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Gonzo Opens Up the Mailbag

Got an interesting e-mail not more than half an hour ago from one of you fine readers out there.  I'm not going to throw their name out here or anything like that (they can feel free to identify themselves if they like), but I am going to share the e-mail with you, because I think it's something that needs to be discussed.  And it can apply not only to the Vikings, but to sports in general.  Here's the e-mail, uncut, right from my Inbox.

I read Mark Craig's blog about Vikings fans yesterday for the Strib web site. He took shots at Vikings fans for being hard on Childress.
It seems the boos on Childress has took a life out of its own as it has become a sports radio topic fodder and it become a story in the Twin Cities newspapers. I am not sure why it's an issue. To me, I had no problem with the Metrodome fans booing Childress. Childress has earned his boos. This is a coach that promised disciplined and organization in his introductory press conference not to mention this coach decided to take shots at Mike Tice's leadership in the day that he took the job. This is a coach that has talked about his offense as "Kick-Ass Offense" This is a coach that wasted a year or two of the veterans' whose clock is ticking to win a championship by throwing Tarvaris Jackson out there. This team has been unwatchable under Childress. This is a coach who seems confused often in the sidelines (see that game against the Saints on Monday Night Football)
I have been one of those critics that have been on Tim Brewster, but after Saturday's impressive victory against Illinois, Brewster has earned the respect of the fans and critics such as me. Childress has not earned it.
For Mark Craig (I actually enjoyed reading him in the Strib) and anyone to tell us how to behave and such was uncalled for.
I don't blame anyone for booing Childress. I have not been happy with his body of work. The fact that Mike Tice is being now looked as a great coach with the Vikings says a lot about how bad Childress is. If I have to give a grade of Childress' work in his two and a half years, it would be D right now.
Childress may be the worst coach this franchise ever had. That's saying something.
It takes a lot for Minnesotans to boo. It's about time Minnesotans stop acting like Minnesota Nice and act like a big-time sports town, and it was about time on Sunday.
What's your take on Mark Craig's rant and what was your take on the fans' behavior on Sunday?

The Mark Craig column in question can be seen here.

To be honest, I've never had a problem with fans at sporting events conducting themselves in any manner that they see fit.  With the price of tickets at sporting events these days, I can totally understand the justification of those that would say that they're entitled to their own behavior.  Just don't go throwing your beer on me or involving me in your behavior, and things will be fine.

On a personal level, I don't get overly worked up when I attend a sporting event live, largely for exactly the same reason.  If I'm going to pay for decent seats, spend the insane prices that the stadium authorities charge for food and souvenirs and stuff, I'd like to generally try to make the experience as positive as possible.  That was, at least, a small part of why I didn't attend the game in New Orleans a couple of weeks back.  Sure, I could have gotten a ticket in the $40-50 range, but it would have required the services of a sherpa, two mountain goats, and an oxygen tank to get to my seat, not to mention the gas I would have burned on the 180-mile round trip from my house to New Orleans.  When the alternative was sitting back in my recliner (or, as I spent most of the game, live-blogging with all of you folks) watching my 65" HDTV with a six-pack of Mountain Dew in the fridge, the choice was pretty simple.

Don't get me wrong. . .in my house, as those that have ever been brave enough to watch Vikings games with me will attest, I will swear, I will throw things, and I will get all kinds of angry.  I can't bring myself to do that sort of thing at the stadium.  Why?  Because going to a sporting event is supposed to be an experience, as I said earlier.  A positive experience.  As I've recounted on this site before, my dad, two of my brothers, and I were fortunate enough to attend Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.  As great as the game was. . .and it IS still the greatest game of the greatest World Series in baseball history, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. . .one of the lasting memories I have of the whole thing isn't connected to the game in any meaningful way.  No, one of the things i remember is the guy that sat a couple of rows in front of us that wound up getting so drunk that, by the time the game was over, he couldn't even walk down the stairs of the Dome.  Sufficient to say, he conducted himself like a jackass the entire night.

Personally. . .I don't want to be that guy.  There's no benefit to being that guy.

That's my personal take on the subject.  Unlike Mark Craig, I'm not going to tell you how to conduct yourself.  The majority of people that read this site are big boys and big girls, and they can conduct themselves in whatever way makes them feel happy.  If you want to boo Brad Childress and call him names and threaten to shoot his dog, if it makes you feel better in some way, then by all means, that's entirely up to you.  Hell, I've done that in the privacy of my home before. . .except the dog-shooting part.

(Okay. . .please, please, PLEASE don't do the dog-shooting thing.  Don't threaten it, and definitely don't follow up on it.  This isn't Green Bay.)

But, in the end, you have to answer to yourself.  If you can live with your conduct and any potential consequences, then go crazy.  I won't tell you not to.

I certainly hope that all made sense. . .I'm still knocking back NyQuil shots over here like I'm Amy Winehouse or something.  I'll revisit this in the morning, and if clarification is necessary, I'll do it at that time.  Until then, enjoy the rest of your Wednesday night, ladies and gentlemen!