1. It’s Week 3, before kickoff against the Chargers. Zygi and Mark typically don’t approach players on the field, but make an exception, extending their hands to Adrian Peterson, who smiles and reciprocates. This is a snapshot moment rewarding ownership’s measured approach to resolving the Peterson rift after child abuse charges. “I congratulated him; his wife had a baby this morning,” Zygi said. “He seemed very excited and ready to go.” Peterson runs for 126 yards and two TDs in a 17-point victory.
2. In a quieter setting, Mark explains how ownership trusted Peterson’s character and General Manager Rick Spielman’s judgment to stand pat amid attempts to bait him to unload Peterson. “We were not going to react to every media report, to every comment from an agent,” Mark said. “We relied a good deal on Rick and coach [Mike Zimmer] and their interactions with Adrian. The team comes first..” Now Mark says, “Last year was difficult. But Adrian had a history here where he did a lot of good things in the community. He paid a price for what happened. … We’re moving forward.”
3. Vikings Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton is on the sideline awaiting a pregame ceremony. He’s a Wilfs fan. “You’ve put this together the right way,” Tarkenton tells them. “You’re letting your football guys be the football guys.” Mark responds, “You have to know what you don’t know.”
4. Zygi and Mark are in their owner’s box. It’s remarkably low-key. Just Zygi, Mark, Mark’s friend Jay Shapiro, and Jonathan Wilf, Zygi’s son and a Vikings executive vice president. “One time on a Monday night game when we were first owners, they showed me on TV and we were losing,” Zygi said. “I looked up and I was like, ‘Wow, I’m on TV.’ And the next day, Cris Carter is saying on TV, ‘Why is he smiling? His team is losing! C’mon, man!’ I said, ‘This is crazy.’ ”