Chip Scoggins is a Star Tribune sports columnist. He previously covered the Minnesota Vikings for four years, starting in 2008. In addition, he covered college football for five years. Chip has been with the Star Tribune since January 2000. He can be followed on twitter at @chipscoggins.

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Nessler excited for homecoming

Posted by: Chip Scoggins under Vikings off the field Updated: October 24, 2012 - 1:41 PM
The Vikings-Buccaneers game Thursday night serves as a homecoming for NFL Network’s Brad Nessler, a St. Charles native, Minnesota State-Mankato graduate and former Vikings radio play-by-play analyst.
 
For my money, Nessler is the best play-by-play announcer in any sport on TV these days. Whether calling the NFL or college football and college basketball for ESPN, he always delivers a professional, knowledgeable broadcast.
 
I caught up with Nessler at the Atlanta airport before his flight to the Twin Cities. He talked about his memories as the Vikings play-by-play analyst on WCCO Radio from 1988-89.
 
“I remember playoff disappointment in San Francisco,” he said. “I remember Herschel [Walker] having about 150 yards in his first game and flying out of his shoe on his first carry.”
 
Nessler recently ran into former Vikings defensive lineman Keith Millard, who currently serves as a defensive assistant with the Tennessee Titans. The two shared stories and laughs about those training camp days in Mankato in the late 1980s.
 
“I always enjoyed myself, maybe too much,” Nessler said, laughing. “I know there were times when it was like two minutes till 11 and I said, ‘Boys, aren’t you supposed to be back pretty soon or coach is going to be mad?’ They said, ‘It only takes a minute and a half to get to Gage [Hall dorm]. I said, ‘We’re a mile away. How are you going to do that?’ I know they were a little late a couple of times and I was probably part of the reason.”
 
Nessler still remembers fondly WCCO’s press conference announcing the broadcast team of Stu Voigt and himself.
 
“It was pretty special because I don’t think I’ve ever seen my dad that proud,” he said. “I just remember my mom and dad being so thrilled that day. It was pretty cool so the whole beginning was just neat.”
 
Nessler has called a few Vikings games over the years after he left to join CBS. 
 
“I remember the last one I did there was with Hank Stram,” he said. “He had this gigantic monitor in the booth. He had a spotter’s sheet that was about the size of a dining room table. I walked in and I said, ‘Hank, where am I supposed to stand?’”
 
Nessler is excited to return to his home state and spend some time with family members, including his brother. They had a big family dinner planned Wednesday night. His ESPN college football duties only allow for a brief visit though.
 
“There’s a 6:30 a.m. flight from Minneapolis to Birmingham with my name on it Friday morning,” he said. “I have to get to Tuscaloosa for a meeting with Coach [Nick] Saban and those guys.” He’s calling Mississippi State at Alabama.
 
Nessler maintains a hectic schedule during football season, especially now that NFL Network has a full slate of Thursday night games. He also calls a college football game every Saturday night.
 
“The time management thing is huge,” he said. “I don’t think I realized how big of a challenge it is. I did it last year but we had eight games instead of a full schedule. I keep telling people, it’s like the Beatles song “Eight days a week.” If I had an eighth day in the week I would be perfect. I can’t find that extra day.”
 
 
 
 

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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
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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

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