Art manager

It’s time to switch to Full Heel Manager mode on the Minnesota Vikings

Several signs indicate that the football season is fast approaching. The first is made up of titles that include “The Best Shape of Her Life” or “Got That Dawg In ‘Em”. Then it’s the start of training camp. Pre-season kicks off and Week 1 here is quicker than Garrett Bradbury finds himself on the grass during a practice drill.

But there is another sign that is not on the football field. At Defector, Drew Magary is putting together a series called “Why Your Team Sucks”. While Magary hits all 32 teams, he doesn’t hold off the Minnesota Vikings.

Why should he hold back? While Mark and Zygi Wilf were in Orlando trying to get their football team off the ground, the Vikings were creating the kind of mess your kids would make if they were left alone in the basement with a box of permanent markers and a quart of Mountain Dew.

Coincidentally, the Wilfs came back from Minnesota and asked, “Who did that?” They had the same response as your combative offspring.

“It was him!”

“Him” was Mike Zimmer, whose time was up after eight seasons with the Vikings. After replacing him with Kevin O’Connell, the Vikings brought back the same roster that had missed the playoffs the past two seasons.

Because of this, Magary, a Vikings fan, threatened to “douse himself in gasoline and ride on your stove like a mechanical bull”.

Of course, nothing Magary said was wrong. The Vikings taught their fans to prepare for the worst.

You had the idea.

But if we continue to wallow in the chess history of the Vikings, we become miserable creatures who lock themselves in our homes for 50 weeks a year to enjoy two weeks of warm, mosquito-free weather. Life is too short to fear the worst.

That’s why it’s time to go into stub manager mode.

The heel handler is a staple in the art of professional wrestling. A skilled wrestler is good enough to have the crowd turning against him. But a smooth talker dropping the truth beside him makes the crowd want to watch him die a slow, painful death.

Going into this season, most Vikings fans are ready to point out heel flaws at every turn. But for a select few, they stay on board, enjoying a different level of satisfaction when the stub proves everyone wrong.

Take Kirk Cousins, for example. On the surface, Cousins ​​tends to choke on the bigger games. He has a smile that could stand a gerrymandered political office. He should be just as responsible for Minnesota’s failures in 2021. Instead, the Vikings extended him, brought in a head coach who likes him, and gave him a weapons cast that should be l one of the top five offences.

If that wasn’t enough, maybe his unvaccinated status is enough to push people over the edge. After missing a do-or-die game with the Green Bay Packers last January with a case of COVID-19, Cousins ​​tested positive again last week. But, like a true heel, Cousins ​​acted like it was the plan all along.

“I was telling my wife that if I was going to miss five days and you had to be strategic about which five, I probably picked a pretty good five,” Cousins ​​said. “Thursday practice would have been great, but Friday was lighter, Saturday was a travel day, Sunday would have only been half a dozen games. Then Monday was a day off, so it worked pretty well from that perspective.

It’s awesome. The cousins ​​probably checked out the training schedule, drove to St. Cloud, took a breath of “fresh” air, and got rid of that burden.

Long story short, Cousins ​​plays chess while the rest of the NFL plays checkers.

That’s not counting Cousins’ prowess on the pitch. Since arriving in Minnesota in 2018, Cousins ​​has thrown for at least 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns with less than 13 interceptions in three seasons. Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes are the only quarterbacks to accomplish this feat.

But there is more. Much like when Ric Flair teamed up with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Cousins ​​could be just as unstoppable aligned with O’Connell.

O’Connell has sworn to clear Cousins’ minds, and they’ve been off to a good start so far. Cousins ​​was on fire during training camp and topped it off with an F-bomb in Wednesday’s joint practice with the San Francisco 49ers.

It’s true. O’Connell has Cousins ​​playing so loose that he’s here dropping F-bombs on the pitch – and we don’t mean “damn”.

But O’Connell’s tab pick makes so much sense. Before Cousins ​​became the NFL’s first quarterback, there was Matthew Stafford. After years of being buried in Detroit, Stafford rose like a phoenix and produced a Super Bowl-winning drive with O’Connell at the shotgun.

You may be thinking, Well it was with Sean McVaybut that’s exactly why this relationship will work.

McVay’s coach tree produced both head coaches in last season’s Super Bowl (counting, you know, McVay). He also produced the coach that built an empire in Green Bay. If it weren’t for Rodgers’ playoff performances, that tree might already have multiple Super Bowl rings, and O’Connell was drinking straight from the Kool-Aid jug.

Sounds crazy, but take a look at NFC. Tom Brady is AWOL out of camp for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Stafford’s elbow is ready to explode, and Rodgers is one bad cup of psychedelic tea away from believing he’s being chased by real Vikings.

If you embrace the positives, this season could be a whole lot more fun than last year. Hell, you too could celebrate vigorously as Cousins ​​and O’Connell lift the Lombardi Trophy as easily as Scott Hall played getting beaten by a mug of $20 beer.

It’s just more fun to be the bad guy, and if the Vikings win, they’ll suddenly be the coolest team in the room.