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November 15, 2007

Quick Thoughts

• I don't know why, but I am way more tolerant of Tim Brewster than I am of Brad Childress. In fact, I like Tim Brewster a lot. I think he will recruit the right players, and I think by 2009 the Gophers will be pretty decent.

• If Brad Childress lasts the whole year I will be pretty upset. Childress coaches NFL football games like he is coaching church league softball. I honestly don't know if he actually cares.

• Is anyone else as disturbed by Antoine Winfield's comments after the Green Bay game as I am? First he was with Dwight Smith laughing it up as the Vikings were getting blanked by the Pack for the first time ever, and then after the game the Strib had this to say about the best CB in football:

The Vikings' postgame locker room was a disquieting mix of resignation and sardonic humor. Cornerback Antoine Winfield, who again sat out because of a strained hamstring, dressed quietly at his locker but proved cheerful when approached.

"I was just a spectator today," Winfield said.

That is a pretty poor attitude. Cheerful? He is basically saying, "If I'm not on the field, I'm not a member of this team." I know Winfield is usually above criticism, but this is a little too much for me.

• I was at Panera last night with my wife. Usually I hate going to Panera, but fortunately I love my wife more and she is very fond of the place. Anyway, while I was getting my drink at the self-serve soda fountain, I noticed a big sign taped onto the Dr. Pepper dispenser. It said:

"Dr. Pepper is currently not working. This is due to the fact that it is broken. We are sorry for any inconvenience! Sincerely, the Management."

Why didn't they just say, "Out of Order! Sorry!" ?? Very strange. Anyway, I thought the sign was a little wordy and redundant. I got a chuckle out of it.

• Lots of Vikings stadium news coming out right now. I don't have much time to get into it all other than to say every decision the Vikings make from now until 2012 had better make it easier to build a new stadium. When given a choice between a decision that will help them build a stadium or a decision that will help them win a Super Bowl, they should pick the stadium choice. Fortunately most decisions that would benefit their drive towards a stadium will also benefit their drive towards the Super Bowl so that shouldn't be too difficult. But from now on every player they draft, every coach they hire, every charity they donate to, every event their cheerleaders show up at ... it all has to benefit their stadium drive either directly or indirectly. Everything. In the coming years we'll see how well they do at that.

• And one more thing, Bud Grant would have docked Troy Williamson's pay and no one would have said boo about it.

Posted by snackeru at November 15, 2007 9:50 PM


Where to begin? First of all, Bud Grant would not have created a public relations mess around the departure of Troy Williamson for his grandparent's funeral. Bud would have handled this privately, before Williamson left. I have no idea whether Bud would have paid him, and neither do you.

Second, unlike the Twins, the Vikings have not made a convincing case for a new stadium. I am quite supportive of the idea of helping Wilf create Vikings Village (or whatever he wants to call it) around the Metrodome. But a new open-air stadium? In this climate? Right next to the existing stadium which works just fine as a venue for professional football games? No way.

Posted by: Dave T at November 16, 2007 12:13 PM

If someone asked me which restaurant would most likely have a redundant and wordy 'out of order' sign, I would guess Panera.

i have a feeling that there are lots of players who don't care, but they pretend they do. So at least Winfield is honest and not fake mopey. But if Bud Grant were the coach....

Posted by: mike in N.E. at November 16, 2007 12:16 PM

Good to have you back, Shane.

Posted by: Jeff A at November 16, 2007 12:45 PM

If Bud Grant were still coaching the Vikings, men would be men, women would be women, and we'd all know the difference!

On a totally different note...Shane, how best to combine your love for Weird Al and Bob Dylan you ask? How about Weird Al doing Subterranean Homesick Blues all in palindrome? Here's the you tube link:


Posted by: Freealonzo at November 16, 2007 12:54 PM

So Brewster will have the Gophers "pretty decent" in 2009... just like Mason had them "pretty decent" the past 8 years? Couldn't we just get ol' Glen back? Isn't he kinda/sorta still on the payroll? I'm sure glad we ate his contract and are building the stadium -- Gophers Nation is going big-time!

I think hiring Childress was a mistake, but I don't know quite what it solves to axe him mid-season, unless you have a preferred replacement ready to step in. It might shake things up and get people interested, but it would be a PR admission of failure, and the team still wouldn't have much identity or direction.

Also, I wouldn't be bothered too much by what athletes say or do on the sidelines or in the clubhouse. I know we like to have this vision of them as determined warriors who live and die with each play, but they're human. As long as I think they give 100% effort out on the field, they're fine by me.

Posted by: spycake at November 16, 2007 1:21 PM

How much is Carl Pohlad worth and why didn't he build his own stadium for people that have nothing better to do than watch grown men play children's games.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: maybelline at November 16, 2007 6:15 PM

...and with that question we're back to square one.

Jeff T.

Posted by: Jeff T. at November 16, 2007 6:19 PM

What the hell I'll answer STM's, sorry 'maybelline's' question: 1. He's worth several billion. 2. Because that's just not the way the world works in 2007.

I too hope the Vikes axe Childress before the end of the season or at least immediately after. Not only is his W/L record terrible, but he his awful with the media and obviously doesn't have any real support from his players. Those are the 3 jobs of a head coach..Win, if you can't win, at least get your players to play thier guts out, and be good with the media. If you do the first two, you can get away with botching the media (see B. Bellicek.)

That is one of the reason's I'm not as irritated with Brewster. He seems to still have the players 'playing thier guts out' as he would say, with the possible exception of the Illinois game. And for better or worse, he's good with the media, even if he would be better served if he shut up now and then. Add in the recruiting factor in college football and he deserves at least another year or two. Childress, meanwhile took over a 9-7 team with a lot of salary cap room in a league where teams reverse thier records all the time and ran them into the ground.

Posted by: David H at November 17, 2007 1:18 PM

Yeah, I thought the whole Williamson docking/refunding fiasco was about as poorly handled as could be.

Something about the way Childress changed his mind after meeting with the veterans, basically indicated that he was letting the inmates run the asylum.

I guess I'm ambivalent about Childress right now. I don't know what firing him NOW is going to do. But god, I hope he's gone before next year.

Posted by: Drake33 at November 19, 2007 9:01 AM

I was fine with giving Williamson unpaid leave. The guy took off 9 days to deal with the death of his grandmother. Now, the 9 days is a long time, but even if they were really close and needed that much time off, then he certainly could have called to explain that he would be 4 days longer than the originally granted leave of 5 days. If I don't show up for four days, I am probably not going to get paid either. Of course, I also don't have $3M in guaranteed money over the next four years. I have nothing in guaranteed money and I might be let go in 10 minutes.

Posted by: Derek at November 19, 2007 12:57 PM

I more or less agree w/ Shane on Brewster. I was tolerant of all his posturing and have said so on a couple of occasions. Basically, I don't think talking up the program is so bad. We're all smart folks that should be able to weigh what we see and hear accordingly and reach our own conclusions.

In the last month or so, however, I had begun to grow concerned that maybe THE PLAYERS had concluded that he was just filling them with BS. It's one thing for the fans to lack faith, but if he lost the players this early, I thought, there's real problems. (This was around the time two players left, NDSU loss, etc.)

However, in seeing player interviews and the relatively decent effort of the last two games, I don't think Brewster's lost the team. Thus, I'm still reserving judgement for at least one more season.

(caveat: by 'decent' effort in the last two games I mean that most of the time, they looked like they were at least CAPABLE of playing Division I football. There were still oodles of mistakes that I place squarely on coaching, esp. poor special teams play, but you didn't get the impression that Wisconsin and Iowa were walking all over the Gophs. It was more like the Gophs were doing alright, but it felt like only a matter of time before someone did something stupid. At this point, I'll call that progress...)

Posted by: tato at November 19, 2007 2:20 PM

I hope Childress stays for at least another season. But then, my reasons are..... EVIL!

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at November 20, 2007 10:46 AM

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