First off, let me apologize for two things. Number one, this story is a couple of days old- been slackin', I know. Rail on it below in the comments, you will receive no punishment for speaking the truth. Secondly, this is one of my ‘Mister Sunshine' stories. If you don't get that reference... it's a sarcastic title.
So, if the title sounds like something you've already heard/ read, it is. And if you're just not OK with another ‘downer' story... don't read on.
Story after the jump, in order to give everyone the full and fair chance to avert their eyes.
As has been reported, Christian Ponder, our future HoF, multiple SB winning QB, took the initiative to organize the first group workouts for the Vikings' offense. Ponder also had apparently Xeroxed as many copies of the new playbook he received as he could, apparently with the intention of passing them out to the players in attendance.
All sounds like important stuff, right? The first team workouts, the chance to meet and learn about the new QB, and a free copy of a new playbook that the majority of our players have yet to be privy too.
Well, apparently the majority of our veterans disagreed. Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian, Visanthe Shianco, and Lorenzo Booker all failed to show, for various reasons. That's right, not one of the primary targets that Ponder will likely be relying upon (with the exception of Kyle Rudolph, who did feel it was important enough to show up) were there. Those who showed up go by names of Hank Baskett and Greg Lewis. Greg Camarillo, who will likely be on the team and will probably be a viable target from time to time, did show, and I'd like to take a second here to give credit to him for that.
Ponder deserves a bit of credit here too. He took it like a man, like a leader, and claimed responsibility for ‘poor planning'. Now, we fans knew well in advance that these workouts were happening, so I'm going to go ahead and guess that the no-shows knew as well. So I really don't know how much ‘bad planning' would be a factor here. If one or two weren't able to make the date, I can understand that. But at this number... some guys were just being lazy, or were too egotistical to give the new guy the time of day, neither of which bodes well.
Still, it would have been very easy for Ponder to gripe and moan about the situation, and he chose to take the high road. Very impressive. I'm sure he was gritting his teeth as he said it, but regardless, he said the right thing. When things fall apart and don't go as planned, it's up to the leader to take responsibility, whether that's fair or not. So bonus points right out the gate for Ponder- he showed the leadership to organize some workouts, and he showed the leadership to claim responsibility when all did not go as well as planned. Sounds like a guy who will be OK under center, Dilfer be damned.
There are already more workouts planned for the future, and hopefully some of those no-shows will go ahead and correct this, do the right thing, and show up. If this becomes a trend, however, I do hope that Leslie Frazier prepares a few words in advance for those who consistently don't make it for when he's allowed to have contact with players again. And hopefully, a few words for Ponder, Camarillo, Rudolph, and those who did show as well.
And if Rudolph and Camarillo get more looks and passes than some of the veterans when the season rolls around... I hope those veterans think long and hard about just why that's happening.