COMMENTARY: Loss to Bears effectively ends Vikings' season

CHICAGO -- We hope you've enjoyed the 2010 Minnesota Vikings season. Thanks for coming. See you next fall. Oh, and those Randy Moss jerseys are great for wiping snow from your car's windows. They are still on sale. The Vikings' season officially ...

Bryant McKinnie (with Brett Favre, in 2010)
In 2010, then-Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre (4) passes as offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie (74) blocks Chicago Bears defensive end Henry Melton (69) in the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. McKinnie, a nine-year mainstay on the Vikings' offensive line, was released by the team Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011.(AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

CHICAGO -- We hope you've enjoyed the 2010 Minnesota Vikings season. Thanks for coming. See you next fall.

Oh, and those Randy Moss jerseys are great for wiping snow from your car's windows. They are still on sale.

The Vikings' season officially ended Sunday with a lackluster 27-13 loss to the Bears. This week there will be another great wail about firing Brad Childress. But now it doesn't matter. Zygi Wilf waited too long to shake up the team. It's irrelevant who coaches the rest of this season because the Vikings are out of the playoff race.

Asked if he expected to be coaching the Vikings against the Packers next Sunday, Childress replied: "Until I get any word differently, yeah."

But firing the coach now would be nothing but a cheap publicity stunt. The time for hard decisions has come and gone. At this point, such a move would be a token gesture of appeasement. I'm not saying many fans wouldn't be thrilled to see Childress go, but a firing would have zero tangible effect on a season already lost.


Besides, it was Wilf who signed Childress to the big contract extension after the victory in Green Bay last season. The Vikings are 0-9 in road games since. Way to go, Zygi.

How did this guy ever make any money at anything?

The 2010 Vikings probably are better than they've shown, but they still aren't very good. This is not a playoff team. Heck, at one point late in Sunday's game, their three available wide receivers were Greg

Camarillo, Hank Baskett and Greg Lewis. Can you find the deep threat there? Me neither.

This was after Percy Harvin, who is as tough as they come, finally succumbed to a battered ankle that should have kept him out to begin with. Meanwhile, Bernard Berrian "tweaked" his groin injury in pregame warm-ups and declared himself unable to play. He went up to Childress and said, "I can't go," according to Childress.

Geez, Brett Favre has a broken bone in his ankle. Harvin is held together with duct tape and paper clips. Yet neither would ever consider sitting out. Berrian tweaks his groin and he's out. Vince Lombardi used to barge into the trainer's room and kick out all his players while screaming: "Everybody's healthy!" Maybe Childress, or Coach X, whoever is next in line for the throne, should try that.

Afterward, some of the greatest claptrap in football history was spouted in the Vikings' locker room.

"It ain't over yet," said Jared Allen. "We can still make 10-6."


"Last time I checked, 10-6 was pretty good record," said Steve Hutchinson. "That's still tangible."

Yeah, right. And maybe Moss comes back for a third tour of duty. Maybe Fred Smoot comes back, too. And the sky turns pink and Childress dances the Hully Gully on the dining room table.

I can understand the need to be positive. But maybe they should be a bit more realistic and talk about winning one game before they start looking ahead to winning the next seven.

Favre heard all the talk in the locker room immediately after the loss.

"We've got to pick it up. We've got to find a way to win," he said. "All the other cliches you might expect."

He added that he agreed with all of them, too, but doesn't have any answers. Asked about the team's playoff chances, he noted: "I have no idea. If I had to gauge today, I would say no. I'm not writing us off ... "

But everyone is at a loss as to how to halt the downward spiral. And it's too late, anyway.

"I can't think of any one thing that doesn't need to change," Favre said.


Watching this team is baffling. What happened to the no-huddle offense that was so effective against the Arizona Cardinals last week?

Or how about this: With Favre really clicking on the first drive and the Vikings kicking the Bears defense down the field, why in the world do the coaches call a conservative running play on third and 7 at Chicago's 23? I almost fell out of the press box. Adrian Peterson gets stopped short, the Vikings settle for a field goal and the momentum starts to turn right there.

That was just dumb.

Ahhh, it's a mess. Toward the end of the game, the guys didn't appear to be expending maximum energy, either. Childress said he thought they were, but that some had become "dejected."

Whatever. It doesn't matter anymore. From this point, even the temps might not want to use the company tickets on any given Sunday.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Favre on sidelines
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre watches from the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. Bears won 27-13. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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