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Zim Tzu Likes To Sweep In The Cold

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, rivalries are things that give you meaning, purpose. Beating your rival brings euphoria and glory; losing to them brings depression and unemployment. Geography and familiarity breed natural rivals, and often times that rivalry becomes contempt, because they’ve ruled your kingdom and thwarted more than one chance to take the throne. But now, the throne is yours, with a chance to consolidate power once and for all and to send the mad king into a land of purgatory and doubt, a place your unit has been to more than once under this despotic asshole.

So when you have an opportunity to tombstone the soon to be ex-monarch, even if they’re already wounded when you meet, you are unable to muster compassion or mercy. Were the roles reversed, they most assuredly would blast you out of existence, so now is the time not to take your hand off the hilt of the sword. No, now is the time to put both hands on it and push it further in, and end their reign once and for all.

Because you are Zim Tzu, The King In The North, Disemboweler Of The Green Man, Declawer Of The Feline, Razer of Atlanta, Slayer Of The Jungle King, Silencer Of The Lambs, Pillager Of Capitals, Conqueror 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, Master Of Fortress Winter Park and Protector Of The Realm.

And when you return home from your grand victory, the people want to hear how you did it. Only, the manner in which Zim Tzu speaks while in front of the throngs is one that is a dialed down code, if you will, and these words can be open to interpretation.

So yeah, that’s where we come in. We take those words and dissect them,* and then give you a literal translation,** so generations from now there won’t be books written about ‘what did Zim Tzu mean when he said this?’***

*We really don’t. Like this is not even in the same zip code as that

**Literally not even close. Just making up pretty much everything.

***Writing a book about press conferences would probably be one of the five worst books ever. Just sayin’...

Because the last thing we want is confusion. As always, portions of what Mike Zimmer says in his weekly press conference will be in blockquotes, and the Zim Tzu interpretation follows.

What Zim Tzu said: Okay, getting ready for this New Year’s Eve game. We need to have this crowd as pumped up for this game as I am. It’s a big game for us. Playing a good Chicago defense, excellent. Fifth in the league in scoring defense, eighth in the league in total defense, tenth in the league in run defense, pass defense, and they got two backs. A 1,100-yard rusher, offensive line is good, quarterback has improved a lot since we played them last. So, we need some help from our fans, just like they’ve helped us all year.

What Zim Tzu meant: Bring the fucking noise, folks, because the Bears are better than the Packers this year. I’m not even fucking kidding.

Q: What improvements have you seen from Mitchell Trubisky?

What Zim Tzu said: He’s doing a lot better. I think he’s got much better command of where he’s throwing the football. He’s using his legs to make some plays in some bootlegs. Seems like he knows where to go with the football a lot better now. Reading coverages better, but to me he’s much improved.

What Zim Tzu meant: He’s able to find his ass with both hands, which is borderline incredible from a Chicago quarterback.

Q: He doesn’t have a lot of touchdowns, is he cautious?

What Zim Tzu said: Not really. They’re pretty high in red zone touchdown percentage, I think they’re fourth in the league. They just haven’t gotten down there that much, but they run a lot of boots and they run the ball so dang good, a lot of times they run it in.

What Zim Tzu meant: No, because they fucking run more than Pac Man Jones does from police.

Q: Your team is now number one in scoring defense and total defense, what does mean to you?

What Zim Tzu said: I don’t know. I think that we need to continue to play good this week and hopefully carry on into the playoffs, and if we do that and we get some home games and our fans are loud and helps us. I think that’ll be big things, so hopefully we can continue to do what we’re doing.

What Zim Tzu meant: Doesn’t mean dick unless we beat the Bears.

Q: Is this game mostly about keeping the momentum going?

What Zim Tzu said: No, we need to win. This isn’t about momentum. We need to win. It’s important to get a home game, to get a bye I mean. If you can get a bye it’s like winning two games in one day. That’s pretty huge, so we need to go out and win.

What Zim Tzu meant: This is absolutely about keeping momentum, getting a bye and a home game, and sending the message we’re kicking the hell out of anyone who comes to our house.

Q: Would you rather have something to play for going into Week 17 or have everything all wrapped up?

What Zim Tzu said: No, I’d rather have it wrapped up, but it is what is. We got to go out and we got to go play.

What Zim Tzu meant: Fuck.

Q: At what point in the season did you start feeling comfortable with Case Keenum as your quarterback?

What Zim Tzu said: I’m trying to think back to throughout the course of the season. I mean how many games did he play? Ten. Maybe four or five games ago, maybe. He’s played well.

What Zim Tzu meant: There isn’t one. Ask me in February.

Q: The success you have on third down, is that attributed to what you’re on first and second or is there another level that they seem to rise to?

What Zim Tzu said: We spend a lot time at it. We spend an awful lot of time with it. Probably more so than most teams, I would think. I don’t know that it’s really anything fancy. We’ve got good players and they understand what we’re trying to do. I think that’s a lot of it. Chicago is, I think, fourth in the league in third down and four-to-six, so they try and get in that area quite a bit. We’re going to have to be on our P’s and Q’s, especially in that down and distance.

What Zim Tzu meant: Funny you should ask that, because Pat Shurmur and I were talking before the season. And Pat says to me ‘you know I think it’s exciting as shit when on third and nine I call for a dump off in the flat and the running back gets closer and closer AND CLOSER to the first down marker but then I’m like AWWWWWWWW MAAAAAAAAAAAAAN when he’s stopped six yards short but holy smokes it really gets the blood pumping maybe next time’ and then so I says ‘well how about we make a bunch of fucking first downs on third down, and make it so we’re like third and two or something’ and he says ‘holy shit what a great idea’ and so we did and it’s worked out well I think.

Q: What is the defensive stat you are most proud of?

What Zim Tzu said: What is our record? 12 [wins]. That is the only thing that matters.

What Zim Tzu meant: What is our record? 12. That is the only thing that matters.

Q: How was that last game against the Bears gutting it out to start your eight-game win streak?

What Zim Tzu said: It was important. They all count and they all add up. Every game, the Redskins game was important. All the games that we won were important. I guess everybody said we couldn’t win in Soldier Field, so I guess that was important that we go in there and win.

What Zim Tzu meant: Fuck outta here we can’t win at Soldier Field.

Q: What is the process like of incorporating a new long snapper at this stage of the season and how are you trying to work on it?

What Zim Tzu said: It’s timing mostly. Trying to get the timing down of everything. The hold, the snap, get the laces right on the field goals. The protection in the punt game. That’s all important. There’s quite a few things.

What Zim Tzu meant: It’s like trying to figure out where the office is gonna go for lunch. Like one guy will say to you ‘hey let’s go grab a bite to eat’ and you’re like ‘okay cool’ and then a couple people overhear and they want to go, and the next thing you know there’s like eight people going. Well fuck, who’s driving? You can take two, Nancy says she can take three but she has to swing by the drugstore on the way back, so no one wants to ride with her because who the fuck wants to go to Walgreen’s when they don’t have to, right? So Bob says he’ll drive but give him a minute because he’s got two carseats that are more complicated than ejection seats in F-15’s he’s got to unfuck out of his backseat and stuff in his trunk full of dance recital shit and candy wrappers. And Jesus Christ is his minivan a portable toxic waste dump of crayons, regret, and broken dreams.

And once you get the travel arrangements figured out you STILL haven’t come to a consensus on where you want to eat. You see Bill’s wife Susan is making him eat vegan for the next month and Bill can’t grab his ballsack and tell her to kiss his ass if he’s eating Vegan, so he needs to eat at some place that has some goddamn Tofu shit that’s probably considered a war crime by the World Court. But it also needs a salad bar because Yvonne thinks she’ll lose 15 of her 250 bills by substituting a burger for an all you can eat soup and salad bar in one sitting, because of course you can.

So what started out as a kind of a nice lunch with your buddy from the office has become this litany of bullshit that has you begging for the goddamn extinction meteor to come screaming in from outer space and end it all because Bill’s a coward, Susan’s a bitch, Bob shouldn’t have procreated in the first fucking place, and Nancy’s exotic and virulent herpes just won’t go the fuck away. Oh, and fuck you and your salad bar, Yvonne, right in the creamy Italian dressing.

Don’t miss a 27 yard field goal in the playoffs, Kai.

Q: Do they have to spend extra time together?

What Zim Tzu said: Yes. They spend a lot of time together anyways, but yes. They have to get to work.

What Zim Tzu meant: Like Siamese Twins.

Q: Is there a noticeable difference in the building when you know you’re a playoff bound team versus the two years you’ve been here when there’s been nothing to play for in Week 17?

What Zim Tzu said: I would assume so. When you get in the playoffs, you have a chance. Whatever it is, whether it’s sixth seed or second seed, you have a chance. I think our guys feel good about that. This game is important and we need to win this game. If you go back through the history of the league, there’s been some six seeds that made it. But most of the time, these teams that only have to play a couple games to get to the big one, there’s a lot more of those.

What Zim Tzu meant: No, not really. I mean why would we feel any differently about going home for six months and staring outside at a frozen, dark tundra, as opposed to playing for and bringing home a championship to the most title-starved fanbase in the NFL, thereby becoming instant fucking legends FOR ALL FUCKING TIME, from me down to the long snapper dude we just signed yesterday? I mean why would there be a discernible difference in packing our shit and going home or drinking for free for the rest of our lives in this state?

Q: Do you anticipate Sam Bradford practicing at any point this week or next week?

What Zim Tzu said: Yes. Not this week I don’t believe.


Q: Do you feel like he is at the point where he would be available for the playoffs for you guys?

What Zim Tzu said: We’ll see when we practice. All I’ve done is talk to him. I haven’t watched him work out or do any of those things. I think we’ll get him back practicing next week.

What Zim Tzu meant: So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna call Pat Sajak and Vanna White, and we’re going to put four names on their wheel. What we’ll do is spin it, and what three names come up are the three we’re gonna go with come playoff time. Because fuck all if I know how to do it any differently at this point.

Now go buy a vowel, bitches. See you next week.