Yes, BringMeTheNews is live blogging from the beautiful confines of the Rodney Dangerfield Pressbox at the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Vikes. vs. Titans, Thursday, August 29, 2013, 7 p.m.
Check in early and often!
6:35 pm.: You know those Nice Ride bikes that the City of Minneapolis offers for rent? Do you know where to lock them up around the Metrodome? Nowhere, that's where. Because, you know, no one would want to ride a bike to the Metrodome.
6:40 p.m.: Do you think anyone would just take a City of Minneapolis bike that was just leaning against the outside of the Metrodome? Unattended? I mean, who would take a free bike, right? It's a ride share! No one would just take one ...
7:19 pm.: On their first series, the Titans take the ball 78 yards in 18 plays and managed to get a field goal out of it. Vikes recovered what appeared to be a fumble, but, in fact, was not. Jake Locker did a nice Ponder impersonation on the drive, however.
7:21 p.m.: Why are we bothering with kick-offs at this point, dear NFL?
7:25 p.m.: With time winding down in the 1st quarter, Matt Cassel hit TE John Carlson for a gain that the stadium announcer says "puts the Vikings in the Target Red Zone!" Groan. Anyway, Vikings get the ball down to the two-yard-line thanks to some fleet running by Matt Asiata.
7:33 p.m. Touchdown Vikings, Asiata takes it in from the one. Good drive for him, and Cassel just acted like that was the greatest hand-off of his life. Extra point good, 7-3 Vikes.
7:37 p.m.: With 14:57 left in the 2nd quarter, the Vikings kick off and ... seriously, why are we still doing these?
7:47 p.m.: Tennessee takes back the lead on a 17-yarder from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to WR Justin Hunter. It was one of those mid-range plays that the Vikings' secondary seems susceptible to - no linebacker drop backs, no Antoine Winfield - as a carryover from last year. Titans go 79 yards in 12 plays to chew up 7:22 of the 2nd quarter, 10-7 Tennessee.
7:50 p.m.: Vikings return a kick-off! Joe Webb! About eight yards, maybe? Thrilling.
7:52 p.m.: The McLeod Bethel-Thompson era has begun! Two completions.
7:55 - 8:03 p.m.: Vikings' guard Seth Olsen is attended to, and eventually is moved to the stretcher. Appears that his arms are legs are moving. Very quiet Metrodome.
8:06 p.m.: Touchdown Vikings. Bethel-Thompson to back Joe Banyard, a little out for 10 yards and six points. Blair Walsh with the extra point, 14-10 Vikings. A nice drive for the QB, the team took 13 plays for 75 yards in 5:06. A nice game-possession drive.
8:08 p.m. You can fire up "Enter Sandman" on the Dome sound system all you want, but it won't take away the fact that there was just another exciting touchback.
8:20 p.m. Tennessee scores as QB Rusty Smith hits TE Jack Doyle in the back corner of the end zone. Another play where the Vikings seem to be confused about whether their linebackers are supposed to cover the pass or not. With :26 left in the half! How dare they! The kickoff to Marcus Sherels was ... a touchback. He planned to run it out, but stepped on that back end-zone line. Anyway, 17-14 Titans at the half.
8:35 p.m. What was all that complaining about touchbacks? Marcus Sherels takes one to the house to start the second half, Vikings' turn on the seesaw, 21-17. He returned it 109 yards, which is a record that will be tied about every other week unless the NFL moves the kick-offs back.
8:42 p.m.: Fumble! Vikings CB Brandon Burton recovers on the Tennessee 48-yard line.
8:45 p.m. The McLeod Bethel-Thompson era is over! He throws a pick right away. Titans ball on their own 30.
8:48 p.m. Announced paid attendance is 62,603 - about a third of them have left.
8:49 p.m. Interception by Marcus Sherels. Minnesota ball on the Tennessee 47.
8:52 p.m.: The McLeod Bethel-Thompson era has arrived! A 24-yarder to Rodney Smith put the Vikes on the Tennessee three. Then, D'oh! After a completion from McLeod Bethel-Thompson, TE Chase Ford coughs it up in the end zone. Titans return it to their own 39.
9:03 p.m. About time, Vikings fans! A very feeble attempt at starting the wave.
9:05 p.m. Tennessee kicks a field to make it 21-20 Minnesota.
9:12 p.m. A true Metrodome wave! People are also tearing up programs and throwing them as confetti! Good times.
9:14 p.m. As of halftime, I feel I need to report, the City of Minneapolis bike I rented and left for dead has been recovered - not stolen - and is now sitting in a Vikings suite. It's got a better ticket than I do. Good job, Minnesota!
9:18 p.m. Let's hear it for the LifeTime Fitness cheerleader of the game ... Danielle!
9:20 p.m. What does one have to do to become the cheerleader of the game? Note to self: Bucket list.
9:22 p.m. Titans go 10 plays, 83 yards in 2:49, kick a 23-yarder go take the lead 23-21.
9:24 p.m. The Carpenters' "Superstar" is blaring over the PA. WTH? Perhaps it was dedicated to the cheerleader of the game ... Danielle!
9:25 p.m. Well, it killed the wave, anyway.
9:33 p.m. The McLeod Bethel-Thompson era is over! After a pretty nice drive, Blair Walsh jerked 40-yard field goal attempt wide left. Hard not to see that it was the quarterback's fault.
9:40 p.m. Fans, throwing objects onto the field, including paper airplanes, can put players, coaches and referees in extreme danger.
9:42 p.m. The McLeod Bethel-Thompson era has arrived! He completes a deflected pass to Tackle DeMarcus Love for a first down!
9:50 p.m. An eight-play, 71-yard drive ends in a Blair Walsh 25-yard field goal, Vikes take the lead 24-23 with 1:38 left in the game.
9:53 p.m. Tennessee is actually going to make a go of it here. Don't they know it's preseason?
9:54 p.m. Fumble! Recovered by LB Audie Cole, and the Vikes will wind it down ...
That's the live report from the Vikings-Tennessee game from Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Thanks for playing! Remember, drive fast, take chances and lean on the horn. Good night, sports fans!