Most football prognosticators have the Vikings finishing at the bottom of the brutally tough NFC North division. Rebuilding team trying to compete with three potential Super Bowl contenders? Roster full of rookies and low-end free agents with a smattering of expensive veterans? Best offensive player possibly on the shelf to start the season? Unproven quarterback? Holes all over the secondary? Better luck next year purple crew.
But Zygi Wilf, he doesn’t care about prognosticators. He said during Tuesday’s afternoon training camp session:
I expect to be (NFC North) division champs. I want to be able to fight for the division, as we always did every year, and get better for years to come. That’s always been our goal and it’s been the goal since the first day I came here.
So that means Zygi is totally delusional right? The Vikings have no shot and everyone with a clue knows they have no shot. Well, of course Zygi is not delusional and he’s not a moron. He also knows the Vikings have no shot, and if you gave him truth serum he would admit that. But Zygi’s not in the truthful sports prognostication business, he’s in the football business, and to thrive in that business you have to sell tickets. Owners looking to sell tickets don’t stand in front of microphones and say the team stinks and is rebuilding so there’s no reason for fans to bother coming to games. They say stuff just like what Zygi said.
The Vikings are doing what they have to do with their various statements about the state of the team. On the one hand, they’re selling the long-term plan. On the other hand, they’re denying that it’s a rebuilding effort. It’s semantics of course. The truth is, the Vikings will be lucky to crack 5 wins this year let alone contend for the playoffs. But I think most non-delusional fans realize this and aren’t too bothered. They’re just hoping for improvement. It’s probably going to be a long year, but maybe there will be bright spots. But playoffs? No. No one thinks that, including Zygi Wilf. Not really.