One of the best reader comments we’ve ever seen (then again, the bar ain’t very high), came yesterday, when someone made this observation regarding Minnesota’s collection of all-stars.
“There will be 10 Vikings at the Pro Bowl. And 12 of them will be in the huddle.”
And so it will be that whenever a football team has too many men on the field, especially after a time out, the Vikings’ unprecedented blunder will be mentioned.
(On a brighter note, it’s a hell of a lot less embarrassing than the Love Boat.)
On Tuesday, coach Brad Childress absolved fullback Naufahu Tahi of responsibility for the error, explaining that the mistake resulted from an “error in communication.”
To his credit, Childress took responsibility for the situation, which inexplicably arose after the team had taken a timeout.
“[W]e had talked about the same play
with two different personnel groupings,” Childress said at his season-ending press conference, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “The initial
conversation was about a personnel grouping with a tailback and a
fullback and we ended up settling on a tight end and three-wide type
“Typically when you hold your guys as we do, because [the Saints]
are looking from that sideline to see what personnel you have, you are
running people on when people are running off, but Tahi had gone in the
game because that was the first part of the conversation. It’s an error
in communication and it all comes back to me not having it
Childress later made it more crystal clear that he’s taking ownership of the error.
“Like I said, that’s my mistake. Not that I’ve accepted it
myself. I’m harder [on myself] than any of you guys are. It hurts a
great deal and it hurts everyone a great deal. I’m disappointed that it
happened. I know why it happened, but it happened. It didn’t happen in
a vacuum. . . . Like I said, most of those guys were so focused that
nobody noticed who was by whom and they’re all just trying to do right.”
That’s fine, but Childress should be feeling awfully fortunate that he received a contract extension long before the final game of the season. Because if he’s willing to take full responsibility for one of the worst coaching mistakes in NFL history, he should have to accept accountability for it as well.
And if it weren’t for the four-year buyout that would go along with it, the mistake was big enough to justify a debate as to whether Childress should be fired.