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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

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 nonetheless.  

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 colored glasses.  

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 franchise.    

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 the bench.   

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 shark.  

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 didn't.  

There's only so much time left.     

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: August 28, 20176