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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Bright Lights 
Kam Chancellor ... Richard Sherman ... Russell Wilson ... Earl Thomas ... Doug Baldwin ... these are the guys that have been playing for the NFL's greatest prize on the worlds greatest stage.   There has been much written about Pete Carroll ... Seattle's Head Cheer Leader ... and his group of established veterans but most of it isn't true.  The question is, is this Viking team going to get caught up in the bright lights or is it going to play ball to exploit the weaknesses in every aspect of these flailing birdies.  This is the game that Teddy is not supposed to win.     

As it turns out, our prior tilt with the Green Bay Packers was an excellent dress rehearsal for this contest in that the key to victory is to not underestimating the skills of Russell Wilson, as if you give him the opportunity ... he'll light you up.  The question is ... exactly when are we going to stop players like A. A. Ron Rodgers from performing multiple fist pumping celebrations upon our field.  Don't worry about it too much ... as if it happens again ... expect peoples heads to roll.  As Jimmy Johnson so eloquently recently stated, he'd be willing to tell Troy Aikman to wake up in one of his meetings ... but for you, there might never be another down you'd ever play in the NFL.  If you thought the physical nature of the NFL game was brutal ... you might not be so inclined when you see real nature under Mike Zimmer's wielding hand.  Why?  Everyone has a boss.  The player next to you doesn't have the patients for your repeated stupid stuff and someone is waiting in the wings for their opportunity to prove that they have what it takes to be a champion.  Zimmer isn't here to waste time ... precious as it is ... and he's willing to look at cards ... to see if the ball really just might loves this guy (Antone Exum Jr.) ... as the ball does find a way into his mitts.              

There's another reason for Zimmer's consternation.  It's questions like these.  Every day the question is asked.  Do you have a player ... or do you have a contract.  Now apply that question to Bair Walsh or Mike Wallace.  Now apply it to Adrian Peterson.  At some point in this season, point-scoring has to be taken out of the hands of a contract and into the hands of the Bridge Over So Much Trouble Waters ... dating back to 1961.  At some point, Zimmer has to make his move on Teddy into making a 2-point conversion that releases him from tentative ... into warrior mode.  This option has to be practiced live repeatedly before playoff mode when there is no choice.  It is time to break the mold.  At some point, Zimmer has to say ... the way things have been going ... I really had nothing to lose ... only to gain.  You can't miss extra points and field goals in games when the Falcons can only put up 3 points.  You don't coddle a kickers ego ... you must harden it ... in time, this is what he will appreciate.  When you're playing teams like the Packers, Cardinals and the Hawks ... every opportunity at every possible point cannot be overlooked as a one point differential can be integral to my defense.  It is who we are and I'll make no apologies for that.    

For Mike Wallace, it's really not his fault.  We swapped dead money with the Dolphins, costing us a draft pick and leaving them the shorter end of the stick.  Spielman, on paper, is always improving the roster, granting Zimmer useful tools that in this case was to open the field for Teddy to exploit.  We just haven't has the experience and continuity in our offensive line to exploit it ... to this point, however each and every opportunity presented to this group gives them the opportunity to gain both experience and continuity.  In time, something just might break in our favor but Teddy has to remain upright for that to happen.  The good news is that the NFL needs players like Teddy to be healthy for the playoffs as no one wants to see back-ups when the words Sudden Death Play Offs are in play. 

During the rise of Russell Wilson, we played contest after contest in Seattle, always wondering what might have transpired playing these contests in Minnesota.  It was a wish ... seeing those #12 flags fly ... understanding that there really was no 12th man in Seattle after all.  Anyone that knew the Metrodome understood that the 12th man was fine ... if the Vikings were winning, or were in contention ... but the fan base fell quiet when things didn't go so well.

The true 12th man occurred playing out doors in Minnesota back when I was a child and a Teenager.  I would awake wondering what the weather would be like in the old Met stadium.  Would it be snow ... would it be rain ... would it be wind?  Then I'd think back to the People Eaters ... knowing when that sun would eventually dip the true 12th man of winter would cast his spell.  It was then that Joe Kapp would ask the question ... did you want to catch that ball with the laces up ... or the laces down ... after pounding Grants rock all day long?  Or think back to Jim Marshall chanting the words ... ODIN ... ODIN ... ODIN ... knowing that he stood right there in that end zone ... and in their hearts ... while we watched the swaying light towers.  When the frozen of winter calls ... the 12th man has arrived ... and he is now your constant companion.  The weather of the mud bowl can attest to it ... as the elements became our constant companion.  

For the Vikings to lose to Green Bay, playing out doors ... all three phases of our team needed to break down.  Don't expect the same thing to happen this Sunday versus the birdies.  The whether isn't your tormentor ... it is the answer to a long held wish when all of the old salts said ... tear the roof off that dome.  Four of the last five games in this season will be played in the elements and for the other birdies of Arizona ... they will have wished that they played out doors too.

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: December 1, 2015