Once again, I sat down with Ted Glover of the Daily Norseman to swap insights on the NFC North rivalry that is renewed again this Sunday. Since the last meeting between the Packers and Vikings, Ted has added a new duty to his job description: grief counselor. Be warned, Vikings fans have apparently unloaded plenty of grief on poor Ted, and he seems to be turning into more of a R. Lee Ermey-esque shrink.
For the record, I tried not to kick him when his team is down...I really did. But at some point, there's nothing more to talk about but the team's struggles and locker-room chaos.
APC: Four weeks ago, it seemed like there was still optimism in the Vikings’ fan base. The Randy Moss circus had only recently arrived in the Twin Cities (again), and the Vikes were coming off a close win against the Cowboys. Now, the team is 3-6, and Moss is already gone. What is the general feeling among Minnesota fans, and is anyone holding out any real hope for the rest of this season?
DN: Well, every week I do a 'Stock Market Report' story for DN which reflects my mood based on the outcome of the game, and it discusses buys, sells, junk bonds, blue chip stocks, etc regarding the game. I also embed a music video that reflects my mood going forward. After the Bears game, I chose Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a haunting tune by Gordon Lightfoot which chronicles the demise of a Great Lakes cargo ship. The good news is that it was the pride of the Great Lakes fleet. The bad news is that it was lost in a storm without a trace, killing all 29 crewmembers. Then, I drove to the airport, called a TSA agent a fascist gorilla, set my nuts on fire, and dared him to touch my junk. So, that's my feeling towards 2010 nine weeks into it. Oh, and a wounded baby seal surrounded by Killer Whales fresh out of Fat Camp has more hope of not being turned into killer whale poop than Viking fans do of the Purple and Gold making the playoffs. Just bash my nuts in with a baseball bat. I hate this season.
APC: What’s the latest on Sidney Rice? Is he expected to return this year, or would the Vikings’ recent struggles make them more likely to place him on Injured Reserve?
DN: Well, the team gave him clearance to play, but he felt he wasn't ready to go. It's his call on whether or not to play, as I understand it. Apparently, it takes a lot longer to recover from a hysterectomy than the trainers thought. I kid, I kid (especially about getting my nuts based in with a baseball bat--that would freakin' hurt). In all seriousness, I don't know. The players are saying all the right things, and if they really mean it then he's needed. Should he play? If he's healthy, hell yes. Say what you want about Favre and whether or not he's hurting the team, he drags his ass out there and competes like an SOB every week. If Rice is actually hurt, then no, obviously not.
APC: The Packers’ defense has been impressive in ten quarters of football since halftime of the first game between these two teams, allowing only 14 points in that span. What are the matchups that you expect the Vikings to target when they have the ball, and how effective do you think they’ll be?
DN: Well, with Randy Moss drawing over the top...wait, nevermind. Tough to say, to be honest. The WR corps is decimated--Sidney Rice is still out, Percy Harvin hurt his ankle again, and Bernard Berrian was mysteriously unable to go against Chicago, and then tweeted after the game he was fine, but went to see a doctor today. By the way, I freaking hate Twitter. I wish Twitter would get thrown into a maximum security prison and shivved and left to die in the shower by AOL. Harvin has really emerged this year, but if Berrian and Rice are still hurt, it might be tough to get him going. Adrian Peterson is always a threat, and if they can get him going early, they might be able to keep Green Bay's defense off balance enough to get a win.
APC: Have there been any Vikings’ players who have impressed you this season with their effort and dedication despite the rather crazy circumstances surrounding the team?
DN: Adrian Peterson, of course. The guy just runs with an intensity and fury that is just fun to watch, regardless of how the team as a whole is doing. Percy Harvin is just a stud. Migraines are a bitch, and he answers the bell every week. Pound for pound, I think he runs harder than anyone in the league, and he's playing on an ankle that is seriously sprained. How he does what he does is amazing. On defense, EJ Henderson has been a stud. After he broke his leg on national TV against the Cardinals last year, I wasn't sure if he'd ever play again--it was as gruesome as anything I've seen since Joe Theismann's injury. But he flies around the field and has been making a ton of plays for the Vikings. If the other 50 guys on this team had half the heart and half of what my coach used to call 'want to', the Vikings would be undefeated. But they don't, and they aren't.
APC: How long will it be until Brad Childress gets canned like a batch of Grandma's marmalade?
DN: Tough to say. Barring a miracle, I think it's safe to say he's gone at the end of the season. I say it's 60-40 he'd gets canned if the Vikes lose to Green Bay as badly as they lost to Chicago. If I knew it was a 100% chance he'd get fired if the VIkings lost, I think I'd don one of those Vince Lombardi air brushed onto a Pope hat get ups, buy me a sixer of Blatz, and memorize that Go Pack Go song for a day. And I hate your team. Chilly makes me miss Mike Tice. The 2010 NFL season sucks.
Well. there you have it. If we could guarantee Ted that Childress would get fired, he'd turn into Saint Vince on Sunday. Although if it were me, I'd say skip the Blatz and go with Schlitz. Their new (old) recipe is great. GO PACK GO!