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October 14, 2005

Ugh.

Why is it so hard to be a fan of Minnesota sports teams? It is such hard work! Fans of the Twins and the Vikings cannot just watch a game. We are constantly thinking about things happening off the field. In my case, it is stadium matters and the long term viability of these two Minnesota institutions. For the Twins, that is all I have to think about. For the Vikings, though, that is a whole 'nother story.

Holy cow am I ticked off with the Vikings right now. These "sex boat" allegations are horrible. That even 17 players saw fit to put the crew of these boats through something so inappropriate ... I couldn't even think straight yesterday. I hope the players involved are dealt with severly, and I don't care who they are. They have tarnished the image of the whole state and that should be taken very seriously. Every new detail that comes out makes me cringe. I can't imagine what Zygi is going through right now.

Having said that, I am also upset with the media reaction to all of this, especially Jim Souhan and Nick Coleman (man, this guy is on a role!). Top Jimmy's column today offering a glimmer of redemption was better, but his reactionary, exaggerated articles from the past two days have been way over the top.

They remind me of a student sports journalist trying to find his voice and deciding to just fly off the handle to get new readers. Specifically they remind me of Josh Linehan, former sports editor of the Minnesota Daily who in 2000 called for the "death penalty" for the U of M men's basketball team due to the cheating scandal that rocked the program. This article was beyond "over the top," it was just plain stupid. It was an obvious attempt to rile people up, and Dan Monson got so riled up he threatened to revoke the press credentials of the Daily for future basketball games. Sadly, a "seasoned" reporter like Jim Souhan is still writing articles like this.

My point is let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. Just like terminating the Gopher's basketball program was a stupid idea, suggestions that the future of the Vikings is in jeopardy are equally stupid. And it makes me angry.

What happened out of Lake Minnetonka is inexcusable and as I said above the players involved should be dealt with severely.

However, I am still, and will always be a Vikings fan. I will not group these 17 players into the same group of Vikings players that I have cheered for and appreciated throughout my life. Players like Scott Studwell, Joey Browner, Chuck Foreman, Matt Blair and (hopefully still) Daunte Culpepper. Players that have given of themselves on and off the field and made our community a better place to live. Sid mentioned that at the same time this boat incident was taking place, Adam Goldberg and Mike Rosenthal were at a local Jewish organization talking to kids and thanking them for their help with a food drive.

This is what makes the Vikings a great organization.

Hopefully it is this kind of activity that players will choose to pursue to define themselves and the Minnesota Vikings in years to come. As Ragnar says I still have faith. This incident will pass away, just like the Gopher's cheating scandal, and the team will be stronger for it. Deal with the players involved, yes, but leave my team, it's rich history, and it's future as a continued positive presence in Minnesota out of it.

Posted by snackeru at October 14, 2005 8:41 AM | Vikings

Comments

Could not agree more!

Posted by: Brian Maas at October 14, 2005 10:18 AM

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