GOAT Reporter, Chris Tomasson, is Leaving Vikings Beat
As Minnesota Vikings fans, we have experienced a lot of sad days following one of the most tortured franchises in all major sports. But it doesn’t get much lower than what happened on Thursday morning when one of the greatest Vikings reporters of all time, Chris Tomasson, announced he was leaving the Pioneer Press beat, effective immediately. Tomasson is taking his talents to Denver where he first cut his teeth in big city reporting back in 2002, where he will cover thee Broncos.
Personal news: This is my last week at the Pioneer Press. I will be covering Broncos for the Denver Gazette. Woody Paige is a columnist there and it's an exciting opportunity. I return to Denver, where I once worked for a decade. I'm thankful to the Pioneer Press for my time here— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 16, 2023
Chris Tomasson the bulldog
Chris Tomasson will be missed, not just by his readers and those who appreciate his bulldog style in an interview scrum, but by his fellow reporters. Nobody questioned who was going to ask the hardest question needing addressed during the last decade (2013-2023), when Chris was in the room.
He never hesitates and puts reporting above all else, even if his commitment level was being questioned by coaches, colleagues or fans. He will live tweet a funeral or spar head-to-head with Mike Zimmer.
There’s nothing — and I mean nothing — that comes between Chris Tomasson and reporting news. And that’s something that the players and coaches he covers absolutely notice. Oftentimes, you’d hear an immediate change in tune when Tomasson would ask questions, vs other reporters. Especially Zimmer.
But even when Zim or others would challenge him, Chris stood his ground and was ready to follow up or explain his question whenever needed. As someone with limited experience in a press conference environment, that can be a difficult thing to do. Especially when questions or challenges from your interviewee come at a surprise time, like in the video above when Mike flips out on him for no reason.
Broncos fans win, Vikings fans lose
I’m happy for Chris, if this is what he wanted. The Denver Post and Broncos fans are lucky to have him and they have no idea what is about to hit their team’s press conferences. But this goodbye is hard to swallow, for Vikings fans who appreciate his bulldog reporting style.
Without Tomasson in the room, how are we going to get iconic interview moments like the time Stefon Diggs — after Tomasson finally asked the ‘elephant in the room’ question about whether or not Diggs wanted to be traded — told the world “there’s truth to all rumors, Chris”.
Or how about that time Chris called Bashaud Breeland out on his PFF grades, to add context before a question. Oh, and there was that time Kirk Cousins questioned Tomasson’s fashion choices or the legitimacy of a recent pass interference call.
And we haven’t even gotten into his GOAT tweets, which continued right up until the moment Chris announced his impending departure. He will literally do anything and talk to anyone, in order to get a story. Then, he’d tweet about how it went, whether successful or not.
When I recently texted #Vikings safety Harrison Smith to ask about his contract situation, he simply sent back this photo of Prince. Since Prince is a Minnesota icon, I asked if that means he’s sticking around. But I didn’t hear back. pic.twitter.com/8H76kDuSAa— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 14, 2023
There has been speculation that if the #Vikings re-signed Alexander Mattison then Dalvin Cook wouldn't come back. I asked Mattison about Cook's status. "I don't know anything about any of that."— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 16, 2023
I talked to American head basketball coach Mike Brennan, who was #Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s JV coach at Princeton: “I liked him… He was a hard worker. He was a diligent worker. He listened. He was attentive. He was fun to coach. He was a well-liked kid amongst the team."— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) January 26, 2022
Not sure what's going on with ex-#Vikings LB Anthony Barr in free agency. I did call him today mostly since he's up tomorrow for Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award at ESPYs. But he hung up on me before I had a chance to ask him about the award & then didn't return a message.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) July 19, 2022
I chatted with the food folks at Allegiant Stadium and was told that among selections in the press box at halftime will be Spam sliders. The Raiders always cater a selection to the road team coming in. I actually have been to the Spam Museum in Austin, Minn, not once but twice.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) August 14, 2022
I just had a 1 1/2-minute phone conversation with Jim Harbaugh. He was friendly but wouldn’t confirm coming to Minnesota for #Vikings interview Wednesday. “I’m not confirming anything or denying anything.” He said “please don’t be offended” that he wouldn’t discuss his situation.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) February 1, 2022
I don’t know Chris Tomasson personally, (only interactions are a couple interviews we did with him a few years back, when I co-hosted the “Bleeding Purple” podcast). Still, I will miss him. Neither Vikings press conferences nor Vikings twitter will ever be the same.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan