April 30, 2006
"Squealing with Anger" by Mr. Cheer Or Die


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Many of you who know me well also understand that I wear my emotions on my sleeve. And I just want to open with that because I could come back here later this week and be in a different frame of mind over what transpired over the last 48-hours at the draft war room inside Winter Park.

But, as of right now I'm too infuriated to even articulate about the picks made on the second day. Just too incensed. And I know some of you, especially the younger fans, won't understand my anger. (And there will be those even angrier than myself.) So, let me try and elaborate for all those you think I’m being too harsh in my assessment.

It's been 46-years since the inception of the team. And the Vikings have yet to win a Super Bowl. So, the fans tend to magnify everything that happens with the team in an attempt to find the promised land.

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When a team has been to the Super Bowl four times and come up empty, the fans start reaching for excuses and help. To the fans, progress always seems slow. In fact, fans don't want improvement. We want a ring! And we want it yesterday.

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Whenever I'm sick, I'm always reminded of how the Vikings fans magnify every little move the Vikings make. You must know that feeling when all you have to do is lie in bed and concentrate on your condition. It's impossible not to focus on yourself. All your little aches and pains seem magnified. You watch yourself for the slightest signs of improvement. If there isn't any, you wonder why. You wonder what's happening. You start worrying about what you might have done differently to avoid being laid up.

The same with the Vikings. We'll analyze the hell out of every move, every trade, the coach, and even the food served at the MetroDome. So, exactly how do I usually keep a smile on my face?

First off, I gave Zygi Wilf a honeymoon period. And I still don't really have any issues with a man who has spent more in a single year than the previous did in five. Even Red McCombs enjoyed immense popularity his inaugural season. I also gave a honeymoon period to Brad Childress which was suppose to last one full season.....but that period may have abruptly ended over the weekend. And I also gave a honeymoon period to Fran Foley which lasted as long as a marriage with Zsa Zsa Gabor did....to any of her many husbands.


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So, for Vikings owners, coaches (Bud Grant excluded), administration, and players, our adoration can be fleeting. Especially when owners decide to raise ticket prices early in the year followed by a crappy draft. But I'm getting off topic a bit. (For a complete rundown on the history of ticket rate increase (and hijacking) please read more here.)

All we really ask of our Vikings owners and players is that we receive your undivided attention and effort. Or at least feign it. We don't like to be shared. Especially when the new owner is exploring the purchase of a Major League Soccer team to bring to the Twin Cities. Perhaps that fits into his new stadium plans or he has another goal in mind. But, the new owner hasn't even reached the Big Dance with the Purple yet. As The Wife® will tell me, "Keep your eyes over here, Mister!"

Yes, Mr. Wilf opened up his pocket book and brought the Vikes closer to the salary cap maximum. I'm not saying Zygi has to spend just to spend. But when the opportunity to vastly improve the team at a weak position presents itself the reply should be, "Cash or check?" and not, "I'll pass."

In that regard, Zygi gets high, high marks.

Additionally, I truly understand the need to bring in additional income for advertising by renting space for signage throughout the MetroDome which was done under McCombs. But, the appearance was more in line with a Texas league high school football than a professional football team. Last season, Zygi took a look-see for himself. He understood being an ECG (East Coast guy) and all. Again, two huge thumbs up in improving the look of the Dome.

And Wilf is riding a high approval rating here on the Viking Underground. Wilf got an 86% approval rating for April. For the year, Zygi actually improved to an overall 87% approval rating. I wonder if that will hold in May given the recent uniform change and then what I am referring to as a draft debacle.

Note: The May Zygi Approval Rating poll is now available. Just navigate to along the left frame to the poll area. And directly underneath the approval poll is a new poll on which NFC North team had the best overall draft.

With any draft, one has to allow time to judge the value of the players drafted. It will be interesting to see how the "experts" grade the team but I have to think no higher than a "C" which is again, helped by the first two picks which I truly loved.

But we aren't even sure Chad Greenway or Cedric Griffin will be "all that and a bag of chips" either. This could be one of the worst drafts EVER in the history of the team.

For example, the Vikes opening day linebacker corps for opening day could be Ben Leber at strong-side, EJ Henderson at middle and Greenway at weak. Um, don't you need at least one guy who can take on a block? There was Abdul Hodge for the taking. Numerous times in the second round and again early in the third. Instead, Hodge was picked up by the Packers. Now the Vikes have to face AJ Hawk, Hodge, and either Nick Barnett or Na’il Diggs twice a year. Hell, the Pack could even go 3-4! And do you know how pissed I get when I have to tip my hat to the freakin’ Packers!!!????!!!!

Then there was the reach for Tarvaris Jackson. I fully understand that other teams were looking to move up and “steal him? from the Vikes. But, c’mon!?!? That was a lot to spend for him. Yes, Jackson has got an absurd arm. Yes, the pundits said the arm of Jackson might be the best in the draft. But, the big negative in his game is Jackson has trouble absorbing an offense and taking it to the field. The West Coast offense is not an easy offense to learn. And the team let a QB leave that had a freakish arm who was already a Pro Bowler and familiar with the personnel. He just didn’t want to be here. So, we are now supposed to start from scratch!?!? (Recall the 46-year Super Bowl draught?)

I might be just too upset to think straight. I know I'm too upset to write any more for a few days and will look for the analytical honey-sweet tones of Vikes Geek to perhaps set me straight....or vindicate my current gut feelings.

How about you? Am I being harsh? Do you consider this draft to be a stinker or does it have the aroma of a Super Bowl? Can you put a smile back on my face? If so, I'd love to hear from you. Tell me what I am missing, please! And grade out the Vikes draft in the poll below.




Update: Sunday evening 9 PM CST

Best comment fed back to me so far....."No Steller names, but all soild players. Remember the Pats?" Slight smile starting to crack on left side of face. Keep them coming!

Vikes Free Agent Draft Summary 2006: Know anyone? Leave a comment if you do.









PLAYER



PLAYER

POSTION

SCHOOL

Stinson, Albert

OT

Jackson State

Carter, Jason

WR

Texas A&M

Baskett, Hank

WR

New Mexico

Jackson, Steven

FB

Clemson

Henderson, Taureen

HB

Texas Tech

Torp, John

P

Colorado

Palermo, Jason

C/G

Wisconsin

Gordon, Charles

CB

Kansas

Penn, Donald

OT

Utah State

Smith, Kyle

WR

Youngstown State

Cobb, Robert

CB

Massachusetts

Mathis, Wendell

HB

Fresno State

Mitchell, Jayme

DE

Mississippi

McKenzie, Kyle

LB

Minnesota

Nealy, Barrick

WR

SW Texas State

Hopoi, Manase

UT

Washington

Hoyte, Oliver

LB

NC State

 

Posted by maasx003 at April 30, 2006 3:53 PM