There was a time when T.J. Houshmanzadeh was a big house hold name in Minnesota. (No pun intended) A time when the many Minnesota Vikings fans could almost dream of seeing the long named athlete streaking down the sidelines, a football in hands, and a Metrodome crowd booming with cheers.
Yet oddly enough, those days have come and gone, and Housh is a distant and faded memory from the average Minnesota sports fan's mind.
They now look at the players that are actually on the roster. They also must be some what pleased with a 2-0 start to kick off the NFL season.
But there was hope, a small hope that Houshmanzadeh would pick the Vikes as his new home. T.J.'s contract with the Cincinatti Bengals was finally over, yet instead of re-joing the team, T.J. wanted to try out the free agency market.
Many teams showed interest, but the three that stuck out the most were no other then the Bengals,the ones who had given him a shot, the Seattle Sehawks, and of course the Vikings.
As the days passed, it became abudantly clear to NFL annalysts and fans abroad that the Bengals weren't going to keep one of their cities' biggest and longest named icons in town.
The two teams left to duke it out for the oustanding slot wide reciever were the Seahawks and the Vikings.
As more days passed and Houshmanzadeh continued his visits, something else becam even more clear: the Vikings WANTED him maybe even NEEDED the star wide reciever.
The Vikings put out all the stops out to reel in the former Bengal. Vikings owner Zigi Wilf flew his team jet out to Seattle to personally pick him up and bring him to Minnesota for a nice evening out on the twon.
Well, okay maybe it wasn't a particulary a guys night out, but Wilf along with head coach Brad Childress drove T.J. around town in a limo, even showed off their practice facility at Winter Park and then finished it off with a fancy style dinner... you know to "discuss things".
As day turned into night then into morning rumors flew from website to website- Fox.com, ESPN.com, Yahoo.com, NFL.com.
They all had the same speculation: T.J. was still in Minnesota, most likely negotiating a contract deal and that he would on his way to becoming the newst Minnesota Viking.
However, as the hours unfolded into the day, the rumors fell apart and the truth cam together. Houshemanzadeh had actually left Minneapolis over night and headed back to his home in California.
Where to every one's knowledege, he was trying to decide which team he want. Of course we all know how the story ended. In the late afternoon that day, Yahoo.com came forward breaking news establishing that Housh would sign with the Seahawks.
Minnesota fans dreaded the breaking news and the over hyped dream fell apart before our their very eyes.
One of the key decision factors was the quarterback situation was more fermative in Seattle, whereas the Vikings were in the proccess of a quarterback competition with Tavaris Jackson being the projected winner.
Also the supposed travel from home to Minnesota wasn't ideal for the father of two and his wife.
As they say though-"That was then, this is now".
And this is now, where a totally different looking Vikings squad is 2-0 and set to kick off their home opener against a surprising 2-0 San Fransisco 49ers.
Some still look back and wonder what could have been with Houshmanzadeh as a Viking, but looking at the numbers, everything is just fine here in Minnesota.
The Vikings are 2-0 --- The Seattle Seahawks are 1-1
The Vikings have Brett Favre --- The Seattle Seahawks have a broken ribbed Matt Hasselbeck and Seneca Wallace for backup
The Vikings have a rookie wide reciver in Percy Harvin who already has 2 Touchdowns
The Seattle Seahawks have a star wide reciever in T.J. Houshmanzadeh who has 0 Touchdowns
T.J. Houshmanzadeh does however, have ten receptions for 110-yards in two games, something no Vikings reciever can say quite yet.
But T.J. has yet to get a one hundred yard performance and has been kept out of the endzone thus far.
Add insult to injury with the recent injury of his offensive leader Matt Hasselbeck, who a broke a rib in a loss to the 49ers, and you may have a recipe for disaster.
This of course coming after ealry pre-season predictions that had Houshmanzadeh as one of the early favorties to have a big year for most NFL wide recievers.
Guess that hasn't really gone according to plan now has it?
So what do Vikings fans think? Well for the most part they moved on, and now T.J. Houshmanzadeh is now T.J. Who?
Fans now look forward to watching the NFL's best running-back in Adrian Peterson bruise defenders on his way to the endzone.
Fans look forward to watching one of the NFL's most decorated quarterbacks to ever play the game lead thier beloved purple to victory.
Fans look forward to watching one of the most stout defenses in the NFL crush opposing running-backs and devour opposing quarterbacks.
Sorry Houshmanzadeh, but the Vikings nation has moved on.
Andy Smith is a Minnesota Vikings writer for Bleacher Report and NFLTouchdown.com's Vikings Fanvoice
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