Friday, January 30, 2009

The Vikings and Wade Phillips

I started writing blogs about a month ago. However, they were not on this site. Since I don't want to deny any of the smooth wordsmithing from my originals, I am now posting here. I know that the content is not completely fresh, but it's mildly entertaining. I hope you enjoy.

First and foremost, I am a huge Minnesota sports fan. HUGE. Even the Timberwolves, despite the fact that watching them play most nights is about as fun as repeatedly performing a root canal on myself. That being said though, my love for the Vikings is stronger than for any of my other teams. I have watched them since I can remember. I am the proud owner of a reversible Cris Carter jersey, with purple on one side and black on the other. (By the way, if CC is denied a Hall of Fame induction for another year, I am going to have an aneurism). The 1998 NFC Championship game is one of the Top 5 worst moments of my whole life. I cried after that game, and I was old enough where a football game shouldn’t have been capable of moving me to tears. I’m only 22 years old, but am already wondering if they will win a Super Bowl in my lifetime (if they don’t move to LA first, that is).

Because of all this, today is a great day. The Vikings won the NFC North for the first time ever and are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Incidentally, the last time they were in the playoffs, I was saddled with the worst case of mono I have ever seen or heard of. The mono was accompanied by tonsillitis, so I didn’t eat for 2 weeks and lost 20 pounds. For those who know me, you know that I really don’t have an extra 20 pounds to lose, then or now. I was thinner than Mary-Kate Olsen. Homeless people were giving me cash so I could buy food. I lifted weights and felt like Olive Oyl. You get the idea.

I’m not really sure what my expectations are for the Vikings in the playoffs this year. There are some definite red flags. Even though he’s played better since he got back into the line-up, Tarvaris Jackson is still our quarterback. Anytime you get benched in favor of a guy who knocked himself out of a game due to a celebratory head butt, it gives me pause about your chances for ultimate success. Also, the fact that Coach Childress’s clock management skills are shaky at best is troubling. I think if his wife was pregnant and told him her water broke, he would stare blankly at her for 20 seconds, then spend a minute debating whether they should take the Miata or the Taurus to the hospital, then spend 5 minutes trying to find his shoes. He is unbelievably frustrating to watch sometimes. Clearly though, this is the best Vikings team during the Childress era, and probably since 2000. I have no idea what they are going to do in the playoffs. I just know I am excited they have a chance at the Super Bowl. I still have hope, and hope is a powerful thing.

The Rant
Rooting for the Vikings is unbearably frustrating at times, and Childress certainly is no Lombardi (you won’t be seeing a Childress Trophy any time soon, unless it is presented each year to the man who does the most to attempt to keep the ‘90s moustache alive), but I am so thankful I am not a Cowboys fan right now. Why is Wade Phillips a head coach in the NFL again? Whyyyyyyyyy? How many times does a guy have to fail to get fired? I was shocked when he was hired to be a head coach for the third time. I can imagine the reactions other coaches had when they found the Cowboys hired him in 2007. Norv Turner nodded approvingly. Dick Jauron called Dave Wannstedt to discuss how unconscionable the hire was, as well as to discuss how sweet Wanny’s moustache is. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure Phillips is a fine man, and he is a good defensive coordinator. But he needs to be fired. Being a nice guy isn’t enough. I’m a nice guy, too, but I shouldn’t be named the CEO of the Hilton Corporation just because I have front desk experience at a couple hotels. If I was an accountant, and screwed up the books at two other companies, getting one investigated for fraud, Ernst and Young wouldn’t hire me over qualified accountants, would they? The coaching selection process has always baffled me. I’m pretty sure the reason guys like Phillips get hired is that owners are too scared to hire a no-name, and bring in someone they’ve heard of, even if they haven’t been overly successful. Go figure. My other theory is that they are hoping to get the next Bill Belichick. Belichick was the coach of the Cleveland Browns in the early 1990s, and had minimal success. Now, he is a sure-fire Hall of Famer who has 3 Super Bowl rings to his credit (he also cheated, but whatever). Plus, he looks like an absolute bum on the sidelines, which I support fully. I disagree with the reasoning though. There are 20 Phillips and Turner for each Belichick.

One reason I will be disappointed when Phillips is ultimately fired is it will rob me of the pure joy of watching him on the sidelines during Cowboys games. When they do something well, he celebrates like he was just told to come on down as the next contestant on The Price is Right. He always incorporates his patented “extend both arms straight in the air and jump where I couldn’t even clear a Dallas phonebook” move, along with a delirious smile and hugging everyone in sight. Watching him when the going gets tough is always enjoyable also. The look on his face makes him look like he is perpetually stuck trying to figure out a tough crossword puzzle. Anyway, I’m not sure if Jerry Jones is ready to swallow his pride and hire a new coach. I just know that he should.

Well, that’s it for blog #1. Thanks for reading, and if you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know. I am always up for constructive criticism.

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