The firing was awkward, to say the least. Owner Zygi Wilf had said Tice's status would be discussed the following day. But within 30 minutes of the final gun, Wilf and his brother, Mark, informed Tice that his contract would not be renewed. A two-paragraph statement was distributed throughout the locker room to reporters and the few players who were still left. Tice had already addressed the players before the Wilfs fired him.
"Whoa, that's crazy," said kick returner Koren Robinson. "In the locker room? Right after a game you just won? Give the man respect enough to wait until Monday to enjoy the win at least."
Pro Bowl safety Darren Sharper crumpled up the release and threw it on the floor, declining comment.
Said Tice, who had coached three of his four seasons under the frugal watch of previous owner Red McCombs: "It's a shame I'm not going to be able to work with the Wilfs. I think they're going to be top-notch owners. … I'm very proud with a lot of the things we've accomplished with the things we've been given to work with. Of course, I'm hurt. I'm a man, not a machine."
Tice finished his Vikings head coaching career with a 33-34 record, including 1-1 in the postseason.
Favre completed 5 of 7 passes with a 23-yard touchdown to Percy Harvin and an interception before leaving with a concussion caused when his head was slammed to the frozen turf by rookie defensive end Corey Wootton.
Bears coach Lovie Smith wasn't happy that Favre played after being ruled out. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler expected it, saying, "We had a few friendly wagers in the quarterback room that he'd be out there. I wasn't surprised at all."
During a press conference, he said "Chicago is a tough-guy town" and went on to say that it would take brute force to win in a tough-guy town.
Well, the Vikings ran the ball. Onterrio Smith had 148 yards rushing. But the approach also shortened the game and gave the Vikings' offense fewer possessions in a 13-10 loss. Audio clips of Tice calling Chicago a "tough-guy town" are still played in Minnesota. To his credit, Tice, who was fired in 2005, played along with it when some poked fun at him. He did a radio spot in which he named several cities in Minnesota. After each one, Tice's "tough-guy town" clip was played.
"When I came through the line, there was nothing but air in my face," Gerhart said. "But by the end of the run, it seemed like the field was tilted up a little bit."
BY THE NUMBERS: 0-5 - Vikings record within the NFC North heading into Sunday's game against the Bears. The Vikings have never gone an entire season without a win within their division.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "The fact we haven't won a division game makes you want to throw up." -- DE Jared Allen, when asked what it would feel like to go 0-6 in the NFC North.