Soak it in, Vikings fans. DVR tonight’s game with purpose. Put this game in it’s proper context. It may be the last time you get to see your favorite Vikings quarterback throw a pass in purple. Being that this game against the Titans is coming on a short week, with the regular season right around the corner, most of the teams’ starters will not be playing, leaving only the lone prodigal son to return to the field and lead the team to an undefeated preseason. Sure, sexy prom queen Teddy Bridgewater is likely to start the game and play a half, but football games aren’t won in quarters one and two, son. No, you need a closer to win a game. That’s where Christian Ponder comes into play. That’s where the man who would be Brett Favre rallies the Vikings one last time and locks in a 4-0 start to the season. One last time, for good measure.
Can you feel it? We’re about to #FREEPONDER
ARE WE LETTING FAVRE GO AGAIN?
Look at that. Look. At. That. Christian Ponder? Oh, you mean a young Brett Favre, the Hall of Fame quarterback that was beloved for his penis phone pictures across the country? You mean the quarterback everyone wants on their team? Why yes, he’s already wearing purple. And his name is #FREEPONDER. … I mean, Christian Ponder. And now Vikings fans want to get rid of him?? Because, what, he can’t throw a deep ball? He can’t throw a short pass? He can’t throw a slant pass? All of which Brett Favre could do? Unbelievable. You know what the only difference is between Brett Favre and Christian Ponder? 3. The difference between #7 and #4. And one is actually good. But whatever.
THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME TONIGHT
While we’re all excited for the Vikings to play their final preseason game of 2014 (We’re almost to the regular season! We almost have a regular season roster! We don’t know if we suck yet!), let’s not forget what really matters tonight; college football is coming back! The only problem? College football is being rung in by the Golden Gophers. Every year I can’t help but feel that the Gopher football program is the epitome of everything that is wrong with Minnesota sports. You aspire to not suck, not to win. You hope to not be an embarrassment, except for when you are, then you shrug. I can’t help but feel that people who are born and raised in Minnesota to love Minnesota teams get their first unique sense of disappointment when they go to college and become Gopher fans. It’s like a rite of passage for youth. Once you’ve had your spirit broken by the Gophers, THEN you can truly become an idiot Vikings fan, or Twins fan, or Timberwolves fan. It’s how this state of affairs works. So … Don’t forget to watch good SEC teams this weekend!
OFFENSIVE LAST GASPS
Final game of the preseason, and there are some people fighting desperately to make one last impression. Who are they, and who needs to make it clear they don’t actually suck?
CHRISTIAN PONDER: But seriously, he may be auditioning for the St. Louis Rams quarterback spot on Thursday night. I say let’s put him in a position to succeed. Lots of hand offs and five yard passes away from defenders. That way, if he succeeds, it’ll leave a “what if” taste in Vikings fans mouth, and increase his trade value.
JERICK MCKINNON: Between him and Asiata, I’d love to see McKinnon take the lead on the running back position behind Adrian Peterson. He’ll get the opportunity to do so Thursday night, but I’d guess Zimmer will hold him back until later in the regular season to keep him fresh and take pressure off him. Still, hope you look good.
MATT KALIL: The quickest way for the Vikings to turn their team around in 2014 would be to improve their defense. Second would be to not have Leslie Frazier as coach. Third would be to just give the ball to Adrian Peterson. Later on down the list though would be to have the offensive line play better, and that includes Matt Kalil, who had a disappointing sophomore year and has been lackluster this preseason. He needs to step it up.
DEFENSIVE FINAL CHANCES
What about on the defense? There are like two guys who have their positions locked up because of actual talent and/or lack of depth at the position, but what about the others? Who needs to stand out in order to make the roster?
JABARI PRICE: At a position where it’s two starters and a mishmash of human flesh as back ups, having even one guy who stands out as someone who can hold their own would be huge. Coach Zimmer has talked Price up recently, and he’s shown some potential when I haven’t been drunk enough to forget to pay attention to him. Having him be a solid back up would help the defense immensely.
AUDIE COLE: Outside of Chad Greenway and Anthony Barr, the middle linebacker spot is wide open. Audie Cole seems to have started working his way into the starting spot the last couple of weeks, and could solidify his position with some solid, white guy, assignment football. Can he do it?! Probably.
ROBERT BLANTON: Year three, Blanton. Can you do anything at safety? You’re being spoon-fed the starting spot. Take it or get the f*ck off the pot.
MEME OF THE WEEK
This is “I should buy a boat cat.” He essentially appears around the internet at opportune times and states the obvious when it is way after the fact. Like when you give up the most points out of any defense in the NFL? You should probably start playing defense. Or at least stop sucking at it. Can you do that, Mike Zimmer?
SCOTCH OF THE WEEK
Keeping in line with the lighter, summery scotches that women drink or men who should be punched in the spot where the penis use to be, we recommend the Blair Athol 12. It’s similar in style to the Macallan 15 Sherry finish, with a bit of a sweeter edge on it as it was aged in a sherry cask at one point. Like most of these fruitier scotches, it’s got a bit of “Christmas pudding” to it, or other gingerbread notes, which just makes me want football to get here even more so we can stop pussy footing around with the summer pre-season bullshit. Cock tease.
FINAL SUMMER PREDICTIONS
Eh, I feel we have to lose ONE game at least, right? The only way we win this one is if Teddy Bridgewater puts us up by like 37 in the first half, or some other number so outrageous that not even Christian Ponder could blow the lead. I don’t know a single thing about the Titans this year, whether their team is any good or not, let alone their two and three deeps. I would guess probably not, since they still have Jake Locker on the team. But, hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut to blow every once in a while, right? So will the Titans. They’ll win in a cock slapping contest for the ages.
Enjoy the game, maybe. The next time we do this it’s for real. CAN’T WAIT.