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Vikings At Rams: Stock Market Report

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The Mike Zimmer era started off about as well as you could expect. Everything is pretty much a 'buy', and the beer has never tasted better than it has since 2009.

Not one Rams fan in that picture. Seriously.
Not one Rams fan in that picture. Seriously.
Michael Thomas
ca·thar·sis

kəˈTHärsis
noun
1. the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.
synonyms: emotional release, relief, release, venting
2.  purgation

I've been a Vikings fan since the mid 1970's, as most of you know. I've seen some great football, some terrible football, and all kinds of football in between those extremes. I suffered through more than my fair share of pretty bad football, for the most part, since New Orleans and Brett Favre's god damn throw over the middle, and I've been waiting for a moment where I could expel most of those demons and frustrations of the last five years.

Today, sitting in section 441 of the Edward Jones Dome with my brother Brad, I had such a moment. And it was glorious. Before we go any further, I want to make sure you guys know where I'm coming from: in the Dome, my phone couldn't get a signal, so other than a few Twitter interactions right after the game, and looking up numbers for game statistics, I've watched no highlights, listened to no post game shows (other than Wilf's game ball presentation to Zimmer and Jeff Fisher's presser), and read nothing about this game. So what I'm gonna write isn't filtered through other opinions.

Also, I'm kinda...sorta...maybe...a little bit under the influence of some fine beverages served by Tigin's Irish Pub, right on Washington Avenue, here in the great city of St. Louis. Both pre and post game. And I've purposely done this, because I want to give you my opinion of what I just witnessed, free from other prognosticators, jackasses, and bloggers.

And what I saw today...I liked it. Uh huh, uh huh. Isn't that right, Mr. Freemeyer?


Oh, that's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh
That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh
That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh
That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh

The Mother of God, I love football SMR follows.

Blue Chip Stocks:

The entire Vikings defense, every damn one of them: As fans, we've been subjected to some sorry ass defense the last few seasons. From a defense that bent, broke, and coughed up last minute leads like they were patients in a tuberculosis hospital, we saw something against the Rams that can only be described as organized Chaos and Mayhem. They brought pressure from all over the field, defensive backs actually, you know, intercepted passes, and the Rams didn't know what hit them when it was all said and done. From the stellar run defense, led by Linval Joseph and Shariff Floyd, the ball hawing Vikings secondary (seriously, when did you think you'd read THAT phrase) or the relentless pressure the Vikings brought from the edge, the secondary, or the concession stand right off the concourse I was sitting, the Vikings defense looked as legit a defense as I've seen in these parts in years. YEARS, SON, AND I'M SAYING THAT WITH MY CHEST.

How bad was it? Rams coach Jeff Fisher, in his post game presser (hey, the local news was on) ACTUALLY SAID 'we'll have to review the tape".

The Vikings defense, essentially, turned Jeff Fisher into Leslie Frazier. CATHARSIS BABY!!!!

Cordarrelle Patterson, Wide Receiver, Running Back, Speed Merchant, Matriculator Of The Football: The Vikings offense kind of sputtered early. For every good play they made, they seemed to set themselves back with a bad snap, a penalty, or a missed block. Then, late in the third quarter, the Vikings essentially ended the competitive phase of the game by giving the ball to Patterson on a first down from their own 33, and he went off right tackle for 67 yards and a touchdown. Along the way, Patterson avoided all 11 Rams defenders, seemingly twice, on his way to the end zone. It seemed to break open the game, and the Rams just went into a death spiral after that play.

How impressive was that run? Brad and I were sitting in front of four buddies that went to the game together, and they were HYSTERICAL. Two were Rams fans, one was a Vikings fan, and one was a Bears fan. And he was wearing a Bears shirt and hat, too, because he so DGAF. Anyway, when Patterson broke off that TD run, the Bears fan tapped me on my shoulder, stuck out his hand, and shook Brad's hand, then mine.

"I just want to congratulate you guys on that run. That was big time, and that kid is special. I wish he was on the Bears."

Whoa. His buddy the Vikings fan then high fived us while singing PATTERSON'S GONNA MAKE ME LOSE MY MIND...UP IN HERE UP IN HERE, all while laughing his ass off. Seriously, these guys were friggin' awesome.

Mike Zimmer, Head Coach, Berserker, and The Man Who Killed All Hope In St. Louis: Think back to the time you first met the person you eventually fell in love with and married, if you're so fortunate. And especially if you had just come out of a bad relationship like 6 months before, and it had kind of scarred you. Remember how awesome those feelings were, and you thought that you were going down a path with this person that was going to lead to total awesomeness?  That's kind of where we  are right now, as a fanbase, with Mike Zimmer.

Look, we were a beaten down fan base about December of 2013.  We'd seen bad football and bad coaching, all played in a bad facility that just gave off a vibe of 'man, this sucks'. I'm not saying the Vikings are going to the Super Bowl this year, heck I'm not even saying they're going there next year. But you know where they's NOT going to? Where they were at the end of 2013, and for right now, that's good enough for me. This team has bought into what Mike Zimmer is selling, lock, stock, and barrel, and today it showed. The fact that the team gave him a Gatorade bath, and the owner gave him the game ball should tell you all you need to know about how much respect this guy has in this organization.

Could it all end in a bad divorce, with Rick Spielman throwing Zimmer's shit out in the yard, the cops getting called, and some kind of long, protracted legal proceeding that just depresses the Hell out of your kids to the point they need to see a child psychologist?  Sure, I mean this is the Vikings we're talking about, after all.

But we're not thinking about that right now.  Do you know why? Because we're laughing at the Rams, and we're glad we're not in THAT dysfunctional marriage, that's why. Jesus, what a hot mess those guys are.

Solid Investments:

Matt Cassel, QB: Matt Cassel didn't have eye popping numbers, but the Vikings aren't asking him to give them eye popping numbers. They want him to give the Vikings stability at quarterback, don't turn the ball over, and make a throw when needed to score or sustain a drive. Today, at least for the most part, he did that. He didn't make a bad problem worse on those bad shotgun snaps, he moved the chains and killed the clock when the Vikings got the lead, and he made two really nice touchdown strikes and DIDN'T turn the ball over in the red zone. In short, when he didn't score, he lived to fight another day, and didn't take any points off the board.

Adrian Peterson, RB: AP didn't score on his first touch, like he said he would, but he had a good game. There were three or four different times where he was one tackler away from breaking what would have been a HUGE run, but he never got that last defender beaten. It was a workmanlike 75 yards, and maybe it was me, but he seemed to dance and look for a juke move a little bit more at the point of attack then he normally does.

Greg Jennings, WR: Greg Jennings mad one hell of a circus catch for a TD late in the first half, and it helped the Vikings convert what was an equally impressive circus catch interception by Josh Robinson two plays earlier. Jennings ended up as the Vikings leading receiver in the game, and gave them a huge play right before halftime.

Junk Bonds:

No one on the Vikings: Seriously, the Minnesota Vikings essentially made the St. Louis Rams say 'uncle', on their home field, against one of the better defenses in the NFL. They scored a defensive touchdown on a SWEET ASS Harrison Smith pick six, won a game on the road as an underdog, and they had almost 200 yards rushing. They not only beat the Rams, they broke their spirit, if reports from my local news broadcasts are any indication. Seriously, it's like a funeral around here. Folks think the Rams season is already over, and Jeff Fisher is using Leslie Frazier coping quotes.

And you, Mr. Cynical, jaded Vikings fan want me to hand out some junk bonds? No sir, not happening. There will plenty of opportunities to call out players and coaches over the course of this season, but no, not today. Enjoy this win, Vikings fans. We've earned it. We deserve at least one day of no recriminations.

Buy/Sell:

Buy: Cassel to Jennings. This is a good combo. It's not going to be Montana to Rice, but it isn't Jackson to Williamson, either. They made some pretty nice hook ups today, especially that TD throw. It's going to be nice to have a good QB-WR combo again.

Sell: Sullivan to Cassel. I don't know what those bad snaps were that caused what looked to be promising drives fizzle, but seriously guys, knock that off, okay?

Buy: This was a must win game. Look, I get that the season is a 16 game schedule, and 0-1 isn't the end of the world. And I'm generally not a big hyperbole guy, at least I don't think I am. What's that? I am? Oh, sorry. I'll try to do better...after this little blurb. The Vikings have a tough first five or six games, and getting a win, on the road, to open the season with the Patriots, Saints and Falcons next was huge. HUUUUGE. 1-0 with the Patriots coming to town is a helluva lot better than 0-1 with the Patriots coming to town, isn't it? And you know something? The Patriots are beatable. Yeah, that's right, I said it. This team can realistically be 2-0 this time next week. But wait, I said I was done dealing in hyperbole.

Sell: The Vikings playing down to their level of competition. How many times...even in seasons where the Vikings were pretty good, did we see this team play to the level of their competition? They'd look great one week against a defending Super Bowl champ, and the next week they'd struggle against a hapless Lions team playing a third string QB. I was somewhat worried we might see that against the Rams, as guys like Shaun Hill have a tendency to shred the Vikings and have career days. Not today. The Vikings not only put pressure on the Rams, they KEPT pressure on the Rams the whole game, never letting up, and not going into a prevent defense. They brought pressure from the opening kick to the final kneel down, and it was more refreshing than a cold beer after two hours of yard work.

Buy: Vikings fans took over the Edward Jones Dome. I wish I could tell you just how much purple and gold was in and around the Edward Jones Dome today. From the bar Brad and I hung out at before the game:

(my brother is on the far left, sitting at the table wearing the Greenway throwback jersey) to our section in the Edward Jones Dome singing 'Skol Vikings' towards the end of the game as there were nothing but Vikings fans left, Vikings nation represented like I have never seen. I came to the game in the 2009 Year Of Favre, and it was nuts then...but this was different, and special.  There were Vikings fans everywhere, and more than one Rams fan said to me that they had no idea this was a road game for the Rams. This, cheering for a 5-10-1 team with a new coach and a journeyman quarterback, supposedly.

Pat yourself on the back, Vikings Nation. You did us all proud today. So very proud.

Sell: St. Louis is a football city. So the flip side of that is the general apathy the Rams fans had. They got loud like one time, but for the most part, this was the sorriest crowd I can remember at a major sports event. Vikings fans flooded the pre-game near the dome, the bars near the dome, and the Edward Jones Dome itself.  Rams and Vikings fans alike were stunned, on so many levels, and it all started with the amount of Vikings fans...or lack of Rams fans...at the Rams home opener. More than one person, during the course of the game, asked me if I had seen a Cardinals score.

WHAT?!?!?!?!

Don Glover Quote Of The Week:

So when we found out that the Vikings were coming to town, I asked my Dad if he wanted to go. Sadly, he's not up to it physically anymore, and at the time he said:

"Son, I don't want you wheeling me to take a piss. I'd rather be pissed off at this team and be five feet away from a bathroom, than pissed off at this team and be a wheelchair ride and a concourse away."

Don Glover Quote Of The Week, Pertaining To The Game:

So obviously, my father didn't see the game in person, but before I headed downtown, I made sure he was set and ready to watch. When I got home, I called him up, and asked him what he thought of the game.

"Man, that was a fun game to watch, I almost felt sorry for the Rams. Not too sorry, though, I think this team is one to be reckoned with."

I've gone on long enough, kids. There's still 15 more games to be played, and this team isn't going to win every game 34-6. Hell, they might even lose a game or two by that score. But those are different thoughts for different days, and we'll talk about them when they arrive.

For today, the Minnesota Vikings are 1-0, are alone in the first place in the NFC North, and have the best defense in the NFL. Let's just enjoy that right now, if only for a week.

SKOL VIKINGS!