StarCaps ruling could be key to 2010 Vikings season

1204.jpgOn Thursday, a ruling is expected regarding the motions for summary judgment filed in the Minnesota state court version of the StarCaps litigation.  And the outcome could have a dramatic impact on Vikings’ ability in 2010 to complete the unfinished business remaining in the wake of an epic NFC title game collapse against the Saints. 

The claims brought by Vikings defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams are intended to block the four-game suspensions imposed by the NFL via specific Minnesota drug-testing statutes.  So far, the state-based legal theories — added to the broader attack on the suspensions as an afterthought — have allowed the Williamses to avoid for a full year the four-game suspensions initially made official by the league in late 2008.

Thursday likely will be the day of reckoning for one side or the other, with Judge Gary Larson possibly concluding that the Minnesota statutes at issue don’t prevent the NFL from implementing the suspensions.  Alternatively, Judge Larsen could conclude exactly the opposite — that the tests are invalid.

The least likely outcome is a finding that a full-blown trial is needed, since there’s no dispute regarding the facts of the case, and thus no need for a jury to sort out the evidence.

The best arguments for the players arise under the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act.  Under Section 181.953, Subdivision 10, discipline is not permitted based on a first offense.  Though the employer may “temporarily suspend” the employee, a suspension is available only if the employer “believes that it is reasonably necessary to protect the health or safety of the employee, coemployees, or the public.”

Here, the NFL has no legitimate reason to believe that the inadvertent ingestion of a prescription diuretic, which the manufacturer of StarCaps secretly had added to its product, presents the type of health or safety risk that compels a suspension.  The application of the plain language of Subdivision 10 therefore could prompt Judge Larson to rule in the players’ favor.

(The other statute at issue, the Minnesota Consumable Products Act, most likely would not block a suspension because the statute expressly states that the only remedy will be a civil claim for monetary damages.)

So how can the ruling impact the Vikings’ upcoming season?  If Kevin and Pat Williams aren’t available for 25 percent of it each, quarterback Brett Favre might decide that the chances of truly going out on top are too slim, especially since the key to getting to the Super Bowl is forcing the conference title game to go through the Metrodome. 

44 responses to “StarCaps ruling could be key to 2010 Vikings season

  1. His chances of going out on top were blown by his “classic favrean blow it in the big time” interception just like he did to the packers for the last 10 years. Minnie mouse hase no chance. Cheaters never prosper.

  2. Oh damn… you mean Minnesota might have to outscore some teams for 4 out of 16 games??? Ooooooh…. that’ll never happen.
    You packer idiots crack me up… LOL

  3. I thought this Starcaps issue was done with. Pat being gone you can get over, but Kevin is at the top of his game yet.
    So far the legal system says they weren’t in violation. You’ve sniffing too much cheese, packerman!

  4. Man, there are going to be some angry, turpentine-swilling rednecks in Wisconsin tomorrow when Judge Larson basically tells Roger Goodell to pound sand on this whole matter.
    That means the Pack will have to wait another year to even begin considering themselves to be better than the superior team on the other side of the river.

  5. Packer Fans are amazing. Bottom line is that your football god came and played for the Vikings, and its just killing you and we all know it. It would have been like Randy Moss going and playing for the Packers, it would have killed me yes, but I gurantee you I would still give him respect and wish him well. But of course we are talking Packer fans…..so go ahead and keep ripping on Favre and the Vikings. Just remember your God is playing for us now and we kicked your butt twice last year. Get your Starter jackets and your green and gold Zubazz ready, september will be here in no time. Quick joke…….why do all the guys at Lambeau where that cheese on the heads?……to keep the flies from bugging their old ladies!!!!

  6. The point that is missing is that if the Vikings are suspended there is also three or four Saints that will also be suspended. The league did not suspend the Saints because of the Vikings situation. I know their top defensive end Smith would be one of those suspended.

  7. SoCalSean says: I just took the time out to point that someone misspelled ‘has’ when it was clearly a typo because I’m a huge loser, but hey I’m huge loser who can tell the difference between ‘has’ & ‘hase’.
    Feel free to punch yourself in the face now, Sean.

  8. The probability of these guys being suspended is so remote it makes this issue a non-issue. I would be shocked if this nonsense doesn’t just die on the vine.
    As it should.
    The NFL is embarrassing itself around this starcaps insanity.
    What an incredibly lousy battle to choose.

  9. Jonnyb… You are one funny S.O.B!!! Keep em coming because I’m still cracking up!!!

  10. Looks like Ray Edwards and Jared Allen will have to fend for themselves against the Saints’ Pro Bowl O-Line without the Williams’ bailing them out. Edwards won’t even have a legitimate chance to “seek revenge” without Kevin & Pat getting the most attention. They might as well go after Ndamukong Suh or Price from UCLA in the draft.

  11. “The point that is missing is that if the Vikings are suspended there is also three or four Saints that will also be suspended. The league did not suspend the Saints because of the Vikings situation. I know their top defensive end Smith would be one of those suspended.”
    Will Smith and Charles Grant are the only Saints under contract that would face a suspension (Deuce McAllister is retired and Jamar Nesbit already took his last year). Grant is likely to be released so only Smith looks to be in any hot water.

  12. oh silly vikings fans. does correcting other peoples’ spelling and grammatical mistakes on the internet make you feel better about your football team being moved to california?

  13. Why are folks forgetting the two Taints D-Linemen also implicated in the Starcaps mess? Neither Charles Grant nor Will Smith were suspended. They are as big a part of the Taints D as the Williams Wall is.
    This years Super Bowl and NFC Championship games are suspect to say the least.

  14. Uh oh, here come a flurry of Packer fan posts. I mean what the hell huh, they realize their team is no longer a threat in the NFC North so naturally you gotta topple the giant by writing incoherent rambles. It’s ok guys – you don’t have to put down your Leinie’s and try to make us feel bad. Go on, keep drinking til the misses looks attractive. Keeeeeeep on drinking 🙂

  15. ok, so can somebody clear this up for me?? if the banned substance was secretly added to a legal drug, and nobody was made aware of it, why are the players being diciplined? did they have any way to know that what they were doing was illegal? sorry for my lack of knowledge on this one…promise I’ll know more when Flo rips on my beloved Lord Favre next time.

  16. Viking may have to start Freddie Evans and Jimmy Kennedy for a couple of games against Lion, Bill, Bear etc.
    There’s also that aggravating little issue of Minnesotans having to pee in the cup if they want to keep their jobs.
    Could the League be raising a major civil and employee rights issue for Judge Larsen to adjudicate? Of course, Minnesota has a rich history of employee rights and employment standards and, see, it always gets in the way of the important stuff.

  17. JimmySmithReallyBlows:
    It’s a good thing you have a couple big businesses too, I mean who else would buy all the Viking tickets?
    SoCal:
    Get a life and argue a topic rather than a misplaced e. Not my fault apple made the iPhone keyboard so small.

  18. Again, the Viking fans are missing the point. The rules were in place for all 32 teams prior to this ruling and now the NFL is faced with a drug policy that is not uniform across the board.
    Bottom line, cheaters never win. Need proof? See the NFC championship game where the Vikings outgained the Saints by 200 or more yards, had something like 10 to 15 more first downs and time of possession was 2 to 1 in favor of the Vkings. No team in NFL history had those statistical advantages and lost a game but the Vikings can find a way to choke no matter the numbers. How could this happen?, well, cheaters never win. Enjoy your off season, this might be as close as you get for a long time to come.

  19. Johnnie B say, “It would have been like Randy Moss going and playing for the Packers, it would have killed me yes, but I gurantee you I would still give him respect and wish him well”
    LOL, yeah right. You would wish him well against the Queens. You would wish him to play well so the Pack would a better won / loss record.
    Yeah, right.

  20. “EPIC” collapse? Really??? LOL. They lost to the eventual SB champion after they were tied in regulation. After out-gaining them by 200 yards.
    It’s not like they were leading by 21 points and lost.
    If anything it was “EPIC” luck for NO to win that game despite all the no-calls and close calls.
    And really folks.. does EVERY post about the Vikings have to turn into a Packer-Vikings debate?
    Geez….

  21. Only 2 Saints at risk, Smith and Grant and it’s doubtful (IMO) that Grant will even be on the roster next year. Smith will be tough to replace for 4 games, but not a major cause for concern, since the Saints have a lot of depth with McCray and Hargrove able to step in if needed.

  22. yeah, gotta love this. U got these 2 clowns. Both starting DEs for the saints crying about the same crap, n the guy that can’t get away with it was the eagles nickel corner… Double standard. They shd forget about the 4 games and bump it to a year for delaying this crap

  23. NO RINGS FOR YOU…….deal with it purple losers!!!! Your team is, always has been and always will be a playoff punchline.

  24. good. the daily viking hate post comes out early today. there will probably be 1 or 2 more for all of you to take your internet rage out on.
    DEAR INTERNET,
    @#$%@#^&^^@#$%@#$%@#$%&^#%^$%********^&$%**

  25. Jimmy Smith you must be as dumb as everyone on here says . Did the aints win? Oh you must of forgot they had”cheaters” on there team you . You have to be the most annoying person on here and should be banned because reading your posts have made everyone dumber.

  26. JimmySmith says:
    February 18, 2010 7:23 AM
    Again, the Viking fans are missing the point. The rules were in place for all 32 teams prior to this ruling and now the NFL is faced with a drug policy that is not uniform across the board.
    Bottom line, cheaters never win. Need proof? See the NFC championship game where the Vikings outgained the Saints by 200 or more yards, had something like 10 to 15 more first downs and time of possession was 2 to 1 in favor of the Vkings. No team in NFL history had those statistical advantages and lost a game but the Vikings can find a way to choke no matter the numbers. How could this happen?, well, cheaters never win. Enjoy your off season, this might be as close as you get for a long time to come.
    —-
    well said Jimmy

  27. So instead of posting about the “topic”, Viking fans immediately want to bash Packer fans on their own threads. Seriously idiots, you all need to get a life. Maybe you’re just ashamed of the fact that its another negative story about a pathetic organization.

  28. One thing that some of you are missing with respect to how this could potentially affect the Saints – this particular case is in MN state court, it’s a state issue. I believe there is still a federal case that hasn’t been adjudicated. The state case won’t affect the Saints since the state of MN has no jurisdiction in LA.
    BTW, this isn’t a case of “cheating”. The NFL did not have StarCaps on its list of prohibited substances and the respective teams did everything that they could to follow the rules. No one knew about the “masking” agent until after the fact, and the NFL essentially refused to acknowledge that it – not the players or coaches – screwed up.

  29. The Saints had a cheater too. That would make them cheaters too. So cheaters seem to have a pretty good record this year Jimmy. 1st and 2nd in the NFC is not to bad for a bunch of cheaters. Rock head, cheack the facts before you open your big yapper.

  30. Contra -does your stupid, hate filled comments to Packer fans have anything to do with the article? Then you end your deeply insightful post by trying to be funny and showing how cool you think you are. Seriously, there has got to be something better to do with your life than be a narrowminded, blowhole that leaves useless posts on a football blog. Try setting some real goals in life – don’t be scared.

  31. Vikings fans are priceless. They watch thier beloved team get beaten down by Favre for 16 years, hammer Packer fans for “whining” when Favre lost a game, gloat in the rare event that they win a playoff game, and hate everything and anything Favre did for the Packers. Fast forward to now, Favre is on thier team, leads them to a typical stellar regular season, and rips thier hearts out at the worst possible moment in the playoffs. They then turn around and once again call Packer fans whiners, complain about the officiating, complain about “cheap shots” on their new god figure, blame everyone BUT the person who lost the game for them (BTW, the Packers will give you Kampman, Grant, Hawk, Bush and a second round pick for Peterson if your so eager to run him out of town). On top of all that, they erect stupid billboards to bring back Brett, because obviously Vikings fans cannot get enough of the losing feeling.
    Look up “hypocrite” in the dictionary Vikings fans….you’ll see a stupid purple Viking with ugly white horns right next to the definition.

  32. Super Bowl Rings:
    Packers: 3
    Vikings: 0
    End of debate. When will Vikings fans realize that this fact ends all arguments? Clearly your organization is inferior until you do something to change this fact.

  33. I just love how people continually rip Vikings fans as a way to change the focus of the conversation from the lawsuit itself. Obviously, these other fans have no self-esteem, otherwise, they wouldn’t be wasting their time trying to make themselves feel better by knocking other people down.

  34. There is a reason why people like myself and others take stupid jabs at some of you…. You take the bait every time. That’s the main reason this site exists. PFT says something stupid and you take the bait and keep clicking. Hilarious

  35. swede700…seriously.
    Do THAT many fans of other teams HATE the Vikings THAT much?
    I’m a Vikings fan…and I think I’m a pretty nice guy.

  36. Me too Duluth…I live in Va.
    Its not that they hate Vikings fans….theyre still upset that their hero played for us last year. Plain and simple. Im a Red Sox fan…I hated it when Johnny Damon signed with the Yankees a few years ago. He was dead to me at that point. Im over it now though….but it stung for a little while. Favre was with GB much longer so its gonna sting for while.

  37. “That means the Pack will have to wait another year to even begin considering themselves to be better than the superior team on the other side of the river.”
    Haha wow. The Vikings won their first division title last year for the first time in 7-8 years and all of a sudden they are the far superior team? Haha.

  38. “It would have been like Randy Moss going and playing for the Packers, it would have killed me yes, but I gurantee you I would still give him respect and wish him well. But of course we are talking Packer fans…..so go ahead and keep ripping on Favre and the Vikings.”
    Dude they are not even comparable. Favre meant much more to Packer fans than Randy Moss did to Viking fans. Randy Moss played, what, 7 years for the Vikings? while Favre played 16 for the Packers.

  39. “Uh oh, here come a flurry of Packer fan posts. I mean what the hell huh, they realize their team is no longer a threat in the NFC North so naturally you gotta topple the giant by writing incoherent rambles.”
    Oh right. Like the Packers aren’t a threat anymore. Last time I checked the Packers finished just one game behind the Vikings and had they not lost to Pittsburgh the week the Vikings got burnt by the Panthers, both of them would of been tied for the division lead.
    You will eat your words when next season comes around.

  40. They should take those fat cheaters to the cleaners. Maybe they shouldve just thrown the towel in on this case and actually sat the 4 games this yr since their schedule was so cake i dont think it wouldve hurt them a bit. NOW the schedules tough and its sounding like they just might sit. Im sure the INT King ass on the ground you cant hit me cause im Brent Favre will be keeping an eye on this when making that major major decision to hang it up. (even though i think its going to take him being carried out on a stretcher before he leaves the game cause hes a dumb redneck tractor riding blockhead.) Go to hell Brent! Vikings your cheaters and you deserved to get raped in the championship game like you did! Did i mention i loved every minute of that by the way? ha! ha! ha!

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