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Vikings cancel Friday practice, team will attend Tony Sparano’s funeral

NFL Holds Annual Meetings Amid Lockout

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 22: Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano answers questions from the media during the NFL Annual Meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 22, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.Despite a NFL owners imposed lockout in effect since March 12 the league is conducting it’s annual owners meeting in New Orleans. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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The Vikings today announced that Friday’s training camp practice has been canceled so the team can attend the memorial service for Tony Sparano, the offensive line coach who died on Sunday.

Sparano was heading into his third season on the Vikings’ coaching staff, and he was much loved by his players, as evidenced by the many statements that have come out from players in the two days since he died. The Vikings’ players and coaches will be together for his funeral.

In lieu of flowers, the Sparano family asked for donations to the American Heart Association. The medical examiner listed heart disease as the cause of Sparano’s death.

Fans who had tickets to Friday’s practice will be contacted by the Vikings’ ticket office.