Dear Mr. Wilf,
Good afternoon, Zygi. . .can I call you Zygi? Okay, then. . .Mr. Wilf it is.
I couldn't help but notice, thanks to the approximately eight thousand media outlets that are now reporting it, that the Minnesota Vikings have released wide receiver Randy Moss. The same Randy Moss that the Minnesota Vikings just one month ago traded away a third round pick to acquire from the New England Patriots. As a result of this, in a week where the Washington Redskins benched their starting quarterback due to issues with his "cardiovascular endurance" and the Dallas Cowboys fell even further into oblivion, the Minnesota Vikings have managed to roar into the winner's circle for the race of most dysfunctional team in the National Football League. . .quite possibly in all of professional sports.
This means that you, sir, have a decision to make.
Forget about this season. . .this season is lost. Over. Done. It's time to start playing for draft position. But just like anything with the Minnesota Vikings, it's never actually that easy. Because there's also the little issue of the Vikings' lease with the Metrodome expiring at the end of the 2011 season, which means that the Vikings have approximately 13 regular season home games left before they're free to become an entity other than the Minnesota Vikings. The economy of the state of Minnesota, to put it kindly, is a mess, and enthusiasm for helping you to finance a new stadium just isn't there at the moment. None of the candidates in tomorrow's gubernatorial election seem terribly enthusiastic about getting plans finished to keep the Vikings around, even though they've all paid the standard political lip service to the subject.
You need to generate some enthusiasm for a stadium effort, Mr. Wilf. . .and cutting a Viking legend that you reacquired at the cost of a premium draft pick less than a month after getting him to town isn't going to get it done. According to many of the sources that we've heard on the NFL Network and other outlets, the release of Randy Moss has resulted in a completely and thoroughly pissed off locker room. By all accounts, nobody is angrier than Percy Harvin, who has apparently not left Randy Moss' side since Moss got into town. From the sounds of it, this move has angered the young guys, it has angered the old guys, and it has angered the fan base. If you're trying to get a stadium built, this is a potentially lethal combination.
Unless, of course, that's actually part of the idea, but that's another letter for another time.
There's one man that is the subject of everyone's ire. . .and if you want to get this stadium train and, possibly, this 2010 season going in the right direction, there's only one move that you can make. And that man is the person that stood at a press conference this afternoon and told the Minnesota media that he had no regrets about making the Randy Moss trade no more than an hour before the word came out that Moss had been waived.
That man is Brad Childress. And, to borrow a phrase from Al Davis, Brad Childress must go down. . .and he must go down hard.
Look, as a Viking fan, I've done the best I can to defend Brad Childress for a very long time. But it simply can't be done any more. There is no upside to keeping Brad Childress around on the sidelines for this football team. On his best day, he's a mediocre coach. . .pretty decent evaluator of talent, but his complete inflexibility as it pertains to his offensive system and his complete lack of a grasp of time management, use of the challenge flag, and many other things were masked last year by a magical season in which, ultimately, Brad Childress caused the team to come up short of the primary goal of winning Minnesota's first ever Super Bowl. Now, after the charade to bring Brett Favre back to Minnesota and the collapse of talent on both sides of the football, he's back to looking like the same coach we had feared that he was when he first came to Minnesota.
There are potential upsides to getting rid of Childress now, too. If Childress is fired now, the most likely candidate to replace him would be defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. This would be Frazier's opportunity to prove whether or not he can handle being a head coach in the National Football League. If the team does well, then you have your answer at head coach and can move forward. If the team falters, then Frazier and the rest of the staff is gone at the end of the year. . .and, you know, since you're pretty much just going to have to blow this thing up and start over from scratch anyway, that might not necessarily be a bad thing, either. There's also the possibility that the firing of Brad Childress could be just the kick in the ass that this team needs to get going in the right direction. As I stated earlier, the playoffs are basically a pipe dream at this point, barring anything crazy happening, but you can at least build some positive momentum for 2011 and any stadium efforts you might be putting forward.
Now, don't get me wrong, I realize that you probably like Brad Childress as a person, and that he was your first ever coaching hire after canning Mike Tice about half an hour after the 2005 season ended. But sometimes, just like in real life, your first love isn't always the best choice for you. Sometimes your first love turns out to be a raging psychotic that shaves her head and sets your clothing on fire while chasing you around your house with a hockey stick. Sometimes.
What, don't tell me you haven't been there before.
But, Mr. Wilf. . .and I mean this in the most respectful way possible. . .maybe it's for the best that you and Brad Childress just like each other as friends for now, and you should really start seeing other people
Anyway, the fans of this team have been through a lot, Mr. Wilf. Sex cruises on Lake Minnetonka, prosthetic penises being smuggled through airport security, Joe Buck announcing Vikings games. . .you know, things of that nature. But there's one thing that the fans of this team can not, will not, and should not be asked to abide by. . .and that's for the Brad Childress era in Minnesota to extend any longer than it has.
Make the call, Mr. Wilf. You have the future of an entire franchise to think about here. I sincerely hope that you will make the right decision.
Managing Editor, The Daily Norseman and SBNation Minnesota