The Warm Up Horse!
The idea is to introduce the warm-up-horse with the non-committal mare. A veteran warm-up-horse is very focused and motivated to work diligently to peak the interest of the mare ... to get the mare into the mood. Over time, the mares interest will peak ... where the warm-up-horse would then be taken away. The stud horse would then be introduced and allowed to take over. For the warm-up-horse, this process would be repeated over and over until it had to be put down. This was necessary because over time, that warm up horse would go berserk or lose its sanity. The odd part, at the time, was that the narrator of this story had a very serious and forlorn look on his face ... where I kind of just smirked a little bit, and stored this ditty in my little knowledge container. Sometimes with time, comes a little wisdom ... the reasons for narrators facial expression became clear to me.
So you might be thinking ... exactly what does this have to do with being a Minnesota Viking fan. You see ... the Minnesota Vikings are that warm-up-horse. Is there any team in the modern era (including the Super Bowl years only) that has qualified for the NFLs' playoff tournament more than the Vikings and not won the Super Bowl. Now add in the times that we just missed qualifying for the playoffs. Are you starting to get the picture now?
So your whining about futility ... like the Chicago Cardinals ... that moved to St. Louis and then to Arizona ... or the Detroit Lions that haven't won a championship since the 50's? No, that's not my point. I've actually met a Cardinal fan, and year after year there is little to no hope. In fact, in 98 they didn't even realize that they were only two steps from the Super Bowl when they lost to the Vikings in the Divisional round. In many seasons, it has been over early. For this particular fan, and the fans of other futile franchises, their pain, disappointment, and courage to maintain their identity with their team is very real, but pales in many ways in comparison to the cruelty and psychological terror inflicted year after year upon the warm-up-horse.
There is a reason for our collective (Viking Nation) insane nature ... and my outrage can no longer be contained. My rage is now directed at the League ... the money making tyrants at the top ... and all it stands for.
There was a poignant point in the movie JFK, where Mr. Garrison delivers his closing argument, where he tells his son Jasper to stay fit because it would be 75 years before the evidence regarding the JFK assassination would be unsealed ... where the day of uncovering the true evidence just might be past from generation to generation. This statement haunts and compels me for so many reasons ... including my own mortality ... will I ever see it happen.
I've done my best to pass the Viking Legends on to my own next generation. I'm compelled to do the same for the nation ... and its newest and youngest brethren. My spirit, vigor and course are compelled to pass-on The Tinglehoff's, The Hawkin's and the Marshall's to the next generation that strap on those horns ... for those that don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.
In many ways ... coaching is ultimately defined as reinventing the wheel ... over and over again. Chilly, just don't forget to allow them to be artists ... they just might surprise you.
Regardless of how any individual might feel ... they carry the history of the NFL with them every time they take that field. Regardless of what one might think or say, the paycheck does not motivate us ... it just keeps us warm and cozy. It is the legend, and what it entails, that ultimately compels us. Too many either don't know this ... don't realize this ... or have forgotten this fact. Money ... gentlemen ... is a curse. Focus on the coin ... and for all purposes ... you're done. At the end of the day, the only thing that's worth a damn is ... what comes from and what's within your heart!
A local newspaper that recently discussed Tony Dungee's upcoming decision toward retirement described Tony as leader for Black African Americans. This is true but I took strong exception to this comment. Tony belongs to us all. In my book, Tony has become a beacon for all humanity for what he is, and for what he stands for, and for what he's endured ... see the difference ... that is what I've seen that comes from and what's within Tony's heart.
On that field ... when you take that field ... the only thing that I see is what is within your heart! You're not going to fool anyone.
The Viking Ghost