View from Section 123:
Another Sunday, another opportunity for the Vikings to make history. Problem is, this year they're chasing a guy named Les Steckel and that 3-13 record. What's the buzz inside Mall of America Field, Section 123? (South end zone view). We'll let you know. That's our advantage for today's Vikings-Saints game. We'll follow the game, keep our eye open for amusing texts from abroad and generally make wise-acre comments...but not always in that order:
3:10: FINAL -- SAINTS 42, VIKINGS 20. And to all.. a good night.
3:06: Remaining 10,000 fans cheer Packers loss to Chiefs. Semi-drunkenly.
2:55: Onside kick from Vikings -- doesn't work due to penalties on Purple.
2:54: SAINTS 42, VIKINGS 20 -- Ponder hits bulldog Toby Gerhart on 16-yard TD pass.
2:48: Blogger, losing interest, notices that with 7:25 left he's never seen stadium so empty with so much time left on clock.
2:38: Third Quarter Summary shows Saints had ball for 11:06, compared to Vikings' 3:54.
2:36: Fans stream out of dome to, we think, begin an afternoon of Christmas shopping in the downtown Minneapolis area -- or perhaps continue drinking until Holidazzle finale begins at 6:30 p.m.
2:34: SAINTS 42, VIKINGS 13 -- Pierre Thomas caps 10:36 drive with 2-yard TD run. That's right, 10:36.
2:27: Tweet from Pioneer Press writer Jeremy Fowler: "Brees, who has five TDs on the day, is one shy of his career high of six against Detroit in 2009."
2:21: Bored beyond tears, fans in Section 123 try to start wave. No one is buying it. Even the skinny guy dressed in a Santa suit scowls.
2:11: Best Tweet so far, from Strib's Jim Souhan (he added the CAPS) -- "Benny Sapp knocks down a pass and poses...WHILE VIKINGS ARE GIVING UP 332 YARDS PASSING IN 3RD QUARTER!"
2:03: SAINTS 35, VIKINGS 13 -- Brees hits Lance Moore on 47-yard TD pass. His fifth of the day, with 10:18 left in the third quarter.
1:57: Correction. Most interesting thing that has happened so far is the free chocolate-covered marshmallow Peeps handed out at dome. Delicious. Minty. Festive:
1:56: Tweet from Strib writer Dan Weiderer: "On the video board, Chris Kluwe has just revealed that he likes the cod nuggets at Winter Park. Most interesting Vikings action today."
1:51: SAINTS 28, VIKINGS 13 -- Brees makes it look extremely easy, capping off another TD drive with 2-yard pass to TE John Gilmore.
1:45: Second half starts. Vikes go three-and-out. Not-so-mind-boggling stat from first half: Saints outpass Vikings, 247 yards to 7 yards.
1:22: SAINTS 21, VIKINGS 13 -- Brees tosses third TD pass of day. This one 13-yards to Darren Sproles with 1:33 left in half.
1:15: KFAN's A.J. Mansour -- roaming sidelines -- checks in with this in-game slideshow via Twitter: "Check out our #Vikings vs. #Saints gameday photo gallery! See it here --> http://bit.ly/vjxseW via @AjMansourKFAN"
1:03: SAINTS 14, VIKINGS 13 -- Vikes strike back after Ponder shovels pass to Toby Gerhart, who takes it in from the 10-yard-line.
1:01: AP gallops for 39-yard run. Looking good.
12:59: Just handed First Quarter Summary. Stats of note: Vikings 0-3 on third downs. Saints outgaining Vikes 138 to 37 in total yards.
12:53: SAINTS 14, VIKINGS 6 -- The Saints, however, can move the ball. Brees hits Jimmy Graham with 1-yard TD pass to take eight-point lead.
12:44: SAINTS 7, VIKINGS 6 -- Vikes can't move ball. Settle for field 49-yard field goal.
12:41: Everson Griffen jumps on bad snap to Brees. Vikes take over on Saints 26.
12:34: Another body blow to Vikings secondary: Asher Allen out with concussion symptoms.
12:29: SAINTS 7, VIKINGS 3 -- Oh, wait. They can. Brees shreds defense, capping off TD drive with 5-yard pass to WR Lance Moore.
12:25: Holding call negates Brees TD pass. They can't do anything right!
12:12: Saints go three-and-out, as Brees almost tosses pick six.
12:09: Guy Limbeck, Rochester Post-Bulletin, remarks in press box: "Another nice, long drive..."
12:08: VIKINGS 3, SAINTS 0 -- Longwell boots 44-yard field goal to draw first blood.
12:05: Jamarca Sanford recovers fumble, brings it back it back to the Saints 26.
12:03: Vikes kick off. Saints start on their 20-yard-line to get Week 15 under way.
12:00: Twin Cities' very own Rocket Club sings national anthem. Pretty good showing, getting nice crowd pop for excellent three-part harmony during "land of the free and the brave." Photo below, courtesy KFAN's A.J. Mansour:
Overall, just a tad shy of outshining Whitey Houston's Super Bowl warble. Considerably better than Roseanne Barr. Examples below:
11:56: Jared Allen introduced. Gets huge pop. Crowd (30,000 strong) wants Drew Brees on his back, via Allen.
12:00: Eric Nelson, who heads up GameDay Gold Sports Media interviews Love before the game. Check it out:
[wpaudio url="http://assets.bringmethenews.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/001_A_001_Sonymp3_GDGKevin-Love_2011_12_18.mp3" text="Gameday Gold: Kevin Love on Wolves, Vikes" dl="0"]
11:52: NBA All-Star Kevin Love sounds Vikings horn. He wore his best hoodie for for the honor. How does Kev stay in shape? Check it his latest workout video clip.
11:35: Injury reports say Saints rookie stud RB Mark Ingram out, Vikings veteran stud RB Adrian Peterson in.
10:55: View outside dome about an hour before kickoff. Thirty-three degrees, somewhat crowded, beer flowing freely and Purple fans still wearing their No. 4 jerseys: