Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


'Instant Classic': Erin Henderson couldn't get enough watching Sunday's win back

Posted by: under Vikings, Packers, Adrian Peterson Updated: January 1, 2013 - 1:51 PM

Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson derived a big chunk of his New Year’s Eve entertainment at home on his couch watching football. Specifically, Henderson re-watched his team’s thrilling 37-34 win over Green Bay from Sunday, a victory that not only pushed the Vikings into the playoffs but came with so much drama and adrenaline, so many emotional swings and big plays.

“It was amazing,” Henderson said. “I think it was everything you hope a game like that would be. I believe it lived up to the hype. After I finished watching it, I asked my wife, ‘That’s an instant classic, huh?’ That should pretty much be on ESPN Classic right now. It was that good of a game.”

As much fun as Henderson had playing in Sunday’s game, he admits his appreciation spiked watching it with a new perspective on TV.

For the Vikings, Adrian Peterson continued his remarkable season with 199 rushing yards, delivering his closing argument as the NFL MVP. The league’s reigning MVP, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, added to the theatrics by throwing for 365 yards and four touchdowns.

“It’s amazing  to watch,” Henderson said. “Sometimes you have to kind of remove yourself from it in order to be able to see it from that perspective. All so often, we get caught up in what we’re doing and what we have going on that we forget we were also fans growing up. And that these are the kinds of players and the kind of legends that we would have been cheering on and watching.”

Don’t get Henderson wrong. He’s happy to be playing in the playoffs this weekend. But just watching last week’s game on TV, he admits, was a treat.

“When you watch the TV copy, you see Adrian’s eyes,” Henderson said. “You see how he’s looking, what he’s looking at when he’s making all these cuts. And you get a different appreciation for it … When you go home and watch it, you’re like ‘Ohhhh, this is why everybody loves the NFL so much.’”

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