As part of its 25th anniversary, ESPN has been running a list of their top 25 moments of the ESPN era, whether it be the best moments, players or teams. But the Vikings' involvement in their lists took a front and center stage Tuesday when the network unveiled its 25 greatest flops of the last 25 years.
Taking a page from VH-1 and its "I Love the (fill in the decade)" series, ESPN collected some sports notables to trash talk the different players and teams that created the flops, where the Vikings slid in at No. 8 with the Herschel Walker trade.
In the piece, several media types said the Cowboys were looking to move Walker, but needed to find someone stupid enough to meet their demands -- cutting to a shot of Jerry Burns stammering through his welcome speech to Walker with Roger Headrick looking like a deer in the headlights standing next to him.
While there's no question that the Walker trade was a flop and the Vikings gave up too much, what wasn't made apparent was that Walker was viewed at the time as being the one missing piece to a title. Just as Tampa Bay trading two first-round picks for Jon Gruden wasn't viewed as a flop since the Bucs won the Super Bowl with him as coach, had the Vikings won the Super Bowl with Walker, it wouldn't have been seen as such a monstrous failure.
Also not pointed out was that the Vikings could have had much more success with Walker had the team gone to his style of play — single back, 7 yards deep — instead of trying to make Walker adjust to the Vikings' Schnelker-led trap run offense. The styles never meshed and the flop ensued.
Because the mixing of styles never worked, the trade has to be considered a flop, but the whole story wasn't told. Were the Vikings idiots? In hindsight, yes, but not as bad as it was made out to be. Besides, the Packers rated higher with Tony Mandarich, so Vikings fans can take some comfort in that.
Herschel Walker Trade Relived On ESPN
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