A big one tonight, folks. The Vikings travel to the City by the Bay to face the 49ers in what is sure to be a rampaging, knock-down-drag-out, hide-the-women-and-children, slugfest-in-the-middle-of-a-mosh pit, barnburner of a football spectacle! It's the first of too many preseason games and the Vikings will have their hands full with a 49ers club entering the season with high expectations, and therefore, just trying their best to avoid any unnecessary injuries in a meaningless game.
Here are the keys to tonight's game for the Vikings:
1. Get off to a quick start and take the "crowd" out of the game. Unless, that is, no one bothers to show up for the game — in which case, the Vikings should still try to get off to a quick start in hopes that it gets the game over with that much sooner.
2. Redefine "Vanilla." Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has already intimated that since these two teams play again in week three of the regular season we can expect the offensive schemes to be vanilla. This revelation is rather confounding since it was always assumed that this was the very type of offense Musgrave prefers to run regardless. How does one go about making vanilla more vanilla-intensive? Well, Ben & Jerry need to pay attention tonight: Musgrave's just the man capable of taking vanilla to the next stratosphere of ordinariness. There's no doubt a patent will be pending as a result.
3. Keep the D-line fresh. This can be accomplished easily enough by rotating players like in... basketball. I almost said hockey there for a second. What was I thinking? Since everyone knows that hockey players don't really "rotate" but rather "shift lines"— and do so the vast majority of the time while the action is on-going — that would have been embarrassing to have made that comparison!
And make sure you fans keep an eye on... someone or another tonight. With rosters currently having close to 800 players on it, we don't know who's even going to be playing and for how long. Therefore, I strongly suggest playing the "license plate game" but with the numbers of players instead. Awarding bonus points to the person who first spots two different players with the same number from the same team makes it so much more compelling.