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Exterior – Vikings Training Camp. Day.
The team practices in full pads. Coach Zimmer is observed at a distance and is unusually quiet.
Vikings GM Rick Speilman addresses the media.
Rick Speilman: “Coach Zimmer doesn’t have any statement to make as of today but I can answer any team related questions you may have.”
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network: “Thanks Rick but you know we’re going to ask about the Incognito thing. Is Coach Zimmer hoping to avoid us until this issue blows over? We’ll just keep asking.”
RS: “I totally understand Tom. I know you’re just doing your job but it’s not just that. Coach is a little subdued today and actually he lost his speaking voice. Have you heard him say anything during practice today?”
TP: “Now that you mention it he has been uncharacteristically quiet. Is Coach feeling OK?”
RS: “He’s fine. Just shouted himself out during the first few days of camp. When he gets his voice back I’m sure he’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.”
Sid Hartman: “Hey Rick. How you doing?”
RS: “SID! Always a pleasure! For you new journalists, Sid here is a local legend. This man has been in sports writing since 1945 and he STILL covers the Vikings for the local press.”
SH: “You can stop sucking my dick in front of the kids Rick.”
RS: “Sorry Sid.”
SH: “I’ve never known Coach Zimmer to be short of expletives or lacking in voice when he’s coaching the team. Are you trying to cover for him?”
RS: “No. Sid. Swear to God. He’s just not himself today.”
SH: “You know these youngsters have to ask their questions about the tweeters or the Instantgraphs and they will keep asking. It’s what the younger pin-headed readers want to focus on these days. If you’re telling us all we’re going to get from you today is facts and opinions on the current team then let’s hear it. I’ve got to have some sort of copy to drop this afternoon.”
RS: “Thanks Sid. Defensively we are in fine shape for the season. I would like to point out that we led total defense by number of yards allowed, by points per game allowed and by total points allowed. Our team strength is our defense and we largely brought back the entire team intact. We’ve added DT Sheldon Richardson after letting Tom Johnson go in free agency and due to that it seems like an upgrade.”
SH: to the other gathered reporters “This is where he tells us that he was the guy who drafted all of these great players in the first place.”
RS: “As you know Sid I take a lot of pride in drafting, developing and re-signing these young men. Apart from Anthony Barr, who should be seeing an extension soon, we have locked up the young nucleus of this defense for the next 3-4 years. We are just now beginning to reach our defensive potential.”
TP: “Isn’t it odd that coach won’t make eye contact with us? He’s just staring off into space.”
RS: “I think you guys are aware of the recent distraction. Also, coach is in deep study mode. We’re adding a couple of new wrinkles to our defense this year and he is very studious. Hey Sid? What time do you have?”
SH: “Skipping out on us already Rick? It is now exactly 3:18 PM Central time if you must know.”
RS: “Thanks. That’s what I have too. Actually I have time for you good folks. We’re hoping to show even more improvement in our offense this year with the big ticket acquisition of Kirk Cousins. We feel he has proven himself at this point and should be able to really connect with two of the better receivers in the NFL, Adam Thielen and Stephon Diggs. And not to brag but both of those outstanding young men were also signed to lengthy extensions.”
SH: “So you’re just gonna pull your own pud for us this afternoon?”
SH: “Seriously Rick, what haven’t you addressed this year in your own infinite wisdom?”
RS: “The offensive line is still a work in progress but we’re really starting to see…”
SH: “Bullshit Rick. The goddamn offensive line is a shit show. You’ve got position battles and already have some injuries. Your starting center is on the PUP list, you lost one guard to retirement, the guard who was filling in for your injured center just had season ending neck surgery to correct a herniated disk and your right tackle hasn’t practiced this week due to an ankle injury. What makes you think this year is going to be better than the last two seasons when the Vikings battled injuries and different line formations non stop? And why didn’t you address the line a little more during the draft?”
RS: “You’re right Sid. There are still some major challenges with the O-line but we have all camp to work those out.”
SH: “So you’re telling me that these guys who are already hurt, right now, are going to get physically healthier while playing full contact football the next several months? You’re yanking our chains here, Rick. And if a big doofus like Incognito is available why wouldn’t you reach out to him and get a feeler? This team is pretty goddamn ready to compete for a title.”
RS: “As you all know team chemistry is one of our main guidelines. This team is willing to take a risk or two on our depth chart rather than risk bringing in someone who could fracture our locker room and our team chemistry. If those here want to use that as a team statement on this little Twitter situation than you can quote me on the record on that.”
media members make frenzied notes and quickly hurry off to file their stories.
RS: “Hey Sid? What time do you have?”
SH: “Why the fuck do you keep asking me the time Rick? It’s now exactly 3:37 PM. What’s really going on here? Look at Zimmer.”
He looks like a goddamn golem out there. Do you have something to tell me?”
RS: “Nothing, Sid. Nothing. Just, we’ve all got a lot on our minds here. I promise, as soon as Coach is ready to address this issue we’ll give you an exclusive. It’s the least we can do for a “legend” like you.”
SH: “Jesus Christ Rick. Lay off the ball washing. I’ll wait to hear from you. Good luck this year. Hey Coach Zimmer! Call me when you want to talk!”
SH: “What the fuck? Something’s going on with Zim. I’ve never seen him like that.”
Coach Zimmer shuffles off field in a zombie-like state.
Meanwhile in Florida at exactly 3:30 PM Central time.
hushed voices: “We’ve got to move quick here Beansie old boy. Rick said he could buy us a good half hour and that robotic body double we made in the lab will only fool ’em for a little while. That Sid fucking Hartman has a keen eye for an old bastard.”
Beansie: “EEEK EEEEEK!!”
They enter a darkened room and turn on the light. It’s sweltering hot. A very large person lies tied to a bed frame.
Richie Incognito: “What the fuck? What? Hey, I can’t move! What’s going on?”
a figure approaches the bed
Tony Sparano: “Hey Paisan? How the fuck are yez you old gabbagool?”
RI: shocked “Coach Sparano??! Holy shit! But aren’t you dead? What the fuck man?”
TS: “Howza bouta cannoli? Maybe a little funghi scungilli? Ehhh?”
RI: “What the fuck man? What the fuck?”
TS: “Surprised? You ain’t seen nothing yet, you fat fuck bullying racist piece of elephant shit!”
Coach: “Well, well, well you slobbering fucking clown! What do you have to say now?”
Mike Zimmer is a FUCKING LIAR!!
— Richard Dominick Incognito Jr. (@68INCOGNITO) August 7, 2018
RI: “That’s a mistake Coach I swear to fucking God. I talked to Coach Sparano and just assumed he spoke to you. I didn’t mean nothing by it. I DIDN’T!”
Coach: “It’s pretty difficult to say what has been the dumbest fucking thing your inbred ingorant ass has ever said but you know what? I know the last thing that will ever come out of your mouth!”
RI: “Don’t Coach! It’s a mistake It’s….”
Coach: “Bring me the cage!”
RI: “CAGE? WHAT CAGE??”
Coach: “Ready to go spelunking Mr. Winkles?”
Mr. Winkles: “SNARLGNASHSNARLSNARLRIPTEARCHOMP”
exit to inhuman screams.
Season prediction: The Vikings are indeed loaded at almost every level but the offensive line is problematic as fuck. In addition the Vikings have a much more challenging schedule this year. I have no idea how Cousins will fit the team but he has two incredible receivers to throw to and a – thus far – healthy Dalvin Cook at running back.
Regular season record of 11-5. NFC North champions and a much closer loss in the NFC championship game.
Still used to loss.
Although every once in awhile a miracle may occur.
This is my favorite video of the catch. The sound is amazing. I’ve probably watched it 75 times.