Tice is working too

While the Vikings conduct rookie minicamp this weekend, so do the Bears and that can't make Mike Tice very happy. The Chicago offensive line coach was famous for being careful when he scheduled minicamps when he was head coach of the Vikings.

More than likely Mike Tice is not a happy pappy today.

Like the Vikings, the Bears are also having a minicamp this weekend. The Bears are scheduled to have coaches meetings that are expected to last until 5:30 or 6 p.m. The former Vikings coach, now offensive line coach in Chicago, is likely to be excusing himself shortly after 5 p.m. – faking a medical condition if necessary.

When Tice was head coach of the Vikings, one of the perks of his job was to never (and we do mean never) schedule a minicamp or team activity on the same weekend as the Kentucky Derby. Tice has been a huge horse racing fan since his days in Seattle and loved the sport so much he claimed a couple of horses and briefly lived out his dream of being a horse owner.

On Kentucky Derby Saturday, you could count on Tice making the trip, enjoying a few mint juleps, smoking big cigars more likely rolled in North Havana instead of North Carolina and, more than likely, end up picking the wrong horse to win. It wasn't about winning or losing for Tice as much as it was the atmosphere. It was the event. It was thousands of rich, fat, bald guys and just as many cougars in gaudy hats. The Derby is one of those experiences sports fans should attend at some point in their life, much in the same way sports fans feel about the Super Bowl and World Series.

What makes it worse for Tice is that he likely would have had quite a bit of sway behind the scenes and get the full V.I.P. treatment, which for the pomp and circumstance of the Derby is pretty significant. One of Tice's best friends from his foray into horse racing is Mike Pegram. Pegram, the owner of former Derby winner Real Quiet, is the co-owner of Lookin' for Lucky – the current Derby favorite – with co-owners Karl Watson and Paul Weitman.

Had Tice not had a work conflict with the Bears minicamp, he not only would have been there, but racing fans and football fans alike would probably have seen everyone's favorite galoot in about the fourth or fifth row of the winner's circle if Lookin' For Lucky had won. Although he is scheduled to work, don't be stunned if Tice finds a way to watch the race – hopefully he doesn't get caught by Lovie Smith.

SATURDAY NOTES

  • Former Viking Bobby Wade signed a contract with the Redskins earlier this week, making him the latest in a growing list of veterans the Redskins have brought on board this offseason. On the Vikings, Wade was the old man of the group. With the Redskins, he's young blood. Owner Daniel Snyder, who firmly believes in paying lucrative contracts to aging veterans, has outdone himself this year. He traded for 12th-year quarterback Donovan McNabb and has also signed 38-year-old wide receiver Joey Galloway. He seems to have a penchant for guys entering their ninth season. Not only is Wade a free agent signee entering his ninth season, but so are running back Larry Johnson, cornerback Phillip Buchanon, defensive tackle Maake Kemeoatu, center Casey Rabach (re-signed) and guard Artis Hicks. For the record, he also signed 11-year veteran punter Josh Bidwell and re-signed 14-year veteran DE Phillip Daniels. The Wheeze Kids are officially back together.

  • In his annual rankings of players, ESPN's Mel Kiper lists players he views as overrated and underrated, players on the upswing and downslide, etc. For overrated cornerbacks, he listed Vikings' second-rounder as the third-most overrated corner in the draft. The most overrated? Kyle Wilson of Boise State, who many have speculated the Vikings were initially targeting with the 30th pick.

  • Willie Clark, the man who shot and killed Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams, was sentenced in Colorado and got a unique sentence to say the least. District Court Judge Christina Habas sentenced Clark, a gang member who smiled at times during the impact statements made by Williams' family, to life plus 1,152 years. The sentence was made because Clark was declared a habitual criminal with two prior felony convictions in addition to being found guilty on all 16 counts of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the case.

  • Brad Childress sounded like a wise guy out of Goodfellas Friday when asked about what he knows about the status of Brett Favre's ailing ankle. "I don't know," he said. "That's my story and I'm sticking to it from way back when."All that was missing was a Rat Pack song playing quietly in the background.

  • Sixth-round draft pick Joe Webb was asked what the strangest psychological question he fielded during the pre-draft process by someone affiliated with an NFL team. He said one person asked him "If you had a choice, would you be a cat or a dog?" He said he would be a cat – "they've got instincts."

  • Webb has also become something of YouTube sensation for a leap he made over blocking bags earlier this year – jumping over seven bags that stacked up to be more than five feet high. When asked if he had seen the video, Childress pondered if the footage was an accurate depiction or clever trickery, adding he has sent a copy to the CIA for analysis.




    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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