Any other year, I'd be reveling in the fact that the Vikings got their bye week on Week 9, smack dab in the middle of the NFL season. Eight games before the bye, eight games after the bye--perfect, right? When the schedule was first released that was actually one of the first things I noticed. If NFL teams could choose their bye weeks, I guarantee that most of them would choose Week 9 to split the season evenly.
This time around, I really wish the Vikes would have had it earlier. Perhaps after their Week 3 collapse against the Lions? Or maybe after their Week 4 loss to the Chiefs? If Minnesota's bye week fell earlier in the season, perhaps the plug would have been pulled sooner on a certain not-just-over-the-hill-but-already-rolled-down-to-the-bottom-of-it quarterback and the Christian Ponder era could have started when the team still had a realistic chance at the playoffs.
But there's no use griping about the past. We can only look forward. Since there's no game to look forward to this weekend, I figured I'd have a little fun and try to come up with some headlines for the Vikings that I hope to see in the near future. For instance, a new Vikings stadium is the hot-button issue in Minnesota right now. Here's a blurb from a story I hope the Star Tribune runs before we play the Packers next week:
BILL FOR ARDEN HILLS STADIUM GETS PASSED AFTER KURT ZELLERS HAS RADICAL MEDICAL PROCEDURE
After months of debate and political stonewalling, legislature has finally been passed to build a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings in Arden Hills. The turning point in the deal is widely believed to revolve around a groundbreaking surgery the Minnesota State Representative Kurt Zellers underwent a few days ago. Officially "called cranial-rectal displacement", the procedure safely removed Zeller's head from his colon.
"It's amazing how much my vision and cognitive reasoning skills have improved since the surgery," Zellers claimed. "I spent such a long time with my head all the way up my [redacted], which obviously affected how I dealt with the stadium situation. It took a few days to get used to, but I couldn't be happier with the results."
Vikings fans couldn't be happier with the results either.
Read on after the jump for more fake news.
JARED ALLEN SETS NFL BYE WEEK SACK RECORD
They said it wasn't possible, but Jared Allen has made a living out of making the impossible happen. The Vikings defensive end added to his league-leading sack total by somehow recording four sacks during his team's bye week.
"It wasn't as hard as people are making it sound," Allen humbly explained. "The bye week was just sitting there, you know, idly. There wasn't much of a protection scheme around it, so I just went for it."
NFL statisticians originally questioned the veracity of Jared's feat, but quickly declared the sacks official after Allen briefly lined up across the street from NFL headquarters in a three-point stance.
ADRIAN PETERSON LITERALLY RUNS THROUGH BRICK WALLS, CAUSES THOUSANDS IN DAMAGE
Adrian Peterson has had a couple light run-ins with the law in the past thanks to his lead foot behind the wheel. But this time the All-Pro running back has done some real damage.
Peterson was cited for destruction of property by Hennepin County authorities over the weekend. Police found holes resembling cartoonish outlines of a large, chiseled human figure in several downtown Minneapolis brick buildings. Peterson was brought in for questioning when he was found covered in debris and light sweat just hours after the incidents were reported.
"I was just tryin' to stay sharp during the bye week," Peterson explained. "I thought the buildings were marked for demolition so I was just trying to give the city a head start. If you think that's bad, you should see how I train in the offseason."
The Vikings star is expected to pay for all damages and donate any fines that may be handed down to charity.
DONOVAN MCNABB STILL SEETHING ABOUT LACK OF PLAYING TIME IN WEEK 9
It has been a rough season for Donovan McNabb, and it didn't get any better for him during the bye week. Although the Vikings look like a new team with Christian Ponder at the helm, the veteran quarterback still insists that he has a lot of football left in him.
"Our team didn't score a single point this week," McNabb exclaimed. "I know my numbers might not be what they were at the beginning of my career, but for us to get shut out while I'm sitting on the bench is tough for me to accept."
When a reporter politely tried to explain that the Vikings didn't score in Week 9 because they didn't play, McNabb bristled. "That's just another example of the media slanting a story against me. I'm just working hard for another opportunity and now people are saying it isn't even possible for me to play this week. I feel great. I'm ready. So why can't I play? But if the coaches won't put me in against Bye, it's really tough to prove myself."
Hopefully that was a fun way to kill some time while you impatiently wait for the Vikings' second battle against Green Bay next week. Here's a way to kill your NFL picks--by going along with my Week 9 NFL selections! (Home teams in ALL CAPS)
Falcons over COLTS: If Peyton Manning is healthy enough to play the last few games of the year, expect Colts management to give him a Vulcan pinch or Austin Powers judo chop to the neck to make sure he doesn't screw up their plans for Andrew Luck.
Jets over BILLS: With AP out this week, the onus is on Fred Jackson to carry my one fantasy team that has a chance at making money this year. Which of course means Rex Ryan will dial up a way to shut Jackson down and pull off the mild upset for the Jets.
TEXANS over Browns: My Survivor Pool pick of the week, now 7-1 after Baltimore came back last week against Arizona. The Browns' offense has looked like...well, something else that's brown the past two weeks, and they might be on their third-string running back. No way they can score enough to keep up with Houston's offense, with or without Andre Johnson.
CHIEFS over Dolphins: Miami is sucking for Luck the right way. They make it look like they're trying to win by getting big leads in the last two games, but then they piss them away just in time to avoid that pesky first win. They're still losing, but it still looks like they give a crap. Savvy move. I'm on to you guys, but your secret's safe with me.
SAINTS over Buccaneers: As long as New Orleans has finally flushed away the turd they left on the field in St. Louis last week. That smelled terrible.
49ers over REDSKINS: The Niners look good, just like the old days! The Skins look terrible, just like always!
TITANS over Bengals: I have officially named Chris Johnson "Trade Herpes" in one of my fantasy leagues. I originally contracted it by drafting him, but then I passed him on to a friend for Andre Johnson. (Yeah, that trade has worked out for neither of us so far thanks to Andre's hamstring.) Even though his new owner was obviously showing symptoms of Trade Herpes, he suckered yet another guy to contract the disease by packaging Trade Herpes with some "Trade Penicillin"--DeSean Jackson. His new owner has relegated Trade Herpes to the bench for now, so hopefully the virus ends there. Because Chris Johnson is itchy.
RAIDERS over Broncos: Whatever the over/under is for interceptions in this game, take the over. Unless both coaches wise up and don't call a single passing play.
Packers over CHARGERS: I had a really good joke lined up for this game. Super simple punchline. Easiest joke in the world. The kind of joke I've done thousands of times. But somehow Philip Rivers dropped it.
Rams over CARDINALS: I'm picking the upset because I'm upset that this game is even happening. Seems like a good time to include our Gratuitous Picture of the Week!
STEELERS over Ravens: [Insert played-out cliché about "there's no love lost between these teams" or "punching the other team in the mouth" or "this is what football's all about" here.]
EAGLES over Bears: If the Eagles offense is hitting on all cylinders again this week, there will be a lot of pissed off fantasy owners that went into Monday night's game with 40+ point leads and still lost.
Last week: 7-6 (Yep, again. Mediocrity guaranteed or your money back.)
Season so far: 70-46