What a crazy couple of weeks in Vikings land - from Super Bowl contenders to top 5 draft pick to now maybe playoff bound. Funny how things can go from real good, to OH NO, to okay all because of one knee. I know what some of you are thinking, how does an elite athlete hurt their knee with no contact? Well I got news for you; I’ve seen this happen first hand. Back in the day, I was lucky enough not to get cut from some good Tiger teams and witnessed firsthand one of Henderson’s finest, Mike Spellman, burn his knee with no contact. Mike was playing defense, skied really high in the air he sort of jumped up, came down with an interception and as he made his move to scamper down the sideline for the easy score his knee went – pop bing bang. There he lay in a heap. Knee wrecked and season over. No contact. D U N – done. So I learned early that even the greatest of athletes can injure themselves with no contact.
I got to be honest, at first blush I didn’t like the trade. Don’t know if I’m still sold. (Start Stave!) Trading a first round draft pick for a one year rental – that doesn’t seem to make any sense. And another thing, what about Sum Barnford’s knee? Well, I guess he doesn’t get a nice contract if his knee is trick, so it must be fine. But what are the Vikings going to do with 2 starting QB’s on their roster next year? Think Randall Cunningham – Brad Johnson? And yes, and there is some talk Teddy might be out longer than a year. And to be honest, how many games could Benny Hill play at his age? No where near 16 - I can guarantee that. So a play needed to be made and what were the Vikings going to do? Get Sanchez? Get Mike Vick off the dog ranch? Bark! No. So Barnford it is. Some are even suggesting that if Barnford hangs around the Quarterback Whisperer, AKA Norval Eugene Turner, Barnford just might be the next coming of Troy Aikman. Could be. And could be I will win at pull tabs next time around. Could happen, I suppose, but highly unlikely.
Before I was able to process the logic in the trade I had to text the Painter’s eldest son, a great football mind that I agree to disagree with at times, truth be told. I was saying paid way to high of a price and was looking for some opposing views. His take is if the Vikings can win 10 games with Sum Barnford, then the trade is worth it. (This might be one of those disagree moments.) He also pointed out like others, this was probably the best the Vikings could have done with the hand that was dealt them. (Know when to fold them, know when to hold them, know when to run.) He also pointed out that Sum never has had a running game worth a pinch of salt, ever. (Agree). And then his twisted mind came up with this bombshell - what if Sum Barnford is the second coming of Johnny Unite Us? He then suggested trading Teddy for a first rounder. What? Blasphemy! Don’t say like that. OK – let that soak in a bit and it might happen – remember you heard that here first.
Onto the task at hand – tomorrow’s game against the Titans. This will be huge - probably the biggest game so far this season. I enjoy some great defenses (why not take Myles Jack #1?) and we should look forward to Louie LeBeau’s blitzes versus Don Zimmer’s double A gap blitz package. That’s fun right there. Over under on how many times Louie LeBeau (godfather of the zone blitz) is shown on TV is 8. That will get old, especially if things are working. Considering the exotic blitzes that will be unleashed, I fully expect Benny Hill to start as he knows the offense. Besides, the Vikes can always turn to Sum Barnford if things go haywire or leave him on the sidelines if things go well. I believe the thought is better to lose with Benny Hill starting than to lose with Sum Barnford starting, don’t want to trample Sum’s spirit right out of the gate by replacing him with Benny Hill. (Like ouch, man.) Let’s just hope Benny Hill don’t get hurt before the return of Taylor Hide The Key heals up. (Start Stave!) Hide The Key = Heinicke. That’s funny stuff right there considering he severed a tendon kicking in his door because….wait for it…...he didn’t hide a key.
On the offensive side of things, I don’t know if AP has the speed he once had and this might be that year that things start to decline. It happens. Rudy at TE had looked good and so has Diggs, that duo could be fun to watch. Treadstill hasn’t been too impressive for being a #1 so we will see how things work there. One should remember they held the reins on Randy Moss as a rookie as WR’s never shine as rookies. It will also be interesting how the offensive line looks, especially Daniel Boone. I can see him mixing it up after the whistle a few times.
For the Oilers, it’s Marion Mariachi at QB and he isn’t half bad. He has DeMarko Murray at RB and he isn’t half bad either. So this will be a good test for the Vikings defense. And if the Mariachi Band gets knocked out of the game we could see Matthew Cassel at QB, one of the many, former great backup QB’s that wore purple. Right up there with Steve Dils in my book.
Get the beer on ice, clean the grill, its football season!!!