Sports are not rational in the same way as physics, unless it is perhaps quantum physics, but then, if you’ve never been in the zone, how could this possibly make any sense to you? I once was in a terrible intramural basketball game in college. I was insulted that the other team was so far ahead, no one came to press me in back court. I pulled up in the center circle and put up a 47-foot jump shot. I am not doing next what had been drilled into me, following up on your shot. I am backpedaling.
Why? It’s going in. I call this moonwalk my defense. Yep, nothing but net. How logically does a guy currently having trouble at the foul line know this unconsciously from the moment the ball leaves the fingers? Maybe even sooner? Time warp? The coach is still yelling: "Never do that again!" I am staring back at him silently, but that is because I am certain he knows my words: Why? Are you afraid we might win? I know it’s only the third period…
It’s exactly like the Vulcan mind meld. Sports are weird. Sure, it was the Stone Age back then. Only the ABA had three-pointers. Still, I knew my two was going through. If you don’t like it, chew my shoe..
The past is prologue. I guess you know that Zimmer was 3-1 against the NFC North last year. So before you begin to consider further exactly how berserk a Viking fan I am-- and how disparagingly I doth regard most media sports analysts-- I must remind you that Norv went 2-2 against the NFC North last year, even though the geniuses of management for his previous employer decided that he didn’t really need Trent Richardson, let alone Matt Cassel, for whatever scheme he might deign to attempt.
Odd ducks, those Brownies! Hire a guy you don’t believe in? How do you decide if he’s a witch? I’ll take my duck done Oregon, please. If the last one didn’t work, I’m unfazed.
You need talent, and the talents of an OC involve making sports decisions. You decide which plays work best against each defense. You decide what kind of scheme will work in the NFL, and which player attributes you need to pull it off. You decide how to adapt that playbook to fit the folks on your roster. You decide the best way to teach your system so that the players get it. You decide how various people learn things best. You decide where your next opponent’s weaknesses are. You decide what things will exploit those weaknesses, be they some particular common defensive calls on their part or weak spots in their roster. You basically decide how the opponent will react to certain situations and just how you will eat their lunch when they do so.
Norv will slice and dice the NFC North. Good offenses can stretch the field both vertically and horizontally. If you have the right players, the whole field is available to you. Use it. Make them defend every square inch of turf between you and a score. Turn the tables. The more they have to run, the less energy they have in the fourth quarter. The offense knows which routes are most sincerely intended; a defense has to cover them all, unless they have illegal espionage going for them or a death wish. Decide to keep the Commissioner’s phone number handy. Sports decisions are how coaches make a living, but It’s like X-files. Trust no one who’s not on your team. It’s something even paranoids can believe in.
Norv understands this stuff from years of experience as a student of the game and a source of his income. He knows it the way that character Malone knew the "Chicago Way" in that old Untouchables movie of 27 years back: "They pull a knife; you pull a gun. " Yes Mr. Capone, you look tough and very determined. How is that tax return of yours looking? Whenever they dip you in the River Styx for invulnerability, there’s still this little problem area.
A ticking offense is all about constraints. Every defensive posture has something it is least positioned to stop. Use these constraints. As they say in jujitsu, you can even use their strengths against them. They cheat up to stop Peterson, we go long with Patterson. You cheat back to stop the deep ball, we hit you in the midsection with Jennings or Rudolf. You play it straight inside the box; we let All Day express his appreciation for that approach. You seem tired and slowing down, now? Let us show you that McKinnon is not and won’t be. Yes, it’s the Twilight Zone. You’re being outcoached.
You decide to sack our quarterback; we go with two tight ends and a quick release. You think you have the answer? Maybe you don’t even know the questions which you’re about to receive.
A poor workman blames his tools. A master craftsman (with great tools thrown in to boot) makes you a great looking tombstone. It’s time to write the next chapter in Viking history. Enough said. It’s the off season doldrums. (This is just the part wherein I laugh maniacally a lot.)
Enjoy training camp, my NFC enemies. Yes, pleasant dreams! Keep in mind just how lowly the media seem to regard the Vikings. That’s right. No problem, they have these new systems to learn and such.
At Pearl Harbor, the American military experts knew the waters there were far too shallow for dropping torpedoes from planes. (Then again, they forgot those ancient ideas that wood floats and it is not all that hard to attach it to fins adequately. Teach technique. This stuff works.)
You can really learn a lot at the movies. You still think I have no horse to ride on here?
"If she weighs the same as a duck…"
"She’s made of wood!!!"
"Who are you, who are so wise in the ways of science?"
"I am Arthur, King of the Britons."
(Royal hint: Watch out for those white bunnies, you twit.)