Vikings Roll Out Red Carpet For Totally Happy Mike Wallace


The show was as much for us as it was for him.

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When the Vikings rolled out the red carpet for newly-acquired WR1 Mike Wallace on Saturday, not only did they want to show their new player some love, they wanted to show the fans that despite everything you’ve heard it’s all good between Minnesota and Mr. Wallace.

The Vikings’ PR team knew they would have some work to do reversing the perception that Wallace was a very unhappy camper after being traded from hot-and-hopping Miami to the Siberian hinterlands.

The PR team earned their money this weekend that’s for sure. And Mr. Wallace showed that he’s not only slick on the football field, he also knows his way around a canned statement.

After a report from highly-respected Miami beat reporter Armando Salguero saying Wallace was “not thrilled” about the trade, job one was changing the narrative.

Hey, what better way to dispel stories of a disgruntled player than staging a nice photo op with the head coach? Does this look like a man who’s unhappy? Well does it?

Forget about everything you’ve heard. Mike Wallace is NOT pissed to be in Minnesota. See? He’s SMILING.

Can a man’s true state-of-mind really be determined from one staged publicity shot? According to Viking fans the answer is yes. So I guess the source that said Wallace was unhappy…that person must have been lying, huh?

Well according to Wallace himself, he never told anyone he was unhappy (via Pioneer-Press):

"“I’m excited,” Wallace said. “That’s not really true because I didn’t even tell anybody. I don’t know where that kind of came from. A lot of people always put words in mouth. Nobody ever heard me say that. I don’t have any problem being here. I’m excited. I’m excited for a fresh start.”"

Rick Spielman did not actually sit next to Wallace whispering the words in his ear like that time with Josh Freeman, but that only proves Wallace is better at knowing his lines than Josh Freeman.

I have no idea how Mike Wallace will fit into Norv Turner’s scheme, but I do know that for this weekend at least he was totally in-sync with the Vikes’ PR folks.

Minneapolis? A great city, says Mike Wallace.

"A message from Mike Wallace (@Wallace17_daKid).— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) March 14, 2015"

Once upon a time Mike Wallace spurned the Vikings as a free agent because he didn’t want to play in the cold. No, this is not merely a rumor or a dubious report from shady sources. Wallace admitted it (via Pioneer-Press):

"“I definitely considered it,” Wallace said of signing with the Vikings in 2013. “The cold weather was big at that time.”"

The lack of palm trees in Minnesota evidently turned Wallace off. And the strippers in Miami are way hotter, I hear.

But we don’t have to worry about Mike Wallace being sent into a depression by the bad weather or lack of nocturnal culture in the Twin Cities. How do I know? Cause…he said so.

I mean, he posed with the head coach. And SMILED. And did a video where he called Minneapolis a great city. What more assurance do you people need?

Did I mention the Vikings are getting a new stadium? And they’re selling seats?

Saturday’s dog-and-pony show gave fans plenty of ammo for going on Twitter and shouting down the “haters” who think Mike Wallace is another disgruntled Viking. Mission accomplished.

But that was the easy part. The hard part comes later when Mike Wallace actually has to get on the field and produce at a level commensurate with his pay.

It’s funny how fast blind fan support evaporates when a guy starts dropping passes. It’s also funny how much of a jerk a guy can become when things aren’t going his way.

The truth about Mike Wallace – and I don’t need a source to tell me this or a picture of his facial expression to confirm it; I have the history to back me up – is that he’s a malcontent.

Wallace may not be prone to violence like Percy Harvin but he is seemingly just as prickly and given to pout when things don’t go his way.

In Miami he even pulled himself out of a game, a move that reportedly angered his teammates. And this wasn’t an end-of-the-game sullen walk-off like Randy Moss pulled that time, this was before the half.

In 2012 while a member of the Steelers, Wallace showed what a great team guy he was by holding out of OTAs and most of training camp cause he wanted more money. Remember when Percy Harvin sat out of OTAs cause he wanted a trade and everyone said the media were blowing it out of proportion?

How did that turn out?

And then there are the little things. Questions about Wallace’s route-running. Questions about his willingness to go up high for balls if there’s a danger of his getting hit. Questions about his willingness to block. Questions about his locker room presence.

Will Wallace be good for Teddy Bridgewater and Cordarrelle Patterson? Will he be a mentor like the now-departed Greg Jennings? Do the Vikings now have a leadership vacuum on their offense?

None of these questions will matter to fans currently lapping up the happy juice being served by the Vikings and their new WR1, but they will matter down the road.

Right now it’s great because the Vikings finally made the big splashy move that fans have been longing for. The Vikings finally GOT IN ON THE FUN. But let’s see what Mike Wallace does on the field.

Let’s see if he runs a route as well as he ran around reporters’ questions this weekend. Let’s see if he high-points the ball as well as he takes the high road.

The Vikings gave Wallace the royal treatment this weekend and you would have expected no less. Now let’s hope Wallace doesn’t turn out to be a royal pain in the ass like he was in both Pittsburgh and Miami.

Next: Cardinals Will Offer ‘High Pick’ If Peterson Hits Trade Block

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