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Letter: Please don't take the Vikings from Minnesota

To the editor,

My love and passion for the Vikings started when I was just 6 years old. My grandfather took me down to Mankato to watch the Vikings training camp. I remember wearing a No. 80 Cris Carter jersey, when the players began to take the field for practice. As I was watching, I noticed Cris Carter take the field. I waved my sharpie in the air and yelled out to Cris asking if I could get his autograph. He walked over and I had him sign my jersey and to this day, I have not worn that jersey. The jersey hangs in my room in a glass case and since that day, I have bled purple.

Not only are the Vikings a part of my life, they are also a part of my entire family's lives. When I was 10 years old our family made a ritual to go out on Monday nights to Benchwarmer Bob's restaurant. Monday nights at Benchwarmer Bob's always consisted of Vikings players signing autographs. There were many awesome Vikings players I met during my times going there, and to name a few, Bob Lurtsema, Jason Fisk, Orlando Thomas, John Randle but my all-time favorite Vikings player I met during my time going to Benchwarmer Bob's was Korey Stringer. I had missed Korey's autograph session and I was really bummed out. As my family was waiting for our food, Korey walked up with Benchwarmer Bob and started talking to us. He signed my jersey and I'll never forget how he talked to us as if we were a family friend.

To me, the Vikings are more than just a football team; the Vikings are a way of life. During the football season I have friends over to watch the game and we make Vikings game days a special day of just football. During the offseason, I look forward to seeing what the Vikings do during free agency and the draft. I enjoy seeing what players they add to bolster their roster and every August I look forward to going to training camp in Mankato. I always wonder if this is the year we are going to be Super Bowl Champions.

I know many people just like myself, who share that same passion for the Vikings. Please don't take our passion away from us by letting the Vikings leave, we need a new stadium and we need it now. Not just for the Vikings but for the entire state of Minnesota.

Mike Petricka,