Return to Whinergate

Matt Hasselbeck missed a month of last season after a knee injury suffered on a hit from E.J. Henderson last year. Ten months later, he's still chirping about the injury being a cheap shot, despite video evidence to the contrary. Saturday, he will have his chance to let Henderson and the Vikings defense knows what he thinks of them -- and vice versa for the new-look Vikings defense to him.

For 30 years, any time there has been a scandal of some kind, the word "gate" has been thrown on the end of it, an homage to the Watergate scandal that brought down the Nixon Administation. So as the Vikings prepare for their third preseason game this Saturday against the Seahawks, it should come as no surprise that the word "gate" will be attached in some way to the continuing complaints from Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck that the Vikings gave him a cheap shot that injured his knee during last season's win over Seattle.

Call it "Hasselgate" if you wish. Or perhaps "Water-on-the-knee-gate." Or maybe just "Whinergate" will suffice.

Hasselbeck has been complaining ever since the injury that the Vikings and, in particular, linebacker E.J. Henderson, were goons and hooligans for injuring the ‘Hawks QB in a hit to his knee that cost him a month of the 2006 season. He has refused to let it go, even though he undoubtedly has looked as the tape footage of the play and saw that Henderson was blocked by one of his own players and there was no malicious intent on the hit.

Saturday, Hasselbeck gets his first chance to get his own sort of revenge against the Vikings, since the third preseason game of the year is typically the game in which the starting units see the most action and Hasselbeck will likely get his last preseason tune-up before the start of the regular season.

It's uncertain how long the Seahawks will opt to go with veterans like Hasselbeck or Shaun Alexander, but one thing that can be said with some certainty is that, as game time approaches, we're going to hear more whining from the Bald Bomber about the phantom hit that knocked him out of action in 2006.

Memo to Matt: Let it go. If the Vikings defense wanted to take a cheap shot at you, they could have. The simple truth is that they didn't and you were injured on a clean play in which no penalty was called. Considering how the league has mandated that quarterbacks do everything but wear a dress in order to remind defenders that they aren't to be hit, the non-call during the game and the lack of a fine being levied against Henderson last year speaks volumes as to whether the shot was cheap or legal.

Just let it go, Matt. You don't need to get the Vikings defense any more riled up than it normally is.

* From the world of real hits, the league fined Vikings linebacker Heath Farwell $7,500 for a crown of the helmet to the chest hit on Rams backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
* There's no telling how long it can last, but through two games, the Vikings have scored 80 percent of their touchdowns on defense, giving fantasy football owners at least one reason to have "a Viking" ranked high on their fantasy draft boards.
* Ciatrick Fason has been buried on the Vikings RB depth chart all through training camp and didn't see any action until the final minutes Friday against the Jets, leaving his role with the team in doubt. As it currently stands, it looks to come down between Artose Pinner and Fason for one roster spot.
* Adrian Peterson had 19 carries in the first two preseason games, while Chester Taylor has just five rushing attempts.
* No team has thrown fewer passes through two preseason games than that Vikings with their 41 pass attempts.
* The Vikings have run 100 offensive plays – evenly split between 50 run plays and 50 plays designed to be passes (sacks and scrambles count on designed pass plays).
* From the "Hey, Wait A Minute" department comes this: A story in the Winnipeg Sun quoted the general manager of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL as saying he likes Vikings QB Tyler Thigpen. The problem? At this point, it doesn't look as though as the Vikings are ready to get rid of him. There was no mention of interest in Drew Henson.

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