Are you still a rookie? Being a rookie is allot like being a virgin. When the games start for real ... you can't go back to being a virgin. The thing works in only one direction. Now, you can play like a rookie. You can think like a rookie. You can be fooled like a rookie but you're never ever going to be a rookie again. Being called a rookie is a disparaging remark ... that is sometime earned in earnest. So no, I'm not a rookie but there might be a player or two here that are awaiting their first real date.
It's fun to look back on prior teams to compare and contrast to where we find ourselves (the Vikings franchise) today. Believe me when I say this, that those prior teams are thinking about that very thing. Back in 98, John Randle said it was like flying through intersection after intersection until you hit that stop sign ... and bam ... it was over. Back then, it was Moss flying over and on top of everything, just like the fantasy stars of today ... but this team isn't about fantasy ... it's about a Dirty Hand. Today, we are as far away from 98 as you could be. The key to this team is that every week they knows that the stop sign is right there in front of them ... they know that their Dirty Hand just has to handle it ... and handle it ... and handle it ... week after week, until they break through.
Then I think about other teams, like the days of Ottis Anderson and Jeff Hostettler's Giants. That was one ugly winning team in the mold of Bill Parcel's. The team one and won by putting it's hand in the Dirt for 60 minutes. Here was their formula for success ...They showed up for work. To this day, I don't think anyone knows how they won anything but they did. In 98, there where two similar teams: the Bucs and the Falcons. Again, no one had a clue how they beat our high flying circus ... but that's exactly what they did. The brilliant one ... Tony Dungy ... had his cats put their hand in the dirt and when all was said and done we would be 3 points behind. Ditto for the Falcons.
So what does it mean to have a Dirty Hand? Well first of all ... you're just not good enough to be a high flying anything. What that allows you to do is chuck your ego and then get to watch the wonderment around you. No one really knows what's going to happen ... who's going to do it ... and how it's going to go down. Everyone seems to be getting over themselves. No one gives a crap about status and everyone gets to look at themselves and think ... I guess it's my turn. Then you walk on the field hoping that someone notices that you've actually learned something. When it's done right ... you get to see it all open up before your eyes.
Then something really special happens to the Dirty Hand fellas ... they get hungry for something they really don't understand. Sure, they'll know it when they see it ... like Ellison running free down the sideline, preceded by Diggs block ... almost ... thinking about what could have been. Sometimes, you even get to see Peterson ... do it again ... and then again, and again. Then really ... who is this Diggs kid? Then you come to accept it all, absorbing it all, with your head on a swivel because you have no idea where it's coming from next. Was that Munnerlyn ... and where did that come from ... no that was Charles Johnson ... and what did he just do? Did you just see what Mycole Pruitt just did.? It's like being tossed into a pit of really pissed off rattle snakes ... it comes at you from just about every angle. How did Tom Johnson slip under everyone's radar? Then there's T.J. Clemmings and the "road grader" Mike Harris ... they just aren't supposed to be doing what their doing, and neither is the rest of this line ... but it's happening under the controlled character of old Norv. Apparently Norv's doing the best that he can with what he's got to work with ... and he's making a bunch of chaps feel pretty proud of themselves.
Then the focus always seems to turn back to Teddy. If you listen real hard, you'll hear a bunch about what "HE IS NOT". The problem there is that no one seems to know exactly what "HE IS". It's become actually comical as somehow he just keeps checking stuff off his list. It's like he's got his own "IN BOX" of stupid stuff he's gotta do ... and one by one ... he checks it off the list. So as not to limit him, to show Teddy that it's ok to dream, it's now time to put "Get Inducted Into the NFL Hall of Fame", onto that list, followed by a bunch of other stuff, and things to do. It's there just to keep him busy and his mind occupied. It'll never happen unless you think you can let it happen.
In the past, how many times did we come out with a fast start ... only to fade down the stretch. Today, that's the other guys problem. Today these teams are based upon fantasy and are too dependent upon match ups. This is "OLD VIKING SCHOOL" and class is in session. There was nothing like having to face Carl Eller, "face to face", or to hear Jim Marshall chant, ODIN ... ODIN ... ODIN ... in the wind swept Norseman winter of the old Met. Can you see those rocking light towers sway ... or the fire breathing dragons?
Now, everyone expects the Packers to take it to us
... to grind it out to the end ... but they've been on top for way too long
where the wheels just might be coming off the bus ... like they did recently for the
Pokes. Not even Rodgers can beat the cycle. THIS IS AN OUTDOORS TEAM
... AND WINTER IS COMING. BURR! WHAT THAT MEANS IS ... WE IS