An Open Letter To Bernard Berrian

Dear Mr. Berrian,

Before I get too far into things, I understand that you placed a phone call to John Kriesel and apologized for the remarks you made to him during the now infamous Twitter exchange that took place between the two of you after yesterday's game, or at least that the two of you have exchanged voice mail messages. I commend you for that. . .however, the exchange that took place speaks to a larger issue, and one that I've seen expressed from you on previous occasions.

You, sir, through the choices you've made throughout the course of your life, are a public figure. I, too, am a public figure, but obviously not nearly to the extent that you are. As a public figure, you are subject to criticism.  It appears that that's where the issue comes in.

I understand that you're a world class athlete, and I'm just some guy with a website that hasn't played organized sports since high school. Acknowledged and understood. However, there are people out there that spend their weeks working incredibly hard, and on the weekends look to yourself and your Minnesota Vikings' teammates to provide them a little bit of enjoyment and an escape from the daily grind. To put it more simply, sir, these individuals. . .myself included. . .pay your salary. Whether it's buying tickets, jerseys, food at games, or the Sunday ticket package for those of us further away, we all play a part in this.

The argument that we lack the right to be critical of you or anyone else because we have never played professional football is, quite frankly, dubious at best and completely ludicrous at worst. Let me put this into another perspective. . .I don't know the first thing about making movies. Not producing them, not directing them, not starring in them, or whatever else. But if I put down my $8 or $10 or whatever it is and I think the movie that I just spent an hour and a half to two hours watching was terrible, I have every right to say that it was terrible or the director was terrible or the acting was terrible. And if the director or the actors want to get all angry or whatever because I said the movie was terrible, that's their right, too.

Rest assured, I don't begrudge you your right to defend yourself. You have every right to do so. Seriously, though, I understand that you're unhappy with the level of production that you've put up this year. . .hell, if we're unhappy with it, I know you must be outright pissed off. But the only reason that the proverbial slings and arrows are being fired is because we all want better from you and the rest of your teammates. It's not borne out of hatred, but rather out of frustration. After the past couple of years, these fans are hungry for a winner. . .and, damn it all, they deserve one.

A lot of this also has to do with the fact that there are a great deal of us that realize that this is, potentially, the last season that this team could be the Minnesota Vikings, as the team's lease with the Metrodome is up this year. With the way the team has been performing this season, the likelihood of a bill for a new stadium getting passed decreases with every loss. Now, I know that that might not mean a heck of a lot to someone such as yourself. . .honestly, I don't know if it does. But it means a hell of a lot to those of us who have lived and died with this team for as long as we've been football fans. . .and, in some cases, longer than either one of us have been alive.

I can tell you, sir, I don't dislike you in any way or anything like that, nor am I a "hater." What I am, however. . .and what most other fans of the Minnesota Vikings are. . .is frustrated as hell. With the way social media is today, people have a forum with which to express their displeasure with that, whether it's with your performance on an individual level or that of the team as a whole. But, as I said, that's because we simply. . .want. . .better. Both from you and from the team as a whole.

Here's hoping that, over the course of the final 12 games of the 2011 season, all of us get what we want.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Christopher Gates
Head Blogger, The Daily Norseman and SB Nation Minnesota

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