I cannot claim to have spoken with every Vikings fan, but from the reactions I see from the team's fanbase online, I feel pretty safe in making this statement: Just about every Vikings fan has said the words "Fire Childress" at some point this season.
Now, there are some people who offer Childress's firing as the solution for all of the problems that ail the Purple. Offense bogged down? Fire Childress. Defense can't rush the passer? Fire Childress. Randy Moss doesn't like the food? Fire Childress! But that said, there are plenty of logical, reasonable people who have grown tired of the coach as well. Many are almost gleefully waiting for him to get the axe. But will that really solve the team's problems?
I'm not sure it'll help all that much. Below, a few reasons that firing Childress won't help that much:
1. The presumed coach-in-waiting, Leslie Frazier, hasn't been a head coach at any level above NAIA.
I'm not saying that there's some coin of the realm-type job out there that one needs to have in order to gain access to the NFL Head Coaches Club. And Frazier will get his chance to be a head coach very soon, perhaps even in Minnesota. But I'm not sure it's a particularly good idea to install a novice head coach in the middle of the season, no matter how good of a coordinator he has been.
2. Whether or not players respect Childress - and by some accounts, they don't - they are professional athletes.
As Christopher Gates pointed out on the Daily Norseman, this is a team with great veteran leadership - Pat Williams on defense, Brett Favre on offense, and on down the line. The Vikings still believe they can be a winning team. Those leaders aren't going to let the team quit just because they don't like the mustachioed frontman. If this were Pop Warner football and everybody didn't like the coach, then yeah, maybe it'd be a good idea to let somebody else's Dad coach the team for the rest of the year. But these are pros. They should be able to get past that and win on Sunday.
3. The very last thing the Vikings need this year is more drama.
My goodness, but this entire season has just been a dramatic farce. Brett Favre is always a circus unto himself, but throw in the turmoil of the past few weeks, and the hysteria has been at fever pitch. The Williams StarCaps case. Sidney Rice's hip. The entire defensive backfield getting hurt. The walking epic saga that is Randy Moss. It's been nothing but crazy for weeks at Winter Park. Is firing the head coach really going to calm the waters and allow everyone to focus on football?
4. What, exactly, would firing Childress improve for the last eight games?
Firing Childress won't make the front four suddenly able to rush the passer. It won't make the offensive line suddenly perfect at protecting the quarterback. It won't make Bernard Berrian back into a decent receiver, it won't keep Favre out of the NFL Security limelight, and it won't get the defensive backs healthy. About all it'll do are make some fans feel better, and possibly improve the Vikings' replay challenge system. I like a good moment of schadenfreude as much as the next person, but is it really worth the uproar?
As a Vikings fan, I'm as frustrated as anyone with the 2010 season. I'm no real fan of Brad Childress, either. But dumping him midseason doesn't seem like the way to solve anything.