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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Pivot Upon Change 
To say I was surprised yesterday ... I was not.  Actually, I was in a good place with it ... as something has to change ... immediately.  Although I must admit that I was in tears seeing Teddy and Rudolph hook up for that game winning connection.  The rest is irrelevant ... it was only an opportunity ... to pivot upon change.  This is our chance ... our opportunity ... to create that new time line. 

Dating back to the days of Tarkenton, when they selected Tommy Kramer, were Fran said ... we're just one player away (what are you doing) ... followed by the response, yeah, and it's you.  Statistically it is clear that there is something very very wrong in Minnesota.  

Are we just naive, when you witness both Prime Time and Michael Irvin laughing at us all the while you see Marshall Faulk trying to speak about one man doing his job.  There is a definite problem ... and it is us.  The reason that they are champions is that they would never accept this.  They were laughing at our continual acceptance of a standard that doesn't win championships.  Was it just a coincidence that Walsh became immediately erratic after signing his lucrative contract ... or was he practicing for his future.  The alarms were raised by this witness way back on September 25, 2015.    

Now we must ask the question.  Did we witness the standards of Vinatieri under the hand of Belichick ... or was it something else?  How was yesterdays game different from Brett Favre in the 2009 championship game?  Did we again witness the standard of Gary Anderson's missed field goal of the 1998 championship game?  This acceptance standard are the things that set franchises back decades ... that is ... if we accept it.

Coaches are fired all the time.  The reason for these decisions are generally based upon the sum of the decisions made by these coaches.  Sure, a coach can be exposed by time management issues ... or it could be missing a coaches challenge ... but in my opinion coaches are fired based upon what they were willing to accept that results is a substandard result.   Said another way, if I'm expected to give 100% all of the time, how can you expose me to an unacceptable standard in my near future.    

After Scott Norwood missed that Super Bowl field goal, he lasted a grand total of 1 additional year in Buffalo.  After the miss, he was absorbed by the fan base ... however, he was never the same, even though his overall statistics were better the following year.  The problem is, statistics don't win championships.  Performance in a clutch situations does.  Then there's that one other thing ... here we go again ... that proliferates though your entire squad.  

If Mike Zimmer accepts this, and pushes this aside as being an aberration, he begins the unquestioned process of losing his locker room.  He and everyone around him have worked way to hard to accept this but more importantly ... he, nor anyone else, can accept this standard.  Firstly, this franchises history indicates that this is far from an one and done incident.  You need XYZ ... hey I got a guy in Minnesota.  There is just too much history within this franchise that clearly tells us that it is much more than a one and done incident.  Secondly, how can any coach ask so much from so many players only to have it all be taken away by one man.  Stacking up the eggs ... the thing becomes glaring ... as there is no way anyone with any sanity whatsoever can accept this.  

Rick Speilman is always trying to improve his roster, where logically ... he would never give Walsh his outright and immediate release.  He also would have to explain paying Walsh's guaranteed money ... dead money ... even though he would no longer be with this organization.  However, no decision of this magnitude should ever be made based upon an asset that can never be recovered ... only realized (services rendered).  Rick Speilman also knows that whatever were to replace Walsh just might be the worst place kicker in the league.  Hey, dude, look at all the touch backs that we might be giving up.  Really!  Really!  You're being tied up inside by a kicker.  My gosh Rick ... it's a kicker.

So what should Speilman and Zimmer do?  The answer is now clear and concise.  The answer comes from standing in the shoes of Belichick or Shula.  Now ask the question ... what would they do?

Regardless of any and all factors, Walsh should be given his outright release and it should be done immediately.  In fact, he should be allowed to kick for one of the Super Bowl participants.  Do you think Belichick would sign Walsh?  Rick Speilman could even send Belichick and invitation as he's looking for guys to help his offense.  

There is a message that must be conveyed and it must be done immediately.  Nothing should be allowed to linger in anyone's mind.  It is not about performance ... it is about what we are willing to accept.   Championships ... something that we-have-not ... are not realized by acceptance of anything other than executing a championship performance.  You can beat my head into the ground.  You can physically beat my mates and every member of my team ... but you will not steal from me.  Not with my eyes wide open.  

If Rick Speilman and Mike Zimmer decide to sweep this under the rug ... like so many of their predecessors, tell me ... who, will stand behind you when put into the same or similar situation.  Even if you end up with the worst kicker in the history of this league to replace Walsh, you at least know that you have a chance.  If you pretend that they eyes of this organization aren't open ... you'll rip the rug from beneath your own feet.  Regardless of whether it might be true or not, your choice must be to be extremely hard to a player rather than the potential of being easy on the book.  The days of making book easy in Minnesota in over.   

At some point, there will be someone within our organization with a huge set of man balls that says ... "Yeah!  I'm the guy that's willing to send a message".

If even one member that walked within that locker room in that 2015 season were to utter to himself, or more importantly, to the guy standing next to him.  "Dude!  These guys aren't playing around here.  They are beyond serious.  My ears are closed except to my family and my coaches only.  They've changed the game.  These guys can see what I can see and they are not willing to accept anything other than a championship effort.  They are actively searching for anomalies ... to root out the rotten within.  We can win here".  

The message is clear ... The old days of acceptance are gone.  We've got a message for Michael Irvin and Prime Time too ... we ain't playing.  

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: January 11, 2016