Sunday, January 01, 2006

Tice is Out

Yes, if you haven't heard, Mike Tice is out as coach of the Vikings. And I commend Wilf for doing what he did. Here's why.

Wilf has made it very clear since he's been the owner that he wants the team to represent itself well on and off the field, and he said he will do what it takes to make that happen. When you have good people doing good things in their professional and personal lives, then it all adds up to more good things. That's why I think the Vikings haven't gotten over the hump and won it all, especially in 1998 and 2000. They just haven't had a positive team personality and character, and as the Patriots have proven over the past few years, that can make all the difference.

Furthermore, the people responsible for setting the character of any organization, in the sports world or otherwise, are its leaders. Is it any wonder that Vikings players conducted themselves the way they did when Tice himself violated a serious NFL rule in the offseason? Whether Tice wants to admit it or not, as the head coach of the Vikings it was his job to set a good example for his team to follow with his words AND his actions, and he absolutely failed to do that. And his players, even supposed leaders like Daunte Culpepper, unfortunately followed his poor example by embarrassing the team so many other times throughout the past year.

This isn't about producing a winning football team (which Tice also failed to do in his four seasons as Vikings coach with a sub-.500 overall record). This is about Zygi Wilf having a team that he can be proud of, both on and off the field. Firing Tice was a big step in the right direction, and something tells me there's more housecleaning ahead. The changes may or may not produce more on-field wins, but it looks like Wilf is taking action to improve the character of his football team. And I think that's an off-the-field victory that all Purple fans should celebrate.

8 comments:

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