The Vikings start their Organized Team Activities (OTAs) this Monday, and although they are entirely optional, the team has seen an increase in participation over the years since Childress has become the coach. Why is this? Although most of the team activities have been highly guarded over the years, PJD has received a list of anticipated events that participating players and coaches will partake in during the 2009 OTAs …
– Every afternoon Childress allows the players to take a one hour nap in Winter Park’s softly modulated nursery, equipped with selective mood lighting, rhythmic and soothing background noise, as well a player specific built cots that include many individual requirements. For example, Pat Williams’ cot is next to the wall so that he won’t roll onto his right side and fall off the cot. Ben Leber’s cot is equipped with his shredded blanket from when he was a child. And John David Booty’s cot is closest to the air circulation vents so he can puff his green and drift off into psychedelic dreams.
– Plans currently are laid to have Chris Kluwe entertain several guests over the weekend for the 2nd Annual Vikings Guitar Hero Party. Rules were set last year when the winner was declared to be the host for next year’s party. Being the most naturally gifted at wielding a plastic axe, Kluwe found himself in the uncharacteristic role of party host this year. Rumor has it that his anticipated snack and drink list are underwhelming, and that if anyone ends up beating him at the game that he will stomp into the downstairs bathroom at his house and pout like a child for several hours, while the rest of the group enjoys playing such classics as Sublime’s “Santeria” and Metallica’s “One”.
– EJ Henderson in recent years has taken a small group of players with him to several homeless youth shelters and soup kitchens in the area throughout the week of OTAs. Much to the delight of several children and many adult fans, EJ and participating players play pick up games of football with them, eat lunch with them, and then disappear to go buy them a truck load of clothing, toys, and many other desirable items. The kicker is just as the children’s eyes light up and the adults start to cry, EJ and the fellow players hop back into the vans and drive away with all available speed possible. They then go back to EJs house and have an enormous BBQ in his backyard where they burn all of their purchased items. This event has been growing greatly in recent years.
– Being that the OTAs run during the end of the Minnesota Timberwolves basketball season, owner Zygi Wilf has frequently found that it is an opportune time to put his local team back into the community spotlight. This ends up not being that difficult as he usually tries to bring one of the more star studding players with him and then they sit next to the opposing teams’ bench. This year, Purple Jesus himself will be accompanying Mr. Wilf. Their planned activities during the game include laughing at Kevin McHale and his motley roster, attempting to trip Mike Miller while he’s galloping down the floor and give him a third sprained ankle on the year, and trying to convince Rodney Carney to tell Chris Rock jokes for their own amusement.
– Ever since his rookie year, Vikings OLB Chad Greenway has offered to take interested players to his South Dakotan family farm for a seminar he calls “Greenway Family Farmin'”. He teaches players that are interested in outdoor activities about normal life and responsibilities on a farm. Some of the highlights include drunken pig wrestling in the middle of the night, bull-milk drinking contests, box square 4-step dancing lessons, and blindfolded pin the cock in the sheep. Greenway tries to make the event as authentic as possible, requesting that all participants cover themselves in feces for a day before the trip, have them dress in genuine garb ranging from overalls to straw hats, and providing participants with the finest of Great Plains chaw and moonshine.
– Since signing with the Vikings, Steve Hutchinson has become well known for providing players and team employees with free home remodeling services during the OTAs. While some services are geared towards replacing broken pipes, setting a crumbling foundation, or minor energy improvements, Hutchinson’s main focus is to maximize space in the person’s home to create so much more room for activities. This has ranged from suggesting that people get rid of their king sized sofa and love seat in the bedroom, replacing it with a lofted futon, so that the floor space is increased, providing ample room for step aerobics, karate practice, or jump rope. Essentially, Hutchinson is a declutterer, encouraging others to open up their floor plan so that they may enjoy so many activities that it will blow their minds.
– Tarvaris Jackson has provided an artistic release for many players during their stay in Minnesota for OTAs. As an amateur photographer, he has offered to take players around to various breath taking locales in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area, offering tips and advice on how to best capture the inspiring image before them. These range from lighting and composition to time lapse photography and subject matter. Whereas many participating individuals have enjoyed taking photos down by the stone arch bridge and atop the IDS tower in Minneapolis, and on Dayton’s Bluff and around the Capitol in Saint Paul, many openly wonder about Jackson’s own preferred photographic locations including Centennial High School and early community centers that are holding many local proms.