Tuesday, January 23, 2018

john holler

For those of you that are still fired up (I’m not, but I do understand) about the New Orleans Saints “Bountygate” scandal” I think you will find a recent article by John Holler at Viking Update quite interesting.

Remi Ayodele was a member of the Saints when they beat the Vikings in the 2009 NFC Championship game, and then went on to win the Super Bowl.  In fact, Ayodele was in on one of the dirty hits on Brett Favre that has been called into question.

Since then, Ayodele has joined the Vikings and has been quoted numerous times saying that he enjoys showing of his Super Bowl ring and jabbing at other players from time to time for the outcome of that championship game.

Holler thought the hits in that game were so “pervasive” that he jumped at the opportunity to ask Ayodele about them once he had joined the team.  He even asked him specifically about the existence of an incentive program that rewarded injuries being dealt to the opposing team.  Here is Holler’s account:

Ayodele seemed momentarily surprised by the question with his facial reaction, but what he did next was more interesting. As with most reporters, I carry a recording device with me to make sure I get quotes right. Ayodele smiled and shrugged and, as he started to give his answer, he leaned into my recorder and said, “I don’t know anything about that.” I took from his reaction and response that he believed a real answer wasn’t really any of my business. When players don’t want to answer questions, each one reacts differently. When they look directly into a camera or, in this case lean into the microphone, they’re making a point. His smile and “I don’t know” shrug spoke more than his words and reminded me of a Mafia-style code of silence and vendetta. I got the distinct impression that he wasn’t going to lie, but he gave a classic “non-denial denial.” He didn’t say, “No. That never happened.” He said he knew nothing – the Sergeant Schultz defense.

Ayodele may have instantly become one of the least respected players on the Vikings roster, at least amongst fans, and after a very unproductive season with the team many of us wouldn’t mind seeing him (and his $2.2 million salary) be shown the door.

According to PFT, the Saints will be punished for their actions prior to March 25th.  Free agency begins on March 13th.

At a time when Vikings news is incredibly slow, I have been impressed with Viking Update and their ability to come up with some interesting articles that I want to point you all towards:

  •  John Holler reminisces about Rick Spielman’s inability to contain his glee when he struck a Draft Day trade with the Vikings (he was Miami’s G.M. at the time) to move up one spot and nab offensive lineman Vernon Carey.  Even years after the move, Spielman gushed about Carey and how badly he wanted to draft him.  Now that Spielman is the Vikings G.M., and Carey is expected to become an unrestricted free agent, Holler makes a very solid argument that Carey will be added to the Vikings offensive line during the upcoming free agency period.  Read the whole story here.
  • Quarterback Christian Ponder took some time off and was “lazy” for the first few weeks of the offseason.  Now, however, he is back at Winter Park and plans to be working out there for most of the offseason.  Ponder is working through some new things, including what he describes as “hot yoga,” and says he has recovered from his various injuries experienced at the end of the season.  Here’s hoping that “hot yoga” has a more positive impact on Ponder than playing tennis had on Bryant McKinnie.  Read the whole story here.
  • The City of Duluth has officially thrown their hat into the ring as a suitor to house the Vikings.  Senator Roger Reinert introduced the latest Vikings bill that would see a stadium built in his town of Duluth.  The Vikings said they applaud Duluth’s efforts to finding a stadium solution, but with the current legislative session already underway, the team is going to continue to focus their efforts on Minneapolis and Arden Hills.  Read the whole story here.
  • In wondering if the Vikings can turn things around as quickly as many hope, Brian Hall looks at what happened the last time the Vikings posted a 3-13 record, which is the worst they have ever finished.  In 1984, the Vikings went 3-13 just like in 2011, and the following year they were able to manage a record of 7-9.  After that, the Vikings had four straight winning seasons and earned a trip to the NFC Championship.  Read the whole story here.