MINNEAPOLIS –Wide receiver Adam Thielen and tight end Kyle Rudolph, along with "Voice of the Vikings" Paul Allen, were featured guests at the Vikings Huddle breakfast event held Tuesday in partnership with the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Minneapolis Downtown Council and Meet Minneapolis.
Executive Vice President of Executive Affairs Lester Bagley opened the morning and welcomed more than 100 attendees on behalf of the Vikings. Among those in attendance were representatives from Mortenson Construction as well as Minnesota Timberwolves President Chris Wright and Timberwolves General Manager Scott Layden, new to the organization this year.
"This is a tight-knit community – it's a 'big' small town," Bagley said. "It was great to have the Timberwolves sponsor the event and Mortenson Construction, our partners in building U.S. Bank Stadium, come out and support our organization.
"We have a dynamic community, and it's great to be part of it," Bagley added. "We appreciate the outstanding support our business community provides to the Vikings."
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Steve Poppen provided an update on the future Vikings headquarters and practice facilities in Eagan, and the mic was then turned over to Allen, who emceed a panel discussion with Thielen and Rudolph.
Guests enjoyed an informal discussion with Allen and the two players. A variety of topics were covered, from both becoming new fathers within the past six weeks, to their respective paths to the NFL, to the Vikings current situation at 5-4 heading into Sunday's home game against the Cardinals.
"We're in so deep each and every week trying to find a win, and it's hard to take a step back and think, after everything we went through in training camp and all the injuries that we've had, if you said, 'Now going into Week 11 tied [by record] for first place [in the division] … and we get to play the team we're tied with on Thanksgiving,' I think everybody in our locker room would take it," Rudolph said. "We've put ourselves in a situation to go out and win."
Guests were given time to ask Thielen and Rudolph questions at the end of the event, and a number of interesting inquiries were pitched their way. Thielen shared about the pep talk he gives in the huddle on game days, and Rudolph spoke about being a teammate of Adrian Peterson's for six seasons. One individual, prior to asking a question, volunteered that he is a Vikings Season Ticket Member and told the pair of players that he and fans across the state haven't lost faith in the team after four losses, and he encouraged them to continue playing well and come away with a win against Arizona.
"It's great to have those fans who stick with the Vikings through thick and thin – we see that every week," Thielen said. "We know we have a good team, and we have a lot of confidence, but obviously we can't do anything without the great support of our fans."
Thielen, a native of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, said he appreciated the opportunity to participate in the morning's event.
"Any time you can represent the Vikings and come out to meet some of the people in the community, it's great. It's fun to do the Q&A just to interact with community members and get to familiarize yourself with fans around the area."
A number of attendees stayed after the conclusion of the program to take photos with Thielen and Rudolph as well as congratulate them on their touchdowns last week and wish them luck for the remainder of the season.
"It was a great morning. Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph did a great job, and it's always great to get out in the community – and this is a little bit different in that it's our business community," Bagley said. "Just a great program, and our guys are outstanding representation [of the Vikings]. They got us all fired up for the game on Sunday."