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Dennis Green mic'd up from 1998: A mixed bag of Vikings memories

dennyspeechIn the aftermath of Dennis Green’s death, NFL.com has a video feature of the former Vikings coach’s best mic’d up moments from 1998, when Minnesota of course went 15-1 before losing to Atlanta in overtime of the NFC title game.

That season is clearly the most complicated of the Green era when it comes to memories. It’s hard to forget just how great the Vikings, with Randy Moss as a rookie, were that season. That team completely transformed the fan base and the entire franchise — arguably paving the way, eventually, for U.S. Bank Stadium to be built.

But the finish to that year, with Gary Anderson missing the field goal, Green having his offensive juggernaut take a knee and then the dream suddenly dying — well, that’s hard to forget, too. The memories coexist with one another, but they do so uneasily.

As such, the NFL.com compilation — while well done and worth watching, as it clocks in at just under 90 seconds — is also a mixed bag. It’s almost more strange to watch it in retrospect, knowing what is coming at the end of the year. (Note: There’s also a clip in the middle talking about winning on the road at Atlanta, which most likely is actually from 1999).

When the video concludes with Green addressing the team after what must have been the Vikings’ final regular-season game of the season, he says this: “Three teams have been 15-1 in the history of the National Football League. Give yourselves a round of applause.”

Everyone was on top of the world then.

In any event, here’s the full video:

AquaJam, a Minneapolis skateboard classic, returns to Aquatennial

aquajamI don’t profess to have lived in Minneapolis during the era of the Aquatennial that featured AquaJam — a skateboard extravaganza that reached the height of popularity in the late 1980s/early 1990s before fading away — but I’ve heard from enough people to know that 1) it was pretty awesome. 2) It’s even more awesome that it is making its return this year.

Don’t believe me? Well: 1) there’s photo (to the side) and video (below) evidence that this used to be a thing; and 2) It is most definitely coming back — from 3-8 p.m. Saturday, in fact, at Boom Island Park.

 

Tucker Gerrick, director of marketing for Fulton Beer, and a longtime skateboarding enthusiast who remembers AquaJam from his youth, was instrumental in getting the event back on the schedule this year.

Gerrick, 36, said he moved with his family to the Twin Cities from Iowa in 1988 and it “blew his mind” that such a thing as AquaJam existed. He’s hoping this year’s event will provide a similar jolt for the thriving local skateboard scene.

“It was quite popular and super impressive,” Gerrick said. “Remember, this is pre-X games, pre-video games, anything that the general public is associating now with skateboarding being in the mainstream,” said Gerrick, noting the good timing of this year’s AquaJam after Minneapolis was just awarded the X Games for 2017 and 2018. “Not only to have be so well-attended but to have it happen outside the California context, that was pretty killer. On a lot of levels, It’s a testament to just how strong the scene here has been for decades.”