Dear Minnesota: You Suck

Posted: September 27, 2011 by Kodi in NFL, Pack It Up, Purple Pride

An Open Letter to Vikings Fans from a Packers Fans Perspective

The rivalry between Minnesota and Green Bay is a fiery one, but true Packers fans know that Chicago is the biggest game of the year. The border battle has had some terrific moments on the field and an infinite amount of encounters between fans off of it. There is something entertaining about talking shit to fans of your favorite teams rival but sometimes things can go too far. Friendly banter is expected but often times belligerency takes over and incompetency spews from their mouths like a liquid shit the morning after binge drinking.

If you didn’t know I was born and raised in Hawaii but have been a Packers fan since 1992, although I was transplanted to Minnesota in my teenage years around 1997. Many of those who do know this ask me “how can a kid from Hawaii be a Packers Fan?” and my answer is who the fuck cares? I support a team, the same team I have since I was 7 years old and haven’t jumped ship once. It doesn’t matter if I live in Wisconsin or have lived there but rather my knowledge of the team I support and the fact I am not a fair-weather fan that cheers for a team when they’re winning.

Living in Minnesota I am surrounded by Vikings fans, who may be the worst supporters in the country besides right wing religious nuts. Not because they’re aggressive or dangerous but rather because of their sheer stupidity. As well as their inability to break through this wall of ignorance built that they’ve constructed so well that Mao Tse-Tung and the entire Republic of China would be jealous.

There’s a saying “excuses are like assholes everybody has one” and I am surrounded by assholes. The Vikings of my grandfather’s NFL had the ability to get to 4 Super Bowls but as we all know they were unable to win any. Since that last SB appearance in 1976 the Vikes have gotten to 5 NFC Championship games and 3 in the past 13 years but Minnesota has lost every one. Gary Anderson is blamed for ’98, satellites were blamed for transmitting the Vikings plays after a 41-0 trouncing by the New York Giants in ’00 and the best one in my mind is the ‘Ol Gunslinger throwing over his body to Tracy Porter.

Minnesota is on their 4th Head Coach in 10 years after naming Leslie Frazier to the position because Brad Childress was fired in 2010 after a deflating 31-3 blowout at the hands of the soon to be Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers. Being a HC in Minnesota is dangerous because if there isn’t immediate improvement the HC is the person to be thrown under the bus first. It doesn’t matter who the players are on the field because I have found that most Vikings fans can’t evaluate talent if their lives depended on it. They hear things in the media or from one of their friends and it leads to Purple Fans emitting the same uninformed opinions and slowing building that wall, brick by brick.

I have decided that after just 3 weeks it is time for me to try and help inform Vikings fans what is wrong with their team so that they may sound a little more football savvy and intelligent. This may be difficult for some of you, so hold onto your bootstraps ladies and gentlemen. We already know that there is a lot of negativity surround the Vikings thus far so the optimist in me is going to start with the positive.

Adrian Peterson is single handedly the best RB in the league and Minnesota was able to wrap up a contract extension to keep AP in Minnesota for what may be his entire career. He is coming off of his “worst” season in 2010 when he rushed for 1298 yards and 12 TDs. He became the youngest player to rush for 6000 yards in just his 64th career game last Sunday against the Lions. He holds the record for single most rushing yards in a game, 296 against the Chargers in his rookie season and won the rushing title in 2008.

What I don’t understand is why the hell don’t they give this kid the ball on every single down? I don’t care if they do stack 8 men in the box, Peterson has shown he has the strength and burst to make his own plays and literally run over defenders. So far this year Peterson has recorded 36 rushing attempts tallying 230 yards and 3 TDs during the first half of Vikings games. It has been well aware to everyone that Minnesota has squandered double digit leads in every single game this season but sit at 0-3 in the basement of the NFC North.

Usually when a team is winning in the second half of the game they start running the ball because they know the clock is their friend. The Vikings have the best talent at that position and have been handed multiple opportunities to give it to their workhorse and let him gouge the jugulars of opposing defenses. That hasn’t happened. Peterson has carried the ball just 22 times for a total of 66 yards and no TDs in the second halves of this season.

After jumping to a 20-0 lead against the Lions you would think that Frazier and the Vikings would have learned but they didn’t and Peterson ran the ball just 5 times in the second half. What is more of a travesty is that on a key 4th and 1 that Minnesota decided to go for they handed the ball off to Toby Gerhart who was stopped short. Frazier deserved to turn the ball over on downs because he outcoached himself, trying to catch the defense off guard and taking the ball out of his playmakers hands.

The Vikings made a huge gamble when they drafted Florida St. QB Christian Ponder with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. I know a lot of Minnesota fans are excited for Ponder but what do they really know about him. “Oh he is the best pro-ready QB in the Draft” uttered by many “he graduated in three years” but do these terrible fans research for themselves or as I said earlier just have repetitive diarrhea of the mouth.

In Ponders first year as a starter, 2008, he had just 3 games of 13 that he threw for more than 1 TD in and finished the year with 14 TDs and 13 INTs and averaged 154 passing yards per game. His ’09 season was good but limited appearing in just 9 games but threw the same amount of TDs and cut his INTs in half throwing just 7 although 4 of those came in one game. In his Senior year he had 20 passing TDs and 8 INTs but he averaged just 170 passing yards per game. In his career at FSU he had 6872 passing yards 49 TDs and 30 INTs with a 61.8% pass completion. Ponder is definitely a NFL caliber QB but putting your entire franchise in his hands by drafting him at 12 seems like more than a reach and could bite them in the ass.

Although the Vikings Drafted Ponder the Lockout may have impede on Minnesota’s plan to see just how NFL ready he was and were forced to bring in a Veteran QB. That player just happened to be Donovan McNabb who had been surrounded by chaos last season while playing for Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins. McNabb really set the bar high in his first game for Minnesota going 7-15 with 39 passing yards, a TD and 1 INT. He hasn’t fared much better in the other two games constantly throwing inaccurate and uncatchable balls. It might be in the best interest of Minnesota to hand the reigns over to Ponder and see what the kid has but at this point it may be impossible for him to live up to unreachable expectations.

The Vikings WRs used to be filled with great players like Randy Moss and Cris Carter but now it’s filled with big names like Devin Aromashadu, Michael Jenkins and Bernard Berrian. I will not throw Percy Harvin in that list because I do believe that is another player with exceptional talent that is being underused. Harvin isn’t a true WR1 but he should be able to produce more than he has in the first three games, accumulation just 12 catches for 120 yards.

The biggest joke on the Purple’s WR Corps is Bernard Berrian who signed a 6 year $42 million contract in 2008 but drastically underperformed and restructured his deal coming into this year. In his 4 years as a Viking, Berrian has caught just 132 balls for 1852 yards and 11 TDs in 4 seasons. Packers WR Greg Jennings signed a 4 year $27 million contract in 2009 and in just the 2010 year he had 1265 yards and 12 TDs. The Vikings have made some bad personnel moves in the passing game starting with Randy Moss.

Last season Brad Childress and Minnesota traded a 3rd round pick to get Moss and after Randy compared the caterers food to the meals he feeds his dogs, Chilly puffed his chest out like it was a FG attempt and kicked him to the curb. This was the beginning of the end for Chilly but it should have been the end of the end. Owner Zygi Wilf was upset with the move and should have made a vote of confidence in Moss and brought him back and kicked Childress’ ass to the curb. Instead they let Brad stroll around like his shit didn’t stink and the organization gave up on their most explosive player in franchise history, other than AP.

The Offensive Line is another problem for the Vikings, which is surprising considering they had one of the best OLs in football for multiple years. The wheels have fallen off and the final straw came when they released Bryant McKinnie. McKinnie has underperformed his entire career but his half efforts have proven to be better than Charlie Johnson’s best effort. Johnson was brought in from Indianapolis and had me scratching my head immediately. The Colts are a pass heavy offense behind the direction of QB Peyton Manning, until this year, and have had a terrible rushing attack. The Vikings decide to bring in a LT that has shown he isn’t as comfortable blocking for the run than he does the pass and Minnesota should be run heavy.

The only other glimmer of hope, the last strand any Purple fan can grasp, is their defensive line. Jared Allen is one of the most colorful characters on the Minnesota football team and he has played well since joining the squad. He had a down year last season recording 11 Sacks but already has 4.5 this early in the season. Brian Robison has jumped into a starting DE position after Ray Edwards left for Atlanta and he has recorded 2.5 Sacks in his first three starts this season. Not to mention they just got back DT Kevin Williams one of the best players at his position and a likely HoF candidate at the end of his career.

The Vikings Sacked Detroit Lions QB Matt Stafford 5 times in their last game, impressive considering the Lions hadn’t allowed a single Sack entering the game. With all of that pass rush you would think that Minnesota would rank better than 29th in pass defense.  They have given up 898 passing yards and 5 TDs, two of those were caught by Lions WRs Calvin Johnson in the, you guessed it, second half of Sundays game. 3 of their 5 leading tacklers are DBs, CB Antoine Winfield leads the team with 23 but hasn’t looked as well as he has in years past.

The Vikings LBs are the Henderson brothers, Erin and E.J.,  and Chad Greenway but are they really that good or are they benefitting from the D-Line. Greenway is a solid tackler and decent in coverage but is he one of those LBs that you must scheme against or is that he just seems to be the person at the next level that makes the plays he’s supposed to. E.J. has shown the ability to takeover games but his age and injuries are playing against him and I personally don’t know how long he’s going to keep it up. Erin Henderson seems to have gotten the job simply by being the Vikings start MLBs little brother, nuff said.

There has been an attempt for a youth movement at CB bringing in players like Asher Allen and Chris Cook. They have been given ample opportunity but both leave Minnesota yearning for more. Cedric Griffin is a solid zone CB but can be taken advantage of when he’s caught in man-to-man single coverage. The Vikings pass defense is so terrible because they don’t have the talent at key positions and offenses that run a spread offense can pierce through soft coverage. The Safety situation isn’t much better, relying on Husain Abdullah and Jamarca Sanford after 2nd round pick Tyrell Johnson has played himself out of a job.

Ultimately there isn’t just one problem that the Vikings need to fix and they don’t seem to have the depth or the talent at important positions which means this ship might not be turned around this season. In my season preview I had the Vikings winning 6 games and I believe that is a reachable goal. The organization has decisions to make and do what is best for the team, not what the fan base wants. Minnesota is going to struggle but their defense has shown they can take over games, just in the first half, but they need to learn how to finish. Their offensive game-plan thus far has taken the ball out of their two best playmakers hands and into a QB on his last leg.

This may be hard for Vikings fans to read but they might just have to start getting used to this as they have officially replaced Detroit as the worst team in the division. If I was Adrian Peterson I would try to get out of that contract I just signed, unless winning doesn’t mean anything to me and try to get on a team with a brighter future and a coach staff that utilizes my talent. I love the rivalry between Green Bay and Minnesota and talking shit is a lot of fun but realistically the rivalry isn’t fun when one team is terrible and the other is great. So that being said, get your shit together Minnesota and make it a little more difficult for me to decimate your squad.

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