By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Eden Prairie, MN - From the front row of Mike Zimmer's new full-team meeting room, located in the south-west corner of the indoor practice facility at Winter Park, you have an unobstructed view of the Coach's new motivational signs.
"Tough teams win in the 4th quarter" reads one of the placards, "take ownership of something bigger than yourself" reads another. But those weren't the battle cries that the Vikings players and coaches were rallying behind during media availability at today's minicamp.
With their heads still spinning from the early attempts to grasp the complexity of Norv Turner's offense and the intricacies of Mike Zimmer's technical defense, the players have rallied behind something else. Something not related in the least bit to the NFL. It's the Minnesota Wild.
With behind the scenes members of the organization dawning Wild jerseys and green and red apparel, the players and coaches took to the podium in support of their professional cohorts from across town.
"I'm excited to watch the Wild tonight," Coach Zimmer said in his opening statement. "Let's play hockey!"
If you've been to any of the Wild's playoff games over the past week, this probably doesn't surprise you. Littered throughout intermission and TV timeouts have been recorded messages from the likes of Adrian Peterson, Sharrif Floyd and Kyle Rudolph in support of the home team. But listening to the players and coaches unprompted support today made it very clear that they are on board and not because of obligation.
"I went to a hockey game a couple days ago," wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson said. "Game six, every game I've been to they've won! After today's practice I'm going to try to get Greg [Jennings'] private jet and fly down to Colorado. I just want to give a big shout out to the Wild hoping for them to get the win today."
Despite his best efforts to commandeer the jet, my guess is that Patterson will be taking in tonight's game seven on the couch just like the rest of Minnesotans.
Asked his general thoughts about the sport of hockey, Patterson said "I feel like I could do it, but I know I can't!"
"They're on thin blades and they're on ice. I tried to skate one time and it didn't happen...I've got a pretty smile, I'm not trying to lose my teeth! I will never go out there and play hockey."
Now that we've cleared the air on Patterson's future in the NHL, we can all return to being rubes and cheering our hockey team to victory together.
If there was one thing that was made clear today at Winter Park it's this.
No matter your net worth, no matter your profession, everybody loves a game seven and it's incredibly easy to rally behind a team in the playoffs. Hopefully, with new leadership and some new toys to play with, the Vikings will find similar success and next January we will be writing articles about Zach Parise and Ryan Suter cheering on the Vikings in the post season!
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN