Ballard, LeTroy Guion
-LB: Greenway, Erin Henderson, Everson Griffen, Jasper Brinkley, Audie Cole, Larry Dean?
-CB: Winny, Wife Beater, Josh Robinson, Bowman, Carr, Sherels
-S: Harrison Smith, Blanton, Mistral Raymond, Eric Frampton
-P: FUCKING KLUWE!!!!
-K: Care Blair
-LS: Cullen Loeffler is back, ya'll!
OK, someone check my math and call me a liar. I don't give a shit. Football is back, and we just spent like AN ENTIRE FRIDAY discussing rosters and position battles and shirtless men!! How excited are you?! Let us know in the comments what you're looking at for the upcoming season, and then everyone either leave or join me in the room, because there is about to be a self pleasure session beginning, and only football fans are invited. SEE YOU THERE.
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@CollegeWolf Yes, but #BlowForBarkley is back on.
@PJD WHEW, ok. That works. So this year we will just #PuntAway,4Ponder every game. 0-16 baby we can do it!
I'm a little more optimistic for the offense this year. I bet they'll be able to score enough points to beat a team, that is if the defense weren't still horrendous and incapable of stopping anyone. Maybe Harrison Smith will blow me away. Until then I'll pray that some stud DB hits the free agent market and the brass make an actual play for them in 2013.
Doesn't matter who wins the "position battles" because they still suck, and we fans all lose. Look at that sad sack list of receivers after Smokes a lot. Wow, no wonder why he wanted out. He'll be getting quintuple-teamed.
Holy shit, a real football post...?!? I almost stopped reading halfway through because I figured I had to be at the wrong site. But then I saw the shirtless men pics and all was well again.
@CollegeWolf I knew I was setting myself up for failure by not leading with shirtless dudes.
And besides Boobs McGriffin, I thoroughly enjoyed all the men pics. Straight male here (at least, I think)... But can still appreciate a good looking temple of a human body.