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Vikings kickers suddenly have to learn about the weather

Blair Walsh AP

For years in the climate-controlled Metrodome, the Vikings’ specialists had it made.

Now that they’re going to be subject to the elements, they’re trying to learn just how bad it’s going to be.

According to Master Tesfatsion of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Vikings kicker Blair Walsh and punter Jeff Locke have been checking out TCF Bank Stadium to try to figure out the wind patterns.

The University of Minnesota’s stadium, which will be the Vikings temporary home, features an open horseshoe end, which makes for some tricky wind conditions.

The field is definitely not conducive to hit straight balls,” Walsh said. “The ball is going to move no matter what with that wind, but you can definitely conquer it, master it and sort of make it your advantage. And that’s the way we’re going to have to look at it from a positive outlook on it.”

After consulting with guys who have kicked there before, Walsh has learned a few things. He said he doesn’t think the wind should impact field goals from inside 40 yards, but anything longer than 45 could be moved by the shifting winds.

While both teams will be at the same disadvantages when the season starts — especially late in the year — any studying the Vikings can get in now will only help.

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38 Responses to “Vikings kickers suddenly have to learn about the weather”
  1. thepftpoetisacrossdresser says: Apr 30, 2014 9:40 AM

    Don’t make too much out of this.

    I’m a Packer fan and root for Walsh to miss every kick he tries.

    That said, he’s one of the best in the entire NFL…maybe THE best.

    This won’t be an issue until he’s staring at a 50 yarder when the temps are down around the single digits.

  2. renbutler says: Apr 30, 2014 9:46 AM

    Um, these guys have played outdoors before, usually 6 or 7 times a year. They know what they’re doing.

  3. 13nflchamps says: Apr 30, 2014 9:49 AM

    The Vikings have already been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs!!

  4. rikker12 says: Apr 30, 2014 9:57 AM

    The Vikings still play in the NFL?

  5. nicofthenorthstar says: Apr 30, 2014 9:58 AM

    Whoa. A packer fan making a coherent, relevant posting on a Vikings story? Now I’ve seen everything!
    Your comrades will be disappointed in your distinctly “non-trolly” manner. But, nice job! You are a credit to your people.

  6. theflyingelvis says: Apr 30, 2014 10:01 AM

    Walsh is definitely a stud as far as kickers go. I wonder how far he could hit from if he was kicking in Denver, in October, on a warm, sunny, windless day. 70 yards? I think that would be possible.

  7. jjackwagon says: Apr 30, 2014 10:11 AM

    Suddenly have to learn about weather? Why? Have they been living in the vacuum of space until now? I am pretty sure they have been exposed to weather every day of their lives.

  8. skolisstupid says: Apr 30, 2014 10:14 AM

    Well it’s Minnesota’s historic & wonderful climate. The vikings will adapt because the GM is so smarter than everyone else. Skol. Still dumb….

  9. fdugrad says: Apr 30, 2014 10:29 AM

    Bring back Bud Grant and utilize his knowledge. He may not know that particular stadium, however he KNOWS COLD WEATHER!!

  10. chris1cat says: Apr 30, 2014 10:31 AM

    Rock N’ Skol…..Still awesome!

  11. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:35 AM

    For a moment there, I thought the Metrodump roof collapsed again.

  12. cursedvikings1998 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:41 AM

    Have fun Vikings fans!!!

  13. pftisfulloftrolls says: Apr 30, 2014 10:45 AM

    Winter is cold, rain is wet, wind blows things.
    Thus endeth the lesson.

  14. ragnarthegreat says: Apr 30, 2014 10:48 AM

    I love the idea of playing outdoors. I think it will make for a tougher team. I am not worried about the kickers, as much as I am the wide outs and secondary. Those guys on the back end already have stone hands. How will they intercept a ball now that it is cold and so are they? Should be interesting.

  15. duffsbeer says: Apr 30, 2014 10:51 AM

    It’s easy to see how kicking would be in this University of Minnesota stadium. Let’s look at the stats of the current kicker for the Gopher’s 2013 season.
    In 13 games Hawthorne made 14 of 18 field goals. He was 6 of 9 at home and 8 of 9 on the road.
    He was 36 of 39 on the PATs. All three misses at home.
    Seems like he was more accurate on the road.

  16. bighomiemathews24 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:58 AM

    Never heard of the Vikings, are they from the Canadian football league ?

  17. PowerMad says: Apr 30, 2014 11:02 AM

    Reminds me of a classic John Madden line, which came during, I believe, some Packers game during the Favre era. It was a cold game with some tricky winds, and Madden was trying to describe what it was like to kick a football in those conditions.

    “Ya ever kick a bag of bolts?” Madden asked.

    Walsh and Locke better be ready to kick a few bags of bolts.

  18. ragnarthemagnificent says: Apr 30, 2014 11:03 AM

    Shouldn’t be a problem for the best kicker in the NFL! Skol

  19. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:05 AM

    Given the hapless and tasteless Vikings offense, the punter is going to be far more important than their kicker.

  20. sdsmooth says: Apr 30, 2014 11:12 AM

    The key for the Vikings will be when they over-reach again for a quarterback in the draft. Will he suck worse at home or on the road?

    My guess is he’ll be an equal-opportunity pick thrower just like Ponder.

  21. purpleguy says: Apr 30, 2014 11:13 AM

    Another reason they dumped Kluwe.

  22. packers1337 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:15 AM

    Vikings worst team in NFL history!

  23. boisestatewhodat says: Apr 30, 2014 11:23 AM

    The whole team has to worry about those pesky Saints coming to town as well…surely there’s another beatdown in store!

  24. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:23 AM

    I have noticed that degenerate Viking fans have a vile and seething hatred of the Seahawks and their fans now that they have won a championship. I used to think that their wretched hatred was just a Packer/border/inferiority thing, but it appears their real intolerance is targeted against winning, and success.

    Viking fans hate others who won’t embrace the suck with them.

  25. stellarperformance says: Apr 30, 2014 11:30 AM

    The Vikings will certainly have their fair share of challenges this coming year. If they aren’t doing very well by December, you can expect a lot of Bears tickets for Christmas presents. Especially after they get manhandled by the Packers in late November…..balmy by Green Bay standards.

  26. bordner says: Apr 30, 2014 11:32 AM

    Fred Cox never complained about the weather.

  27. brewdogg says: Apr 30, 2014 11:33 AM

    packers1337 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:15 AM

    Vikings worst team in NFL history!
    —————————

    Nope, that was probably the ’68-’91 Packers. I mean, come on…. 4 winning records in 24 seasons? Definition of pathetic. Almost as historically futile as the Brewers.

  28. brewdogg says: Apr 30, 2014 11:36 AM

    thepftpoetisacrossdresser says: Apr 30, 2014 9:40 AM

    Don’t make too much out of this.

    I’m a Packer fan and root for Walsh to miss every kick he tries.

    That said, he’s one of the best in the entire NFL…maybe THE best.

    This won’t be an issue until he’s staring at a 50 yarder when the temps are down around the single digits.
    ————————————-

    His second year wasn’t near as impressive, but I will go with you on this one. However, I am concerned that he won’t quickly recover his rookie form playing in that stadium. But he should still be better than the kicker on the other side virtually every week.

    On the bright side, it should keep the big number on his contract extension down.

  29. purplepanteez says: Apr 30, 2014 11:36 AM

    This whole stadium debacle is a travesty.

    Football was meant to be played indoors. You’d think they’d figure out a way to put a roof over TCF Bank Stadium – at least temporarily while my Vikings are playing there.

    Unbelievable.

    Football under the clouds. Fans in the outdoors.

    Somebody’s head should roll for this.

    #DomeSkol!

  30. casualfan237 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:48 AM

    Oh oh…Walsh said that kicking straight balls is preferable. Here comes another lawsuit from Klewe.

  31. jgedgar70 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:54 AM

    Walsh played college ball in Athens, GA, where there was no discernable winter any of the 4 years he was there. Now he’s played 2 years in a dome. It’s going to be interesting to see how he adjust once the first blizzad hits Minneapolis, which is, what, around Columbus Day?

  32. overratedsteelerhater says: Apr 30, 2014 11:56 AM

    nothing like a nice cold windy day in minnesota.perfect kicking weather… GOOD LUCK

  33. stellarperformance says: Apr 30, 2014 12:07 PM

    Not one of the the futile years for the Packers even registers on the list of worst teams of all-time. And if the ultimate goal is winning a SuperBowl, the Packers accomplished as much as the Vikings during the same period of time. Even if the Packers get out of the way, the Vikings can’t do anything. The Packers Own the Vikings.

  34. sumkat says: Apr 30, 2014 12:10 PM

    I’m thinking we may as well carve the current Vikings kicking records in stone

  35. chiadam says: Apr 30, 2014 12:19 PM

    He won’t have to worry about kicking too many extra points.

  36. borisbulldog says: Apr 30, 2014 12:19 PM

    According to Master Tesfatsion of the Minneapolis Star

    ———————————————————

    I guess if you name your kid Master, than no one can make him a slave?

  37. tokyosandblaster says: Apr 30, 2014 12:29 PM

    Guys, guys, guys, and Vikings fans,

    Why does everything have to turn into arguments about Championships and The Packers in the 70′s and 80′s?

    Oh yeah,the Packers have won championships and since the Vikings haven’t, all they can point to is some bad years by the Packers. Just trying to deflect the painful truth that their team is as horrible as it gets.

    That’s why.

  38. enoughofthatalready says: Apr 30, 2014 1:09 PM

    Football was meant to be played indoors
    -
    Um….What? The Houston Oilers were the first NFL team to use a dome in 1968. So for the first 48 years of existence, every NFL game was played outdoors.

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