Minnesota Vikings news conference
Members of the Vikings answer questions about Korey Stringer's death.
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Big loss
Dennis Green reacts to loss of "a brother, teammate and friend."
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No explanations
Cris Carter and the Vikings are shocked by Stringer's death.
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Fallen friend
Randy Moss is overcome by the loss of Korey Stringer.
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Dan Patrick Show
NFL Hall of Famer Dan Dierdorf offers his view on the untimely passing of Korey Stringer.
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Fond memories
Former Vikings and Ohio State teammates share their memories of Korey Stringer.
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Take precaution
NFL coaches and players talk about dealing with the heat.
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The Morning Show
If Korey Stringer's death doesn't save lives, the tragedy will be greater, says Chris Mortensen.
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Patrick: Stringer's death raises questions

Vikings prepare to play on without Stringer

Kreidler: Tragedy doesn't signal crisis for NFL

Caple: Not the healthiest of sports

Only time will make Vikings' pain go away

Jaguars' Daniels loses 'best friend'

Off the field, Stringer's involvement far-reaching

Longtime cry from players: Shorten preseason

Ratto: Plenty of questions to be answered

Punch: Every athlete is susceptible

Mortensen's 2001 archive

Loss of Stringer is toughest challenge for Vikings family

Aug. 2
I was prepared to write about the tragic death of Vikings offensive tackle Korey Stringer on Wednesday morning, but I paused to watch the press conference in which coach Dennis Green and receivers Randy Moss and Cris Carter addressed the media.

Kelci, Kodie & Korey Stringer
Korey Stringer's tragic death leaves Kelci, left, and Kodie without a husband and father.

I went numb over their incredible grief. Green's face was burdened with sadness. Carter looked so pained that it was painful to look. Moss broke down, sobbing in an understandable heap of emotions, but not before he was able to say, "I don't even know how or when I'll get over this."

Randy, it's going to be tough. I only had distant and infrequent contact with Stringer, but his death stunned me Wednesday morning, then paralyzed me while watching you grieve. I do know this, Randy: You are positioned in the best possible environment to cope with such a devastating tragedy.

Green is the ultimate father figure in the NFL. Carter is a spiritual giant. The team chaplain, Rev. Keith Johnson, is a leader in sports ministry. The owner, Red McCombs, is a man of great understanding and compassion.

And if there's one thing I have learned while covering the NFL, the Vikings have one of the tightest-knit fan bases in all of sports. The Minnesota Vikings are a family, in every sense of the word.

There is comfort in the company of grief where loved ones mourn together and, yes, pick each other up.

It is appropriate that the Vikings declined to discuss the incident that saw their giant brother fall to the grip of death. It is time to mourn and grieve, not second-guess what happened on that terrible Tuesday.

I have heard or read some people in the media who have dissected the incident. Some are well-meaning, but many are clueless, blaming it on the manly influence of being a football player. There are almost 400 deaths in this country due to heat strokes that have nothing to do with playing football.

The Vikings offer the best possible environment to cope with such a devastating tragedy.

Yet the attention Stringer's death is getting might in fact save lives. People in all walks of life -- construction workers to football players -- who must work in the searing heat of summer have just gotten a little smarter about how to care for themselves. It's a painful means to gain wisdom, but to ignore the information about prevention, detection and reaction to heat problems would be a greater disgrace.

What does it mean to the Vikings' season? I really don't know, except it's fairly obvious that the team has lost an outstanding lineman who was a vital part of a great offense. They have lost a man who brought laughter and a caring heart to the locker room. They have lost a brother.

Right now, that's about all I can say, except that I do know God has a way of healing at the point of need. And the need is great in Minnesota.

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