With the Minnesota Vikings bracing for their next game in the national spotlight on Monday, I find myself wishing that Sandra Bullock would reprise her roll as Leigh Anne Tuohy from The Blind Side and give them a hug-and-a-kiss-and-a-kick-in-the-ass pep talk to get them back on track. Simplistic as it is, sometimes I think the team needs a mom.
Okay, it’s the height of overly simplistic, but there are a number of team issues that I can’t help but think a mom would help them get through. Here are a few of them.
- Bernard Berrien and Adrian Peterson both getting ticketed for driving more than 100mph on Minnesota roads. That isn’t just speeding, driving that fast generally falls under reckless endangerment. And, I find myself seriously wishing that those two had a mother like a friend of mine who had been known, on occasion, to very loudly ask her progeny, “What is your goddamn problem?” In the face of an angry maternal figure asking that question, answering back, “I didn’t want to be late for team check-in,” or “I just didn’t realize how fast I was going” would be relegated to their proper place as lame and ineffectual answers, not to be repeated.
- Brett Favre and Coach Brad Childress can’t seem to see eye-to-eye on audibles and when Favre should come off the field. For those of us with siblings, there comes a time when you realize you are going to have to find a way to get along because you are stuck with each other—at least that’s what I was told when I suggested we send my sister back where she came from. Likewise, Childress and Favre are stuck with each other. Childress hitched himself to Favre in order to deliver what Vikings owners the Wilfs want, a championship. I doubt Childress would have his lucrative contract extension if not for the success of our friendly quarterback from Mississippi. Favre hitched himself to the Vikings and Childress to get what he wants, a championship. Considering they have the same goal, folks need to put aside differences and figure out how to get the job done. They need a working compromise giving Favre the freedom to audible out of run plays based on what he sees on the field and do what he does best—use his experience to make things happen. They also need to agree that, since Favre isn’t a spring chicken, sometimes Childress is going to have to take Favre out of the games so to rest him for the postseason. If Favre is really going to be a team player, then he has to view his health heading into the postseason as a team asset.
- Last week against the Carolina Panthers Bryant McKinnie said he had one of his worst games ever. When the St. Paul paper spoke with former Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer, he said it looked like McKinnie was on “roller skates” the way Julius Peppers pushed him around the field. I’ve tried to understand why people say McKinnie is good when it seems like every time the quarterback gets hit it’s from McKinnie’s side. The guy is 6’8” and weighs 335 pounds and yet Peppers pushed him around the field like he was on wheels. Make no mistake, I recognize that Peppers is good, but it is hard to believe he could sack and hurry Brett Favre as much and as consistently as he did if McKinnie wasn’t having a performance that was tepid at best. Since players don’t generally make it to the NFL by phoning it in, I think it is fair to say that somewhere along the way McKinnie may have lost some of that drive and urgency to do his best and be the best possible player at his position. If he took just a fraction of the passion he fuels into his bar fights and put it into his on-field performance, I don’t think ol’ Bretty would spend so much time getting pummeled.
Let’s hope the current NFC North Division champs don’t end up having to call in a little football mama to set them straight, but if they do, I hope that the Wilfs have Leigh Anne Tuohy on speed-dial.
*This piece is also posted at http://www.vikingsmix.com under my alter ego Skol Girl. Vikingsmix has fan blogs and links to news stories about the Minnesota Vikings. Check it out!