Vikes Avoid Blackout Again

The Vikings have dodged another blackout bullet, as the local CBS affiliate and the team's beer sponsor have joined forces to buy up the remaining tickets at a cost of about $150,000.

The Vikings have spent much of the season trying to keep their consecutive sellout streak at the Metrodome alive and well. The streak remains alive, but all might not be so well.

Sunday's game with the Raiders will be broadcast locally, but thanks only to WCCO-TV and Miller Brewing Company each pledging to buy 1,000 tickets to assure that the game will be telecast.

The consecutive sellout streak has now extended to 101 games, dating back to the preseason of 1998, but this is the third time this season that a local Twin Cities TV station has had to step forward to purchase tickets. In the season opener against the Falcons, the local FOX affiliate has had to step in and buy tickets. The same was true heading into the Chargers game, where the local CBS affiliate had to step and purchase the remaining seats.

Vikings fans have been fortunate that those companies have stepped forward or else local fans wouldn't have seen two of the Vikings three victories, much less see Adrian Peterson's record-setting rushing performance against the Chargers. The third time may be the charm for the Vikings, who are favored against the 2-7 Raiders, but there will likely come a time when a corporate entity says it will no longer buy up unsold tickets.

For now, fans can still kick back on Sunday afternoon and see the Vikings play on local TV.

* Erasmus James was not at practice Thursday, as the Vikings moved practice indoors. According to head coach Brad Childress, James is dealing with a personal issue but will be back in time to be available for Sunday's game.
* Others on the Vikings injury report include Antoine Winfield (hamstring), Sidney Rice (hamstring), Ryan Cook (shoulder), Brian Robison (elbow) and Eric Frampton (groin). All were listed as participating on a limited basis in practice.
* For the Raiders, center Jeremy Newberry returned to practice after sitting out due to a team decision. Others that were limited in practice Thursday include QB Josh McCown (quadriceps), S Hiram Eugene (calf), CB Nnamde Asomugha (knee), LB Sam Williams (shoulder) and WR Jerry Porter (knee).
* Joe Horrigan of the Pro Football Hall of Fame was on hand at Winter Park for a ceremony to honor Adrian Peterson's record-setting rushing feat against the Chargers, as A.P. handed over the jersey and pants he wore during the game for the Hall. In return, Peterson was given a Hall of Fame hat and shirt for him to keep as a remembrance of the feat. The jersey is apparently going to be immediately put on display at the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
* While Daunte Culpepper will get the start Sunday, coach Lane Kiffin hasn't ruled out getting rookie first overall pick JaMarcus Russell on the field for a series or two to try to ease into the lineup for playing time.

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