Reaction to the Action

The Vikings haven't shown much character in their last two losses, but they will have the chance to turn it all around on national television next Monday.

I will never again have an opportunity to make this next statement and know that I am 100 percent correct when I write it: The true character of this 2001 Minnesota Vikings football team will be shown next Monday night against the New York football Giants in front of a national television audience and a Metrodome crowd anxious for answers.

After these last two losses, this Vikings team should be totally embarrassed. There isn't one positive thing to come from this 48-17 drubbing in Philadelphia — well maybe the kickoff returns of Nate Jacquet going against the No. 1 coverage team, but other than that, nothing. And for fans to witness players slapping a coach's hand off their waist while the coach is probably trying to communicate a game-day adjustment, that should be unacceptable. Call me old-fashioned, but to then see a player not answer a coach's question during a game — not once, but at least twice — blows my mind. Who is running this ship, anyway?

I know the Vikings are losing when these situations happen, and I personally can't stand to lose. But during a game and on the sidelines things happen rather quickly and everyone involved only has a few seconds to relay their thoughts, so players and coaches have to make those conversations count. When these breakdowns happen, it's embarrassing for the whole organization.

Winning cures most problems, but this type of behavior usually blossoms like a full rose in the spring when losing. Conversely, when winning everything just smells rosy. The true character will be shown Monday, as fans can see if the defenders continue to tackle on their heels, with their head on the wrong side of the runner — or let's just say bad basics. How can any NFL player not want to play against a team that embarrassed them 41-0 in the championship game just 10 months earlier or have a chance to stop fans' bashing after losing two in a row, 41-14 and 48-17? The players have the opportunity to also show their fans some character by respecting their opinions, just like they need to respect their coaches, as honest opinions come from the heart. VU

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