Week 9: Vikings vs. Detroit
Nothing cures your ills like a visit from the Dee-troit Lions.
As Viking faithful have read and re-read, Mike Tice is 7-0 against the Lions, he is 19-31 againts
the rest of the NFL.
I was able to talk Chelle into going with me to at least the first half of the game. With the
season prospects for the Vikings officially in the sh*tter, people are less than enthusiastic, and
I knew I wouldn't get much of anything if I scalped me tickets. So we went.
Ah the dome... the screening process is still completely half-assed with equal amounts of female
and male screeners when the population of the Metrodome on any given Sunday is approximately 60,000
men and 6,000 women. The best part is that many folks still don't get it. When an older woman was
asked to switch lines, her husband followed her to the other line, when he was asked to go back, the
wife followed. Hilarity ensues!
Once inside you are confronted with most narrow concourses I have ever seen at a professional
stadium. Where the lines for the concessions extend across the concourse, so people have to cut
through lines to make their way to their seat or the bathroom. Adding to the long lines is that
most all concessions are run by charities who take home a portion of the profits. The problem is
that each week it is a different charity, which means the people doing the work have just learned
their job and where everything is. While I'd like to fault these people for being slow and
incompetent, if I showed up a few hours before the game to work these stands... ah forget it, I'd
still do a better job.
Needless to say, I missed introductions, but I would assume Brad Johnson got a reasonable
round of applause. I was very curious to see who they would have come out last since Daunte has
done that since Randy Moss has left (and if I recall correctly, it was CC before him). I wonder
if it was Brad or Nate Burleson.
Regardless, it was an uneventful first quarter, but with Joey Harrington in the game, our
defense looked pretty good. It certainly helped that Jason Hanson (what a leg) missed from
My favorite play of the game came in the second quarter when we blitzed and Kevin Jones was
annihilated by one of our linebackers (could have been Lance Johnstone, I forget now). The whole
crowd went "ooooo". Jones tried the pick up the blitz and was knocked up in the air. Just a
The rest of the first half was a nice respit for Viking fans. They got to see the defense they
had hoped for all season long and a rushing offense that was dominant.
Now, the defense part isn't such a big deal since the Lions are woeful on offense, especially with
Harrington in. But the rushing is significant. Coming into the game the Lions were actually
pretty good against the run (although Shaun Rodgers was out). The offensive line played their
best game of the season, giving Brad Johnson good protection, making great holes for our running
backs (more on that in a moment) and not committing any penalties. For the first time this season,
the offense went without a single penalty. Worth mentioning.
Also worth mentioning was the injury to Mewelde Moore who "tapped out" after hurting his wrist
under the guise that he was concerned he might fumble the ball. This opened the door for
Michael Bennett who had his best game since 2002. I have a feeling we are going to see a lot
more of him for the rest of the year, and not just because Moore seems to get hurt every game. If
Mewelde is the future RB of this team, it would be good to get Bennett some time during this lost
season so his stock rises for a potential trade. Of course Tice might not be looking that far
ahead since he probably won't be here next year, but he still might think he'll be back. So who
Halftime brought the induction of Jerry (Uncle Burnsy) Burns to the Vikings Ring of Honor. I made
Chelle stay through halftime to see if Jerry dropped any f-bombs during his induction speech (other
speakers made note of his "colorful" speeches and film sessions). Somewhat disappointing, but
good to see Burnsy again. He is looking really old, but he's still got some fire in him as he started
rattling off other Vikings he felt were more deserving of being included in the Ring of Honor (Tommy
Kramer, Scott Studwell, and Steve Jordan just to name a few).
There was a lot to do on Sunday, so we bolted after halftime, which turned out to be good because
the rest of the game stunk. Again, the Vikings were a team of two halves. First half was fantastic
near flawless football. Second half had no offensive spark whatsoever. While the Lions never
really threatened, because hey, they're the Lions; you really can't let up on any opponent in the
National Football League... sorry, doing my Terry Bradshaw impersonation there.
All in all, a nice positive game as expected for the Vikings, hopefully they can continue to play
well, but there is little hope that Chicago can be caught. At 5-3 and playing the 49ers next week,
they will be tough to catch. The good news is that they still have to play Carolina, Pittsburgh,
and Atlanta. The bad news is that they still get to play the Packers twice. But it sure would be
something if the division came down to the final game of the season, with Chicago travelling to
A boy can dream, can't he?