We're Black and Blue All Over:
A one-sentence note buried deep within a St. Paul Pioneer Press column caught some eyes around the NFL. Here's what the Pioneer Press' Charley Walters wrote earlier this week: "Spotted at the W Hotel in downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday night were members of Vikings owner Zygi Wilf's management and stadium development team meeting with LA Live! honcho Tim Leiweke and his AEG team that is considering a stadium for Los Angeles."
Let's see. The Vikings have yet to secure financing for a new stadium, and Leiweke is one of the executives behind the proposed Farmers Insurance Stadium in Los Angeles. There is an obvious connection to be made, but Albert Breer of NFL.com reports the meeting was about developing an entertainment district around the Vikings' proposed stadium in Arden Hills, Minn.
We have no particular reason to view the meeting or that explanation with cynicism. But let's also accept, as we noted this week, that interest in and from Los Angeles will only intensify as long as the Vikings' stadium bill remains stalled. That's not fear-mongering. It's an educated assumption based on the real interest of deep-pocketed businessmen in filling the Los Angeles market.
Continuing around the NFC North:
At least two Minnesota state legislators doubt that the stadium bill will be addressed in a special session this summer, according to Mike Kaszuba of the Star Tribune.
Low-round draft picks are at a particular disadvantage during the lockout, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
The Green Bay Packers announced they have received permission from the NFL to hold their Super Bowl ring ceremony June 16 even if the lockout is still on. Otherwise, players would not be allowed to interact with team officials.
On Thursday, we noted a Green Bay Press-Gazette column that described Gary Martin's efforts to maintain the grave site of Vince Lombardi. At least one other group is now claiming to do the same, according to Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette.
The Detroit Lions hired the son of former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher to their coaching staff. Brandon Fisher will be a defensive assistant. Jeff Fisher is one of the mentors of Lions coach Jim Schwartz.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press follows Lions defensive lineman Andre Fluellen's work in a Kung Fu class this offseason.
The NFL has ranked the Chicago Bears' victory over the New York Jets last season as the 12th-best game of 2010. Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com has more.