What's in a name? That which we call a Viking

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 30, 2009 - 4:32 PM
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This was Vikings defensive tackle Pat Williams on a hot July day in 2007. These days, “he’s in great shape,” says the team’s Brad Madson.

Photo: NATI HARNIK, Associated Press - Ap

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"Fat Jack" was Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson's childhood nickname.

You just never know what pro athletes might share during a grade-school assembly. As Jackson and two other Vikings were kicking off the team's new Summer Lunch Program at Minneapolis' Cityview Performing Arts Magnet School, Vikings exec director of community relations Brad Madson asked them an offbeat question.

"I said ... 'Jayme Mitchell [a defensive end], I know your name is the Ice Box because you look like a refrigerator about the shoulders and you're pretty tall. What other nicknames do you guys have?'" Madson recalled Thursday.

"Tarvaris goes, When I was a kid, I was fat and they called me Fat Jack. Then [defensive end] Ray Edwards said I got into a bit of a skirmish at the Kansas City scrimmage last year, so everybody was calling me The Raging Bull."

Then, Madson said, Tarvaris offered up another nickname for Mitchell. "Kick Stand. Jayme hurt his leg when he was a kid, and when he runs one of his legs kind of goes out sideways."

Hard to believe Jackson was ever fat. He's totally cut.

Madson said he picked Jackson, Edwards and Mitchell for the assembly because chef Geji (pronounced Gigi) McKinney, director of food service operations for the Vikings, identified them as three of the healthiest eaters. "They watch what they put in their bodies," Madson said.

Why, I wondered to Madson, wasn't defensive tackle Pat Williams picked for this assembly? Williams recently suggested in a radio interview that the QB doesn't work hard enough. Not true. I've seen Jackson working out in extreme Alabama heat.

Meanwhile, Williams doesn't look like he's working as hard in the weight room as he is at the kitchen table. Makes me want to go all Coach-Brew-on-Reusse on you, Pat.

"Hey, Pat hasn't missed a beat with off-season conditioning attendance," Madson said. "He's in great shape."

Still, it makes me wonder what he's eating.

Brokaw's time travel

Portland Avenue, home of the Strib, became Memory Lane for NBC's Tom Brokaw when he was in the Twin Cities recently to speak at the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists banquet.

"I always feel like I am returning home when I come back to the Twin Cities," he told the audience of about 250.

Brokaw's maternal grandmother was raised at 3517 Portland Av. S., in Minneapolis. While here, Brokaw said, he called his mother, who lives in California, and got the correct address. He said he drove by to take a look.

Emotions ran -- away

Former UFC light-weight champion Sean Sherk didn't handle defeat very well, and it's going to cost him.

Sherdog.com's Lofti Sariahmed reports getting a Twitter about St. Francis' Sherk, aka The Muscle Shark, running out of the cage, out the door and down the streets of Las Vegas in his fight shorts after losing a unanimous decision to Frankie Edgar. Sherk said he just had to get his emotions in check after his second loss in three MMA fights. Sariahmed wrote: "'After the fight was over, I went for a run. I was kind of frustrated and just had to burn off some steam, so I went for a jog,' Sherk told the 'Beatdown' radio show on Wednesday."

That jog is going to cost Sherk a 45-day suspension. MMA fighters are supposed to be assessed by a doctor immediately after bouts, not go for runs.

Congrats, Jaric (I hope)

Congratulations to Marko Jaric and his supermodel wife, Adriana Lima, who are expecting their first child.

Sportsbybrooks.com opined that the marriage "did provide ugly people throughout the world hope that they too could one day land a supermodel so long as they made over a million dollars a year."

Whoa, Brooks. Jaric may not be very smart, but he's NOT ugly (regardless of how much the NBA player makes). But I reserve the right to see Jaric as ugly if there's anything to these sexual assault accusations from a Philadelphia woman. How do you allegedly get yourself into any questionable situation with some other woman a month after marrying Adriana Lima? No smarts there.

Love's lovely tweets

Timberwolf Kevin Love is absolutely charming on Twitter.com.

He's in L.A., where the Lakers had their way with Denver Wednesday. I gather that Love had an extra ticket, which allowed him to sit next to a Hall of Famer. "I gotta stop tweeting for the moment, I have to pick his brain for some insight. People this is BILL RUSSELL 'champion,'" Love tweeted.

There was also this one: "LOL, Jeanie Buss ... sitting with her and her friends. She must be a few drinks in. She told me she was going to tweet that."

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com.

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