More Names Coming Out

The Vikings bye week scandal is a story many wish would go away, but in light of published reports that are naming names, it seems that there are just going to be more questions than answers heading into Sunday's game with Chicago.

Bill O'Reilly made it a top story on his show. Keith Olbermann wouldn't let it go for three days. Jay Leno made jokes about it on "The Tonight Show" and it's impossible to turn on any ESPN talk show without hearing about it.

The Vikings boat scandal has taken on a life of its own -- going from the realm of a sports story to one that has many local media sources putting their investigative reporters on the story in search of more information.

One of the byproducts of that has been the release of a dozen names of players that were allegedly on the boats in question. Topping the list is quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who has refused to comment on the situation. Aside from Culpepper, other names that have surfaced in published reports include Fred Smoot, Mewelde Moore, Bryant McKinnie, Kevin Williams, Jermaine Wiggins, Nate Burleson, Troy Williamson, Travis Taylor, Koren Robinson, Ralph Brown and Darren Sharper.

Mike Tice's frustration showed Friday at a press conference when he denounced the actions of the players and expressed his embarrassment for the organization. Zygi Wilf, who gave his fourth endorsement of Tice as his coach in the last three weeks, angrily denounced the players actions, saying that it doesn't reflect on the values of the organization or the community at large.

About the only thing that will put this story on the back burner -- if anything can -- will be a win Sunday. But, as the team prepares to go into Chicago, where they've not won in the last four years, it will be difficult to imagine that this distraction won't weigh heavily on their minds. If the team loses, blame will be thrown toward the Lake Minnetonka incident -- whether it has any role or not.

Welcome to Scandalville, Vikings fans. This story just isn't going to go away quietly.

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