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Vikes routed by the Cheese (11/24/2010)
By John Edstrom

...Childress not among survivors

Well fans, I am not one of those to join in the fire Childress chants – I say “Kill the Chill!” Just kidding, it’s only a game. In fact now that the job is done, its possible to spend a little sympathy on him. He rolled the dice on Favre and came up with a seven last year. This year it was craps, and it seems that the chemistry between him and #4 poisoned the whole team. For certain, the Purple has gotten worse as the season wore on.

In the end, it was his stubbornness, constipated offensive philosophy and, most of all, the tendency of his teams to play sloppy, undisciplined football that undid Childress. The one indelible memory of his tenure will be no TD pass from Favre to Rice, nor incredible Adrian Peterson run, but the 12-men-in-the-huddle penalty that kept last year’s magical season from ending with a Super Bowl appearance against a team the Vikes could have beaten. Now he leaves Winter Park by the back door at midseason, disgraced by the ugly, inexplicable collapse of a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations just ten games ago.

You can’t quarrel with the choice of Leslie Frazier as interim coach, some minimal level of continuity being necessary, I guess. But in fairness, Frazier’s defense has been as inexplicably bad as Childress’ and Bevell’s offense, and has certainly deteriorated game after game. Contrast his unit, which hasn’t found a pass rush or coped with the loss of CB Cedric Griffin, with the defensive group Dom Capers just led back to Cheeseland in triumph. There, people stepped up when others went down, adapted, and improved with each game. The Vikes defense is a smoldering ruin, reduced to jawing at each other on the sidelines, when they finally get there after giving up yet another TD.

I give credit to the Wilfs for acting quickly rather than dithering. This season is lost and it is time to start rebuilding immediately. Favre should be asked for the return of some of his millions in exchange for safe passage back home to Mississippi. Otherwise let him continue to do battle where the fire is thickest.

With #4 gone, Frazier can start rebuilding a viable football culture at Winter Park, if he is able. There are still six games to play, in which those who are pros can prove it by beating a steady, disciplined retreat from this debacle of a season. Those who are unable will earn their walking papers and Frazier may be among them. There will be plenty of time to make a final evaluation of Tarvaris Jackson, and possibly a preliminary one of the Webb kid who is supposed to be a phenomenally gifted athlete.

And do not despair. We are down to the consolation bracket, to see who drafts #1!  


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