Thursday, November 08, 2007

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

For the third time in as many months, one of our local scribes has repeated a comment that he purportedly took directly from the mouth of Minnesota Vikings' owner Zygi Wilf. According to our scribe, Wilf stated that he wished he had finalized his purchase of the Vikings prior to the Randy Moss trade, presumably so that the trade never would have occurred.

Wilf's claim is plausible, though inconsistent with his recent actions. At the end of the 2006 season, it was clear that the Oakland Raiders were taking offers for the disgruntled Moss. Three months after the off-season began, New England closed a deal with the Raiders, obtaining Moss for a fourth-round pick in the NFL draft.

If Wilf truly was so entirely constipated by the loss of Moss prior to his finalization of the purchase of the Vikings, one would think that he would have stepped forward and offered a third-round pick for Moss this off-season. That would have been nice for all involved. Though it probably would not have done much for the Vikings' offense, absent a quarterback and a system that envisions downfield plays, at least it would have spared us the octogenarian ass-smooching of Zygi and the re-telling of Zygi's purported laments.

Having it Both Ways

When our local scribe is not too busy waxing the puckerhole of the Vikings' owner, he's dutifully carving out a laundry list of excuses to which any number of local coaches, managers, and sports franchise owners can turn to explain their woes. Not surprisingly, none of the excuses suggested by our scribe require any admission of poor decision-making or self-responsibility in any form on the part of the local decision-makers.

This week's installment of ready-made excuses included the following:

After noting what even our local scribe can no longer deny, namely, that the Minnesota Gopher football team's defense is statistically one of the worst in NCAA Division I play, our scribe continued to portray the problem as exclusively one of talent. Not surprisingly, he did so by turning to a local athlete with ties to one of the coach's apparently not responsible for the U's defensive woes.

On Everett Withers, the former secondary coach for the Tennessee Titans, for whom current Vikings' receiver Bobby Wade played in 2006, Wade said he thinks Withers, who is now the secondary coach at the U, is a good coach. Undoubtedly after being prodded by our local scribe, Wade noted that Withers "developed" the Titans' seventh-round corner, Reynaldo Hill, into a top back.

While it's always special to hear a player's public take on a coach for whom he played and for whom he might well play again, it's especially nice in this instance. For, while Withers might be a good coach, he has done nothing to improve the Gophers' secondary in 2006, at least not from any statistically measurable standpoint. Maybe that's why he's at the U now instead of still in the NFL.

There's more, of course, but it will have to wait for a rainy day. Or for the next major let-down in local sports that our scribe did not see coming and for which our scribe will steadfastly refuse to blame anyone involved--at least until they leave the team and are now longer of any use to him.

Up next: Packer Weak?

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