As a fan of the Minnesota Vikings, I have seen some strange final weeks of the NFL season and this year –with the ongoing turmoil of Kevin and Pat Williams–isn’t going to be any exception. I’ve watched them lose to an 0-12 Lions team, start Spergon Wynn at quarterback, get knocked out of the playoffs by a last second touchdown pass from the illustrious combination of Josh McCown and Nate Poole and seen Randy Moss walk to the locker room in defeat before the final whistle had blown. Sure, there was only one second left and it was impossible to win, but sports pundits talked about it non-stop, so it must have been a big deal.
With all of these ugly moments–and believe me when I tell you that Spergon Wynn at quarterback reaches Sam Cassell levels of ugliness– it was inevitable that this Vikings season couldn’t end with your run-of-the-mill first round playoff loss. No, they couldn’t set a date and time for the end of the Vikings season; they had to drag it on and on like the final two minutes of a basketball game, even when the home team is up by twelve points.
For those that don’t know, the NFL gave the Williams wall a four game suspension for taking StarCaps which contained bumetanide, a diuretic that can be used to mask steroids. The Williams’ were successful in filing an injunction in a Minnesota court that allowed them to play against the Lions last week. Their argument was fairly simple. The NFL found out in 2006 that StarCaps contained this illegal substance, although it wasn’t on the label, and failed to tell the NFL Players Association. In response, the NFL has argued that a player is responsible for what they put into their body, no matter what misinformation they receive from the league.
Now, I’m no expert on the steroid usage habits of NFL players, but I am fairly certain that 95 percent of them are taking performance enhancers in some form. The thing is, the NFL doesn’t test for many of these drugs, and I assume they are fairly easily obtained. I mean, if Jose Canseco can simultaneously buy steroids while letting a ball bounce off his head for a homerun, they can’t be all that hard to get.
So if they really were taking StarCaps to mask steroids then the Williamses, Deuce McAllister, Charles Grant, and Will Smith are dumber than Carl Everett. There’s no real way of knowing when, or how this is going to end, but I have my own suspicions along with a few predictions for the rest of the football season.
The Dolphins will somehow manage to make it into the playoffs relying heavily on their innovative Wildcat formation. That scheme will inevitably be their downfall, however, as Ricky Williams will become paranoid that there is actually a large ferocious cat in their backfield causing him to fumble twice in the Divisional Playoffs.
In their week 17 game at Lambeau, the Lions will put forth a Herculean effort that will see them avoid becoming the first team ever to lose all sixteen games in a season. Unfortunately for Detroit fans, they don’t actually win the game as in overtime Daunte Culpepper is too slow to get under center to snap the ball with first and goal from the inch line before time expires. Like another member of the Draft Class of 1999, Culpepper didn’t realize that a game can end in a tie and they finish the season 0-15-1.
As for the saga of the Williams Wall, Minnesota will make a surprise run to the Super Bowl only to have the injunction lifted the day before the game, starting their four game suspensions. Chris Johnson will proceed to run for 200 yards and LenDale White will sit on the sidelines eating cheeseburgers until he’s called on to punch it in from the one. Roger Goodell will smile with glee as he hands the Tennessee Titans the Lombardi Trophy.