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Protest at Vikings game draws national attention

Adrian Peterson in talks to reach plea deal; McFadden questions Bloomberg ads on behalf of Franken; Joe Soucheray had had it with Democrats’ attack ads; and more.

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

So how did The Washington Post handle the story of the protests before yesterday’s Vikings game? John Woodrow Cox says, “A group of Native Americans stood outside the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium in a plaza built as a tribute to 11 of the state’s tribes. A man in the middle held up a sign painted in bold black letters: ‘RACIST.’ For more than an hour Sunday, hundreds of Washington Redskins fans on their way to the game against the Minnesota Vikings shuffled past the voices of condemnation, some with their Redskins’ caps stuffed in their pockets and their jerseys covered by zipped up jackets.”

At NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio writes, “But an unprecedented protest apparently is unfolding in Minnesota against the Washington name. The protest is ‘bigger than I expected,’ notes Tom Pelissero of USA Today on Twitter.  Mike Wise of the Washington Post, a leading voice in opposition to the team name, writes that ‘[t]his is the scene of the largest ever physical gathering against the Wash. NFL team.’ Wise’s twitter feed has plenty of photos and quotes that will serve as a reminder that the issue, which has been simmering throughout much of the season, isn’t going away.”

For the New York Times, Pat Borzi writes, “On Sunday, Snyder watched from the visiting owner’s box with three security guards near the door. Tony Wyllie, a team spokesman, declined to expand on a statement released last week: ‘Whatever the politics going on outside the stadium will happen outside the stadium.’” Because wherever you go, there you are.

In the Strib, Dee DePass and Randy Furst report, “Outside the stadium, Paul Spies, 48, was sporting a Vikings sweatshirt, but was there to cheer on the demonstrators. ‘I bleed purple but reject racism,’ he said. At the same time, Nick Hjelden, a Vikings fan and Chippewa tribal member from North Dakota, called the protest ‘ridiculous,’ adding, ‘I don’t find [the name] to be offensive. Everyone finds anything offensive these days.’ Among Indians present Sunday, he was clearly in the minority.”

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Elsewhere in the lives of our football heroes: Adam Schefter at ESPN says, “Adrian Peterson and his representatives have been in talks to reach a plea agreement in his child-abuse case in Texas that could be done as early as Tuesday, sources close to the situation tell ESPN. If Peterson were able to reach a plea agreement, then the immediate question would become when he would be allowed to return to work. For this there is no concrete answer, as the case is unprecedented. To date, the NFL has shown no willingness to allow Peterson to be removed from the commissioner’s exempt list and to return to work. But if and when Peterson reaches a plea deal, the conversation and the focus on this situation is going to heat up dramatically.” You can imagine the howls of “the faithful” if by some miracle the Vikings have a shot at the play-offs.

This is how you become a poster child. Says Paul Walsh of the Strib, “A 17-year-old driver has been charged with a felony for allegedly checking a text message and causing a crash at an Eagan intersection that left a 15-month-old boy in the other vehicle with a traumatic brain injury. … Police arrived at the intersection about 8:40 a.m. and found two cars with front-end damage. The teenage driver told police she was heading to school on three hours of sleep. She also said she was looking at her phone and reading a text message when she made a left turn from eastbound Diffley Road onto Nicols Road and struck an oncoming car.”

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In politics — and can Wednesday come too soon? — Mike McFadden smells coordination. The AP reports, “Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Mike McFadden is suggesting Sen. Al Franken may have broken election law by coordinating with a political action committee. At issue is a pair ads — one released by Franken and a pro-Franken spot from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC — that appear to use some of the same video footage of the freshman Democrat. McFadden’s campaign spokesman Tom Erickson says the coincidence is suspicious.”

From yesterday’s debate Doug Belden of the PiPress says, “Republican Mike McFadden attacked incumbent Democrat Al Franken, accusing him of representing the worst of hyper-partisanship gripping Washington, while Franken defended his record and charged McFadden with distorting the facts and taking easy shots from the sidelines. … McFadden said he wants to direct federal money toward charter schools in public school districts that are failing. Franken said some charters have failed as well, and he said his priority is making sure public schools get the resources they need. He said his focus would be on early childhood education.”

Finally, a classic from Ol’ Sooch. In the PiPress, Joe Soucheray has had it, dammit, with these rich liberals ripping honest job-creators. “Money certainly has been the villainous elephant in the room during another midterm bombardment of horrifically childish political advertising. Democrats have used every trick in the book to paint their Republican opponents as blue blazer-wearing Chatsworth Osborne Juniors … . Multimillionaire Alan Stuart Franken tells college students and college graduates that they should be able to refinance their college loans. Well, he will need taxpayer revenue to accomplish that scam, and this country doesn’t get much tax revenue from people who don’t work hard, don’t produce, don’t accumulate and don’t pay high taxes, but who cheer when multimillionaire Alan Stuart Franken’s bus pulls up to another meeting of the friendlies. In what might be a first in breaking the template of what readers have come to think of newspapers, the Pioneer Press has endorsed Stewart Mills, Jeff Johnson and Mike McFadden. Somebody in one of the offices upstairs has certainly come to their senses.” The biggest surprise is that there are any offices left up there.