It would not be surprising to see the Vikings open the 2010 season on Thursday night, Sept. 9, at the Superdome. That is the date on which the NFL season is tentatively scheduled to begin with a prime-time game on NBC. The NFL has opened its season with a Thursday night game since 2002, and starting with the 2004 season it became the custom for the Super Bowl champion to play host. The Vikings would appear to be the likely opponent, given the fact they played the Saints for the conference title. ... If Brett Favre decides to play a 20th season, that would make the matchup that much more attractive.
Access Vikings: www.startribune.com/blogs/vikingsMillea: Seantrel in wait-and-see mode
During an in-studio interview with KSTP-TV sports anchor Joe Schmit on Sunday night, Cretin-Derham Hall's Seantrel Henderson made it clear he will not sign with USC if NCAA penalties are too severe. But the extent of those penalties may not be known for months, and nobody knows how long the Hendersons are willing to wait. USC officials will appear before an NCAA infractions committee later this month. Henderson was asked if sanctions could change his mind about going to USC. He said, "Yeah, I think it would. But ... I would have to, you know, talk to the coaches to see exactly what's going on."
Preps Insider: www.startribune.com/blogs/prepsRandBall: This Twins offseason is erasing ghosts of past and present • This Twins offseason is for Butch Huskey, Tony Batista, and every other bargain-basement free agent who ever stumbled into the Metrodome on his last legs, cashed a few checks and was never heard from again. The Twins haven't spent extravagantly this offseason, but they also haven't just landed guys closer in age to a Golden Girl than a Gossip Girl. The one true last-gasp guy is a future Hall of Famer with plenty left to offer. • This offseason is for lineups that have seen the likes of Chad Allen, Matt LeCroy and countless others shoved two or three spots too high because nobody else was good enough. How do you like this lineup against righthanded pitchers? Span, Hudson, Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer, Kubel, Thome, Hardy, Punto or Harris. Bret Boone can bat 13th. • And this offseason is for Minnesota sports fans who, frankly, would be fixating on plenty of negative things right now were it not for the Twins' moves. But all is not lost. Pitchers and catchers report in a couple of weeks, and this team looks loaded. Scarily loaded. As in, assuming Joe Mauer signs an extension and if the starting pitching comes through, World Series loaded. That's a nice thing to think about right now. www.startribune.com/randball