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in Here is your first Forum Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:38 am
by lluggg589 • 6 Posts

free act helps restore Vikings

In Minnesota, players laugh about that 2010 team's demise now. "The Benny Hill Show" theme song practically played in the background. Chaos was constant, from Brett Favre's dramatic return to Randy Moss' brief comeback to the collapsing roof to the sheet of ice at the University of Minnesota.

Players shake their heads. It was the season from hell. The Vikings won six games, lost 10 and were a laughingstock all along.

"That year was crazy," running back Toby Gerhart said. "It was just chaos between what you were going to get with Favre, the Moss situation, the stadium collapses. There was just so many things that went wrong and took away from this football team that I think that's the reason that year went the way it went.

"This year has been smooth sailing."

The 2010 fun began when three teammates flew to Mississippi to persuade Favre to come back for a second season with the team. He returned in mid August and the Vikings' season proceeded to spiral out of control. A national spotlight tracking each misstep, a rusty Favre struggled to recapture his 2009 magic. Minnesota coughed up a third round pick for three weeks of a disgruntled Randy Moss. There was a reported "schism" in the locker room. Coach Brad Childress was fired with six games remaining.

And the football gods were brutal.

Under heavy snow, the Metrodome inflatable roof collapsed Dec. 12, forcing the Vikings to play a "home" game against the New York Giants at Detroit and then at the Minnesota Gophers' stadium. Players still cringe at the thought of that second game at TCF Bank Stadium.

The field wasn't fully thawed. Punter Chris Kluwe called it an ice skating rink. There were patches of ice scattered on the field. Minnesota lost, 40 14, to the Chicago Bears and Favre was knocked out of the game his season and career over.

"Yeah," Kluwe said, "at that point it's pretty much, 'Sure, Deone Bucannon Cardinals Jersey the roof collapsed. We might as well go with it.' At that point, it was pretty much, 'Yeah, whatever.' Women's Troy Niklas Jersey "

To top it all off, a blizzard forced the Vikings to play at Philadelphia on a Tuesday night. A season that Gerhart labeled "chaotic. . . a circus" came to a merciful end.

Avoiding another circus began with a deliberate decision at quarterback. In Favre, Minnesota sold out on the present. The window for championships closed fast. In Ponder, the Vikings' first round draft choice in 2011, they put a down payment on the future.

Minnesota needed an ugly 3 13 bridge to get here. Ponder and the Vikings took their lumps, and then some, in 2011. Yet with expectations lowered, a calmer atmosphere resulted in 2012. The Vikings were penciled in as NFC bottom feeders again. There was zero pressure and zero helicopters tracking their quarterback's whereabouts.

"Initially, everybody was excited to have (Favre) back," Gerhart said. "Guys went down to his place to get him to come back. Everybody was excited. One thing just kept snowballing to the other until it got out of control. Unfortunately the season went down the way it did."

Players say they enjoyed their time with Favre and that the locker room "schism" storyline was overblown. Still, his presence drew unwanted attention. As Kluwe said, "guys just don't have to worry about the media barrage" anymore.

Frazier wants his team to keep a low profile, to be completely different from that 2010 team. Any distractions are diffused. When wide receiver Jerome Simpson called one local reporter a "(expletive) bag" after practice Tuesday, Frazier called the reporter to apologize.

Players point to their coach as the No. 1 reason for the turnaround. After laughing and calling 2010 "ridiculous," linebacker Chad Greenway said the team bought into Frazier's "never too high, never too low" approach.

At 6 6 this season, the Vikings didn't panic. Frazier wouldn't bench Ponder. The quarterback bounced back, running back Adrian Peterson heated up and now Minnesota is in the playoffs. The Vikings may not be as entertaining to outsiders anymore, but that's the way they want it.

"The credit goes to Coach Frazier, his staff and the players just kind of buy www.nflcardinalsofficialshop.com/Deone_Bucannon_Jersey_Cardinals into that method of just being ourselves," Greenway said. "We're feeding off him and how consistent he is. Every day it's the same thing 'go through your business, get your work done.' "

Before the season, Frazier made a point to emphasize the impact of distractions to the team. He wanted no off field issues.

"There really hasn't been anything detracting from us, from our mind set," Gerhart said. "We've been clear one focus. It's one game at a time to get into the playoffs. We've stayed steady and stayed the course. That's something Coach nflcardinalsofficialshop.com/Troy_Niklas_Jersey_Cardinals Frazier preaches. We're not going to be the attention grabbers in the media."

Favre, the roof, Moss, Childress all of that is a distant memory now. Webb won't call this team "boring." He says it's a team wide focus. The Vikings took it one game at a time and won four in a row.

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