We're No. 1! (if you start from the bottom)

The Vikings have gained more than $175 million in value in the two years Zygi Wilf has owned the team, but that still ranks them last among the 32 NFL franchises and the disparity grows wider and wider with each season the team is stuck in the Metrodome.

Forbes Magazine doesn't come immediately to mind when sports fans think of publications that talk about the NFL, but every year, the magazine breaks down the 32 NFL franchises for value. While the Vikings' value continues to be on the rise, according to the magazine's annual valuation of teams, the Vikes are dead last in value among the 32 teams due in large part to their stadium issues.

Forbes valued the Vikings at $782 million, which is $182 million more than Zygi Wilf spent to buy the team in 2005 and more than three times the value of what Red McCombs paid for the team in 1998.

The magazine painted something of a bleak picture for the Vikings' future, saying that due to the I-35 bridge collapse, it will be extremely difficult for Zygi Wilf to convince taxpayers that the public should take on two-thirds of the $1 billion estimated cost to build a new domed stadium.

According to the figures compiled by Forbes, the value of the Vikings has continued to grow – from $233 million in 1998 to $437 million in 2002 to $782 million today. But, for the first time in the 10 years of data used by the magazine, the Vikings will be operating at a $19 million loss this season.

The Cowboys remain the most valuable franchise with an estimated value of $1.5 billion, followed by the Redskins, Patriots, Texans and Eagles – the five franchises with an estimated value of $1 billion or more. The bottom five franchises include the Raiders, Jaguars, 49ers, Falcons and Vikings.

While it's good to know that the value of the Vikings continues to grow, being in last place and almost twice as far behind the Cowboys' value, it's clear that while revenue sharing exists, a stadium can greatly change the playing field for different owners in the National Football League.

* If Commissioner Roger Goodell believed the Patriots illegal filming of defensive signals was something that occurs throughout the league, he sent a loud and clear message Thursday that had other teams going "Yikes!" Goodell handed down his punishment to the Patriots and it was severe. Coach Bill Belichick was personally fined $500,000, the team was fined $250,000 and, if the Patriots make the playoffs – almost a certainty this season – the franchise will forfeit its first-round draft pick. If they don't make the playoffs, the Pats will surrender their second- and third-round picks. Want to send a message, Roger? Well done, sir.
* Chester Taylor was very limited in practice again Thursday and it appears less likely that he's going to be at full strength Sunday. The Vikings continue to list the injury on the team's injury report as being a hip injury, but Brad Childress said earlier this week that the injury was to the oblique muscle, not the hip.
* Taylor missed last year's game in Detroit – his hometown – and Artose Pinner stepped in and ran 29 times for 125 yards and three touchdowns.
* Due in part to the strong play of Ray Edwards and Brian Robison, Erasmus James is likely to be inactive again this week. There has been some speculation that the team will hold him out until after it returns from its bye week in early October.
* The Vikings injury report beyond Taylor and James listed Mike Doss (calf), Tony Richardson (forearm) and Naufahu Tahi (ankle) as taking part in a limited portion of practice, with Robert Ferguson (ankle) and Vinny Ciurciu (hand) listed as taking part fully in Thursday's practice.
* The Vikings haven't named who their No. 2 quarterback is for this week. Last week, Brooks Bollinger was the No. 2 QB and Kelly Holcomb was inactive as the emergency No. 3 QB. At the time, the team cited Holcomb's lack of experience with the offense as the reason.
* Mewelde Moore, who was a surprise de-activation last week, is expected to be back in the lineup Sunday and might compete with Bobby Wade to be the team's punt returner against the Lions.
* Former Viking Koren Robinson applied for reinstatement by the league Thursday, but the one-year anniversary of his suspension isn't until Oct. 17, meaning there will be a minimum of five weeks before he can be reinstated. However, there is no onus on the league to automatically reinstate Robinson and, considering the gravity of his offense – drunk driving and leading police on a chase that reached speeds of 100 mph – there is no guarantee his bid for reinstatement will be immediately granted.
* Lions RB Kevin Jones is targeting Week 3 for his return from a foot injury suffered against the Vikings last year, meaning he is all but assured to be out this week.
* The Raiders are expected to name their starting quarterback today. Josh McCown, who started Week 1 and suffered a hand injury, split reps with former Viking Daunte Culpepper Thursday.

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