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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

First, I would like to offer my apologies to Mark Wilf, which as it turned out performed a masterful job of deception.  He completely fooled me.  Now, being cleared of the intense smoke screen, I have a much clearer understanding of where we all stand today.  I should have remembered the oldest axiom of all ... always follow the money.  In that regard, there is only one person that could possibly be calling the shots for this franchise, with the rest acting as his surrogates ... to the commander in chief.  Are their hands tied to the mast?  You betcha!  A child could see that.  Somehow, my perceptions mislead me to what could not be seen ... could not be heard ... could not be known.

When I look at our owner, I desperately wanted to see something else ... to form my own image ... to create my own leader ... the captain that is steering this Viking ship.  I couldn't accept that my perceptions could be different, but the happenstance is as old as time.  In short, there is no difference between Jerry Jones & our owner except that Jerry Jones doesn't care a lick who knows about it.   On the other hand, our owner has masterfully incorporated as many surrogates as he could between himself and his ultimate decisions.  Remember that triangle of authority thing?  Now don't get me wrong own owner in chief is not evil ... he is just lost ... searching for solutions ... fighting what appears to be an impossible situation where he's fallen down the proverbial rabbit's hole.  It happens to us all.  The good news is that there is no such thing as a black (a very bad) & white (even worse) decision ... there are only shades of gray.  That third option, nasty & as bitter as it might be, is actually something our owner can get behind, to join if you will, which is actually palatable to all involved.   

So, what if I had an ego?  Who am I kidding ... we all have egos.  Some ... bigger than others.  My ego is slightly smaller than the Empire State.  In comparison, I'm no millionaire with quite an impressive track record which by comparison would have seared my seeing eyes into cinders where Zygmunt's training far & away outpaces me.  What if I knew that I made a monumental mistake based upon incomplete information from my faulty surrogates.  Hey, anyone could make a mistake, however what if that mistake was so binding & heinous as to be overwhelming to this franchise.  

Now, one approach would be Bill Clinton's approach to the Balkan's nightmare during his administration.  For the uninitiated, it was to let the forest fire burn until it eventually burned itself out.  Sure it was genocide but the waiting game actually had a way of  working itself out.  Yes, I just tasted a little throw up there (not the man but the policy).  The literal translation to "Let It Burn" would be to forgo this years most certain Super Bowl run by starting & playing Christian Ponder for the remainder of the season, hoping to replace him in next years draft with the next can't miss quarterback prospect.  If you're a fan of this franchise ... this might sound good to Fran Tarkenton (in cementing his legacy) but it personally doesn't sit well with me and a few million others.  Some might refer to this decision matrix as ... "To Procrastinate".  Based on our most recent election, it is most certainly an American concept which is to run from the obvious truth and firmly settle into the concept of ... "Avoidance".  Why should our owner act any differently?   Hey, he's only human.  What our owner is searching for shall actually come from his surrogates as there is a certain solution to this problem but it requires resolution ... not avoidance. 

In the last several months, John Carlson 25 million dollar contract has been well documented and espoused.  Maybe this fact has escaped us all but there is another under-performing player out there and no one ever speaks in regard to Christian Ponder's contract.  What if that contract included a secret no-trade clause, or better yet, where the agent gets to restrict where Ponder can be traded, without his prior approval?  With the way Christian Ponder has been playing, don't you think that it's time that our sport beat got an opportunity to take a closer look at the ink that has dried upon that parchment?  Why is it such a mystery to us all?

Regardless of the actual terms in that agreement, it would be hard for anyone to admit that they'd made a mistake in regard to Ponder.  That includes everyone on the impressive chain of surrogates from Mark Wilf, to Rick Spielman, right on down to the incredibly brilliant Leslie Frazier (and I mean that with my hat in hand, with earnest merit), but mistakes do happen ... especially ones that can confounded an entire franchise.

Regardless of how you feel today, in very short order, Christian Ponder may become one of the most hated athletes in this beloved region ... a victim of the terms of his own contract, his demeanor & the path he has chosen which is to assign blame to everyone else but himself.  A more important way of saying this is that the writing may already be on the wall as it is impossible to run from the stone & chisel.  Why?  Because the NFL is a game of talent & instinct which is the minimum requirements of a true franchise quarterback.  To confound this even further, no one has ever considered that Ponder might be the first in line to want out of Minnesota, as for one reason or another the overall chemistry just might not be right.  It happens ... he was drafted ... it wasn't by choice.  In other words, when I look at Ponder he reminds me of a man laden with about 250 pounds of rocks slung over his back, where once he exits the facility, he's nothing but an unladened goose.  Never forget that before Cris Carter could achieve a HOF career ... he first needed to escape Philadelphia.  So what might be Ponder's exit strategy?  Ponder was born in Dallas, TX where he might have aspirations of playing there.  Well that's beyond Ponder's control as the Tony Romo saga has slammed that door shut somewhat similar to Randy Moss being passed over by Dallas for reason beyond his control.  As for the Texans, that consideration is more than a long shot, as they are a now serious contenders however there is most certainly a specific team with a serious interest in Christian Ponder, of course with the axiom of a discounted contract in a futures trade offer at seasons end.  This offer would be similar to David Justice playing for the A's in the movie Money Ball where the Yankee's paid half of his contract to play in Oakland.

This is where Zygi Wilf's prime #1 surrogate Rick Spielman enters the fray with his unique & now proven calling card.  Mr. Spielman's recent history, as you will recall, was to expertly jettison players and replace them with more productive athletes that have true hunger in their eye ... starring at Futures Contracts.  In short Ponder wouldn't be the first athlete to collect money from this franchise after leaving these friendly confines.  As for Ponder, even with the overall ability at first refusal, he will in no way reject the offer to move on as the opportunity to play for this particular coach will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to either prove himself or to find out the ugly truth.  Either way, it's better than beating a dead horse.  Mark my words ... Ponder's fate does not lie with the Minnesota Vikings.  

So, at this juncture, does our owner Zygi Wilf have to do anything whatsoever?  The answer is quite clear.  No!  Does our owner have to expose himself in any way?  No!  The chain of command and the surrogate team are a well oiled machine.  Is Zygi Wilf embarrassed in any way due to the decisions directed by his surrogates.  Once again the answer is quite obvious?  No! 

So, why would this happen?  Well, historically if a player wanted his release or his way out of town we'd be the first to help him board the train.  We've given up possible draft picks and potential trades to do our best to accommodate players.  Why should this situation be any different?  It's just a matter of time.  The answer for Zygmunt lies in both a push and pull strategy.  In other words, nothing is going to push Zygi Wilf to do anything ... this is his passion ... and it is his baby... and he is firmly in control of the reins.  Make no mistake.  So the ultimate answer here becomes quite convoluted.

To begin with the answer we must first consider who it was that brought three (3) additional draft picks to Minnesota Vikings franchise in the 2012 draft.  To be direct, there were allot of hands in that pot, but it is without doubt that a certain humble narrator unhinged a certain franchise in regard to some particular coveted player.  In that same vein, the door has opened for our humble Zygmunt.  In other words, why would Zygi join into such ludicrous behavior.  It is because this is his own idea where we now need to join him. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers are the owners of six (6) Lombardi Trophies.  Their first came after the 1974 season ... our 3rd Super Bowl loss.  Tell me, what is the image that absolutely everyone remembers.  It wasn't Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw or Mean Joe Green.  It was a cigar stuffed owner that had that first Lombardi Trophy in his hand, staring incredulously down upon it.  Why?  Because there wasn't a man on the planet that endured what that man endured.  Up to that point, the Steelers were the worst team in the history of the NFL.  After that day, a legend was created upon our backs.  This is what now lies directly at Zygmunt's feet ... The true Viking historic moment.  This is his destiny and there is no one that is going to take that away from him because this is now his own idea where we now need to join with him.

My uncle once told me that he was called to the bridge of the USS Intrepid, a World War II Essex class carrier.  I've been on the deck of that ship and it is truly impressive ... even to this day ... as a historical museum located on the Hudson River, docked in Manhattan, NY.   At the age of 10 I thought to myself, "Wow, Did you really get to drive such a huge ship?"  He never answered because he most certainly got to turn the wheel of the ship that heaved tons of water in response to the rudders however there was only one man steering that ship and it was not him.  Heading Two, Seven, Zero strikes the surrogate.  In our case, the course correction is Zygmunt.    

There is one more point, that was also referenced in the movie Money Ball.  It had to do with the Red Sox hiring a coach that everyone in baseball hated.  The response went something like this.  Money allows you to do just about anything that you want, which means hiring a manager that the entire league hates.  I don't know if Zygmunt Wilf has dollar one because I cannot confirm it, where money never mattered anyhow but I do now realize one very important fact and that is that he can do whatever he wants when it comes to this franchise.  

{From The Ships Bells} Ring! Ring! Course correction Sir?

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: November 10. 2012