Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings avoid TV blackout ... for now

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Lions, NFC, Kevin Williams, Tyrell Johnson Updated: September 20, 2011 - 1:29 PM

Vikings VP Steve LaCroix announced that Sunday's game against the Lions at the Metrodome will be televised locally "as less than 1,500 tickets" are still available.

That's two home games down and six to go in the Vikings' battle to avoid having their first home televised blackout since the last game of the 1997 season.

The team is 0-2 and is, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the first NFL team to lose its first two games after leading by double digits at halftime in both. I'm no marketing whiz, but that can't be good for biz. Perhaps the Lions' 2-0 start actually helped ticket sales. Wouldn't that be a change of pace?

The Lions are favored in Sunday's game. The Vikings probably will be the underdog the following week in Kansas City, even though the Chiefs are 0-2 and beat up.

The next home game after Sunday is Oct. 9 against the Cardinals. That would be a tough sell if the team comes home 0-4.

The Tyrell Johnson arrest story has been updated a couple of times here.

Also, the Vikings web site says defensive end Adrian Awasom has been waived to make room for Kevin Williams, who was activated to the 53-man roster.

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