The Vikings are off to their best first half of the season since 2000, but tickets still remain for the upcoming three-game home stretch. Without a surge in sales over the next 10 days, there could be the threat of a local TV blackout – for one of the NFL's best teams.
As hard as it is to believe given their phenomenal start and upcoming three-game homestand in which the Vikings could go a long way to locking down one of the first-round playoff byes if their current roll continues, the Vikings still aren't out of the woods as it pertains to potential blackouts.
There are about 4,000 tickets left to sell for the Detroit game and about 3,500 left for the game the following week with Seattle, according to Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing. While tickets for the Chicago game are nearly but sold out, the Vikings are anxious to let fans know that there are seats remaining for their upcoming November games.
Due to the quick sellouts of some of the games on the early portion of the schedule, the team was concerned that there might be a "potential misperception" in the eyes of fans that tickets for all the remaining games have sold out, which, as evidenced by the number of tickets remaining for the next two homes games, clearly isn't the case.
Remaining tickets for the games start at $48 and can by purchased via Ticketmaster by calling 1-800-745-3000, on-line at vikings.com or at the Vikings ticket office.
It should have come as no surprise, especially given the pressure on his shoulders heading into Sunday's game, but thanks to his four-touchdown performance against the Packers, Brett Favre was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week Tuesday. It's the second time he's received the honor in eight games as a Viking and the 15th time in his career.
It's no wonder Favre won the NFC Offensive P.O.W. honor, because just about the entire football world was watching. After setting an all-time cable record for viewership of an NFL game in the their meeting on Monday Night Football on ESPN, the numbers for Sunday's game were even more massive by comparison. The 30 million people that watched the game made it the second-most watched game in the history of FOX NFL broadcasts – trailing only the 32.1 million drawn by the Cowboys-49ers meeting in November 1995. How big was it? It drew the most viewers on any network since the Academy Awards in February. The prime-time portion of the game (after 6 p.m. local time) drew 39 million viewers and a whopping 37 share of the TVs in use. By comparison, Game 4 of the World Series in prime time drew 23.3 million viewers and a 22 share.
At least one politician gas bag got his chance to get some national attention at the expense of the Vikings. During the House subcommittee meeting investigating the blockage of suspensions for Pat Williams and Kevin Williams, one of the members – Rep. Lee Terry (R, Neb.) – said of the problems raised by strong Minnesota employee protection laws, "Maybe Minneapolis without the Vikings is the appropriate remedy." The problem it seems isn't that the courts that ruled against the NFL found a problem in Minnesota state law with the league's drug policy, but rather that the Williamses have the right to challenge their suspensions under state law.
When has the "horseplay excuse" ever worked? Apparently it has for the Vikings. According to Pro Football Talk, the league is going to take no punitive action against the Vikings after an investigation cleared the team of any wrongdoing in the injury sustained last Saturday by fullback Naufahu Tahi, who was injured in what was described as a good-natured wrestling match with teammate Adrian Peterson. Tahi was listed on the team's injury report as probable with a knee injury, but the eye injury was never added to the list. The first time there was any mention of it was when Tahi was among the inactive players announced about 90 minutes before game time with the Packers. The Vikings maintained that there was no visible problem with the eye Saturday night, at least not enough to threaten his playing status, but when Tahi woke Sunday, swelling had set in and he was deactivated. The league said its investigation found no deception or wrongdoing on the part of the Vikings and that the team won't be subject to discipline from the league for its lack of reporting the Tahi situation in its injury report.
When the Vikings play Seattle the Sunday before Thanksgiving, they won't have to worry about running back Edgerrin James. The veteran was released by the Seahawks Tuesday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released former Vikings CB Marcus McCauley. McCauley has been cut by three teams since August – the Vikings, Lions and now Tampa Bay.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.