Viking World (Preseason 2011)

I’m glad that the NFL lockout is over and that we will have professional football this fall! As a die-hard Minnesota Viking fan, we always have to “wait until next year” and I’m always happy when that “next year” finally gets here. Let me share two thoughts on what this season may hold in store for the Purple Faithful.

First and foremost, the Vikings have a new Head Coach, and this, above everything else, is the biggest unknown out there. In football, the team that wants to win the most usually does. Can Leslie Frazier motivate this team and prevent them from merely going through the motions as they seemed to do last year? Can he make them want to win? More importantly, will he make them believe they CAN win? I’m a fan of Leslie Frazier, and I think he possesses good leadership skills, something Brad Childress severely lacked. He’s already gotten rid of some negative influences that may have been poisoning the Viking locker room. I expect him to continue to demonstrate that he is firmly in control of this team: He played for Mike Ditka, after all!

After the head coach, the most important figure on any professional football team is the quarterback. Brett Favre was the best ever to play at this position (in my humble opinion), and like all great ones, he became larger than life and often overshadowed his head coach. Coach Childress tagged along on Favre’s coat tails in 2009, when Favre took the Vikings on a wild ride to within one play of the Super Bowl, then didn’t let go as Favre began acting his age in 2010. It’s no coincidence that both are gone in 2011. Donovan McNabb is a very good quarterback, but he’s no Bret Favre. This is bad news for those of you who want McNabb to carry the team, but good news for those who want Coach Frazier to do the carrying. I believe McNabb will be highly successful if Coach Frazier can motivate him, and the rest of the team, to play at the level they’re capable of. Motivation is everything because the team that wants to win the most usually does.