POSTED 4:55 p.m. EDT, September 18, 2005
MEATHEAD MUST GO
After a 37-8 road loss to the Bengals that was even more horrendously embarrassing than the season opening home defeat at the hands of the Bucs, it's time for the Vikings to make a change at the top.
The man with the cranium full of rancid meat must go. Now.
Sure, it likely won't happen in the immediate future, unless he genuinely quits. But our guess is that new owner Zygi Wilf has realized that the outcome of the first two games of his tenure and, more importantly, the manner in which those games unfolded disqualifies head coach Mike Tice from any further consideration for the job beyond 2005.
If the Vikings limp into their bye wee at 0-4, the hatchet could fall then. If they find a way to beat the Saints next week, Tice might make it to Halloween. Barring a quick and decisive turnaround, however, there's no way Tice will be on the charter flight when Wilf takes his team back to his home state of New Jersey for a mid-November matchup with the Giants.
We've never been a big fan of the big guy who developed a knack as an offensive line coach for spotting and developing diamonds at the trough. He never has shown, in nearly four years on the job, the kind of demeanor, decision-making, and drive that separates the truly great coaches from the right-place, right-time, right-price dudes like Tice.
The scalping of Super Bowl tickets, and his cement-headed behavior at the outset of the scandal, only lessened our opinion of Tice. Yeah, lots of other people did it. Still, Tice is the one who got nailed, likely because he was far too reckless, greedy, and stoopid in his effort to supplement his head coaching salary.
But for the apparent promise of that new flock of defensive players (who still gave up more than 500 yards on Sunday) and the stupid-in-hindsight notion that the departure of Randy Moss would actually improve the performance of the offense, Wilf might have sent Tice packing as soon as Wilf picked up the keys to the building.
With the false hopes of a Super Bowl season now dashed even before the official end of summer, now is the time for Wilf to begin putting his thumbprint on the franchise by putting his shoe up Tice's ass.
Yeah, we'll miss the guy who has provided us plenty of comic relief. But the far bigger relief will come for Vikings fans everywhere if/when the word "former" is tattooed to Tice's current title.
But shed no tears for Tice. He'll get work as an assistant coach with another team, at not much of a reduction in pay. And he'll enjoy the anonymity.
Especially when the time comes to move those seats for the big game.
PRO FOOTBALL TALK
by ProFootballTalk editor Mike Florie