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  Thursday January 29th, 2015    

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Woe is us, all is lost!
So look for big win against the Cheeseheads
By John Edstrom

Well fans, who would have believed at the beginning of the season that the Bears/Vikings game down at Soldiers Field would degenerate into a contest between two such totally impotent offenses, with the Purple proving itself demonstrably the worse by the final gun. Obviously, the Vikes spent their best efforts on the love boat during the bye week.

Once again, the Gophers lead the way to a perfectly rotten weekend for Minnesota football fans, heartbreak on Saturday afternoon, embarrassment on Sunday, with Notre Dame's improbable last-second loss to the hated Californians tossed in for lagniappe.

Astute observers will have noted a trend by now. The offense starts the game looking as if it has some juice, drives down into enemy territory, and promptly stalls, usually because of penalties on the offensive line or perhaps a turnover. After that it runs out of steam and ends the game deep in the tank with multiple turnovers. Last Sunday's missed field goals were simply a variation on that theme.

Essentially, there are three things at work here. This offensive line continues to be inadequate to bad. It doesn't handle pressure well in any way, either allowing sacks or drawing motion or holding penalties. Daunte Culpepper doesn't trust it and has lost confidence in himself as well. He started out throwing the ball fairly crisply, but was missing badly by the third quarter, including an open Troy Williamson for an easy TD. After numerous series of offensive ineptitude, the defense collapses.

With the abject futility down in Chicago, this season is down the toilet, and in the minds of most fans the only remaining suspense is how soon Zygi Wilf will clean house, and who the new coaching staff will be. Two things about that: 1.) A lot of this mess is the leavings of one Red McCombs, the cheapo billionaire who would retrieve a penny from a urinal. He wouldn't spend a dime to retain or hire decent coaches, particularly Scott Linehan, whose absence seems to have totally unraveled Daunte Culpepper. Then, when it appeared he could sign a bunch of free agents and stick Wilf with the tab, he did so, despite there being no coaches to so much as point them to the bathrooms.

This was not Mike Tice's fault. Likewise, it is not his fault that the players would set out on the fateful love voyage during the bye week. It should be noted that the juiciest stories being repeated are without evidence or corroboration. Note further how often the word "alleged" is cropping up in continued coverage of the incident. And see how most of the more colorful details were schlepped to a slavering media by a colorful lawyer with a long track record. Why would Al and Alma's Charter Service need a lawyer? They are accused of nothing. Before this is over, most of these enormities may well have been found to be based no more in fact than the sensational tales of murder and baby raping down in New Orleans, repeated by a gullible media anxious to make the situation look as bad as possible.

As hopeless as things look right now, bet on the Vikes to win big next week at the Hump. 


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