Friday, November 9, 2007

On our way to stardom

If you haven't heard, Dogg, Q and I write the Vikings blog for USA Today's "NFL Blog Squad." We were featured yesterday in a Q & A on their website. You can access that here. Or can you read it after the jump here at TKOT. Either way, we're comin, we're comin...

Names: Matt “Fuzz” Letnes. Adam “Q” Quale. Nate “Dogg” Williams.


Fuzz- Eagan, MN. We’re all roommates. It’s gets a little crazy in our house from time to time. I think we have like 25 ongoing arguments that will never end between the three of us because we all think we’re right.

Q- Eagan is “The middle of Gopher Nation.”


Fuzz- Service representative for a small marketing company that specializes in Health Insurance.

Q- Junior High English Teacher

Dogg- Sales

Ages: 26 for Fuzz & Q. 25 for Dogg.

Favorite NFL blogs?

Fuzz- Ours obviously. Kidding…kind of. I’m a fan of the more popular sports blogs that aren’t just NFL blogs, but write about the NFL from time to time. Bill Simmons and Deadspin are my two favorites. Simmons does his weekly NFL picks on Fridays and Deadspin has a Monday feature that recaps all the games that is very entertaining. Not for the kiddies, but good stuff.

Q- Superbowl Homeboy. I’m not kidding.

Dogg- My favorite NFL blog is because....Well, take a look and you'll probably understand why I enjoy reviewing this website every so often.

Favorite NFL writer?

Q- Bill Simmons. It doesn't matter what league/sport you put; he's the best.

Dogg- Sports Illustrated's Peter King is my favorite NFL writer. I think his mix of then and now is great and most of his stuff is accurate. It's one thing to go out on a limb but it's another thing to go out on a limb and be correct most of the time, which Peter usually is.

Fuzz- Besides Sean Leahy, it’s Kevin Seifert from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. To be honest I don’t read a lot of national sites about the NFL. I like sticking to the local perspectives about my favorite home team. Seifert is the best in the area in my opinion.

If I weren't a (your job), I would like to be a ...

Dogg- If I weren't a salesman I would like to be a Hero.

Fuzz- Professional Golfer. If you were a kindergarten teacher, that would be my answer. In reality, working in sports, especially golf is a dream. Working tournaments for the PGA tour would be awesome. Not quite playing along side Tiger, but close enough.

Q- MLB bullpen catcher. I've always said that this is the single greatest job in the world. Think about it: you get front row seats to all 162 of your team's games, you get to wear the official uniform, you become friends with professional athletes (if you want to call relief pitchers "athletes"), and best of all, there's absolutely no pressure on you like a real professional athlete. Your entire job consists of getting into a catcher's crouch roughly 5-8 times a day and then eating sunflower seeds, drinking Gatorade, and chatting with the guys in the bullpen. You get plenty of fresh air, have more than enough time to work out, get to travel the country, and make a pretty good salary. What more could you want? Plus, since I was a catcher until the age of 15, and know a ton about baseball, I feel that I am fully qualified for this position. Like I said, the greatest job in the world.

Fuzz- Before we go on. What do bullpen catchers do during a bench-clearing brawl? I’ve always wanted to know this. Every time I see a fight breakout I look for the BP catcher and I can’t find him. Does he participate? Or since he’s really not part of the team, he can’t sprint out and throw haymakers? I need to get to the bottom of this.

Dogg- I think a bullpen catcher would get fired I believe if he left the bullpen area for a bench clearing brawl. Great question though because I guarantee some of those guys can lay the lumber.

What made you name your blog 'Superbowl Homeboy?'

Fuzz- The name originated from when Randy Moss was here. He had a quote when asked what he’s expects for the season, he responded with “Superbowl Homeboy!”

Q- Because "Straight Cash Homey" would be a ridiculous name for a blog. This was another quote beauty by Moss. Truthfully though, it came down to three factors in my mind. First, it's a phrase that was uttered by the most enigmatic Viking of all time: Randy Moss. If you're going to write about the Vikes, there has to be some reference to Randy. It's the law. Second, it still works in reference to the current team--sort of. At the beginning of the season, everyone can dream that their team is going to be awesome. Even if it doesn't come true, and it certainly hasn't for the Purple this year, it is completely acceptable to think so prior to the season. Third, it's a unifying phrase for the three of us. All of us say it constantly anytime the Vikings do something well, so it just makes sense.

Best current Vikings player?

Q- Is this a serious question?

Dogg- Best Vikings player right now? Did you watch or read anything on the Internet over the past 24 hours because his name is being thrown out there with Jim Brown. "AP", "AD", "Savior"....aka Adrian Peterson.

Fuzz- This question should really be “Best current Vikings player not named Adrian Peterson.” I can’t tell you how much AP means to sports fans in Minnesota right now. It’s going to be weird saying this, but this is his state already. He owns the entire sports scene here. That’s how desperate we are for a superstar to get behind. The Vikings are the most popular team in the area and he’s one of the best players in the NFL already. He’s eight games into his career and has the NFL rushing record! Is that not ridiculous? So the easy answer is “All Day” Adrian Peterson as the best Vikings player. Just to throw out a different guy, Kevin Williams is a machine. He’s our All-Pro defensive tackle that is a vital part of our top three rushing defense.

Brad Childress -- Stay or go after 2007 season?

Fuzz- My other two cohorts are going to say go, but I’m a Childress supporter. I think he needs to stay. We have beaten Chicago on the road and now a streaking San Diego team at home this year. He has his downfalls, but I don’t think we win these two types of games with the last regime. He’s in his second year only and has shown enough to me to stay.

Dogg- I heard Childress is looking to move back into the adult entertainment business. I think that better suits him than being an NFL head coach.

Q- That depends. Are you asking me or Zygi Wilf? I would have gotten rid of him at the end of last year. Zygi and Brad seem to be best friends, so there's a chance that he'll never leave. I know it's commonplace for fans to immediately blame the coach when things aren't going well. But he's so stubborn and stuck in his ways, that there's no reason to believe that he'll ever adjust and make this team any better. Peterson has been dominating basically all year, and yet Chilly refused to start him for a number of games. Then he wouldn't give him more than 15 carries a game. Then refused to play him in any type of 2-minute drill at the end of the half/game. Then he wouldn't play him on third down. Finally vs. the Chargers he gives the kid 30 carries and look what happens--a new NFL single game rushing record. And he's like that in so many other aspects of this team. He wants things done his way, even if it's a terrible way. So again, I say get him out of here, but I fully expect him to be our coach for the foreseeable future.

Fuzz- Told you.

Tarvaris Jackson -- Good experiment or bad?

Fuzz- Horrible. It’s like the high school coach going down to the seventh grade team and grabbing the quarterback to start for the Varsity. Hey kid, even though you look like a wet noodle and sound like a squeak toy, you’re starting for us Friday night! It’s the same type of scenario here, only it’s the NFL! Childress went into the season trusting a D1-AA project that no one has heard of before. This is where Childress is worth criticizing. This experiment is so dumb and needs to end immediately. We’re fine though, we have Brooks “no one knows who I am either” Bollinger starting now. We’re good.

Q- Terrible. I know if it worked out that everyone (including myself) would have gone on and on about what a great move it was. But it hasn't, and it won't. I've just never understood the thinking behind it at all. Here's a guy (channeling my inner Madden there) who played 1-AA ball, and couldn't even earn first-team all CONFERENCE. Forget about all-American or anything that would lead you to believe that he was a D1 caliber player who slipped through the cracks and dominated at the 1-AA level. This guy wasn't even the best quarterback in his conference. Yet we, and by we I mean Chilly and the boys, decided that not only was he worth drafting, but we moved up to take him ahead of guys who proved themselves at the highest college level. Then he gets anointed the future of the franchise despite being, statistically, the worst starting quarterback in the history of the NFL (according to his passer rating). Jeez, who could have possibly seen that coming?

Dogg- Tarvaris Jackson is awful and to go on top of all that, he's injury prone. He's got an absolute laser for an arm but why throw the ball like I would in a backyard football game? I don't get it but it looks like Minnesota should be looking for a new QB ASAP. Chester Taylor and a 5th round pick for Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn.

Name the Vikings starting QB in 2008:

Dogg- See my answer above.

Fuzz- The best question on the board because I don’t think our starting quarterback is on our team currently. The free agent QB class isn’t that strong this year, so they could go the draft route again. With names like Matt Ryan, John David Booty, Andre Woodson and Brian Brohm in next years draft class, I think one of these guys could be our starting QB next year. Personally, I would draft another QB next year. The Vikings won’t though. They won’t roll the dice on another QB with a high draft pick. A name I’ll throw out is Donovan McNabb. He has worn out his welcome in Philly, and he has the connection with Childress. With the clowns we have right now, I’ll take Mr. Chunky Soup… and his mom.

Q- Tarvaris Jackson. As much as I hate to say it, he will be. Childress won't give up on his boy after one injury-plagued season. Those guys hate admitting that they are wrong and will refuse to until it is painfully obvious (as if it wasn't already). As fans, we'd much rather draft a guy like Matt Ryan from Boston College.

Even trade for a guy like Derek Anderson from Cleveland. Unfortunately, neither of those will happen and we'll be stuck watching the T- Jack Experience for another year.

NFC championship game -- Anything more than a consolation game?

Q- I don't think it's even worthy of being called that. Is there any reason to have the NFC playoffs at all? I mean, other than to feel better about yourself for making the playoffs/championship game, there's absolutely no point in anyone other than the Colts and Patriots going to the post season. Why not just have a best of 5 series between those two? That's what everyone wants to see. No one in the NFC has even a sliver of hope at beating either of those two teams (just ask the best team in the NFC--Dallas). It all seems like a giant waste of time to me.

Dogg- Q, that was the dumbest response from a knowledgeable sports fan that I've ever seen.

Fuzz- That answer IS absurd Q. I’m with Dogg on this one. It’s week nine and you’re already anointing two out of the 32 teams the crown already. Wow. Look, I was watching the “game of the century,” Patriots vs. the Colts and the NFC has a shot my friend. These teams are good, but not unbeatable good. New England was rolling teams and making enemies but the Colts held them in check. Three or four weeks ago I would have picked any AFC team to win the Superbowl. Now? I don’t know. The Cowboys and Giants are very good teams. I think they both can hang with any AFC team. That’s it though. Yes Packer fans I’m not including your little cute club. It’s a nice story, but you’ll crumble.

Dogg- To answer the question, I've been preaching this for a few weeks now. The Super Bowl is one game, not a series of games. New England or Indy would beat every NFC team 19 out of 20 times but there is a slim chance in a one game series. Even Manning looked human yesterday when he turned the ball over 3 times so the NFC championship game is not a consolation game by any means....Grand Valley State went on the road this past weekend and beat Michigan State on their home court. Anything can happen.

Let's say you're a free-agent fan. What team (other than your own) are you signing on with?

Fuzz- Anytime the head coach has a moustache that is a dead ringer for Burt Reynolds’s stache, you have to go with that team. It’s the Titans and Jeff Fisher. I love what they’re doing there.

Dogg- Since Peyton Manning has been in this league, I've signed on with the Colts. DECAF! DECAF! DECAF!

Q- I'd be the A-Rod of NFL fans and sign with whatever team offers the most money. If I'm not going to be rooting for the Purple, then I have no vested interest in any other team in the league. So the team that will give me the most will win. I have a lot to offer as a fan. I'm extremely loyal, I'll write a blog about them in my free time, I'll sport the apparel in public places, I'll attend games, I'll call into radio talk shows to share my opinion, etc. Teams are going to want to have me on their side. So it becomes a question of my compensation. It doesn't have to be money, though that would be gladly accepted. Is the team going to give me good seats to be their fan? Are the seats on the 50 or in the end zone (I'll accept nothing less)? Do they provide me my choice of jersey? Am I guaranteed a picture in the yearly media guide? Do I get put in any kind of print or television advertisements? The team that can give me the best offer of those things and others will have themselves a super fan. Unless, of course, it's the Packers...

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