Culpepper, Birk Have Words

Matt Birk and Daunte Culpepper are viewed as team leaders on the Vikings. But the two had an angry exchange Friday that left some wondering what their relationship is turning into.

The relationship between Daunte Culpepper and Matt Birk has been one of being acknowledged co-leaders of the offense. But, according to a couple of players that witnessed an altercation Friday, it might be a relationship that is strained at best.

Birk and Culpepper allegedly had words over comments Birk made about a Sports Illustrated story on the Vikings. Culpepper effectively told Birk to mind his own business and keep out of the matter, while Birk stood by his comments.

While the matter blew over without any further incident, it is just another sign that things aren't going too well in paradise for the Vikings this season.

SATURDAY NOTES
* The likelihood of the team employing the 3-4 defense again this week took a step forward when Mike Tice announced that defensive lineman Spencer Johnson will miss Sunday's game with the Packers.
* Cornerback Brian Williams has also been ruled out for Sunday's game.
* The Packers haven't officially made a decision on whether Ahman Green will play Sunday, but VU has been told to expect to see him in the starting lineup.
* The latest backlash of the Vikings boat scandal came from Best Buy. The electronics chain store canceled a scheduled autograph signing with current Vikings Bryant McKinnie and Mike Rosenthal scheduled for today in conjunction with a new store opening. Instead, VU's own Bob Lurtsema and former Twin Jack Morris filled in at the autograph signing.
* New Viking Toniu Fonoti tipped the scales at 404 pounds at his first Viking weigh-in.
* Daunte Culpepper needs 146 passing yards to top 20,000 yards for his career.
* The Vikings will be collecting non-perishable food items at Sunday's game to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. Fans who wish to contribute can do so by dropping off food at the entrance gates around the Metrodome from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday.

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