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“Henderson Hitmen” Poised To Make History

August 8, 2011

Brothers Erin and E.J. Henderson are looking for a new nickname. So far, some of the more clever suggestions have been Henderson Hitmen, Aberdeen Assassins (referring to their hometown in Maryland) and, as a number of Vikings fans have suggested, The Bash Brothers – a nod to the movie D2: The Mighty Ducks, a movie series based in Minnesota.

Regardless of what moniker they sport, the brothers are excited to finally get a chance to play on the same field together. In fact, Erin says the pair will be making history if both are starters this season.

“From what I understand, it’ll be the first time in history that two brothers get a chance to start at linebacker together on the same team,” Erin told me after Friday morning’s walk-thru practice. “So it will be cool to make history with my brother.”

E.J. shares in his brother’s excitement. The ninth-year veteran said he’s eager for the entire Henderson family to watch the brothers play alongside each other.

“It should be a fun experience,” E.J. said. “Definitely looking forward to it. It’s good for our family. You know they come out here and brag on us both, so it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to.”

E.J. is six years older than Erin, so despite both starring at the University of Maryland, the two siblings had never seen action together until an injury to former Vikings linebacker Ben Leber forced Erin onto the field last season.

“We got a chance little bit in the Miami game when Ben (Leber) went down,” said Erin. “I got a chance to step in and step up for the team. It was exciting out there; it was fun to be out there.”

Erin commented that his brother was “a little bit more excited than normal” during that game in Miami, and their fraternal bond and competitive natures will serve as an advantage going forward.

“Our competitive edge is gonna kick in. Neither one of us wants to be out done by the other one.”

Erin added that he and his brother compete “in everything.” E.J. agreed that the two are always competing but said that their life-long competition will benefit the Vikings defense as a whole.

“I’m glad we [are] on the same side of the ball right now,” said E.J. “The only competition is who is gonna make the most plays.”

As any younger sibling can attest, older brothers can teach you a few things, but their methods might involve a little tough love. When asked if he ever picked on his younger brother, E.J. replied, “Oh yeah, [I] always picked on him.

“[I] had to make him tough, you know, I think I helped him be the man he is right now today. Like I said, he is a man now, and I’m proud of where he’s at and the work that he’s put in to get here.”

Vikings fans are hoping that the hard work the siblings have put in over the years will pay off for The Bash Brothers…or Henderson Hitmen…or whatever nickname they choose.

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