There is good news for Viking fans everywhere. Zygi Wilf has finally seen enough. In the wake of a 31-3 demolition, courtesy of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, he has fired Head Coach Brad Childress. Favre will not ride in to save the day, like he did by managing a comeback against a bad Arizona team. In fact while nobody on the team is beating the man while he’s down, nobody was going to step up to plate to defend him either. Chilly will not get make decisions regarding the Minnesota Vikings ever again, and that is the best news fans have heard in a long time. The bad news for those fans, the players, and the organization is that the Vikes are 3-7. So what happened and what will happen now? What about the future?
I have been following Minnesota and the NFL in general for a long time, but it is hard to recall a coach that was disliked, even despised, by so many. Childress actually leaves with a winning record(39-35). While he was at the helm the Vikings drafted or acquired some great pieces(Jared Allen, Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway, Brett Favre, Sidney Rice, etc…). Chilly and the Vikings front office did an excellent job in terms of gathering personnel. It was the coaching part of the equation that always looked like a problem for this man. When you are the head coach, that’s a big problem. There are over four seasons worth of examples of what I would like to call coaching scared. Two of these are eerily similar and they both happened at crucial times in Brad’s two playoff losses. In January 2009 against Philadelphia, a lot of blame has been thrown at Tarvaris Jackson and his pick-six in the first half. It was indeed a horrible pass, but those of us that didn’t turn the game off after that play watched Jackson and the Viking O march right down the field for their own TD. Minnesota now only down 16-14, received the second half kickoff and began driving down the field once again, but once they got into Eagles territory something happened. Coaching scared. With a 1st and 5, Childress was apparently not wanting to lose a shot at a field goal, so Minnesota got very conservative. Well, they didn’t score at all on that drive. In fact, they didn’t score for the rest of the game and lost 26-14. Going forward a year brought a new(or old) QB into the mix, higher stakes as they entered the NFC Championship game, but a very similar key drive. During the final minutes of regulation, with the game tied, Brett Favre was driving the Vikings down the field, but then when they penetrated Saints territory, something strange happened. That fear crept in again. The Vikings got conservative, then called a timeout, got a stupid penalty, and had to settle for overtime. We all know what happened then. Sad but true fact ; there have only been three overtime games in NFC Championship history, and Favre and the Vikings have lost two each.
So what happens now and moving forward? The first priority is winning at Washington this weekend. Minnesota hasn’t won a road game in over a year and this week might be their best chance, as they will certainly have a little extra motivation. The other biggest hope is that Leslie Frazier proves that he has some stones, unlike the last coach. The Vikings still have tons of talent and while this season may be too far gone, the fans want and deserve a better product than they have gotten so far in 2010.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).