The Vikings haven't made any big public announcements about their plan to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. In a business where good deeds are often reported on, the Vikings organization filled five trucks with relief supplies earlier this week with little fanfare. The team followed that up with a large donation.
Saints owner Tom Benson opened a Katrina relief fund with $100,000 and challenged other teams to step up. The Vikings did almost immediately with a $100,000 contribution.
With the short- and long-term future of the Saints in doubt, as the tragedy truly sinks in for many observers, it is a chance for the league, its owners and players to put their best foot forward. It's nice to see the Vikings are at the cutting edge of the giving tree.
* The Vikings named five players as captains Thursday -- Daunte Culpepper and Moe Williams on offense, Sam Cowart and Corey Chavous on defense and Willie Offord on special teams.
* The Vikings bandwagon is taking on passengers. Of the 12 expert prognosticators on ESPN, all of them picked the Vikes to win the NFC North -- as did four of five experts for The Sporting News and four of five from USA Today's Sports Weekly.
* Fred Smoot is expected to start Sunday. The only Vikings listed on the injury report are Anthony Herrera, who is out, and Jim Kleinsasser, who is probable with a groin pull.
Vikes Help Hurricane Victims
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