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, it’s your job to set goals for your unit. If you’re a smart warrior poet, you lay out incremental goals on the way to The Ultimate Goal, much like bread crumbs on a path to follow. You know that the longest journey begins with one step, and although you can live with frustration and discouragement, you cannot tolerate failure. So these incremental goals are a way to measure success, to encourage and demand more, and to help your unit along their path to glory.
And as you get closer and closer to The Ultimate Goal, the Incremental Goals allow you to to sharpen the edge of your blade, and to get your unit moving as one. Because as you get closer to the mountaintop, the journey that began with one step becomes a life and death battle, the air is rare, and you know before it’s over your unit will need to dig deep down, to a place many have never had to dig before, to plant the flag on the summit.
Because you are Zim Tzu, The King In The North, Exiler Of Clan Chicago, 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 The Great Unwashed want to hear about your goals, you have to speak about them in a manner that doesn’t offend the senses, because if you bring the high heat right away, you’ll turn them off.
So that’s where our job starts,* because we were born to do this.** We take Mike Zimmer’s actual press conference quotes and turn a beer league softball underhand pitch into some high heat that you can use to develop your life code.***
*Actually, this is a hobby. My real job pays me money.
**I still have no idea what I want to do when I grow up.
***I pray you don’t use any of this to develop your life motto or code, as I hear prison and ruination are terrible, terrible things.
As always, Zimmer’s actual quotes are followed by the Zim Tzu translation.*
*It’s all made up, much like Ted Thompson’s accomplishments.
What Zim Tzu said: After watching the tape, I thought defensively we played very well. Obviously, we played the run game really good, good on third downs, I thought our corners covered well in that game. Linebackers played well, Barr exceptional. Defensive line, those guys did what we needed to do. Offensively, they made it tough on us but we rushed for 156 yards, that was one of the things we wanted to control, the running game and control the time of possession in this ball game. We did that. Then, the field position part, I think we had four punts that were downed inside the 10-yard line. So, that helped with all those.
What Zim Tzu meant: You know, Stephen King called me the other day and he said ‘hey Zim I need an idea for a new character for my next horror story’ and I says ‘hey let me send you some game film of my defense’ and the next thing I know his wife is on the phone yelling at me because he’s pissing the bed at night he’s so damn scared and she’s tired of having to wash bed linen every day. So I apologized and asked if I could see a copy of his manuscript and I shit you not the first sentence is ‘There’s a horrible creature wandering the big warehouse in Derry, Minnesota and it’s the most terrifying thing ever and offenses that travel there are torn into a million fucking pieces of quivering EMO bullshit and can never be made whole again. Green Bay is a clown show.’
Pretty good opening for a book, if you ask me. Punter’s good, too. Offense doesn’t suck.
Q: What do you think it is about Ryan Quigley that has allowed him to have so much success pinning teams deep?
What Zim Tzu said: I don’t know, I can’t get too technical on that. He’s just been good. We practice it a lot but you still have to execute it.
What Zim Tzu meant: Ball is snapped. Ball is punted. We laugh. They fucking cry bitter tears of hopelessness. It’s not brain surgery.
Q: What is the schedule for the next two weeks?
What Zim Tzu said: We’re going to practice a couple days this week and then get working on some things we need to work on. Coaches are going to start working on the three possibilities that we’re going to play and then we’ll go from there.
What Zim Tzu meant: We’re gonna write a snuff film script for three different teams, and then film it at US Bank Stadium.
Q: What do you think of Trae Waynes’ performance yesterday and the growth he has made this year?
What Zim Tzu said: This second half of the year he’s played really well. There was a lot of times earlier in the year I was helping him a lot. I’m not doing that very much anymore. So, he’s been out there on his own and I actually think that’s part of the reason why the defensive numbers have come down quite a bit. Because of the way these corners cover on the back end.
What Zim Tzu meant: It’s funny you ask that, because early in the season Trae came up to me and said ‘coach I’m having problems getting my head turned around to look for the ball, can you help me?’ And I said ‘Jesus Pass Interference Christ Trae, you can’t turn your head around when it’s shoved up your ass’, and he was all like ‘really??’ and I was all like ‘yeah, really’ so I grabbed his beautiful, flowing, Predator-like locks, yanked his head out of there, and he’s been pretty fuckin’ good since.
Q: How will you handle things this week with Pat Shurmur and potential interviews?
What Zim Tzu said: Well, if he gets requested to interview, I’ll let him interview. This is the time they can do it.
What Zim Tzu meant: If someone calls and asks to interview Pat, I won’t pick up the phone. If they call back, I’ll tell them to eat a dick. Fuckers.
Q: Will you have him wait until the end of the week when players are gone?
What Zim Tzu said: Yeah, I can give him certain days that they can come and do that.
What Zim Tzu meant: I gave teams an interview window of April 37th to the 43rd, in the Year Of Our Sweet Baby Jesus 2027.
Q: How does that work, does he travel to them or do they come here?
What Zim Tzu said: Well, this time of the year you can request that they come here, during the bye week. So, that’s what we’ll do.
What Zim Tzu meant: Well we send a car for them to the airport, an ‘82 Yugo with no fucking heat. And the only radio station is a polka one from New Ulm that has just as much static as it does music. Then we send them to the VFW in International Falls and tell them if they want to interview Pat, they need say ‘pretty please’ and then sing ‘Purple Rain’ three times on their Karaoke machine. Then we’ll tell them to go fuck themselves because they aren’t interviewing Pat, and oh by the way get their own goddamn ride back to the airport.
Q: Is there anything you’re concerned about working on defensively?
What Zim Tzu said: Yes, there’s lots of things we’ve got to work on. These next two days I think it’s important to get back to fundamentals. Making sure that some of our run fits and our blitzes are better. Trying to make sure some of the difficulties in the coverage things we’ve had. Maybe you guys don’t see them, but I see all this stuff. So, a lot of this stuff we have to get better at. We’re going to emphasis some other situations. Try and play some game like situations in these practices and try and keep us on edge as much as possible.
Waht Zim Tzu meant: Nope, not a damn thing.
Q: You’re going to be playing a team that you’ve already played once this year. How does that help you?
What Zim Tzu said: I mean they played us too, so it’s the same. We get to play at home. That’s a good thing.
What Zim Tzu meant: I mean they’ll have to turn on the video eulogy that’s their game film from when we fucked them up here and get scared all over again. That’s a good thing.
Q: Is that 54-yard field goal show how comfortable you are with your field goal team?
What Zim Tzu said: The one we tried to kick yesterday? Yes. Well, I was at the end of the half. I probably wouldn’t have done it if there wasn’t more than one second on it. I mean there was one second on the clock, so take a shot and go from there.
What Zim Tzu meant: Fucking kickers, man.
Q: What’s been the key to slowing down some of the best receiving running backs?
What Zim Tzu said: I don’t know. How’d we do against them?
What Zim Tzu meant: Say my name, bitch.
Q: You did great. [Christian] McCaffrey didn’t do much. Todd Gurley in terms of the receiving game didn’t do much either. It seems like all year you’ve faced a number of those guys…
What Zim Tzu said: It’s always part of the plan. We just try to take away what they do good and figure out a way to do it. Sometimes it’s a couple different players, sometimes it’s leverage, sometimes it’s one-on-one, sometimes it’s the linebackers, sometimes it’s a safety. I don’t know we try and figure out the best way to do it and go from there.
What Zim Tzu meant: You know, sometimes I’ll put Barr or Kendricks on ‘em. Other times, I’ll have Harrison Smith cover him like eight inches of snow on a field. Maybe one day, on a whim, I’ll line up Linval Joseph on him, and he’ll get a pick six and it will be the best fat guy touchdown in NFL fucking history.
Q: If you are able to get Sam Bradford back at practice this week, what do you want to see out of him?
What Zim Tzu said: I just want to see where he’s at. How he’s moving, things like that. I hear he’s moving good. I hear he’s throwing the ball good. But that’s all I do is hear. We’ll just go about it and see how it goes.
What Zim Tzu meant: Sam Bradford...now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time.
Q: Will you go into that with any expectations of possibly being able to use Sam Bradford?
What Zim Tzu said: I don’t know. It’s way too early to say. We’ll just see how it goes and where it’s at. I’m not committed to say he’s going to play, so we’ll just see how things go. Things could happen. We win a game, someone gets hurt. You never know what could happen.
What Zim Tzu meant: I go into this like the expectations most guys have on a first date. You hope it’s nice, and it works out. And if it doesn’t click, you hope, at a minimum, you haven’t made an enemy out of her. So you’re sitting there at a nice restaurant, having a drink and you’re sorta feeling the situation out with some small talk. Does she like some of the shit you like? Does she have an interesting job or life? Does she have all her teeth? So far, so good. You get a little bit farther down the road, meal is pretty good, she ordered meat so she’s not a goddamn vegan, and things are going well. So now you star looking for ‘holy fuck she crazy’ indicators. Does she have an ex she talks about all the time, does she have prison tattoos, maybe she holds her liquor about as well as Troy Williamson held on to a fucking football.
There might be a red flag there, but you’re willing to overlook the prison tattoos and give this a shot if she is because hey, everyone makes a mistake, and fucking Susan deserved to get shanked during yard time because NO ONE looks at her prison wife that way, Susan. So you know, there’s potential there, and you’re not gonna close the door just yet. But just to be safe you’ll start carrying a piece with you wherever you go because you can go from ‘I had a really fun time with you tonight’ to ‘fuck you and your restraining order because I’ll kill you and your dreams just like I killed Susan’ faster than Christian Ponder can roll to his right and hit Kyle Rudolph for a two yard gain on third and nine.
Q: What is the window on when you have to make a decision on Sam Bradford?
What Zim Tzu said: Three weeks.
What Zim Tzu meant: Whenever I’m goddamn good and ready.
Q: How do you summarize Latavius Murray’s last ten games?
What Zim Tzu said: He’s done well. Our offensive line has blocked well for him. I think the receivers have blocked well. He’s done a nice job hitting the creases. When he stays on point with where he’s running, he’s pretty good. When he has bad plays, it’s usually when he tries to do too much or go somewhere he shouldn’t be going.
What Zim Tzu meant: His running game is kinda like raising a teenager that’s actually a pretty good kid. Most of the time, you give them some pretty decent guidelines and parameters and you can see them maturing into a solid human being. But every once in awhile you tell them ‘Look, run between here and here. It’s for your own good, and I’ll explain later. But for now you just gotta trust me pal, okay?’ He nods, and as a good parent does you set up the blocks for them to run through.
But the next thing you know the crazy bastard is literally running in the opposite direction yelling ‘FUCK YOU I’M AN ADULT I’M DOING IT THIS WAY AND KISS MY ASS DAD’, and then he gets in a car with the daughter of that crazy prison convict bitch you dated for awhile before she went back to Shakopee for stealing your identity and running up $10,000 in credit card debt before you knew what the fuck was going on.
Fucking kids, man. Worse than kickers sometimes.