Welcome to Around the Horns, our daily look at what's happening on the Vikings beat:
The Vikings left for their week in London last night, required to get to the United Kingdom five days in advance of their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers because, as the home team, they're slated for a handful of NFL publicity events. It's not necessarily the ideal environment for an 0-3 team, and some players were still annoyed about giving up a game at the Metrodome as they packed for London on Monday. But it's possible a week away from the white-hot spotlight of the NFL in the U.S. might not be a bad thing.
"If the Vikings were playing well enough to be taken seriously, flying to London for a purported home game would have been seen as a risk to their playoff hopes," Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune writes.. "At 0-3, the trip is ideal. The Vikings ingeniously discovered an English-speaking country where nobody cares enough about Christian Ponder to boo."
Sunday's game at Wembley Stadium is sold out, but a crowd mixed with curious Englishmen and well-traveled Vikings and Steelers fans probably won't turn as sour as a stadium full of angst-ridden Vikings fans could. A handful of Twin Cities reporters will make the trip to London -- including yours truly this afternoon -- but the media contingent won't be as big as it is before a typical game in the U.S. And for his part, coach Leslie Frazier has said he's excited about getting his team back in a training camp-type atmosphere, where players are away from home together and spending time with one another off the field.
Frazier is a big believer in what can come from that type of environment, and time will tell if it's enough to turn things around for the Vikings. But while a 4,000-mile journey isn't the typical way to try and turn things around in a home game, the Vikings have to make the best of it.
Here are today's other Vikings stories of note:
We looked at Frazier's declaration that the Vikings have no major changes coming for now, and discussed another reason why the $84.5 million judgment against the Wilfs in their New Jersey lawsuit won't set back the Vikings' new stadium.
The Vikings are trying to set themselves up for success in London, even though they're 0-3, according to Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The blame for what's gone wrong with the Vikings in their first three games has to extend beyond Ponder, Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com says.