VU Daily Blog: 4/13/10

From Kerney to Kenechi, and stadium plans to draft party plans, the Vikings were in the news in all sorts of ways on Tuesday. Take a spin through all kinds of Vikings news and analysis with's blog.

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Posted by: Kevin Brown
on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 4:08:00 AM

Kerney retirement a reminder of what might have been

The recent retirement announcement of 11-year NFL veteran DE Patrick Kerney has no direct connection with the Minnesota Vikings…except for this:  In the 1999 NFL Draft, selecting No. 29 overall, the Vikings could have drafted Kerney, who went on to record 82.5 career sacks during a long and productive career with Atlanta and Seattle.

Instead, they drafted Dimitrius Underwood, who never played a down with the Vikings. With the benefit of hindsight, clearly the worst draft pick of the Denny Green era.

Posted by: Kevin Brown
on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 3:50:00 AM

2 Vikings stadium proposals being discussed

A recent report confirms that owners Zygi and Mark Wilf met with lawmakers at the University Club in St. Paul on Tuesday with bipartisan leaders who are working quietly on a stadium solution for the Vikings.

The focus of talks centers around two proposals:

Plan A calls for a $698 million stadium financed over 40 years, not the usual 30. The stadium would be financed through a seven-county tax on hotel lodging, a sports-memorabilia tax and a rental-car tax. The plan would also require $233 million from the Wilfs.

Plan B also calls for a $698 million stadium, with the Vikings paying the debt service of $42 million per year during the first ten years. During the next 30 years, existing entertainment taxes in downtown Minneapolis that now go to pay off debt from the Minneapolis Convention Center would be diverted to the Vikings stadium. Those taxes are scheduled to pay off convention-center debt by 2020.

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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 10:59:00 AM

Tahi signs tender

Vikings fullback Naufahu Tahi has signed his restricted free-agent tender from the team, according to, leaving the Vikings with only two restricted free agents who haven't signed their tender – QB Tarvaris Jackson and DE Ray Edwards.

Three other Vikings signed their tenders earlier this week – OL Ryan Cook, DT Fred Evans and S Eric Frampton.

Tahi was given the lowest tender, the right of first refusal, meaning the Vikings wouldn't have received any draft-pick compensation if he signed an offer sheet with another team that the Vikings declined to match. Tahi will make $1.176 million in 2010, down from his $1.4 million contract the Vikings matched last year when the Bengals signed him to an offer sheet.


Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 10:28:00 AM

Vikings announce draft-weekend events

The Vikings draft party takes on a different look this year with the new three-day format instead of the usual Saturday and Sunday routine of draft pasts. The first round of the draft this year is Thursday night, April 22, with rounds two and three on April 23, and rounds four through seven on Saturday, April 24. In the past, Saturday was the Vikings' big draft-party kickoff at Winter Park, the team is forced to adjust with NFL's new three-day format.

To do so, the Vikings will be participating in draft-themed parties from 6-11 p.m. at 12 locations around the Twin Cities for the first round on April 22. Each location will feature appearances by current or former players, Vikings cheerleaders and the Vikings Street Team, and fans at these events will have the chance to win prizes, including a trip for two to the Vikings game in New Orleans. KFAN will broadcast live from Jimmy's Food and Drink in Vadnais Heights.

The other participating locations are Ray J's American Grill (Woodbury), Joe Senser's (Bloomington), Primetime Sports Bar & Grill (Burnsville), Moose on Monroe (Minneapolis), Bunny's Bar & Grill (St. Louis Park), Farmington American Legion (Farmington), Babes Sport Bar & Grill (Lakeville), Cuzzy's Brick House (Chaska), Buffalo Wild Wings (Chanhassen), The Lookout Bar & Grill (Maple Grove) and Major's Sports Café (Albertville).

A Saturday session in the Best Buy Rotunda at the Mall of America will kick off the Vikings' celebration of their 50th season. The event will feature autograph sessions from alumni representing each decade, Vikings highlight films, and a live KFAN broadcast in the Best Buy Rotunda from 12-2 p.m.

Players scheduled to appear include Matt Blair, Joey Browner, David Dixon, Chuck Foreman, Robert Griffith, Steve Hutchinson, Steve Jordan, Joe Kapp, Jim Marshall, Tommy Mason, Jake Reed, Mick Tingelhoff, Kevin Williams and Ron Yary.

Autograph sessions start at 11 a.m. and wristbands will be required, which will be distributed at 9 a.m. that morning.


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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 9:53:00 AM

Udeze shares leukemia struggles with 7-year-old patient

Former Vikings defensive end Kenechi Udeze continues to use his past struggles with leukemia as a platform to help others.

Udeze has spoken to various school groups about his trials and remaining strong, and over the weekend he was part of the 32nd Annual Fools Five gathering in southeastern Minnesota, where he met 7-year-old Cole Halbakken, who, like Udeze, was diagnosed with leukemia and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

"I was used to roaming the football field and then I was told I couldn't," Udeze told Cole, as chronicled in this Winona Daily News story. "So, it's a blessing just being here, being able to sit outside and talk to you."

Udeze was a guest speaker at the Fools Five gathering in Lewiston, but he said young Cole was the inspiration.

"With kids, they haven't been through anything," Udeze said. "They don't know what real pain is. For them to be thrown into the fight like this is tough to understand, but we all find the answers, just on our own time.

"He is inspiring."


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