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Zim Tzu Is Not Sentimental

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The Vikings warrior poet coach dispenses his weekly words of wisdom.

Eric Thompson

ED NOTE: This has bad words. None of the other things we write on here do, but this one does. It seems to be a popular bit, so until the law catches up with me, I’m going to keep doing it. Thanks for understanding, and thanks for not reading and not letting your kids read it if bad language isn’t your thing. Hope you enjoy the rest of our articles—Ted

When you’re a warrior poet, your roots and where you come from, in a large part, defines who you are and they help set you on your path. But once you’re on your path, there’s no looking back. People may have helped you on your way, and you’re forever grateful and you pay it forward when you can. But once you’ve struck out in search of your destiny, the journey is yours. Where it goes and how it ends is on you. You’re not a heartless bastard, though, and sentimentality has it’s place. Remembering where you’re from is important; it helps ground you and keeps you focused.

As you continue on your journey, sometimes you come across people who were once friends that are now, by time and circumstance, a foe intent on striking you down. Altering your path, maybe even denying you of your destiny. And at that moment, sentimentality has no place. The fact that former friends, or mentors, have chosen against you is a ‘them’ problem, not a ‘you’ problem, and at the moment of truth, you’ll do what needs to be done.

Because you are Zim Tzu, The King In The North, Declawer Of The Feline, Razer of Atlanta, Slayer Of The Jungle King, Silencer Of The Lambs, Pillager Of Capitals, Conquerer of The Brown Islands, Murderer of Crows, Melter Of Cheese, Hunter Of Bears, He Who Makes Pirates Walk The Plank, Impaler Of The Fleur De Lis, First Of His Name, High Septon Of Mankato, Lord Commander Of The Iron Range And Twin Cities, and Master Of Fortress Winter Park.

And once you have vanquished your former friend to the dustbin of history, you want to tell the Great Unwashed how awesome it was, but you also feel the need to temper your words. There’s a sense of satisfaction in striking down a former mentor or teacher, but you don’t want to overtly convey that. You want to be more subdued, sober.

And that’s the role we fill.* We take the words of Zim Tzu, remove all the fluff,** and give you the true essence of what the meaning is. The Yang to the Yin, if you will.***

*I’m a drunkard more than I’m sober and subdued, so I am unable to fill any role responsibly if we’re being honest here.

**By that I mean I read his actual quotes from his day-after-the-game press conference, and make up an enormous amount of bullshit for a cheap laugh.

***I’m quite certain that is nothing close to what Yin and Yang mean.

As usual, Zim Tzu had an opening statement.

What Zim Tzu said: After watching the tape from yesterday, I thought defensively we played very well. We flew around the ball, we were in the right place for the most part. A couple mistakes here and there, I think the crowd helped us a lot defensively. Offensively, I thought we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit with some of the penalties that we had. It kind of set us back in some of the things. But, some of them we overcame. Case [Keenum] whatever it was, 20-of-23, I thought he did some very good things. Taking care of the ball, you know, it helped get some good runs in there, some efficient runs. Special teams, I thought we did a good job as well.

What Zim Tzu meant: My goodness but did we ever skullfuck Cincinnati. Had we not done some dumb shit, we would still be skullfucking them. Case Keenum is a goddamn CIA assassin. Kai Forbath didn’t give me a heart attack, just a minor palpatation. It was a good day.

Q: What did you think were some of the factors in those offensive penalties?

What Zim Tzu said: It was holding, grabbing guys. For the most part, it was stuff like that. Guys would start to come off a block and we would grab them.

What Zim Tzu meant: Coulda swore on Saturday we removed the part of the gameplan where we play grabass. Guess we didn’t. Fuckin’ grabass.

Q: What has been the key to the explosive plays on offense?

What Zim Tzu said: I think we’ve done a nice job of keeping teams off balance with some of the play actions and some of the running game. We’ve had the opportunity to hit some shots when we’ve been able to. I think it’s the combination of keeping people off balance a little bit.

What Zim Tzu meant: In the off-season I had Pat Shurmur out to the house and we were talking offensive strategy and I says ‘you know Pat I’m a defensive guy but maybe the run/run/throw five yards short of the first down/punt is an offensive philosophy that’s more fucked up than the catch rule. Look, I know you CAN do it if you want to, but no one WANTS you to do that. How about we try some ‘let’s throw 20 yards down the field and see what the fuck happens’ plays? And Pat was pretty cool about it, so we did.

Q: Is there a certain special teams area you’ve seen stand out in recent weeks?

What Zim Tzu said: All the areas are doing much better, I think, now. We could still probably be better on kickoff return but we’ve been careful about the ones we take out. Other than that, I think they’ve done a lot better. I think Marcus has been a lot more aggressive. That’s added to field position. I think our coverage units have been better. I can’t remember, I think we got them inside the 20-yard line three or four times yesterday.

What Zim Tzu meant: Ryan Quigley is awesome. Kai Forbath doinked another one in and now he’s just fuckin’ with all of us.

Q: Has there been an emphasis on expanding Jerick McKinnon’s role in the passing role?

What Zim Tzu said: Honestly, I don’t think it’s expanded any. He’s always had a big role in the passing game. He’s always been a good third down guy. We just happened to catch them yesterday on a couple things that they messed up. Honestly, it was the same play both times. One time they were in zone defense and they didn’t play it correctly. One time they were in man coverage and they ran into each other. So, he was pretty open.

What Zim Tzu meant: Not really but we noticed a couple things Cincinnati was doing. Whenever they lined up in the ‘just fucking ignore the little bastard in the flat we’ll be fine no really’ formation, Case Keenum audibled to the ‘throw the ball to that diminutive playmaker Jerick and watch him run’ play.

Q: Were you surprised at how open it was?

What Zim Tzu said: I don’t know. I mean they had a couple new guys in there, so maybe that had something to do with it, but I don’t know.

What Zim Tzu meant: LOL yeah I was. Watching them fuck around on defense was almost as entertaining as watching Packer fans come to the realization they aren’t going to the playoffs.

Q: Do you feel the Vikings are deserving to have a couple players in the Pro Bowl this year?

What Zim Tzu said: I only really care about what the team does, honestly. If they get voted in great, if they don’t that’s just the way it is. But this team has always been about teamwork and team cohesiveness and I know all the guys are saying the same, “It’s not about an individual, it’s about the team” and that’s what I really like about this team.

What Zim Tzu meant: Don’t. Give. A. Flying. Fuck.

Q: With teams in the past that have had one game byes, how does it benefit you down the road?

What Zim Tzu said: It’s been a long time for that, since it’s happened. Honestly, we’re not focused on that. We’re focused on Green Bay and trying to figure out how we can win another game. It’s a great rivalry and they’re an excellent football team and a great organization. We’ll have to play really good to win. If we don’t win this game and the next game, it really doesn’t matter about all that stuff.

What Zim Tzu meant: I’ll worry about that shit when we epitaph Green Bay and Chicago.

Q: Linval Joseph said he hopes Aaron Rodgers plays because it will be more of a challenge. Are you hoping Rodgers plays too?

What Zim Tzu said: It’s not up to me. We just play whoever comes out, it doesn’t matter to me who plays.

What Zim Tzu meant: So Aaron Rodgers walks into A. Barr, and the bartender says HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA suck it Green Bay.

Q: How much does that affect your game planning process not knowing who the quarterback will be?

What Zim Tzu said: We’ll prepare for both and we’ll assume that [Aaron] Rodgers is going to play. It’s not different than anything other week where you don’t know what’s going on. You guys wonder why I never say who the quarterback is, see.

What Zim Tzu meant: I would think they need to gameplan more for my defense than I need to gameplan for their two headed interception machine at quarterback, a shitty offensive line, and a running game that’s as feared as a basket full of puppies, but hey, to each their own. We are so gonna piss pound that goddamn team.

Q: The offense has evolved to what Brett Hundley could do, but now they’re going back to what Aaron Rodgers can do…

What Zim Tzu said: Yes, a little bit. I mean they’re still doing a lot of the same things. I’ve only watched three games on them before I came down here. Some of the stuff is still the same and then there is some other things. I not going to get into the differences into those things. I mean Aaron Rodgers is an unbelievable great player, right? If somebody goes in he’s hard to replace, but they have a lot of similarities – rather than how great Rodgers is.

What Zim Tzu meant: Well yeah, I mean they’re both very capable. CAPABLE OF THROWING THREE PICKS IN A GAME AMIRITE OR AMIRITE?

Q: Do the cold temperatures Saturday night put more emphasis on the run game and establishing that?

What Zim Tzu said: It could but I think that will be determined more by the wind and things like that. Field conditions, a lot of those things will come into factor. You can throw the ball in the cold, it’s just sometimes the wind and cross winds affect it a little bit more. It’s like everything else, you go in a game and you prepare for these things. As you get there, you might have to change some of the combination routes you’re running because of the wind. You might have to change some of the defenses you’re playing because of the conditions that you’re playing in. It’s a part of adjusting during the game. It’s no different than if this guy is killing you catching balls, ok, well now we have to double this guy or we have to do this or do that. It’s the game management part of adjusting.

What Zim Tzu meant: Playing football in cold weather is like getting a little kid ready for school in the morning. Sometimes it’s not that bad, but sometimes you’d rather pull the ballsack of a Great White Shark while you’re swimming with a bucket of chum in the other hand. Sometimes they don’t want to put on their shirt you picked out for them because that goddamn Batman shirt they’ve worn eight of the last nine days is what they want to wear—AGAIN—and holy fuck if you can’t find it the flu infested little terrorist is gonna be so pissed that you think they’ll be able to open up a hole in the Earth and swallow your entire city block with the temper tantrum they’ll throw. Never negotiate with terrorists, man. Ever. Oh, cold weather football. We’ll be fine.

Q: How do you feel about your running game?

What Zim Tzu said: Yesterday wasn’t too bad. I think they probably were the most efficient runs we’ve had this year. That’s a good defensive front they [Cincinnati] had in there. They’re doing a lot of pressure coming off the edge. We’ve had some explosive runs. That’s kind of it, if a team is trying to pressure some and they catch you sometimes and you catch them sometimes. When you catch them, it’s a big play. I think that happened the other day.

What Zim Tzu meant: Pretty fuckin’ good, yo.

Q: Is there a noticeable difference for you getting Pat Elflein back and what he can bring both from diagnosing and getting down the field and making some blocks down there?

What Zim Tzu said: I don’t think it was so much the diagnosing. He’s a good center and I think some of that showed up, yes.

What Zim Tzu meant: We went from a quarterback under siege and a running game that was about as effective as a screen door for a boat hull to a 34-7 curbstomping of Cincinnati. Connect the dots, bitches. Connect the dots.

Q: As you wrap up the division, what can you do to make sure the players don’t let their guard down?

What Zim Tzu said: I think our players understand from two weeks ago that this thing happens really fast is something goes haywire. That’s number one. Number two, our guys are pretty smart, focused guys and I think they understand what’s at stake. Number three, we’re still playing for seeding. We would like to play, if possible, every game at U.S. Bank Stadium. I know we’re going to get one, but we’re kind of greedy.

What Zim Tzu meant: Shit can go South in a hot minute, and we want three post-season games at home. Would love to get a Superb Owl as a belated Christmas present, is all I’m sayin’.