Is the drama in Minnesota a bit overhyped right now? Of course it is, but when you’ve lost two of your past three games, can’t find the running game, and the head coach challenges Brett Favre — at least according to reports — everything is magnified.
But let’s be honest. This happens to every team at some point in the season. Emotions boil over, players and coaches exchange words, and the losing adds unnecessary fuel to a fire that’s been building for weeks.
The thing is, we don’t write or hear about those stories in Kansas City, St. Louis, Detroit or Tampa. No, we only hear about them when they concern teams — and marquee players — that are in the spotlight.
We just aren’t accustomed to seeing it in December — when a team is playing for a first-round bye and home field through the divisional round of the playoffs. And that’s where we are right now with Minnesota. The Panthers physically whipped them on Sunday night for a national audience to see, just two weeks after they were exposed in front of that same audience under the Sunday night lights at Arizona.
Usually, locker-room rants and sideline discussions are kept in house, but when it comes to Favre, we all know better — and now that it’s public, with more details coming out by the day, it’s there for all to see.
But is it a concern for a Vikings team that was considered a lock to play in the NFC title game? I doubt it, just as I doubt these “heated discussions” we’re hearing about on the sideline, in the locker room and in private meetings after the game will have anything to do with this team’s chances of getting to Miami and the Super Bowl.
Pro players and coaches clash all the time on the sidelines, which at times can resemble grade school recess when the game plan doesn’t go as planned. Panic sets in, and players and coaches can get at each other’s throats in seconds. I’ve seen coaches being held back from players and players being held back from coaches. That’s why I’m not shocked to hear that Favre and coach Brad Childress had a disagreement on the sideline that reportedly carried over to the locker room after the loss to Carolina.
We can sit here and talk about Favre being a diva, or that Chilly has lost control of his team, or any other way we want to spin this thing — which could all plausibly be somewhat right.
But from my perspective, this is just another example of a team that’s stuck in a streak of bad performances with the playoffs on the horizon. Not the best time to be calling each other out, but a win Monday night over Jay Cutler and the woeful Bears should take care of it.
And Favre and Chilly will be best buddies again.
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