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Lunchbreak: New UK Venue Gathering Inspiration from U.S. Bank Stadium

Posted Feb 28, 2017

The Vikings will have a chance to play at Twickenham Stadium in fall 2017, but Minnesota’s home venue is impacting another stadium in London.

According to ESPN’s Dan Kilpatrick, who covers the Tottenham Hotspurs in London, the team’s new venue will draw inspiration from U.S. Bank Stadium. Kilpatrick wrote:

The club has previously revealed that there will be less than six metres from the pitch to the front of the single tier stand, modelled on Borussia Dortmund's Yellow Wall, and that no front row seat will be more than eight metres away from the touchline across the ground – an average of five metres closer to the pitch than at Arsenal.

The Hotspurs new home will seat 61,000 fans, which is 1,000 more than the rival Emirates. Kilpatrick said the stadium will also be scheduled to host NFL games, and Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy said the organization based vision for the architecture and atmosphere from U.S. Bank Stadium and the Cowboys AT&T Stadium.

"The new Vikings stadium – the way they did their website was fantastic,” Levy said. “We've tried to learn and had lots of conversations with those owners to see if we can learn from their experiences.”

The Vikings are scheduled to play the Browns in London in October 2017. The teams will face off at Twickenham Stadium, a 20-mile drive from the Hotspurs home.

Current UCLA linebacker compared to Eric Kendricks

As college standouts across the nation prepare for the NFL Scouting Combine to kickoff Wednesday, one UCLA linebacker is hoping to follow the path of Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks to the NFL.

San Bernadino County Sun reporter Thue Nhi Nguyen wrote about Jayon Brown, his success with the Bruins and the way he’s been compared to Kendricks.

Rarely did the former Bruin show a hint of hubris last season as he piled up a Pac-12-leading 120 tackles. He publicly brushed off the accomplishment of becoming the first UCLA player to reach 100 tackles in a season since Eric Kendricks in 2014, saying it was “just another stat.” He also had three interceptions and six pass breakups in addition to two fumble recoveries and 2.5 sacks.

At 6-feet and 232 pounds, Brown is sometimes criticized for his smaller stature but responded, “Just because someone’s taller than me doesn’t make him a better man than me on the football field.”

Brown already has a successful blueprint to follow in fellow former Bruins linebacker Kendricks, who is listed at the same measurements as Brown. Kendricks, a second-round draft pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2015, had three 100-tackle seasons at UCLA and won the Lott Impact Trophy and the Butkus Award in 2014.

“In terms of instinctive, natural feel, that’s where they both excel, but Eric was off the charts,” UCLA linebackers coach Scott White told Nguyen. “Just watch him find the rock and go. He has tremendous range. That’s where they’re both similar: range, instincts, football IQ, their feel.”

Thielen to be featured speaker at June event

The journey for Adam Thielen from receiving a modest scholarship at an NCAA Division II school, to signing with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent, to now playing a main role in Minnesota’s offense, has been one for the books.

Thielen, a native of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, has quite the support system from his hometown fans and enjoys giving back to the Twin Cities and outstate communities. Tom Elliott of the St. Cloud Times wrote about one such opportunity Thielen will have this summer.

[Thielen] will be the featured speaker at the Second Annual Times Media Sports Awards. The event is scheduled for 8 p.m. [CT] June 21 at Escher Auditorium on the College of St. Benedict campus in St. Joseph. The awards honor the area's top high school athletes, teams and coaches. Athletes of the year will be named in every sport, and the Tom Bearson Memorial Scholarship will be awarded.

The first awards event was held last June, and Jets receiver Eric Decker – also a Minnesota native – was the featured speaker.

Thielen told Elliott it’s important to him to “get back to my roots” and hopes to motivate other young athletes through telling his story.

[That’s] why I enjoy speaking engagements," Thielen told Elliott. "I've had a lot of people tell me I wasn't good enough to play in college and I wasn't good enough to play in the NFL and then I wasn't good enough to be a wide receiver in the NFL.

"I've always kept the mindset that I could achieve my goals, though I knew it was never going to be easy,” he added. “I've been driven to try to prove people wrong."