With the boys at Target Field flatlining before August for the third straight summer, Minnesota sports fans can turn their full attention towards Mankato, where the Minnesota Vikings will report to training camp on Thursday evening and hit the field on Friday morning.
There will be plenty of hooting and hollering both on the field and in the stands where those Minnesota sports fans will finally have better things to talk about than the possibility of trading Justin Morneau for a double-A pitcher.
It's an exciting time to be a Vikings fan, and before we begin to dissect what might be problem areas on the roster, everyone who cheers for the Vikings should take a deep breath and be thankful for how far the franchise has come in such a short time.
Just a season removed from the hideous 3-13 season of 2011, the Vikings head towards the 2013 campaign a legitimate contender in the stacked NFC North Division.
With all due credit to Leslie Frazier and general manager Rick Spielman, the Vikings have bounced back faster than a Donovan McNabb 10-yard out pass.
Are expectations off a 10-6 season becoming, perhaps, too high? Absolutely not, Minnesota has done a brilliant job of retooling their depth chart and the national experts are taking notice. NFL.com recently had nine Vikings on its All-NFC North team, far outdistancing the Bears (5), Packers (4) and Lions (4).
Having said that, there's no doubt the 2013 Vikings are still a work in progress and while the roster is certainly far better on paper than it was two years ago, there are still areas that have question marks bigger than their answers at this point.