Friday, September 28, 2007

Whistling as the Wind Blows

Our favorite local columnist is at it again. While recently admitting at least moderate concern about the direction of another local football team that has realized increasing problems since last year's change in the coaching staff, the local bard cannot decide where on the fence he prefers to be regarding the Minnesota Vikings--at the base of the rah-rah side or deeper.

This week, our local columnist informed us that, had Minnesota Vikings' owner Zygi Wilf known of the trade of former Vikings' wide-receiver Randy Moss to Oakland prior to the full transfer of ownership to his ownership group, he never would have followed through with the purchase of the team.

Although there are some problems with the local writer's attribution--namely, that Wilf, himself, has never publicly echoed the writer's imputed statement, that Wilf ostensibly had the right to veto trades during the time between the agreement between his ownership group and Red McCombs to transfer ownership of the team to Wilf's group, and that, as some purportedly close to Wilf have contended, Wilf actually supported the trade--there is more reason to question the context of the local columnist's attribution of this statement.

It is not as if our local columnist has not mentioned Wilf's disenchantment with the Moss trade in the past. He has. That moment came shortly after Wilf finalized his purchase of the Vikings.

The problem, therefore, would not appear to be one of consistency--but for one salient additional bit of information. Last year, while Randy Moss was struggling in Oakland, the same columnist praised the Vikings' organization for parting with Moss at the right time and picking up Napoleon Harris and a high pick in the NFL entry draft that became purported wide-receiver Troy Williamson. No mention was made at that time of Wilf's displeasure with the trade and, in fact, the columnist insinuated that the Wilf's supported the deal, thereby making the Wilf's look good, given Moss' struggles and the purported promise of Harris and Williamson.

Clearly, our local columnist is once again attempting to paint current ownership in a positive light, willing to throw under the bus the previous ownership to which he is no longer beholden. No doubt, the impetus for this most recent recitation of Wilf's now purported displeasure with the Moss trade is the fact that Moss is having another career season in New England, while Harris is gone from Minnesota and Williamson resides on the inactive roster.

By casting doubt on the Moss trade, and making it appear as if that doubt has long-standing roots among the current ownership group, our local columnist is attempting to cozy up to yet another local sports entity. In doing so, he no doubt also is attempting to make himself out to be the wise man for seeing clearly, where others apparently failed, to see the folly in trading Moss. Unfortunately for our local, current technology makes hiding from his past contrary statements more difficult.

The reason the local columnist's dramatic change of positions from last year to this year is newsworthy is not because it is unexpected. Rather, it is newsworthy because he continues to command a wide readership and he continues to be an apologist for the local teams' management and coaching blunders and quick to strike against those with whom he disagrees. That's the kind of sway that helps sedate a local fan base that, sometimes in spite of itself, really deserves better.

Maybe he'll pen a column this week lambasting himself.

Up Next: Post Game.

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