For many fans, the new season for the Minnesota Vikings started on Thursday when the players reported to training camp in Mankato.
All the players arrived by 4 p.m., but in what may be an encouraging sign, a lot of them were ready to get going at noon -- including a rookie!
Of course, the die-hard fans were eager to kick off the festivities too. Many made the annual pilgrimage to Mankato. For many, it's all about autographs and individual attention -- and retired Army Col. Milt Toratti knows a thing or two about how to get both.
Toratti can be seen marching up and down the sidewalks like a soldier, but the side he fights for doesn't wear green.
"I wore this in Vietnam in 1968 and 69," Toratti told FOX 9 News while displaying his now-purple helmet. "I was a company commander over there."
He wears his helmet with pride as the players arrive, talk, and sign memorabilia. Still on a mission, and with the battle cry to prove it.
"SKOL!" Toratti shouted.
Toratti told FOX 9 News he only has one more battle in him, and he'll keep fighting for the Vikings.