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Mark Wilf says Vikings will “surprise a lot of people”

Vikings Stadium Football AP

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has said that he expects the Vikings to win the division in 2012.  Team president Mark Wilf, Zygi’s brother, hasn’t gone quite as far, but it’s clear that he has high hopes for the franchise, too.

I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people,” Mark Wilf (pictured on the left, not the right) said after Minnesota’s preseason game against the Chargers, via Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

And while that talk would seem to suggest that, if the Vikings fall short of surprising people, folks will be held accountable with their jobs, the Wilfs seem to be willing to take a Rooney-style long-term approach to the football organization.

“Listen, we want to win now, obviously, but we also want to build a stable, long-term winning franchise, too,” Mark Wilf said. “I think the way we’ve structured it now with a general manager in Rick Spielman and then our coach, Leslie Frazier . . . I think the structure’s very important.  That’s what’s been successful in the league, and that’s what we’re going to have here.”

It won’t be easy.  The Vikings currently seem to be a distant third in the division that, once upon a time, they dominated.

In the end, the Vikings will become competitive again only by getting the kind of players that will make them competitive.  They have some but, as of right now, it doesn’t look like they have enough.

If enough of the team’s young players develop the way the Vikings hope they will, that could change.  For now, “hope” may be the best way to describe the franchise — and “hope” for 2012 seems false at best.

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35 Responses to “Mark Wilf says Vikings will “surprise a lot of people””
  1. virusgvr says: Aug 26, 2012 12:08 PM

    I am gonna go out on a limb and say this comment is gonna bite good old Ziggy right in ass.

  2. oilman989 says: Aug 26, 2012 12:13 PM

    “Distant third??” What – the Packers, Lions, or Bears seceded from the division?

    More like a “rear-view mirror” fourth.

  3. raynman49 says: Aug 26, 2012 12:16 PM

    A distant fourth.

  4. thepvyharvin says: Aug 26, 2012 12:17 PM

    “Hope” seems false at best? Glad not all of us Viking fans are as negative as you ! You are a Vikings fan I know,,

  5. purpleguy says: Aug 26, 2012 12:20 PM

    Look, I’m a die hard Viking fan, but a realistic one. I was at the game Friday, and the only way I’ll be surprised is if we win more than 6 games.

  6. christhefish says: Aug 26, 2012 12:20 PM

    While the stadium issue was up in the air the Wilf’s have been a little reluctant to pump resources into this team, and you can’t blame them for that. I think that they would have pulled out of Minny if the stadium deal failed. I expect them to invest heavily in this franchise after this season.

  7. dj121191 says: Aug 26, 2012 12:21 PM

    I was unaware that “a lot of people” have high expectations for the vikings this year

  8. lbpackfan says: Aug 26, 2012 12:21 PM

    Whats that, win 4 games?

  9. nirvana504 says: Aug 26, 2012 12:25 PM

    No they won’t.

  10. purpwalk says: Aug 26, 2012 12:29 PM

    hmmm, you mean ‘distant fourth in the division’, right?

    easy schedule, better than last year, but they’ll be inconsistent this year, it’s a young team. ponder is the key, as long as he improves, there’ll be ‘hope’

    the big story for this year will be getting the stadium issue done

  11. francheyes says: Aug 26, 2012 12:33 PM

    cue the pot stirrers

  12. beefkurtanz says: Aug 26, 2012 12:34 PM

    Distant third? More like a distant turd! This is how the division will end up
    .
    Packers
    Lions (2/3) toss up
    Bears (3/2) toss up
    Vikes

  13. khmer379 says: Aug 26, 2012 12:41 PM

    We wont win the division but we will be better then 3-13 dont judge a team by preseason performance history has alway shown preason game are irrelevent

  14. chi01town says: Aug 26, 2012 12:41 PM

    Defenses will key on peterson… Put 8 in the box an pressure that Rookie QB into making mistakes. He needs a pro bowl WR.

  15. bmita10 says: Aug 26, 2012 12:49 PM

    I’m a diehard Vikings fan .. And a realist .. They are hard to watch right now

  16. cags777 says: Aug 26, 2012 12:58 PM

    Season ticket holder who attended Friday’s game against the Chargers. I saw way too many mistakes from the offense and I am realistic enough to know that we’re not going to win the division or even qualify for a wild card spot. At best, I would say 7-9 with the possibility of surprising the Lions and the Packers (yes, I said it and you can take it to the bank). I also know the Wilfs don’t want to be like the Dan Snyders of the world with continuous hirings and firings of head coaches. But you have to hire the right personnel in order to get that done. And Rick Speilman was not the best hire for general manager (although Mike Holmgren hasn’t been the best GM for the Browns either and may be on his way out).

  17. cags777 says: Aug 26, 2012 1:00 PM

    And purpwalk, the stadium issue has already been solved! The Vikings are getting a new stadium and it will open at the start of the 2016 season.

  18. idolized1 says: Aug 26, 2012 1:11 PM

    They won’t if our linebackers keep playing like they’re drunk!

  19. thegreatgabbert says: Aug 26, 2012 1:18 PM

    Proudly sporting his #4 Favre jersey, Ziggy gives the world a thumbs up in this family photo alongside his brothers.

  20. ezwriter69 says: Aug 26, 2012 1:39 PM

    Front seven on defense are excellent, can play with anyone, if they all stay healthy. Not sure they can cover anyone, but they will definitely rush the passer. It’s all on Ponder on offense, even if AD is still AD, he has to throw well enough to keep the safeties out of the box.
    I think their defense could win them some games, but it’s a tough tough division. Wish they were outdoors this year instead of next, that D line on a frozen field would resemble the Purple People Eaters.

  21. eviltwin007 says: Aug 26, 2012 1:52 PM

    They are gonna surprise me by picking ahead of the Colts in next years draft. I doubt they are gonna beat the Colts in week 2.

  22. canadianvikingfaniii says: Aug 26, 2012 2:05 PM

    Vikings were bad last year, no denying that, but they weren’t as bad as most people think. Lots of tight games lost by 7pts and less because of bad coaching decisions. Ponder should be better with an offseason, and let’s not decide he’s a bust or reach yet, let him play 2 more years. My concerns are the WRs, MLB, and secondary.

  23. arnoldziffel says: Aug 26, 2012 3:08 PM

    So, is Ziggy going to let that unkempt fool ride around in the college stadium on his motorcycle this season?

    Two years he lost control of his hog when somebody blew that Viking horn, and he ran over Favre’s foot.

    And Favre has never been the same since..

    *Note the look on #4’s face in the photo … it’s the same look Favre when that front tire squashed his tootsies.

  24. zygizag says: Aug 26, 2012 4:00 PM

    Anyting can happen though not likely. If the offense suddenly become RED ZONE effecient and if their kicker comes through, if they win the turnover battle and if someone wakes up on defense and decides that INTERCEPTIONS is a good goal to have and obtain (other than thier 7th round pick) then 10-6 play-offs could happen. Not likely but could.

    I would feel better with a better GM head offensive and defensive coaches and head coach.

    I do not understand how Zygi can be so successful at business and yet for the GM only interview 1 guy and both times for the head coaching position only interview 1 guy.

  25. contra74 says: Aug 26, 2012 4:31 PM

    Florio claims to be a Viking fan but Viking fans won’t accept him. He is a black stain to this fan base.

  26. stellarperformance says: Aug 26, 2012 6:56 PM

    Don’t rule the Vikings out….I never do. They always give the Packers a game no matter what the predictions are. And I have seen many teams that were predicted to fail and end up winning. It happens all the time. You simply can’t be certain what will take place until the games are played.

  27. pappavike says: Aug 26, 2012 7:53 PM

    Hey! folks I agree with the Wilf’s teams will take the Vikes lightly Big mistake! Food for thought do you think for one minute that teams are going to show there hand! We saw very little of what the Vikes play book will entail! The only thing the Vikes or any other team wanted to do was evaluate the talent the have! That’s what preseason is for! I’m not saying the Vikes will win the superbowl, But I don’t think the are gonna finnish last in the division either!

  28. favreblows says: Aug 26, 2012 8:42 PM

    My goodness you people are dumb. The Vikings are simply terrible. The one thing that nobody is talking about is what kind of bust Ponder is going to be. He was a reach to begin with….and has shown absolutely nothing. He looked awful in this past game. No arm….limited mobility….lack of game IQ.

    Here is my call. The Vikes take the next two years to realize that Ponder will never be able to compete in this league. Then, they will be right back where they were two years ago.

    Vikes fans…..my friends….I am sorry that your management/GM is this crappy…..but they/he are/is.

    Your owner and his brother are funny guys. Not only will they not compete in the division this year. They aren’t going to compete for the next five years with Rodgers, Stafford and Cutler going against Ponder/the next crappy QB you dig up.

    Get used to it.

    Vikes—4-12
    Book it.

  29. vikingfan1971 says: Aug 27, 2012 1:05 AM

    and how many of these comments were from real viking fans?
    we will show the nfl that we are better than the bottom of the division
    how many teams lost at least we didnt have an 0-16 record and we only lost alot of those games by very little like one guy said in the nfl comments he said we just have to work on closing the deal after the half time I know they can do it if they really want to I have faith in the vikings will always be a vikings fan no matter what

    thanks for your time

  30. pack13queens0 says: Aug 27, 2012 1:14 AM

    It would surprise a lot of people if this team wins 1 game. They’re destined for 0-16. Meanwhile, the Packers are destined for 19-0.

  31. titogetmesometissue says: Aug 27, 2012 8:56 AM

    PA and Bercich had him in the booth during the game and right after Bercich was slamming the vikes for not having any fire at all during their lackluster play, stating that Ponder has to learn how to lead and get the team to put forth some effort, etc., they asked Wilf what he thought of the game so far and he said “he’s seen a lot of good things so far…” so I’m pretty sure he’s not paying attention to the product on the field.

  32. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Aug 27, 2012 11:59 AM

    Who knew Dana Carvey was a Viking fan?

  33. zayzillionz says: Aug 27, 2012 5:59 PM

    Calvin Johnson is Maddens new victim it ended the same for them all he wont be aNy different… Bears are suspect and the Packers time has past if you ask me they dominated but we can’t live in the past… Minnesota has by far the best defense in this division even with their holes no D IS BETTER… If our offense can become more efficient and consistent we can dominate this division again our offense was ok last year we just couldn’t finish games we will do that this year.. Be prepared for a 2-headed monster in AP-Gerhart And a sensational year from Ponder-Simpson-Harvin I love what Minnesota has done they look like they can make some noise if we stay consistent I have us beating at leasto one team in our division twice and one from the other 2 that’s 4-2 in our division we need to make easy work of these bottom teams we play like Tampa Bay and SD… I agree we will surprise a lot of people this year bet your bottom dollar…

  34. vikingfan1971 says: Aug 28, 2012 12:38 AM

    pack13
    you packer fans are so full of yourself and your team we will be beating you guys this year and I cant wait to hear what you have to say than
    I know we will be better than 3-13
    by the way how can you be 19-0 unless you think you guys will be in the play off undefeated and win the super bowl have to chuckle at that one,
    sorry but I think packers time is up

  35. pappavike says: Aug 28, 2012 3:54 AM

    Nobody expects much from the Vikes this year! I Have read most of the posts here and have to say the one comment that really set me off was (Farveblows) comment that Ponder showed nothing on Friday against the Chargers. He made a damn nice throw to Harvin, That Harvin couldn’t hang on to! I suppose Ponders to blame for the running backs fumbles too! This Vikes team will be just fine! The defense has a little nasty to it! with that kid from Notre Dame Theres not a team in the division that does not have a weakness! I just hope everbody here thats so chatty will be back here when the Vikes show that thier not pushovers!!

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