Divide and Conquer!
Stand and be heard!
The Vikings are now flying well under the radar ... which makes us a very dangerous team indeed ... even more so ... having a stake in the division lead. Vikings will always be pirates ... hunters of plunder ... of all that stands before us ... upon blistering winds. Hear my battle cry!
I'm not quite so sure the nation is ready to follow the lead of the media types, or the vocal segment of Viking fans, which appears to have the intention of cashing in our chips of our 2008 season. What history tells us is that Napoleon understood the concept of divide and conquer. Once the Viking nation segments ... it will be easy to destroy everything this organization has worked so hard to create. For some on this squad ... time is running out ... and for players like Jim Kleinsasser, Pat Williams, Matt Birk, and Antoine Winfield ... and now the Kapp-like grit of Gus Ferrotte ... this may be the closest they may ever get to realizing a dream ... our dreams. Isn't it clear they are reaching for that brass ring. They know no other way. What the young ones may not know ... is that the same analogy applies to them too. Just ask the 1976 Rookie of the Year ... he had only one shot. I'm not one to abandon my team ... ever. I yell ... I may even scream at the top of my lungs ... but I would never boo my team. Ever!
Let me be the first to admit that I was angered by the 2008 version of the Minnesota Vikings 2-minute-lazy-tic-tic-tic offense (New Orleans), where I brought myself to the point of writing a scathing article about Brad Childress's incompetence, but after pondering a moment, I thought back to the era of Dennis Green ... where very little has changed ... except ... this team is in the process of learning how to win games ... and its growing stronger with every snap.
It was then that I heard my 14 year old son telling me that Brad Childress should be fired. When I asked him why? He had an argument ... but I pondered his arguments in depth. The way I viewed that argument ... and those words ... was as if my son was being bombarded by truly irrelevant facts ... as if the very devil himself was blowing sweet nothings into his ears. In fact, my arguments, in regard to undisclosed injuries, would be even stronger, be it Thomas Tapeh's knee, Berrian's toe, or what is now Madieu William's neck, where it makes Childress and his staff look like fools, but in fact it makes those players out to be less than what they could be. In other words ... what a man stands for is always more important than coin ... the good news, is that it is never too late. In my book ... they now have a debt to repay and Berrian is now the first to pay back some dividends. All I can do is give him my encouragement to lead the way ... just by doing his thing ... no more ... no less.
Here are the facts. The NFL contains an enormous contingent of fans, sports writers, etc. Each year, we are all in contention for the same big prize where these groups would like nothing better than to see the Minnesota Vikings self destruct, or at least weaken itself so that they can claim that prize for themselves. Does booing or chanting "Fire Childress" help that cause, or hinder it?
What is not always evident is that within our own group their will always be a faction that believes our staff to be incompetent ... or dare I say ... would like nothing better than to forecast woe for the mighty purple. Me thinks thou doest protest to much! Don't believe me ... just take a look at some of the articles that are written about the Vikings. I'd like to believe that this faction is not just covert demons, placed as spies within our organizational structure ... to blow sweet nothings into our ears ... to make us act stupidly! Are you of weak mind and character?
Apparently, these demons are now deeply entrenched, preparing themselves to strike at our jugular ... and we are standing by to let it happen. It is the weak that does not deserve that shot at the NFL's biggest prize. Are you ready to stand and be counted? Didn't I once observe in a huddle where Jeff Christy punched Todd Stuessie in the mouth after a false start circa 1998! What is more probable is that these sports writers are just angry about several overpaid athletes, that have amongst them, a small faction of immature athletes ... that don't know how to behave. In other words ... these writers and fans are tired and weary ... and they've become impatient ... justifiably so! Unfortunately, this small faction of immature players has unfairly painted a picture that unjustly represents, rather that focuses on, a strong contingent of men with true character. I refuse to abandon you!
What most concerns me at this particular juncture isn't the angry faction that is now voicing themselves, but rather what may be the silent majority that understands both the history and the facts ... what lies beyond an attention deficit disorder. Am I defending Childress's actions ... no! In fact ... I just slammed his 2-minute offense. Am I defending Childress ... absolutely! And I won't stand still and be quiet about it! To be able to learn ... you must be allowed to make mistakes! It's that simple people. Patience will bring us reward! By the way ... if you cannot forgive, your heart will be made to carry that load for all eternity. You've got to get past the obstacles of your mind!
Childress has assembled and maintained a structure of individuals that deserve my respect. Many are very young ... received as rough and uncut diamonds ... that are well on their way to becoming multifaceted NFL elite players (Allision, Rice & Peterson). At this point ... what they need is our patience. Childress brought us back to our roots by both building and maintaining a tough swagger in the form of a stout and tenacious defense (Winfield, Griffen, Gorden, Pat & Kevin Williams) ... from which all things can happen. Do we miss EJ ... absolutely ... but we must press on ... EJ would have it no other way. His spirit and tenacious way lives within us all. We are soon to make decisions on the heart and soul of our team (Kleinsasser, Chester & Birk), which have no chance at continuity within our organization without Childress at the helm. You might like to point the finger at Tarvaris Jackson ... but in time, I too believe that he's going to be a force within this league. By God ... he came to us from Alabama State ... he's got about 1 years worth of practical NFL experience under his belt. With confidence ... the kid can win! As much as I like to rip Childress apart for the immature mistakes ... rookie mistakes ... that have been made on and off that field ... let me be counted as first in line to defend Childress's image of a winning organization. Again! I won't be quiet about it. What he needs is both time and patience.
Our anger is directed at defenses that appear to be standing in our huddle ... knowing exactly what we intend to do before we do it. The key ... lies within misdirection ... smoke and mirrors ... Peterson one way ... my man Chester the other. Exactly how do you deal with that. Pandora's box has been opened by Miami. Especially against run weary defenses. Exactly what does 9 in the box mean if you have to split them. The season is still very young and we still have much left to unleash! Understanding is fast ... learning is slow ... preparation takes time. Be patient. How far away can a timely first down play action pass be. Be patient.
So you might be thinking that its time to replace Childress. Heed my warning! What replacing Childress means is taking on someone else's vision at the top, which means a whole new process of en masse jettisoning of players that don't fit that new coaches particular image, followed by a rebuilding program ... and a whole new batch of rookie mistakes. My heart can't take that.
Our players don't need additional pressure ... they need fan patience ... and someone that's going to support them through thick and thin. In a league, where the margin a victory, teeters upon the bounce of an oblong spheroid ... we are so close. I refuse to go down this time without facing the foul winds that swirl upon the Viking nation!
Before you abandon what you think is a sinking ship, understand ... tis' but splash upon my deck ... created by a wave of ignorance! Belief is not something that you can abandon!
Odin! Odin! Jupiter's time of play beacons ... wreaking havoc and destruction! It is now time to pass upon the waves of Orion ... to launch yourself deeply amongst the heart of Aldebaran's crew and his seven haughty sisters! Let the Beserker Rage of the nation rise again ... upon the biting winds of the North.
Deal with my Beserker Rage!~
The Viking Ghost