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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

...For They Lacked A Leader  
"Hoffa (1992)" had so many key pivotal teaching points for understanding the world as we know it that we've forgotten the keys to success.  Each day, going forward, we try to understand key statements heard throughout our life, that we hear but do not clearly understand, until we ponder their meanings over time.  "Good Fella's (1990)" taught us how to utter the words, "It's a shame", after destroying something good that had taken years to develop, let alone individuals to transform it from nothing.  All pivoting around the words, "Screw you ... pay me."  This was followed by hearing the words at a funeral ... all caused by Hoffa, " ... Better this ... then they lacked a leader".  At first, I thought that might mean that you really have to know exactly what you're asking for but that was far from even close to the meaning of that statement.  Now we stand amongst the carnage, due in part to sustaining clear self interests.  Yes, history does repeat itself but somehow today it is different.  What was seen by those 85 Bears was a marvel to witness ... but Buddy Ryan was eventually dispatched whereas Ditka remained.  Now, under this franchise, the bottom rail is on top, and after that defensive performance, cutting ties with Zimmer would be literally insane.   

Remembering those words, "God made us ... the devil puts us together", led to Joe Paterno's demise as Sandusky hid himself into the cracks of society, under the cloak of a great man.  I've heard from countless sources exactly what that man did which went well beyond football ... touching countless lives.  No he wasn't perfect but he created something that very few, that have ever lived, could approach in casting a wake of that magnitude.  Consider that your new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski is a product of Joe Paterno (Penn State 2000-2004).  For all I know, Kevin could have hated Joe Paterno but that does not matter because he cannot escape the fact that he's become a product of Joe Paterno.  Maybe in all those years, in his conversations ... maybe some of his teachings have finally come to light.  We are all about to find out that very thing.       

What is now of fact is that Head Coach Mike Zimmer hitched his wagons to a guy named Flip & what was hidden from view did a great deal to harm this franchise but this season is far from over.  Unless you're from another planet you could clearly see unadulterated self interest upon display ... where maybe Alabama might be in need of a new head coach.     
Maybe its all my fault.  After all, next years draft will be made up of young men that were born in 1995 thru 1997.  What do they know of freedom of this oppressed franchise?  From the outside, you want no part of it ... but from the inside ... its bring on all comers.  This isn't just a little boo boo we are talking about.    

Understanding my meaning would be somewhat like the experience of my first total solar eclipse.  Believe me when I tell you that the memories of it will change your life forever.  Through the entire process you see things that defied explanation.  Having been in complete darkness, seeing the unobstructed daylight all around, is only just apart of it.  Through the leaves, the partial sun would shine, causing a crescent moon like shadow on the walk ... all curving in one direction.  Then after the total eclipse event, the crescent shapes would then change into the complete opposite direction.  Then, at the moment of complete totality ... the entirety of all humanity within ear shot takes a collective gasp.  That's right ... it literally takes your breath away.  What you see is beyond imagination as the angry eye of god ... selects you alone as his victim.  What becomes clear is that only this special event can approximate the biblical event of judgment day ... to those that are living.

When the Red Sox's finally achieved it's pinnacle, after so many years, the events that unfolded defied reality.  People, completely alien to it's suffrage, came from behind their doors to witness the surreal.  They didn't know what they were witnessing, but to each soul, they would not be denied the opportunity to be its witness.  They walked the streets like ghosts in the middle of the night.  Sure, there would be celebrations, along with the fidelity of braggarts, also known as that of the band wagon, but most were held in just quiet observations.  Since this was such a rare event, there really wasn't a word for it, but it could be best described to be as close to an unburdened freedom as one could get.  At that moment ... there is no need in anyone's heart for vindications.  You just are throttled into complete contemplation & observation.       

Sure, Head Coach Mike Zimmer is seen as leading this franchise but you could say the same for numerous others like our ownership or Rick Spielman, but each not only have strengths ... they also require complimentary leaders to guard from their weaknesses that proliferate within this franchises structure.  What now ... is missing?  Exactly who is inspired at this moment?  For they clearly lack a leader ........   It's not coming in next years draft.  It's not coming in that 2019 season or any time thereafter.  That inspiration, far from your reality, just might already be within your grasp.   Tell me ... is it the cautious that lie dead?  In case you are unaware, the leader of that V-Formation is BULL GOOSE LOONEY! 

What the franchise failed to see, which is now as pristine as a clear day, is that the book loves the certainty of the outcome of Blair Walsh's kick.  On the other hand, what they love even more is the result that can only come from a completely unpredictable maverick.  That is the nature of it.  

My greatest fear was to see the repeat that 1972 season, where our savior Fran Tarkenton returned to the twin cities.  What resulted was a 7-7 record missing the playoffs with a Super Bowl roster (see 73, 74, 75 & 76).  What is clear & now certain is that 84 million guaranteed dollars does not make ... a leader.  This was not unlike Favre thinking that all he would need to do is hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson.

During the pre-season, we probably all scoffed at the thought of a sputtering offense without Shurmur ... but that is exactly what happened.  Today, does Flip's futility on offense approach that of Norv Turner?   As of late, the answer to that question is now clearly apparent.  

In our recent history of 57 total years, there were two leaders that were undeniable.  Joe Webb was clearly lacking in some significant way as he never became a regular starter for this franchise but he held something special ... it was a belief that infected everyone that was apart of this franchise.  If you closely examine his records, with the limited opportunities that he had, he turned them into events of great entertainment (barring that playoff debacle).  Although the leadership &  humility of Case Keenum could be considered in this category he was found lacking when it counted most.  T
he other individual of course was Teddy Bridgewater as he was clearly a winner & football player, but like Anthony Carter, was not blessed with a football body.  What they both possessed was a type of leadership that inspired people to achieve rather than fear ... the counter to the leadership of self interest.   

Kirk Cousins, like Sam Bradford, possesses exceptional abilities in both arm strength & accuracy but his play has been less than inspirational, week after week.  Is this due to both being hired guns that have somehow lost what it is to be a champion, changing their focus to something else, or have they just given up in regard to even trying versus the comfort of big money?  So what good is a player that can hit the home run (in Green Bay) if his perpetual thought process is that its ok to strike out all the time.  How would these quarterbacks play if 80% of all the leagues revenue went to the quarterback that won the Super Bowl & would that image look allot like the leadership that defines Kyle Sloter?  By contrast & comparison, the hunger of Kyle Sloter would propel him to do just about anything to win regardless of what might be on that field.  Does he posses a football body?  Does he posses that football IQ (wonderlick)?  Does he posses the arm strength?  Does he posses the ability to move out of a very flawed pocket?  Does he have the ability to uncomfortably extend a play on a defense?  Does he have the ability to exploit any defense?  In two pre-seasons he has clearly demonstrated his inspirational leadership.  So there is clearly one remaining question, if he were to lead this team would he be holding up that Super Bowl LIII trophy like Kurt Warner did those many years ago?

Pay heed to this call as an active Ben Gedeon, for example, isn't going to influence the outcome of anything, but on the other hand, could someone else be an unstoppable force.  Now ask yourself about these names:  Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Russel Wilson, Aaron Rodgers & now Patrick Mahomes.  Were these individuals ever considered to be an unstoppable force?  Now consider this.  Mahomes & Sloter came out of the same NFL quarterback class.       

As for Mike Zimmer, keep in mind that Bud Grant was never kicked out that door.  You have most certainly proved your worth to this franchise but if you feel that this type of leadership is fleeting, especially from your present position, then you have to consider changing the game ... especially if the outcome is certain maintaining the path that your on.  In for a penny ... in for a pound.  

Do you want an 84 million dollar guy or do you want a quarterback?
  A perpetual third down & 2 yards to go, going instead for an 18 yard incompletion, isn't self reflecting & if it is reoccurring, then he isn't asking himself, "How can I get better?"

Head Coach Mike Zimmer, you hooked yourself into what was clearly a piece of garbage that concealed his true intentions from us all.  Now ask yourself this question, what if your new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski came to you & said, "Kyle Sloter is my guy", just like Dennis Green announced that some unknown entity running his 1999 scout team was going to be his starter for that magical 2000 season.  Doesn't anyone remember that clown Favre walking on that field as the next guy due to injury followed by the field tilting in his Favor for the next 19 years?  Wasn't Tom Brady a 6th round draft pick?  Would you be willing to make the repairs to your sinking ship or would you rather stay the course of completely unacceptable behavior?  Keep in mind that it takes at least 8 weeks to unlearn a behavior where the words of promised change mean absolutely nothing.  Said another way, would you rather have Mitch Trubiski or Kyle Sloter running the show.  Guess which one is 97.97% certain to be sporting an NFL Super Bowl Championship ring on his finger & if you think he's sporting a "C" on his numbed plum, then you'd be wrong?  Trubiski is fun to watch & he has his moments but he's nothing without that defense.  Do you think that it's just an accident that it is just by happenstance that #1 Matt Kalil ends up busting while Theilen just happens to fall into your lap?  No, it's not paint by numbers ... it's react to your deal knucklehead.  Maybe it is time to awaken from that dreamlike state.  Always keep in mind that when they asked George Patton if he thought his men thought he was crazy he replied, "It's not important for them to know ... it's only important for me to know".  When you explore the depth of that statement you'll find your leader.  

Now ask yourself that question, "So ... do you think we have the patience for more of the same?"  Is it time to change the game?

What was Herb Brooks willing to do after being removed from his 1960 Gold Medal Team?  Would his interest be on the focus & then lament of an 84 million dollar guaranteed contract or would his focus be in regard to his responsibility as a coach to provide a winner?  What happened after Carson Wentz was lost for the remainder of the 2017 season?  How about Trent Green in that historic 1999 season?      
Buddy Ryan once uttered these immortal words, "All he does is catch touchdowns".  After that the NFL was willing to accept just about any utterance conceivable barring one ... A Minnesota Viking Super Bowl Championship.  Now, the pieces & combinations are all there ... we are just lacking the willingness to imagine the actual outcome.  Do you think it is just by happenstance that the NFL's best team, with history's best quarterback, is sporting two quarterbacks throughout each & every game?  What might have happened if Kyle Sloter had masterminded the 3rd & goal from the 2 yard line last Monday in Seattle.  Tell me ... for this Minnesota Vikings franchise ... who's running the show? No, No boys ... it's time to shake thing up.  We're not going to try this ... this is what we are going to do or else. 

How many times have we been the favorite, expecting our competition to bow before us ... only to face the inevitable outcomes.  Now consider this, we are now the underdog ... well beyond that horse crap of the #1 Seeded 2017 Eagles.  It's a good thing that this rabid junk yard dog is just too old to strap it on but my imagination is just too ripe with whimsy.  To be direct, who hasn't had the passion for even a whiff of such a series of events of legend but of course these kids have no realities to even consider such an opportunity.  Yeah, for sure, I'd be the first to leave a crap in your washing machine ... of course, leaving no other trace to the event, but that's just me.  As of this day, absolutely no one believes that we can beat any NFL franchise with a winning record, and me thinks its time to leave some sort or stupid gesture that would be remembered for all time.  Maybe you haven't noticed in how the pieces are dropping but the league has made it known throughout the year that we are the uninvited quest... once again.  You need to look no further than the events that transpired in Seattle that included an un-catch able pass interference call that lead to their 2nd field goal or the uncalled fowl that might have resulted in a 7-6 lead.  Whatever you do, don't look back at those calls versus that Boston franchise.  And of course, let's not look at the brutality of this years 2018 season schedule.  Sure, you could point at the missed opportunity of facing the Saints at home but not after the attrition resulting from brutality that preceded it & then what followed it.  As they say, "When your dead ... you stay dead", or at least that is what we were supposed to do.  Then ... we are made to confront that inevitable problem ... once again, here we stand.      

Your down at the 2 yard line.  Your running the ball on the left side.  Do you think Danny Isidora might have made a difference at that moment at left guard?  Keep in mind that the eventual performance of the offensive line is much like buying a new car.  "You want all those expensive options but your only willing to pay this much ... How about if we take away this and we take away that.  Now make your choice."  Said another way, to gain what you want, sometimes you have to take away some things.  If the success of Kirk Cousins spirals around play action, then Danny Isidora is your prime threat at making that happen.

You've made a change ... in for a penny ... in for a pound.  If those knuckleheads are going to point at something then give them something at which they can really point.  Don't settle at accepting what you know is completely unacceptable as the NFL stands for Not For Long.  And yes, picking on the holder, for the lack of putting it through the goal posts is like kicking the unaware a low blow in the soft patch but for someone selling newsprint there's nothing like throwing gas upon the fire.  Of course, it couldn't be my performance ... it was due to those guys (fingers pointing in every direction).   Get a life.     

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: September , 2018