The wheels appear to be coming off in Minnesota. Or at least, the tires have lost a significant amount of tread. Favre's calling audibles for himself against Coach Brad Childress's wishes; Childress is apparently unleashing expletive-laden tirades at Favre; and the team has lost two of three, including a blowout against Carolina.
All that makes me very, very happy. So why am I so upset? Because the Vikings get to lick their wounds against the Bears.
The fact that everything seems to be spinning out of control up north, that a circus appears to be forming in the Metrodome, is like chicken soup on a cold night--it warms me and gives me strength. Could Favre's selfishness really end up at the core of a quick playoff exit for the Vikings? (Along with a sprinkle of arrogance from Brad Childress.) The possibility makes me positively giddy.
While I was clearly wrong about them finishing 9-7, I did say prior to the season:
Will Favre be able to handle playing second fiddle to the running back all season? Can the primo primadonna of sports take the back seat? Not to mention there have already been stories about Favre not fitting in in the locker room.But while this train appears to be coming off the tracks, it's likely to be running smoothly once again after a matchup with the Bears on Monday night. If only the Vikings could have played two respectable teams to close out the season, they might have continued to slide, and perhaps even fallen to the three (or even four!) seed. But instead, they get the woeful Bears and an opportunity to right the ship. (And yes, I realize I have referred to the Vikings as a car, a train, and a ship in this post.)
I think Lovie's probably going to be fired after the season no matter what, but a surprising win over the division-leading Vikings could do wonders for his future in Chicago. Can the Bears rise to the occasion?
KEYS TO THE GAME
Mother Nature. As of today, it's not supposed to be that bad Monday night. But it could snow Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and be in the 20s during the game. Seems likely the weather will play a role in a late December night game in Chicago.
Early momentum. The story leading into the game will be the tension between Favre and Childress and Minnesota's recent struggles. The first quarter has been a problem for the Bears all year, but if they can score first and play well early, the pressure will fall squarely on the Vikings.
That word that starts with an "I" and ends with the other team having the ball. Benjamin Franklin once said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." I'm not sure how many times I've pleaded for Cutler to cut down on the picks, but I'm not insane--while I beg Cutler to be careful with the ball, I don't actually expect it to happen.