Beautiful day for football in downtown Minneapolis, sports fans! Of course, the Vikings are in Detroit, but I'm in Minneapolis, because that's where my couch is.
A very exclusive view from here! Will post pics during the game (kidding)! Seriously, all of the action will be recounted blow-by-ugly blow here.
11:55 a.m.: One of those knuckleheads on the Fox pregame show picked the Vikings. I think it was Bradshaw, but they all talk at the same time, so I'm not sure. Either way, that spells D-O-O-M Vikings fans.
12:01 p.m. Kickoff! Oh, wait, was that a touchback? ...
12:02 p.m.: Why do I feel like Reggie Bush is all pumped up about showing Adrian Peterson who's boss?
12:04 p.m.: Color commentator already spouted a cliche! Jared Allen, on a busted play, made an "athletic play." I ask, dear sports fan, what other kind of play is there during an athletic event?
12:09 pm: The Lions pull a Viking, and march down the field (watch that Reggie Bush today, folks) and don't score! Pre-season slop spills over as the Lions muff a snap on a field goal!
12:10 p.m. "Stay tuned for Adrian Peterson" ... says the play-by-play man. (I have to learn the names of these guys.)
12:11 p.m. ARE KIDDING ME? AP GOES HOUSE, 78 YARDS, ON THE FIRST PLAY FROM SCRIMMAGE!!
12:12 p.m. Seriously, I just got three different texts at once saying "Wow."
12:14 p.m.: Do you think Fox paid the Lions to lie down on AP's first play?
12:16 p.m.: Lions counter with Reggie Bush, who has already hurt his left thumb, sez the sideline reporter.
12:20 p.m. Stafford to Calvin Johnson right over the middle for six! Harrison Smith played the ball, not the man, and got burned in what appeared to be red zone zone coverage.
12:22 p.m. I hate the fact that the NFL reviews every touchdown, but I'll be darned if Calvin Johnson dropped that ball ... I think.
12:23 p.m.: Let me pause here to say that this is why people prefer football on television. If you were at Ford Field, you would have none of the amazeballs wonder I have right now at the incredible technology on display to simply review an NFL touchdown. America!
12:24 p.m. Upon further review ... no touchdown! Still Vikings 7-0.
12:26 p.m.: Lions get a field goal out of the deal, 7-3 Vikes.
12:28 p.m. Another touchback! And another commercial. See, this whole thing with the shorter kickoffs leading to touchbacks is that it leads to another round of commercials. Every time. Tin Foil helmet? You watch and see.
12:31 p.m.: Vikings have only touched the ball once. Two runs up the gut for AP, nothing doing. Even the Fox studio guys are all jacked about AP's first toch of the season. Ponder sacked on third down, three and out.
12:34 p.m. NFL.com has already posted the Peterson highlight here.
12:40 p.m. Whew! That's a lotta ballin' for one quarter! End of 1st.
12:42 p.m. OK, Ford F-150, that's four times on the Denis Leary commercial. I mean, I know they're all Denis Leary voiceovers, but seriously, four times in 40 minutes?
12:44 p.m. Field goal Lions, they've racked up 162 total yards, had the ball for more than 12 minutes, and only have six points. Ouch. I don't think that bodes well for either team. Vikes 7-6.
12:45 p.m.: And another touchback. And no commercial breaking. I'm chewing my tin foil Vikings horns and Brunhilda style braids.
12:47 p.m.: Ponder picked for six, but a penalty on the return nullifies Detroit touchdown for the second time. This game could very easily be 21-7 the other way.
12:49 p.m. And Matthew Stafford gives it right back to the Vikings. INT Vikes Erin Henderson
12:53 p.m. After a long Ponder completion to Jerome Simpson, Adrian Peterson scores! Off tackle, about four yards. 14-6 Vikings!
12:59 p.m. There's the Sam Elliott Dodge Ram truck commercial. So far, it's Leary 4-1 in the macho guy truck wars. Do you think Leary could take Sam Elliott, or would they just sit down, pop a couple beers and laugh and laugh and laugh about how much money they make pitching trucks?
1:02 p.m.: The Jeff Locke era has begun! Kluwe, we hardly knew ye.
1:06 p.m. Oh, yeah, the game! Pace has slowed considerably (as you can probably tell), and Lions just keep running Reggie Bush.
1: 08 p.m.: It really doesn't matter that I don't know what broadcast "team" is calling this game. Siri, on the iPhone, could probably do a better job with just three or five prompts.
1:21 p.m.: Ponder picked with just 2:14 left in half. Two-minute warning, and Detroit's gonna try to score here. Fun!
1:25 p.m.: *ACTUAL QUOTE FROM THE BROADCAST TEAM*: "You can't just talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk."
1:28 p.m.: One of the weirdest plays I've ever seen. RB Bell for the Lions tries to break the plane of the goal over the top, ball gets knocked sky high, and Vikings recover. Fumble? Touchdown? Who knows? These camera are, like, from NASA or something though.
1:31 p.m. UPON FURTHER REVIEW, touchdown Lions. This game is all over the place. PAT good, Lions trim it to one, Vikes 14-13 AT HALF.
2nd HALF FROM FORD FIELD IN DETROIT ...
1:50 p.m. Vikings go three and out on first series.
1:53 p.m.: The Jeff Locke era is over! He just shanked another punt. Come back, Chris Kluwe, you Beautifully Unique Sparklepony!
1:54 p.m.: Lions still leaning hard on Reggie Bush. He's going to win this game for them, I can feel it.
1:55 p.m.: Another Stafford to Megatron connection, just out of the back of the end zone, by about an inch. Another touchdown taken away from Lions.
1:59 p.m. Reggie Bush, four-yarder off tackle for the touchdown ... and another review, and of course another round of commercials. This useless review brought to you by Nissan, Miller, Outback, USAA auto insurance, Star Trek into Darkness on blu-ray this Tuesday ... and ...
UPON FURTHER REVIEW, NO TOUCHDOWN. Next play, Bell off left tackle for three yards and a score. PAT good, 20-14 Detroit.
2:13 p.m.: Typically confused and ramshackle drive ends with a long field goal by Vikes kicker Blair Walsh, who continues what I thought was a potential rookie-of-the-year performance last season. Vikes claw back 20-17.
2:14 p.m. Another touchback. Seriously, bring out the shockers!
2:15 p.m.: What did I say about Reggie Bush winning this game? (See above; I didn't add that in later, I swear.) Stafford throws a check down over the middle to Bush, about 70 yards for a Lions touchdown. 27-17.
2:21 p.m. Stat: Reggie Bush has 19 touches for 166 total yards. Peterson has 12 for 82. Remember, 78 of those came on the first play.
2:24 p.m. Ponder blindsided ugly, and fumbles. Going to be nullified by an offside penalty on Detroit.
2:30 p.m.: Cordarelle Patterson's first NFL reception, and under-coverage buttonhook a la Harvin, gets the Vikings to Detroit's five. Ponder shuffle pass to AP for PAYDIRT! PAT good! 27-24 Lions.
2:43 p.m. Big drive for the Vikes, Ponder and Simpson seem to have found a groove. He has six catches.
2:45 p.m. And it's over. Ponder stumbles handing off to AP, fumble, Detroit ball. That one's totally on Ponder.
2:50 p.m.: Harrison Smith cracks someone. He hits hard - does he hit too high?
2:51 p.m.: Two stupid penalties on the Viking defense is keeping a clock-chewing drive alive for Detroit.
2:52 p.m.: Harrison Smith knocks Calvin Johnson's helmet off ...
2:54 p.m.: Reggie Bush almost gets in again - another Detroit touchdown taken away.
2:58 p.m.: Stafford to undrafted free agent from UCLA, Joseph Flauria. LIONS LEAD 34-24.
3:01 p.m. Cordarelle Patterson has done the unthinkable: Returned two kickoffs. This one back to the 15.
3:11 p.m. The Lions are tick-tocking the clock with all kinds of Reggie Bush.
3:15 p.m.: Fun facts! Reggie Bush could be the first Lion since Billy Sims to have 100 yards rushing and receiving in one game. At this point, Adrian Peterson has 18 carries for 88 yards, but 78 were on the first play from scrimmage.