Guy in purple hat: "Hey, I just heard that the Vikings deactivated Bernard Berrian!" Guy without hat: "WHOA!" Guy in camo hat: "Coach Frazier, if you were responsible for this, you da man!" Partially hidden girl: "Why the heck did it take you until Week 5 to bench this guy?" (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
In a development that shouldn't have been nearly as surprising as most of us took it to be, the Minnesota Vikings deactivated Bernard Berrian for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals. The reason that it shouldn't have been surprising is that Berrian has just two catches in
four five games this season for the Vikings. The reason that it was surprising was the fact that, even though he hasn't produced in a year and a half, Vikings' coach Leslie Frazier seemed to have a really strange devotion to the guy that he had deemed to be the deep threat in the Minnesota offense for this season.
Now, I know that last week I wrote this open letter to Bernard Berrian, in which I expressed the hope that he would be able to turn his season around and make a positive contribution to the team. However, in the formulation of that letter, I made a pretty severe miscalculation.
I made the assumption that Bernard Berrian still gave a rat's posterior about anyone other than himself.
Apparently, this is not the case.The St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting that the reason for Berrian's deactivation was not for performance reasons, although Lord knows that performance reasons would be more than solid enough justification for it. No, it turns out that the reason was disciplinary. However, it had nothing to do with his Twitter exchange with Rep. John Kriesel earlier this week. Rather, it was because Berrian missed not one, but two meetings at the team hotel on Saturday. . .one for the team as a whole, and one that was offense-specific. . .leaving Frazier with little choice but to leave Berrian on the sidelines for Saturday's game. I mean, he doesn't even have the excuse of being in a road city where he might have gotten lost and gotten back late or something. . .no, this was for a home game, and dude simply didn't show up.
Seriously, you're a receiver on a team that was 0-4 going into Sunday's action that had two catches in the first four games, despite being on the field for over 200 snaps. And you're under the impression that you don't have to show up at meetings now? Particularly for a coach that has, inexplicably, justified and enabled your self-centered, "me first" behavior for the first four weeks of the year and has kept putting you out on the field despite the fact that you may, in fact, be the single least-productive player in the National Football League?
To hell with that, and to hell with Bernard Berrian. Devin Aromashodu showed more heart, fight, and guts in one game than Berrian has shown in the last year and a half. Did Aromashodu drop a pass or two? Yeah, he did. He also fought like hell on one of his receptions where Donovan McNabb scrambled around for a while and came back to him for a 21-yard pass, and made a very nice adjustment on a fluttering pass from McNabb that turned into a 60-yard pitch-and-catch to slow Arizona's momentum in the second half. I'd rather roll with a guy that has his ups and downs while fighting like heck than a guy that doesn't give a damn and apparently has a serious entitlement complex.
It's not as though he's not capable of hustling. . .after all, when he left his BlackBerry on an ATM in Las Vegas earlier this year, he had no problem with busting his tail to track it down. And when the folks at Kissing Suzy Kolber did some "mock tweets" after the Berrian/Kriesel confrontation, he showed some serious speed in slapping them with a lawsuit. But when it comes to the football field or something else that's related to the team? Nah, man. . .that's too much to ask for.
Seriously, if any of us were as bad at our job as Bernard Berrian has been at his for the last couple of seasons, our employers would have put us out on our rear ends a long time ago. . .especially if we had as many excuses as "B-Twice" seems to have. The fact that he made clear on Saturday that he, basically, doesn't even care, only makes things worse. If Berrian is as awesome as he keeps telling everybody he is, then he should have no trouble finding another job when the Vikings send him packing.
After the events of this weekend, I can only hope that we're significantly closer to that event taking place.