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  1. #1
    Caine's Avatar
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    Pioneer Press writer scores MAJOR points

    Those of you living in the Twin Cities - and those subscribing to the Pioneer Press online, have likely read something written by Sean Jensen before. He covers the Vikes and the NFL at the Pioneer Press (Which only makes sense...since he works there).

    I recently read his article, "Smith might avoid trouble", published yesterday (5/12/05), and got a bug up my kiester over the phrase, "or the Vikings will".

    Read the article HERE, and you'll see it in the first paragraph.

    Anyway, I read it...and got ticked. I got so ticked that I sent an email off to the contact address...just to make myself feel better. After all, I've done this before - sent emails off to Media people - and no one has ever bothered to reply.

    Well...Sean Jensen DID reply. I was floored!!!! Not only that, but his reply colored the article in an entirely new light...the one he'd originally intended but I'd missed.

    So, two big thumbs up for Sean Jensen. Anyone who is willing to write an article, then reply DIRECTLY to people who respond, is someone whose opinion I want to read. He earned my respect with that...something I can't say about any other media person anywhere.

    Caine

  2. #2
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    Re: Pioneer Press writer scores MAJOR points

    Yes. You are right...excellent article. Jensen has always been a favorite of mine too. I really like the fact that the guys are keeping the "brother" attitude. That is what he needs and we need to do the same...regardless of the outcome. As long as he is a Viking we should support him and the decisions the team makes about him.

    Gene "Norseman" Ramsay
    Gene Ramsay
    AKA - AlabamaViking
    www.vikingsfanatic69.com
    I'll see you on the field!
    #1 Vikings FAN in Alabama!

  3. #3
    Vikes's Avatar
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    Re: Pioneer Press writer scores MAJOR points

    Can you post the article and reply. Think link wants me to have a subscription.
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    The rigors of Spartan life. Leonidas is cast out into the wild, and survives the harsh winter to return to his home, when he is crowned King ....a Viking!

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  4. #4
    mark is offline Asst. Coach
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    Re: Pioneer Press writer scores MAJOR points

    You see what my boy bennett said.Sounds like someone who knows the job is his
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  5. #5
    Caine's Avatar
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    Re: Pioneer Press writer scores MAJOR points

    "Vikes" wrote:
    Can you post the article and reply. Think link wants me to have a subscription.
    The subscription is free, but here's the story anyway:

    [size=18px]Smith might avoid trouble[/size]

    NFL likely can't penalize Vikings running back for possession of kit designed to beat drug tests

    BY SEAN JENSEN

    Pioneer Press


    There appears to be nothing the NFL can — or the Vikings will — do to punish running back Onterrio Smith, who was stopped at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last month with a contraption designed to deceive drug tests.

    A tube of toothpaste initially alarmed the CTX baggage X-ray machine on April 21, according to an incident report, and Transportation Security Administration officials became concerned when they discovered six or seven vials of a white substance with the consistency of cocaine upon searching Smith's bag.

    Testing showed the white substance was dried, untainted urine, Smith explained to the officer, adding that he was taking the vials to his cousin.

    Already in the NFL's substance-abuse program, with two strikes against him, Smith faces a one-year suspension for his next offense. This, apparently, will not be it.

    For there to be a violation, a player would need to make a 'deliberate attempt' to substitute or alter a specimen during a drug test, according to a statement Wednesday by NFL spokesman Greg Aiello. The policy doesn't specifically address possession of paraphernalia outside of a testing situation, Aiello said, but the NFL will investigate to determine whether anything can or should be done.

    The Vikings cannot fine Smith, per the NFL collective bargaining agreement, and don't seem inclined to cut him or even hold him out of the workout program. Vikings coach Mike Tice commended Smith, who will be entering his third season, for his physical conditioning, largely because of his attendance in the team's offseason conditioning program.

    As of Wednesday afternoon, Tice had not spoken to Smith about the incident.

    "We'll monitor the situation and see what extent the league gets involved, then we'll decide what course of action to take, if any," Tice said. "We'll do that after the league does their due diligence."

    Smith worked out at Winter Park on Wednesday but did not make himself available for comment, on the advice of his agents and attorney. But his lawyer, David Cornwell, issued a statement that dismissed the effectiveness of the drug-test deception device, called "The Original Whizzinator," which includes a fake penis, bladder and athletic supporter.

    There was no indication what Smith was doing with the device.

    The NFL's standard drug-testing procedures would make such a device easy to detect. Aiello said the league's program "requires that players be visually observed from the front, giving the sample with their shirts off and pants down to their knees, making the effectiveness of such an effort remote."

    Said Cornwell in his statement, "The NFL has confirmed that their collection procedures, which include frontal observation and partial disrobing, (would) render a kit such as this useless."

    Smith has twice tested positive for substance abuse. The last time cost him four games during the 2004 season. He now is tested twice a week and attends a mandatory counseling session.

    "While his current status under the Program is confidential, the fact that Onterrio is enthusiastically preparing for the upcoming season demonstrates that he does not use prohibited substances," Cornwell said in the statement.

    Smith worked out at Winter Park on Wednesday. But his attorneys and agents instructed him not to comment.

    Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper said he tried to call Smith's cell phone Wednesday but hadn't heard back from him as of early Wednesday evening. Culpepper said he expects Smith to help the team achieve its goals next season.

    "I don't know what happened," Culpepper said. "But hopefully, he'll keep himself right, because Onterrio is a good dude, and he's going to be a part of helping us win a championship."

    Although he is in competition with Smith for the starting running back position, Michael Bennett said he hopes "this will all blow over."

    "We're all brothers, and we're all pulling for each other and trying to win the Super Bowl," Bennett said. "When a person goes through something, you just want to be there for them, for advice or whatever they need to help them get through.

    "I'm going to have his back regardless of what happens."

    ---------------------------------------

    My initial response:

    I recently read your aticle, "Smith Might Avoid Trouble", and was bothered by your opening statement;
    "There appears to be nothing the NFL can - or the Vikings will - do to punish running back Onterrio Smith, who was stopped at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last month with a contraption designed to deceive drug tests."

    And exactly what - in your boundless wisdom - would you have the Vikings do? Cut him? Suspend his training privleges? Make him watch "Lifetime Entertainment for Women" for 8 hours a day?

    The truth is, there is really nothing the Vikings should do about this. The NFL investigated and found that there was nothing to charge Smith with. That should be all. To have the Vikings punish him is not only petty, it is destructive.

    You seem to be basically advocating punishment for what MIGHT have happened...something we simply don't do in America. You also seem to advocate punishment in spite of not having broken any rules...something we also typically try to avoid.

    Is Smith an accident waiting to happen? Yes, I believe so. However, with several top-tier RB's already on the market - and not moving - we really have few options with Onterrio. All we can do is get what we can out of him while we have him...and pray that he wises up.

    Perhaps I misread you. Perhaps you aren't really blaming the Vikings in this debacle. If not, perhaps you should clarify that in a future writing. After all, by CBA rules, the Vikes CAN'T fine him...and we all know that anything else only punishes the TEAM, not the player.

    Jeff XXXXXX


    As you can see, I wasn't in the best of moods when writing this - my own fault for that.

    Anyway, to my suprise, this reply was waiting for me when I got home.

    Jeff,

    I think you misinterpreted the gist of what I was writing. Perhaps that's my fault. I'm not implying anything. I just wanted to make clear that despite all this attention, Smith will only suffer embarrassment. I wanted my readers to know that this incident likely won't result in his being suspended or being cut. My sources made that abundantly clear to me.
    Personally, I like Onterrio. And although he's had drug problems, I still think he's a good guy. We all have personal demons we deal with, right?

    But I appreciate you e-mailing me such insightful comments. Take care.

    Sincerely,

    Sean Jensen



    Yup, I got pwnt. And I took it with good grace because I deserved it. More, a media writer earned my respect - something never before seen.

    Caine

  6. #6
    Vikes's Avatar
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    Re: Pioneer Press writer scores MAJOR points

    WOW a cool media person!
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    The rigors of Spartan life. Leonidas is cast out into the wild, and survives the harsh winter to return to his home, when he is crowned King ....a Viking!

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  7. #7
    Storm's Avatar
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    Re: Pioneer Press writer scores MAJOR points

    "We're all brothers, and we're all pulling for each other and trying to win the Super Bowl," Bennett said. "When a person goes through something, you just want to be there for them, for advice or whatever they need to help them get through.

    "I'm going to have his back regardless of what happens."


    Bennett is my man. Truer words have never been spoken.

  8. #8
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    Re: Pioneer Press writer scores MAJOR points

    In all honesty I think Onterrio is just punishing himself more than the Vikings could anyway... because now I think Michael Bennett has just recieved a huge edge on becoming the starting running back! Because coach Tice wants to go and establish his running back right from the start this year... and he is not going to start Onterrio and then have him get suspended during the season and have to move down the line. Although the same could be said for Bennett and him being injury prone... but injuries happen, you can't base it on that, but a drug problem i think you can!

  9. #9
    Vikgarten's Avatar
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    Re: Pioneer Press writer scores MAJOR points

    I think he was cool for responding to your ridiculous e-mail. I certainly wouldn't have.

    I've read a lot of articles about the Vikings that have T'd me off, but there was nothing in this particular article to warrent a letter like the one you sent him.
    It was a little blasting for no reason.

    He went on to explain what he meant by "Or Vikings Will Do".... how much more did it need to be spelled out?

    I don't pity these journalists that probably field hundreds of e-mails like yours every week from people that misinterpret things that are really pretty straight forward.

  10. #10
    CanadaViking is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Re: Pioneer Press writer scores MAJOR points

    Hey mister Vikgarten, what part of this post did you not understand? Caine even made reference to him emailing off his message when he was hot, and said he shouldn't have, why are even critisizing him. If Caine was still mad about the article I could see your point, also caine said he gained a ton of respect for the writer, so what exactly are you trying to prove on your 1st post on this site. Man some dudes on this site get bent out of shape for no reason.

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