Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.
Find him on Twitter
I was on Leslie Frazier's flight to New Orleans, via Atlanta. I recommended he hire a new travel agent. An NFL head coach needing a connecting flight? C'mon.
Turns out he was headed to New Orleans for more than networking. Frazier was honored at the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation Awards ceremony on Thursday.
The Pollard Group promotes the causes of minority coaches. Frazier and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis were the recipients of the Johnnie L. Cochran Salute to Excellence Awards.
Another Vikings note: A writer friend of mine told me he was walking down the same street as Vikings running back Adrian Peterson this week in New Orleans.
Peterson passed a homeless man, doubled back, and handed him a bill. The man's eyes grew wide when he realized it was a $100.
-Spoke with Minneapolis native Larry Fitzgerald this morning for a piece I'm writing for tomorrow's paper. Fitzgerald is up for the NFL Man of the Year Award, along with Dallas tight end Jason Witten and Browns tackle Joe Thomas. Those with Minnesota ties who have won the award include Matt Birk, Cris Carter and Madieu Williams.
-I'll be in New Orleans through Monday, covering the game. Please keep up with Mark Craig's work all week from here.
-I'll be on 1500espn at 2:05 and KFGO in Fargo at 3:05, and then back on 1500espn tonight on Tom Pelissero's show at 6:40 p.m. I'll also be on the Sunday Show from New Orleans, 10-11:30 a.m.
My Twitter handle is @Souhanstrib.
I'm all set up at University of Phoenix Stadium, and I have to admit, I expected more.
The place feels like a big convention center. Which is pretty much what it was designed to be. The place looked like an over-inflated blimp from the outside and lacks any shred of character inside. The ceiling is opaque, giving it a Metrodome-like look, only much more high-tech and expensive.
The game should be interesting, though. The Vikings are the better team, but two storylines could determine the outcome of the game, and perhaps of the Vikings' season:
1. Will Adrian Peterson hold onto the ball and reestablish himself as the Vikings' best player, putting aside any possibility of losing some playing time to Chester Taylor?
2. Can the Vikings, who have to be eyeing a likely NFC title game at New Orleans, cover good receivers?
Tyrell Johnson and Madieu Williams appear to be playing better of late, but they haven't exactly been tested. As we've seen with the Patriots, a bad secondary can make an entire team look helpless against a good passing attack.
-Congratulations to the Gopher hockey team for managing another split with state power Minnesota State-Mankato.
-Kevin Love is now among the Top 10 MVPs in the NBA.
-Had Brad Childress on the radio show this morning, and he was very lighthearded and blunt. I teased him about the speeding tickets, and he said something like, ``Not to make light of driving 100 miles an hour, but at least we're not talking about the Love Boat.''
Hard to argue with that one.
-Also had on St. Thomas coach Glenn Caruso, who has done an amazing job with that program. He mentioned learning from hardships early in his life, and when I asked him to elaborate, he said that he was diagnosed with leukemia when he was young, and a doctor told his father not to expect Glenn to live to see his fifth birthday.
Glenn survived that and other medical challenges to become one of the most engaging and positive coaches I've been around.
My thanks to Childress and Caruso for great interviews.
-You can follow me on Twitter at SouhanStrib. I can't always tweet from Vikings games at the Metrodome because of a terrible wireless system, but I should be in good shape tonight. If I stop tweeting, that probably means I'm on deadline.
Thanks, and enjoy the game.
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