Saturday, March 12, 2005

Some Free Advice for Reggie Fowler

Dear Reggie,

I am pleased to hear that you are planning to buy the Minnesota Vikings. As a long-time fan who has suffered through four excruciating Superbowl losses, the Les Steckel error--sorry, I mean era-- the horrible nightmare that was the 1998 NFC Championship (Denny, how could you tell Randall to take a knee with 30 seconds left?), I remain steadfast in the hope that someday before I die (and I'm pushing 40 soon, so get busy!) I will get to see the Purple hoist the Lombardi trophy toward the heavens.

It's just that there's a few things that you need to know before you get started. First, you're buying a team from a Texas used car salesman. This is a guy who makes Dick Cheney look honest and sincere. Red McCombs is the most craptaculous owner in the NFL. He makes Jerry Jones look patient and reasonable. He makes Bill Bidwell look marginally competant. He actually makes Vikings fans long for the good old days when Mike Lynn ran the team.

Now, this team you're buying may look like a good deal, but it's gonna need some serious work. Red's already stripped off the turbocharger unit, Randy Moss, for a few spare parts that may or may not work. Yeah, Randy dropped the gas mileage down quite a bit, and the car was noisy, but man, could that baby run when he was working at peak efficiency. I know it was prone to unexpected breakdowns, but what was once a monster muscle car is now just another roadster.

Also, your transmission is shot. You know, the head coach, the one who determines direction and power? He's gotta go. The guy has admitted to scalping Superbowl tickets, for pete's sake; something it appears many coaches do, but this is one more distraction you don't need. If Red won't replace it for you before you sign the papers, your first action as the new owner should be to pink slip Tice right out the door.

And while you're at it, send the rest of the inept coaching staff with you. The Vikings haven't had a decent defense--and not coincidentally, a decent defensive coordinator--since Tony Dungy left for Tampa Bay. Dungy would be the perfect guy to replace Tice, but I think he's gonna stick with that older Manning boy in Indy for a while, at least until Bob Irsay gets tired of losing in the playoffs every year to New England. But you won't have time to wait around. The entire coaching staff should follow Tice out the door. Let your new guy, whoever he his, bring in his own folks.

The good news is that the engine is sound. You've got Daunte Culpepper, a defensive end who happens to play quarterback, and a good stock of decent running backs. Even Mike Martz couldn't screw up this offense. Well, okay, of course Mike Martz could screw up this offense, but hey, the car has to be worth something, otherwise it's not a good buy for you.

Last thing: You'll want to build a new stadium. Everyone knows the Metrodome isn't up to snuff in terms of facility amenities or the revenue it generates. But here's the deal: forget public financing. Minnesota is one of the last bastions of true progressive politics, and they'll tell you to go jump in a cold winter lake before they spend tax money to make you richer when it can go toward more legitimate public needs. We liberals like using tax money to help the poor, not the rich, so deal with that fact from the beginning. Spend your own money; you'll be a hero in the state.

And here's the last part: make it an outdoor stadium. Yes, it's cold in the winter--it's freakin' Minnesota! Don't you think they all know it? They love the cold! They go fishing when it's 20 degrees below zero! The Vikings must reclaim their roots as winter warriors. Green Bay gets the credit, New England gets the glory, and they both play outdoors when it's cold and snowy. Reclaim the Vikings' true heritage. Your best move is to convert this stripped down sports car into a blizzard-busting SUV.

And hurry up, would you? The stupid Red Sox have already won a championship. Let's get one before those hideous Chicago Cubs fans break their losing streak.

Best wishes for your success,

The Sandman


Big Pappa Pump said...

I believe their is going to be some serious hitting in Minnesota next year, and Culpepper is a large target. With no Randy Moss to keep the safeties honest, what is to keep teams from blitzing every down? I see a lot of blind shots headed toward Culpepper. Fire Tice? Why would anyone do that? This guy has had a very good season signing free agents, plus there is assistant coaches that get paid more than him. This is the lowest paid coach in the league. Maybe if ownership would have shoved a nickel or two his way before the jet engine left, he might have done something. Minnesota better hope that this kid from USC is as good as everyone talks, or it's going to be one of those long Cardinal seasons! Somebody might want to start turning their head to look at that team in the Silverdome. I think thats the team to beat in that division.

Sandman said...

Detroit? Please...

Culpepper is just as big (or bigger) than many of the d-linemen rushing him and often faster, too, so his size and speed will counteract the blitz (see Michael Vick), not to mention that an aggressive blitz can be countered with draw plays and screen passes, which will factor in more heavily in the Vikings' offense instead of always going deep to Moss.

Detroit? The Lions? Really?