Dr. Z Prescribes Purple Pill

Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated, known as Dr. Z, picks the Vikings as his team to win the NFC North and go on to Super Bowl fame.

The Vikings are slowly, but surely winning over fans and media types alike as the proliferation of preseason literature starts in earnest with just a little over a month remaining before the start of NFL training camps. A lot of people are starting to look at what the Vikings have on offense and have added on defense and see a team that can beat opponents from both sides of the ball.

Someone who has truly jumped on the bandwagon is Dr. Z of Sports Illustrated fame. Writing for SI's website, Dr. Z (known to his pre-med buddies as Paul Zimmerman) would seem to be Zygi Wilf's personal physician. Not only is he down with the Vikings winning the NFC North, he's got them winning the Super Bowl.

Before you start making Super Bowl reservations, keep in mind that the good doctor also predicted the Saints would win the Super Bowl last February. They technically could have played a team round of golf on New Year's Eve. So we have to keep it in perspective.

But Doc has a point. The Vikings already had the best-run offense and best-run defense in the league last year. Adding Jared Allen was huge. He mentions Madieu Williams, Adrian Peterson, Steve Hutchinson, Bernard Berrian and even Tarvaris Jackson. But the main ingredient? Chilly.

It would seem Dr. Z has bought into the Brad Childress formula for success – a football version of "build it and they will come." He sees the light at the end of the tunnel. The same feelings face-painting Vikings fans have had since they passed out shortly after hearing the news of the Allen trade have been shared by one of the media's most veteran football prognosticators.

As long as they don't put the Vikings on the cover of the SI preview issue, everything is cool.

SATURDAY NOTES

  • The court hearing for Bryant McKinnie on charges that include felony assault were continued until Sept. 24. It is believed that the NFL will not take any disciplinary action against McKinnie until he either pleads guilty or has a court ruling. The hearing in question would merely be the first step toward moving the case forward to potentially go to trial. That process, from a defense motion to dismiss the charges to potential jury selection, could easily drag out beyond the end of the 2008 season. It is expected that McKinnie will complete a pre-trial diversion program and potentially have the charges dropped, in which case it would be less likely that he would be suspended by the league, although the personnel policy gives the commissioner's office a lot of latitude in regard to punishment meted out.

  • The long and ugly feud between the NFL and some of the largest cable carriers in the country could reach a resolution soon. The NFL is in talks with ESPN about combining their networks under the banner currently held by ESPN Classic. The network is part of many cable systems' expanded basic packages. The NFL Network has run into problems with cable giants like Time-Warner, Comcast and Charter over how to make their programming available. The argument centered on where the NFL Network would be available, whether on expanded basic of a sports tier of premium programming that is purchased as an additional option to cable subscribers. The potential agreement could make the NFL Network's potential audience increase by ten-fold or more if it comes to fruition.

  • Kenechi Udeze is scheduled to have his bone marrow transplant surgery in July.

  • Adrian Peterson will be honored this morning in his hometown of Palestine, Texas. Peterson is a 2003 graduate of Palestine High School. The Second Annual Adrian Peterson Parade is scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m. this morning, with an afternoon of events at the Texas State Railroad Park in the city will follow.

  • In a scheduling problem, two parades were scheduled to be using the same stretch of road through Palestine – A.D.'s parade and a parade for the annual Juneteenth celebrations, celebrating the day enslaved African Americans in Galveston first heard word of the Emancipation Proclamation being passed by President Lincoln. The parades will both continue at 10 a.m. with the Peterson parade on the north side of Anderson County Courthouse Square and the Juneteenth parade route on the south side of the courthouse square.

  • The "other Adrian Peterson" may get his chance to shine. At Bears minicamp this week, Lovie Smith said he has no intention of bringing in a veteran RB to replace the recently-released Cedric Benson. The initial plan appears to be letting rookie Matt Forte get the first crack at being the starter, with Chicago's version of Adrian Peterson currently sitting as the second RB option.

  • From the "What the…?" Department comes this: word out of Green Bay has it that, prior to the draft, the Packers offered Daunte Culpepper a one-year, $1 million deal to back up Aaron Rodgers. He turned it down. Not only did the Packers take Brian Brohm obscenely late in the draft, they drafted a second quarterback just to prove a point. Do you think Daunte needs to hire an agent?


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