February 19, 2017

Minnesota Vikings Winterfest 2017

Minnesota Vikings Winterfest 2017
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for February 19, 2017

This weekend, the Minnesota Vikings came to town as part of their winterfest celebration.  This was their first year doing it in Prior Lake, but we were glad they did and participated in several of the events.  This is Captain Munnerlyn who is a cornerback for the Vikings and attended a lot of the festivities.  He was around so much I heard people start referring to him as the Mayor of Prior Lake!

We also met some Vikings legends including Doug Sutherland who was a member of the Vikings Purple People Eaters and went to several Super Bowls with the team.

I also had the good fortune to see an old friend while Miss Sheri and I were out and about on the town.  Holly Krieger and I went to elementary school together and it's been about 30 years since I've last seen her!  Coincidentally enough, we now live only a few miles away from each other.  It's such a small world!

On Friday night, we connected with our good friends, Troy and Rhonda Brown for the next night of Vikings Activities.  A Hairball Concert at Mystic Lake Casino!

First, we had to eat, though.  So we tried out a restaurant called Triggers at the Prior Lake Horse & Hunt Club.  Whoever shot my steak did a pretty good job!

We also saw our friends, Jen and Dan Walters, at the concert.  They looked like they were Ready to Rock!

Several of the Vikings came out before the show started to say hi to the audience and remind us we were there as part of the Vikings Winterfest.

I had never seen Hairball perform before, but what a great band!  It was like a nostalgia ride through my favorite hair bands of the eighties including Van Halen!

I really liked when they played KISS songs including Detroit Rock City!!

Guns n Roses was fun.  Oh Sweet Child O Mine!

Alice Cooper reminded us that school was not only out for the summer.  It was out forever.

Ozzie Barked at the Moon, but I didn't see him bite any heads off bats like he used to do back in the old days.  Must be getting too rough on his stomach.

AC DC was there to remind us who the real Iron Man was and still is!

Freddie Mercury ended the show and told us a sad story about the time he killed a man.  He put a gun against his head, pulled the trigger, and now he's dead.  I'm sure that made his mama pretty sad also.

On Saturday morning, we woke up and headed to the VFW for breakfast.  I kind of forgot it was still Vikings Winterfest until I realized that it was none other than Vikings Running Back, CJ Ham, making my pancakes.  I'm sure he doesn't do this kind of thing on a normal Saturday morning.

Vikings fullback, Zach Line, was also there doing some kind of kitchen chores but was still nice enough to stop and have a chat with me.

Former Vikings star, Carl Lee, was working at the beverage stand and gave me an orange juice.  I thought that was pretty nice of him.

We had a very pleasant chat with Vikings Cheerleaders, Jordan and Nao.  Jordan told us she loved all the outreach opportunities she gets to have as a Vikings Cheerleader.  I told her she's going to be a good mom some day.  Then we all shed a couple of tears together and went our separate ways.  True story.

We saved the best event of the Vikings Winterfest for last.  The Minnesota Polar Plunge which was being done to support the Special Olympics.  Ted Fristed has asked me to do it the past couple of years since we are on the Prior Lake Robotics booster club together and this year I said "Let's Do It!"

Fox 9 weatherman, Ian Leonard, was the Polar Plunge Ambassador and welcomed us to the event.

We also bumped into my favorite Scott County Commissioner, Tom Wolf.  He was there as a volunteer, but I'm thinking next year we'll get him to join us for the plunge.  

When I saw the size of the hole, I became a little intimidated.  They told me it was about 6 feet deep where we were jumping in and I was a little surprised to see how far we had to swim before we could get out of the water.  But we lucked out with some unseasonable warm weather.  55 degrees in Minnesota in February is practically unheard of so that was good!

As usual, Miss Sheri was in my corner ready to support Ted and I and to be our official photographer for the event!  Notice that cute Vikings scarf she was wearing courtesy of Captain Munnerlyn.

Jen and Dan Walters were also there to cheer us on.  We're definitely getting them to jump with us next time!

The crowds started arriving and we knew it was getting close to time to freeze our rear-ends!

Our Plunge Ambassador kicked off the event and we were ready to go!

There were a lot of crazy people jumping in the water!!

I have to be honest.  It was much colder than I was expecting.  In this moment, I had just lifted my head out of the water and for a split second I looked at the rescue workers in the water and thought I was going to need them.  I honestly didn't think I was going to be able to control my muscles, but somehow they kicked in and started working.  I probably swam as fast as I ever have before in my life because I had such a strong desire to get out of that water!!

Here's the video of my plunge with Ted:

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