After hyping themselves as the favorite for the north.
Jim Souhan, Star Tribune
Sat, April 29, 2023 at 5:10 PM CDT
The Vikings’ brain trust continues to set precedents. Never, before Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell took over, had a first-year Vikings coach and general manager won 13 games.
And never, before Thursday, had a Vikings GM, asked how late he was going to work into the night during the NFL draft, indicated he was headed not for a pull-out bed in his office, but for a night spa.
“You know, I’ve been told I’ve got to go home,” Adofo-Mensah said. “The home sauna has been turned on. I’ve got to go in for 30 minutes, get up and do it again tomorrow.”
There will be grizzled Vikings fans who remember Bud Grant, Jerry Burns and Mike Zimmer, and would prefer the general manager to reference beer, whiskey and shooting animals whose heads could be displayed in a hunting lodge.
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This is a new era, featuring loafers without socks, midnight steam rooms and conspicuous geniality.
These are still early days for this regime, but this is what Adofo-Mensah would have been thinking in that sauna if he weren’t such a positive guy:
“Next spring will be like this spring — we’re going to win the division, and still not know who our quarterback of the future is.”
The Vikings have barely begun to install their systems, they got little immediate value out of their first draft, they chose a 175-pound receiver in the first round of their second draft, and they are positioned to dominate the NFC North again.
Before KAM and KOC arrived, the Vikings hadn’t won the division since 2017, and had won it just twice since 2009.
In 2022, they won the division by four games. In the last week, they might have expanded their advantage.
“The Detroit Lions, darlings of the national media? They had a slew of players suspended for gambling, then used the 12th pick in the draft on a running back, traded the last running back they mistakenly spent a high draft pick on, and used the 18th pick on an inside linebacker. This is like buying fuzzy dice and a subwoofer before you own a car.”