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TFD: Must-reads -- Grantland's Vikings preview and Deadspin's Manziel family history

Posted by: Michael Rand under NCAA: football, Vikings Updated: August 12, 2013 - 5:32 PM

A long story on the Interman has to be pretty special for us to read from start to finish, since our attention span is getting shorter, the number of things to read is nearly exponential and staring at a screen is much of what we do all day any way.

That said, there were TWO long-ish things that made us read start to finish today.

One: Bill Barnwell's take on the upcoming Vikings season. It's full of facts and stuff. If you are wearing purple-colored glasses, you might not care for it, but there are some important cautionary tales (and some surprising pro-Ponder numbers, which Clarence Swamptown will dismiss as voodoo). A sample:

I would love to see Adrian Peterson run for 2,000 yards this year. It was so much fun watching him do it last season, clowning opposing defenders and leaving the rest of the NFL in his wake. He easily deserved his MVP, and last year is probably going to be the season that solidifies his Hall of Fame case when he retires. I suspect that he will be the best running back in football this season. But that will likely mean 1,500 rushing yards, not 2,000. And if he's "merely" the best running back in football, that changes the way Minnesota's offense looks.

Two: Timothy Burke's look at the long and interesting Manziel family history. Oil. Cockfighting. Swindling. MANZIELS DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE. A sample:

It turns out the Manziels are a much more colorful and interesting bunch than any of the profiles thus far have indicated. Their fortune was indeed made in oil—wildcatting, specifically—but there were also family sidelines in cockfighting, small-time grifting, match-fixing, and, if you believe the federal indictments, cocaine-trafficking and murder. In fact, the first great sporting success under the family name wasn't Johnny Football; it was the Manziel grey gamefowl, bred by Johnny's great-grandfather. The Manziels arrived in Texas after cockfighting was outlawed, but they wound up with a breed named after them anyway. That's the story of the Manziels in America. It's the story of making money just this side (and occasionally that side) of the rules.

You could spend 20 minutes looking at a bunch of slide shows of cute puppies, or you could actually expand your mind tonight and read.

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