Reporting Eric Nelson
MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (WCCO) — The NFL lockout has curtailed many off-season events, but the Minnesota Vikings annual golf outing was not one of them.
WCCO-TV’s Eric Nelson went to Rush Creek Golf Course in Maple Grove on Wednesday to check out how things were going on the course and see what former players had to say on the current labor situation.
The lockout means no-one can tee off in the NFL, but it doesn’t mean the Vikings can’t tee off on the golf course.
The team’s annual charity golf outing at Rush Creek gave some Vikings legends a chance to hit golf balls as hard as they used to hit Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers or Detroit Lions.
“I’m a bogey golfer now because of my elbows and some injuries I got in football. I can’t hit it as long as I can and my short game is just ubelievable,” said Bob Lurtsema.
It was a gorgeous day for the event with no triple digit heat and just sun-drenched skies. But there was one glitch: No current Vikings players were in Maple Grove for the tournament.
Due to NFL lockout rules, no current players can be part of any team functions. However, former Vikings can and they had plenty of opinions on the NFL’s labor gridlock.
“I went through a strike, and so I understand what they’re going through, but the good thing for them is that they’re not replaced yet,” said Former Viking Joey Browner.
The NFL owners and players can’t come to an agreement on how to divide $9 billion, something that former Viking Matt Blair said he is surprised by.
“We know what they’re trying to do, but they have the money to make it work. I can’t believe that they can’t settle that sooner,” said Blair.
Despite the lockout, Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier is keeping his focus solely on football. Frazier said Wednesday he and the team will be ready to go when there is finally labor peace.
“You’re trying to go through just about every different scenario to try and prepare ourselves for the day they say with football we’re ready to go. Hopefully things will get done and it will prepare us to have a good season,” Frazier said.
In the meantime, it’s up to the players to keep themselves in shape with a possible training camp on the horizon until the dispute ends.