April 30, 2023

The 2023 Vikings NFL Draft Party


The 2023 Vikings NFL Draft Party
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 30, 2023

On Thursday night we headed to downtown Minneapolis and US Bank Stadium for the Vikings 2023 NFL Draft Party.

This is our 2nd year in a row going to the event.  Last year they had a big stage with local sports celebrities doing a live play by play of the NFL draft.  This year they skipped the stage and local celebrities and just showed the draft on the big screens.  Still fun, but not quite as fun.

They did have local media reporting from the event, but none of the local broadcasts were played for the crowd here for some silly reason.  I guess they wanted us focused on the national program out of Kansas City.  I kind of thought we could have just done that from home, but guess we would have missed out on the Vikings stadium atmosphere.

We did get photo opps with several team members including our potential #1 running back, Alexander Mattison.  Technically we still have our previous #1 running back, Dalvin Cook, but all indications are he'll be traded before the start of the new season.  I tried to get Alexander to give us some inside scoop, but he just shuffled us along for the next people to get a photo with him.

Harrison "Horrible Harry" Phillips is a defensive lineman with the team and also a really cuddly sort of fellow.

Ty Chandler is another running back with the team although we didn't get to see him play much as he was injured early in his rookie season.  Before that he showed a lot of flash, so hopefully we'll get to see him shine this coming season.

I saw our starting left tackle, Christian Darrisaw, playing Xbox with some fans.  I thought about trying to get a picture with him but he gave me a look like I probably shouldn't interrupt his game.  So I stepped aside and took this picture instead.  It's nice also.

I saw Purple Spiderman nearby so asked him to take a picture with me instead.  Unlike Darrisaw, he was quite happy for the opportunity to join me.  

We had the chance to take a tour of the Vikings locker-room which was fun, but pretty empty since it's the off season.  They had a couple lockers made up to look like they were Justin Jefferson's and Harrison Smith's.  I didn't see any unmentionables in either one of them so it just didn't feel like the real thing.

@toddswank With the #1.pick, the Vikings select…. #nfldraft #nfldraft2023 #minnesota #vikings ♬ Heart on my sleeve the wizard remix - The Wizard

 Other highlights of the week included dinner with Tim Ashland at Charlie's on Prior.  We used to connect with Tim all the time back in the day and have vowed to start adding that back into our lives on a regular basis.  He's always a bunch of fun to see.

Our daily dog walks are starting to get more exciting as Spring slowly emerges in Minnesota.  We snuck up on this osprey high on a perch hunting for fish near the shore of Prior Lake.  I was surprised how close he let me get and I snapped some really clear pictures.  This one was my favorite.

We zoomed in on this eagle at the edge of the creek that runs between Spring Lake and Prior Lake.  We figured he was eating something, but couldn't see the big carp he was grasping until we had a chance to look at the pictures up close.  Pretty cool.

About a week ago, we saw a large flock of pelicans land on Prior Lake, but it was too dark to get a decent photo of them.  Luckily, we've had a couple more encounters since.  We've never seen pelicans on Prior lake before so we figured they just must be passing through the area.

Another pleasant surprise we discovered when going through the photos was this carp that popped his head out of the water while I was snapping shots of the birds.  I didn't even notice it at the time.  Apparently the pelicans didn't either as I'm sure they would have swallowed him whole if they had.

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