No Fun In Losing

Vikings coach Mike Tice is trying to stress to his players that they need to have fun with their jobs, but with a 1-4 record that might be easier said than done.

Ordinarily there would be a sense of excitement around the Vikings facility as they prepare to play host to archrival Green Bay on Sunday.

But with a 1-4 record and an ongoing investigation into alleged sexual acts that happened aboard two boats during an Oct. 6 outing involving several players, the mood surrounding the Vikings appears to be anything but upbeat.

Fun? There simply hasn't been much of that this season in Minnesota.

"Maybe that is the problem, that we can't have any fun," coach Mike Tice said. "We'll just have to see how the team approaches this week. Hopefully, they'll approach the week better than they have approached some of the past weeks."

Safety Darren Sharper, a former Packer who was a member of the Green Bay team that started 1-4 last season, said Monday he felt winning would solve all of the Vikings' problems.

Tice isn't sure he agrees completely with Sharper but said a winning streak certainly wouldn't hurt.

"I don't know if it solves everything," he said. "It sure makes your stomach feel a little better where you are not having that feeling like you want to puke all the time. Stress does that to you.

"Sometimes you wake up and you say, ‘Man, I didn't have anything to drink last night, I didn't have anything fattening, why do I want to puke?' Then you realize, ‘Oh, that's right.' You start remembering what's going on in your life."

Tice's life, at least the on-the-field part, could get a whole lot better Sunday if the Vikings are able to end a two-game losing streak and beat their NFC North rival. The Vikings and Packers both have disappointing 1-4 records but remain well within striking distance of first place Chicago (2-3) and Detroit (2-3).


  • WR Nate Burleson, who has missed the past three games because of a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, expects to return Sunday against Green Bay.

  • DE Spencer Johnson did not play Sunday because of a medial collateral sprain in his right knee. He is hoping to be back against Green Bay but coach Mike Tice indicated it could be another week. Tice said both of Johnson's knees are hurting.

  • CB Brian Williams likely will sit out a third consecutive game because of a sprained left knee he suffered in Week 3.

  • QB Daunte Culpepper has now thrown one more interception this season (12) than he did in the entire 2004 regular season, when he was an MVP candidate. Culpepper, according to coaches, played solid for three quarters against Chicago. However, he still ended up with two interceptions and a 50.4 passer rating.

  • QB Brad Johnson mishandled a snap against Chicago that led to an aborted field-goal attempt on the Vikings' opening drive. Johnson then threw an incomplete pass toward Jermaine Wiggins. Some are calling for Johnson to be throwing more passes, as Culpepper's replacement, but coaches say that won't happen anytime soon.

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