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Lunch Break, 9/18: Peterson on Cows, Chickens & Carries

Adrian Peterson's ice-breaking riddle before his weekly media session was widely enjoyed by reporters.

Andrew Krammer of 1500ESPN.com offered a recounting* *of the exchange here.

As media assembled, Peterson asked, "Thirty cows in a pen, 28 chickens. How many didn't?"

*Silence. *

"It's a play on words. So listen to me carefully. Thirty cows in a pen, 20 ate chickens. How many didn't?"

Ten, the same number of carries Peterson got in his first game back with the Vikings in 372 days. Asked if he would lobby for more following his 13 touches against the 49ers, Peterson said he would "if it really got to that point."

"Then I would," Peterson said. "Like I say, I have a lot of trust in [offensive coordinator Norv] Turner and what he's going to ask of us. I still voice my opinion, even to him as well. We'll see how things flow this weekend."

Peak performance?

Marino Eccher of the Pioneer Press took note of "The Complete History of the NFL" post by FiveThirtyEight.com that used Elo ratings to assess franchise strength based on game-by-game results.

Eccher wrote:

*They used a method known as Elo ratings, a measure of team strength that accounts for basic factors like margin of victory, home-field advantage and quality of opponents. *

*The results are presented in a fever chart that spans the history of each team — ratings go up after wins and down after losses, depending on the strength of the opponent. A rating of 1500 is average. Anything approaching 1700 is excellent. Last year's New England Patriots finished the season with an Elo rating of 1675. *

After beating Green Bay at Metropolitan Stadium on Nov. 22, 1970, to go to 9-1 on the season, the Vikings stood at 1758. That turned out to be the high-water mark: The team slipped to 1716 the next week following a loss to the lowly Jets. Minnesota won the final three games of the regular season but was upset by San Francisco in the first round of the playoffs and never quite got the points back.

Transportation tips

The Star Tribune posted transportation tips* *for fans attending the Vikings home opener Sunday against the Lions at the University of Minnesota:

*For those making their first visit to the U, here are some parking tips from the Vikings. Plan ahead as roads around the U will be most crowded about 2 hours prior to kickoff and 90 minutes following the game. *

For those who drive, single day-of-game parking is available at Oak Street and 4th Street ramps and the East River Road Garage. Many people opt to use the lots at the State Fairgrounds and take a free shuttle to game.

*A number of Metro Transit bus routes connect to the Green Line. Blue Line riders can transfer to the Green Line at the Downtown East Station. Green Line trains stop right across the street from the stadium at Stadium Village. However, disembarking or boarding at the East Bank Station and walking a couple blocks to and from the stadium can help you avoid the throngs near TCF Bank Stadium. *

#Vinekings

The Vikings have launched a new initiative, #Vinekings, on the Vine social media platform of videos that last up to six seconds. Mark J. Burns of Forbes.com noted that the Vikings and 49ers engaged in an "unprecedented partnership" before the game. Burns wrote:

The social and digital departments from both teams executed what is the first collaborative Vine exchange in professional or college sports. It's a game-changing strategic maneuver that will have professional sports teams and college athletic departments re-thinking how they utilize social media in both the near and long-term future.

*Claymation was the creative route the teams chose for the 'Vine-Off,' as (Vikings Executive Director of Digital and Innovation Scott) Kegley described it, with (Ian) Padgham creating all three of the 49ers Vines (1, 2, 3). Interestingly enough, Padgham's talented wife, Claire Pasquier, worked for the Vikings and produced their three videos (1, 2, 3), which helped launch the team's 'Vinekings' program. As of this writing Tuesday morning, all six Vines totaled more than 400,000 loops.

*

"Fans seem to love the Vines," Kegley told Burns. "…People aren't used to seeing anything like that. I think Vine continues to be underutilized by sports teams. There's so much you can do with it, and it's an extremely creative platform. It allows you to be edgy and funny, without crossing the line."

"Topping out" U.S. Bank Stadium:

We covered Thursday's U.S. Bank Stadium steel "topping out" ceremony here. The important milestone, which involves placement of the highest or last piece of structural steel on the roof was delayed by lightning until Friday, but the celebration went on. Here is more coverage of the event and other progress with the state-of-the-art venue that is scheduled for completion in July 2016:

A report from Rochelle Olson of the Star Tribune is available here, and a report from Eccher is available here.

Larry Fitzgerald of the Spokesman Recorder on a minority business fair that is scheduled for potential vendors.

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