As Friday's game again showed, fans will wear their jerseys en masse when the Vikings are in town.
No. 10 Fran Tarkenton. No. 70 Jim Marshall. No. 93 John Randle. No. 80 Cris Carter.
No. 57 Dwayne Rudd. No. 87 Marcus Robinson. No. 54 Greg Biekert. And ... No. 4 Brett Favre.
It happens at most pro sporting events, but especially NFL games: Fans descend upon the stadium wearing their favorite jersey, be it one for a Hall of Famer or a barely knew 'em. Friday night was no exception; with the Vikings playing their preseason home opener, attendees mingled around the Metrodome Plaza before the game, taking in the sun, listening to the music and drinking a cold one.
An hour or so spent observing produced some very unscientific conclusions about jersey habits. Obviously, your experience might vary, but here's what we saw before they blew the Gjallarhorn:
• Adrian Peterson rules all. It seemed that more than half of the people were wearing a jersey of some sort -- authentic, replica, T-shirt, whatever -- and of those, it seemed like half of those wore a No. 28 Peterson. The runner-up in the popularity contest, as you might expect, was Jared Allen's No. 69, with Percy Harvin's No. 12 a distant third. There were a fair number of No. 52s for Chad Greenway and, perhaps in a show of support for a former Gophers player from Rochester, a surprising number of No. 35s for Marcus Sherels as well.
• Other current Vikings? Not so popular. Antoine Winfield and Kevin Williams have combined to go to nine Pro Bowls with the Vikings, yet it was kind of difficult to spot a No. 26 Winfield or No. 93 Williams. And perhaps it's the fans' commentary on the roster that other current players were hardly ever seen, an occasional No. 32 Toby Gerhart not withstanding. It was easier to find someone wearing jerseys for just-departed players such as No. 81 Visanthe Shiancoe or No. 40 Jim Kleinsasser.
• Where art thou, Christian Ponder? That statement above about other current players applies to the quarterback, too. There simply weren't a lot of people with No. 7 Ponder. Maybe that will change, but at least on this night he was outnumbered by the likes of his predecessors, No. 4 Favre and even No. 5 Donovan McNabb. The motley crew of QB jerseys at this game also included No. 7 Randall Cunningham, No. 7 Tarvaris Jackson, No. 10 Tarkenton, No. 11 Daunte Culpepper, No. 12 Gus Frerotte and No. 14 Brad Johnson. (Did not see a No. 3 Jeff George, sadly.)
• The great and the, uh, not-so-great. Of course, many other jerseys were of some franchise greats: No. 44 Chuck Foreman, No. 55 Scott Studwell, No. 81 Carl Eller, No. 88 Alan Page ... and of course, it goes without saying that you'll see No. 84 Randy Moss at any Vikings game. Then there's the players that didn't quite make the same impact on team history; No. 19 Troy Williamson certainly comes to mind. The most random jersey award probably went to the gentleman wearing Richard Owens' No. 49.
• Purple good, white bad. The Vikings wear only two colors of jerseys in games, and it's clear the fanbase favors one over the other. Probably three-fourths of the jerseys were purple, with many examples shown above. The handful of customized Vikings jerseys spotted -- No. 5 Warcraft (Chris Kluwe), No. 28 See Ya (Peterson), No. 68 Super Star (Mike Morris), plus various personalized names among them -- were all purple, too.