One of the all time great strategies in warfare is the ambush. It’s a tried and true tactic, and when executed properly, it’s lethal. You lull the enemy into a false sense of security, and it can be done in multiple ways. You can make the enemy think you are where you really aren’t, make them move assets to defend something that doesn’t actually need defending, and then BAM! You show up somewhere else, and kick their ass all over the battlefield. The Allies did this masterfully in the lead up to the D-Day invasion of France in 1944. Read about it here if you like.
Another tactic is to let them think you’re so weak and vulnerable, that they feel compelled to come after you with firepower and ill feelings, intent on your destruction. Only you’re not weak, you’re prepared, and they unknowingly walk right in to the trap you set. Muhammad Ali did this ‘rope a dope’ tactic to perfection against George Foreman in the historic ‘Rumble In The Jungle’ match in Kinshasa, Zaire, in 1974. Also, see Custer, George Armstrong.
And then when they realize you’re prepared, it’s too late. The destruction is complete, only it’s not your destruction.
It’s theirs. And it’s complete, and total.
Because you are Zim Tzu: 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 Warden Of The North.
And when you spring a trap so complete, the people want to hear how you did it. Only when you’re Zim Tzu, you must use nuance and platitudes* when in front of a microphone so as not to offend those who are easily offended.** And so there is a bridge needed, if you will, to take those words, find their true meaning, and make them understandable to all.***
*He can’t swear at a press conference.
**I can swear in this post. And I do. A lot. Consider this your warning.
***There is no bridge, and this story as much meaning as an unused Post-It note.
And that’s where we come in, this Blog Of Interpretation* that we are. We take portions of Mike Zimmer’s weekly day-after-the-game press conferences,** translate the nuance, and come out on the other side with meaning that is easy to understand.***
*The other writers are solid bloggers that bring you all the Vikings news and opinions you need, right here on ‘The Daily Norseman’. I am the resident ‘get off my lawn’ jackass.
**This is legitimately true. The ‘What Zim Tzu said’ part are his actual Monday press conference quotes. Everything else is pure, unadulterated, jackassery on my part.
***Can’t emphasize ‘jackassery’ enough, you guys.
As usual, the Zim Tzu Philosophy Lesson begins with an opening statement.
What Zim Tzu said: Good afternoon. After watching the tape I think that we played really well together as a team. Offensively obviously they played outstanding. The offensive line was very good. Defensively we played the run really well, got some turnovers, and on special teams except really for the one kickoff return I thought we did a nice job there. It was great to back in our stadium with our fans, they were great again. We’ll continue to need them to be as loud as they have been, continue on this week against Detroit, and continue forward. Questions?
What Zim Tzu meant: Holy balls did we kick the living hell out of Tampa Bay. We rattled Jameis Winston so bad I thought he literally shit his pants he was so scared. I thought Mike Evans was gonna kill him after one interception AAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA! And tailgate like some fucking savages on Sunday, because Detroit is coming to town.
Q: Overall how do you feel your offense has evolved?
What Zim Tzu said: We don’t really look at the statistics yet. I know everybody else does, but it’s a long season. We’re just trying to get better each and every week.
What Zim Tzu meant: Our offense has evolved to a point where it’s so good stats are fucking meaningless. Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, doesn’t matter. They’re throwing so many lasers out there it looks like a new fucking Star Wars movie. Man, we’re so gonna fuck up Detroit.
Q: Do things feel differently this week?
What Zim Tzu said: No, not really. It’s pretty much the same. We just try to go one week at a time and see what happens. It’s a week-to-week proposition in the NFL. Media and everybody, ‘This week we’re great, next week if we lose we’re terrible’ it’s just the way it is. We just try to do the best we can to prepare and get better each week and that’s really all we’re trying to do now is prepare for Detroit.
What Zim Tzu meant: Well last week every dingleberry in this joint said we sucked because we got our ass kicked by the Steelers. Now all of you think we’re fucking awesome. Here’s a clue: we’re always awesome, and you’re still a dingleberry. We’re so gonna fuck up Detroit.
Q: What’s the biggest difference between Case Keenum’s first start versus second?
What Zim Tzu said: I think a lot of it had to do with the timing of when he knew he was going to play, changing the plan. I think he was confident going in, felt good about the plays, and then you have to give all the guys some credit, they executed. The offensive line, we ran the ball well, [Dalvin] Cook had some really good runs, the offensive line blocked, protected well. We made some really good catches. [Adam] Thielen had a great catch, [Stefon] Diggs had a great catch. Sometimes it’s just how it goes. It’s like I say, it’s week-to-week. We just try and as best we can each week.
What Zim Tzu meant: Well, on Tuesday we started going over the game plan, and I asked Pat Shurmer ‘hey Pat, you know that part of the playbook we used against Pittsburgh, the one that said ‘block terribly, run terribly, and let’s not throw for fuck all? Yeah, let’s not use that part again this week.’ Pat was on board, Case was cool with it, so we used the chapter that we call ‘shit that will fuck up Tampa Bay’ pretty much the whole game.
Q: Did Case Keenum get the ball out quicker or get the ball out of the pocket more?
What Zim Tzu said: I’ve got the sheet on how many seconds he is throwing the ball but I didn’t look at it yet today. We had two-man routes, we had some where we had everyone out, and we had a good combination of things. There wasn’t any emphasis to get the ball out quick.
What Zim Tzu meant: Well, we’ve worked hard on giving the QB more time in the pocket this season. We have this drill for the offensive line called ‘I will put you in a cage with a hungry fucking pack of hyenas if you don’t block on Sunday’. And it’s a drill that has us, you know, put a lineman literally in a cage with a pack of hyenas that hasn’t eaten in three days. We want them to feel what our quarterbacks feel on Sundays when they don’t do their job. It’s how we demand excellence here. Carolina called and asked us about this technique today, by the way.
Q: How much has the improved running game and the threat of the run open up the passing game?
What Zim Tzu said: It has definitely helped a lot. When you can run the football the way we’ve been running it, it helps. It helps get more people down in the box and it gives more single coverage on the outside. Case made a couple zero blitzes and one of them was for a touchdown.
What Zim Tzu meant: Well, when you have a running back that doesn’t look like he’s auditioning for Dancing With The Stars when he gets to the line of scrimmage, and actually does to the opposing team as opposed to just talking about it, good things happen. When you feel like you want to fucking dance and run your mouth, you end up in New Orleans.
Q: How much does it come down to your offensive line giving the quarterback time to throw the ball?
What Zim Tzu said: I don’t think it’s a simple fact. I think they are doing a good job in protection. We are doing a lot of different things with protection now. That is part of it. Being able to run the football, with Dalvin Cook running 97 yards on 27 carries and catching the ball out of the backfield are all important for the overall part of the offense.
What Zim Tzu meant: It’s a simple fact: When you have time to throw, we will fuck you up, whether it’s Sam, Case, or Dalvin Cook running. If not, we have The Great Shitshow of 2015 and 2016, now playing off Broadway.
Q: How more have the other offensive assistants influenced Pat’s offense?
What Zim Tzu said: I think they have a good communication. I’m listening to them during the game. We’ve got guys upstairs communicating coverages and tendencies, things that we’re doing and ways to attack it. Pat, he asks, ‘hey, you guys like this? You guys like that?’ It’s a collective effort, I think the offensive staff has done a nice job. When I say plans, I’m saying they’re executing the things. You can have a great plan and not execute. I think the team’s been executing. Obviously, we’re throwing the ball good, we’re protecting good and we’re running the ball good. That all goes hand-in-hand.
What Zim Tzu meant: When Pat calls something that works, Pat’s guys say ‘hey, let’s run more of that shit. That was pretty fucking awesome and inject it straight into my veins.’ When we run a play that blows up in our face, I look at Pat and say ‘if you run that fucking play again I will pull your brain out of your booger infested nose with a goddamn ball point pen.’ Then Pat goes back to calling really awesome plays, and we fuck some shit up, yo.
Q: Is Dalvin Cook ahead of where you expected him to be?
What Zim Tzu said: I have high expectations for him, I think he’s going to be a great player. Some of the things he does, and it’s not just that part, but some of the things he does, the hole might be this big and he can get skinny and pick his feet up and accelerate through there. You don’t get a lot of clean shots on this guy. He’s got a lot of wiggle to him, acceleration. There was one play he kind of got through the line and the safety came up and he missed him. When he gets close to the goal line, he smells that and he’s trying to pump it in there. That’s what I like him the most.
What Zim Tzu meant: I would like to introduce a friend of mine to answer this question. Dwayne, can you come out here?
/The Rock enters
/steps to the mic
CAN YOU SMELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL...what DALVIN...is COOKIN’?
/Gives Chris Tomasson The People’s Elbow, pins him for a three count
/The Rock leaves
Q: Have you noticed the benefits of his versatility?
What Zim Tzu said: I’d have to think back to all three games. I think they’re respecting him a lot. I don’t know how much they’re changing their coverages or pressure packages and things like that based on that. But, I have a pretty good idea they’re respecting the run with him.
What Zim Tzu meant: Well, I’ll say this. It’s nice to be able to run our whole playbook from any formation as opposed to the ‘HEY IT’S FIRST DOWN AND WE’RE IN THE I FORMATION WITH AP AND I BET YOU CAN’T GUESS WHAT WE”RE GOING TO DO’. It’s also nice to have a running back that has heard of this important football concept we call ‘blocking’, and have him pick up a free rusher, which prevents my quarterback from getting killed. Yes.
Q: With Case Keenum playing as well as he did, does it allow you to take a more conservative approach with Sam Bradford?
What Zim Tzu said: No, once Sam is ready he’s the quarterback.
What Zim Tzu meant: LOLNOPEFUCKRIGHTOFF
Q: Do you know if Sam will be able to practice this week?
What Zim Tzu said: I really don’t, it’s really day-to-day. We’ll just see how the week goes and go from there.
What Zim Tzu meant: LOLNOPEFUCKRIGHTOFF
Q: How do you think Tramaine Brock Sr. played?
What Zim Tzu said: He had some good things and some bad things. I thought he competed well. He’s still working on some of the technique things that we’re trying to get done.
What Zim Tzu meant: Like refried dogshit. We’re going to bring in Stevie Wonder this week to coach him on how to see the fucking ball better. See you after we fuck up Detroit.