In order to give equal time to those who support head coach Mike Tice and those who think ill of him, I bring you a very special blog entry today. First up is The Commish, an ardent Tice supporter followed by The Unknown Comic, a Tice hater.
What Next? by The Commish
I took a walk with my family after dinner this past Sunday, walking off that embarrassing loss to the Bengals, and I guess, the Bucs’ loss too!
I was still in my Vikings t-shirt, my youngest son was still in his jersey (Moss jersey, by the way), and my oldest was also in a Vikings t-shirt. While we were at the park, a Vikings fan came up to me and asked why I was still wearing purple. I said, “I still live in Minnesota.”
I proceeded to say I’m a die-hard fan and would never hide that. We ended up having a great talk about the disarray the Vikings appear to be in as my boys swung away happily on the swings. When we parted ways, I told him, “Remember, there are 14 games left to go, and you never know what might happen.” He agreed.
Has there been any team that succeeded by changing their coach in midseason? Better yet, that made the playoffs? Or won a game in the playoffs? That is why Coach Tice will, and should, be around for the bulk of the season. This team has too much upside to throw away now. Mr. Wilf has spent too much money (finally) upgrading the defense to give up early. Mind you, we are not the lowly Detroit franchise here!
I’ve said this many times to many people, but coaches don’t teach interceptions, fumbles, penalties or anything else that can go wrong in a game. Well, maybe in hockey where they do train goons to beat the crap out of the opposing team. Players are, and always will be, the ones to decide the outcome of sporting events.
To replace a coach now or even in the first half of a season is conceding the whole year as a new coach brings in a new system, which takes time to build. I can tell you this: no team has won a Super Bowl with an intern coach.
After years of watching the Green Geeks to the East start their season at 1-4 or 2-5 and still win the division, I ask, “Why can’t it be our turn?” In a year where it appears the NFC North may be won with an 8-8 record, selling out too early might be a huge mistake.
People have been clamoring at Tice and the Vikes for starting out too well and floundering as the season goes. Well, how about floundering out of the gate and then finishing up well? I say it doesn’t matter: with 16 games in a season, a win is a win and a loss is a loss. It doesn’t matter when or how. Two weeks, even four, don’t make a season.
And that brings up the question of what’s better? Winning 12 games in the regular season or one in the playoffs? Considering the poor hand Red McCombs allowed Tice to play with the past four years, you have to commend Tice for winning his first playoff game and in Lambeau, mind you!
Heck, I’d personally say it’s the biggest win in franchise history! And now people want to cut loose the coach who won the biggest game ever for this franchise? A mere eight months later?
It’s funny how people chastised Denny Green for winning a lot of regular season games but not any playoffs games (until 1998 that is). Now people are chastising Tice for not winning regular season games when he is 1-1 in the playoffs. I just don’t understand this kind of thinking.
You think Red McCombs and Purple Pride were about winning? Think again. Tice needs a true chance to succeed, because the first chance he was given was under Red “How can I make money?” McCombs. Tice was hired to run the team as lean as possible, so Red could make his millions. Tice had the lowest-paid coaching staff and one of the lowest salary caps in the league.
Now it appears Mr. Wilf is an owner that is willing to give his coach a fighting chance. Jimmie Johnson wrote a great take on the Viking’s affairs over the past few years. It truly shows the hole Red dug this franchise in so he could make his millions of dollars.
What is hurting this team the most? Is it: 1) No Randy Moss? 2) No Matt Birk? or 3) A new offensive coordinator? Granted, the insane number of turnovers is what is causing this team to lose thus far. Things will get better over time. The question to ask is, “How much time?” As this team learns to play with those three new parts, they should get better.
NFL experts say offenses are always behind the defenses to start the year. Then you factor in the fact that we pretty much have a new defense too or a defense that needs to learn to work together better, and that takes time too. Again, how much time? I guess too much if people want to change a coach without taking into consideration the state of the team.
If people think Tice is a scapegoat and should be replaced, shouldn’t they also be campaigning at their jobs to get the CEO, the president or their managers replaced, too? Wouldn’t they be thinking, “Those people are keeping my salaries and promotions down; we all deserve more money!” When you do poorly at your job, do you blame yourself or your boss?
With the Vikings, it all comes down to waiting to see when the mistakes are corrected on the field (turnovers, tackling, etc). Then you can tell if the coach is to blame. If we would have lost to the Bengals without all those turnovers, I think might have been coaching.
I am, by nature, a supporter, not a naysayer or a pessimist. For me, the glass is always half-full. I root for the Vikings irregardless of their record; I always support the guys wearing purple.
This goes for to the coach, too. If Tice was dismissed, I would support the new coach. But as I mentioned earlier, the players on the field will always decide the outcome of football games.
Remember: there are 14 games left in the season. It’s not time to pack it in and start watching hockey or basketball!
The Gong Show by Mr. CoD
All of you old enough to remember the heyday of The Gong Show know the Unknown Comic. For those of you still a twinkle in your parents eye, some history.
The Gong Show was a television variety show/game show spoof that was broadcast in first-run syndication in the United States from 1976 until 1980. It was hosted by Chuck Barris.
Each show presented a contest between amateur performers of often questionable talent, with a panel of 3 celebrity guests serving as the judges (among the most frequent of which were Jaye P. Morgan, Arte Johnson and Jamie Farr). If the panel members considered an act to be particularly bad, they could hit a gong during its performance, which would end it immediately. If the act survived without being gonged, they were given a score by the judges, on a scale of 0-10. The contestant with the highest combined score earned a prize of $516.32. (This figure represented the minimum scale payment for a speaking television appearance.)
The show had many recurring bits, and characters who appeared as regular performers, such as the Unknown Comic (Murray Langston) who told bad jokes while wearing a paper bag over his head. Who knew the Unknown Comic was a huge Vikings fan? And he is pissed off, right now.
I sat down recently with the UC to talk a little football.
COD: Well, welcome to the Viking Underground! We're certainly happy to have you here Unknown!
UC: Glad to be here. Someone has to speak about about Tice. The man is a legend in his own mind. I can just hear him at his next press conference, "I've won at every level, except college and pro."
COD: I heard you disliked Tice when he was a player also?
UC: Got that right. Did you know he kept a color photo of himself above his locker? That was so when he forget how to spell his name, he could still find his clothes."
COD: But UC, isn't that a little.....
UC: Oh shut up! I mean here is a man who would still be ineligible as a freshman because of academic requirements. Tice would say something like, "I play football. I'm not trying to be a professor. The tests don't seem to make sense to me, measuring your brain on stuff I haven't been through in school." It's the same here. Coaching doesn't make sense to him because he hasn't been through the ranks.
COD: Now, he was a damn fine offensive line coach and was nationally recognized for that. I take offense over your statement that Tice is not qualified.
UC: Did you hear about the football coach who spent 25 cents to get a better passing game? It turned out that what he got was worse than before, so he asked for his quarterback.
COD: Wait, you aren't making sense!
UC: I'm the friggin' Unknown Comic! Don't badger me boy!
COD: Well, let me ask you...
UC: Hey! Why is the Minnesota football team like a possum?
COD: (Sigh) I have no id....
UC: Because they play dead at home and get killed on the road.
COD: Yeah, that's funny alri...
UC: What do Billy Graham and Mike Tice have in common?
UC: They can both make a stadium of 50,000 people say "Oh, Jesus." Oh, I've got a million of them.
COD: And I suppose we're going to hear all of them. Where is a gong when you need one?
UC: Oh, you are a feisty one. What's the difference between the Daunte Culpepper and a dollar bill? You can still get four quarters out of a dollar.
COD: OK, now back to your issue with Coach Tice I'd like to....
UC: Why can't Daunte Culpepper use the phone anymore?
COD: I believe the topic was Mike Tice and...
UC: Because he can't find the receiver.
COD: Where is Gene Gene the Dancing Machine when you need him?
UC: You know who reminds me of Gene Gene the Dancing Machine? Teddy Cottrell. I mean the Vikes have a regular Gong Show reunion down there on the field!
COD: Alright, that's just about enough! You got away with being mean to Chuck Barris but it's not going to fly here mister!
UC: I'm just having a little fun. Trying to bring a little ray of sunshine into your sorry ass 0-2 lives. You know, I did talk with Ticey Boy the other day.
COD: Oh yeah? What about?
UC: The running game. Ticey Boy told me, “I'm obviously committed to re-establishing the run here. To that end, I'm also going to institute a smash-mouth running style.” And he told me how he will accomplish that this weekend against the Saints.
COD: Pray tell.
UC: Ticey Boy said that it was abundantly clear that the field was tilted in the wrong direction for the Vikings the last two games. He said they will either just switch sides of the field so the Vikings are the ones running downhill, or they’ll have the grounds crew figure out some sort of teeter-totter effect to get the field to tilt their way during the games.
COD: Oh, for the love of....can we have a straight interview here or not?
UC: Can I sit next to you at this weekends game and wear my "Bag Tice" bag?
COD: Absolutely not!
UC: Then no, we cannot speak further. But I'll leave you with this question, "Why is the grass at the Metrodome so green?"
COD: It's...fake....grass...UC, I really...
UC: Cuz they keep putting lots of sh*t on it. Goodbye everyone, I'll be playing the Metrodome at every home game this season!
Blog Quote of the Week
From Frightwig in response to a Jim Souhan STrib article criticizing Randy Moss:
"I've grown to despise sports analysis which pushes the idea that results on the field are a reflection of character. It may be that some guys who work hard are rewarded for their dedication to improving their game; but then some guys work hard and still bat .220 for a team that was out of the race by Memorial Day.
Moss is a HOF receiver. Maybe it was his time to leave Minnesota, but anyone who said the Vikings could replace that kind of talent with Travis Taylor, Nate Burleson, and healthy doses of Good Character was just trying to kid you, if not kid himself.
I don't necessarily root for the Bad Boyz. Some, like Ray Lewis, don't deserve to be celebrated. But Randy Moss ain't no Ray Lewis. Nothin' he's done that one of Dubya or Jeb's kids hasn't also done. ;)
On Culpepper: it's not Daunte's fault that his line can't block, he doesn't have a decent backfield to keep the defenses honest, and he's lost the great deep threat who could stretch out the secondary. Through 2 games, the Vikings' leading rusher has 35 yards on 9 carries--and that includes one run of 23 yards. Daunte is like Custer out there."
Daunte is like Custer out there. Classic stuff. Let's hope there is no Big Little Big Horn Sunday!
Well, the Chicks were given their chance to shine in the glory of football and everything Purple. I offered up a whole week for them to send in their thoughts and what do I get? Two lousy attempts at humor by The Wife®.
So Chickies, don't come around here feeling all sorry for yourself demanding equal time. You were given your chance and you couldn't even work up the strength to send in your stuff.
So, as Cartman once said on South Park, "Woman, get in the kitchen and make me some pies!"
A new entry from The Commish headlines today's stuff. And The Commish can get this house back into order in no time given the state the Chicks left it in.
Upon reading an article from Josh Elliot on SI.com about his take on rule changes he thinks the NFL should do, I thought I’d take a stab at the same idea. So here’s my take on Josh’s rule changes & some of my own ideas:
Sudden death overtime
Josh thinks a shoot out game is better than the real game. I say keep it the same way. Football is football & not baseball. There aren’t any fair ups in football (hear that NCAA!). The game is played with a clock. When the clock is winding down & a team wins in the last minute, the other team doesn’t get one last chance to do the same, so why should they get to do that in overtime?
The people saying there should be a change argue that the team winning the toss win more times than not on that first drive.
Answer: get a better defense. The current overtime system is perfect, it mirrors regulation time & every aspect of the game exists in overtime.
The ground CAN cause a fumble
This is a tricky one. On one hand I think, yeah it should. On the other, no, because when is the runner down then?
First, allowing it. Josh thinks it should be a live ball because it would reward big hits on the ball carriers. We’ve seen it many times where a player gets lit up, hits the ground and the ball goes flying. The defense recovers the ball; but upon further review the play was dead because the ground caused the fumble. The defense wasn’t rewarded for the great hit.
The problem is, when is the ball carrier really down if the ground can cause a fumble? If the players body hits the ground and the ball comes out he probably should be down. It might lead up to more injuries as defensive players would hit ball carriers on the ground.
My solution: allow only if the sole purpose to eliminate the ‘ground caused the fumble’ mantra. However, if the player is legally down, the play is dead.
Pass interference is a 15-yard penalty
The only reason I added this one is because Josh thinks this should be a rule. Does anyone else think Josh likes college football more than the NFL?!?
This should never be considered because the Hail Mary pass as we know it would never happen again. DB’s would take out any receiver on a pass they thought would be completed for 20 yards or more simply because a 15-yard penalty is better than a completion! The only tweaking this rule needs is in the college system.
One foot in bounds is a catch
Oh man, now I know why I wanted to write this. Josh should stick to watching football on Saturday and go to church all day on Sunday! He says it’d create more thrilling catches. Excuse me, but has he not seen Cris Carter’s highlight reel?
I say boring to all those college catches with one foot in bounds and wow to the professionals who are able to get both feet down & prove with out a doubt they were in bounds.
Force outs are legal
This one is intriguing because it dares the offense to use the sidelines as a safe area where a defender can’t cover them as well (see Cardinals game 2003). I say, force outs are legal, but the receiver must get one foot in bounds (thus changing my stance on the previous idea a little bit). The more I think about this the more I think the NFL should accept both parts. Football is a full contact sport and unless a receiver is in the air by the sideline, because is a defensive player hits him, he’s just conceding a completion.
Fumbles out of the end zone
Probably the most asinine rule the NFL has. So a ball carrier fumbles the ball out of the end zone, not only does the defense prevent a score, it gets the turnover & 20 yards to boot! Hideous!
Why give the defense 20 yards if they don’t recover the ball? The defense should get the ball, but not on the 20. The defense should get the ball where the ball carrier lost the ball.
Still a monster play for the defense, they prevented a score in the red zone & created a turnover. Now if a defender does recover the ball and chooses to down it in the end zone, yes, give them the ball on the 20, which is a touchback.
The use of instant replay
Teams get two challenges a half so why are there rules to say when and how they can challenge? Case & point, a receiver gets blatantly interfered with on a 60-yard bomb, yet no flag. This should be challengeable.
I mean a 60 yard penalty could be a game breaker like a turnover. Instant replay was created to make officiating more accurate. So allow teams to challenge the refs opinion on a call or non-call, assuming the team wants to use one of their challenges on that.
How may times have we seen this: ball is on the ground, 15 of the 22 players on the field jump on the pile & the refs just stand there?
Rule idea: ball hits the ground, players start jumping on the scrum, the nearest ref(s) to the scrum throw a hat on or near the scrum thus halting any new players from entering the scrum.
Any player seen jumping on after the hat being thrown gets a 5-yard penalty for their team. This will minimize the ball changing hands with the players at the bottom of the pile. Why should this be a rule? See Vikings/Packers game 2003!
Defensive 5-yard penalties do not equal a 1st down
Why, why, why, why, why why?!?!?!? I cannot understand why a 5-yard penalty is not a first down when there is 10-yards to go?
Illegal contact on a receiver earns a 1st down for the offense. Yet an offensive player tackling a blitzing defender tp prevent him from sacking his quarterback for a 15-yard lose earns the right to only loose 10-yards AND we play the down over!
Then on the next play, say 2nd & 20, the defense gets called for illegal contact and poof, its magically 1st & 10 again. Make the defensive 5-yard penalty only 5-yards and play the down over. It’s that simple.
One last idea
Penalize the Packers for having an illiterate logo. Since when does one letter of an acronym encompass two words?
Had to throw that last one in there! But I think I’ve pointed a few stupid rules the NFL should look into. Let me know if you have some of your own; especially if it hurts the Slackers of Greenbay!
Link of the Day
By now, you've all heard of Browns tight end Kellen Winslow who was released from the Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday, nine days after a motorcycle accident that left him with multiple injuries. Leave it to John Tayman to take animation to a new height in his most recent parody starring Winslow and his agents, the Poston brothers.
Idiot of the Day
Oh, look! Our idiot of the day happens to be a Chick! The Greet Machine reports that Minnesota state Rep. Anne Lenczewski has submitted a bill to rename the Minnesota Twins to the Hennepin County Twins.
Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick! Why didn't we call the LRT the Hennepin County Choo-Choo Train then? Or the Walker the Hennepin County Ugly Building? What is with these people? They waste enough time in the legislature already. They accomplish very little. And they get paid too much.
It's as if people like this live for the day when they rise out of their graves of ignorance and start to suck the marrow out of living people's bones while the hapless victim screams in cold terror and agony.
Rep. Lenczewski, get in the damn kitchen and make me some pies! And shut the hell up already!
Last Day for Round Three!
Today will be that last day to vote in the third week of the Best Vikings Draft Choice Ever Tournament. Last week you voted to take the field of thirty-two down to sixteen. Who will make the Elite Eight!?!?!
The second round ends tonight at 12:20:00 AM. And you may have noticed that voting appears to have been quite light. I had the votes reset on Tuesday because a certain InDUHvidual in the land of Wizzconsin had taken it upon himself to spend hours and hours voting for his guy, Terry Allen.
And that just wasn't fair. So, go back and vote again before the poll closes tonight!
Our Very Own Doobie Brother
According to the Star Tribune, the ticking time bomb known as Onterrio Smith was held last month at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport after police found caught him with a device called "The Original Whizzinator" and dried urine used to circumvent drug tests.
Golly gee whiz. Smith said that he was taking the device to his cousin. Uh-huh.
Apparently, the police became suspicious after they found multiple vials of white powder in Smith's bags. The powder, as Smith later acknowledged, was dried urine.
Guess that will take care of the running back glut problem, eh?
Note: While Mr. Cheer Or Die takes a day off, his game-day buddy The Commish steps in for a overview of the 2005 NFL Draft.
Time to step up to the plate and help Mr. COD out with the draft. I, like many other diehards, spent all day watching the draft. In fact, I had a few guys over for a draft party in the basement on a six-foot projection screen. A good time was had by all. We played a mock draft game. I came in a distant last, although, I learned how to play the game for next year: put players where they'll generally go, not where you think they'll go. Anyways, I'll breakdown, in my opinion, the top picks in the draft as well as the Vikings picks, simply to inform Mr. COD before he heads off to Winter Park on Friday for the opening day of mini-camp.
Alex Smith (San Francisco) - What are the odds he fumbles the first snap in a live game? For those who don't know what I'm talking about, he worked strictly out of the shotgun at Utah. Niners need a QB, a great pick.
Ronnie Brown (Miami) - The guy goes from #2 on the depth chart at Auburn to #2 overall in the draft. After teams showing their hands following the draft, everyone was high on this guy. Another great pick for Miami.
Braylon Edwards (Cleveland) - So what happens when an elite receiver is on a bad team? See San Fran 2003. I can't see a WR helping Cleveland win. Edwards seems to have the tools to be a good player. Good selection player-wise, bad selection team-wise.
Cedric Benson (Chicago) - Bears need offense and they got it. Now Benson needs to grow his dreadlocks back and add Ricky's number back into his cell phone. Good pick Chicago. Now how are you going to ruin him?
Cadillac Williams (Tampa) - Gruden needed a running back and he got a good one. But is the Tampa ship sinking too fast for Williams to stop it? Super Bowl 2 years ago to 5th pick in the draft?!?
Pacman Jones (Tennessee) - They've lost so many player in the past 2 years that any player Tennessee takes here would help. So Jones is the perfect fit - he can play CB and be a returner. Good job, Fisher, 2 down, 20 to go!
Troy 'No-Moss' Williamson (Minnesota: jersey #19) - I have to be honest. I wanted Mike Williams. But then the true comparison came out. This is the kind of pick the Patriots would do. Sold! We needed a WR to stretch the field and not be a prima donna. Williamson runs a 4.35 and cried when he found out he was pick #7. Sounds like a perfect fit.
Antrel Rolle (Arizona) - Will he be another elite college player to get lost in the desert? Did Denny actually take a defensive player that might be good? I think so, on the latter one. Good pick, Denny. But wait, is Richard Solomon the Cardinals' DB coach?
Carlos Rogers (Washington) - They have a great defense and a horrible offense, so why take a CB? I guess they are looking for more years like last year. They accomplished it.
Mike Williams (Detroit) - Mariucci has already penciled in another top 10 overall pick (because they'll be in the top 10 again) on a WR. I'm wondering how much cash they have a the WR position now, and yet they don't have a QB that can get these guys the ball. Good player, horrible fit.
Remaining Vikings picks (with uniform number):
Erasmus James (#99) - Seems to be an elite passer. He looks and reminds me of Jevon Kearse. Only knock is can we afford another injury-prone defensive end?
Marcus Johnson - If Tice is high on this guy, I'm sold. Plus, another huge (6'6", 321 lbs) offensive lineman, and he'll line up next to Mt. McKinnie. I'm curious what the Vikings would have done if Nugent was still on the board when we took Johnson.
Dustin Fox (#37) - All the talk is that this guy will be a special teams ace. So Studwell won't draft a kicker, but he will use a 3rd- round pick for a special teams player?
Ciatrick Fason (#35) - I guess we can lock in our 4th-round next year to a good college running back, too. I don't have a problem drafting this guy; he looks like a great runner. I do have a problem trading our 5th-round pick for him, a pick we could have used on the kicker from Michigan St. who I hear the Vikings had targeted after Nugent. Makes no sense.
C.J. Mosley (#96) - I can honestly say I might be most excited about this guy. He was projected as a 2nd-round pick, and we get him in the 6th round. He's big and strong (6'2", 314 lbs, 27 reps of 225 lbs). He gives us awesome depth at DT now. When's the last time a late round pick was a staple to our team? Eddie Mac?
Adrian Ward (#47) - I think we drafted this guy to chase Troy around in practice. The 7th-round is becoming so worthless that teams are better off trading the pick to another team for an aging veteran. Would you rather have Ward or Sam Cowart?
Round Two: Best Ever Vikings Draft Choice
Voting is now open in the second week of the Best Vikings Draft Choice Ever Tournament. Last week you voted to take the field of sixty-four down to thirty-two. Who will make the Sweet Sixteen!?!?!
The second round ends 5/5 at 12:10:00 AM. And you can vote multiple times. And invite others to vote!
Some of you have told me of difficulty reaching the voting site and I assure you the link is working but I will agree that it is very slow at times. Be patient! You will get through!
Note: I'll be out attending to family duties Thursday through Sunday, returning Monday. I hope to have some guest columnists fill in during that time. Today's guest column comes from The Commish, my game-day buddy of many years who sits next to me in the front row.
It seems like the draft can’t get here fast enough. For use football fanatics, it’s an off-season fix of the real deal. It seems that ever since 1998 when I was at the Mall of America Draft Party with Mr. COD & other buddies, that the draft is as exciting as a regular season game. The lead up to the draft is like the lead up to a game, other than it’s like 2 months of lead up time! With weeks upon weeks of reading draft prospects bios & many mock drafts, it helps build up the excitement. Every team and every fan thinks the guy they’ll take will the player to lead them to the promised land – what a feeling!
Anyways, upon reading all these mock drafts from all over the internet, one thing is clear, NO ONE can fully know what every team in the NFL needs. I think I (and many Vikings fans) can fairly say what the Vikings needs are, but I didn’t watch every game of another team in the NFL. So how can someone truly say this team needs that without watching every game & every play? So most of those mock drafts miss on that note. I’d take an avid fan from every team the create the perfect mock draft.
So, here’s my slanted take on the Drafts top 10 teams needs with who I think they should take:
San Francisco – Have to go QB, they having nothing on offense worth a dime, so why would they draft a WR that’d never get the ball? Granted a RB is a possibility, but with Barlow being serviceable the QB would help the most. Aaron Rodgers.
Miami – A QB & RB is what they need the most. And since last year they traded a 2nd round pick to get Freeley, drafting a QB would a waste, thus RB has got to be their pick. Carnell Williams (he was the starting back at Auburn over Ronnie Brown).
Cleveland – They don’t have a QB. Granted they don’t have a WR or an elite RB. So going with a WR wouldn’t be the smartest decision without a better QB, like San Fran. They’ve had decent production from the RB’s the past couple of years, but nothing great. I know they need D-line too since all their guys went to Denver. Alex Smith.
Chicago – They need help on offense and with Thomas Jones showing he can provide a running game & with the former 1st round pick of Grossman at QB, WR is in the cards. But will they want to throw more money at that position after signing Muhammad? I think this pick is really up in the air & a great possibility to be traded. Braylon Edwards.
Tampa Bay – With a strong defense & an offensive minded coach, offense it is. Is Simms the future? Is Pittman a reliable back? They just drafted WR Clayton last year in the 1st round. But I think Pittman is the biggest question mark. Ronnie Brown.
Tennessee – They lost so many players in the off-season, who knows what direction they might go. They still have some decent WR’s on their roster and their defense lost a lot of pieces, possibly both their top CB’s. Antrel Rolle.
The Purple – The only 2 positions that need improving after all the Free Agent signings is offensive line and wide receiver. With the biggest drop being WR. Mike Williams.
Arizona – What is Denny going to do? H needs to build his car to give someone the keys. The signal caller needs a protégé, but he doesn’t have his Robert Smith either. Cedric Benson.
Washington – Their offense needs help & they lost a starting linebacker & corner back. If either Smith or Rodgers fails here it’s a no brainer, but I think both will be taken. Alex Barron or Troy Williamson.
Detroit – They spent quite a few previous drafts on offense & it has to be time to think defense. Their D-line & D-backs seem to be set. Derrick Johnson.
As we all know drafts aren’t this clear & in my opinion you should always draft the best player available. But filling gapping wholes in a roster would make a team better overall. That is why I find it so troubling of the possibility of the Vikings drafting a Running Back. But that is another story…
Note: I'll be out attending to family duties Thursday through Sunday, returning Monday. I hope to have some guest columnists fill in during that time. Today's guest column comes from The Commish, my game-day buddy of many years who sits next to me in the front row.
A lot of people will compile a list of their favorite players per position or favorite all-time team. But with free agency & all, rosters rotate so frequently it's hard to keep up with all the new players. Who hasn’t been watching a game this past year and seen a new player with a number that you remember another player wear in years past. Then you say out loud to your buddies, as the kicker misses another kick, "Stupid Danmeier!" Or, "When did Chuck Foreman start playing tight end?" Well, I've taken one it step farther and compiled a list of my favorite player for every number for the Purple! It's hard to be a completely fair judge in this process as I really didn't start following the Purple until the likes of Tommy Kramer, Ahmad Rashad & Matt Blair. But I'm not completely blind to the 60's & 70's, when all those great players used inappropriate numbers, only to get them to be retired. Thus, in like 5 years all of our Wide Receivers will have numbers in the teens. So here is my list with the Winner & Runner-Up at every number:
Winner: Warren Moon
Comments: was awesome his 3 years here
Runner Up: Gary Anderson
Comments: 1st kicker not to miss, in a regular season
Winner: Darren Bennett
Comments: best Aussie we've ever had
Runner Up: Teddy Garcia
Comments: the name rings a bell
Winner: Jan Stenerud
Comments: made Pro Bowl 1 of 2 years here
Runner Up: Jeff George
Comments: learn to dive on fumbles
Winner: Archie Manning
Comments: thought he was coming to a better team…
Runner Up: Donald Igwebuike
Comments: anyone got Coke?
Winner: Chad May
Comments: ugh we need a better #5 soon
Runner Up: Greg Davis
Comments: another worthless kicker
Winner: Bubby Brister
Comments: see #5
Runner Up: Jay Walker
Comments: wasn’t Denny really high on this guy?
Winner: Randall Cummingham
Comments: resurrected career here
Runner Up: Fuad Reveiz
Comments: Fuad the Foot
Winner: Greg Coleman
Comments: towel waver, 'actor', KFAN
Runner Up: Todd Bouman
Comments: local guy makes good
Winner: Tommy Kramer
Comments: Two Minute Tommy
Runner Up: Jim McMahon
Comments: all he does is win
Winner: Fran Tarkenton
Comments: only player to wear #10
Winner: Daunte Culpepper
Comments: the highlight films speak for themselves
Runner Up: Joe Kapp
Comments: Daunte has him on spiral alone
Winner: Sean Salisbury
Comments: heard he talked his way into the starting line up
Runner Up: Steve Dils
Comments: best backup ever
Winner: Steve Bono
Comments: started his career here
Runner Up: Bucky Scribner
Comments: isn't a Scribner a bad punt?
Winner: Fred Cox
Comments: now here's a kicker!
Runner Up: Brad Johnson
Comments: played more b-ball in college
Winner: Gary Cuozzo
Comments: did anyone else wear #15?
need another 15 here
Winner: Rich Gannon
Comments: better when not wearing purple
Runner Up: Norm Snead
Comments: Fran's backup
Winner: Mitch Berger
Comments: had a lot of game saving tackles
Runner Up: Bob Berry
Comments: Fran's intern
Winner: Harry Newsome
Comments: ironically one of the best punters we've had
Runner Up: Mike Mercer
Comments: must be a punter #
Winner: Bob Lee
Comments: QB or punter?
Looking for another 19
Winner: Tommy Mason
Comments: helped put franchise on the map
Runner Up: Darin Nelson
Comments: I'm Darin Nelson of the Minnesota Vikings
Winner: Terry Allen
Comments: 1 of the top 3 backs in franchise history
Runner Up: Corey Chavous
Comments: he knows his draft
Winner: Paul Krause
Comments: HOF, NFL all-time INT leader
Runner Up: David Palmer
Comments: more kids then touchdowns
Winner: Michael Bennett
Comments: the guy can run!
Runner Up: Ted Brown
Comments: didn’t he invent the running via brail system?
Winner: Robert Griffith
Comments: great hitter, not catcher
Runner Up: Willie Offord
Comments: at least I thought of another #24
Winner: Vencie Glenn
Comments: great safety during in Floyd Peter's D
Runner Up: Kurt Knoff
Comments: I think I got his autograph as a kid
Winner: Robert Smith
Comments: teams all-time leading rusher
Runner Up: Audray McMillian
Comments: a great cover corner along with Carl Lee
Winner: Corey Fuller
Comments: Ole Pokie
Runner Up: John Turner
Comments: was he one of the guys chasing Dorsett?
Winner: Ahmad Rashad
Comments: Miracle at the Met anyone?
Runner Up: Robert Tate
Comments: WR or CB?
Winner: Karl Kassulke
Comments: stud DB back in the day
Runner Up: John Swain
Comments: or was it Swain chasing Dorsett?
Winner: Bill Brown
Comments: punishing FB
Runner Up: Isaac Holt
Comments: good corner, better known for the Walker trade
Winner: Rick Fenney
Comments: could he go left or right? I never saw him do it..
Runner Up: Eddie Payton
Comments: infamous family name
Winner: Tony Galbreath
Comments: was better with the Saints
Runner Up: Amp Lee
Comments: way to fumble the ball out of the end zone
Winner: Roger Craig
Comments: gave 100% on every run
Runner Up: Brent McClanahan
Comments: 70's RB played 8 years
Winner: Herschel Walker
Comments: oh what a trade
Runner Up: Rickey Young
Comments: one time held NFL record for receptions for a RB
Winner: Robert Miller
Comments: at least someone wore #35
Runner Up: Bob Ferguson
Comments: another hurting number
Winner: Allen Rice
Comments: was he the best back at Baylor?
Runner Up: Malik Boyd
Comments: or was it Alfred Anderson?
Winner: Willie Teal
Comments: man did this guy get burnt a lot!
Runner Up: Jimmy Hitchcock
Comments: big signing, small results
Winner: Todd Scott
Comments: invented the duck walk on Harbaugh INT
Runner Up: Bob Tucker
Comments: I have his football card
Winner: Carl Lee
Comments: best cover corner in Vikings history
Runner Up: Hugh McElhenney
Comments: HOF, but just 2 seasons with the Purple
Winner: Jimmy Kleinsasser
Runner Up: Charlie West
Comments: I have his football card too
Winner: Dave Osborn
Comments: is this Super Dave Osborn?
Runner Up: Neal Guggemos
Comments: who doesn't remember this guy
Winner: John Gilliam
Comments: stud WR back in the day
Runner Up: Harlon Barnett
Comments: Da Bang Stick
Winner: Orlando Thomas
Comments: was better as #43 then #42
Runner Up: Greg Briggs
Comments: 43 is so bad the even Orlando changed his number
Winner: Chuck Foreman
Comments: could this guy spin, should've played longer
Runner Up: Leroy Hoard
Comments: if you need 2 yards I'll get you 3…
Winner: Ed Sharockman
Comments: another stud DB back in the day
Runner Up: Tom Hannon
Comments: made a lot of tackles as a safety on a bad D
Winner: Alfred Anderson
Comments: what a promising rookie year…
Runner Up: Cullen Loeffler
Comments: he's the long snapper
Winner: Joey Browner
Comments: remember all those returners he's nail before the ball got there
Runner Up: Tim Baylor
Comments: is #47 retired yet?
Winner: Najee Mustafaa
Comments: was better before the name change
Runner Up: Keith Nord
Comments: wasn’t he the placekick holder?
Winner: Ed Marinaro
Comments: better actor then football player
Runner Up: Obafemi
Comments: the name says it all
Winner: Jeff Siemon
Comments: excellent middle linebacker
Runner Up: Jeff Brady
Comments: ole Swivel-head
Winner: Jim Hough
Comments: 9 years on the team
Runner Up: Carlos Jenkins
Comments: OK linebacker with huge neck protector
Winner: Dennis Johnson
Comments: 6 years on the team
Runner Up: Kailee Wong
Comments: don't think he ever made a tackle for a loss
Winner: Mick Tingelhoff
Comments: started the tradition of excellent centers for the Purple
Runner Up: K Mays
Comments: yet another promising LB not to pan out
Winner: Fred McNeil
Comments: made a lot of tackles in the 80's
Runner Up: Jesse Solomon
Comments: now here's a linebacker that did pan out
Winner: Scott Studwell
Comments: best middle linebacker name ever
Runner Up: Jack Del Rio
Comments: pretty good replacement for Studwell
Winner: Chris Doleman
Comments: smart to move him from linebacker
Runner Up: Pete Bercich
Comments: backup to coach
Winner: Mike Merriweather
Comments: great pick-up before the days of free agency
Runner Up: Dwayne Rudd
Comments: Dwayne, Dwayne, Dwayne; stop celebrating!
Winner: Rip Hawkins
Comments: another awesome name for a linebacker
Runner Up: Ed McDaniel
Comments: last stud linebacker we had
Winner: Matt Blair
Comments: great player on some bad teams in the 80's
Runner Up: Lonnie Warwick
Comments: solid LB for 8 years
Winner: Roy Winston
Comments: linebacker that played 15 years with the Purple
Runner Up: Everett Lindsay
Comments: could back any position on the O-line
Winner: Wes Hamilton
Comments: 10 years of service with the Purple
Runner Up: Everett Lindsay
Comments: could back any position on the O-line
Winner: Ed White
Comments: awesome guard in his day
Runner Up: Jeff Cristy
Comments: from out of no where to the Pro Bowl
Winner: Kirk Lowdermilk
Comments: should have made at least 1 Pro Bowl
Runner Up: Grant Feasel
Comments: name rings a bell
Winner: Randall McDaniel
Comments: best guard in NFL history
Runner Up: Milt Sunde
Comments: 11 years with team, solid player
Winner: Gary Zimmerman
Comments: didn't leave here on the happiest terms
Runner Up: Charlie Johnson
Comments: was the1st NT when we ran the 3-4 in the 80's
Winner: Terry Tausch
Comments: another weak number…
Runner Up: John Gerak
Comments: yet another recognizable name
Winner: Grady Alderman
Comments: elite tackle in the 60's
Runner Up: Dennis Swilley
Comments: followed Mick
Winner: Mike Morris
Runner Up: Paul Blair
Comments: they should retire #68
Winner: Doug Sutherland
Comments: the unknown Purple People Eater
Runner Up: Todd Kalis
Comments: he started for a little while
Winner: Jim Marshall
Comments: Cal Ripken is Runner-up Ironman to Mr. Marshall
Winner: David Dixon
Comments: was he this big when he played Australian Rules Football?
Runner Up: Ken Clarke
Comments: remember Clarke?
Winner: Dave Huffman
Comments: was a better comedian then blocker
Runner Up: James White
Comments: I don't know who James White is
Winner: Ron Yary
Comments: HOF left tackle
Runner Up: Todd Steussie
Comments: great blocker & false starter
Winner: Bryant McKinnie
Comments: knocked out a heavy weight fighter in a bar fight
Runner Up: Brian Habib
Comments: average player signed huge contract with Denver
Winner: Keith Millard
Comments: how did he always know the snap count?
Runner Up: Bob Lurtsema
Comments: good old Benchwarmer
Winner: Tim Irwin
Comments: still doesn’t look like a lawyer to me
Runner Up: Chris Liwienski
Comments:solid O-lineman still making his mark
Winner: Korey Stringer
Comments: tragic end to a great guy & football player
Runner Up: Gary Larsen
Comments: the 4th Purple People Eater
Winner: Matt Birk
Comments: Harvard man knows football
Runner Up: Steve Riley
Comments: wasn’t he the RT before Irwin?
Winner: Doug Martin
Comments: led the league in sacks one year
Runner Up: Eric Moss
Comments: Randy's half brother
Winner: Cris Carter
Comments: all he does is catch touchdowns
Runner Up: Terry LeCount
Comments: great name for a WR
Winner: Anthony Carter
Comments: my favorite Viking of all-time
Runner Up: Carl Eller
Comments: Runner-up only cause of the love for AC
Winner: Qadry Ismail
Comments: dropped the easy ones, but made the game winning catches
Runner Up: Andrew Glover
Comments: TE who thrived from the 3-Deep Trio
Winner: Steve Jordan
Comments: now this guy was a great football player & TE
Runner Up: Mike Tice
Comments: only caught passes on 3rd & long
Winner: Randy Moss
Comments: Oh Randy, we'll miss those highlight catches
Runner Up: Gene Washington
Comments: great WR in the 60's & 70's
Winner: Paul Flatley
Comments: Pro Bowl flanker back in the 60's
Runner Up: Sammy White
Comments: showed a lot of promise his rookie year
Winner: Jake Reed
Comments: eyes were so bad needed vision training
Runner Up: Mike Mularkey
Comments: was so good he's a head coach now
Winner: Leo Lewis
Comments: Little Leo Lewis could really call a great fair catch
Runner Up: Adrian Cooper
Comments: one of the 1st FA bust we had
Winner: Alan Page
Comments: the name goes hand-in-hand with the franchise
Runner Up: Buster Ryhmes
Comments: who doesn't remember Buster!
Winner: Jerry Reichow
Comments: 5 year tenure with the Purple in the 60's
Runner Up: Matthew Hatchette
Comments: small college kid here during the 3-Deep Era
Winner: Derrick Alexander
Comments: who was the guy we passed up on to take Alexander?
Runner Up: Steve Martin
Comments: that wild and crazy guy
Winner: Greg Manusky
Comments: someone good please wear #91
Runner Up: Martin Harrison
Comments: how many times was this guy cut?
Winner: Roy Barker
Comments: was a moderate RE
Runner Up: Duane Clemons
Comments: good but not great 1st round pick
Winner: John Randle
Comments: Big Dog has gotta go to work!
Runner Up: Kevin Williams
Comments: is earning the right to wear 93
Winner: Tony Williams
Runner Up: Tim Bryant
Comments: more yikes
Winner: Kenechi Udeze
Comments: 1st round pick better step up to the plate
Runner Up: Fernando Smith
Comments: didn’t we cut & then trade for him?
Winner: Jerry Ball
Comments: was solid during his short tenure here
Runner Up: Tim Newton
Comments: The Icebox
Winner: Henry Thomas
Comments: Hardware Hank
Runner Up: Spencer Johnson
Comments: the 90's numbers don’t have a good history
Winner: Esera Tuaolo
Comments: boy could this guy sing
Runner Up: Darrian Scott
Comments: I've never heard him sing
Winner: Al Noga
Comments: false start, sack, false start, sack…
Runner Up: Chris Hovan
Comments: did he bust Tice on the ticket scalping?
Upon compiling this list it was very clear there were numbers that were lacking quality player and then there were numbers that had more than 2 quality players. So here is a short list of honorable mention players: Bobby Bryant, Rick Danmeier, Wally Hilgenberg, Hassan Jones, Joe Sensor, Stu Voight, Chris Walsh, and Wade Wilson. But with this off-season & all the new high profile players dawning Purple this year, there is plenty of numbers for these guys to make their mark!