Sunday, November 21, 2010
This is 2010 and Parcells apparently wants back into coaching. Or he wants to be a GM again. Or...ugh...who cares really?
If you think Bill Parcells can come in here and win a Super Bowl for the Vikings, I hope you are right. Because it sounds like you are going to get your wish -- the Big Tuna is probably headed to Minnesota.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
And we don't want to look back on things related to the Vikings either. Why would you want to look back on that? So, let's look forward, shall we?
The Vikings host the Packers this Sunday. It is a game they have to win if they want to even consider being a wild card team this year. They shouldn't think like that, because they won't make the playoffs, but this team is having an odd year. The Vikings will win this game because it is at home and we all expect them to lose. After Sunday the Vikings record will be 4-6.
Week 12 - Vikings at Washington Redskins. The Vikings will lose this game. It is on the road against an NFC East team. If you have watched the Vikings at all over the last year -- and especially if you have watched them over the last twenty years -- you know there is no way they win this game. Record falls to 4-7.
Week 13 - Vikings host Buffalo. You want a "coming out" game for the offense? This is it. If Sidney Rice comes back at all this year, this will be his second full game of the season (we are assuming he plays a limited role against Green Bay.) The Bills might not win a game all year and we really don't think the Vikes can lose at home against this putrid club. Vikings jump to 5-7.
Week 14 - Vikings host the Giants. The Giants are one of the top 4 teams in the NFC. They are going to have to keep winning in order to win their division because the Eagles are for real. The Giants defensive line is more athletic than the Vikings secondary, much less the Vikings offensive line. They are going to give Brett Favre a lot of problems and home field advantage won't mean much for the Vikings in this one. Their record falls to 5-8.
Week 15 - This is the third straight game at home for the Vikings and the Bears come to town. It is a Monday Night Football game at home...so I really want to think the Vikes can win here. I think they get after Jay Cutler, force him to throw a bunch of picks and eventually will run Adrian Peterson enough to win, but it will be close. So...the Vikings move to 6-8.
Week 16 - Vikings travel to Philadelphia. Um...did you see what Mike Vick did to Washington last night? They Vikings could give up 70 points. Vikings fall to 6-9.
Week 17 - Vikings go to Detroit. Thankfully, this is the last game of the season for the Vikings. Unfortunately it is on the road. The Lions aren't great, but they are going to win this game. It might be a close loss, but a loss just the same. The good news is we might get a sneak peak at Joe Webb. Vikings drop to 6-10 and hopefully a top 10 pick in the draft.
See, setting your gaze forward can be fun. Sure, winning just 6 games is not a good thing but it might mean Childress is removed as head coach and a high pick in the draft could bring a real quarterback to town. Sitting through a 6-10 season is worth it if those two things happen. Let's hope for the best.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
A few things have happened over the last week or two -- Tim Brewster finally got canned, the Yankees finally lost in the playoffs, and Tarvaris Jackson might be the new starting quarterback for your Minnesota Vikings.
Yup. For sure T-Jack could start on Sunday. Brett Favre has two broken bones in his ankle, a billion interceptions, and the head coach can't stand him. That seems like three pretty decent reasons to let Jackson get (another) chance at running this team.
Honestly? We like the idea of Jackson getting another shot. Why not? At this point he can't look worse than Favre has this year.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Remember when the Wolves were in the playoffs and they lost every year in the first round? That's the Twins now. And Gardy is Flip Saunders. For whatever reason, the postseason comes around and this team reverts back to all of their flaws instead of turning it up and playing better. I am tired of it. The worst part is, fans really can't even be upset at this point - is anyone surprised the Yankees are doing this to us again? No. Not at all.
So, Saturday night will come around and the Twins might even actually put up a fight. Hell, they could win that game. But they won't win the series. They can't beat this team two in a row, much less win the next three.
Start preparing for next year. It will look a lot like this year, the Twins will win at least 85 games again, probably win the AL Central again and then probably sputter in the playoffs. We will be watching. But the "when will the other shoe drop" mentality we take into every Vikings season is slowly creeping into our thoughts whenever the Twins make the postseason.
Gardy can argue and yell at umpire Hunter Wendelstedt all he wants. But you shouldn't blame the umpires for bad calls when your team is clearly over-matched and playing uninspired baseball. It makes him look like an idiot.
Many Twins fans believed this team had a chance in this series, so what does that make us? Don't answer that.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Are we excited? Nope. We are giddy. Having Randy Moss back on this team immediately makes us better. It gives Brett Favre a weapon in the passing game and probably even more importantly, it gets Brett Favre invested in this team again.
Let's face it - he's not happy. None of us are happy with this team. But if you can't get excited about coming to work every day with Moss on the other end of your spirals, you can't get excited about anything.
Wow. Just wow. The Twins start a playoff series against the Yankees tonight at Target Field. The Twins have a legitimate chance at not only winning this series, but winning the ALCS and World Series as well.
And we can't stop thinking about the Vikings and the Favre to Moss possibilities. Very cool.
Friday, October 1, 2010
In fact, with Carl Pavano going tonight and Brian Duensing throwing tomorrow, we think things will turn around right now. Sunday could be a long afternoon for the boys as Gardy will most likely throw out the scrubs and let them play, but Friday and Saturday should be a nice tune-up for the playoffs. If things don't go well on Saturday. Well...panic.
The Twins got some good news about Justin Morneau. He said he should be back if the Twins make it to the ALCS. Some bloggers and other experts were speculating that having Morneau come back to the team in the playoffs could somehow be a bad thing, but there really is no downside to having Morneau come back. Well, that's not true. The downside is Justin will choose to wear the new Rawlings S100 batting helmet -- the same helmet David Wright is wearing in the pic to the left. Its huge. Its uncomfortable. And Wright actually chose to stop wearing it because he felt like a bobble-head doll.
We say it doesn't matter how you look, but how you swing the bat. If Morneau feels safer wearing that giant thing, more power to him.
Yankees....Rays.....we don't care. The Twins will be fine. Morneau is coming back, Mauer should be healthy, Delmon Young didn't put all of the weight back on, and the starting pitchers should be rested and ready.
What could possibly go wrong?
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Should the Vikings make a deal for Kolb? We say yes, absolutely yes. Since Vincent Jackson wasn't added to the roster today, the Vikings could still make this kind of move and it would probably only cost them a first day draft pick. Or at most two picks on day one - but isn't that worth it for what many consider to be a franchise quarterback?
Favre probably won't be back in 2011, and Joe Webb/T-Jack won't be starting games next year for this club. At least, we hope they won't be starting games next year for this club.
Why not Kolb? Doesn't it sort of make sense? Chilli loves young QB's, he knows the west coast offense...we say get this deal done asap.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Aaron Ziemer is the News/Sports Director at Marshall Radio in Marshall, MN. He covers the Vikings/Twins/Gophers/Timberwolves/Wild in addition to handling local sports responsibilities in Southwest Minnesota and he is in his 8th year as the voice of Southwest Minnesota State Football/Basketball. We are thrilled to announce he’s also now a contributing writer for Cold Omaha.
By Aaron Ziemer
The question has to be asked. What is the future of the Gopher Football program?
Count me as one of the people around Minnesota College Football that was stunned. I knew the Gophers had lost to North Dakota State once, and struggled to beat South Dakota State last year, but I never anticipated South Dakota would go into TCF Bank Stadium and give the Gophers a game.
We were told Brewster was a recruiter, not a coach. Clearly he isn’t a coach, but at least Michael Floyd looks great in Maroon and Gold, running pass patterns in the Gophers wide open offense…oh… sorry, he’s in Notre Dame.
Well at least, Seantrel Henderson is doing a wonderful job protecting Adam Weber—about that.
Well at least Eric Decker, the Rocori standout, was a terrific get for Brewster—oh he was a Mason recruit…wait a minute, I thought Brewster was a recruiter.
There is a fine line between talking the talk, and walking the walk, to me, it is glaringly obvious that Brewster is the former, and not the latter. He came in with Rose Bowl Dreams, and less than Music City Bowl results.
Usually in athletics things are never as bad or as good as they seem. But, how do you even begin to prepare a team to face USC, when you have just lost to South Dakota? That is the question that Tim Brewster is asking himself this week.
The question is for how much longer will he be coaching a Big Ten football team? I’m not big on firing a guy mid-season in college football, but was I the only one that noticed the gleaming smile on Glen Mason’s face on the Big Ten Network Saturday after the game. I didn’t think so.
VIKINGS NEED TO FIND A RECEIVER
I am not overly concerned with the Vikings loss to New Orleans. In fact, I think there are some really big positives out of the game, namely on the defensive side of the ball.
The Vikings did a great job keeping the Saints high scoring offense in check. After the opening drive, the Vikings defense rallied and kept them in the game. That was nice to see. I will remind all Vikings fans that 2010, isn’t going to be 2009, the Vikings have a brutally tough schedule, and will have to find a way to win at least three of the following road games this year to win the division.
They play tough road games at New England, Green Bay, Washington, Philadelphia, and Chicago. I think the Vikings need to win at least three of those games, in order to have a shot to win the NFC North. I think that is definitely within reach, for Minnesota, but offensively they need to get on the same page.
A late arriving Brett Favre, Percy Harvin’s health problems, and Sidney Rice’s injuries all played a factor in the Vikings looking out of sync offensively last week at New Orleans. I would expect them to look much more in sync on Sunday against Miami, and I’m excited about Greg Camarillo’s ability to get open for the Vikings offense, but I don’t think that the playmakers are there at the receiver position right now.
The Vikings need to find one, and about the only option out there to help a team out is Vincent Jackson, the soon to be former San Diego receiver. I like him, he’s another big target, and by trading him and signing him long term, would allow the Vikings to have a big target in Sidney Rice’s absence, and just think what it could mean when Sidney returns… maybe a long overdue adieu for Bernard Berrian?
We can only hope.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The problem for Maturi will not be getting rid of him -- Brewster's buy-out is lower now than it was before Maturi gave him his extension. The problem will be finding a coach who can generate some fan interest, coach the players, and give some sort of credibility to a program that lacks it in mass quantities. It shouldn't be that hard to do this...but for Minnesota, it seems like a huge task.
And, before you jump the gun and think the administration will fire Maturi and let his replacement find a new head football coach, don't even bother with that thought process. Maturi won't go anywhere unless he wants to leave. He's less than three years away from retiring, President Bruininks is in his final year (along with many other high-level administrators at the U of M) and there is zero chance Maturi is shown the door.
So where does Maturi go from here?
Our first choice? Tony Dungy. He has family in Minnesota, he's a former Gopher, a former Super Bowl winning head coach, and he oozes confidence and credibility. If I am Maturi I talk to Dungy and I offer him 2-3 times whatever he wants to coach again. Problem is...it seems pretty clear Dungy doesn't want to coach right now and maybe not ever again.
That is a problem --but we have an answer. Maturi should make his way over to Winter Park and scoop up Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
Frazier has won Super Bowls as a player and as a coach. He was mentored by and coached with Dungy for two years with the Colts. If Dungy has a clone, it is Frazier. He coached for the Bengals and the Eagles as defensive coordinator and prior to his NFL coaching experience, he coached for 11 years at the collegiate level.
The majority of that time was spent as the head coach at Trinity College. He started that football program from scratch and his work culminated in two Illinois Intercollegiate Conference titles. Granted, it isn't the Big Ten, but it is real-life head coaching experience. Add that to his experience as a player and coach in the NFL and you really can't ask for more, especially for a program like Minnesota.
Frazier is over qualified compared to Tim Brewster. Frazier is going to be a head coach at some level next year. He's too good to get overlooked again. Maturi owes it to this fan base to go out and get him.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Some of the issues are fixable right now. Brett Favre will eventually get into game shape and get some timing down with his all-too-slow wide receivers. The defensive backs will get healthy and Sidney Rice will hopefully come back at some point.
The Vikings couldn't run the ball in the 2nd half against the Saints because they really couldn't throw the ball the entire game. The Saints loaded up on the run and Bernard Berrian, Greg Lewis, and Percy Harvin ran bad routes, stopped routes altogether, or in Berrian's case -- just sloshed around at the line of scrimmage and never really looked interested in playing.
Berrian is a joke. A colossal failure as a wide receiver and as a punt returner. We were nervous every time the ball ended up near him. He either lets the ball bounce off his hands or he trips and stumbles before the ball gets to him.
Greg Camarillo needs to be a larger part of this offense. He and Visanthe Shianco are the only guys we trust right now. Even Percy looked "off" last night. Part of that might be his newly diagnosed sleep apnea problem. Part of it might be his ability/curse to only run underneath the defense 5-10 yards off the line of scrimmage.
It isn't going to be a magical 14-win season for the Vikings this year. With all the problems, it will take them awhile to get healthy and to get an identity. Ten wins sounds about right. Optimistic maybe. But hopefully right.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
One of our biggest frustrations is the constant complaining about Matt Capps. Sure, Capps isn't Mariano Rivera in his prime, but compared to the rest of the healthy options in the Twins bullpen, he is far and away the best closer on the staff. Brian Fuentes is hurt. Jesse Crain is not trustworthy. Joe Nathan ain't walking through that door. John Rauch has all the same issues Matt Capps has, multiplied by fifty.
Capps has pitched in 19 games for the Twins this year. He has 14 K's, 11 saves, and an ERA below 2.o. Sure, his WHIP is a bloated 1.47 and he pitches to contact, but we knew what we were getting with him and no matter how often people try to tell us differently -- he was worth Wilson Ramos during a potential World Series season. Most of those people complaining about trading for Capps are the same people who were clamoring for Anthony Slama earlier this year. How did that work out?
The point is, Capps is the best option the Twins have at the back-end of the bullpen. And even though the experts think they know Capps will implode in the post-season, nobody really has a clue. We would be very happy to send him out there against the Yankees with 1-run lead in the 9th inning. He's probably going to get that shot - if he blows it, then you can complain.
Until then, enough already. Thanks.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Head Coach Brad Childress thinks that beating went beyond what the rules should allow and the Saints were intentionally hitting Favre late and maybe even trying to hurt him/get him out of the game. It sounds like Childress thinks the Saints will do the same thing again on Thursday.
Of course the Saints are going to try to get Favre out of the game -- why wouldn't they? Tavaris Jackson is the back-up and the drop-off to T-Jack from Favre is comparable to the drop off the Twins have from Justin Morneau to Michael Cuddyer. In other words - its huge. But I would hope our defense will do something similar with Drew Brees.
And while we are worrying about Favre staying healthy over the next 72 hours, we can also think about the Vikings potentially signing former Bengals and Seahawks WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Reports are that Housh wants to sign with the Redskins or the Raiders, but at some point he should come to his senses and play for a contender. The only thing either of those teams can offer Housh is a contract he doesn't deserve, won't earn, and the willingness to give it to him. Oh wait...nevermind...he will sign with one of those teams.
Football is here in three days people. Put on a happy face.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
We kind of, sort of, get the Rosenfels departure. He was clearly not a Chilli guy and he wasn't going to be backing up Brett Favre this year. The Vikings didn't want to lose Joe Webb, so Sage became very expendable. The fact that they got something for him is a good thing.
We are really confused by the Reynaud trade though. Percy Harvin should not be forced to return kicks and punts on a full-time basis this year. It could be argued he shouldn't be returning at all. So, that left the Vikings with a very solid option in Reynaud. And now...who? We actually aren't sure - but it is clear the Vikings think they know.
As for Tavaris Jackson backing up Favre? We are fine with it. Best case scenario was Sage would stay as the number 3 and Webb would be on the taxi squad. But Webb would have been picked up by some other team if the Vikes released him. But now you have two run-first QB's backing up what could be a brittle 41-year-old starter.
Can Jackson lead the team better than Sage could have? Can Joe Webb? We say "no" to both. But...the Vikings must have a plan. We hope.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
One thing about which we can all agree is this will be Tim Brewster's final season as head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The squad opens the season tonight against Middle Tennessee State and the Gophers are favored to win! Sure, they are favored by less than a field goal and the Gophers were underdogs up until MTSU's starting quarterback was suspended...but hey, they are favored.
MTSU plays in the Sun Belt conference by the way. So, they probably should be favored against a Big Ten team with a huge recruiting budget, a new stadium, and oh yes...a coach who sold himself as a recruiter, motivator and offensive genius.
Our best guess is the Gophers lose by at least a touchdown and then Brewster claims the kids played hard and did well in a tough environment. Moral victories are victories too, especially when you are molding young minds and trying to figure out a way to not get fired.
We can all agree on that.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Fast forward almost a week and we are firmly convinced Camarillo will have at least 75 catches this season and turn himself into - thanks to Brett Favre - a household name here in Minnesota.
Camarillo might not be a poor man's Wes Welker, but he is definitely a rich man's Bobby Wade. He can catch, he runs good routes, and he already has Brett's confidence (4 catches for 47 yards on Saturday night) and he only practiced for two days last week.
Sidney Rice should be back in time for the last 8 games. At that point Camarillo could be entrenched in the slot. Adding Rice to the inside/outside game and hopefully Percy Harvin will be healthy all year, that's not a bad top three wide outs.
Camarillo instantly gives the Vikings options not named Javon Walker, Greg Lewis and Bernard Berrian. Sounds good to us.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
We still like the Capps move and we really like adding Fuentes too. The Twins could still use some starting help and it would be huge to get Justin Morneau back sometime soon - which isn't likely - but would be nice. All things considered, the Twins should be happy to be up by 3.5 games right now. Adding Fuentes should help keep them there.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Let's start with the vacation. It was great. Nothing like 13 days in California, half of which was spent sitting in an enormous ocean house a little less than a 3-wood away from the Pacific. It was perfect.Guess what wasn't perfect? The 5-hour delay at the MSP airport on the way to California.
The delay was a pain. Actually - no - it was more than that. It was awful. You know those endurance competitions on Big Brother? All of them are easier than spending 6 hours in an airport with a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old. And, these kids -- my kids -- are perfect kids. They are angels.
But wow, if you want your parenting skills challenged, just go out to the airport with your kids and sit there for a day. Spend 6 hours carrying around the baby and chase after your preschooler who won't stop sprinting up and down the concourse saying "Run Dada. RUN!" Walk the fine line of making sure they have enough to eat and drink, but not too much so they don't pee too much or God forbid poop in their diaper. That happens and you have no choice but to change them in the disgusting bathroom. Strike up uncomfortable conversations with total strangers about the pain of air travel. Try not to laugh when your oldest points out a huge 2-year-old by calling him a "giant" and the giant's parents are sitting right next to you. Do all of that and then add in the extra misery of actually having to get on a plane for a 3 1/2 hour flight. It's insane.
Anyway. We finally got to LA. Had a great time there and in Cambria. Couldn't have asked for a better trip home -- everything from checking in at the airport, security, waiting at the gate, the plane - it was all great. I would like to think it was payback for all the abuse and torture we suffered on the way out there. But the gal was probably right - it was a full moon last night and crazy things happen during a full moon. Meaning we had smooth sailing - smooth sailing is a crazy thing for us.
As far as the Twins and Vikings are concerned? Missing Sidney Rice could be a big deal. But think back to last year at this time. How excited were we that Brett Favre was coming? Did we really even count on anything from Sidney Rice last August? I don't think we did. Adding Javon Walker and Greg Camarillo gives the team more depth but Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shianco, and Bernard Berrian will have to make plays for the team to win. And oh yeah. We still have Adrian Peterson. So...yeah. Not too worried.
The Twins make me nervous. The pitching staff is still unpredictable and the hitting has been inconsistent. Many of us have high hopes for some playoff success this year. Getting there is going to be tough and winning a series is not likely.
For now, I am hoping to just hunker down at the Cold Omaha headquarters for awhile and try to get my wits about me. Traveling can make you tired and stressed. Hopefully the Vikings and Twins can mellow us out and make us happy over the next few weeks.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
J.J. Hardy should be back for the Twins. J.J. Putz is blowing saves left and right for the Sox. Frankly, anything less than taking 2 of 3 will be a disappointment for the Twins.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Jay Caldwell hosts the popular sports talk show Granite City Cafe on AM-1390 The Fan. He's also the Sports Director for WJON and he has a ton of experience calling games for St Cloud State Football and Basketball. He even did a two-year-stint as the play-by-play guy for The St. Cloud River Bats. Not too shabby for a kid with Paynesville, MN roots. Jay was kind enough to give us some time and offered us some opinions on Minnesota sports and what it is like to be a professional broadcaster.
You spent 8 years as the play-by-play guy for St Cloud State football and basketball on WJON – how did you get started with it?
Play-by-play is something I wanted to do when I decided to get into radio broadcasting. I've been fortunate enough to have broadcast SCSU football and basketball for 8 years and numerous high school state tournament games. Basketball has always been my favorite because of how quickly it moves. I couldn't play it very well but that didn’t' stop me from trying.
With all that experience, you’ve seen your share of great athletes – who ranks as the best you’ve seen firsthand?
The best athletes I've had a chance to see and call their games probably are Todd Bauman, Devean George (when he played at Augsburg), Matt Birkel (SCSU Football), and Northwoods League players like Ben Zobrist, Thomas Diamond, and Andre Ethier. I did play-by play for the St. Cloud River Bats for 2 seasons as well.
Calling games and talking sports sounds like a great gig – what is the best part of your job?
The best part about my job is that I can do what love doing. I love sports and the speculation that goes along with it. To get paid to host a fantasy football show or to talk about what's wrong with the Vikings or Twins kind of sounds like stealing, but I'll take it.
There has to be a downside to all of this – what is it?
The worst part of my job is easy. Getting up at 5 a.m. is clearly the worst. I start at 5:45 a.m. and I've come to realize I am not a morning person and never will be despite working the same hours for 12 years.
You cover a lot of ground on your talk shows, but you spend most of your time on Minnesota sports. Can the Twins make the playoffs this year – and what do they still need to do to make that happen?
The Twins have a shot. Trading for some bullpen help needed to happen. Matt Capps isn't Joakim Soria but I don't think Soria was available. The Twins bring Morneau back and continue to get solid starts from Baker and Slowey they should be able to overtake the punchless White Sox. Chicago doesn't have much power anymore. Detroit is toast so it looks like if there is going to be another game #163 it will be with the Twins and White Sox.
Any thoughts on the Vikings? It’s almost a no-brainer that Favre comes back, right?
He'll come back after camp breaks in Mankato. Football practice stinks at all levels and his ankle gives him an excuse to miss lots of practice. Maybe he just hates killers, leg lifters and tackle and carry drills. I think he'll report to Winter Park August 18.
While we don’t want to end on a negative note – give us a couple quick thoughts on David Kahn/the Wolves and Tim Brewster’s chances at having a winning season this year with the Gopher football team.
David Kahn certainly likes to tinker with the roster. It looks to me like he's trying to put together a collection of white-guy all stars. The signing of Darko, Peckovic, and Ridnour support that theory. Kahn is also waiting for white-guy point guard Ricky Rubio. The Wolves could have the first 3 white guy-starting lineup since the 80s Boston Celtics. As far as the Gophers go - Brewster is in over his head. Brew is a recruiter without a clear offensive or defensive system. Without wins his recruiting has taken a beating too. Brewster with the Gophers isn't going to end well.