Complete Sports talks about why the Vikings will be better than people think.
JJ Cooper and Daily Norseman both ask, why shouldn't Childress stand up to Belichik?
The Pioneer Press writes that though the Falcons are without Vick, the Vikings still need to take the game with Atlanta seriously. But is this article even necessary? We aren't talking about the Patriots here; we're talking about a team predicted by most professional pundits to be under .500. The Vikings have to prepare well and take each opponent seriously; if they don't, they will lose. This team is going to try win games by scores like 16-10; a defense-oriented team needs to be ready to play each opponent strong, because there will be a thinner margin of error. Yes, by all means, the Vikings shouldn't overlook the Falcons. Obviously, they can't afford to overlook anybody, and they have to get every win they can.
Pro-football-reference.com has an interesting post about the meaning of "targets" as a statistic.
Dan Benton at Fanhouse writes about Tiki Barber, who says Tom Coughlin "robbed" him of the joy of playing football. I respect Barber, and I'm wary of coaches that can take away the fun of the game; it can happen, and it does seem Coughlin is such a coach. But there's a further sub-text to this claim: Barber is essentially saying he had more joy being a decent player than an elite player. Look at his numbers: he was a solid player through most of his career, a dynamic threat running and catching, but not a great running back. Under Tom Coughlin, Barber became one of the best running backs in the league, having some historically good seasons. So Barber had more joy when he wasn't pushed as hard and achieved solid performances, than he had when he was pushed harder and achieved greatness. Weird.
Stephanie Stradley at Fanhouse writes about Dunta Robinson, who was robbed at gunpoint in his home. Scary, and sad. We hope Robinson is recovering from such a traumatic event.
Sports Media Watch talks about women in sports, in terms of perception and within the context of society's sexism. Go read it.
Outsports reports on former football player David Kopay, who "has made a $1 million testamentary pledge to the University of Washington [...] to be used for at-need LGBT students."
What a fun week we're about to have. The Colts and the Saints play in two days (!), and we're very close to opening Sunday. The Vikings have a chance to start the season well, playing against an offense led by Joey Harrington (in a home game against a dubious quarterback, I think the Vikes can force turnovers) and a beatable defense (you might rip the Viking pass defense, but last season they ranked 13th in yards per attempt at 6.71; the Falcons' defense ranked 32nd--last--at 7.58 yards per attempt. Tarvaris Jackson has a shot at a good start). I'm personally excited to begin my first season as a Viking season ticket holder--it's going to be a lot of fun experiencing so much of the Viking season in person.