UPDATE 11/12 9:30 AM CT:
Re: heated benches story, Gophers contacted Vikings equipment staff & asked to use benches for visiting team. We agreed.— Jeff Anderson (@andersonj) November 12, 2014
Vikings folks are confirming it too. Wave goodbye to the poll and consider all HOT TAKES null and void. Well, except for the "Vikings penchant for shooting themselves in the foot stuff" 'cause that's "sun rises in the East" news at this point.
UPDATE 11/12, 8:40 AM CT: Doogie is saying it was the U who asked the Vikings to provide the benches to Ohio State.
Heatergate story: U of M asked #Vikings if Ohio St. could use two heated benches that are the Vikes. Vikes said yes, and would for anyone.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) November 12, 2014
I'm sure I'll have more tweets to embed by the end of the day.
One important thing before we get started...this has not been officially confirmed in any way so far as I know. I'm going to proceed as if the report you're about to read is accurate, which means my comments below are a speculative HOT TAKES zone. Grains of salt and all that.
I'm hearing a local NFL team is letting our opponent borrow their sideline-heating equipment for the game. Dislike.— Chad Pearson (@chadpearson42) November 12, 2014
For those who aren't aware, Chad Pearson is a Gophers speed and strength coach.
- Again, I don't know for sure if this is legit. But it's annoying and rumor-y enough that I'm going to talk about it.
- IMPORTANT: This shouldn't the biggest deal in the grand scheme of things. Truly, it really shouldn't be. If this rumor turns out to be true and Ohio State wins then the sideline heating equipment probably won't be the cause of the outcome.
- That said, there does seem to be some strong correlation between the conditions and MN's record at TCF Bank Stadium (Matt, please chime in as I couldn't track down your comments on the matter), and thus anything that negatively impacts that advantage is to be avoided.
- When you're the underdog like the Gophers and you're at home, you want to stack the deck in every way possible while following the rules and your obligations to sportsmanship. No one begrudges the home team their little advantages. It's not like the Gophers would get a similar accommodation if they were on the road anywhere else.
- Regardless of the actual importance of the move to the outcome of the game, there is no way for a fan of both teams to look at this as anything but a kick in the teeth from our local NFL squad (and if you're a Gophers/Packers or Gophers/Bears fan I'm sure this will only fuel your Vikings HATE). The Gophers have been gracious and accommodating hosts to the Vikings while they've been on campus. Sure, the U is getting a nice chunk of change out of the deal. But publicly they've always been fair and supportive of the Vikings. Similar positive vibes have not always been present from the Vikings side of the table. And now when given the chance to support the Gophers in tangible way outside the requirements of their legal contracts, the Vikings have (allegedly) chosen to support the alma mater of the GM's younger brother instead.
- I'm a Gophers fan first and a Vikings fan well after that. If this goes down consider my ties to the Vikings severely strained (if not severed). I can easily fill the role of "NFL team that kicks me in the gut by losing" with my wife's Bengals without missing a beat. Loyalty to your hometown teams is a two way street. Is this a super logical reason to get that frustrated with the Vikes? Probably not, but it's the latest in a line of things that have/will cause me to lose respect for the franchise. Also, the emotions behind fandom are rarely rational.
- I'm not sure why the Vikings would want any PR nonsense out there in advance of their upcoming decision to welcome Adrian Peterson back (and the outcry that decision will generate), but I also couldn't fathom the way they screwed up the PR of the AP situation in the first place either. In other words, I'm likely underestimating how moronic the leadership of the Vikings is on a regular basis.
- Watch this be true and then watch the Vikings walk it back on Friday. Why? Because they like shooting themselves in the foot.
- I still don't buy the "Vikings are the cause of everything bad to ever happen to the Gophers" argument, so don't expect me to support any conspiratorial thinking on that front.
- Seriously Vikings, try not to suck at life so much.