The Vikings story hit and caught me off guard. This article/interview is extremely enlightening, and it makes me want to buy the SI issue that has the bigger story of what actually happened. I especially liked this line about Tice.....
But I also know that numerous Vikings were alienated by Tice's behavior late last season, when he walked around proclaiming that he'd be fired by McCombs after the season. Tice also didn't win any fans by coddling Moss -- "a guy who cares more about himself than the team," Birk says -- and other less-committed players, while, to borrow from that noted leader Karl Rove, failing to shore up his base (i.e. the offensive linemen).
Tice coddled Moss, ticked off other players, and walked around saying he would be fired after the season. How did the Vikings go 8-8 and make the playoffs when Randy Moss was injured for nearly half the season? Is it quite possible that Randy Moss was a piece of flypaper that could get all of the negative attention from the press and perform like a superstar? Yes.
This article slants the Moss trade in a shameless hometown way to make it look like Moss is not havign as big of an impact as he really is. Moss has carried that team offensively. On top of that, the Raiders have lost tight games compared to the blow outs the Vikings have suffered. If the fat Polish kicker had hit his FGs, the Raiders could have beaten the Eagles in Philly.
Then there are these conflicting reports of how many guys were involved with their love boat adventure. Tice says few were 'bad boys'. This report discusses how pictures were taken as men engaged in the acts and definitely did not do anything to stop them from happening. I guess a few Vikings were attempting to protect people and apologized for teammates' actions. Who wants to bet that a few are innocent and many are guilty, but the less talented players will be disciplined? I seriously doubt they will sit Culpepper and Smoot who appear on the list of players on the love boat (see this article).
I enjoyed center Birk's candor and his touch of comedy with the interview/conversation with Silver. Birk is a fellow Ivy Leaguer, and I always love seeing an Ivy Leaguer in the NFL. I think the funniest thing he said was that the strippers and prostitutes brought in from other locations were "a slap in the face to all the Minnesota strippers". I have always thought a book written by a 'smart' football player who witnesssed some seriously scandalous NFL behavior or championship seasons would be a great read (challenge North Dallas Forty for coolest insider football book). Birk now has a great scandal for a chapter, and with his 8 seasons with the Vikings, he's seen the highs and lows. I am tired of the Lawrence Taylors and Michael Irvins of the NFl coming out with books. I will read Irvin's book because he said no one is safe except Troy Aikman, as only Aikman stood by Irvin during his coke & hoes scandal. I'd much rather read a book from a guy who participated in great games, technically discusses his position and how the game has changed, and was not a 'playah'.
I want to read the NFL version of The Game by Ken Dryden.