Tough Fans, Tough Teams

Mike Florio on the problems the Vikings will face as they play the next two seasons outside while their new stadium is being built:

“For the Vikings, the bigger problem will be playing home games outdoors for two years before returning inside.  The inevitability of wind and cold and precipitation affects the manner in which a team is built.  To be successful the next two seasons, the Vikings need to build a team that can thrive in the elements.  Then, after two years playing outside, it’ll be time to reconfigure the team to get the most out of playing indoors.”

This is going to cause a lot of issues for a lot of people, not just the Vikings team, itself.

For example, the likelihood is going to be relatively high that a reasonable percentage of teams from divisions playing the NFC North are going face some ugly weather with Chicago, Green Bay and now Minnesota playing outside.  Some would call this a major advantage for teams within the division.  That could include the Vikings if display the needed mental toughness to excel cold weather.

But one thing I’ll be interested in will be the attendance in Minnesota.  No one knows how fans in the area who are used to attending indoor games are going to react to having to deal with the cold.  Minnesota fans don’t have the reputation around the division that, for example, fans in Green Bay and Chicago have.  Fans from these cities relish their reputation for showing up to in all kinds of weather to match the hardiness of their teams who are expected to play under the same conditions.  Now fans in Minnesota are going to have their chance to prove that they can muster the same attitude.

“Don’t Let Familiarity Rob You of Your Joy”

Dan Wieder at the Chicago Tribune on soon to be free agent quarterback Josh McCown:

“[McCown] remembers an expression [Bears head coach MarcTrestman often recites: ‘Don’t let familiarity rob you of your joy.'”

“That’s the reminder to savor every moment, no matter how routine. That helps explain why McCown carries enthusiasm into every practice, why he cherished his game-day drives up Lake Shore Drive, why he always pinches himself on the way into Halas Hall.

“‘That door handle on the back of the facility, every time I grab it, it’s this moment for me,’ McCown says. ‘I’m walking in the facility again — where once I thought I was never going to do this again. So that will never get old. Ever.'”