February 16, 2005

Monkey + computer = Nick Coleman Column

Just for the record, I never much liked Red McCombs as the Vikings owner. His continued "hints" about moving the team out of Minnesota, mostly as an attempt to strongarm Minnesota to foot the bill for a new stadium, irritated me more than just a little bit. But, as you know, what irritates me infinitely more is Nick Coleman. So. . . .

Reggie Fowler is the new owner of the Minnesota Vikings -- pending approval by the NFL. But while the football czars wait to see if Fowler's $625 million check clears the bank, we might as well get started on educating Mr. Fowler about his new state, which he admits knowing very little about.

So much disdain packed into such a small paragraph. Those vile "football czars," and how dare Fowler not know much about Minnesota. He needs some edu-ma-cating.

Acknowledging ignorance puts him miles ahead of the outgoing owner of the Vikings, Red McCombs, the San Antonio tire kicker who leaves us after seven years as miserably ignorant of our customs as when he arrived.

Yeah, because it's the duty of every major league sports team owner to learn the customs of the state. If you're going to attack McCombs about anything, it should be his continued insistence of the necessity of a new stadium, despite a team that monumentally disappointed the fans in 1998 and then basically underperformed ever since then. You don't get a new Mustang when you consistently crash your Pinto, backwards, into the same damned tree every week.

He also leaves about half a billion richer than when he came here, which is a pretty good endorsement for the idea of studied stupidity: If staying dumb as a post is worth that much money, old Red deserves some respect.

Dear Mr. Coleman, if studied stupidity means making half a billion dollars, I hereby volunteer to have half my brain removed. Say what you want about McCombs, but the man just waltzed away with a LOT of money. I'd call Red a lot of things, but stupid and/or dumb would not be among the adjectives I'd hand out. Sleazy? Yes. Dumb? No way.

Now get out of town, McCombs. And don't let the Iowa state line hit you in the rear end.

Sometimes I really wonder. . . does Coleman actually think he's funny? Do other people actually think he's funny? If so, why? Discuss.

Is he really gone? Man, that feels good. We owe it all to you, Mr. Fowler. Your house landed on Wicked Old Red and we here in Munchkin Land are very grateful.

I just. . . I just. . . I just can't see how this man continues to write for the biggest newspaper in Minnesota, and I use the term "write" very loosely here. He snatches metaphors out of the air that no other writer on the planet would even consider toying with. Most writers would stop and think: hmmm, should I really equate Minnesota with the fanciful world in the Wizard of Oz? For that matter, should I equate Minnesotans with Munchkins? If you're Nick Coleman, the answer is a resounding "YES!"

In order to show you our appreciation, let us begin by offering 21 survival tips for the road ahead:

Didn't the ever-plodding Coleman promise to get to this way back in the first paragraph? Not that he's known for getting to a point with any haste or anything. I'm just sayin'.

1) Stay away from the State Capitol. That's the big building with the mules on top in St. Paul, which is a hockey town and which is where millionaire football and baseball owners end up mumbling to themselves and looking like they have escaped from a padded room. If, on some occasion, common courtesy requires you to be introduced to a legislator, stay alert: If he puts an arm around you, don't leave without checking for your wallet.

It's kind of like having a big bucket of spit poured on you, isn't it? Still warm and everything. Again with the disdain for the gold-plated horses atop the Capitol building. What does the man have against those horses? And, truly, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a millionaire football and/or baseball owner at the Capitol. It's TRUE! They even have their own designated bathroom. And, be sure to notice how he just basically slandered every Minnesota legislator by calling them pickpocketing thieves. No evidence to back up such a remark, mind you, but since when has that ever stopped Coleman.

2) Speaking of St. Paul, watch for signs while driving that indicate you have crossed into St. Paul. When in St. Paul, do not call it "Minneapolis." We don't need more Packers fans.

What, exactly, does Coleman even MEAN here? Is he trying to be funny again? Do YOU think it's funny? If so, why? Discuss.

3) Find a nanny for Randy Moss. A big, mean nanny who can put him to bed without his supper when he acts up. A better option: Get rid of him.

Moss is a PR pain in the butt. Can't deny that. But when you have guys like quarterback Daunte Culpepper on the team, who recently gave a disabled boy a $75,000 diamond necklace, and then sheepishly went and asked for it back after the staged ceremony was over, I don't tend to think much of the Minnesota Vikings, specifically, and professional athletes, generally. Moss is arguably the most dangerous receiving threat in the NFL, and Coleman wants to get rid of him? And he thinks McCombs is stupid? Gah.

4) Put some clothes on the cheerleaders. The kids are watching.


Damned near naked, they are. Has Coleman ever even BEEN to a beach? Sometimes I wonder if Coleman isn't happy unless he's taking issue with pretty much everything. For my part, let me just say, I love the Vikings cheerleaders. For the last five years, they've been the best part of the team.

5) Keep your nose out of politics. Your predecessor made every Democrat football fan in Minnesota swear a blue streak when Coach Mike Tice presented a Vikings jersey to the Republican president at the height of last fall's election campaign. Bad timing: The team tanked after that, the state wound up in the Democratic column and Moss mooned Green Bay.

Ummmmm, Nick? I don't think the team's tanking had, oh, say, ANYTHING to do with that. Was it ill-advised? Sure. But, as for the state ending up in the Democratic column? Dude, I KNOW you know how to Google. Minnesota is not suddenly NEW to the Democratic column. It's pretty much been in the Democratic column since as long as I can recall, and certainly before Tice presented Bush with a jersey.

Also, I thought it was freakin' hysterical when Moss fake-mooned Green Bay.

6) Dump Tice.

And hire, who, exactly? Typical Nick Coleman jab. "Dump this, and dump that, and. . . I have no idea what to do after that, but the dumping, that's priority one." I imagine that Coleman's solution to a bug splat on a windshield is to buy a new windshield. Or, wait, better yet, a new car.

7) Return Sid Hartman's calls.

I'm not sure what that means.

8) Tell him nothing.

I'm not sure what that means.

9) Get a fishing license. Minnesotans cozy up to new arrivals pretty easily, but you can help yourself along by getting a little fishing boat and taking the kids out on the lake to wet a line. Save the big yacht for the St. Croix, and stay below decks.

Yeah, because Nick Coleman is all about cozying up to new arrivals, following his original "know nothing" barb from paragraph one. Truthfully, Minnesotans would probably give a shit less if Fowler gets a fishing license. Now, if the Vikings actually pop their heads out of their butts and play football next year, then Minnesotans would probably give a shit. But, fishing? Ehhhhhhh. Also notice the obligatory Nick Coleman barb against those who are financially well off, what with their naughty big yachts and all. They should stay below decks, probably in shame for their success, or something.

10) Only catch crappies. Avoid walleye, the state fish. Bud Grant got up to his gills in the never-ending walleye controversies in this state and he has been driven mad. Hint: You can buy good Canadian walleye (or a pretender called zander) at the restaurant. Better yet, eat steak.

I have no idea what that paragraph even means, or why the editors didn't just cut this out entirely.

11) Don't mention the Year of Our Lord 2011 until New Year's Eve 2010. Your team is locked in to play football in the Metrodome until 2011, and we will turn against you faster than we turned on the cantankerous Texas car salesman if you start blowing smoke about what the Vikings can or cannot do before then. You pays your $625 million and you takes your chances.

Apparently, this is what Coleman means when he talks about cozying up to new arrivals. Start accusing early, that's Coleman's motto.

12) If you want to talk about a new stadium, fine and dandy. Just make sure that it's a new University of Minnesota stadium you are pushing for. The Vikings were part of the cabal that forced the Gopher football team into the Dome, and the Vikings will have to support undoing that boneheaded move before you get your ch'i back.

So, Fowler is hereby guilty by association and has lost all claims to his "ch'i" until further notice.

13) Buy some defense.

No argument here. And, yes, I know that this means I actually agree with Coleman about something. I feel like a need a bath and a shave.

14) Stay out of the locker room unless they ask for more towels or cold champagne is being sprayed.

Yeah, can't have those filthy owners mingling with the players. Not unless they win it all, dad-gummit.

15) Tell Daunte Culpepper not to lend his car to anyone.

Huh? Oh. Ha, ha? But, wait a minute, isn't Fowler supposed to avoid mingling with players? I'm so confused here.

16) Learn 12-step lingo. And no more Viking winter "blasts" unless they are held at Hazelden. Better idea: Mandatory winter getaways at Hazelden.

I have no idea what this even means.

17) Avoid spicy foods. Avoid strong language. Avoid all unpleasantness.

It's Minnesota custom to avoid spicy foods? Who knew? I'm in total violation of that custom, it seems. Avoid strong language? Is this fucking for real? Avoid all unpleasantness? Such as, say, reading a Nick Coleman column, perhaps? But, yeah, avoid all unpleasantness, Nick, and. . . oh, wait: Now get out of town, McCombs. And don't let the Iowa state line hit you in the rear end.

18) Take blood pressure medication.

Unless, you know, you don't NEED to.

Now, I warn you, readers, the next bit of Coleman's column is a bit rambling, even for Nick. You can't say I didn't warn you. Drum roll, please. . .

19) Show respect to our Nordic heritage by trying not to gag on lutefisk. Fix the decrepit Viking longboat in front of Winter Park. Not even an Iowegian bullhead fisherman would be caught dead in that cruddy thing. Put up a replica of the Kensington Runestone alongside it. The runestone is a rock that was carved by a Minnesota farmer to make it seem like eight Goths and 22 Norwegians came to Minnesota in A.D. 1362 -- three years before the last time the Vikings were in the Super Bowl. But the Norwegians intermarried with Swedes and the Goths moved to Uptown and we pretty much have forgotten about the whole thing. It was supposed to be funny, but no one laughs at it anymore. You can't, either.

Are you still here? You made it through that? Wow, you're a real trouper.

20) Get a kicker, for gosh sakes.

21) Don't ever mention Red McCombs. Or Denny Green.

Welcome to Vikings Country, Mr. Fowler. We hope we enjoy your stay.

I'm just tired after all that. Worn out. Exhausted. Can't move. Smithers. . . coffee. . .

Posted by Ryan at February 16, 2005 11:03 AM

I read this column today and just knew you'd have a good fisking. Sure enough, you didn't disappoint.

Coleman is an arrogant fuck who doesn't know shit about writing, and apparently even less about sports (although he was right with the 'buy a defense' remark).

Posted by: Bryan at February 16, 2005 05:21 PM

I don't know much about Coleman except he's not a good writer.

But I did learn that Daunte Culpepper is a top notch douchebag. I will now be hoping for him to get his knee blown out every time he plays, just like Terrell Owens and Randy Moss (shame that Romanowski retired, I loved cheering for him to get hurt).

Posted by: Johnny Huh? at February 16, 2005 05:38 PM

If you were Daunte and some kid in a wheel chair asked you for some ice, what would you have done? Tell him of fuck off and get a job so you can have your own?

Posted by: Mike at February 18, 2005 04:37 PM

Mike, nicely worded, to such an extent that I would have to say "well, duh, no." What Daunte, you know, COULD have done was to say "These necklaces are pretty special to me, but maybe I can do something for you after the ceremony." Ta daaa! See how easy that would have been?

Posted by: Ryan at February 18, 2005 04:43 PM

I disagree that Daunte ever did anything wrong. The local press (even though they enjoy prouncing on the Vikes more than anyone) even said that the reporter was way out of line for even making anything out of this incident at all. The fact is they twisted the story to incorporate how all pro athletes are selfish morons. Looks like if they have the audience for it, you will sure see more of the same in the future. Thanks.

Posted by: Mike at February 19, 2005 10:38 AM
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