Most NFL athletes have philanthropic ventures written into their contract, but Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway always was the exception. He goes above and beyond expectations for charitable organizations, much like he does on the football field.
Greenway, a former Iowa linebacker, donated $100,000 to a Sioux Falls children's hospital for cancer patients and their families in 2008. In July 2008, he convinced Vikings owner Zygi Wilf to fly personnel on the team plane to Iowa City to help with post-flood recovery efforts in City Park. He hosts a draft party every year in South Dakota to benefit his "Lead The Way Foundation," which enhances health and education for children. He also donated money to build a new track at his high school in Mount Vernon, S.D.
Last week, Greenway was stumping for his team at the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul. Greenway, All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson and center John Sullivan stopped by the legislature lending support to a proposal to build the Vikings a new stadium. It would be located near the current Metrodome location and force the Vikings to play one season at the Gophers' TCF Bank Stadium.
"Let's not lose sight of the fact that those fans and the people who comes our games are going to get to enjoy a better experience, and we want to give that to them," said Greenway, according to KARE11.com.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Vikings are slated to put up $427 million toward the $1 billion stadium, which would contain a roof of some sort. The state of Minnesota "would add $398 million and Minneapolis would contribute $150 million to the stadium’s construction. The team would also add $327 million over time to the stadium’s operating costs, and the city would add $189 million," as reported by the Star Tribune.
The Vikings' lease at the Metrodome expired after the 2011 season but they are committed to playing Minnesota in 2012. Without a lease, the team could relocate as early as next year, which NFL officials suggested (but not threatened) to state officials two weeks ago. Tuesday afternoon some Minnesota Republicans tossed out the idea of a roofless stadium -- at least temporarily -- to keep down the costs. But with the legislative session already in overtime, Democrats and Republicans are playing political football that could result in the state's most popular team exiting for somewhere like ... Los Angeles.
Greenway, by the way, earned his first Pro Bowl berth after last season and was tabbed the Vikings' Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. As a South Dakota native, Iowa graduate, Pro Bowl athlete and charitable person, the Vikings have no better role model to sell the team on the field and to lawmakers at the Capitol. But if legislators aren't careful, he just might take his talents to Long Beach.
-- Scott Dochterman
-- Here's the new Cy-Hawk. It will be forever linked to
the old Cy-Hawk, you know, the "larger concept" that was "more than a football game." Back out of the committee, people, and don't overthink it. (I'm smelling a Cy-Hawk post at some point today).
-- How much contrition is it going to take for Penn State? Who knows what the math is on that. Here's what we know: Penn State is still allowed to field a football team and it has donated $1.1 million (its bowl revenue) to an abuse research center. Penn State is an institution that should have bright light forced into ever matter that comes across the university's collective desk from here to the end of time.
-- From the absurd to the glorious: Are you a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan? No? Do you now have a little love in your heart for the Bucs after they signed Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand? LeGrand is the Scarlet Knight who suffered paralysis in 2010 after a hit during a kickoff return against Army. Former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano is now the Bucs coach. Schiano said the signing was "small gesture ... to recognize his character, spirit and perseverance." Bravo!
-- This one is kind of weird. Central Florida QB Jeff Godfrey leaves UCF. Dad calls coach racist. Godfrey returns to UCF as WR. College football is whack, flat-out whack.
-- Wanna watch the Hawkeyes grunt and sweat? You know you do.
-- Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas went pro. Problem was the pros didn't notice. He's gone from Oregon's starter to tryouts with the Steelers and Browns. A tryout is not a roster spot. This was a roll of the dice. No judgment. We don't know what triggers these decisions. Good luck to the young man.
-- A Big Ten-SEC bowl in St. Louis? Maybe it won't be another 100 years before Iowa and Missouri play. On second thought, there are plenty of bowls. On third thought, I could drive to St. Louis on the day of the game. Fourth thought, no, I'd be down there for nine days. Fifth thought, there are too many bowls.Compiled by Marc Morehouse