MANKATO, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings trickled into the residence hall for their two-week training camp stay, toting the usual duffel bags, electronic gadgets and mattress pads.Coach Mike Zimmer came with a contract extension.The Vikings announced Thursday theyve added to Zimmers deal, rewarding their revered coach well before his contract status ever became a headline and further galvanizing an organization already buzzing with anticipation of the season and the future.General manager Rick Spielman declined to disclose the terms of the deal, revealed when the Vikings reported to Minnesota State University, but Zimmers original contract was not close to expiring. Zimmer even said he saw no rush to address it, entering his third season on the job.They really didnt have to. There was nothing that was pushing this deal, Zimmer said. But I feel very, very fortunate to be the coach of the Vikings. Its a great organization, a lot of great people.Talks took place over the past month between Spielman and Zimmers agent, Marvin Demoff.Our ownership, myself, the entire organization felt very strongly about getting something done with coach Zimmer, Spielman said.We have so much excitement building up with the new facility, the new practice facility, and I know how strongly we feel about coach Zimmer in leading this football team in the future.The ribbon has been cut at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. Next week, theyll break ground on new suburban headquarters. Coming off an 11-5 regular-season finish that earned them the NFC North title, the team has plenty of momentum. Now the power structure has even more stability.I can tell you, in my 26 years in the NFL, I have not had the experience and the cohesiveness with a head coach as I do with coach Zimmer, Spielman said.Zimmer, a long-time defensive coordinator for Dallas and Cincinnati who got his first opportunity to be a head coach with Minnesota at age 57.Hes 18-14, with one loss in the playoffs. Only Dennis Green, with 20, had more wins in his first two seasons as coach of the Vikings.I dont want to oversimplify it because I think hes done a lot of things, safety Harrison Smith said, finally settling on a favorite: Really, just the get-it-done attitude. Theres no excuses for anything. Its either you got it done or you didnt get it done, and guys really enjoy that. Because its just straightforward, and you know where you stand, and that allows you to get better.Both sons of football coaches, Spielman and Zimmer have been in step from the beginning. Spielman is the boss, but Zimmer said theyve hardly had any disagreements about decisions regarding the roster.Were kind of like the odd couple. Hes messy, and Im the clean one, Zimmer said, before his tone turned serious. Its been a real good relationship, and Im looking forward to more.Zimmer is the kind of coach who can keep a team carrying high expectations appropriately grounded. Supplementing his own brand of defiance, fueled by all those head coach positions he interviewed for but didnt get, Zimmer has rarely missed an opportunity to prod his players by slapping the doubt card down on the table.Deep passing and the kicking game are the biggest questions surrounding this team, not the danger of complacency.When you have a lot of good people, guys who work hard, all the things that Ive been saying about this team, I think its easy, Zimmer said.Throughout his first two seasons, Zimmer often said half-jokingly in response to queries about the future that he wasnt sure whether hed be around for it. He once dismissed a question from a team official about the color of the wood in the new stadium locker room: I said, `Heck, I dont know if Im going to be here for the new stadium.Here he is, with the Aug. 28 exhibition opener against San Diego a month away.Thats what pushes me, that someone else can come and take my job or we dont play as good as we can play or proving people wrong, the 60-year-old Zimmer said. Thats just my mentality.---Online:AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Camo Panthers Jerseys .com) - The game was all punts and field goals before Kodi Whitfields catch. Throwback Panthers Jerseys . There are surprises among the Vezina candidates, but most of the others are standard top-tier performers, even if the two Hart Trophy runners-ups have never been quite as good as they have been through the first half of the season. http://www.officialpanthersnflauthenticshop.com/ . The International Olympic Committee released the official list of bid cities on Friday after the deadline for applications had passed. The candidates -- all previously announced in their own countries -- are: Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing; Krakow, Poland; Lviv, Ukraine; Oslo, Norway; and Stockholm. Youth Panthers Jerseys . -- Anaheim Ducks captain and leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf has been scratched from Sunday nights game against the Vancouver Canucks because of an upper-body injury. Womens Panthers Jerseys . After Mondays hard-fought loss, the wait seemed longer than usual. Getting set to go their separate ways for a short Christmas break, the Raptors coach credited his team for their effort on a seemingly impossible three-game road trip, urging them to build on that success when they get back to work at the end of the week. LOS ANGELES -- Howard Bingham, longtime personal photographer, confidant and perhaps the closest friend of boxing great Muhammad Ali, has died at age 77.Harlan Werner, Binghams agent and longtime friend, told The Associated Press that the photographer died Thursday.No cause of death was given, but another friend, sportswriter Mohammed Mubarak, said Bingham had been in failing health in recent months after undergoing two surgeries.During a friendship that spanned more than half a century, Bingham took literally hundreds of thousands of photos of Ali that ranged from the three-time world heavyweight champions many ring triumphs to quiet day-to-day moments with his family.He captured the young, handsome champion preparing for his first heavyweight championship fight against Sonny Liston in 1964 and, years later, the aging Ali, hands shaking from Parkinsons disease, preparing to light the flame and open the 1996 Summer Olympics.He photographed Ali greeting everyone from former President Bill Clinton to South African President Nelson Mandela to black Muslim leader Malcolm X. And he was there with his camera when throngs of awestruck fans surrounded the champ on the street.Although known largely as Alis photographer, Bingham also had a distinguished career as a freelancer.He photographed the 1967 race riots in Detroit and was at Chicagos Democratic National Convention in 1968, when violence exploded between protesters and police.In the 1960s, he developed enough trust with the fledgling Black Panther Party that its members gave him free reign to photograph them -- and their weapons stash -- for a feature Life magazine had planned.After the story was not published -- They got scared, he later told the Los Angeles Times -- he included the photos in his 2009 book, Howard L. Binghams Black Panthers 1968.He was one of the greatest storytelleers of our time, said Werner.ddddddddddddYou look at the history in his photos. And the photos themselves, theyre just amazing.The public has never seen some of the best photos of Ali, Werner added, because the unfailingly modest Bingham never wanted people to think he was cashing in on their friendship. But he did publish a book including some of them in the acclaimed 1993 photo memoir, Muhammad Ali: A Thirty-Year Journey.Bingham started off his career in 1962 as a fledgling photographer for the Los Angeles Sentinel, a small African-American newspaper, and was assigned to cover a fight by an up-and-coming young boxer then known as Cassius Clay.He would tell Ali years later that he had no idea whom he had been sent to photograph, but when he saw Ali and his brother wandering around downtown after the fight, he offered to show them around. Later, he invited them to his mothers house for dinner.It was the beginning of a friendship that would endure until Alis death in June.The eldest of seven siblings, Bingham was born in Mississippi on May 29, 1939, and moved to Los Angeles as a child.He eventually enrolled in Compton Community College, where he failed a photography class. He blamed it on spending too much time having fun and not enough studying.But he applied to be a photographer at the Sentinel a few years later and, after repeated inquiries, he was finally hired.I went off on jobs, came back with underexposed film, blurred film, no film -- and I always had an excuse for what went wrong, he told the Los Angeles Times.Eventually, he learned enough about photography on the job to land the Ali assignment.Bingham is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and son, Dustin. Another son, Damon, preceded him in death. 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