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November 9, 2004

Off the Cuff

• Hello everyone! I am feeling unusually chipper this morning, especially considering the Vikings lost last night. This is probably mainly due to the fact that 1) life is good. When you think about it, life is good, isn't it? And 2) a co-woker of mine has given me a pirated copy of U2's new album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. This was an unexpected surprise. So, as I type this I am listening to new U2 music. Some of you may not think this is a big deal, but to me it is absolutely wonderful.

• Let's talk about the Vikings. As I'm sure you are reading on other sites, it was really a tale of two halves. In the first half the Vikings play calling, defense, and clock management were all atrocious. What was Tice doing in the last seconds of the first half waiting until there was only 2-3 seconds left before calling a time out? Maybe I was being over optimistic, but I thought he could have taken another shot at the end zone before settling on a field goal. That may have won the Vikings the game.

The second half I was very impressed with the Vikings. Tolerable defense coupled with great special teams play kept the Vikings in the game. And the offense actually put together some decent drives. In fact, the offense ended up with 307 yards of total offense keeping their streak of 300 or more yards alive. I'm sure other people are talking all gloom and doom about the Vikes performance last night, but I saw some things to keep my hopes up, especially considering Randy Moss was back in Minnesota.

• I think it is obvious who the MVP of the Vikings is: Randy Moss. Without Moss the Vikings offense is adequate at best. Defenses must constantly double team Moss which opens up the field for the rest of the offense. Culpepper looked lost out there without his buddy. Now, I'm not saying the Vikings' offense couldn't adjust to not having Moss around, or that Culpepper is not a good QB without Moss. What I'm saying is that right now the Vikings offense relies so much on how defenses play Moss that they are going to struggle without him. Here's hoping Moss will play at Lambeau this Sunday. Word is he won't, but I think he will.

• I don't know how many of you check the Twins web site on a regular basis, but yesterday they linked to a "mailbag" article by Mark Sheldon that discussed Joe Mauer's progress:

The most recent word I received from Twins general manager Terry Ryan is that Mauer was making progress with the rehabilitation of his surgically repaired left knee and should be on track to be 100 percent behind the plate again at Spring Training. He felt some pain in the crouch last month during Instructional League games, but after seeing his doctor, learned another surgery wasn't needed. Right now, the 21-year-old is continuing his offseason workouts in the Twin Cities area.

This isn't anything new, really, but in the case of Joe's knee, no news is good news as far as I'm concerned. I personally have faith that Joe will be the everyday catcher for the Twins next year.

• Just a heads up, but I'll be at a conference most of next week so I don't think I'll be able to update this blog as regularly as I would like. So, there is talk right now that Cheesehead Craig may take over my duties. Honestly, he'll probably get more readers than me, given all his friends over at the StarTrib forums, and that is fine with me.

• Did all of you catch this article about the NIT suing the NCAA over anti-trust violations? This is crazy, to be sure, but also very interesting. The NIT used to be a very prestigiuos tournament before the NCAA expaned its field to 64 (and now 65) teams. What the NIT hopes for is that some lower seeded teams will opt for the NIT given that they may have a better chance of winning. This may sound good in theory, but even if the NIT prevails in this lawsuit, I can't imagine anyone turning down a chance to go to the Big Dance no matter how low they are seeded.

• Stay tuned for a new "Links of the Day" today. I've got some very thought provoking articles to pass along. At least I was forced to ponder over them for a while.

Posted by snackeru at November 9, 2004 8:51 AM | Sports


The era of the Cheesehead blog is upon us! Bring forth the virgins!!! I would be honored to post on this blog for a couple of days. I doubt that the readership would increase though.

Shane, I must correct you, the Vikings 300yd game streak has ended. Officially, the net yardage was 292, and that's the number that matters.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at November 9, 2004 11:27 AM

The Cheesehead blog ... yeah ... don't get to excited yet! Of course, there will be a few rules, a few addenda, that you will have to be aware of before I give you the keys. Of course, I don't have these rules ready but one of them will surely be "Every chance you get talk about the stadium issue." That is definitely the most important rule.

Secondly, I got 122 visitors yesterday. We'll see if this increases or decreases.

Finally, I came up with 307 by adding rushing and passing yardage. How did you come up with 292? Does that take into account sacks and that sort of thing?

Posted by: Shane at November 9, 2004 11:40 AM

Rules, smules... Gonna see what this car can do, yeah baby yeah!!

The official box score of net yardage on NFL.com. I believe that they take into account yards lost on sacks, hence the 15 yard difference. Penalties do not count, obviously

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at November 9, 2004 12:46 PM

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