What do you do when things seem hopeless?
What happens when your attack not only fails, but you find yourself on the verge of a rout? You can do one of two things, and both will define you as a man, for the rest of your life. You can wave the white flag of surrender and give up, or you can do what French General Ferdinand Foch did at the first battle of the Marne in World War I, when all looked hopeless for his army:
My centre is giving way, my right is retreating. Situation excellent, I am attacking.
Because surrender is something you cannot and will not tolerate. You can accept defeat if you have given the last full measure, but surrender? Never.
Why? Because you are Zim Tzu: High Septon Of Mankato, Eviscerator of Titans, Maître Fromager, Spinner of the Charlotte Web, Beanstalk Chopper, He Who Implodes The Lone Star, and Warden Of The North.
And when you have to speak in the face of defeat, you must parse your words to the press, because the profane truth bombs you would drop would cause faces to melt. And you're smarter than that, and you know better. But here at The Daily Norseman, we DON'T know any better,* and we take these parsed half answers and give you unparsed full answers,** with all nuance removed.***
*Well, Fearless Leader and company do know better, which is why I'm doing this, and not them.
**Is unparsed even a word? I don't know. It might be. It's about as legitimate a word Fuckapocalypse, I guess, which is what we're looking at if the Vikes lose to Arizona. Look, this isn't Sports Illustrated, man, it's a blog. What do you want? If you want Pulitzer-level stuff go read The National Enquirer. If you want dick jokes and swear words, you've come to the right article.
***This is about as nuanced as a Matt Asiata run up the middle. And probably about as effective.
As always, we take parts of Mike Zimmer's weekly Monday/Tuesday press conference and liberally interpret* his answers. Zimmer's actual answers are in block quotes, and our version of events** follows.
*'Liberally Interpret' is also Norwegian for 'make everything up. Like seriously, everything.'
**100% fake. Can't stress that enough.
What Zim Tzu said: After watching the tape, like in every ball game, there's some good things and some not so good things. Our guys fought hard, I think they played hard the entire ball game. We didn't make enough plays to get it done. We'll get back to work this week and try to get a win. We just need to get over the hump.
What Zim Tzu meant: I feel like Nicolas Cage watching a film in 8MM. Fucking gruesome, man.
Q: Do you think some of the players on defense are pressing to make too many plays?
What Zim Tzu said: Yeah, but when you're struggling and you've got a bunch of really good guys, guys that really care, guys tend to try to do a little too much, including myself. Instead of allowing guys to make plays, you try to make plays for them. We just need to settle down. We need to do what we do. Get back to being the Vikings defense again.
What Zim Tzu meant: If by 'pressing to make a play' you mean 'not making a fucking play' then yes...yes I do.
Q: Do you feel like you were trying to make plays for them yesterday?
What Zim Tzu said: Well, a lot yesterday. I mean hey, we lost three games in a row. You're going to shoot all of the bullets out of your gun if you can. Sometimes it backfires and sometimes it doesn't. I think the players felt the same way. We tend to have a few more misalignments than we typically do. A few more not being in the right place when we typically do. We maybe changed some things too much. I've always said that if I'm going to lose, I'm going to lose my way. So we just get back to doing things my way.
What Zim Tzu meant: Yeah, I'm 60 fucking years old, and at one point I thought 'fuck it, I can't be worse than Mac Alexander or TJ Clemmings.
Q: What are your options at left tackle?
What Zim Tzu said: I don't know, we'll see Wednesday.
What Zim Tzu meant: Flaming dogshit. We'll see Wednesday.
Q: Are you considering moving Alex Boone to that spot?
What Zim Tzu said: I know that Alex has not talked to me, he's talked to you. Which is probably not the right avenue to go about. We'll discuss it and we'll figure out what the best thing to do is.
What Zim Tzu meant: Alex needs to get a tattoo that says 'shut the fuck up and don't talk to the press' on his forehead. But Alex went to Ohio State, so we're still cool.
Q: What can you do to fix the short-yardage situations?
What Zim Tzu said: That's been part of the issue, because I went back in the last four ball games and offensively we're five and out of 13 in third-and-one or fourth-and-one and defensively we're 0-4. So consequently, we have not been able to get off the field defensively in some of these situations and offensively we haven't been able to sustain drives. So that's going to be one of the big emphasis' this week is try and figure this out and get back to being a lot more successful. We should be more successful there. We got knocked back a few times. There were a couple times where we probably should have made it. Anyways, we haven't gotten it. So, when you talk about eight third-and-ones or something like that on offense, that's a lot of possessions there that you lose throughout the course of a game.
What Zim Tzu meant: Gonna hire some sappers with bangalores for the offense. Of, you know, we'll keep running Matt Asiata for no gain because that's worked so fucking well up until this point. The law of averages says at some point, we're going to get one fucking yard, right? Anyone got Leroy 'if you need four I'll get you four' Hoard's number? Anyone? No? Fuck.
Q: In those situations is it more physical, like you just getting pushed back or just missed assignments?
What Zim Tzu said: A little of both. It's a little of both. We had a couple of mental errors on one. Sometimes you get in those short yardage situations and all of a sudden you get a different look. And you get some stunts in there and they happened to hit them right. If you hit them wrong, then it could be a big play.
What Zim Tzu meant: Yes.
Q: With the running game in general, do you feel like the running backs are picking out the rights holes, or are there a lot of opportunities where the hole might be there, and they're missing something?
What Zim Tzu said: Well, there's a little of both when you're talking about all this stuff. We had some really good runs yesterday. We had a nine-yard run, a 15-yard run. We had another 11-yard run, but our issue is that we had three runs from the one-yard line, on the goal line. And then we had, I don't know, two other third-and-ones. So, now you've got five runs that you get nothing. That brings your average down quite a bit when you start talking about some of those things. So, it's not all about the average, and we're trying to fix it. We're trying to make sure that we get there. Sometimes we get them blocked, and we don't get up on the safety, we don't break a tackle. Sometimes we don't get them blocked. So, it's a combination of things right now, but some of these quick throws that we're using are a lot like runs as well.
What Zim Tzu meant: I liken our running game to trying to clear flood waters with a colander. Wait, a colander has a lot of holes to let water through. This line couldn't put a hole in a wet piece of paper, so yeah, fuck that metaphor. Wait, it works if we're talking about pass protection though, so yeah, we'll call them the Passing Colanders. Ah fuck it, call them what you want.
Q: Where does Blair Walsh stand with you right now? Obviously, he's out there kicking, working out. Are there any discussions or talks about him?
What Zim Tzu said: Rick [Spielman] and I haven't sat down and talked, really, today yet. We'll do it this afternoon about all the different things.
What Zim Tzu meant: Fuck that guy.
Q: Do you want to open the discussion about possibly making a change at kicker?
What Zim Tzu said: I don't know. We'll see how ... We're going to see what all the options are. We're going to see what the options are at tackle. We're going to see what the options are at kicker, and then make a determination and go.
What Zim Tzu meant: Well--
/sound of glass breaking
/loud guitar riff begins
/Jim Ross grabs a microphone
BAH GAWD KING THAT SOUNDS LIKE
Jerry 'The King' Lawler: OH MY GOD JR IS IT---
JR: THAT'S KAI FORBATH'S MUSIC KING!!! AS GOD AS MY WITNESS KAI FORBATH JUST STORMED THE FIELD AND KICKED BLAIR WALSH OUT OF THIS BUILDING!! SOMEONE STOP THE DAMN MATCH, WALSH HAS A FAMILY. BAH GAWD...
Q: Is bringing in another tackle an option, or are these the guys you've got?
What Zim Tzu said: Yeah, there are options.
What Zim Tzu meant: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA fuck you with your options. What options?
Q: Have you been emphasizing taking it week to week?
What Zim Tzu said: You know most of my guys are pretty smart. We understand that we've lost some games. But, this team is used to winning. So, they don't like it. They're frustrated by it. I'm frustrated by it, but the bottom line is we need to win football games. The best way to do that is do what we normally do, prepare, win the crucial situations of the game, study, work hard in practice, play hard in the games and execute. But, right now there's pressure on everybody. My dad told me a long time ago, if you make through the downs, the ups will take care of itself. So, we're just going to keep doing what we do. If we get backed up into a corner, we're going to come out and fight. That's what this team has done and that's why we've overcome things in the past. So, we'll continue to do that.
What Zim Tzu meant: Week to week? I'm going hour to hour to not crawl into a bottle of Jack and not come out, man. Week to week, aren't you just cute as a league average tackle?
Q: Have you been a part of a group that's lost this many offensive linemen?
What Zim Tzu said: I have no idea. Every year, wherever you are, it seems like one position gets hit and that team seems to get hit the most. We think about the guys, you can throw in Mike Harris and all these other guys, so you know it's been a lot of guys. But, I'm sure we're not the only team in the NFL to have one position hit. And honestly the offensive line I thought protected the quarterback pretty well yesterday. For the most part he had a clean pocket a lot of times. The quarterback played outstanding in my opinion. He made a lot of great throws, but we struggled on third-and-one.
What Zim Tzu meant: No.This is the first time I have ever experienced a Lineapocalypse. And it fucking sucks.
Q: Do you expect Adrian Peterson to play this year?
What Zim Tzu said: I have no idea.
What Zim Tzu meant: No.
Q: Do you feel for a guy like Jake Long who came to help this team and have it end like this?
What Zim Tzu said: Yeah, it's hard. He comes in late, tries to get back and get his feet going. He has people saying he's all washed up. Then he's getting back and feeling comfortable again and then has the Achilles. I feel bad for all of my guys because they try to do the very best for me every time they can.
What Zim Tzu meant: Yeah it sucked ass because now I have no choice but to play T.J. Clemmings, which is the football equivalent of shitting glass out of my ass on every snap of the ball while drinking battery acid to ease the inflammation. Fuck. See you next week.
/gulps battery acid