The esteemed Zulgad tried. He tried to apply logic to this franchises decision making ... and he came up empty. It was almost like Jack Nicholson, projecting spittle his way ... "You can't handle the truth". With Zulgad's logic ... he made a fatal error ... and that was in assuming that the Vikings wish to win Games #7 ... and onward. Is Zulgad's commentary completely off base? Is he flat out wrong? Hardly ... then softly ... but always, he bleeds purple.
Everyone points to Adrian Peterson's remarkable 2012 campaign ... but we forget. As its witness ... Adrian's 2012 season was remarkable ... but just seconds short. The Viking Nation, in all its pain, turns its head & eyes away from disaster after disaster ... never realizing that in licking our wounds ... there are lessons to be learned. It's 2011 ... week 16 ... December 24, 2011 ... Christmas Eve ... Peterson shreds his knee ... Ponder goes out with a concussion on the very next play. The emotions of the team are now exposed like a raw nerve. We are at our lowest point in our most recent history. We're playing the Redskins and we're behind. The emotions of the day are about to overtake us as if facing the most destructive force in nature ... the title wave of a Tsunami. The earth opens and Joe Webb walks on the field and posts a perfect quarterback rating and also runs for a touchdown. In all that emotion, we lost our focus ... and we are not about to make that same mistake again.
At the time, prior to that victory over the Redskins, the Vikings were 2nd in draft order only to the Colts, which had yet to win a game that year. At stake was the distant possibility of drafting the franchise quarterback Andrew Luck. Maybe we'd never have a chance at Luck, with 2 victories under our belt by October 30th, with the Colts holding the tie breaker in the draft at 2 losses, but you never know what might have occurred ... if decisions were different. Although it's now water under the bridge ... the lesson learned on that day were significant. No matter what, emotions or not, today we will not jeopardizing our draft order in 2013 due to the reaction to raw emotions. Presently we are 3rd for the 2014 draft lottery, with the Jag's and Buc's presently holding down the first 2 selections. Old Ziggy's hope of all hope being that if either of those franchises, or even both, will lose their heads like we did on December 24, 2011 and we'd step into the drivers seat on having the opportunity of selecting this organizations well overdue franchise quarterback. It's a shame that we'll never have the opportunity of selecting that freshman at Florida State.
So what would ensure this result? After Ponder's first three, the decision was finally made. Shopping Ponder to the Ram's backfired with the Rams addition of Brad Quinn & Austin Davis being their response. For that, they will suffer well. The message throughout this franchise was loud and clear ... it was unmistakable. Ponder has no future within this organization. For so long ... a lifetime really ... Ponder was anointed as this teams leader. Now, the rudder of this great Viking ship has been smashed upon the shoals ... that is known as the NFL. The enormous investment now lays in shreds. If only we had the opportunity of investing those eggs differently.
But they started Ponder versus the Packers last Sunday night ... We could of won that game ... Right? Sure ... that would be true, if this were a 1 man team. Like watching a duck upon the pond, Ponder was all business-like and calm on the surface ... with his feet churning a mile a minute under the surface. Now relishing this statement, "That ship has now sailed!"
So what have we seen? We saw Freeman toss 52 passes. Was he trying to win the game? If he was in earnest, I couldn't think of a more broken down or crippled individual. You don't need to know a play to miss-target receivers that badly. If he was under orders ... then we'll have that answer, if he ever starts again this season. Ponder's latest start was the very vision of the floundering of this Great Viking Ship upon the shoals ... rudderless.
Did the players give up? Have they cashed it all in? Well there are only so many eyes and there is only so much one can stomach watching. Once was more than enough but the film will tell an ugly story that no one wants to hear. No! They did not give up. They are just veering and shivving aimlessly ... with no hope of true direction. These great Viking warriors ... spinning their wheels upon well oiled floors ... applying their trade ... playing the monkey biscuit toss ... some collecting millions in unwarranted guilt.
So the decision to start Ponder is not about logic, which involves winning as its premise. To ensure a result, this Great Viking Ship must remain rudderless, until draft maneuvers are safe. The decision is sound. It is necessary ... as we bite our lips.
On the other hand, there is a future to consider. The vision begins with the resurrection of the 2011 Colts under a franchise quarterback. For us, that quarterback will either be drafted or he will be resurrected (found). The moment Joe Webb hits the streets he will be converted back to quarterback, and with it, comes the witnessing of one of this franchises greatest mistakes. It will be so severe and of such great magnitude ... that it might be hard for this franchise to recover from it. Is our present disarray directly the result of manipulating Perseus from his destiny? How come no one has determined exactly where JJ Watt was on our 2011 Viking draft boards, when we foolishly selected Ponder? What might have resulted if the rudder had passed to Webb ... a quarterback that was never given his due (named starter and then backed fully) as he was one of only a few that had a history of remarkable games? Instead, that franchise turned a blind eye to what was produced on that field ... for the path of least resistance. "Wonder lick my butt!"
In regard to our future, when will this franchise bind itself from looking over the fence at what is seen as a greener pasture and instead face the pain of signing our own draft picks. Why should I lay-out ... take the fall for this team ... if there's no possibility toward this organizations payout? The question is both remedial and ignored. Gerhart, Webb and Griffen lead the pack in regard to this franchises future. The cost is irrelevant, especially when considering the amount that has been foolishly wasted. These cats have proven their worth in battle. Let us not forget the winning formula in 2012 was to hold Peterson in reserve, leading with Gerhart first, early and often. By this time last year, AD was fresh entering the stretch. This year, he's battling nagging injuries due to ignoring the impact of using Gerhart. The results that we are now reaping won't change until our focus changes. The Packers have three players that were not drafted by that organization. How many do the Vikings have? Enough said. Keep building through the draft and sign the cream of your own draft picks.
Businesses lose orders each and every day because they did not have the inventory at hand. You'll have to wait 6 weeks. It's sort of like how Bill Musgrave uses Toby Gerhart, Joe Webb and Patterson. Can you possibly think of a more destructive force ... if your plan was to destroy this franchise? Sorry ... old Bill ... it shows up on the field every time theses cats walk upon it.
If the Vikings have no intention on keeping Ponder, Cassel (based upon his non-committal contract), or the damaged goods known as Josh Freeman, then Joe Webb is a solid investment. This franchise has to get over its prejudices, as this franchises ability of evaluating quarterbacks it is clearly beyond suspect. It has to show up on the field ... and with Webb it has shown up again ... and again ... and again. Sure ... go ahead and ignore me ... once again ... it most certainly couldn't get worse ... could it? After collapsing the Dome ... we all used to think so. Now ... not so much.
If you're going to audition a quarterback, maybe you should consider investing your chips back on Webb rather than Freeman. Tell me ... what do you have to lose? What do you have to gain, if you were wrong all along? Sure, point to the Green Bay playoff contest last year where you officially handed Webb the keys literally about an hour before kickoff. By the way, Webb outperformed Ponder, head to head, in comparing games played in Green Bay in 2012. Do you really think Ponder would have faired better in that playoff loss? If you think he would ... then clearly you'd be delusional.
Sure ... we all know ... that shipped has sailed. Are we talking about that same rudderless floundering Great Viking Ship that we now see upon the seas known as the NFL. Maybe it's time to reconsider our decisions ... before it's too late. Always keep in mind, the money that you've spent to this point is sunk ... you can't get it back ... so put that rediculous statement about where the money has been invested in your rear view mirror. If Webb ends up being your man after all, Cassel will turn out to be a bargain. Now ask yourself the question. Is the problem Bill Musgrave's rediculous predictable offense or was it half-assing the investment in Webb? Of course ... you have no answer for that! Now do you?
It's a funny thing about the gods. Screw with them and you'll have to pay the piper. What came home to roost?
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: October 31, 2013