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  Thursday January 29th, 2015    

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Fear not, for Tice will reappear for his third year He is working cheap (12/31/2003)
By John Edstrom

John Edstrom
Well fans, my fears of a Vikes loss down in Arizona were all to prescient, but I never dreamed of the incredible series of mishaps, flukes, bad luck, and bad calls which brought it about. Told in advance that the Vikes would run for 150 yards, outgain the Cards 342 to 219 gross yards, and sack the other QB eight times, who wouldn't bet the Purple 20-1?

Mike Tice refused to grouse about the officiating (which has been generally unfavorable to the Purple all year) so I will help him out. Arizona was given two gift TDs by the refs at the end of the game. On the first one Cards TE Steve Bush grabbed Brian Russell's jersey with both hands and threw him to the ground with a bulldogging move the Phoenix crowd must have appreciated. That's how he got open for the TD. Had Randy Moss committed such flagrant offensive pass interference, the game would have been stopped so that he could be flogged.

And on the last ditch miracle catch by Poole, there is no way in the world he was ever coming down in bounds. Giving Arizona a TD on that play went way beyond the spirit of the season. Perhaps the refs were inspired by their improbable crimson uniforms.

In any case, neither TD should have been allowed, nor would the Cards have been in a position to score them if the Vikes could have:

1.) Recovered even one fumble from among the five opportunities given them, particularly on the second to the penultimate play of the game;

2.) Safely fielded the onside kick that Kleinsasser got his hands on. Is that gambit successful 10% of the time?

3.) Avoided getting burned by at least three perfect passes into heavy traffic by an unheralded, rookie QB throwing on the run, and;

4.) Avoiding just a fraction of their usual quotient of stupid penalties committed in crucial situations.

Losing that game after going up by 17-6 in the fourth quarter as the Purple did was about equivalent to rolling snake eyes three times in a row, something that seems to be the peculiar karma of this franchise. But the game should not have been that close. Here is something like the conversation that Red McCombs should have with his coach immediately.

Red: "Mike, if you can get me the late Christmas gift that I want most of all, you can keep your job. You have one chance to guess what it is."

And if the response from Tice was: "Boss, you just wait right here while I chase down Doug Rosenthal, cut off the leg that he used to draw the tripping penalty on a play that was already five yards downfield, bring it to you on a platter, and teach the rest of those bozos a lesson they'll never forget about discipline and composure."

Then Red should reply: "God bless you my boy! You have shown that you can learn from your mistakes and deserve to work the last year of your contract."

Actually, I expect Mike Tice to be back for his third year of head coaching, not because he deserves the third year to prove himself one way or another, which he does, but because he comes cheap and chaotic change will work against any opportunity McCombs has to finagle his new stadium or sell the franchise. 


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