On Nov. 19, 2009, the Vikings were 8-1 and feeling so good about themselves that owner Zygi Wilf decided to give coach Brad Childress a contract extension. Brad's deal was due to expire after the 2010 season but in the glare of a successful fall the powers were blinded and decided to secure Chilly's comedic services through 2013.
In our November 24, 2009 column, "Fortes fortuna adiuvat,'' we heralded the news of the extension by writing, "We heard many fans of at least three teams in the North chanting 'four more years, four more years' as Vikings owner Zygi Wilf made the move to give Brad Childress a contract extension through 2013, even though he was locked up through 2010 and there is, and likely will never be, any demand for his services by anyone else."
And we concluded by adding, "The albatross has landed."
Fast forward 355 days and NaCl and his contract have truly become an albatross, a burden, for the team. The man is now making gaffes on a daily basis and may have lost his team, though, when asked about losing the team Chilly sagaciously responded, "I don't even know what that means."
Let us try to provide some insight for Brad.
After the Oct. 24 loss to the Packers Chilly tossed his quarterback under Jerome Bettis during his postgame presser when he said, "You can't throw it to them, you've got to play within the confines of our system. Sometimes it's OK to punt the football."
That is an example of the coach losing the quarterback.
After the Oct. 31 loss in New England the Randy Moss experiment blew up as the diva receiva, after catching just one pass for 8 yards, approached Wilf and told the owner that Childress wasn't a good coach and should be fired.
That is the coach losing the receiver.
When Moss was jettisoned, the coach lost (at least part of) the locker room.
But it didn't end there, because the team apparently delayed submitting Moss' termination paperwork because Zygi was considering firing Childress and keeping Moss.
Coach losing owner and/or employee losing boss.
Last Friday, Percy Harvin got his turn to sit under the Greyhound and he and Chilly had to be separated by players and coaches after Brad questioned Harvin's effort as he practiced through an injured ankle.
Receiver number two lost.
According to reports some players told Percy, "You just did what a lot of us have been wanting to say for years."
Locker room further lost.
After Sunday's dramatic win that included a career high 446 yards passing, Brad again used his post-game pulpit to place Favre under the vehicle used to transport tots to school when he said, "I'm not going to sit here like Brett Favre and tell you I need compassion, I need a hug."
The team quickly stepped up its effort to corral Chilly's tongue by explaining that he was joking. While that could be true the timing was poor, delivery suspect, and the content was ham-handed. No matter what the team's public relations personnel do they can't seem to keep Brad's foot out of his tooth depository.
Sense of humor lost.
It seems fairly clear from the above examples that losing the team is something Brad is rather adept at doing. The widely reported "schism" during the successful 2009 campaign and ongoing contentious relationship with Brett (chauffeur services notwithstanding) also further clarify the lost issue.
After the 2009 extension was announced, Wilf said, "(Childress) has continued to positively impact this team and create a strong foundation for future success."
We would encourage someone attending his next press conference to ask Wilf if he would like to retract or revise that statement.
Then we would ask the same question regarding the absurd contract extension.
There was no reason to extend him last year because nobody was going to steal Chilly from the Vikings because the contract he was working under obligated him to the Vikings through the 2010 season and also because the general opinion throughout the league was that he was (is) a buffoon.
There will be some who contend that when a coach enters a lame duck season he is more susceptible to losing his team (whatever that means) and while they could be correct, how much different would it really be if Brad's 2010 status had been akin to the remaining 2010 Congress (more later)?
Recalling a lackluster effort for the first 56 minutes on Sunday that led fans to nap in the stands Bernard Berrian said, "I remember saying to someone, 'Does it even feel like a game out here?'"
It is widely acknowledged that Punx's play in 2009 was the reason Brad received the extension. For those who question that belief, consider that back in 2008 there was an outbreak of "Fire Childress!" chants during an unimpressive 12-10 home victory over the Lions (the team that didn't win a game).
So what changed in 2009?
Favre arrived and played the best football of his career.
What changed in 2010?
Favre reverted to being Favre.
And now the "Fire Childress" chants have found their way back into the dome (presumably between naps) and even appeared at Friday night's Timberwolves/Hawks NBA game.
When it rains, Childress turns on the sprinklers.
Punx and the improbable comeback may have saved Brad's job on Sunday. If the players truly want to keep the newfound momentum and salvage their nearly lost season in spite of their perpetually lost coach we would recommend they secretly employ the Rachel Phelps strategy.
Many of you will remember that Phelps was the former Vegas showgirl in the movie Major League who inherited the Cleveland Indians and purposely chose to put a dreadful product on the field so she could move the team to Miami (hmm, perhaps black helicopter fan Wilf covertly wants his team to move to L.A. and gave Brad the extension to further that end).
In this instance, the Rachel Phelps strategy would entail the players displaying a cardboard cutout of Childress and violently removing an appendage each time the team wins in a bonding exercise that could propel the team to a predicted number of wins that could possibly lead to a playoff berth and/or division title. With a pathetic 3-5 mark at the midpoint the galvanizing force of dismembering a likeness of Chilly could result in seven wins over the final eight games, putting the team's final tally at a playoff-likely 10-6.
Ironically, by using this strategy, the man who lost the team may turn out to be the primary reason the players find themselves.
WEEK TEN NORTH PICKS (11-15-1 record)
Packers - bye
Vikings minus 1.5 at Bears - In the NFL's latest attempt to make foreigners hate American football, Jay Cutler was sacked only once by the Bills in Toronto. That should change once the team comes back from their trip as Minnesota moves back into contention and Cutler moves back to his familiar position on the ground.
Bills minus 2.5 versus Lions - Matthew Stafford's paper shoulder was crumpled again and it appears unlikely he will play in this titanic road tilt. Regardless of whether Drew Stanton or Shaun Hill takes over under center, the pressure will be on the Lions to avoid breaking the Lions' record for most consecutive road losses, and in the process providing the only winless team in the league with their first win.
WEEK TEN PICKS (9-6 record)
Niners minus 5.5 versus Rams - Mike Singletary and his minions who, in their game versus Denver in London, nearly ruined the future of American football in Europe, try to double their one-game winning streak. In related news, Singletary sent Wade Phillips and Brad Childress each a lovely gift from Harrods in appreciation for taking some of the heat out of his seat.
Browns plus 3 versus Jets - The Jets haven't been impressive lately and with Eric Mangini able to exact revenge in consecutive weeks we see the only Sunday home underdog (other than the Bears) hanging in the game.
PEEVE OF THE WEEK
With our diatribe on the bankrupt Social Security program fully digested, we would now like to encourage the formation of a new voting block to rival AARP. Our organization will be called Young Educated Employed and Peeved or YEEP and will serve the interests of the productive youthful segment of the population that is being forced to pay for the retirement, health care, etc. of a group of folks who generally receive more benefits than they should.
The primary goal would be to further an agenda to counter the delusional people who believe that they are truly entitled to take money because they "deserve" it based on the absurd belief that they paid into the system for years and have it coming.
Their argument seems plausible until you understand the facts.
A male who turns 65 today will receive $71,000 more (in benefits) than they put into the system and a female in the same situation will receive $163,000 more. The unfortunate young-uns (age 20) who enter the workforce today will pay between $92,000 (female) and $312,000 (male) more than they will ultimately receive.
Why would any young people want to continue this system?
Clearly the older generations have a vested interest in getting their "fair" share considering they believe they "deserve" to get significantly more than they contributed. Our leaders continue to obfuscate the facts to perpetuate this myth which causes folks to organize into interest groups with the primary purpose of making sure they can ride off into the sunset on the backs of the young America.
It doesn't matter that the basic premise of the program would get a business person sent to prison, or that the program is not in sound financial shape, vote early and vote often.
Tom, the Canadian bartender, sent the following bit of information regarding the Social Security Ponzi: Between 2041 and 2082 the program will accumulate projected deficits in excess $36 trillion.
Put another way, $36,000,000,000,000 or $120,000 per person (based on 300 million people).
The unfunded liability of Medicare is estimated to be a felonious $65 trillion.
The national debt is currently $13 trillion-plus with another $1 trillion being added annually (deficit).
Therefore, an amount in the range of $400,000 per person should just about cover the promises (hey honey our household share is only $1.2 million!).
We should expand government!
None of the people receiving the benefits of Social Security and/or Medicare will be alive when the piper begins requesting direct deposits so why should they care.
The government has created a system that allows one segment of the population to live off of another while convincing the beneficiaries that they are entitled to every penny regardless of the facts or the unsoundness of the policy.
A very prescient Ben Franklin once warned, "When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."
And with about 50 percent of the populace exempt from paying any income taxes, 40 million people on Medicare, 50 million on Medicaid (who says we don't have government health care with nearly one-third of the population receiving direct insurance from our deeply indebted uncle), and 60 million on Social Security, the end of the republic is nigh.
Some would say it has already died.
Franklin and the other founders would likely agree.
Packer corner Al Harris could end up playing against the Packers this year and it could be as soon as the next game.
Another extremely painful Sunday for Lion fans. Lose a game that should have been won due to bad clock management and an atrocious late hit and top it off with another injury to Matthew Stafford.
Many defenders cite the stat that Social Security keeps roughly 40 percent of people age 65 and older out of poverty. Fine, but consider whether private retirement accounts (see last week's Peeve) could have done (will do?) more while not putting large numbers of young people one step closer to poverty and the country one step closer to insolvency.
We know it is only Tuesday but we're fairly certain Wade Phillips just made another coaching gaffe.
So did Brad Childress.
Or is that Wade Childress.
Wait, somebody, perhaps BradWade's mother, is trying to challenge our assertion.
Oops, they are out of timeouts and/or challenges and will have to live with our decision.
Did the Packers beat Dallas or have the Cowboys simply given up?
It is likely a bit of both.
In a debuilding update, we remind ya'll that in a Millen-esque move Denver traded probable Pro Bowler Peyton Hillis (184 yards and 2 TD in win over NE) for the immortal Brady Quinn.
Super sanctimonious liberal Keith Olbermann was smugly suspended indefinitely for donating to super sanctimonious liberal political candidates.
We consider his MSNBC bosses to be the worst persons of the day.
Breaking: Good news, Keith will be back on the air tonight making excuses for Democrats and defending policies that are sure to bankrupt the nation.
We firmly believe that Keith should be able to donate without disclosure because everyone knows he is simply a shill for the Dems.
In the land of Fox News they simply add the candidate to the payroll (Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, etc.) rather than dealing with ideals such as journalistic integrity and campaign contribution rules.
We consider almost all news outlets to be biased. For example, most news organizations will debate the merits of such things as health care or government job-creating programs but never question the basic premise of whether government should be involved in those realms at all. The debate is always from a Democrat vs. Republican slant and rarely, if ever, questions the conceptual perspective of whether the Constitutional purview of government has been ignored.
We often ask those questions.
And regularly answer them with a resounding "Yes"!
In the Big11Ten, Iowa held on to beat Indiana (more later), Wisconsin shook off the bye week rust and turned a 10-3 deficit into a 34-13 win over Purdue, and Michigan, despite losing Denard Robinson again, managed to prevail in a defensive struggle over Illinois.
The defenses struggled mightily as the teams combined for 132 points (90 in regulation).
We didn't want the amazingly entertaining game to end.
Apparently, the defenses had similar feelings.
Nearly 110,000 people were at the stadium to watch the two teams combine for approximately 110,000 yards of total offense (actually it was more like 1,200).
After the game as they were cutting to Breeders' Cup coverage we heard an announcer say "sweet victory for Greg Robinson."
Uh, if he meant Michigan d-coordinator Greg Robinson the last word we'd use to describe the day would be "sweet". In fact, Greg should be anxiously awaiting the delivery of a pink piece of paper considering that his unit is ranked a disastrous 114 out of 120 NCAA teams in total defense this year.
While we were enjoying our Saturday afternoon watching Wisconsin and MSU win on the Big Ten Network, suddenly, and stupidly, they switched all Network stations (there are a total of five Big Ten channels on our cable system) to the finish of the Iowa/Indiana game. Apparently, having the game on one of the stations wasn't enough so we were deprived of the end of the games we had invested our afternoon watching so we could watch the end of one, albeit entertaining, game on five different channels.
What is the point of having so many channels in the network if all are switched to the same programming even when other live events are happening at the same time?
Terrible policy by the conference network.
And to top it off the announcers exalted after an apparent Indy TD, "touchdown, touchdown, touchdown," ended the game. Then, after about 20 seconds of awkward silence, they realized that the receiver had dropped the ball and the official had never ruled touchdown but had waved his arms immediately (check the replay).
On the bright side, the dimwitted announcers were able to make their embarrassing gaffe on five different stations instead of one.
Joe Paterno got win 400 as the Nits rallied from 21-0 to defeat Northwestern 35-21.
Simple math (our favorite kind) tells us that a coach would have to average an astonishing 10 games a year for 40 years to match Joe. This is one of those records that won't be broken.
Now the Lions get to fail in their bid for number 401 in Columbus.
After seeing ranked teams like Nebraska struggle with unranked foes like Iowa State, Iowa have problems with Indiana, Oklahoma lose to Texas A&M, and Missouri lose to Texas Tech, the question we would ask anyone wanting to elevate Boise State into the championship game is how the Broncos would fare playing a grinding series of games week after week instead of two or three semi-challenging games per year.
Or look at it this way, how would Ohio State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, etc. have done playing the 2010 Boise schedule?
Exactly. Time for a playoff.
Other than Penn State/Ohio State, there aren't any overly compelling conference matchups as the Badgers host Indiana, Michigan tries to play defense at Purdue, State gets a bye, Minnesota gets to lose to Illinois, and Iowa goes to Northwestern.
Next week the games get really good, and barring any upsets this weekend, the conference championship could be decided. Stay tuned.
If the lame duck Congress doesn't extend the tax cuts, a family of four earning $50,000 per year will get to send another $2,900 to the profligate spenders.
The same family making $100,000 per year would be asked, err forced, to stroke a check for an additional $4,500.
As long as we're getting good value from our forced donations it isn't such a bad thing, however, we can't remember (and likely weren't alive) the last time the government provided good value.
And we often wonder, with all of the various overlapping redistributive aid programs, how much does our government spend taking care of people who really don't need help?
From the amount of pre-race coverage you'd think Zenyatta had won the Triple Crown.
A little known part of Obama's job creation plan was that it would be a boon for Republicans looking for work.
How many Democrats consider their job "saved"?
For the first time in his career our favorite Cablinasian didn't win a single tournament during a PGA season and we're at a loss to explain how that could have happened.
Related: Happy Thanksgiving to Elin.
Harry Reid called the Tea Party "extreme and dangerous."
We consider trying to remove all elements of personal responsibility from our nation while coalescing power in the hands of 536 individuals to be extreme and dangerous as well as unconstitutional (which makes it even more extreme and even more dangerous).
Pizza Hut is using an innovative (untruthful) advertising strategy that claims they lowered prices while actually raising prices.
The old pricing model was $10 for any pizza, any size, any toppings, and we trumpeted the development (and similar pricing from other companies) as ushering in the golden age of pizza.
Now $10 will get you just two toppings or a medium with more toppings yet somehow the marketing folks consider prices to be decreasing.
I guess in the era of the "saved" job misdirection is all the rage and facts are optional.
Breaking: The House of Representatives is considering using the Rachel Phelps strategy with Nancy Pelosi playing the role of cardboard.
The TCU/Utah game was on the CBS College Sports channel and nobody got to see the game.
Considering TCU won 47-7 it didn't matter.
There was news of a potential recruiting scandal with Auburn QB and Heisman candidate Cameron Newton which makes perfect sense to us because after Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi State etc. the SEC has proven that they will pay their athletes more than any other conference.
North Carolina, presumably displaying an overt desire to be added to an expanded SEC, also pays well.
We know that there is no way the health care bill will be repealed. Sure, the House may pass some form of repeal legislation, but the Senate won't, and even if they did, the president would veto.
However, since the House is in control (honestly nobody is in control in D.C.) of dispensing funds there are many Constitutional ways to defund the unconstitutional program.
We're also still holding out hope that the courts may still rule the monstrosity unconstitutional due to the fact that our parental leaders will be forcing citizens to buy a product or be subject to a fee/penalty (a tax by any other name).
With the advancing intrusion into our health care the government will be able to assert more control over our lives. There will be new calls for taxes on unhealthy foods to help pay for the behemoth. New regulation on what can be eaten. Marketing constraints. Of course it will all be done because the 536 people in D.C. know what is best for you.
The SF city council was looking out for your kids, in essence assuming that you're too dumb to do it, when they voted to outlaw toys in unhealthy food.
We feel so much more healthy already so we went to the drive-thru for a Happy Meal.
And found out that McRib is back!
The five-year-old got a toy with the purchase of pajamas recently and we immediately wondered what would have happened if we were living under the thumb of a federal clothing program (the wheels are turning somewhere). We decided that the leaders would have voted to end the toy practice because only substandard clothing was being sold with the distracting enticements that cause parents to make irrational decisions and the new law would give everyone equal access to pajamas with superior insulating ability (R value?) and proper cushioning in case of a fall.
Another annoying media fixation that is indicative of bias is the lamentations regarding gridlock in D.C. While the respected media cry about how nothing will get done and our problems will get worse there is a school of thought that considers gridlock to be the most effective government.
The federal government "made" (took from the people) $2.3 trillion in fiscal year 2010.
"Mandatory" (non-discretionary) spending on things such as Social Security ($690 billion) and Medicare/caid ($750 billion) ate a large chunk of the "revenue" (confiscation).
Another bit of "mandatory" spending is a direct result of the annual overspending by our faux leaders (why do they even construct a budget anymore?) and amounts to $164 billion. That's what it costs just to pay the interest (not principal) on our debts so we can keep our deeply indebted uncle from defaulting on his home, err, country.
We're not very math savvy but it with $1.7 trillion being spent on three non-discretionary programs plus interest it appears that there is only about $600 billion left for the other stuff.
You know, the things that are considered "discretionary" spending, like national defense, the functions of the justice department, the department of state (international), infrastructure, etc.
Obviously our priorities are way out of whack as illustrated by that fact that our elected ones consider the outlined/enumerated functions of government such as defense to be "discretionary" and the unconstitutional activities like Medicare to be "mandatory".
Let's celebrate with a quote from Hank Johnson who, when expressing concern about stationing 8,000 Marines and their equipment on Guam, said, seriously and literally, it could cause the island "to become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize."
Who is Hank? He is the Democrat who represents District 4 of Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
Johnson made his remark to Admiral Robert Willard (head of the Pacific, and we don't mean peaceful, Fleet) during a meeting of the previously mentioned committee.
Adm. Willard responded, "We don't anticipate that."
Now don't you feel better allowing these people to make decisions for you?
Broken, err breaking: Hank just won his bid for reelection.
We would appreciate specific examples of a "Bush policy of the past 8 years that led to the recession." Send them, or any rebuts, refutes, and other correspondence, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You could also send an example of a Clinton policy that led to the boom in the nineties.
Or a Clinton policy that led to the recession in 2000.
Gotta go, it's time to feed the cats.