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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Elephant Burial Ground
Where do NFL athletes careers go ... to die?  Of course ... Minnesota.  Many years ago, there were a series of hits on CBS.  They included Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, etc.  Then someone said these immortal words ... Country Broadcasting Station (CBS) and almost overnight ... every show was cancelled.  Like it or not, today the perspective throughout the NFL collective is that Minnesota is the place where NFL careers go to die.  It is rumored that elephants instinctively know the site of The Elephant Burial Ground ... where they go to die.  Since Minnesota is near sighted, slow witted and quite willing to waist it's resources ... they are welcomed with open arms.  
There appears to be quite a bit of envy, or better said, envious behavior throughout the Viking Nation.  They peer upon an organization like the Patriots pondering why they are so successful while we are not.  It's because we make the same mistakes over and over again.  Our prior head coach Brad Childress was given the greatest gifts ever handed to one coach ever ... three consecutive rookies of the year.  The answer that he was looking for was standing right in front of him but of course he overlooked it.  The gods give wrapped the NFL's greatest athlete and then we summarily buried it deeply within our depth chart, only to have it emerge with our most inspired victory of 2009.  Ladies & Gentlemen ... this was no fluke.  After that Philly game, a young Philly fan asked, "Why would Minnesota want (& play) Brett Favre when you had a player like Joe Webb?"  I just shook my head in shame. So what does our slow witted organization do, they draft another quarterback, hire another dead elephant veteran wasting all our 1st team reps, bury the phenomenon in the unpracticed (1st team) 3rd QB slot, chuck the veteran, and then call on Sage Rosenfels.  NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!      

My assertion ... the entire NFL's collectives assertion ... it was clear even before the season began that the New England Patriots organization knows what they are doing, whereas the Minnesota Vikings does not.  Your first hint was a statement made by Randy Moss.  The Patriot's have been quick to adapt to their talent base.  They have not wasted their resources.  They have also made decisions not based upon HOPE, nor were they allowed to be slow witted about it, but rather to act quickly upon what was definitely seen on the field.  In short, the decisions that this Viking Franchise has made have been nothing short of treasonous.
Here's an example of Patriot Lore:

Drew Bledsoe, 1993 Draft, Selected #1 overall pick in the entire draft.  That's right the #1 pick of the entire league.  Bledsoe had numerous playoff appearances.  2 wins - 0 losses in AFC Championship games.  Started Super Bowl XXXI.  Four (4) Pro-Bowl appearances.


Tom Brady, 2000 Draft, Selected 6th round - pick 199. I wonder what this cat did?  Sounds decisive doesn't it.  Their reward ... players flock for the opportunity to play with Brady.

Does this sound eerily familiar?  It should.

Joe Webb, 2010 Draft, Selected 6th round - pick 199.  That's right ... exactly 10 years later in the exact same slot as Tom Brady.  One big problem ... Joe Webb isn't white.  So lets take a look at what Joe's done so far: 

You might recall some dude named Daunte Culpepper, selected in 1st round - pick #11.  In his entire career, he never beat Philadelphia in Philadelphia ever. Allow me to remind you that Philadelphia is not an ease place to win, especially when they are playing for playoff positioning.  Joe Webb did it in his first try.


Most inspired performance in 2010, bar none.  Joe Webb arguably outplayed ever start of future Hall of Famer Brett Favre.  Also outperformed #2 quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.  After Joe Webb's performance T-Jack was shipped out. Neither QB is on the roster


We are all well versed in what Donovan McNabb laid down in 2011.  McNabb won five (5) NFC championships, with one start in Super Bowl XXXIX, with numerous playoff & Pro-Bowl  appearances,  Joe Webb outperformed him.  McNabb & his 5 million dollar salary isn't even with the team anymore. His one and only victory didn't happen with his 3-point chip-in in the second half but rather happened due to defensive play and a 21 point 1st quarter spot by Adrian Peterson.    


Christian Ponder, our 2011 1st round pick, 12th overall, is now 0 wins and 9 loses.  One of his victories came against the Panthers when Cam Newton, who bested Ponder and his crew like an old fashioned beat down, put his team in position for the win with a chip shot field goal.  His kicker missed it.  His second victory was assigned to him because he was the starter of the game.  In baseball, a 10-10 tie when your head is blown into oblivion is referred to as a no-decision.  Ponder Pooh-Poohed once again and Joe Webb was made to clean up the mess ... once again.  Joe Webb, using this flawed offense that neither Favre, McNabb, T-Jack nor poor poor Christian "HOPE" Ponder couldn't get going, that turned that offense into a juggernaut not once but twice.  It also inspired a seriously flawed defense using is 7th & 8th DB's, some plucked from God knows where, to play well enough to hold off both Detroit & Washington to either win the game or have the opportunity to win it (face mask penalty).   


Joe Webb did it on the road in the snow chilled air in Philadelphia on a Tuesday (never in my history), in the kitty litter box in Detroit (barring the space peanut), again playing for a playoff spot, and in Washington.  Wake up you're tiny little minds.  The Vikings are a domed team.  We are not known as road warriors.  We haven't won on the road like this since prior to 1982. 


Barring 1 week of practice, Joe Webb executed these Legendary drives without the benefit of working with the 1st team offense, taking the lions share of 1st team reps.  For the bulk of the season he was the #3 QB, which reduces him to first team mental reps.  Sort of remarkable ... wouldn't you say.    


One more thing.  Joe Webb did it with less than 1/2 the time allotted to the starter.  So tell me, how many backups can do that?  If the roles were reversed, your #1 pick would need a whole bunch of excuses why he couldn't cope ... but at least he gave you hope & a promise that one day ... he'll be a franchise quarterback ... and maybe, just maybe ... he'll win a game.    


Joe Webb did it without being a Prima Donna.  He did it without personal guarantees.  He did it without a secured large dollar rookie contract.  He did it without the #12 draft slot to protect his worthless ass.  He did it with zero malice in his heart.  Still ... I know ... I know ... you're backing what nothing more than a draft pick.  Good luck with that! 


Most importantly, Joe Webb did it without being given the opportunity of being 0 wins & 9 losses.  No 6th round draft pick is ever afforded such a luxury ... are they?     

So, what do we do?  We put Joe Webb back on the bench so that we can all collectively HOPE to see if Christian Ponder ever reaches the pinnacle of success that Joe Webb has already achieved ... time and again.  Am I alone hear, or don't you find it comical to hear Leslie Frazier state he is secure in his position as head coach.   Maybe someone should tell him that one of the most insecure positions in the world is NFL head coach.  Let me put this another way, Andy Reid has taken that team to five (5) NFC championship games with one (1) Super Bowl appearance, and they were calling for his head.  In the business world, based upon Leslie Frazier's performance ... he's be referred to as the hatchet man.  Hey, someone's got to do it however, hatchet men aren't around long either, as no one can trust them.  It's as old as time ... fish ain't swimming ... toss a barracuda in the tank ... and watch those fish move.  Screw you buddy!  

Not so long ago, Dennis Green announced that his next year starter, was his quarterback that ran the scout team in 1999.  He was drafted in the 1st round of 1999, 11th overall. He didn't even throw one pass in 1999.  In 2000, Culpepper lead this team to a 41-0 drubbing in the NFC championship versus the Giants.  Did it matter that OC intercepted our signals using those foolproof gold head sets ... guaranteed with bullet proof security ... unless you have the code?  No!  What mattered was that the entire NFL collective thought that Dennis Green has lost his mind, cutting veteran quarterbacks off our roster thereby handing the ball off to our future.  Now didn't we all feel a collective sigh of relief, a week later, watching the Giants feel the sting of that 2000 Raven's defense, in a well deserved Super Bowl loss.  Boo-Yah!
Christian Ponder might be the smartest player in the league.  Ponder may even be the smarted player to ever have played quarterback in the NFL.  He might be the greatest practice player on the planet ... when it doesn't count.  He may have quick feet.  He might be the best player on the planet ... when the game is out of hand ... or in spot duty ... you know, when you're documenting his highlight films.  He might be the greatest losing quarterback ever to have played in the NFL, now at 0 wins & 9 loses.  What is unequivocal is that absolutely none of this matters.  You know it.  I know it.  The entire NFL collective knows it.  Allow me to say this another way ... Christian Ponder couldn't even carry Joe Webb's jock strap when it comes to playing quarterback in this league.  Joe Webb has outplayed Pro-Bowlers, NFL hall of Famer's, and he will out play anything that is put out on that field.  

Exactly how many loses, screw ups, and wipes to Ponder dirty hind quarters are necessary before we trade the no-nothing Prima Dona named Ponder, where he'd actually have a chance at being an NFL quarterback, because it most certainly will not happen in Minnesota.  Ponder is not our franchise quarterback ... Joe Webb is.

One more tiny little tid-bit.  The clock is ticking.  The league is soon to be thick with free agents ... more importantly 5th year free agents.  These players have eyes and ears where they know it when the see it.  After the Chicago game, if Ziggy Wilf were to announce. "Joe Webb will be our starter in the 2012 campaign", the flood gates will open to absolutely everything that you not only need ... but what you want.  Why?  It wasn't all that long ago the world was looking upon Michael Vick thinking to themselves ... that is the cat that I want to play with.  Continue on with this, I need to protect our #1 pick Ponder, and it's over.

I get it.  I get it.  We need to lose on Sunday and Ponder gives us the best opportunity to do that very thing.  Just because we all know it, doesn't mean that we like it.  At least you've got Joe Webb there to help Ponder reach 0 wins - 10 loses ... I mean officially 3 wins, 7 loses.  Who came up with this system?  Hey it'll look good on Ponder's resume as trade bait.  As for the trade of Ponder, based upon his circumstances that filed his resume with excuses and alibi's, he's worth at least a #1 pick.     
The Viking Ghost Writer
December 31, 2011