I guess I have to write something about the Vikings after all that’s gone on this week. Even before Teddy Bridgewater had his freak accident (what else do you call a non-contact dislocation of the knee and a completely torn ACL?), sports pundits were either complaining about Teddy’s arm-strength or saying he needed to step up to “take it to the next level”. Those who use that mindless phrase need to be put in a pit with the others who say “giving 110%” and be set on fire. Just ignorant, empty phraseology which belongs in my JockSpeak™ listing. Let me say this about sports pundits and sports writers, in general: I respect Joe Posnanski because he writes well-researched and thoughtful
stories; the others are seldom worth the time to read and certainly no smarter than any meathead at your local sports bar. In fact, your local meathead probably gets his defective sports thoughts from the national punditry or *gasp* ESPN. I’m not even going to dissemble on the Twitter-rific train wreck that is CBSsports.com.
Getting back to the Vikings, I go back to the Purple People Eater days and remember those years between Joe Kapp and the return of Fran Tarkenton. In 1970, the Vikings went 12-2, just as they did in the Super Bowl IV season, the year before, and they went 11-3 the year after, in 1971. Their quarterback? the committee of none other than the inimitable Gary Cuozzo and Bob Lee, with Norm Snead jumping in later. They made the playoffs both years and ran into some bad luck against the Cowboys and 49ers, respectively. The point is this: neither Vikings team had what anyone would call a bonafide starting quarterback and they certainly did not have a dominant running game in an age where run-first was de rigueur for the NFL – especially at the Met. What the Vikings had was a dominant defense (just like now) and a great coach in the person of Bud Grant (now they have Mike Zimmer). The Vikings are going to be just fine with Shaun Hill. He is a competent quarterback who can run the offense – with Adrian Peterson! – and make smart decisions. Bridgewater is the future of the franchise, Hill is the quarterback for times such as these. The entire Vikings team has to win, not just the quarterback, and I hope they do, just to shut up some of these idiot pundits.
*Of course, the Vikings do it to me again and, while I’m writing, they go out and deal for Sam Bradford. It’s not a bad trade, but for a first round, in 2017, and fourth round, in 2018, with the potential to move up, I would have liked to have seen a player who is significantly better than Hill. Yet, this still doesn’t change my feelings on the potential for the Vikings this year; you still have to play the games!