Skol Vikings… You Have to Like the First Round!

The Draft is here!  This is always one of my favorite weekends of the year!  It’s time for football again and I couldn’t be happier, right now…

As a Vikings fan this is the time of year that I get all worked up for the upcoming season.  I eat Golden Grahams,  drink Goldschlager, and crap purple!  And yes, I know what you’re thinking.  I have a doctor’s appointment next week.  Beyond the fact that a diet of Golden Graham’s and cinnamon schnapps with gold flakes may have adverse, though team-spirited health effects, be it known that I am full of purple pride every April.

Kalil and Smith’s Intro Presser

The Vikings swapped picks with the Cleveland Browns and acquired a 4th, 5th, and 7th round pick.  Awesome, yep I like it so far.  Now with the fourth overall pick the Vikings selected Matt Kalil, LT, USC.  Lots of speculation as to whether or not the GM Rick Spielman and Coach Frazier would pull the trigger on Kalil over the past couple of weeks.  A franchise left tackle is not something you pass on in the NFL.  Especially when they currently have a Bryant McKinnie sized hole to fill in the offensive-line.  So I was a little nervous that the trade was a flash in the pan.  I was so certain they would let the clock run out or go all Troy Williamson again that I almost couldn’t believe it when the pick came in.  Had to pinch myself.  Kalil is a great pick!

One-on-One with Matt Kalil

Fast forward to the end of the first round. Once again the Vikings were active trading their Second-round pick (No. 35) and Fourth-round pick (No. 98) to the Baltimore Ravens in return for their First-round pick (No. 29).  That picked was used to select Harrison Smith, S, ND.  Another impact starter in another huge area of need.  I admit outside of Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay I don’t know a hell of a lot about Harrison Smith.  From the research I’ve done since the pick and my first impressions of him in an interview setting, he comes off as a tough kid.

One-on-one with Harrison Smith

From a fans perspective, I think you have to be very pleased with the approach of Spielman and Frazier in the first round.  I am, for one.  And its just a downright pleasure to make it through the first round of a Vikings draft without contemplating throwing your flatscreen across the room.

Now I am a rube, I’ll admit it.  But I am a pragmatic rube.  The Vikings have always found a way to let me down eventually so I am at least trying to keep my expectations in check.  Come on, its the draft.  I have the rest of the year to be disappointed.  Right now is all about what if. A crappy 3-13 record and a mild foray into free-agency means that the Vikings are rebuilding.  The NFC North is going to be one of the toughest divisions in the NFL for a lot of years to come.  If the team needs to rebuild, do it now.  Seeing how this team is approaching the draft makes me feel a lot better about free-agency.  At least I know the strategy and tend to agree.

As evidenced above, I like the first two picks for the Vikings.  Add Kalil and Smith to other young players QB Christian Ponder, TE’s Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson, etc. and I think the Purple have some good, foundation-type, building blocks in place.

How about you Vikings fans? What do you think so far?  For that matter if any of you Cheese-Head, Motor City Kitty, or “Fall Down, Chicago” Bear fans care to to chime in I’d love to hear from ya.

Disc Golf as Mental Therapy

Discraft Flash Z plastic

My favorite disc of all time.

It’s been a rough day.  One of those kind of days where I just want to punch the world in the larynx.  This morning I was not cool with anyone, I might’ve even put my own mother in a head-lock (don’t worry Mom, not really I’m just trying to make a point).  You know the kind of day that I am talking about?

So rather than explode on the people around me and those that I care about, I took to the local disc golf course at Prentis Park here in Vermillion, SD.  I packed my bag with nine different maximum distance drivers.  My favorite is the Discraft Flash.  It’s nice and stable and you can throw it on any kind of line that you would like.  It flies fast and just does what you want it to.

Anyways, I took all of those discs and played 18 holes.  I threw every one of them on every hole of the course.  What I realized was is that I was able to control everything around me while I was throwing.  My power and my technique were the variables that I focused my mind on.  When I started out, I was pissed off.  And to be perfectly honest I’m still kinda angry but I feel a lot better than I did.  Just getting out there and throwing was cathartic for me.  The sun is out, the wind is low, the grass is that nice vibrant spring green, and  freshly cut.  The scenery alone was enough to generally brighten my mood a little bit.  But you know what made me feel the most relief?  Stepping up to that tee box and ripping my Flash out about 360 feet.  It’s a beautiful sight and throwing a disc farther than the length of a football field is a lot of fun to do.

Sure my arm is a limp noodle at this point.  But at least I don’t feel like punching the world in the larynx as much anymore.

So if you’re ever all bent out of shape about something, I suggest taking up disc golf and just go to the course and throw.  Throw over and over again until you get all that poison out because its not good for you. I know its not good for me.

Anyone else out there in blog-land agree with me?  Do you have any techniques for de-pissifying that you’d like to share? Please do!

And just in case you are new to the game, here is a useful YouTube video that can get you throwing farther faster.  I watch it at the beginning of every season and it always helps.

Knock Down Barriers to Innovation: Welcome to the HBR Insight Center – Andrew O’Connell and Andrea Ovans – Harvard Business Review

Knock Down Barriers to Innovation: Welcome to the HBR Insight Center – Andrew O’Connell and Andrea Ovans – Harvard Business Review.

Some useful information I plan on taking advantage of.  Hope there are more of you out there that find some value in this.  That’s about all I have for tonight.  Take care.

Trampled by Turtles “Alone” from Stars and Satellites

If you’re dub-stepped out or think that if you hear “I’m sexy and I know it” one more time that your head may implode into itself, I suggest grabbing the new Trampled by Turtles album, Stars and Satellites.

Trampled by Turtles is a bluegrass band but its not your grandpa’s bluegrass. When listening you hear numerous influences from Bob Dylan to Kurt Cobain. Whether it be a slow ballad like “Widower’s Heart” or an upbeat number like “Walt Whitman” you can’t help but become engrossed with all the music that is happening around you.

I’m not going to do an album review other than to say it’s so friggin awesome. The talent that surrounds front man Dave Simonett is second to none in any musical genre. Just in case you’re a lil bit curious, check out some of the videos above. You’ll be so glad you did.

And then I Blogged…

Hey, I’m Matt.  I’ve been thinking about blogging for some time now.  The one thing that kept stopping me was that I didn’t know if anyone would care what I think about anything.  Why should they?  I am just a guy with a keyboard and access to the internet.  There are literally millions of people just like me, so what makes me different?  Well like I said, my name’s Matt.  A fairly common name all in itself, but I’m the only Matt I know that has my perspective.  So what do I have to lose, I’m gonna write about whatever I want.

My sidekick Fred.

This is my partner in crime, his name's Fred

For example, right now, I feel like telling the world about my dog Fred.  He’s a six year old male Basset Hound with a devil-may-care disposition and a love for plush sectional couch cushions.  Fred’s still a little bitter about the whole “getting his nuts chopped off” thing but I suppose I can’t blame him.  His desire to nap is only outweighed by his desire for belly rubs. And finally Fred’s favorite trick is “playing sleepy” and he can pee for a good 3 minutes without stopping.

Until next time, be well.