Sensing the Bench
I was just a young man. It now
seems like the ghost of Christmas Past. Under that tree was a present
which contained an electronic circuit board from Radio Shack called 55 or 61
& 1. What it contained was a 55 or 61 different wiring arrangements to
utilize & combine different board components like a photo voltaic cell or a
simple volt meter where all of these projects were contained within a separate
booklet. All you needed to do was assemble the wires as instructed in the
booklet & then all you had to do was test it out to see if it worked.
My father was a science nut ... in a way. He loved puzzles just not the
kind that you lay onto the table in jig-saw form. He was more into brain
teasers like how to open up a 7-slide box, or how to pivot a ball so that it
didn't fall through one of the holes in a maze. This year he was working
on an object no bigger than a loaf of bread that had a plastic ball in the
center of it where that ball was contained within an outer maze of sticks &
strings. Before he got to solve that puzzle somehow ... mysteriously ...
one of the sticks broke ... but know one seemed to know exactly how it just
happened to break ... all on its own. My father was fuming ... so he did
what a typical father would do ... he questioned his kids and they all denied
touching that stupid thing. My father just stewed and seethed and accepted
that someone was lying to him ... the equivalent of a hidden agenda.
It was then that my father was watching his son with this new electronic
gadget. You see, I was testing it to see if in fact it could do the things
that it claimed. What was promised by this Radio Shack gadget was a simple
lie detector, where all you had to do was attached two electric copper wires to
your hand where I could ask you questions and then read out a response by
watching a volt meter sway when you told a lie. And do you know what ...
for something so basic in design ... it worked. It worked very well.
Heck, this simple technology dates back to the early 70's. I was so
impressed with it that about 10 years ago I purchased Radio Shacks latest
version which now is about 350:1 but mysteriously, the lie detector was long
gone from that kit. Maybe that was a good thing but my son loved it
Well my father caught wind of this project of mine. Then the unimaginable
happened. Once he was convinced that it worked well everything
changed. He announced that he was going to question everyone of his
children until he found out what happened to his precious little toy. When
my sisters found out about his announcement, the consequences spread like
wildfire. One of them soon confessed to playing with his toy when
apparently that flimsy piece of crap just broke when my sister tried to force
one of the sticks over to get the ball out. My father felt the brunt of
his deeds and my sister was off playing with reckless abandon.
Of course this little exercise
in futility pails in comparison to hoisting a Lombardi Trophy but to this day I
do clearly remember a 1980 Olympic Goalie named Vladislav Tretiak ... maybe the
best in the world ... being benched by the Soviet coach after the first
period. Hum! What just happened? Unfortunately, today all we
remember was beating those guys for the gold.
So what's the point? Well it is in fact a very important point.
Something so strong that it has escaped this franchises grasp for entirely too
long. To be direct, it didn't matter whether or if this little simple
gadget lie detector worked or not ... it was that someone was always able to
sense actual real intentions. You see ... not everyone gets to wear rose
With a little hind sight, do you think this simple little gadget might have been
something that Dennis Green might have used prior to Gary Anderson's kick in the
1998 NFC Championship game? How about the questioning of both Adrian
Peterson & Brett Favre prior to his fumble deep in the Red Zone or prior to
that interception in that 2009 Championship game? How about determining
Blair Walsh's mind set prior to his kick in one of the coldest games in our
history that advanced an undeserving Seattle bunch of thugs? Would it be
important to know their clear intentions prior to those critical
situations? One thing is for certain ... nefarious plots don't happen over
night as it takes time to hatch that tangled web that we weave.
Regardless of whether this gadget worked or not, with questions prior to these
major events ... would this have the potential to expose our weakest links
before they could ever happen. More importantly, manipulation prior to
these events have a lesser chance of success as getting caught means your
putting your significant livelihood at stake. What actually happens
doesn't matter but the simple threat of something happening can loom larger than
several tones of bricks ... down upon your head. If business management
tells us anything its that for this franchise, the next best opportunity at
employment for a player means that their salary at their next job could be 10 to
100 times smaller than what they are currently paid. This
concept worked to keep police officers out of corruption as one day they are
making $80K per year and the next they'd be lucky to pull down $25K. It
wasn't worth risking their pensions.
Unless you are a complete idiot, there is a reason why this franchise hasn't won
a Super Bowl Championship in 56 years. There is a reason why so called bad
luck hits this organization at the worst possible moment every time ... over and
over again, and it has nothing to do with the team. It has everything to
do with key members of this team potentially being manipulated for their own
personal gain. It happens because that is exactly what we have been
conditioned to accept.
After Blair Walsh missed that kick, was his locker immediately cleared out onto
the street where he was issued his walking papers immediately regardless of his
contract status. Allow me to be concise that after Brett Favre's interception
up in Green Bay that eventually put Super Bowl Rings on every New York Giant,
Ted Thompson made sure that Brett never played another down upon the Frozen
Tundra (except when he was wearing purple as there was a lot of vomit on that
field that day my friends).
So now let me ask you, exactly what do teams like the Dallas Cowboys or the Pittsburgh
Steelers have in their locker rooms that have ensured all of those Super Bowl
victories? Was it more than just their players & coaches? You
could say that they have a much higher standard to achieve all that success but
actually what I'm talking about ... that standard ... did not uniformly apply to
every member of all those teams. It just applied to very specific
"critical" pieces of that team. How easy was it to get to the
Minnesota Vikings kickers? How easy was it to get to Brett Favre?
How easy was it to get to Adrian Peterson as he fumbled the rock in some crucial
situation as it happened versus both the Saints & the Seahawks in those
playoff contests? It is not to say that any one of them did tank-it on
purpose ... it is more accurate to say that this franchise has accepted the
possibility over & over again.
Daunte Culpepper, Randy Moss & Cris Carter. 41-0 New York Giants which
advance to the Super Bowl versus the Ravens. Really! How could that
possibly be the result but we all just sat there & accepted it? New
York is now an elite organization where something is just not right about that
So what does it take to be the starting quarterback for the Minnesota
Vikings? As thing have gone ... not so much. Does this mean that our
quarterback has to submit to processing by our franchise understanding that any
plan takes time to hatch? Well, I will let you make the guess but if it
were me, I'd like a little more than accepting the smirk upon Brett Favre's face
prior to risking that years resources. In other words, we have to remove
the blinders and not get caught up on all that remarkable talent.
So you might be wondering why this argument is so important. Well,
actually it goes well beyond what might have been pointed out in this
article. What is of fact is that the Minnesota Vikings Franchise has been
oblivious to the obvious because of our naiveté & our disjointed nature
when it comes to the continuity of our ownership. In short, as Tom Brady
clearly illustrated ... no one actually plays by the rules ... it's just about
what you get caught doing combined with what you are willing to accept as
punishment for your deeds. What is monumentally important here is the
understanding of all of our collective sensors. For example, could you
imagine either Brad Childress or Mike Zimmer instructing Sam Bradford to get his
collective ass on the bench? Now to go one step further, Dennis Green ...
playoff bound year after year ... had no problem sending Robert Smith to the
bench ... again & again ... sometimes for an eternity ... for fumbling his
rock. Here in lies the obvious collective problem. It's called censoring
My wife, who cares nothing for football, nor is she a fan of this or any other
NFL organization, could see this organizations problem ... even with her limited
knowledge of the game. It is because she has sensors that do not and
cannot lie ... and every member of this franchise can do the same. Now ask
yourself the question, "What was Teddy playing for and now do the same with
Sam Bradford"? Does the answer to that question have anything to do
with why Sam Bradford is no longer playing in Philadelphia, PA & could it
have anything to do with this organizations reluctance of putting Sam Bradford
on the bench.
Still don't see it yet? Do you remember the movie "The
Replacements". It was about fictional characters that played as
scrubs for the Washington team during a strike year. Now look at the
character that was the starting quarterback for that Washington squad & of
course I'm not talking about Keanu. How was Teddy like Keanu and how is
Sam Bradford like the quarterback Martel and what could Coach McGinty see that
every Viking fan, player & coach that ever was, could see as clear as
day. Does fiction closely revolve around fact?
Do I want to see Sam Bradford on the bench? No way, no one with that skill
set should ever have to see the pine but that's not the point. Everyone in
the world senses what he's playing for and there isn't a body around him that
would be willing to lay-it-down like they would for Teddy & that's because
their sensors are blaring that we just ain't there for the same reasons.
It pains me to say this but Sam Bradford has been in danger for some time ...
well before joining this Viking's franchise ... and it's because his engrained
concepts have become a walking encyclopedia of horse shit. I haven't
played ball for years but I can tell you something without even batting a lash
... I'd lay it down for Teddy and wouldn't think twice about it. What he
did in that final drive versus the Seahawks ranks right up there with maybe our
greatest drive in Vikings history on December 28, 1975. Both drives have
been erased from history. You may not think so but it is etched ... and
sullied ... in my all time Vikings history.
Now look at why we were 5 & 0 last year. In the first game it was
another quarterback at the helm trying to seal the deal, which he did.
Week 2 home opener versus the Packers in a brand new stadium ... the team was
buzzing where no one was paying attention to it's new field general. Games
3 though 5 ... special teams prevail. If we don't get Sherels punt return
for a touchdown the result versus the Panthers is a whole other ball game.
Game 4 ... Eli Manning brown stains his pants versus the Vikings once again
(It's a shame that we can't face the Giants in the Super Bowl). Game 5
Houston loses control. In game 6, everything becomes crystal clear where
the city of Philadelphia understands that they had indeed dodged a huge bullet
and made a very good deal for their potential future. This Eagles
decision can pivot upon them like a bad check but it's dependent upon change
within one man. It all can change in an instant.
So, it begs the question. Is it too late for Sam Bradford? Is it too
late to find him a human sized set of yar-block-o's? No! It is said
that you can train a dog at any stage of his life where the first step begins
with his understanding that who & what he's become & the journey that
he's on needs a new drastic change in direction. You must rail against
convention. I'd like to think that his fire was extinguished upon a
shoulder injury while playing for Okalahoma as here was a prodigy ready to
explode upon the world. Today he can bested by well over 50 NFL
quarterbacks as that is entirely his choice. He has the talent to become
the best of the best or as near to it as obtainable but he must unleash the fury
from being the perpetual victim ... to being the predator.
I understand that Sam Bradford is a scratch golfer. What this means to me
is that if we were to go head to head, he'd use his talent to beat my
score. Talent is never enough. I don't know if it is true, but there
was a quote stated by Ray Crock in the movie "Founder" where he
states, "If you were my competition, and you were drowning, I'd be the
first to shove a hose down your throat". Both the Hyena & the
Lion serve a very specific purpose on the planes of Africa. Do you see Sam
Bradford as that Great White Shark ... the eating machine that swims &
procreates too. Off the field you can be whatever you want but on that
field ... well ... that's something different. Can you see it?
Within your humanity your don't have to be a shark ... you just have to learn
how to swim with them. Only a predator can end the intentions of that
When I look at Mike Zimmer, it is clear to see the predator ... a naive
one. Will he be the first to take off those blinders and see beyond
talent. Exactly how long do you think it would take for me to get Zim to
foam from the mouth like a rabid dog? Do you think it's possible to set
Sam Bradford to that music?
There was nothing naive about Don Shula. His perception & sensors were
as refined as any man that walked that grid. He lost because he became
blinded by Dan Marino's talent. What might have been if he could see
that. All I know is that it was a darn good thing for the league that he
There's only so much time
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: August 28, 20176