We're Black and Blue All Over:
Good Monday morning to everyone. The Minnesota Vikings are hoping that Monday afternoon and evening are good to them as well.
Yes, the first floor vote of the Vikings' stadium bill is scheduled to take place Monday in the state House of Representatives. If it passes, the state Senate likely will schedule a vote on its version of the stadium bill later this week. If it fails in the house, the bill almost certainly is dead for this 2012 legislative session and the situation will take a closer step toward Armageddon.
This issue is so hotly contested that debate could extend well into the evening and late night, so there is no way to know when we'll have any news to report. We'll of course be monitoring it while also keeping an eye on what is expected to be a large contingent of Vikings fans essentially tailgating at the State Capitol in a uniquely football lobbying campaign.
Catching up on weekend news from around the division:
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, Gov. Mark Dayton and others participated in one of a series of stadium rallies over the weekend in the Twin Cities, notes The Associated Press via 1500ESPN.com.
Frederick Melo of the St. Paul Pioneer Press looks at the difficulty of passing the stadium bill without support from House Speaker Kurt Zellers. Last week, Zellers said he would vote against the bill.
Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune profiles Vikings rookie tight end Rhett Ellison, whose father Riki is a former NFL linebacker.
The best advice Vikings safety Harrison Smith ever got is among the tidbits unearthed about him by Pioneer Press columnist Bob Sansevere. The advice: "Do not live under the bed."
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune: "Lost in the debate over [Shea] McClellin's best NFL position is that he could succeed at either defensive end or outside linebacker because of his outstanding versatility."
The Bears are expected to bring defensive tackle Trey Lewis in for a visit, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Bears linebacker Lance Briggs made clear to David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune that he doesn't agree with the way the NFL is emphasizing player safety. Briggs: "It's becoming flag football. We're flying around at 100 mph. In our mindset, to say I need to literally go 5 percent lower [on the body] within a split-second -- how do you do that?''
Bears receiver Brandon Marshall would like to see better care for NFL players dealing with brain and psychological issues. He wrote a guest column in the Chicago Sun-Times this weekend.
Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press wonders if Detroit Lions players with contracts that will soon expire are watching the experience of defensive end Cliff Avril, who has been trying to secure a multi-year deal for two years.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News writes an important and moving column about his own experience as a victim of depression.
Lions receiver Nate Burleson wasn't concerned with the team's decision to draft receiver Ryan Broyles in the second round last month, according to Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that two members of the Green Bay Packers' front office, Eliot Wolf and Brian Gutekunst, are in line for significant promotions.
The Packers' draft strategy of trading up for targeted players has its risks, writes Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Rob Demovsky of the Press-Gazette profiles Packers draft pick Nick Perry.