It seems every week the Minnesota Viking have a home game, head coach Mike Zimmer feels obligated to bring up the fans in one way or another. He always talks about wanting to get as many out to TCF Bank Stadium as possible and making sure they are loud.
This week was no different as the Vikings start to prepare for their border/division rival the Green Bay Packers, who have been known to have their fans show in droves for the Minnesota portion of the rivalry.
“Hopefully our fans come in and I know the game is sold out, but we need to make sure all of those seats have purple in them,” Zimmer said in his opening statement on Wednesday. “I know they travel well, but it’s important that it’s nice and loud. They’ve got the no-huddle offense going, so they can help us out a lot.”
The Vikings are 4-0 at home this season and 9-3 at home since they first started using TCF Bank Stadium a year ago. It is the best record at a temporary stadium in the history of the NFL through 12 home games, and both players and coaches a like feel the fan base plays a big role in that record.
The Vikings are happy with the support their fans have been giving them in their temporary home and think they have been very knowledgeable about game situations and when they need to get involved.
“When we’re at home I think the fans have been great,” said offensive lineman Brandon Fusco. “I think they are well aware of situations, and when they need to be loud they’re loud. When we’re in the red zone ready to score they’re quiet and let us do our job. They’ve been great all year.”
A year ago there were multiple times during home games where the purple faithful would get a little riled up after quarterback Teddy Bridgewater would make a big play and chant “Teddy, Teddy, Teddy” over and over again. When that happens, it becomes hard for the offense, especially the offensive linemen, to communicate with one another and it can lead to errors.
This season, however, the fans have seemed to be more disciplined in their involvement in the game and have been mostly quiet when the offense is on the field and loud when the defense is on the field. Of course, that makes it difficult for the opponent’s offense to communicate, which ultimately gives the Vikings defense the advantage.
“I think they’ve been great. I love the fans,” Zimmer said. “With home, it’s nice to have them behind our back and yelling. It’s a little later game, so hopefully they can tailgate a little bit beforehand and get really loud, but I know that Green Bay travels well, so I think it would be important that we keep all of our tickets.”
With the added excitement of the Packers coming to town and the tailgating beforehand, Zimmer knows that there will be times the fan base might get a little overexcited and possibly cheer a little too loud when the offense is out on the field. But that’s alright by him this week because he wants to make sure the fans are into what’s happening on the field.
“They’re good people and they mean well for the Vikings. If once in a while, they want to yell ‘Teddy,’ then go ahead.”