Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Childress His Own Worst Enemy

For weeks, rumors have circulated that Minnesota Vikings' quarterback Tarvaris Jackson hooked up with newly minted Seattle Seahawk wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh on the Sunday prior to Houshmandzadeh's decision to sign with the Seahawks over the Vikings. The rumor seemed far too incredible even for mere speculation, of course, as it implied that the Vikings were attempting to bait Houshmandzadeh with the lure of playing with Jackson.

But if the rumor sounded too dumb to be true, reality truly is dumber.

In a press conference at the league's Winter meetings, Childress opened a vein on the matter. Why he did is anyone's guess. That he did only demonstrates how out of touch he is with the Vikings' fan base and common sense, more generally.

During his press conference, Childress confirmed that Jackson had spoken with Houshmandzadeh by phone in an attempt to encourage the wide receiver to sign with the Vikings. Childress stated that the idea not only his brainchild, but that he even dialed the phone for Tarvaris and held the phone up to Tarvaris ear and mouth--an act of coddling Childress implied was necessary because it was early in the morning on Sunday and Jackson was "a bit groggy."

Asked what the two players discussed in their conversation and what Houshmandzadeh took from the discussion, Childress said the two talked about T.J. being a member of the Vikings. The coach suggested that T.J. might have been thrown by Jackson's excessive grogginess.

After the conversation, T.J., who had left Minnesota the night before after reportedly being on the cusp of signing with the Vikings and asking for one more night in Minnesota to sleep on the decision, signed with the Seahawks.

It is difficult to know what is more incomprehensible about this situation. Is it that Childress believed that having Jackson, a quarterback rated below several backups in the league, could encourage one of the league's top receivers to come to Minnesota? Is it that Childress used Jackson to solicit T.J. when the Vikings ostensibly had traded for their new starting quarterback? Is it that Childress publicly signaled his preference for Jackson over Rosenfels by acknowledging his use of Jackson to pander to T.J. when all of his previous public statements were that, at a minimum, Jackson would have to compete with Rosenfels for the starting quarterback position?

Or was it the general impression that Childress left for Vikings' fans of his two main competitors for next year's starting quarterback position, one being groggy the other "error prone," as Childress seemed to lament of his most significant off-season offensive addition?

No matter the answer, it cannot but reflect poorly on the thought process of the man currently charged with leading a Vikings' team begging for clear thinking at the top.

Up Next: The Griffin Deal Deconstructed.

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