Reusse: Look, things had been too quiet at Winter Park anyway

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 21, 2012 - 7:56 AM

The Vikings are hilarious, they are embarrassing, they are heartbreaking, but they never are boring.


Former Vikings RB Onterrio Smithlost his helmet after a run in 2003 against Kansas City. He later lost his job in one of the most infamous incidents in the Vikings history.

I've been writing sports columns for various Twin Cities dailies since February 1979. The finest moment of this duty occurred on May 10, 2005.

Late in the afternoon, Star Tribune sports editor Glen Crevier called and said Vikings beat reporter Kevin Seifert was writing a story that running back Onterrio Smith had been detained at the Twin Cities airport a month earlier, trying to get through security with an "Original Whizzinator."

Seifert's report revealed that this was a device intended to provide a lifelike appearance and a clean urine sample, if one was to be monitored as he undertook a drug test, say, at the behest of the NFL.

"I know you're supposed to be off today, but would you want to write a column for tomorrow's paper?" Crevier asked.

The boss was asked to repeat slowly the details of Seifert's report and then I said: "Glen, I would pay to write a column for tomorrow's paper."

When the debate turns to the Vikings' greatest off-the-field moment, there are Purple followers that insist it should be the "Love Boat," while others support a first-round draft choice hitchhiking away from Mankato after one morning practice, or a coach scalping Super Bowl tickets, or another coach issuing a communiqué from a location that was remindful of a Saddam bunker.

Yes, there are handfuls of these spectacular episodes, but I continue to argue that "The Original Whizzinator" -- and Onterrio's contention that he was carrying it for his cousin -- ranks No. 1 on the list of Vikings smiles.

And let's face it:

The reason the Vikings' stadium initiative made it through the Legislature with ease, in comparison to the difficulties faced by the Twins for a ballpark that required no state contribution, is because they never are boring.

The Vikings are hilarious, they are embarrassing, they are heartbreaking, but they never are boring.

The Twins lose and their fans start with disgust and move quickly to apathy. The Wild loses and its fans make excuses. The Timberwolves lose and the fan base becomes the lost legion of Target Center.

The Vikings?

They make us laugh. They make us cry. They make us shout, "You have to be joking." They make us dress up in horns and braids and head to St. Paul to sing "Skol, Vikings" in the Capitol corridors.

The stadium cleared its final legislative hurdle May 10. Do you think it was a coincidence that this was the seventh anniversary of Onterrio and the Original Whizzinator being revealed to the world at

These things are simpatico in Vikingland -- chuckles and celebrations, triumph and tragedy.

There might have been a younger and naïve element that was thinking things were coming together nicely for the Vikings now that the stadium issue was finally decided.

Heck, only one Vikings arrest had been revealed publicly in the six weeks since the stadium bill passed: New fullback Jerome Felton charged with a DWI acquired in the drive-through line at a McDonald's.

As I recall, it was a Hardee's drive-through in Mankato where Keith Millard had his crash three decades earlier.

See how it goes around and comes around with our beloved Purple?

Felton was quick to apologize, and General Manager Rick Spielman (the Vikings' first since Jim Finks) stayed busy turning his roster into one of the three youngest in the NFL.

Spielman had wound up with his man, left tackle Matt Kalil, and landed extra draft choices in the process. Adrian Peterson was talking about being back from his knee surgery for the season opener.

This was Smooth Purple.

A single blip on the radar occurred when receiver Percy Harvin showed up for an OTA workout on June 5 and wasn't around on June 6. Asked Harvin's whereabouts, coach Les Frazier reminded reporters that the "O" stood for optional.

Harvin arrived at the mandatory minicamp Tuesday as the Vikings' most popular player. Then, Percy told reporters he was unhappy. Then, it was revealed Wednesday that Harvin had requested a trade due to this vague unhappiness.

Vikings fans reacted with confusion, followed by panic, followed by curses toward the football gods.

In other words, we're back to our non-boring normal in Vikingland.

Ain't it great?

Patrick Reusse can be heard noon-4 weekdays on 1500-AM. •

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Houston 7:00 PM
Indiana 7:00 PM
Utah 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Portland 8:00 PM
Phoenix 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
Golden State
San Jose 6:00 PM
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Toronto 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Detroit 6:30 PM
Arizona 7:00 PM
Carolina 7:00 PM
Philadelphia 7:30 PM
Vancouver 7:30 PM
Florida 8:00 PM
Tampa Bay 8:00 PM
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon




question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question