Tom Dahlin/Viking Update

Minnesota Vikings heading into enemy territory in City of Brotherly Love

The Vikings are 7-1 in their last eight road games and are heading into Philadelphia Sunday looking to remind Eagles fans that the real bad boys aren't in the stands, they're in the visiting locker room.

For a city known as one of Brotherly Love, that moniker is left at the door outside Lincoln Financial Field. Traveling to Philadelphia is never something NFL teams look forward to.

They throw snowballs at Santa in Philly. When Michael Irvin thought he might be paralyzed, he got a standing ovation – because the crowd hoped he was.

As the Minnesota Vikings find out for themselves the level of hooliganism involved in being a true Eagles fans, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn has been there and done that and knows what to expect.

The Vikings have had two weeks to wait until they got a chance to line up against their sixth opponent of 2016. A bye week interrupted the team’s 5-0 start.

For the offensive side of the ball, it was a much-needed respite.

For the defense and guys like Munnerlyn, why stop the machine when its running at high speed and doing fine.

“I didn’t want it, because we were rolling at a very high level,” Munnerlyn said. “But, at the same time, we needed it – our bodies needed it. Offensively, those guys needed it because we have a lot of guys banged up. At the same time, it’s a long season. You definitely needed to get some rest.”

When the Vikings arrive to The Linc, they will be the created villain who is going up against the new franchise offensive player in Carson Wentz. Philly fans don’t need a reason to hate the opponent. They often boo their own team when they fail. They routinely boo first-round picks if they don’t like the call by management.

Much less the visitor.

Tough crowd.

“Those fans are crazy, especially when you’re on the opposite team,” Munnerlyn said. “They want to win. They will say anything to you. They want to get in your head.”

The face of the Viking villain will unquestionably be Sam Bradford, keeping in mind that, following the trade to the Vikings, Bradford’s disgruntlement months earlier when the Eagles drafted Wentz became a much bigger issue to Eagles fans.

Even though Bradford was ready to lead the Eagles into the 2016 season, he was as surprised as anyone that he was getting traded to the Vikings. He was just a bargaining chip to land a first-round pick in next year’s draft.

Will Eagles fans be compassionate and cheer their former starting QB? Munnerlyn says don’t bet on it.

“He will definitely get booed,” Munnerlyn said. “They will definitely be like, ‘What’s with Sam? He didn’t play that way for us.’ He’s ready for it. He’s a veteran. He’s been in the league for a while.”

All Vikings can expect an unfriendly welcome to Philadelphia from their fan base, but that’s part of doing business when you enter into enemy territory. For his part, Munnerlyn is willing to take the insults and the taunts. When all is said and done, he wants the fans to remember him and his teammates as the guys who ruined their Sunday afternoon.

“I’m a guy that loves playing on the road,” Munnerlyn said. “I want the fans of the opposite team to know who I am when I leave that stadium.”


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