If you with patient ears attend, making your way in the NFL sure can take a lot, but when you draw three aces, gamblers, your inclination to fold diminishes. At least, I think that's what Kenny Rogers was singing on the train bound for nowhere.
The pre-preseasonal spring has sprung, so fire up! Ragnar wants you! Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The time arrives once more to hoist our mighty sail, emblazoned “Valhalla or Bust.” Purple dreamers, rise up and bring your mighty roar into battle!
This is not mystic, crystal vision. Don’t try staring into your sunstone to get things to line up. I do intend here to transmit the transcendent, football truth by any harmonic means necessary, but the real X-factor involved is faith. The logical paradigm applicable in our case is that faith is the lens which triggers all the other good, good, good, good vibrations into an advanced propulsion system which then takes us to victory. Yes, Brian, I’m talkin’ ‘bout excitation.
The Vikings are poised to turn the tables. While you read these lyrically stirred but not shaken paragraphs, the year 2013 for the Minnesota Vikings metaphorically leaves the shimmering Scandinavian-West shore, to boldly split infinitives with a Dane ax (or with a Wolfbear sword, should that be your steely weapon of choice, Dan) and to cleave asunder any foreign words and deeds of all those formidable foes whom they will encounter upon the gridiron, come hell or high water, human or otherwise. There’s gold involved here, whether you see it in the costumes or not.
Now that the first round of the draft is known, this might be a good time to ask our Berserker football minds, “What’s it all about, Alfie?” My hunch is that those fools who were prepared for a wobbly Viking ship being rowed along solely by an over-burdened All-Day-tripper are in for some real shockers. Kindly watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat, Rock.
On the surface, many things appear to the untrained observer to just be just coincidences, such as there being both earthquakes and gold in California. Actually, those two things are not unrelated. You see, deep below the surface, superheated water is under tremendous pressure, the conditions which make gold aquatically soluble. Earthquakes break the rock layers, resulting in the water shooting upward, changing the environmental conditions, such that gold precipitates out of the solution, and it falls into the cracks, which become veins of gold.
Following that, things become “miner” details.
Pay no attention to the team’s critics. They’re all wrong-- I know they are. Remember that despite the bright neon lights down on Broadway, Joe was never one to listen to such sad things as are said in Vegas and should clearly stay there. If you don’t give the Vikings more than a seven in your own rating system, I urge you to reconsider now! Jump upon the Bandstand to dance along with Sven and Ole! If you have not been alive forever, writing the very first song, I realize you may not even recall the ‘80’s, when Wendy’s suddenly attacked that unprepared guy at the rival fast food counter, who--when asked about the nature of the chicken ingredient contained in their pitiful meal--responded, “Parts is parts,” which leads us to our first salient point.
Dagnabbit, a football team (like many other things) is far more than the sum of its parts! It’s not whether the parts per se are good enough; it’s about whether they play well with others and if all the coaches involved can teach the entire lot how this game is about the control of basically three things: a ball, time, and space. The success of a system is not really a matter of whether your Rube Goldberg machine looks pretty; it is rather whether there is some workable method to your 60 minutes of madness placed under implementation. Do your gears mesh, or are you just overly fond of your sparkling teeth in the mirror? Dentitionists of the world unite and mark my words: Your bite had better be much worse than your bark in this league.
On the voyage into the mists of eternity, Isaac Newton wrote in a letter to his rival, “If I have seen further than other men, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Quite remarkable indeed it was, not because in truth Sir Isaac had never lived in the Big Apple and never had observed the spectrum of an NFL franchise, but rather because he was a notable egomaniac and in light of the shear common knowledge that this knighted, English physicist copied those written words verbatim in Latin from Metalogicon by John of Salisbury, a man whom he had never met, due of course to the time difference involved.
Or had he??? Oooh, it makes me wonder…
Anyway, success is not snatching miracles out of thin air; it’s about completing the puzzle. “Sure, knowledge is power,” my skeptical reader may concede to me, but how do we mere mortals know that during the darker hours of our fated football journey--as in the travels of the ancient hare--we won’t be taking the wrong turn at Albuquerque? (Okay, I had warned you, mes amies, et voilà, zee wascally wabbit.)
Alas, poor magic does not amaze the trained magician! Half a league onward, deeper into the fray of elucidation!
There are often untried ways of defeating your opponents that have arisen over the history of this sport which have confounded those thinking that improvements in gridiron methodology must advance along an invariant, preset theme. Those of a mind that this NFL is strictly a modern passing league should recall that the forward pass itself is well over a century into its cobwebbed agedness, older than the NFL itself.
As for the doubting Thomas who is concerned with coaches being out of touch, remember that in 1995, Bill Belichick was deemed to be too incompetent by many reporters to be coaching in the NFL. Few remember Edison for the many defective light bulbs he made.
A design works when it actually works, whether it is patentable or not. Further back in time, another former Giant defensive coordinator once swept into power and hit opponents with offensive plays which you knew were coming but could not stop. This shows you can win by just doing something the opponents are unprepared to thwart.
In a somewhat different story, a former Ohio high school coach, previously from a middling town with a state hospital for the insane in its midst, while later in his second professional football management act and indeed acting out of a shear, medical, mother-of-all-inventions-style necessity, found a scheme in which he could beat you, even though he could neither at the moment Otto-magically throw deep on you nor crush you with a former lacrosse player out of Syracuse (a character whom, in a somewhat Dickensian manner, we will actually view later in this thrill-packed episode.) They’d sashay down the field merrily hitting you where you weren’t.
Old Viking fans recall this scheme of offensive success, which the league was then unprepared to beat. A reporter would later mistakenly grab from an interview the utterance of one Bernie Kosar and carelessly slap a long-lasting-if-misplaced name onto the style: the West Coast Offense. It’s only words, B. G.. What can a pocket full of mumbles do? Don’t make Paul Muad’Dib say his name, folks. It’s just a killer. (How am I Dune?)
Scandinavia-West kids, our Viking homies just don’t play that West Coast show no more. The answer to our question of the benefits of effective speech patterns lies in the fact that they have gone to a 21st century blend of the Erhardt school of thought. Last year, the Vikings thus learned a new language of play-calling, which will put them in good stead for going no-huddle. Remember, Edison’s persistence actually did make the lights come on, or as that guy Vince once said, “…perfect practice makes perfect.”
There is always a poor soul in the cloud crowd who had been lulled into tweeting that without Harvin and Jenkins, the Vikings will only have a geriatric Jennings to catch their passes. This sucker’s story could not have been crafted better for us in the Soviet Politburo propaganda room. Ever heard of Cordarrelle Patterson? Simpson and Childs were only injured last year, not in fact eaten in some camping disaster at Donner Pass. Being the MVP of the Hawaiian Pro Bowl may not grab some folk’s attention, but the Rudolph mentioned in our song is not the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Wright may not be Harvin, but he is was also not a guy staggering along on crutches. Musgrave 3.3 may have some new features to deploy.
Wait, some of you say the more creative element of surprise is what you prefer? Originality you say? Now I ask you very confidentially in your own humble football mind was the better coach named : “Knute Rockne” or “Walt Disney “or “Agatha Christie”? Do you not crave an effective elixir of sweet synchronicity and counter-punching over the cruel stench of supercalifragilisticexpialidociousness? Are we baking a cake here or merely hiring some quantum mechanic who is claiming a mysterious, unrecognized, digital certificate from Online U.? (Just asking; no need to get upset...)
Like any good non-sequitur or horribly mangled budgetary sequestration, I too have suffered the fervid quotes of many giants and raving heretics. Yes, my fellow fanatics, I confess the baseball-bigoted George Will’s old quip was presciently made fit enough by him to fit neatly into a tweet: “Football combines the worst things in American life: It is violence punctuated by committee meetings.” On the down side, George, Bo knows you don’t know Jack. There is on this heavenly, yard-marked earth a no-huddle offense not dreamt of in your philosophy.
Why do fans get so fanatic about this sport across America and over the bounding waves? It’s just a game, the fools may utterly utter. They claim I suffer from double vision? Take us away swiftly, Tom. To Oblivion, Ramble on!
Ask yourself this: Is the aforesaid sport of football but a merely advanced Rock’em-Sock’em Robots type of user content for us, wherein, from outside the plastic ring, we peep about to find ourselves dishonorable mechanical drone proxies’ punches, until such time as someone’s block is off? No! These aren’t the droids you you’re looking for! Read on, Macduff. Stands Scotland where it did?
Football is a pondering, interactive story, steeped in economics, and slow-roasted over an open fire of mankind’s billowing emotions. (If any of you survivors of this preseason diatribe are cheered enough at this point and know your English soccer song by heart, you may sing it loudly here. Whatever gets you through the night of the iguana?) There will be fireworks on display after the game here. To help you set them off with your clicker, I'll shoot in some arrows with which to target them.
Conflicts exist scattered all about us, in football and in life, but let’s make the game slow down and not lose our heads to the Red Queen. Evolution is about survival of the fittest, but that is not the “fittest” as dreamt of in the mind of some fool in the Eugenics Movement, even if he has somehow crossed the Atlantic in a Ryan and had a full-sized replica of the plane hung in a major Minnesotan airport. Big deal! Don’t kidnap the baby with the bathwater! It is about survival in the prevailing environment. Aye, there’s the rub, for, in that sleep between our starting whistle and the final gun, what dreams may come?
How shall we tweak the roster? Let me count the ways …or not. Who knows if our Mike is not some guy we already know whose name begins with a vowel, rather that a newcomer with a fake girlfriend? Good time Charlie knows some species not only change themselves in a manner befitting the shifting sands of the environment, some species make wholesale modifications of the environment itself, even in such wondrous ways as are quite fatal to themselves or others.
Confused, you say? Balderdash! You don’t need a vacation to Galapagos to dig it. It’s all about fit and finish, my seafaring friends. If things don’t fit, you don’t finish.
Football is war! It is not a riot. Don’t bring a knife to our gun fight! There are rules, even if people often break them and get tried in The Hague (a definite article second only to The Ohio State University). The Commissioner is watching. Be on guard as you sally forth, and don’t get caught holding. Der Kommisar’s in town! Possession is at least a misdemeanor, not nine tenths of a first down. One more offense, and you’re going on suspension, dude, whether you claim they are diet pills or not.
So, we have in hand a revised 2013 NFL rulebook and the team schedules. (I respectfully note that The Black Hole located across Mount Diablo from my current residence now mourns that they alone will ever suffer the slings and arrows of the super-outrageous Tuck Rule.) We have beheld the very basis for the Viking’s dawning starting line-up as well as the dull but horny line of their secret decoder uniforms. Are you ready for some Nordic-American football, U. K.? Quo vadis? Slice, dice, and julienne those Terrible Towels from their loins and expose their shortcomings!
Fans, there is more than one way to skin a pig. Coach Frasier now will control the horizontal and the vertical for another season of all that you see and hear. That’s a goalpost up ahead: your next stop, the End Zone. Decision of The Judge is final. It takes an old Goat to float your boat, even in Minnetonka. Put down your toy trucks and lap dancers for a minute, and get hip to the cogitation. Defensive backs may come and defensive backs may go. What are you going to do about it, Garfunkel and Oates?
In conclusion, while we take a time out now for a measurement, you may break out your Al Pacino videos of the “Inch“ speech from => Any Given Sunday and just be done with it. Jim Brown (#32), despite getting his arms crossed, will silently get up from the pile again for another effort, even if L. L. Cool J (#33) calls it a rap. (Programs, man? Get your programs here! You just won’t know your crap without my jiggy killer ap.) L.T., Jamie, Dennis, and cycle-driven people everywhere, mount your Segways!
Yes, it’s a team sport, my friends. All of us are stronger than any of us. Make of it what you will. Don’t get fleeced, Jason. Whittle down the roster, my fellow Argonauts. Test your prototype in the murky waters of the preseason. Set sail for adventure. Go for it! Clichés abound for everyone, on the house: Know what I’m talking about? After all, we all have to go sometime. We have more up our new sleeves than a newly drafted receiver. The emperor is not as naked as you think. Behold the fully operational Death Star! Some may forget in all the chatter that Joe Webb can catch and has 4.4 speed. Think our offense is defenseless, oh, you demented Cheeseheads? Think again.
Let the games begin! Into the valley of death rode the six hundred. Too many men on the field. There will be another time out. Take it away, Al. Do you believe in miracles? => Only in Minnesota, coach.
(Yes, I was in the middle of a football fight song once, and a hockey game suddenly broke out.)
Forget about those car keys, buddy, but we shall take no prisoners!!! Pillage the entire league!
Let our endeavors fit the time. To every thing, there is a season. In a frontal assault, our history marches on until it runs out the clock. From the rear, our future hits you relentlessly with its high-capacity magazines, hither and yon, while you struggle to reload your weary defense inside the church of what’s happening now.
Our meager opponents, the choice is yours; however, the result is ours! Name that tune, turkeys! We are the Vikings, my friend! We’ll just keep on fighting, period--end of discussion. You’re only putting in a nickel, and you want a dollar song. Ain’t happening on our watch, Mickey Mouse! And we’re climbing a stairway to… the => Immigrant Song.
That’s the rocking boat in which we find ourselves, Floki. Skol, brother! Raze down our house, and in two years time, it shall be raised up again! Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and someone’s awfully glad you came, and who happens to blow a really mean gjallarhorn!
Now people, get out there and flat-out come into my life with the sound of music!!! You can’t tell me we can’t still run the damned von Trapp play and basically win it all!