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Water Break: Blake Proehl Takes 2 Stages

At last, Blake Proehl made his Vikings game-day debut on Aug. 10 when Minnesota faced Seattle in the teams' first preseason contest.

The experience was especially meaningful for Proehl, who signed with the Vikings in 2021 as an undrafted free agent but suffered a torn ACL during training camp that sidelined him for the season. He remained on Minnesota's Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list to start the 2022 season and in October was activated and signed to the practice squad.

"Being out there on the field is such a blessing," he said. "I've just been super excited to be back out there with my teammates and competing again. It's great."

Proehl and the Vikings are now hosting a Cardinals franchise that drafted his father, Ricky, in 1990.

We sat down recently for a Water Break presented by Crown Royal.

While rehabbing his knee, Vikings WR Blake Proehl discovered his love for music. Music has been an important part of his healing process and journey. On July 15, 2023, Blake had his first headline show at Fine Line in Minneapolis, Minn.

Q: You got an early taste of the game-day atmosphere at the Vikings first night practice, where you make a pretty impressive grab in the end zone. What was that like?

A: It was so surreal because that's something that I've dreamed of since I was a kid, and that was put on hold for a while. For the spark to be re-lit, I feel like a kid in a candy shop. Those little moments that you dream about as a kid are being realized. It was super special.

Q: While rehabbing, you really discovered and developed your passion for music, as well; did that help you on your journey back to the field?

A: Yeah, I think so. Music is such a different space for me. Football was my first love and it's one of the things I'm most passionate about in life. But music also helped me process a lot of feelings and emotions, my mental health, outside of football. Which also, obviously if you have your mental health in check, that helps you with football – competing and having a mental clarity about everything. So yes, I think music helped me a lot with things I had to deal with off the field, and then that just flows back into the game.

Q: Tell us about your July show at Fine Line in Minneapolis.

A: That was one of the coolest things I've ever done, I think. Ever since I started music – everything is so virtual these days. Social media, TikTok, Instagram. So I think to see people in-person for the first time, to understand those people came there for me, it was really special to see them in that setting.

Q: What did it mean to have your family there, and especially your grandmother?

A: I think that was one of the coolest aspects, especially for my first show, to have all the people I love the most there. My grandmother was one of the people who inspired me to sing and believed in me. So having her there was incredibly special, and I brought her up on stage for a moment. I sang the song that kind of blew up on TikTok – she was in the original video with me – so I sang that song, "In Case You Didn't Know," live for her and brought her up on stage. It was really special.

Q: Were you nervous beforehand?

A: I had a quick moment of nerves before, but I was honestly more excited than nervous. Just excited to get out there and get started. It always takes a few words or so up on stage, and then you're good.

Q: Do you experience similar feelings before a game?

A: I definitely get a little bit of nerves pregame, yeah. It takes one hit or that first catch or something to really get going.

View photos of S Camryn Bynum and WR Blake Proehl performing holiday sing-a-longs at M Health Fairview Masonic Children's Hospital.

Q: How much has your teammates' support meant – in music and in football?

A: I honestly couldn't ask for better teammates. To have those types of people around me and supporting me, it's so special. … The Vikings organization is very [supportive] of being who you are, and they love shining light on people for hobbies and talents they have outside of football, which is really, really cool. You don't see that at a lot of other organizations.

Q: Do any of your songs mean the most to you right now?

A: My most recent song, "Waves." It talks about the waves of life, and it's about my relationship with God. There's gonna be ups and downs … but no matter how deep you might go underwater, you know He'll never let you drown. I try to be as [general] as possible because I know not everybody believes in God. For me, I'm talking about my relationship with God, but for some other people it might be a loved one or a significant other.

Q: Is the significance of your cross necklace also indicative of your faith?

A: Yes, absolutely. I never take this one off. I have broken it a few times, so I've had to replace it, but I don't like taking it off when I play. My Aunt Debbie, my dad's sister, she got all the boys in our family this necklace, so we all wear the same exact one. We've had them for a long time.