Like many people who will be coming into American Football this season, they may well pick their team based on the strength of who they see performing on TV in the London series.
That’s certainly something that a young Adam Chapman would be able to relate to as it was a chance football game, not long after he started playing the sport itself, that led him towards the Vikings.
“I got into the game about 15 years ago and at the same time that I started playing the game, I started watching it too.
I really had no idea who to support to begin with, and one night I found myself watching a game of Vikings versus Colts. In the first quarter I had already decided I didn’t like the Colts, so I started watching the Vikings and that was beginning of the following. Those were the days when they had Culpepper and Moss so it was pretty easy to start following them.”
For Adam, who is still playing the game for East Kent Mavericks, it’s certainly not been a team to follow from a glory hunting point of view. They have won the NFL Championships once – in 1969 before the AFL and the NFL merged and it’s been a long time between drinks. But they keep getting close to the bar, before time is often called somewhere during the playoffs. Frustrating to say the least, but not a reason to stop following them.
“This last season was disappointing but I don’t know, I have a feeling that 2017 could be better for them. We have made some good trades and picks in the off season. But, we still have an issue with our Offensive line, and if that hasn’t been sorted then we are going to struggle.”
But he remains hopeful, and certainly that the good times will start to come through. There are new players coming on board although he knows that the ethos at the Vikings is not to rush people into positions. But he’s also looking for some players to stand out and stand up in London and for potential new fans to take notice.
“Our head coach Zimmer tends to introduce players slowly so new players like a new RB we have after trading Peterson, isn’t likely to be seen soon. But if you’re watching the Vikings for the first time then you could see the likes of Sam Bradford have a good game, he should have had a good off season without the pressure of games on his shoulder and the DE combo of Griffens and Hunter is really exciting. Hunter is young but already looks insanely good. He is one for the future but could be one for the present too.”
This isn’t the Vikings first trip to London and back in 2012, when they claimed a solid victory over Pittsburgh and they’ll be hoping for a similar result against the Browns. And if they don’t according to Adam they’ll never live it down.
“Come on, it’s the Browns, you just don’t lose to the Browns. If we do it will be embarrassing.”
And of course Adam will be in the crowd again, as he was in 2012. And if you don’t believe him then he has the screenshot from TV from the last time around showing he and his wife all dressed up in celebration. This time, they’re taking a couple of young Vikings along with them as their children will also be heading up for the game.
Now while the Vikings shouted out to Adam from the TV there will be many people who aren’t aware of the team in as great a detail, so why, in Adam’s opinion should you lend them your support?
“You’ve got to just look back at their players and the history of the side, there have been some really great players who’ve represented the Vikings, for me Offensive players like Randy Moss (WR) and Adrian Peterson (RB) really stand out and defensively then Chad Greenway (MLB) or Jared Allen (DE) have that real x factor. Allen was a beast, there’s no other way to describe him!
But while we’ve never won the Super Bowl, we’re arguably one of the greatest teams to not yet have achieved that feat, and you could be a part of that following. But that aside they are an exciting team to watch and you can’t say that about every side, and if that doesn’t persuade you, then their kit is pretty cool too.”
They look good and they’re good to watch. The matchup between the Vikings and the Browns will be the last game in this year’s London series but for Adam, very much saving the best til last.