Dear Vikings Fans,

The spirit of this letter is not to kick you while you’re down. That’s what many of you would do, gleefully, in times like these, if the current state of our teams was reversed.

OK, admittedly, maybe some Packer fans are kind of reveling in things right now.

No, this letter is to implore you to recognize why your favorite team is in the state it is in. It’s not because your QB is not as good as the Pack’s QB. It’s not because the Packers got a 40-year head start in the NFL. It’s not because your team plays in a concrete mausoleum with a balloon for a roof, compared to the shrine that is Lambeau Field.

It’s really simple. The most important person in an NFL organization is the ultimate talent evaluator. The man charged with building the team, from the head coach, to his staff, to all 53 players.  Over the past two-plus decades, the Packers have had Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson serve as the team’s general manager.

The Vikings? Their first GM was a former Rams PR guy named Bert Rose. They realized the error of their ways and when they brought in a knowledgeable football guy named Jim Finks, multiple Super Bowls followed. Since then, things have gone steadily downhill. Mike Lynn will always be remembered for trading half the team for Herschel Walker. Denny Green, in his dual role, had his moments but was a better coach than he was a GM.

Next came the “Triangle of Authority,” or “Three Heads are Better Than One.” That was a disaster. Now Rick Spielman carries the title, but in name only. It is still a triangle or trapezoid or something. Spielman drafts Ponder and head coach Leslie Frazier demands that McNabb be brought in. The team has squandered valuable draft picks in trades and the picks they’ve made have, for the most part, not measured up. The last four drafts have provided a paucity of starters and the roster is in need of an overhaul.

The Vikings fans have their fun in the spring when the Wilfs go on their annual free agent shopping spree, hoping to make up for their weak drafts by supplementing the roster with over-priced veterans whose previous teams were happy to cut loose.

As the Eagles are showing us this season, chemistry and consistency in the locker room go a long way in building consistently good teams.  Yet for the past five or six years, Vikings fans taunt us Packer fans as they load up in free agency, while Ted Thompson usually sits on his hands and prepares for the draft.

And so now the Packers sit atop the football world, on a mission to repeat as Super Bowl champs, with a roster that entered the season as the fourth youngest in the league. With a QB still in his 20s (one the Vikings had two opportunities to draft in 2005), and young playmakers on each level of the defense, this team has been built to contend for years.

So Vikings fans, your frustrations should begin with your organization’s lack of understanding about what it takes to build a champion. One voice. One decision-maker. A fully empowered general manager. Until they bring in a true general manager with complete authority in all aspects of the football operations, they will remain mediocre: lacking direction, leadership and trophies.

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15 Responses to Dear Vikings Fans,

  1. carl kjono says:

    we dont need you to tell us what the Vikes should do. Mind your own business. And dont put glass in Adrian Petersons food. Thats lame

  2. Rich says:

    Yeah, I would say that is pretty accurate. If you go over the past 5-6 years of drafts they have been quite bad with a few exceptions. Hard to argue when you see the on field product.

  3. Bill, the voice of reason says:

    Let me start by stating: A) I’ve been a Packer fan my entire life, which is longer than the majority of readers here have been alive; B) The last thing I want to have happen is the Vikings leave town. The Twin Cities needs this franchise, and the NFC North needs this rivalry, not just for the Paxckers, but the Bears and Lions as well; C) In order for these rivalries to be vibrant and healthy, the Vikings need to be competitive. Yes, I enjoy walking into my workplace crammed full of Vikings fans wearing my Packers suede jacket, and anyone who tries to give me a hard time about it, all I have to do is quote one Randy Moss – “Superbowl, homeboy!” It feels great. However, as I have pointed out to my Vikings friends time and time again, if the Vikings have any hope of ever being relevant again, they need to hire a true, “the buck stops here”-type general manager. This “tiangle committee”, or whatever it’s called, simply doesn’t work. You need one guy who has the final word. And something else that doesn’t work is free agency. Oh sure, it works for the players, and I’ll give you ju$t one gue$$ a$ to why it work$ for them, but it sure doesn’t work for the franchise. Look no further than the Eagles this year. They were the sexy, trendy pick this year, and look where they are now – an absolute mess. The Packers, from a business and personnel standpoint, should be the standard by which all other teams should follow. Dave, the points you brought up are spot on. Years ago, I thought that if the Vikings were smart, they would have made Jeff Diamond their GM, but they messed that up and let him go to Tennessee. He was very sucessful there, while the Vikings stumbled along. And one more thing – Carl, you gotta lighten up. We’re trying to help the situation. We want you to continue drinking the purple kool-aid, and maybe with a little luck, it might actually start tasting better sometime soon. Granted it’ll never be as good as embracing the green and gold, but we all need to have something to cling to, right?

  4. larry says:

    great job Davey, couldn’t have said it better. isn’t that the truth about free agency, there fans always laugh at us, but the so called expert media fools did too, now they don’t. they worship tt. Hey Carl, he just trying to help, u don’t have to read it. the other big thing is with free agency, is all the money they get, then the players want more within, and then it starts. packer players know, if they want to win and if they play hard and well they will get paid. go champs

  5. OLD SOUTH SIDE GUY says:

    Davy….you are right on:
    Here is my formula for sports teams(or any company” success:
    (1) Leadership: On the field or off there has to be a singular true decision maker with a vision….think Steve Jobs
    (2) Good, competent, motivated people. In sports that means developing them into your winning culture….usually via the draft rather than free agency….think Randy Moss and the Philadelphia Eagles….do you want them in your culture.
    (3) Develop a loyal fan base…..These are your ultimate customers…..listen to them and treat them with respect.
    (4) Luck…While you cannot control this at all times….realize it can lead to new opportunities….think the Packers of last year inserting all the new players in for injured ones.
    (5) Heart/Desire….Bring in people/players that have it
    Now compare those 5 charteristics to the Vikes/Packers and you see why the Pack is in the up cycle!! GO PACK GO !!

  6. Bill, the voice of reason says:

    After some further consideration, I’ve come to the realization that the hire a GM, then draft-and-develop method of building the team will not work for the Vikings. The reason is because instead of a 47 year waiting list for season tickets like the Packers have, the Vikings have a 47 minute waiting list. As a result, the Vikings are in the situation of having to scramble like Fran Tarkenton to sell tickets, and in order to do that they need to sign the big splashy free agents that get them headlines, which makes the fickle fan base all excited, and end up making foolish decisions with their draft picks (with the lone exception of AP, but hey, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn occasionally).

  7. Bill, the voice of reason says:

    After some further consideration, I’ve come to the realization that the hire a GM, then draft-and-develop method of building the team will not work for the Vikings. The reason is because instead of a 47 year waiting list for season tickets like the Packers have, the Vikings have a 47 minute waiting list. As a result, the Vikings are in the situation of having to scramble like Fran Tarkenton to sell tickets, and in order to do that they need to sign the big splashy free agents that get them headlines, which makes the fickle fan base all excited, and end up making foolish decisions with their draft picks (with the lone exception of AP, but hey, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn occasionally).

  8. Shillelagh says:

    Vikes rube here. I enjoy hearing you on KFAN, read your site every now and again. You know your football, and you go on the air and represent your team regardless of your team’s position in the standings. As such, you have earned the respect of myself and hopefully any other fan who enjoys rivalries.

    Your team is the best in the league right now, and my team is terrible. I have no problem with rubbing it in, it’s all in good fun. And let’s be clear: this is you rubbing it in.

    The problem is that the Viking’s need for a good, powerful GM is painfully obvious. It’s not a secret. Even the worst Access Vikings poster can spew “FIRE SPIELMAN!!!” with various spelling errors. There are always more opportunities. Hell, even McCarthy eventually got to work with Rodgers after choosing Alex Smith.

    In any event, keep up the good work. But we should all spend our energies on more worthy pursuits: Hating on the Bears. The Packers deserve their good fortune. The Bears? Not so much.

    Cheers.

  9. Badger Bob from Vadnais Heights says:

    How can a professional sports franchise be designed any more perfect than the unique model that the Packers have. We have a traditional leadership structure that effectively coordinates the player acquisition process with the on-field evaluation and performance components.

    You have true fan and community “ownership” and not an out of town ownership that needs to threaten the team to move to get a new stadium. We all know that this model is unique, but look at how many World Championships reside on Lombardi Ave.

    You have a build by the draft philisophy that fits pieces into the “system” that does not need to mortgage the team’s future for immediate results (#4)

    You have a coaching staff that can “coach up” and win the Big Game when no other team had the level of key positional injuries that the Packers had in 2010.

    Let’s face it Packer Fans, the football, world, not just the Vikings have enveyed us for years. We have a good thing going and we have no reason to think that the Packers System is bigger than any one player or season.

    The principles of developing real estate and shopping malls in New Jersey have no correlation to developing championship football teams (in Green Bay)..Thank goodness.

  10. Lisa says:

    One more reason….because the fans and the team have never been patient and tried to develop and stick with a young QB. They would have gotten rid of Favre if they had him when he was young. I actually heard a caller after Monday’s game say that they need to get rid of Poner now. This after several knowlegable football people just said recently that he reminds them of Rodgers. Until they decide to take their lumps and accept a few losing seasons they will never go anywhere.

  11. lynndickeyfan says:

    True dat, headchease. I will add just one thing about free agency. Reggie White. Call it the exception, but that’s what everyone is looking for.

  12. larry says:

    hey shille, good to have u on site, but get your facts straight if your talking about mccarthy. mike nolan was the head coach in s.f in 2005 draft, not mm. he was off. cord. 1 year and then hired by pack. but he did not make that decision he has said that in press conferences. u have to admit mm is one of the best coaches with working with qb’s and clements is very good too, rodger’s always says good things about him, coaching is very underrated in this league. look at smith now, now that harbaugh is there. go world champs

  13. mark beebe says:

    It’s so easy to sing the praises of your team now. I remember several seasons when they were not very good over the last 40 years. Your time will come- they’ll go down hill and someone else will be singing the song your singing…Post this silly letter then. Your like sports announcers… very short sighted. They can sing the praises of a guy on one play like he’s a phenom, and then the next play he fumbles. I heard talk the other day that “Rodgers may be the best ever”. Please. Let the guy have his career. Favre almost took this same group to the SB. The Vikings have some problems- serious problems, but they’ll be back…

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