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Mike Zimmer and the Chewbacca Defense

Some things simply do not. . .make. . .sense.

Minnesota Vikings v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

If you’ve been around this website for any length of time, you know that yours truly loves a good South Park reference. Hell, I love a bad South Park reference, too. I just like South Park, okay?

One of the more well-known bits from South Park is what’s known as the “Chewbacca Defense,” in which a Johnny Cochrane-esque character launches into a monologue about something completely unrelated to the court case at hand in an attempt to confuse the jury.

I’m not going to transcribe the entire Chewbacca Defense here, if for no other reason than I think I’ve done it before. But I am going to connect it to something relevant to our interests.

As the quotes flowed out from today’s post-game press conference flowed out following the Minnesota Vikings finding another way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, one particular quote from Mike Zimmer stood out. Here it is, courtesy of ESPN Vikings beat writer Courtney Cronin:

Ladies and gentlemen of The Daily Norseman, this does not. . .make. . .sense.

Consider the potential outcomes here:

1) If you go for the two-point conversion and miss, you’re attempting an onside kick. Said onside kick will either be recovered by you, in which case you don’t have to worry about the Ravens’ kicker or how many timeouts they have, or it will be recovered by Baltimore. . .in which case you don’t have to worry about the Ravens’ kicker or how many timeouts they have.

2) If you go for the two-point conversion and succeed, Baltimore gets the ball back. Still with three timeouts and still with a great kicker, only you have the lead in the football game and a chance to win in regulation.

3) If you decide to kick the extra point and it’s good, Baltimore gets the ball back. Still with three timeouts and still with a great kicker, except you are tied and have just about no chance to win in regulation.

4) If you decide to kick the extra point and it’s missed, you’re attempting an onside kick, and you can refer back to #1 above.

Mike Zimmer made his choice, and it was the choice that gave his team basically no chance of winning in regulation, and there was obviously no guarantee that the Vikings were going to win (or even get the football) if the game went to overtime. . .we saw that.

Now, I said on Twitter at the time that I would have elected to go for two. The Vikings watched their defense spend basically the entire second half getting their asses kicked up one side of the field and down the other and they were clearly pretty tired at that point. To their credit, they did stand up at the end of regulation to force overtime, but I still think going for two would have been the right decision.

I can respect Mike Zimmer’s decision to kick the extra point, but man. . .the logic he’s using to justify it is awful. Why on earth would you base a decision like that on the other team’s personnel? Or how many timeouts they have? Go out there, put yourself in a position to win, and make the other team make the plays necessary to beat you.

I don’t hate Mike Zimmer, honestly. I’m not even saying that Mike Zimmer is a bad football coach. I think his window with this team has pretty much closed and that will become official at the end of this season, but that’s a separate discussion.

However, somebody is going to have to explain this to me in order to have any chance of it making any sort of sense. I just don’t get it. The Vikings should have won this game and had a ton of opportunities to do so, and they took one away from themselves at the end of the game and justified it with something that doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Does anyone else want to take a stab at it?