We're Black and Blue All Over:
Good morning. It's nice to be back.
A weekend political breakthrough has allowed the Minnesota Vikings' stadium proposal to clear another hurdle and be scheduled for a public hearing Monday night in front of the House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee, according to Doug Belden of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. We'll spare you the details, but in essence the bill authors have agreed on how to share revenues for new electronic pull tabs that will fund the state's portion of the $975 million stadium
And as Mike Kaszuba of the Star Tribune reports, there is now a formal backup plan in the bill should the pull tabs fall short of funding expectations. The flurry of activity led a legislative stadium proponent who had been pessimistic about progress, to express optimism Sunday evening. State Rep. John Kriesel tweeted: "Here's the deal, I am now optimistic about the stadium bill's chances, but being a #Vikings fan my whole life I am used to being let down."
Well, nothing is perfect. But momentum has continued. Last week, as we noted, the plan received support from the Minneapolis City Council. Stay tuned.
Let's take a quick tour around the division:
It's hard to imagine the Vikings trading down below No. 6 in the draft, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
Packers safety Nick Collins is awaiting results from a battery of tests on his neck, according to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The Packers are trying to raise the level of competition on their defensive line with high-energy acquisitions, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew would like to see rosters expand to 90, notes Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.
Here's a video, via the Detroit Free Press, of Lions president Tom Lewand's April Fool's joke. Good stuff.
Reports of the New Orleans Saints' bounty program are "unreal," according to Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch via Carlos Monarrez of the Free Press.
ESPN Insider KC Joyner offers a draft plan for the Chicago Bears. It requires an Insider subscription, but let's just say he suggests the Bears add a Stanford tight end to their arsenal.