Sports Illustrated has put out its NFL preview. Dr. Z's projections have the Vikings at 6-10. Peter King did the Vikings' scouting report.
Gregg Easterbrook does a solid job making some familiar arguments about the reaction to the Michael Vick charges: he says the outrage is disproportionate in a society that routinely makes animals suffer for our pleasure, and that "There is some kind of mass neurosis at work in the rush to denounce Vick [...] Society wants to scapegoat Vick to avoid contemplating its own routine, systematic killing of animals" (this is something similar to what I wrote on the matter: "hatred gets misplaced in many of our attempts to make moral sense of our dealings with animals. This misplaced hatred becomes scapegoating, where people bring vitriolic indignation to egregiously cruel or indifferent treatment of animals to help downplay our frequent and accepted mistreatment of animals"). However, in his high moralizing on the treatment of animals, he deliberately and without reason rejects his simplest course of action (via FO).
Peter King ranks the top 500 players in the NFL for SI's football preview. Let's not even get into the senselessness of trying to evaluate the relative worth of 500 players that are required to do massively different jobs on the football field. Mr. King, where were you in July? This would have been perfect for Irrelevant Controversy Season. Next time tell your editors that in late August, we actually have football content to think about: we need this crap in July.
Football Outsiders tells why you should beware Shaun Alexander. Footballguys tells you why you should beware Torry Holt. Interesting: in the Hazelweird League, Alexander and Holt were essentially traded for each other the morning after the draft. Maybe you both got hosed.
Viking Update talks about the Vikings' long-time problems selling out games: "Even when the team was dominant during the 1970s, blackouts were a way of life." We love our Vikings in Minnesota; we just love to watch them on TV. If you're a Viking fan, you learn to accept hearing about the "dominant" era of the 70s when the team nevertheless failed to win a championship. They did dominate in the NFC, of course, and the NFC Central in particular, but in Minnesota, deep emptiness over the Vikings is as much a part of our collective life as frigid January nights. We come to accept that the team that lost four Super Bowls might be as good as it ever gets (though we never quite give up hope). I used to deeply fear that the Vikings would relocate after the Metrodome lease runs out, and it is still something I fear: if the Vikings ever leave, I'll be thrown into a long, deep period of intense sadness (and I know I won't be alone). But now I see the specter of relocation as another part of the milieu of despair involved in rooting for this team.
The Ragnarok presents the Vikings' goals for tonight's final preseason game. My goal for tonight's game is to not watch it.
Deadspin interviews Dave Zirin.
In a week we'll be getting ready to watch a real football game. I've realized something: after a summer of following sports mainly through the internet and particularly in blogs, I will find it refreshing to escape the frequent negativity of focus and listen to broadcasters heap piles of praise on players. I'm actually looking forward to the hyperbolic praise of mindless broadcasters: that's what the blogosphere has done to me.