By P.J. Root
Pillaging and plundering from shore to shore, taking without thought or purpose – the Minnesota Vikings – barbarians of a different code, take without remorse or accountability for what damage they reap. These attributes connect the Vikings of Norse legend to the business acumen of their Minnesota counterparts.
A flood of Green Bay Packers in recent memory have made their migration near the end of their careers to this aforementioned next door neighbor. Either by financial, personal or a combination of reasons, The Vikings have been a warm location to a cold enemy too frequently.
Why is that?
The story reaches into the psyche of the athlete and the lack of creativity from the Vikings front office.
Eden Prairie, Minn., has been the home of the wolf, of more aptly, Viking’s owner Zygi Wilf. In his practices associated in handling the franchise have created disdain far-reaching across the game.
The implosion of the Hubert H. Humphrey Dome in 2010 was not only an allegory to their final season burrowing a Packer legend, but an accumulation of questionable practices.
Sending private planes to Mississippi initiated a long list of problems. By providing a team with wants before needs, the management has retarded the progress needed to sustain future wins.
Percy Harvin is the prime example of this culture.
By bringing Favre to the Vikings in Harvin’s rookie season, the team shaped their playmaker into a problem child. In experiencing a QB with Hall of Fame ability, Harvin became entitled to a way of being treated.
Getting the ball early and often.
Yes, the migraines have been a problem, but combine a nagging health scare that could ultimately cut his career short and then reverting to a quarterback like Christian Ponder can warp an anxious mind.
According to Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports, two unnamed sources confirmed that the inner squabbles surrounding Harvin’s departure stemmed from his disapproval of Ponder.
The dissolving of the rank of coach and player had been tarnished, and unlike the minor revolution by Baltimore’s core players against their own coach, the Vikings did not have a stable foundation to rein in their players when it was most necessary.
Why should they think they could?
Randy Moss’s stint in 2010 and subsequent removal gave an immense look into the hierarchy of the Vikings brass. Brad Childress, sensing that Wilf’s culture was poisoning his team, cut Moss because of diva comments directed toward the catering staff.
Wilf, in response, threw his coach under the bus and ultimately fired Childress. The lingering stench of disarray has hung over the organization since.
Yes, the Vikings deserve credit for earning a playoff spot, but a team, which displayed such mediocrity in depth, especially in the QB department, deserves scrutiny.
With Ponder gone from injury in the game, the Vikings exposed themselves and their draft strategy in the form of Joe Webb and his inability to run the offense.
Peterson’s heroics can only do so much in a league dominated by the pass.
Greg Jennings is the next ex-Packer to arrive, and mortgage the Vikings future for the last ounce of greatness of an aging productive rival.
Rather than building from within like the Packers, the Vikings have incessantly sniped playmakers like safety Darren Sharper, to fill in their glaring blanks.
Examples of New York Yankee spending have been seen and crushed, with the Philadelphia Eagles continuing to mend their wings from the “Dream Team” saga that engulfed their franchise.
Vikings management continues the same routine, even as their own failures still linger in the minds of the Minnesota faithful.
Why do these players leave?
For Jennings the success acquired in Green Bay has solidified himself in Lambeau lore, yet the underlying circumstances have left many questions to the selection of location.
Was it from the comments of former Packer-turned-Viking kicker Ryan Longwell?
“Every town in America has an Applebee’s restaurant. In Green Bay, Applebee’s was about as fancy as you got.” Longwell began. “In Minnesota, I’m sure there will be plenty of options before Applebee’s comes into the rotation.”
OK, Green Bay is not the epicenter of the world, yet how many places are? Is not the offseason a time to unwind and travel? Milwaukee and Madison are only a hop away, and Chicago is just around the bend.
The origin in Jennings’ case was thought to be the relationship with Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers has been documented for being incredibly sensitive to criticism concerning his ability and personality. Just watch at his recent “60 Minutes” interview and that comes to light.
“He’s sensitive. So you got to be careful what you say around him.” Jennings began. “He takes everything to heart,”
Now the comment itself was an observation by Jennings without judgment, but to display it for millions could make for an uncomfortable work environment.
Compound those comments with those made by Jennings’ sister on her Twitter account and the tension could be downright awkward.
“ARod is the most overrated QB in the league! He is nowhere near Peyton or Brady! It sickens me, Peyton would avg. 5 TD with this squad!!!”
“My God Aaron Rodgers holds the ball forever! GJ was wide open 5x for that touchdown! Goodness he acts like he doesn’t want to throw to him”
“@GregJennings ball out so you can leave this team! They will miss u when your gone! It’s all good bye packers! Cheap team, can’t afford him”
Jennings immediately blanketed the fire by explaining that they were not his words or thoughts, but it truly makes one wonder how far they are from the truth.
For the entire off-season, Jennings had been adamant that he was all but finished with the team without a new contract, which make his siblings in-season tweets all the more relevant .
Why go to a team then that does not have a solid quarterback and only has the legs of Adrian Peterson to crank out victories?
If we had not been bombarded through enough Old Spice commercials, I might think the financial aspect was the cause.
For a season where Jennings only played eight games, his impact was immediate. Yet, there lies the rub. Jennings, the last two years, has started 21 of 32 games, and the old adage is that 90 percent of getting the job done is showing up.
Could have been from doing push-ups with a personal watercraft on his back.
This is where the most smoke rises, and from the comments from both himself and family very well could have created an uneasiness between the receiver and Super Bowl MVP.
Publically, Jennings has been a class act, and a great ambassador for the Packers, but to go to an unfriendly rival like the Vikings creates these questions.
Which ultimately allows the merry-go-round of Minnesota to continue to spin. Rather than having a multi-faceted game-breaker, the tracks had been set before the train and had left the Vikings with another artifact from Green Bay’s legacy
Would Harvin have stuck with the team that drafted him if they would have groomed him like a receiver similar to the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald? Rather than coddling with impulsive personal moves, could Harvin have learned that players like Favre do not come with a price tag but with patience and a few ugly ducklings?
Whatever the case, the Vikings have put themselves in another situation invested in the here and now. This bet is huge, but like any obsessive gambler, they need that one win to offset those losses.
We all know how that turns out.