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'A GUY CAN GET HOOKED ON BEING A HERO'
Ahmad Rashad
October 25, 1982
Drudgery and tension marked the Vikings' preseason, and a strike loomed, but in the end the author had one redeeming moment
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October 25, 1982

'a Guy Can Get Hooked On Being A Hero'

Drudgery and tension marked the Vikings' preseason, and a strike loomed, but in the end the author had one redeeming moment

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TUESDAY, AUG. 17: A regular F.E.

[Linebacker] Scott Studwell and I went over to the Albatross tonight to be spectators. It's the meat rack in town, just across from our practice facility, and there's music and a DJ, but the real attraction this time of year is the Vikings. The choice talent from all over southern Minnesota and northern Iowa comes to the Albatross to try and land a Vike. I was drinking a beer and Scott was having soda water when a waitress brought him a note. It was from a girl across the way. You won't believe what it said. In its entirety: "Dear Scott, I would love to have your baby."

But Scott decided to stay there and watch the action with me. We like to look at the dancing. I've seen guys get carried off the practice field and be boogieing at the Albatross a couple hours later. In fact, I've seen a lot of guys dance their way right off the Minnesota Vikings. California kids particularly. They've got to show off all their hot new steps to the hicks from Minnesota. And it can get to you. One time a couple of years ago, when Scott was still drinking pretty good, he got a few in him, and he turned to me and he got up and said, "Ahmad, now I'm going out and be a regular F.E."

"F.E.?"

"Sure," he said. "Fred Estaire."

Another thing, Frank. At the Albatross everyone's equal. In fact, it's better to be a reserve because the girls aren't so likely to approach a big name. The fringe guys can really score. So, often, the guys having the hardest time making the team must struggle with the most temptations.

Well, it's bed-check time, 11 p.m., I'm back in my room now, and I want to assure you that I resisted all urges to be an F.E. Through the years a lot of rookies have found out the hard way that it's not wise to sneak out after bed check and return to the Albatross for a late date. That's when the coaches start arriving.

Thought for today: Fran Tarkenton once told me that ideally every player should be traded about every three years. He may be right. I feel like I've been here, in camp, a year and a half. If it were a new team, with a new system, new guys, new hangouts, I'm sure I'd be more alert and interested. More involved, Frank.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 18: Fame

A couple of your colleagues from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED were here today. The photographer was taking pictures of [running backs] Ted Brown and Darrin Nelson. Everybody on the team tried to stand closer to those guys. Teddy and Darrin never knew they had so many friends. Eddie Payton leads the team in getting himself into other people's pictures.

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