January 8, 2017

New Year's Day 2017 at the Vikings and Bears Game

New Year's Day 2017 at the Vikings and Bears Game
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for January 8, 2017

As has been tradition for the past several years, we spent New Year's at the party of our good friends, Karl & Tina Zitzewitz.  Or as my mom calls them, the Ziggle-witzes.   They're always fun to be with to countdown the old year and ring in the new one.

They had very festive wine bottles.  I didn't know Santa wore different colored hats before.

Our good friend, Troy Brown, brought some new hot sauce for us to experience.  He tried to tell me he didn't think it was that hot.  Then his son agreed with him that it wasn't that hot.  So I vowed to devour as much as I could because I wasn't afraid.  And they were right.  When I ate it, it wasn't that hot.  Sure it burned, but nothing like the burn I've tasted with a ghost pepper.  Until the next day that is.  I really felt it then.  I'll spare you the details, but this hot sauce helped me ring in the new year for the first 5 days of 2017!

On New Year's Day, we thought it was finally time to go see our first Vikings game of the year at the brand new US Bank Stadium.

We were really impressed with the new stadium and the massive video screens hanging throughout the place.

It was built in the same location as the old Metrodome, but is quite a bit bigger.  We were hoping for a retractable roof, but they couldn't quite get the budget for it.  So instead they have these massive glass doors that they can open on warm days to give people a breeze and the smell of the city.  It was too cold on this day so we just had to smell the people around us instead.

Unfortunately when I bought the tickets for this game, the Vikings were 5-0 and ticket prices were through the roof.  I paid an arm and a leg for our seats and we still ended up way up high in the nose bleed section.  It was still a great view of the game, but I look forward to the future when we can sit closer to the field.

The Vikings had a very frustrating year.  As I said, we started out the year 5-0, but a slew of injuries caused us to miss the chance at the playoffs and this game ended up being a meaningless contest where the Vikings could win and achieve an 8-8 record.  One of the highlights of the season, though, was Minnesota Native and Minnesota State Mankato University graduate Adam Thielen.  He has had a breakout season for us at wide receiver.

Cordarrelle Patterson also had a great comeback year as our kick returner and receiver.  The Vikings didn't extend him last year so it will be interesting to see if he's on the team for us next year.

Long time Viking and former University of Iowa player, Chad Greenway, came out of the tunnel to a lot of screams.  It's widely thought he will retire after this season and a great career with the Vikings.  We will miss that guy.

Chad and I go way back with one another!  At least back to when I used to wear glasses and still had hair.

Quarterback Sam Bradford joined our team after a horrific injury to our starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, and had a great season.  He even broke an NFL record for completion percentage despite the challenges our offensive line had due to a massive number of injuries.

Kyle Rudolph was a beneficiary to one of those completions when he scored a touchdown early in the game. 

Our opponents for the game were the Chicago Bears.  They beat us earlier in the season so gaining revenge on them with a beat-down was something we were hoping would happen.  And it did.

The Vikings ended up winning the game 38-10 so we had lots of chances to cheer and sing the Vikings Skol song.  Even though this was the end of the season, it sure was better than seeing a loss.

Catch it.  Catch it!!!

Miss Sheri absolutely loves Bud Grant.  That's probably why I found about 20 pictures of his interview with Greg Coleman on the camera.

We had some extra curricular fun happen during the game when some protesters scaled the beams of the new stadium and hung a banner protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.  You can see them dangling on ropes towards the top of the sign.  They were up there for about 3 quarters so I'm sure they loved their view of the game.  Until they were arrested.  Then their view probably wasn't nearly as good.

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