Hey kids, gather 'round, because it's Uncle Ted's story time. Back when I was in Afghanistan (Oh Jesus, here we go) we had to deal with a lot of things, among them sandstorms. The thing about sandstorms is that you could see them coming from miles away, and there really wasn't anything you could do about it. Really, the only thing was to get in your tent, hunker down, wait for it to pass, and then clean up as best you could. That meant getting the sand out of everything--your sleeping bag, cot, nostrils, weapon, boots, sphincter, literally everywhere. But when it was over and you had cleaned up and dug out, it was like it had never happened, and you could go back to doing things that brought you joy.
Like killing your fellow man, for example.
This Way Comes Is Already Here
I kind of like the sandstorm analogy. It's here, there's nothing, as fans, we can do about it, so we ride it out. And when it's over, we step out of our tent, dust ourselves off, and grab a broom.
To clean up from the debacle that has quickly become the 2010 season, we might need a ShopVac. Or 20. But we will clean up, and we will be back. We are Vikings fans, and we have been through worse.
It might get worse before it gets better, but just like the sandstorm, this will blow over and will go away.
Hunker down, wait for it to pass, and then pass a broom.
SMR, after the jump.
Blue Chip Stocks:
For the second week in a row, I have nothing. Last week, against the Bears, my reasoning was if you couldn't show up against a division rival with your season pretty much on the line, there's no one worth singling out. That's doubly true the following week, when your season is really, REALLY on the line, you're at home, it's your biggest rival, and it's a relatively historic occasion, the 100th meeting in the series.
And you proceed to get your ass blown out. Not beat, blown the Frankenstein out.
Nope, no blue chips here. Nothing to see. Move along.
Sidney Rice, WR. Sidney, I'm sorry. I thought you were purposely tanking it for 2010, in hopes of getting e better deal in free agency, and relying on your 2009 numbers to do so. You were busting your ass out there today, and although we can go back and forth on when you should've had your surgery, you were giving it your best effort. You were getting open, throwing downfield blocks, and showing emotion. Had Brett Favre not airmailed two or three throws in your direction, you could've had 100 yards and possibly a TD. Thank you. Your effort didn't go unnoticed.
Ray Edwards, DE. Edwards, like Rice, was out there competing long after it looked like most of the team wasn't. When he got a sack after the game was out of reach, he didn't do a patented Dwayne Rudd 'celebrate a tackle after a guy made a 25 yard gain', either. I hope the Vikings sign Edwards to an extension, because he has been the only consistently good presence on the defensive line in 2010.
Percy Harvin, WR. Percy Harvin is my co-favorite player with Adrian Peterson. Percy Harvin is awesome. That is all.
The Offensive Line: Just terrible today.
The Defensive Line except Ray Edwards: See the entry I just made for 'The Offensive Line'.
Brett Favre: See the first two entries under junk bonds. Another terrible pick, consistently overthrew receivers all day long, and your body language looked like you wanted to be anywhere other than on that sideline. Brett, I appreciate everything you've given to the game, and what you have meant to the NFL for 20 years. Your 2009 season will be looked upon favorably by Vikings fans for many, many years. Long after my Dad is gone, I'll turn stumble across a rerun of a game from the 2009 season and a smile will come across my face and remeber what a hoot we had watching you have the season of your life. But it's time. Thank you for everything you've done, but 2010 has been a bust. It didn't work. I thought it would--most Viking fans thought it would, but it hasn't. It's time for the VIkings to look to the future, and you are not that.
The Secondary, especially...everyone. Chris Cook got burned worse than Richard Pryor freebasing all afternoon. Husain Abdullah dropped a sure pick, then gave up the first of eleven touchdowns to Greg Jennings on the afternoon shortly thereafter. Asher Allen almost got his ass kicked on the sideline by Ray Edwards after he gave up a touchdown, and quite frankly, Aaron Rodgers made the defensive secondary look foolish all day long. I'm almost to the point where if I woke up and read that the Vikings cut everyone not named Antoine Winfield, I wouldn't be too upset.
Buy: Toby Gerhart's aggressive running. Gerhart is coming along, he had a couple of nice catches and he's starting to make thing happen.
Sell: Toby Gerhart's penchant for fumbling the damn ball. But every time Gerhart starts to make things happen, he trips over an air pocket, drops a catchable ball, or fumbles at the end of an exciting play. Gerhart was in no way responsible for the VIkings losing the game Sunday, but it seemed, at leat to me, that after his fumble, there was this 'here we go again' feeling.
Buy: The aggressive running of Adrian Peterson. Peterson is the best back in the NFL. He made some nice runs, a couple of electric cutbacks against the grain that went for big yardage, and looked like he was in for a big day.
Sell: The lack of letting Adrian Peterson be an aggressive runner. But it was all over by the end of the first quarter. Brad Childress invoked the 'Let's Not Run After the First Quarter' strategy, and Peterson pretty much disappeared from the offense, much in the same way the Polish horse cavalry disappeared in the face of the German Panzer divisions in 1939.
Buy: Ryan Longwell's 51 yard FG. Man, that was a thing of beauty.
Sell: Longwell's FG nullified by a penalty. Granted, it wouild've only made the final score 31-6, but that play, was in many ways, the Vikings season in a nutshell. Can't score a TD because of offensive ineptitude the closer you get to the end zone. Kick a field goal, but get it nullified by a stupid penalty. Jim Kleinsasser, I love you man, but that was a dumb penalty. Penalty knocks the VIkings out of FG range, no points, no win, no hope.
Sell: Brad Childress as coach of the VIkings. At this point, Chilly is like the girlfriend you broke up with but doesn't get the hint. You're so exasperated that she won't quit calling, texting, or bugging your sister with the 'why doesn't he love me anymore' bullshit that you really want to set her on fire and put it on YouTube, but your fervent desire to do so is overshadowed at the thought of sharing a cell with the Achmed the Anal Assassin for 26 to life and having THAT put on YouTube. AHHHHHHHH, just go the hell away!!!
Buy: The Interim Coach benching Brett Favre. Leslie Frazier, Darrell Bevell, Fred Zamberletti, Jerry Burns, Montgomery Burns, whoever it is---end the Favre era. Whoever the new coach may be has no loyalty to Favre, unless it's Bevell. Favre is hurting the team, hurting his legacy, and is too proud to know that he is. It's time to move on for both Favre and the Vikings. If the team was 5-5 with a good shot at the post season, I'd say dance with the date you brought. But the Vikings must look to the future to see what they have for 2011 and beyond. Heck, if the new guy wants to start Joe Webb, go for it. What do we have to lose at this point?
Sell: Starting Joe Webb. Yeah, I just said what did we have to lose by starting Webb, but if the Vikes did, that would be a really, REALLY crappy thing to do to Tarvaris Jackson. A couple of times during the Packers game, Fox cut away to TJ, just looking pissed off on the sideline, and you know what he was thinking---I got benched for playing like Favre is, yet he's still out there. And you know something, he's got a legitimate beef. Had TJ played like Favre has, he would've been run out of town on a rail by now. It would've been FUGLY, yet Favre is still starting. Way. Unfair.
Well, my friends, here we are, 3-7. I'd like to tell you that the Vikings are going to run the table and go 9-7 and earn a wild card on the last weekend of the season. We know that isn't happening. We would like that, but we know better. So, where do we go from here? I'll write about that in a few days, but the sandstorm analogy had a purpose. WIth a bad team, an unpopular coach, not a lot of fan support, a big state budget deficit, and politicians that haven't been keen to get a stadium bill passed, this could be the Mother of All Sandstorms.
Skol today, Skol tomorrow, Skol forever.