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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Vikings want privacy and lots of public money

    [size=18px]Broadcast Sports: Vikings want privacy and lots of public money[/size]

    On the same day the Vikings went stumping for stadium money, they informed the media that their operation is none of the fans' business.

    Judd Zulgad
    Star Tribune
    Last update: February 16, 2006 – 7:50 PM


    Vikings owner Zygi Wilf's newest football hire, Fran Foley, informed Purple Nation that on-field matters are none of its business on Thursday.
    Approximately seven hours later, Wilf's stadium honchos stumped for an Anoka County complex that would include funding of $395 million from the public.

    The situation would be laughable if it wasn't so sad.

    The post-Mike Tice Vikings made their message crystal clear to a fan base it must consider to be a bunch of suckers: "We're a semi-public institution when it comes time for you to pony up tax dollars for a stadium, but a private business when it comes to our football product."

    In the interest of full disclosure, the fact the Vikings are going in this direction will make this writer's day job as one of the team's beat writers more difficult. And that's fine. It's not the responsibility of Wilf's Triangle of Silence -- a group that includes Foley, coach Brad Childress and vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski -- to make life easy for those who cover the team.

    But Foley's introductory news conference as the Vikings' vice president of player personnel -- three weeks after he was hired -- made it obvious this goes beyond keeping the media at arm's length. The franchise would do the same to a fan base that has filled the Metrodome on a regular basis since 1998.

    "My position will be that we're not going to talk about our football business in public," Foley said. "It's just not going to happen. It's not the way that I do business, and it won't be the way that we'll do business from this point forward."

    That was one of the few moments of candor from a guy who started the wrapup of his opening statement by informing the assembled media: "We are in the business and the process of player procurement, and everyone is extremely busy maintaining that edge, so we have a lot of things to do. I would like to open it up to some questions knowing that I do have an extremely busy agenda."

    Not what one would call getting started on the right foot.

    Asked to comment regarding a Star Tribune report that the Vikings were gauging quarterback Daunte Culpepper's trade value, Foley appeared as if he had just been asked to ingest hemlock.

    And what did new coach Brad Childress have to say about what's going on with Culpepper, the guy he called "the franchise quarterback" on his first day on the job? No one knows. Childress' silence with the local media reached its 34th day, and that streak appears certain to reach 42 days before Childress' scheduled news conference at the NFL Combine next Friday in Indianapolis.

    As his news conference neared an end, Foley was asked if he thought the answers he was giving the fans would keep them happy.

    "I would just offer to the fans to know that we, too, feel an evaluation," he said in a stunning end run around the question. "Mr. Wilf is evaluating me every day, just as I am evaluating the process by which we do our business. All I would ask from them is to give us a chance as we go forward here. We're new to the task. I think they'll see some results in a short time, but that remains to be seen."

    So what exactly is the Vikings' plan to keep its fan base informed? Is there one?

    "There is a change in approach at the Vikings organization from the past and we're working through it," said Lester Bagley, the Vikings' vice president of public affairs and stadium development. "There had been a lot of information in the previous regime that was out in the public that sometimes was inappropriate and potentially harmful to the club from a competitive perspective.

    "We need to set a new course. That's kind of what we're going to have to all get used to working with. We also realize that the media are an important part of covering this club and getting fans information about exactly what is going on."

    The Vikings could take a page from the Washington Redskins. The team and its owner, Daniel Snyder, have feuded with the local media, but Snyder attempts to get his spin out through two team-run Websites and a weekly television show that is produced by the Redskins. He also bought three radio stations in the market.

    These outlets rarely provide a word of unbiased reporting on the Redskins, but at least Snyder is attempting to give fans of his team a feeling they are in the loop.

    At this point that's an improvement over the Vikings, who apparently plan to only put out the welcome mat for their fans when it's convenient. "It's too competitive out there," Foley said explaining his lack of candidness. "We're not going to share any of that [information] with the public."

    Judd Zulgad • [email protected]

    Vikings want privacy and lots of public money

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Vikings want privacy and lots of public money

    That is really ridiculous. I work at a public institution and get competitive grants for my research. Everything is available to the public because it is funded by the public. I have a lot of great research ideas (in my mind), but if nobody is willing to fund them then I have to question how great my ideas really are.

    People have to at least have a perception of getting something for their money if they are going to cough it up. Zygi appears to be on the right path for attempting to create a good public image and economic incentives. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

  3. #3
    Mikecarter81's Avatar
    Mikecarter81 is offline Coordinator
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    Re: Vikings want privacy and lots of public money

    Wow what a suprise! A newsreporter from the Twin Cities that bashes the vikings anytime a stadium deal comes into discussion. This doesn't bother me in the least.

    Hey they are a private business we will learn stuff as it comes out. I'd rather have this then all this rumor mongering that is going on about Pep right now. I hope the team figures out its stadium deal before we lose this team too, just like we lost the Stars.

    Mike
    I am an avid Viking fan, but also am an avid restoration guy of vintage Mopar(Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth)B bodies

  4. #4
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    Re: Vikings want privacy and lots of public money

    id like to compare the number of reporters who hate the new stadium idea to the ones that actually approve of it..pretty unfair perspectives
    People who see life as anything more than pure entertainment are missing the point.

  5. #5
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings want privacy and lots of public money

    "Mikecarter81" wrote:
    Wow what a suprise! A newsreporter from the Twin Cities that bashes the vikings anytime a stadium deal comes into discussion. This doesn't bother me in the least.

    Hey they are a private business we will learn stuff as it comes out. I'd rather have this then all this rumor mongering that is going on about Pep right now. I hope the team figures out its stadium deal before we lose this team too, just like we lost the Stars.

    Mike
    Not keeping the public informed will only increase the number of rumors that fly around, not reduce them.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  6. #6
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings want privacy and lots of public money

    "olson_10" wrote:
    id like to compare the number of reporters who hate the new stadium idea to the ones that actually approve of it..pretty unfair perspectives
    The number of reporters who hate or like the stadium idea doesn't mean squat.

    A state-wide public poll would be more realistic.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  7. #7
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Vikings want privacy and lots of public money

    "Mikecarter81" wrote:
    ...Hey they are a private business we will learn stuff as it comes out. ...
    Once a business gets a bunch of coin from the public it is no longer a private business. The stockholders have a right to know. If people put clams into a business they have every right to know what is going on with their money. If the business doesn't want to divulge that information then they shouldn't be asking for public money. Simple as that.

  8. #8
    AngloVike's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings want privacy and lots of public money

    Lets get this into perspective regarding the privacy. I think you'll find that the TC media is getting their knickers in a twist because the Vikes are learning to keep their own counsel when it comes to player issues and things that directly affect the team.
    As the article said
    "There is a change in approach at the Vikings organization from the past and we're working through it," said Lester Bagley, the Vikings' vice president of public affairs and stadium development. "There had been a lot of information in the previous regime that was out in the public that sometimes was inappropriate and potentially harmful to the club from a competitive perspective "

    In other words previous HCs, owners and senior personnel within the organisation have been too free and easy in what they told to the media. Other teams then get a jump on possible ideas / plans or moves by the team and so have a chance to think ahead.
    Whats wrong about keeping things like within the organisation and letting the fans find out as the opposition do.

    The TC media seem to think that they have a god given right to every bit of information and news within Winter Park and now that someone has said " no " they start acting like a spoilt kid.
    A good example has been the signing of Goodspeed this week. If the team had tipped their hand about wanting to get to get him the the TC newshounds would have being trying to prejudge it and trying to tell Zygi and co. why it was wrong based on info from an inside source. Instead the team just did it and now it has everyone guessing as to what may be special about him and thats not a bad thing at all.

    Hopefully this will be start of the Vikes being a lot more careful about the information that comes out of the organistion in terms of team matters.
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...


  9. #9
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Vikings want privacy and lots of public money

    "AngloVike" wrote:
    Lets get this into perspective...
    Good point.

  10. #10
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    Re: Vikings want privacy and lots of public money

    You all make good points and I think in some instances I didn't think it all the way out.

    Mike
    I am an avid Viking fan, but also am an avid restoration guy of vintage Mopar(Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth)B bodies

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