ST. CLOUD - Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf didn't hesitate to join in the celebration, singing a happy 90th birthday to Miff Johnson. He laughed at an Ole and Lena joke and had his picture taken, as celebrities do. Then came the questions.
When and how will he discipline players allegedly involved in the scandalous sex party Oct. 6 on Lake Minnetonka? Does this affect the status of a new stadium? Should the players make a public apology for their actions? Could former Vikings coach Bud Grant succeed in today's environment?
His questioners included some of St. Cloud's top business and civic leaders who had gathered for their weekly Rotary Club meeting Tuesday, but at times they sounded like typical fans. Wilf, who initially planned to talk about stadium issues, shifted his focus and discussed his hopes to change the direction of a team by setting boundaries and fixing holes left by the previous ownership.
Wilf talked about adopting a code of conduct, which could include disciplinary measures. Before that happens, he said, he might consider benching players if they were involved in the sex party. The recent hiring of a security director will also help younger players who need advice on financial and other "everyday" issues, he said.
"This is not just a business," Wilf said. "This is an opportunity to lead 50 team members to be competitive on the field and model citizens off it."
St. Cloud was the last of three outstate cities that Wilf visited in the past 24 hours to spread his message, learn the state and get in touch with the fans. At Tuesday's meeting, he said he hoped to hear from Hennepin County sheriff's investigators in a week so he can determine whether any disciplinary action needs to be taken.
He joked that when the team was for sale, he didn't set out to be the Vikings' primary owner "so he wouldn't have to go through this and be a Monday morning quarterback. ... I realize the car we bought didn't have as much gas as I thought," Wilf said.
After Wilf's speech, Bill Winter, president of St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, said he was impressed with the Vikings owner. But fans want Wilf to act quickly on the cruise, Winter said. It will be at least a week before the investigation is complete, authorities say.
Craig Sauer, a former Vikings linebacker who is a real estate developer in St. Cloud, said that what is alleged to have happened on the two boats "is not good" and that he's glad Wilf is doing something about it. He's also glad his daughter isn't old enough to understand.
"Personally, I believe football players are role models to young men and women," he said. "I know if I get a DWI I'm going to end up in the sports pages because I was a Viking."
Waht is that part in bold supposed to mean? Maybe he is looking for a really old school coach?
Sounds like he is really looking to make a respected franchise :grin: