Sunday, December 24, 2006

Here We Go Again.

When Dennis Green was hired as coach of the Minnesota Vikings in January 1992, he declared “There’s a new sheriff in town.” Such a bold declaration was designed to change a culture of apathy which surrounded the franchise. Green led the Vikings to playoff appearances in each of his first three seasons. Unfortunately, the Vikes’ playoff run in those seasons lasted one game. It was after an embarrassing 35-18 home playoff loss to the Chicago Bears in 1994 that signified the end of the honeymoon for “The Sheriff”.

Green’s decade-long tenure was marred by such incidents as taking his assistant coaches down to the college “Senior Bowl” in Alabama under the guise of helping the Vikings scout collegiate talent. Green would then unceremoniously dump the unsuspecting coaches upon their arrival.

Green even managed to alienate one the classiest professionals in future Hall of Fame offensive lineman Randall McDaniel. Apparently McDaniel had the audacity to voice his displeasure when the Vikings did not honor a financial commitment made to him in 1998. As a result, Green released McDaniel after the ’99 campaign. Naturally, Denny didn’t have the guts to tell the perennial all-pro in person. A short phone call was the only courtesy extended.

It became very apparent over the years that Denny had acquired quite a penchant for scapegoating.

All that being said, Green did indeed have a free pass for his first three years as Vikes’ boss.

However, current head coach Brad Childress (a/k/a Chili) may have just shattered the record for shortest honeymoon for a Vikings head coach (and yes, I haven’t forgotten Les Steckel).

The Minnesota Vikings have told receiver Marcus Robinson he is being released, Robinson's agent told The Associated Press Sunday.

Agent Ken Sarnoff confirmed a newspaper report that the 10-veteran will be released.

"I'm not surprised," Robinson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Sunday.

Robinson and coach Brad Childress have had a strained relationship. The two never saw eye-to-eye about Robinson's role in the offense. The veteran receiver had been deactivated for several games this season, despite being healthy enough to play and being arguably the Vikings' most consistent receiver.

A Vikings spokesman confirmed that Robinson had been released and said the team would have no further comment Sunday.

Let’s see: A power struggle between coach and player. Coach exercises authority to rid himself of said player who could still contribute to the team. Coach gives no explanation of the move.

This all has an eerily familiar ring to it.

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