The Vikings front office doesn’t want to win.
I’m in my 20s and have never (and probably will never) experience a true championship from a team I care about (no offense, Minnesota Lynx or Gopher Men’s Hockey). Despite what you hear on the Vikings’ social media, their radio affiliate KFAN 100.3 or vikings.com’s talking head Mike Wobschall, the Vikings’ front office does not prioritize winning. There are countless pieces of evidence I can use to back up this statement, here are a few:
The People’s Stadium:
The Vikings built a BILLION DOLLAR stadium with TAXPAYER money to replace the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Basically, the front office built venue where the team is more likely to lose and at our expense. Although building a billion dollar stadium seems like a move that would promote winning, it really isn’t and I’ll tell you why.
Remember the Vikings’ heyday when the team dominated the NFC, won NFL Championships (not Super Bowls) and made it to 4 super bowls in 1 decade? They we’re playing at Metropolitan Stadium, an OUTDOOR venue in Bloomington that was pulled down to build the Mall of America *shudders*. When the Vikings played outdoors, they had one major component that established a massive home field advantage; the blistering cold of Minnesota winters. Teams dreaded playing here because no one wanted to play in subzero temps which gave the team an advantage come late season and playoffs. Every Super Bowl appearance by this franchise came when they played outdoors. Just think, every time the Packers or Patriots play a home game late in the season or in the playoffs, sports media always talks about how the cold gives them the advantage. The Wilf family could have built an outdoor stadium for less money and gave the team a better chance to win. Instead they built a giant concert hall with a Vikings logo in the middle. The Wilf’s have been popping champagne every time another event comes to town because they make a shit load of money. When was the last time you popped champagne after a Vikings season?
Remember 2 seasons ago when the Vikes played outdoors? They went 11-5, won the division and would have won a playoff game had Blair Walsh not missed a 27 yard chip shot. The next year at the new stadium? 8-8. Team was piss poor and fans often left in the 3rd quarter. The atmosphere was corporate and the fans brought in we’re just rich bozos who wanted to sit inside a big building and drink 13 dollar beers, not cheer on a football team.
The outdoors embodies a better atmosphere as well, especially when it’s late december and below freezing when the stadium is filled with only the most hard-core and devoted fans. The only game I was able to attend during our run at TCF Bank Stadium was a sunday night dismantling of the Giants in late December where the Vikings won 49-17. So why are the Wilf’s paying more money to throw away our home field advantage? I’ll tell you why. They want to make more money. They don’t care about the fans or the product on the field. Unless action is taken by the fan base, Zygi Wilf will continue to profit at your expense. To any lifelong Vikings’ fans out there: think of how much emotional stock you’ve invested in this team. Now tell me what you have to show for it.
Prioritizing profit margins over on-field results:Because the team plays indoors, US Bank attracts massive events like concerts, the X-Games, the Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four, exhibition soccer matches, the list goes on. You know what that means? Zygi used YOUR tax money so they could get even richer while failing to give the team its’ best opportunity to win. You’re unfathomably rich Zygi, you don’t need to buy a football team. Buy stocks or start a company or invest in Amazon or some shit. Super glad that you’re making billions of dollars at the expense of a fanbase who has never won a super bowl and still watches the piss poor product you put on the field every season. There are seriously millions of ways these clowns could make money that have nothing to do with sports. Let me be very clear: If you own a football team or any sports franchise for that matter, you owe it to the fanbase to do everything possible in order to win. If you’re not willing to do that, go buy 500 Subway franchises, I prefer Dairy Queen anyways. See you in hell.
By the way Zygi is from New Jersey so there’s not a chance he cares about this team the way the fans do. And if you doubt that profit is his primary goal, in 2013, he and his brother Mark were found liable for FRAUD and RACKETEERING by the state of New Jersey. I’m amazed he’s never been charged in Minnesota because this team has been fraudulent for decades.
Let me state this very clearly: The Wilf family does not want to win; they want to promote false hope and get even richer at your expense. If the owners of a team like the Patriots or Steelers pulled this kind of crap, the fan base would hang them in town square (not actually but who knows). So let’s grab our torches and pitchforks and make it known that this fanbase is tired of the nonsense that the front office pulls on us year in and year out.
Unwillingness to spend big money in free agency:
The Wilf’s want to operate for as cheap as possible. Granted they’re not the Twins but they’re sure not the Cowboys. Number 1 wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Eric Decker are free agents right now and who do we go after? Michael Floyd who get released from the Cardinals following a DUI and couldn’t put up even average numbers with TOM BRADY at QB at the end of last season. That’ll work out real well, I bet we can get something out of Floyd that the Pats couldn’t. Get real. Seriously though, when was the last time we got a big name free agent? We got Brett Favre in ‘09, and we only landed him because he wanted to make his ex team jealous then ended up losing in the NFC title game, but that’s a whole different story.
Don’t get me wrong, I wanted Mike Floyd to succeed on our team but this move was by all means the cheap way out to make up for last years BUST of a first round pick in Laquon Treadwell. Now in perfect Vikings fashion, Floyd likely won’t even play this season due to probation violations, good thing we didn’t go after Eric Decker right? Just magine if we had taken a first round talent at offensive line instead of Treadwell. Do Zygi and Spielman know anything about football? We should run those clowns out of town, have them manage an arena league team in New Mexico or something.
Recent draft picks also put the Wilfs’ commitment to winning in question, or at least their ability to seek out good draft picks year by year.
- Exhibit A-Trading up for Dalvin Cook when Joe Mixon was the better player. The organization did this because they prioritize public perception over on-field results. The front office did it for PR reasons but guess what; Dalvin Cook was accused of hitting a woman too, and has been in bar fights. None of these altercations drew convictions so I’m gonna assume he’s innocent because no settlements were made in his non-guilty verdicts. This is not a slam on Dalvin Cook, I actually liked the pick and I like Dalvin as a player a lot, super glad that he’s a Viking. However, off the field issues aside, Joe Mixon was TOP 5 TALENT in a draft where we DIDN’T PICK IN THE FIRST ROUND. We had a chance for a steal of a pick and ended up trading away more picks for the lesser player, typical Vikes. Remember when we sat AP for a whole a season when we didn’t need to? That was near the end of his prime and we ended up like 5-11 that year. Seriously what did we have to lose there? Could’ve given Teddy a lot of help in his rookie season. Once again, the front office makes these moves citing off the field issues, THEN WE PICK UP PLAYERS WITH OFF THE FIELD ISSUES. For example, Cook (allegedly hit a woman, knocked a guy out at a bar), Michael Floyd (arrested for DUI last season with the Cardinals) or Tom Johnson (disorderly conduct, wound up getting tazed in Minneapolis restaurant) Floyd failed his alcohol tests as a result of probation and probably won’t even be on the field, typical Vikes. These are just current players, this franchise led the NFL in arrests from 2000-2012. Remember the SS Loveboat? Okay nevermind, that was pretty cool. So why are we picking now to get all soft and avoid the PR hit? The Patriots employed Aaron Hernandez for god’s sake and they’ve won 5 super bowls, just saying.
- Exhibit B– We took Anthony Barr at number 12 in a draft where Derek Carr was still available. Look at the Raiders and look at us, who’s more primed to make a playoff run next season? Anthony Barr was unreal his first season and a half but his play has since severely declined. I say the team gives him one more year as a starter before we pursue a new linebacker.
- Exhibit C– Christian Ponder at number 12 in the 2011 draft, nuff said.
- Exhibit D– Treadwell in the first round last year. Rookie stats: 1 reception, 15 yards.
In our last 5 drafts, the only player who is still impactful on this team is CB Xavier Rhodes, so I’ll give them some credit there because X is a true shutdown corner. Our 2 other first rounders from the season? Cordarrelle Patterson who we let go, and Sharrif Floyd who’s been on IR for ever now but I will admit he was good when he played. In addition I still think we could have gotten Bradford without giving up a first rounder, Spielman was desperate and got soft in the negotiating room. I know I’m gonna get ripped for these takes but if you disagree with me, you’re probably a Minnesotan whose accepted their fate as a loser.
An increasingly soft fan base has allowed this behavior, the fans are very much to blame. Remember when Walsh missed the field goal and 4th graders were writing him letters and it was on the news? What the hell was that? When I was in 4th grade I would have written him a nice little letter in class that said something like “you failed to do your job at the easiest position in sports. I can’t wait until you work at a verizon store” or something like that. Classic “Minnesota Nice” aka “I have to be nice because I have no right to be a dick because every team in my state sucks”. Why do you think Massholes are so cocky and arrogant all the time? I would be too if we won in ANYTHING JUST ONCE. When the Vikings were 5-0 at the bye I was treating people like dirt, it was awesome. These are just a few components that make up a rich history of losing and disappointment, much of which can be credited to the collective losing culture embodied by the piss-poor franchises in town. If more people start to hold owners, coaches, players and GMs accountable, maybe we wouldn’t lose all the time. Just a thought.