As the Vikings enter the off-season, they have the two most important positions that need to be filled, head coach and quarterback. If you believe my father...and really, you should because Don Glover drops knowledge bombs like B-52's drop regular bombs...they haven't had a good coach since Bud Grant retired. In some ways, he's right. The Vikings have yet to get back to the Super Bowl, and the Vikes need a guy that can take them there.
And if you also believe my father regarding the quarterback position, they haven't had a good one since Fran Tarkenton, except Brett Favre in 2009 and Randall Cunningham in 1998. Again, in many regards, he has a point. The Vikings need a coach and quarterback combination that will end this Super Bowl drought; this curse, if you believe in that kind of thing.
As many of you know, for as much as I love the Vikings, I'm almost as big a fan of Ohio State football, too, and college football in general. One of the most fascinating things I've watched is the rise, fall, rise, fall, and rise again of one Robert Petrino, the once and future coach of the University of Louisville.
No, I'm not upset that the Vikings didn't hire Bobby Petrino; on the contrary, I think the dude is kinda sleazy, and I want him to win at Louisville so he can unseat Bret Bielema at Arkansas in a couple seasons, anyway. Because karma.
The reason I even mention Petrino is so I can segue into quite possibly the most awesome quote I've ever heard from an NFL coach not named Jerry f***in' Burns. You see, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer was on Petrino's staff when Petrino was the Atlanta coach, and he has some pretty blunt feelings about how Petrino left the Falcons with three games left in their season to take the Arkansas job. Oh, it's as NSFW as it is awesome. And it's WAY awesome:
Love Mike Zimmer (NSFW quote) pic.twitter.com/OgZ6NNb73g— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanDN) January 8, 2014
Just in case you can't read that, here it is. Again, way WAY NSFW:
"He's a gutless bastard. You can quote that. I don't give a s--t."
When told by the reporter he was talking to that his paper might not allow him to use the word 'bastard', Zimmer said:
"How about this, gutless moth-----er. You can use that."
Please, in the name of Benchwarmer Bob, Wasswa Serwanga, and Norm Van Brocklin, please PLEASE hire Mike Zimmer to be the coach of the Minnesota Vikings. A guy with that kind of DGAF attitude makes me think he will kick ass and take names, and get the Vikings headed in the right direction.
Now, for the quarterback position. The Vikings currently sit at 8th in the draft, and there are a lot of quarterbacks to like. Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Jordan Lynch, Derek Carr...they all have qualities that make you think 'yeah, I like that guy. He'd be all right'.
But there's only one quarterback to love, and that's Johnny Manziel. I know the name 'Manziel' instantly evokes a wide range of emotion, and that's okay. Manziel is a budding superstar, made in the image of the ESPN hype machine, and Manziel is buzz.
And the Vikings, who are moving into a new palace soon, are going to need to generate a buzz about their football team if Zygi Wilf is going to sell some of those pricey PSL's. No disrespect to Matt Cassel, but Cassel doesn't sell tickets. Johnny Manziel will sell tickets. Lots and lots of tickets.
But he's also good. Really, really good. I admit, I was not a Manziel fan heading into this year, at all. The main reason is purely fan related stuff--I didn't want Manziel to win a second Heisman trophy, because I wanted OSU great Archie Griffin to keep that honor for himself. Childish? Sure. Typical fan reaction? I say proudly and emphatically, yes. As to the off-season stuff, meh. The 'Johnny Football' behavior seemed immature and childish, but you know what? In a typical Vikings off season, the stuff Manziel did we call 'Thursday' in Minnesota. I watched him play, and I love his game.
He reminds me, in so many ways, of St Francis of Bloomington. He never gives up on a play, he's always looking downfield, and with the football in his hands, I don't think you feel like his team is ever out of it. And we'll be able to use this gif, repeatedly:
Yes, the Vikings have a lot of issues to deal with regarding the defense, and we'll be bringing you plenty of information, and spill a lot of digital ink, discussing free agency and the rest of the draft. But when you boil it all down, the future of the Vikings, probably for the next decade, rests on two positions--the next head coach, and the next quarterback.
Hire Zimmer. Draft Manziel. And let's hang on and ride this wave to shore or into the mouth of a hungry Great White Shark. Because either way, it's going to be a thrill a minute.