[NOTE FROM ARIF - It seems as if guest posts are becoming a popular way to get your opinions out there. This one comes from Greg Eichten, and I believe this is his first blog post of any kind.

Remember, if you're interested in writing a guest post for Vikings Territory, you can email me at arifmhasan (at) gmail DOT com. We're always looking for fresh angles!]

By Greg Eichten

The NFL’s biggest asset isn’t the Dallas Cowboys, Aaron Rodgers, or even the TV broadcast rights. No, their biggest asset is hope. Hope for the dedicated fan bases all over the world that THIS is the season, THIS is the player, THIS is finally the quarterback that’s going to change the franchise forever. That’s why Christian Ponder in no way can be on the roster when it’s time to report to training camp.

Following the disappointing but predictable 2013 Vikings season, I wasn’t convinced that Leslie Frazier needed to go. Sure he wasn’t Vince Lombardi, but was he really the reason why the Vikings couldn’t win? However, once we brought in the shiny new coach in Mike Zimmer and made a few solid hires such as Mr. Norval Turner, I found myself wondering what that strange feeling was that was working its way into my brain. It seemed vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. I remember it around the time when Favre, Cunningham, and even Culpepper were here. Then it came to me – HOPE! I’m actually feeling hope for the 2014 season. Right then I realized why coaches are fired every other year and why the draft is so popular…it all comes down to hope and the possibility of positive change. Maybe this IS the great coach we’ve been waiting for. A new regime is starting for crying out loud, we have permission to write off the last few years as a sunk cost in our fandom… but going forward, BOY THINGS SURE ARE GOING TO BE DIFFERENT THIS YEAR!

Back in February, in a 50-minute interview with reporters, Spielman said Christian Ponder will be back next season.

Excuse me, what did he say?!? There’s a reason why you don’t invite your boozy ex-girlfriend to your wedding: nothing positive can result of it, only pain and suffering as those old wounds are ripped open and exposed. What good could possibly come of turning him into Clipboard Christian and have him awkwardly hanging around pretending to cheer on the starting quarterback? No hard feelings against Ponder, as he has been the consummate professional, saying and doing all the right things. Do the right thing for him and let him try and extend his career elsewhere while getting something of value in return. He’s better than Jacksonville bust Blaine Gabbert, and he garnered a 6th round pick from the 49ers.

And let’s not forget our current starting quarterback, Matt Cassel, who would benefit greatly knowing that CP isn’t staring daggers into his helmet and untying his shoes while he naps on the team plane. If Cassel struggles, as he most likely will at some point, I can guarantee that there will be a small but loud clamoring to see one more look at Christian, with the usual chorus of qualifiers: “Why not see what he’s got? Maybe the off-season and benching really got through to him? We invested a 12th overall pick on the guy, might as well use him!” No, nope, and negative again. If Ponder takes even one snap this year, the hope that has been building within the fan base will seep out as we recall the failures of past teams and will be replaced with the all too familiar feeling of dread and disgust. Let’s move forward with the new regime and start off without the face of disappointment holding the clipboard.