Sweet mother of God it’s here. Football is BACK and there is actual action to reflect this. Players signing autographs, wearing purple clothing and running in place like they’re working out, fat people on the Physically Unable to Perform list … it must be training camp! Today, the Vikings finally put all that stupid bullshit lockout news behind them and get back to forgetting what a horrible season 2010 was. Questions abound! Is Big Leslie a better coach then Childress? Will Greenway and Purple Jesus get their new contracts? Who will be the least shitty at wide receiver, thus earning a starting job and millions of unwarranted dollars? I CAN BARELY CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT! So sit back this Monday morning and let Purple Jesus Diaries take you through the most important things that YOU need to know as the 2011 NFL season kind-of-but-not-officially begins with the Minnesota Vikings training camp.
Position Battles: Every year NFL teams head into training camp looking to figure out some of their positions by making guys compete against each other and hoping one of them stands out well enough to earn the starting spot. That’s a nice idea and all, but listen up wieners, it’s training camp. Real football players don’t care. So, while these position battles probably mean absolutely nothing, here are the positions I am most intersted in watching play out:
Wide Receiver: While the Vikings have TONS of needs (like your whiny little sister I’ve had to service repeatedly) on the team, the wide receiver position has become the most hotly contested position in the last week or so after Squid left town and the team didn’t cut #87. Seriously. Losing him would’ve been the easiest addition by subtraction since dumping Childress. As is, we’re left to wonder what players are going to step up and earn one of these spots. You figure #87 is unfortunately still a shoe in with his organizational raping paycheck, Percy is a god send, Michael Jenkins (oh, he was signed over the weekend, by the way) will likely hold an outside spot and knows Musgrave’s offense, and Aromashadu could be a solid 2-4 type guy. That leaves people like Arceneaux, Stephen Burton, Camarillo, Andre Holmes (who?), Juaquin Iglesias (Arriba!), Dominique Johnson (never heard of him) and Jaymar Johnson all to fight for a single roster spot. I’d be surprised if they kept more than 6 active. In essence, GOOD LUCK, NERDS, and know that a horrible receiver and person is potentially stealing a job from you. Maybe plan a murder? No, no, bad idea … but just saying.
Quarterback: The quarterback competition won’t so much be a competition, per se, more so anticipation for these first few days to see how Joe Webb and Christian Ponder look with the number one sin training camp before McDonovan steps in and throws up all over the place. The only real interested part of the “fight to the death” competition here will be to see who ends up as the 3rd string QB that is never used, now that teams can’t activate a 3rd team guy during a game? The Vikings still have Rhett Bomar (Pffftt) on the roster and some guy from Iowa State, since the last QB from Iowa State worked out so well for us as well, SAGE. Dick. I hate Iowa. Anyway, looking forward to Pondexter floating some passes into the hands of defensive backs, for sure. Should be exciting.
Cornerback: The cornerback position is likely the most upsetting this offseason for Vikings fans, largely because it sucked camel toes for all of 2010, and there wasn’t a single thing done to address it during the offseason. Absolutely nothing. Think about that for a second. It’s like you have enough money in your wallet to buy lunch, you’re starving, but you just don’t do it. And then the same thing happens the next day. Now you’re emaciated and probably hungrier than before, and you just look like a total dick. That’s what we look like with our cornerback situation. The team said Sunday that they are working Cedric Griffin slowly in hopes that he can start in Week One against San Diego, but come on. Cedric’s legs function as well as Christopher Reeves’ legs … did … when he was alive, I guess. I need a new handicap person. Regardless, I don’t have much faith in a CB core of a 47 year old Winfield, Cedric Reeves, Asher Allen, Chris Cook and then randos like Marcell Gipson (wha?!), Cord Parks (Cherokee?), Devon Torrence (OSU Cheater) and Marcus Sherels. Seriously, how is Marcus still hanging around this team? Enough already.
Safety: Outside of cornerback, the safety position will also be watched over by nerdy ass fans looking for something to complain about (raises hand). With Super Nice Madieu finally getting cut, we’re left with safety’s who are either stupid (Tyrell), terrorists (Abdullah), or Peter (Eric) Frampton. I guess Jamarca Sanford is still there, but he did break EJ Henderson’s femur, which makes me wary. Do I trust him to do that to other players or do I fear him that he’ll kill me in my sleep? I haven’t figured him out yet. Either way, I can’t wait until we draft a stud safety next year.
Weakside Linebacker or whatever one Ben Leber use to play: Ben Leber is likely not going to re-sign with the Vikings (at least not immediately) so you have an opening for the first time in like four years at a linebacker spot for a young guy to step in. There are some interesting prospects here (like the affable Erin Henderson or Canadian star Kenny Onatalu) and the battle should be a decent one. I’m down for whoever can stop the run the best, playing behind Brian Robison who isn’t known as a run blocker. Also, for whoever doesn’t suck the most, because that’s very important.
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. Not happening, ladies. This year, PJD is predicting that the aforementioned Erin Henderson is going to turn some heads and become a quick fan favorite. His charming attitude, quick wit, and the chance to play next to his brother on an NFL team will win over many Midwestern hearts and sensibilities, allowing us all to root for him, even the racist Minnesotans. Plus, he’s like a pretty decent football player, isn’t he? Picking him is as good as anyone.
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. 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 they are stupid and I hate them. This year, PJD is predicting that Chris Cook will let us down when we need him most. With the cornerback position as depleted as it is, it would be huge for him to step up and really challenge someone for a starting spot. But all indications are that he’s a moron and thought the NFL was soccer this whole time, explaining his lack of understanding of the game and rules. By this time next year, he’ll be on his last leg with the team and will be facing possible cuts. PROVE ME WRONG, FRIENDS!
Most Attractive Shirtless Man Award: In the past we’ve usually done the “Ugliest Viking” award (which is an actual award the players would hand out to each other at least when Childress was around [He didn't allow voting for him 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, 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, PJD is predicting that, despite probable tough competition from Percy Harvin, Ryan D’Imperio (GTL, Guido!), Everson Griffen and Shanko, the dream boat Pondexter will steal the heart of many women this camp. Partially, it’s the smile too. *Swoon!*
Irresponsible 54 Man Roster Prediction: OK, enough gay stuff, here is out prediction of the 54 man roster for the season, since they upped the roster limit by one more player last I heard. The players with question marks are just weirdos I had to take a flyer on. You can insert your own personal favorite player there:
BOOSH! Did I do my math right? I honestly have no idea. Do you disagree with me? Use the comments like an adult then, people, come one. Beyond that, let’s get back to football. *Pants tent*