Quotulatiousness

December 6, 2017

Words of wisdom from Zim Tzu

Filed under: Football, Humour — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

At the Daily Norseman, ink-stained scribe Dan Glover does his level best to translate the words of Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer into words that ordinary mere-humans can understand and appreciate. This week’s entry covers the outcome of the Falcons game and looks forward to the Carolina game:

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November 26, 2017

The latest Zim Tzu meditations

Filed under: Football, Humour — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

After every Vikings game, the head coach has a press conference with local — and lately — national media. It’d be easy to just report on what Mike Zimmer said to the press, but the Daily Norseman‘s Ted Glover can’t just do what the workaday sports guys do. That’s too easy. Too predictable. Too boring. He’s got to take it the extra distance, really provide additional value to Vikings fans, which is where the Zim Tzu posts come in:

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November 15, 2017

Zim Tzu’s latest press conference, as “interpreted” by Ted Glover

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

One of my favourite things in weeks after a Vikings win is reading Ted Glover’s latest free interpretation of the carefully parsed words of Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer. Ted is … highly creative in his work:

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July 28, 2017

Vikings training camp begins

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

While the rookies and some recent free agents reported to camp on Sunday, the bulk of the team and most of the veterans didn’t have to report until Wednesday afternoon. The theory to this was to build on the OTA and rookie mini-camp experiences for the younger players, and those new to the Vikings organization this season, before the full team practice sessions began. The team is holding their final training camp at Minnesota State University in Mankato after 52 years, and next year’s training camp will be held in their new team facilities in Eagan, MN.

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April 4, 2017

QotD: The last 30 years of Vikings football

Filed under: Football, Quotations — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

Watching the Vikings the past three decades has been like chronicling an ’80s hair band. It’s been all fun and games except for the times the lead singer got busted and the drummer spontaneously combusted.

For a franchise that has been frequently competitive, the Vikings have rarely experienced what felt like sustainable success.

They were once owned by a Gang of 10 that feuded with the general manager, who was replaced by a non-football executive who wore coach’s shorts and a stopwatch.

Their next owner lived in San Antonio, and, once he realized he couldn’t win big or get a stadium built, stripped the team to make it attractive to new buyers.

Red McCombs sold to Zygi Wilf, whose jagged learning curve led to the hiring of Fran “I know New Mexico Football” Foley and Brad Childress.

Jerry Burns was an elderly coach who would have retired even if he had won a Super Bowl. He gave way to Dennis Green, who collected enemies the way a coffee shop message board collects business cards. Green gave way to Mike Tice, who had never been a coordinator at any level before he became a head coach, and eventually Childress, who saved time by burning bridges before he bothered to build them.

Childress gave way to Leslie Frazier, who served as the asbestos quilt that ownership threw over their constant brushfires, then tossed aside once the flames went out.

The Vikings’ best teams since the mid-’80s have been one-offs: The 1987 team that backed into the playoffs, then won two games with Wade Wilson at quarterback. The 1998 team that resurrected Randall Cunningham. The 2000 team that relied on Daunte Culpepper to outscore a shoddy defense. The 2009 team that hired Brett Favre as a temp. The 2012 team that made the playoffs in Christian Ponder’s lone showing of competence.

The past 30 years of Vikings football have felt like annual acts of desperation. That might be changing.

Jim Souhan, “Vikings finally have the makings for long-term success”, Star Tribune, 2015-09-13.

December 26, 2016

Vikings’ faint postseason hopes dashed in 38-25 loss in Green Bay

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 11:37

Yes, the game was played nearly 48 hours ago … I had better things to do with my time on Christmas Day than to conduct an autopsy of the Packers game. But I guess I can’t put it off much longer, so I’ll hold my nose as I dip into the media and fan coverage of the last letdown in Lambeau.

For a start, let’s briefly touch on the one player who did everything in his power to carry the team to victory, with Adam Thielen’s career performance at wide receiver: 12 catches for 202 yards, and two touchdowns, moving him past Stefon Diggs as Minnesota’s leading receiver for 2016. Thielen is a restricted free agent next year, so we can safely assume signing him to a new deal will be high on Rick Spielman’s list of priorities for the off-season.

If you’re a fan of signs, omens, and portents, you hit the jackpot even before the Vikings made it to their hotel on Friday evening, as the team’s chartered plane slipped off the runway after landing in Wisconsin and the team had to be evacuated from the plane, two-by-two by fire department cherry-pickers. It was several hours before they were all re-united at the hotel, so team meetings had to be cancelled in favour of allowing the players and coaches something like a normal night’s sleep.

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December 19, 2016

Adrian Peterson’s return sparks … nothing much

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 10:25

The Minnesota Vikings’ historically bad running game was supposed to get a big boost when Adrian Peterson returned to the line-up after spending most of the season on injured reserve. To be kind, that’s not what happened on Sunday. The Indianapolis Colts came in to US Bank Stadium desperately needing a win to stay relevant in the AFC playoff race, but the Vikings appeared to already be thinking about what they’ll be doing in the offseason. There were a few individual efforts that merit praise, but the team as a whole looked unco-ordinated, unsynchronized, and unmotivated. Andrew Luck is a good quarterback, but the Viking defence made him look like the league MVP — when they weren’t giving up bone-headed penalties and playing out of position. Without safety Harrison Smith in the defensive secondary, the Colts’ tight ends and receivers seemed to be open all game long.

Before the game started, the TV announcers emphasized how much trouble Indianapolis would have against the Vikings’ fearsome defensive line, especially as the Colts would be starting three rookies at centre, right guard, and right tackle. Yet once the game began, a strange thing happened: Andrew Luck remained upright and almost completely untouched until the fourth quarter when Tolzien came in for clean-up duty. No turnovers, no sacks, and almost no pressure made Luck’s day a very easy one.

Adrian Peterson, activated from injured reserve on Saturday, got the start for the Vikings but was unable to do anything behind Minnesota’s historically bad offensive line. His longest run of the day ended in a lost fumble that the Colts turned into a touchdown. It would probably have been better for Peterson and the Vikings if he’d waited until next week to make his return: Jerick McKinnon was much more effective in both the running and passing game after Peterson was benched.

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October 31, 2016

It’s called “Next Man Up”

Filed under: Football, Health — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 15:44

In the current edition of ESPN Magazine, Tim Keown talks to members of the Minnesota Vikings about what happened to Teddy Bridgewater. It’s hard reading:

THE MEN WHO agree to talk about what happened do so reluctantly. Their eyes invariably drift to the spot in question: the grass practice field, somewhere near the 30-yard line, right hash. It happened with the offense heading north, 22 men on the field, no contact allowed.

They won’t talk about what the injury looked like, out of respect. These are men who long ago came to terms with the inhumanity of their game. They laugh about concussions and broken bones as a defense mechanism, the way an electrician might laugh with his buddies about getting a jolt from a faulty circuit. Occupational hazard.

But this is different. They close their eyes and wince, the image flashing in their minds. They shake their heads reflexively, as if they can dislodge the memory and evict it from their brains. They watched Teddy Bridgewater go down on that field on Aug. 30, his left leg separating at the knee, during the first minutes of a Vikings preseason practice. Every time they think about it, every time they stand near this field and close their eyes, they see it again.

[…]

Minnesota’s coach, Mike Zimmer, canceled practice. NFL teams never cancel practice. The game never stops. In a way, it’s a repudiation of Next Man Up to send everyone home — an acknowledgment that some injuries transcend the transactional. Sometimes, even in such a brutal world, circumstances dictate that the next man can’t reasonably be expected to step up, at least not right away.

“It happened at the beginning of practice, and obviously Coach made the right call to cancel,” Vikings quarterbacks coach Scott Turner says. “We weren’t going to get anything done that day.”

At his first news conference after the injury, a still-shaken Zimmer said his team would mourn for a day and move on. If anything, this meant his players needed to recommit to the mission. “No one is going to feel sorry for us, or cry,” he said. “I’m not going to feel sorry for us either.” He said he’d spoken with his mentor, Bill Parcells, for advice on how to deal with the trauma his team experienced. He said he spoke with his deceased father “in spirit.” As he continued, the coach in him drained from his eyes. He transformed from functionary to human being, and when he was asked a question about grieving — a question that somehow seemed utterly appropriate — Zimmer paused and looked down. After a deep breath, he looked to the sky as his lower lip quivered. “My wife passed away seven years ago,” he said. “It was a tough day. The sun came up the next day, the world kept spinning, people kept going to work. That’s what we’re going to do.”

In my early twenties, I had a knee injury — nowhere near as serious as Teddy’s — and to this day I can’t watch replays of leg injuries that the networks seem to always want to show as often as they can. It doesn’t just upset me, I get nauseous and have to look away. Later in the article, Keown mentions that there are no images available of Bridgewater during that practice, despite the fact that NFL teams film just about everything that happens at team events. I’m very grateful that those images are being kept from the public.

October 26, 2016

Zim Tzu on the faceplant in Philly

Filed under: Football, Humour — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 12:22

After every Vikings game, the Daily Norseman‘s chief Zimologist analyzes the finely crafted koans of Zim Tzu to tease out the finer, hidden meanings of the otherwise inscrutable and mystical words of the Vikings head coach. This week’s press conference followed the “game” that was “played” in Philadelphia against the Eagles:

The Vikings warrior poet/head coach dispenses his profane words of wisdom.

Rage.

That’s not a word or emotion a warrior poet takes lightly. It’s an emotion that if channeled properly can be used effectively, but if allowed to go unchecked leads to one’s own destruction. Rage most assuredly didn’t overcome the Vikings in Philadelphia did so much as incompetence did … but in the aftermath of the Letdown at the Linc rage is what consumed Mike Zimmer.

[ED NOTE: Also, if you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, don’t read the first paragraphs that has asterisks, or the asterisks, because I give away a spolier. And rage is what you will feel if you haven’t seen it yet. Also, bad language warning.]

And the warrior poet harnessed it, allowed to to grow into a fireball of genius on Monday, and will use it to light a fire under the asses of the Minnesota Vikings next Monday in Chicago. And it is a fire that will metaphorically burn Chicago to the ground once again, if Cubs rioters haven’t already done so. Because there is nothing Mike Zimmer can’t harness and ultimately use to his advantage. Not. A. Fucking. Thing.

Because he is Zim Tzu: High Septon Of Mankato, Eviscerator of Titans, Maître Fromager, Spinner of the Charlotte Web, Beanstalk Chopper, He Who Implodes The Lone Star, and Warden Of The North.

And speaking in front of the Great Unwashed Poletariat of the Free Press is the ultimate in rage control, as the questions they ask make you want to snap necks and go all Negan on Glenn. But you can’t. You must harness that rage, focus it like a laser, and aim it at your next opponent.

And that’s where we come in, The Greatest Blog In The History Of The World.* We take your rage, and unleash it for you.** We are Negan, we wield the baseball bat, and we give you some eye popping results.***

*Maybe a slight bit of hyperbole here

**We really don’t as we have undergone no formal training to do this. Is there formal training to do this?

***I don’t watch The Walking Dead so if you just read a spoiler HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA not sorry because this was a good joke and I warned you up top.

So what do we do in the channeling of rage?* It’s quite simple, really.** We take Mike Zimmer’s weekly day after the game press conference and interpret the true meaning of words that come out of his clenched jaws.***

*This is a rhetorical question as we literally do nothing.

**Writing sophomoric jokes is actually hard, man.

***We literally do nothing close to that. It’s just all made up, stupid shit. I’m stunned it’s as popular as it is, tbh.

October 13, 2016

The wisdom of Zim Tzu, 5-0 edition

Filed under: Football, Humour — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

The re-interpretation of Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer’s weekly press conference with the local Minnesota media, as interpreted, expanded, and re-coarsified by Ted Glover of the Daily Norseman:

The Vikings warrior poet/head coach dispenses his weekly words of wisdom

Complacency. That’s a word you despise, a word you abhor, a word that is your mortal enemy. Complacency has no place in your life, and it is something you seek to destroy at every opportunity. Much like the football teams you play. Complacency is for the weak, the bloggers who spew their vile in their underwear from Mom’s basement, and the Green Bay Packers. You seek out and destroy complacency wherever you see it, much like the Kardashian family snuffs out good taste and decorum at every turn.

And that’s what the Houston Texans represented this past Sunday. A trap game, one that trips up complacent teams. Teams that think they’re better than they are. But you won’t let complacency creep into your team, or in to your psyche.

For you are Zim Tzu: High Septon Of Mankato, Eviscerator of Titans, Maître Fromager, Spinner of the Charlotte Web, Beanstalk Chopper, He Who Implodes The Lone Star, and Warden Of The North.

When you need discuss the latest mauling like a lion eating a gazelle on the Serengeti, you need to do it in a way that doesn’t offend the senses, because this is America, damn it, and we need safe spaces from your fucking trigger words.

Oops. My bad.

So, we here at The Daily Norseman would like to offer you our services, free of charge.* We will take what Mike Zimmer says in his weekly Monday/Tuesday press conference, translate it for you,** and give you the true meaning of those words, unfiltered and fresh,*** much like that homemade beer you have percolating somewhere in your basement right now.

* We provide no service at all. As a matter of fact, we legitimately waste the precious oxygen resource on this planet by breathing, and give you nothing in return. We’re basically killing you and destroying the planet with this piece of satire. You’re welcome, World.

**I just add swear words and stupid jokes. Literally. Killing. You. Nothing. Redeeming.

***Just like no one wants to hear about your fantasy team, no one really wants to try your homemade beer, because 99% of homemade brew literally tastes like shit. Including mine. But my fantasy team, though…

Hey, it might taste like panther piss when it’s fermented, but By God it’s raw and real.* Much like Zim Tzu.** As always, what Coach Zimmer literally says will be in block quotes, and what he literally means will be immediately below.***

*Seriously, I made beer once from one of those home brew kits. Worst shit I ever had. Gross, man. Much like Clay Matthews’ greasy ass hair.

**This is so fake.

***We do use his actual presser quotes. Everything else is fake and made up. Like Roger Goodell’s method of fining and suspending players.

October 6, 2016

Your weekly Zim Tzu meditation

Filed under: Football, Humour — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 13:57

At the Daily Norseman, Ted Glover takes on the weighty task of interpreting the words of Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer as he debriefs the local media after each Viking game. Glover is perhaps the best suited of all Viking fan bloggers thanks to his many, many years of study of zen wisdom, middle-American profanity, and the many glories of Minnesota culture:

The Vikings warrior poet/head coach dispenses his weekly words of wisdom.

When you’re a warrior poet, you know one of the keys to victory is one that a lot of people overlook — psychological operations. When you can get inside an opponent’s head that’s covered by Ramen noodles, you make your job easier, and victory that much more attainable.

Because you live for victories, and don’t stomach defeat. You will do everything in your power to put your opponent at a competitive disadvantage, and if that means trying to make him cry on national television, you’ll do that, too. Because you are Zim Tzu: High Septon Of Mankato, Eviscerator of Titans, Maître Fromager, Spinner of the Charlotte Web, Beanstalk Chopper, and Warden Of The North.

And when you talk about making opponents cry, you can’t do it in your no bullshit, no nonsense manner. Well I mean, you’re Zim Tzu, and you can pretty much do what you want, but you don’t want to be fined by that pinhead Roger Goodell, so you have you use your verbal judo skills to tell us what you mean without telling us what you mean. Because Roger Goodell and his Magical Spinning Wheel Of Bullshit and Arbitrary System of Fines And Suspensions makes about as much sense as a fucking BronyCon. [ED note: seriously, I just heard about these things, where grown adults dress up as My Little Pony characters and go to conventions. It’s more terrifying than being stuck in Green Bay for more than two hours. Also, Aaron Rodgers is a Brony. I would bet money he is.]

And as the Officially Licensed Interpreter Of Zim Tzu*, this is where we come in** to make life simpler for you.***

*There’s no officially licensed anything. Although sometimes I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea, because if I could make money doing this it might be the best thing ever the next time my Dad tells me about excessive profanity never paying off.

**And by coming in, I mean I hope I can sucker you in to waste part of your day reading this nonsensical bullshit

***This simplifies nothing.

We take Zimmer’s weekly Monday/Tuesday press conference*, run it through the Fuckyougronifier,** and when it comes out on the other end we have what Mike Zimmer really said,*** if he could use swear words.

*We really do use his actual press conference quotes the day after games. It’s the only thing that’s legitimate in this whole piece.

**Look, you’ve seen Zimmer swear a lot. I’m just using it as top cover to write a lot of bad words and not get in trouble. Also, there is no such thing as as … whatever the hell that made up word is I wrote up above.

***Again, completely made up bullshit on my part. What Zimmer actually said during his presser is in block quotes, the not even close to authentic interpretation immediately follows.

August 19, 2016

Vikings beat Seahawks 18-11 in second preseason game, without Teddy Bridgewater

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 09:41

Perhaps the oddest thing about watching last night’s Vikings-Seahawks matchup was seeing Shaun Hill take the start instead of Teddy Bridgewater. Teddy wasn’t hurt, but head coach Mike Zimmer “explained” it as being his decision not to play Teddy. No additional information was provided. Quite odd, but it did show what the backup and third string quarterbacks could do in real game situations. At 1500ESPN, Judd Zulgad describes the press conference exchange after the game:

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer surprised everyone on Thursday night by not starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and instead giving the assignment to veteran Shaun Hill.

Asked why Bridgewater did not start in the Vikings’ 18-11 preseason victory in Seattle, Zimmer said, “because I sat him.” Asked why he made the move, Zimmer responded, “because I wanted to.”

While Zimmer would not go into any detail, he did make it clear the move wasn’t for disciplinary reasons. “Teddy Bridgewater’s the nicest kid in the world,” Zimmer said, “there’s no disciplinary action ever with Teddy so it had nothing to do with discipline, it had to do with my decision.”

Zimmer became annoyed with follow up questions during his press conference. “It was my decision,” he said. “How many times are we going to go through this? It was my decision. Good enough?”

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July 29, 2016

Can the Vikings repeat last year’s success?

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

To be a Vikings fan is to know just how fickle the fates can be. Here’s Jim Souhan with his patented Debby Downer take on the Vikings’ chances of equalling or exceeding last year’s 11-5 record and a playoff appearance:

The perception within and outside the organization is that the 2015 season was the first major step on a ladder that will stretch to the Super Bowl, perhaps when Minneapolis plays host to the big game following the 2017 season.

The optimism is justified by analyses of a talented young roster and Zimmer’s coaching chops.

The optimism is not supported by Vikings history.

Since the franchise was born, the Vikings have won 11 games in a season 12 times, including last year. Ten of the 11 previous times, the team’s win total dropped the next season — the Vikings won 12 games in 1969 and again in 1970.

There are circumstantial reasons to wonder if the Vikings fan base may be setting itself up for another dose of chronic disappointment.

Winning NFL teams sometimes assume their success is caused by tangible, controllable factors, but luck plays a major role in a league where parity is promoted, if not always attained.

The health and availability of key players can be pivotal — especially the health of quarterbacks. Teddy Bridgewater started 16 games last season. His backup, veteran journeyman Shaun Hill, did not perform well when called upon. The Vikings might be one injury away from wishing they had Christian Ponder.

Referees wield great power, especially when asked to make difficult decisions on what is a reception and what is pass interference.

Then there is human nature. The Vikings are a confident bunch. They also are playing in a division featuring Chicago Bears coach John Fox, known as a fixer of struggling franchises, and the perpetually dangerous Green Bay Packers, who may again have the services of star receiver Jordy Nelson.

So, in summary, since the Vikings have never won the Superbowl, there’s no chance they ever will. Because nothing ever happens for the first time.

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May 27, 2016

The secret to Mike Zimmer’s popularity in Minnesota

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Jim Souhan analyzes the phenomenon of Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer’s popularity:

Mike Zimmer is becoming so popular that someday he may be able to charge Vikings fans to clean out his garage.

It’s worked for Bud Grant. He holds an annual “garage sale” that is the modern-day equivalent of (Warning: Old-guy reference coming up) Tom Sawyer tricking kids into paying him to paint a fence for him.

Grant and Zimmer are of a like mind, and a like kind. Grant is a Minnesota hero because he wore short sleeves in freezing temps and used a subzero glare as his primary form of communication. Zimmer’s personality is a hybrid of Grant’s bluntness and Jerry Burns’ creative use of blue language.

Ask a Minnesota sports fan what they care about, and they’ll say “championships.” Yet Grant’s image survived four Super Bowl losses, and Zimmer seems to be the most popular Vikings coach since Grant even though he has yet to win a playoff game.

Grant and Zimmer are proof that when it comes to Minnesota sports fans, bluntness is revered above all else.

Zimmer is not a Minnesota native and did not attend a Minnesota college. He had no ties to the state until he took a job here. Anecdotal evidence suggests he’s wildly popular, and yet he has not established that he is one of us.

In our highly-provincial state, where being local is prized above all else, where natives spend most of their time with their former high school or college classmates, how did an outsider who cusses a lot and has yet to win big become so well-liked?

The answer: By not trying.

Minnesotans are highly suspicious of slickness, and salespeople. They mistrusted Norwood Teague long before they had evidence he was evil, because he always sounded as if he was telling people what they wanted to hear.

Minnesotans don’t want to be told what they want to hear. In our state, the best public relations tactic is not sounding as if you’re engaging in public relations.

Zimmer has become popular with Zen PR. By not telling people what they want to hear, he has given them what they want to hear.

November 9, 2015

Vikings beat Rams 21-18, but Bridgewater knocked out on cheap-shot

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

The Vikings moved into a tie for first place in the NFC North by (barely) beating the St. Louis Rams at the same time as the Packers lost to the Carolina Panthers. Both the Vikings and Packers now have 6-2 records, but Minnesota has more wins within the division so they’re technically ahead (for playoff standing, divisional wins are more significant than conference wins, which are in turn more important than out-of-conference wins).

The game itself was a slugfest, with both teams depending heavily on their defences to mask the weaknesses on the other side of the ball. Neither team was at full strength, with the Vikings lacking new rookie sensation Eric Kendricks at middle linebacker and the Rams without defensive ends Chris Long and Robert Quinn. Injuries piled up during the game even before the personal foul that took Teddy Bridgewater out of the game. Cornerback Terence Newman (suspected concussion) and backup middle linebacker Audie Cole both left the field, with Cole being carted to the locker room with a broken ankle and is probably done for the season. After the game, reporters noticed that linebacker Anthony Barr had his left arm in a cast, although he didn’t appear to miss any snaps during the game. Both Bridgewater and Newman have to go through the concussion protocol, so it won’t be known for at least a few days whether either player will be able to play next week. Rookie Trae Waynes stepped in for Newman and veteran backup quarterback Shaun Hill played the remainder of the game for Bridgewater.

It didn’t take long for suspicions to form about infamous (former New Orleans Saints) defensive co-ordinator Gregg Williams repeating his “bountygate” past:

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