Over the years, Minnesota Vikings tickets have been a pathway to heartache for local fans. The Vikings have put together several highly-talented teams throughout their history, and time and time again, the Vikings have suffered a loss that has left a collective hole in the hearts of their loyal fans. However, the times could be changing. After years of turbulence, the Vikings have started to build a program that provides stability, accountability and responsibility for every aspect of the football operation. Could this mean that decades of heartache will end in the near future? We'll examine several factors to find out.
In May of 2005, the Vikings were sold to Zygi Wilf, and Wilf immediately went to work on repairing the image of a team that had embarrassed the local population several times under the ownership of Red McCombs, a car dealership magnate who had drawn the ire of the public for running what was known to be a "cheap" operation. The Vikings did not pay their coaches well, had a skeleton crew in the scouting department and had allowed the culture of the franchise to deteriorate to a level that was far from professional. In short, Minnesota Vikings tickets were no longer seen as worth the effort to obtain.
As a result, the Vikings underachieved on the field despite the presence of several talented players, and their off-field conduct was becoming increasingly problematic due to the tacit complicity displayed by team management. Wilf immediately attempted to change all of that by making changes and instilling a code of conduct that was to be followed not only by the players, but by everyone who was and is associated with the franchise. He was tested early with the "Love Boat" scandal in 2005, but Wilf handled the episode by holding those responsible accountable.
New On-Field Leader
Wilf also made changes to the leadership structure as it related to players. He let go of Coach Mike Tice, who was known as a "players" coach and had gotten into trouble himself for allegedly selling Super Bowl tickets for a profit. Wilf wanted a leader to provide stability and an example for his players, and he chose Brad Childress, who had spent time learning how to run a football team under the likes of Barry Alvarez at the University of Wisconsin and Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Childress wasted no time in placing his stamp on the team. One of his first decisions was to jettison embittered QB Daunte Culpepper, who had been the face of the franchise, as Childress felt that Culpepper was not the leader that every successful team needs at QB. It was a gutsy and somewhat-controversial move, but his new QB, Brad Johnson, exudes professionalism. Johnson may not be nearly as talented as Culpepper, but his track record speaks for itself, as he is one of the highest-rated QB's of recent times and has also won a Super Bowl. This sent a clear message to the rest of the team.
The Vikings for years had attempted to "out-gun" the opposition with a high-flying offensive scheme and a risk-taking defense built for making big plays. The problem with this style was a total lack of consistency, and the Vikings suffered many losses to teams with inferior talent as a result. Childress instilled his version of the "West Coast" offense that works quite well with his huge offensive line, steady RB's and heady QB, and early results show that the offense may not be as spectacular, but it is much more dependable.
Childress also brought in Mike Tomlin to run the defense, and Tomlin has installed the "Tampa Bay" defense which features a Cover 2 scheme. Instead of taking risks, this defense is predicated on discipline, intensity and consistency. The scheme tends to prevent back-breaking big plays, and it's a system that's been used extensively around the NFL with much success.
Although it is way too early to make any definitive judgments, it appears that the Vikings have finally put the necessary components of professionalism and responsibility in place in order to experience long-term success. This top-down approach will lead to more consistent results, and Minnesota Vikings tickets have become sought-after again as the team makes the proper moves towards capturing its first Super Bowl title.