“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” — Louisa May Alcott
To say Mike Zimmer is “learning” how to sail would be wrong; he’s navigated the sea’s unforgiving waters from the moment he set foot in Winter Park. From Adrian Peterson’s suspension in 2014 to the passing of his father Bill last season, Zimmer’s stood tall at the helm of the Minnesota Vikings ship.
The volatile nature of the sea, or life as an NFL head coach, is only matched by its unpredictability. Such was the case on Tuesday, when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater dislocated his knee, tore his ACL, and thrust the Zimmer-led Vikings into the most ominous storm of their three-year run.
But as he’s done so many times before, Zimmer took the wheel and kept the franchise on course. There were surely tears and shouts of frustration as Rick Spielman and the front office debated their immediate options; Shaun Hill, Mark Sanchez, Mike Vick? That uncertainty even showed during Zimmer’s press conference — a moment of emotion as the head coach professed his love for his fallen quarterback.
Still, Zimmer did not cry, make excuses, or concede defeat. He challenged his team to overcome, to withstand every brutal wave and violent swell of the ocean. He promised to fight, to stand together as a team, and prove the immediate doubters wrong. No matter how hard the sea hits, one thing is clear — Zimmer isn’t letting go.
And for that, no matter how the Vikings finish the season, I’m on board.