- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Thought for today: I just got my mail and there was a letter from [playwright] Neil Simon. That was very nice of him. We played doubles together in a celebrity tournament in Las Vegas. I'm not telling you this to name-drop. But the point is, I like very much being associated with a guy like this, because I believe that the more you're with successful people—whatever their fields—the more chance that some of what made them successful will rub off on you.
SUNDAY, AUG. 29: Strike thoughts
We didn't get back to the Twin Cities till four this morning, which wouldn't be so bad except we played terribly in Denver. I find it increasingly hard to concentrate with the damn strike dangling. I kept thinking: What if I get hurt out here tonight and then we don't even have a season?
The players' reps are having some sort of emergency session, and frankly the way I feel now, I wish they'd just strike and get it over with—because that's obviously what it's coming to. Then I could get on a plane and fly to New York and see the U.S. Open.
MONDAY, AUG. 30: Bring your playbook
Today we began practicing at the Vikings' complex outside Minneapolis. I was standing there in the locker room with Gerald Lucear, the rookie from Temple, when Les Steckel came over. "Gerald," he said. "Bud wants to see you. Bring your playbook." That means only one thing. You're gone. You're dead. The ship is sailing without you.
Right down the way there was a rookie free-agent punter named [Jeffrey] Wilson. Nice kid. I've talked to him a few times in the last couple weeks. He sighed. They had come to cut someone, but he wasn't tapped. In a few minutes Gerald came back into the locker room. "Listen," I told him, "you gave it your best. Don't be bitter at the business. They didn't cut you. They just cut a number." He nodded, sort of. Anyway, he still has that football he caught for a touchdown in the scrimmage.
And then, just a couple minutes later, another coach came and told the punter that Bud wanted to see him. He bit the dust too.
It was a picture-perfect day to work out—dry air, not a cloud in the sky. It was the first day when it didn't feel like summer. Maybe it's going to be an early autumn. We have one more preseason game left, against the New Orleans Saints here this Friday, and you always want to win that last exhibition because it gives you a good rolling start into the regular season.
Thought for today: That rookie punter who was cut—I remember chatting with him while back in training camp and he said he couldn't understand how anybody could strike the NFL, that it must be such a thrill just playing. That one word is a large part of our problem. Officials work a game and announcers work a game, but we always—they say—play a game. It would really help if we could change verbs.