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


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 96 4th Qtr 0:19
Utah 90
Denver 41 2nd Qtr 5:36
LA Clippers 30
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 79 3rd OT 1:43
Miss Valley St 79
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
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 NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9




question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question