Now that the panic has set in, let’s all calm down and disco


This morning I received a 3 page text from an outraged friend. He, like myself, is a Die Hard Vikings fan. He, unlike myself, has kept the faith alive. This week I have been working on my very first article. I titled it “Is it time for Vikings Fans to start thinking about next year”. I’m sure you can guess what the article detailed, but have no fear, it’s been thrown in the hard drive trash. Here is the reason (text) why I have wiped out those 620 carefully selected words:

"Can’t believe all this tanking talk dude, are you kidding me? What does that really do? There are no guarantees ever in the NFL draft. I would never bandwagon jump to tank in week 3. I know you had to witness garbage firsthand, but this is what I have been calling for since July. Arguing with dudes, cuz it was known Ponder wasn’t the future. All together, Matt C will be winning 3 straight guaranteed. But hit me up later for bowling."

Hell yes. I was temporarily lost, but now am forever found. You don’t ever pack it in after 3 weeks. Ever. That child’s play is left for the likes of the NBA, where explicit tanking happens. I’m actually quite disgusted with myself. 24 years bleeding purple and I was hoping for a winless season? My fingers were just partially arthritic typing that nonsense. If you want to be a pessimistic, cynical, typical Minnesota sports fan, be my guest. But for those still holding on to the strands of Viktor’s Goldilocks, here is some material for you to get your Skol on.

It’s only week 4. Yes, 0 wins is never something to be happy about. Just look at the number itself with its gaping hole of emptiness and lack of character. But its next the number 3. That’s 0-3. Not that bad huh? Now let’s dive into the schedule. The next three games are against the Steelers, Panthers, and Giants. Together they have 1 win and loads of problems. That’s not to say we aren’t sorting out our own issues, but if you’re in a rut, you couldn’t ask for a more favorable schedule to bounce back on. To entertain the premonition my friend has, let’s say we go 3-0 the next 3 games. That puts us at 3-3 with momentum facing the Packers at home the next week. And what if you win that game? Momentum then turns into bonafide confidence. Will it happen – I don’t know. Can it happen – absolutely.

Now I know what you’re saying. ‘This team is littered with problems’. ‘You can’t just magically turn into a winner’. And I hear what you’re saying, but here is where I disagree with you. We can all agree that football is a team sport. I’d say the ultimate team sport. But we also can all agree that the brunt of the pressure falls on the Quarterback. What I believe, and what appears to be happening before our eyes, is that when the Quarterback of your team cannot handle the pressure, the pressure than disperses unevenly on the team. Adrian tries to do too much with his carries. Jared Allen starts thinking a sack could save the season. Etc, etc, etc. If you think back to the ’09 season, this point should ring a bell. Everybody played so loose. They knew as long as they did their job, #4 would always put them in a great position to win a game. Panic was obsolete in that locker room.

That brings us to Matt Cassel. Some hate the guy, some swear by him, some don’t even really know who he is. But we can all agree that a 27 TD and 7 INT season, is a helluva season. I understand that it’s one season, and he’s had some pretty atrocious ones to follow, but those stats are not a fluke. Those stats indicate that in the right system, with the right personnel, this guy can get it done in the National Football League. I believe the Vikings and Matt Cassel are a good fit. I believe that the mistakes made by other facets of the team (O-line, Secondary, D-line), can be corrected with solid and trustworthy Quarterback play. I believe a win in London before heading home to play the dismal Panthers will right the ship. I believe in Casseltum. Skol up.