Gettin' Back to Work

The Vikings return to the practice field today, preparing for their first playoff game since the 2000 season in hopes of reversing a couple of bad trends.

The Vikings are hoping to have temporary memory loss this week. Forget that the team lost four of its final five games -- the only win coming thanks to a botched extra point by the Lions -- and forget that they've lost 20 of their last 22 games outdoors since the middle of the 2000 season.

It's likely the players and coaches will be reminded -- if not bombarded -- with these factoids and news nuggets over the next few days. But, like so many other stats, they applied to other teams, not this Vikings team.

For guys like Daunte Culpepper, Randy Moss and Matt Birk, this will be their first playoff game since the the 41-0 debacle with the Giants. But, for many more, this will be their first playoff experience as Vikings, so none of the past history should matter. It's a new game now. Everyone is 0-0 and the Vikings are 0-0 at Lambeau in the postseason.

Maybe it's time to start a new chapter in the history books.

* The governors of Minnesota and Wisconsin made the traditional bet before the big game, but Tim Pawlenty put a little more at stake. Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle did his part, offering a package of Usinger sausage and a brick of Carr Valley cheese, while Pawlenty offer a full-blown dinner at a New Prague restaurant -- complete with walleye and wild rice soup -- if the Vikings lose.
* If the Vikings should lose to the Packers Sunday, focus will turn to the early stages of draft preparation. The Vikings will pick at No. 18 barring a deep playoff run.
* Kelly Campbell is expected to suit up Sunday despite a separated shoulder.
* The Vikings singed DB Brandon Pinderhughes to the practice squad, releasing offensive lineman Shannon Snell to make room for him.

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