Sunday, January 02, 2011

The clever hopes expire on a low dishonest football season

For me, the 2010 football season featured less fun and joy than any season since, gosh, maybe ever. The Vikings disappointed grandly. My wife quit watching the games with me when the Vikings cut Randy Moss. My fantasy teams sucked (my Hazelweird team appears to have peaked in Week 17, just in time to avoid last place). The season featured many things against my rooting interests (the Packers are in the playoffs, the Patriots are dominant again), and even the snowy collapse of Thunderdome. The only things to consider now is where to go from here.

Joe Webb. Sure, maybe this game was a buzzkill, but we still know what we knew: Webb has a lot of work to do to be a quality starter, but the potential is there. The Vikings should not, in my opinion, draft a QB in the first round of the draft. This is partly because there are glaring needs elsewhere (the Vikes need 2-4 new starting defensive backs, depending on how things go, and also need offensive line improvement), but mostly that it would be pointless to have two young, inexperienced, talented QBs on the roster competing for the chance to start. Webb certainly deserves a spot on the roster, and far better to bring in a veteran QB for him to play behind or to compete against for the job. A veteran QB (by which I mean an experienced QB around the middle of his career, not a Childress-special end-of-career-stopgap solution, which would be somebody like Donovan McNabb or Matt Hasselbeck) available in an offseason is going to have baggage. It might be somebody in the range of Kevin Kolb-Rex Grossman-Sage Rosenfels-Kyle Orton-Carson Palmer-Matt Leinart-Jason Campbell. If you don't like those names, tell me a better realistic possibility (and some of those guys aren't even going to be available).

Leslie Frazier. I think keeping Frazier is a good thing. As I've said, when you hire a new coach, you try to project based on his resume and personality whether he will be a successful coach in your particular situation. Zygi Wilf had a chance to actually see what Frazier could do in this situation, and I think it would have been difficult for Frazier, in these circumstances, to do a better job than he has done. Now he has a tough job, I think: telling current assistant coaches--a few weeks ago his colleagues--that the team needs to go in a different direction offensively.

New offensive approach. There is a load of skill position talent on the roster, and the Vikings need to utilize it better than they have been. The Vikings have unique talents like Adrian Peterson (still a potential all-timer, whose potential has yet to be fulfilled) and Percy Harvin (a versatile player that can be moved all over the field and asked to do all sorts of things with the ball). Can they find a creative, adaptive offensive coordinator who can find ways to utilize their talents? I hope they don't keep the same offensive coaching staff and scheme.

Aging veterans. The Vikings should keep Antoine Winfield on the roster until it's clear he can't do anything anymore--he's too savvy a player not to be useful. But the Vikes might be cutting ties with some other starters.

The year long weaknesses: secondary and offensive line. Because the Vikings need to add multiple quality starters in these areas, this is no quick fix.

Who can they keep? Chad Greenway? Ray Edwards? Sidney Rice? Will they be Vikings next year? I hope so.

Goodbye, suckers.
But I won't be here to blog about it anymore. No drama: I'm just wore out from five season of writing about this team, and my time and energies are more and more devoted to other important things. I just want to follow and watch the team, not think of what to say about it (frankly, I've scrambled for time this year, and feel my writing has frequently been pretty incomplete and scattered). I leave you as I started with A.E. Housman's poem "Loveliest of trees, the cherry now." With each of my allotted years that goes by, one chance to see the Vikings win the Super Bowl passes by unfulfilled. Maybe next year. Always, eternally, forever, maybe next year.

Thanks for reading.

22 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:19 PM

    Alas, farewell, p.v.

    I'm not very original, so I'll end with an overused quote by an overused (if spectacular) author:

    All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts his acts being seven years.
    -Shakespeare, As You Like It

    I've been a faithful reader, p.v., and occasional commenter, and I've thoroughly enjoyed your run. Best wishes, and I hope to read you again, soon.

    -tc

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  2. Anonymous7:24 PM

    You need to come back next fall. We need to read you.
    Draft a QB in round one. (Luck, Locker, Mallett come to mind quick)
    Keep Frazier but get rid on Bevell!
    Talent here, but some missing. (DB, offensive line, receiver.)
    CAn rebuild quickly, I believe.

    Text you later!

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  3. Anonymous8:58 PM

    You are the Brett Favre of bloggers !! :)

    Just kidding but please come back. This is a unique blog that gets inside the sad mindset of a Viking fan. You will be missed.

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  4. Anonymous9:09 PM

    I've enjoyed reading, and, yes, commiserating with you PV. It will be a sad day to delete your blog bookmark. Adieu and thanks for the pleasurable reading!
    TJ

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  5. Anonymous9:55 PM

    Lord knows it's been a bitter ride
    to watch a friend swim against the tide
    To see them struggle and fight for gain
    only to flail and strive in vain

    So it is with our Viking team
    that never built up a head of steam
    With a crew on board and no captain to lead
    we are indeed a team with a lot of need

    Offseason is a time of hope for you
    free agents and draft and no Madieu
    With caution cast off and nothing to fear
    hell, who knows there is always next year
    Supa

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  6. Plinthy the Middling12:03 AM

    Well, PV, you have done a hell of an honest 5 seasons work, a genuine special teams turk. And you are leaving all sound advice in your wake.

    But I will go just a bit further. This division is going to be a real problem whenever league play resumes: Detroit is hack to hurting opponents badly, win or lose by a little - the Man Called Suh is going to erase the memory of Alex Karras; Green Bay has its act together; and the Bears are snarling. If the Vikes qb is not ten feet tall wearing a cape with all sorts of superpowers and the ability to leap mighty mental challenges in a single bound, the Norske will not be worth watching until one of your grandchildren takes over. And all that makes Mighty Joe Webb not an option, but instead the only smart choice.

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  7. I've enjoyed your work PV, I understand you don't want to waste emotional energy blogging anymore. But please feel free to comment about major events this offseason, and I love the insight you provide from your post game reports! Keep the faith brother, we had to wait about 10 years in between legitimate title shots, '98 - '09, I pray we'll have another chance while Peterson is in his prime!

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  8. Anonymous7:53 AM

    Best Vikings site on the interwebs. You'll be missed.

    --jianfu

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  9. I think they SHOULD draft a QB early, and here's why: they can move Webb back to WR and have him & Harvin (and Rice, hopefully) while jettisoning Berrian. Then they draft the future franchise QB AND acquire a mid-career veteran, like you suggested. I think the secondary looked very bad, but also that Cook & Griffen getting healthy will help a lot. Abdullah showed good play. They can drop Madieau Williams, obviously. I think if they can draft a starting DB and a starting OL (RG, most likely), they'll be back in contention.

    I won't mind if Ray Edwards walks away. I think there's plenty of young, talented depth on the D-line, but Greenway must be kept. Rice too, although Webb+Harvin could be a pretty nice combo if Webb can learn quickly.

    I expected 11 wins and a run in the playoffs this year, which added to my disappointment. I'm hoping for 9-7 next year, and will be happy if that is met or exceeded, which I think is possible.

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  10. Bismuth8:41 PM

    PV, I hope this is another false alarm, and that we get the pleasure of reading your posts again in the future, but I get the sense you're for real this time. It's understandable wanting to ditch the drama after a season like this (heck, after the whole past decade, and especially the Favre years), but I'm still sad to see you go. I'll keep you in my feed reader, so if you do happen to post again, I'll be there to welcome you back. Thanks for the many great posts, and here's hoping we get to see that Super Bowl victory.

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  11. PV:

    Thanks for all the writing. Even when the Vikings play sucked, I always looked forward to reading your posts on that suckage.

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  12. More bad news on top of a disastrous season. I cannot blame you in the least. Thanks for everything over the years.

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  13. Well I think this was the worst possible outcome after that crushing disappointment in the NFCCG last year, so coming back only to witness this must be really hard on you.

    I still hope to find you from time to time here or on FO. I dont know If I liked your objective insights or your mind boggling insane Fandom more enticing, but it all came together in a rather interesting mix.

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  14. Anonymous6:15 PM

    Sad to see it go PV. Enjoyed our time as fans of the same team.

    rk

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  15. Anonymous9:33 PM

    Hopefully you come back just to give a thought or reaction from time to time.

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  16. The Packers better not win the Super Bowl! Honestly, I hope the Super Bowl ends with a tie, after all players have passed out from multiple OTs

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  17. Anonymous5:27 PM

    Well PV, if You don't want to run a site anymore, have You considered occasionaly contributing to another site? I'm sure your pro-viking reports would be welcomed on, for instance, the Daily Norseman, which is the best Vikings site on the web. I've been going there for years. Your fans should check it out.

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  18. Anonymous1:03 AM

    I second the Daily Norseman recommendation. You'd bring great Vikings writing while having a "support group" of other fans to share your misery if the next few years are anything like 2010.

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  19. Anonymous4:54 PM

    excellent way to leave some knowledge.

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  20. ...and I'd welcome your comments on my newly relaunched blog, jasonwinter.wordpress.com. I was like you, too fatigued to write about the team for a while, so I basically shut down the old blog a year and a half ago until I had the energy to start again, mixing it with some of my other interests in the hopes I can keep things fresh.

    C'mon, you know you're anxious to talk about AP's new deal!

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  21. Me gusta mucho, te hace reflexionar en muchos aspectos . . .

    Visita mi blog, www.mini-thor.blogspot.com

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