There is so much happening in the world of Minnesota sports right now that I couldn’t pick just one topic to focus on. There are 3 things that I want to share some thoughts on: the NFL tackling rules, the Vikings kicking situation, and Jimmy Butler.
First, we need to talk about the NFL tackling rules. This is exactly what I was worried about when I wrote a few months ago about the NFL losing it’s fan-base.
The Vikings and Packers played an incredibly exciting game that miraculously ended in a tie.
It should not have been a tie, as Kirk Cousins lofted an interception on the final drive the Vikings would have in regulation in an attempt to make up an 8 point lead. Clay Matthews made a textbook tackle – he kept his head up, put his shoulder into the QB’s midsection (avoiding the legs and head), and brought him to the ground.
He was flagged for roughing the passer and the Vikings were able to keep the ball and end up tying the game. The NFL has since stood firm with the call, and even went as far as to include it in their video for officials clarifying what a good roughing the passer call is.
If this is going to continue, a lot of fans (and players and coaches) will be increasingly frustrated with the league. Safety is important, but it is a physical game. This call was ludicrous.
Second, the Vikings were given this gift and were able to sneak into overtime. Rookie kicker Daniel Carlson missed a 49-yarder on the first drive. Thankfully, the Vikings defense held firm and Minnesota was able to drive down the field and milk the clock. With under a minute left, the Vikings started slowing up their play-calling to set up a field goal.
We all were thinking the same thing: Are we sure we don’t want to try to get the shortest field goal possible for our shaken rookie kicker? We settled on a 35-yarder and he of course missed it.
Carlson has since been replaced by the 2nd most accurate kicker in NFL history, Dan Bailey. The takeaway here is that with a team that has Super Bowl aspirations, it was incredibly stupid to trust the kicking game to unproven rookie.
We should be thankful that these missed kicks cost the Vikings a win in week 2 so that they could fix it before it cost them everything in the playoffs.
Lastly, I have to talk about my Minnesota Timberwolves. Jimmy Butler met with management this week to announce that he is demanding a trade a week before the season starts. He wants to be traded to the Knicks, Clippers, or Nets – places that he can sign the 5 year maximum extension.
Now, Jimmy arrived to Minnesota and preached that he was only concerned with winning. He endlessly got on his teammates about their effort, attitude, and clearly his brash personality created a schism in the locker room and organization.
In case you were wondering, the Knicks, Nets, and Clippers had a combined win percentage of 40% last season and are much further from winning than the Timberwolves are.
Butler has been full of drama ever since he arrived to Minnesota and it really is unfortunate that he doesn’t care about winning, his teammates, or his coach. Jimmy Butler cares about his money and playing in a big market. Anything else he says is a lie.
I looking forward to trading Butler for Tobias Harris, Lou Williams, and a protected 1st round pick and letting Thibs go. Let’s continue with Towns, Wiggins, and a fresh positive-minded coach and move on.