Thank God It’s Football Season Again

I got the best of both worlds for the Super Bowl, with former Minnesota guys and each getting a touchdown in the big game while the still lost in the most exciting Super Bowl since the came up a yard short against the in .

After a long off season, it’s football season again with the NFL Scouting Combine, which .

Childress and the scouts are hard at work evaluating players these days. For all the criticism I’ve leveled at the current Vikings regime, I’ll give them this: They do their homework on player evaluation. That is evident in the past two drafts.

Defensive End

The Vikings biggest offseason need got bigger with the sad news that veteran defensive end . The team cannot rely on remaining healthy and will test free agency, so that leaves , , and as the top defensive ends.

The pickings are mighty slim for defensive ends in free agency this year, with the only notable name being the . Fortunately, though, this year’s draft class appears to be . The team should in position to take one of the top three or four defensive ends in the draft. Many mock drafts have the Vikings taking Florida speed rusher . I wouldn’t be surprised if the team took one or two more defensive ends this year, though.

Wide Receiver

The team is reportedly going to pursue a free agent wide receiver. Like last year, is fairly unimpressive. Topping the list are ‘s and ‘s . Neither player excites me, but between the two, I’d take Porter over Berrian. While Berrian may be faster, at 6’1", 185 lbs, he seems rather slight for a number one receiver. Porter has more bulk and size (6’2", 220 lbs) and more experience.

On the other hand, Berrian fits the profile of the young, on-the-rise player coming off their first contract the Vikings like to target in free agency. In addition to stretching the field, Berrian caught 71 passes and scored 5 touchdowns on a Bears team with horrible quarterbacks, so he might be a good fit for a still-developing .

Arizona ‘ receiver also fits the young, on-the-rise profile the Vikings like. At 6’3", 213 lbs, he provides a big target who is consistent, reeling in at least 40 balls during the past four seasons. Having played in the shadow of and his entire pro career, he’s never really had a chance to carry the load and show what he can do.

‘s agent is shopping his client around with the blessings of the Vikings, who also say are happy to keep Williamson if they aren’t offered a deal they like. I can’t imagine the Vikes getting anything better than a 4th round pick, which they should consider a blessing and move on.

It also wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Vikings take a receiver in the draft even if they sign a veteran free agent and especially if they get an extra pick from moving Troy Williamson. At least one mock draft has the Vikings taking , a speedy wide receiver with superb return skills. Jackson would certainly help fill a special teams hole the Vikings have long tried to plug.


With the release of and the pending departure of via free agency, the Vikings are suddenly thin at the safety position. They probably would’ve had to find a safety anyway because that position was getting grey, but the departure of Smith and Doss forces the team’s hand.

will likely be given the chance to start alongside , but the only backup now is . The team is reportedly interested in pursuing Bengals safety or the Giants’ .

Why I Hate The Patriots

  Tom Brady’s Red Boots 
  Originally uploaded by doubleess65

Let me first say that I love , I knew those who were writing his football obituary were wrong, I knew he was going to blow up the league this year, and I’m glad he had a record year, broke ‘s record, and will get to play in the Super Bowl.

That said, with the exception of Moss, I cannot stand the . The Sporting News had an article some months back that quoted ‘s wife, as the approached their third Super Bowl title, complaining that everyone now hated San Francisco. Everyone used to love the 49ers but now that they were going for, and likely to win, a three-peat everyone was against them. It was in this context that the article tried to explain the animosity many now feel against the Patriots.

Dynasty fatigue certainly explains part of my loathing for the Pats but it’s much more than that. I haven’t felt this way about the Patriots until this year but now I think they are a bunch of punks. Here’s why:


  Bill Belichick 
  Originally uploaded
by ‘Ey Capernicus

First and most obviously, the Patriots are cheaters. They are documented cheaters. They got caught red-handed cheating. And now there are by taping a walk through before the game. If you know what your opponent plans to do beforehand, it is clearly a huge advantage.

Patriots apologists–mostly the NFL talking heads and broadcasters who are supposed to be impartial as they call games–dismiss the cheating by saying that now that they’ve been fined and their documents have been turned into the league, they are no longer cheating and besides, they are superior team anyway, which their undefeated season proves and can’t we put this behind us finally and forever and declare God?

Well, I don’t know that the Patriots haven’t continued to cheat. How can I? destroyed all the evidence? There is only one reason you destroy evidence; because it is damning. So I’m not buying that the Patriots are that good and that they no longer benefit from their years, it turns out, of cheating.

A less talented and less athletic team can vastly outplay a superior team if they know what their opponent is going to do. I know this first-hand from playing football myself by peaking into the opponents’ huddle and watching the quarterback diagram a play. When it works, it works beautifully because I know exactly what the team is going to do and can put myself in position to defeat the play.

Because the evidence has been destroyed, I don’t know how good Tom Brady. I don’t know that he hasn’t simply benefited from the Patriots’ cheating.

The Patriot Way = Arrogance

From Head Cheater on down, the Patriots are breathtakingly arrogant. And it’s Belichick who sets the tone. expressed his disdain for the classlessness of the Patriots in general and Belichick in particular last year after the Patriots rubbed the ‘ nose in the dirt following their playoff victory:

That classless behavior was also on display last year when Belichick dissed his former assistant after beating the :

Then, of course, there’s the time over a waiver wire player.

After Mangini exposed the Patriots cheating ways, the Patriots made a point of running up the score on their opponents. Bush league. And I mean that in both the traditional and presidential sense (or, perhaps they’re one and the same).

Poor Sports

Perhaps the biggest joke of the year was .

There is a team in my touch football league that is extremely talented and they play very smart football. They nearly always wain the championship. Winning is so important to them that they pay people to play with them so they have the best talent. Pretty lame in my book for a touch football league, but there you go. They are fun to play with and friendly and good sports…when they are winning. When they are losing, they turn into a bunch of whiny pricks who try and knock you over and complain to the refs about every play. They turn into ***holes.

The Patriots behaved exactly like them toward the end of the year when they had been in close games and were losing.


The only good thing to come out of the Patriots this season is that we will finally shut the 1972 Dolphins the hell up:

So that’s my indictment against the Patriots. I my mind, they will forever be associated with and and they’re accomplishments will thus be followed by the qualifying asterisk.