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Dear Minnesota


A thank you letter


By Adam Hoff


October 17, 2005


Dear Minnesota Vikings,


I am writing to thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It wasn’t all that long ago that we – the San Francisco 49ers – were the laughingstock of the NFL.  If it wasn’t for you, things might have remained that way indefinitely. After all, when you look back over the past few years, we might have had one of the worst three-year runs in the history of the sport.  I shudder just thinking about.  This summer, when the scandal erupted over the porno tape made by our PR Director, if felt like a final crushing blow and I thought the stain would last forever.  After all, how were people going to forget something so crude and vulgar?  Thanks to your Mr. Fred Smoot and other Vikings players, they now have an orgiastic boat cruise to think about.  It’s as if that fornicator Reynolds never even worked here!  So thank you, thank you, thank you. 


Really, it doesn’t end there.  While sex scandals never look good for an NFL franchise, they aren’t the end of the world.  Nobody seems to have any ill will for the old Cowboys teams that redefined the word debauchery.  However, our problems went well beyond mere depravity.


You may recall that we had a very flamboyant and problematic star receiver on our team.  He was a fantastic player but what many in the business call a “locker room cancer.”  He used to yell at our coaches on the sidelines and question our quarterback’s lifestyle in the press.  We finally got so tired of it that we traded him for pennies on the dollar, even though his agent screwed up and ruined his chance at free agency.  After he left, everything fell apart on the field and we started getting annihilated every week.  It didn’t matter whether we did the right thing off the field, all our fans cared about was the fact that we were losing on it.  So yes, we took some heat for that trade.  Now though, no one even seems to remember that we ever had him.  It feels like a lifetime ago!  Most of the credit for this goes to our former player himself, because he’s continued to be a, shall we say, handful, in his new city.  People don’t really blame us for trading him.  However, I think we also owe you a huge debt of gratitude for following in our footsteps and trading your star wide receiver.  Boy, you are awful without him.  Plus, he wasn’t even as bad as our guy!  Not even close!  Once again, you have trumped us.  Similar story, but more recent and more egregious.  God bless you. 


Another blemish on our organization was an awful mistake we made in regard to our head coach.  We had a good one but shipped him off because we were still living in a fantasy world (also known as the mid-90’s) and expected to do better than 10-6 while making the playoffs every year.  Then we hired a guy with a history for coaching teams with discipline issues.  It wasn’t long before players were yelling at each other, getting flagged for personal fouls, and behaving like monsters.  I’ll be honest, that was a nightmare.  Now though, we have a standup man as our coach.  Mike Nolan has brought discipline and organization to our franchise.  He has already handled success (our upset victory over the Rams during Week One), failure (all the losses after that), a QB controversy, and even the awful death of a player … all with dignity, aplomb, and control.  He’s a terrific leader and we’re very excited about him.  Mr. Nolan alone has nearly wiped away the memories of our previous coach, but once again, you have aided in that process.  After all, how critical can our fans be of previous hires when they look at your Mr. Tice?  He has no control over his team.  He can’t decide on a running back.  His game planning is awful.  Furthermore, the man was caught trying to scalp his tickets to the Super Bowl!  He has let every other team in the league off the hook when it comes to bad coaches.  Many thanks. 


It’s true that you haven’t had an owner indicted by the federal government, but you more than made up for that with that Whizzinator fiasco.  Honestly, you have topped us at every turn.  Anything we can do (badly), you can do worse.  For every negative story about us that appears in the San Francisco Chronicle, there is a bigger one about you in USA Today.  Within a few short months we’ve gone from the “franchise in disarray” to “a team rebuilding” all because of the mere presence of the Minnesota Vikings.  You are a miracle, a godsend, a winning lottery ticket.  In fact, you are our favorite team in the NFL.  Without you, we don’t know where we’d be.  You’re the best … because you are the worst.


Many thanks and good luck.  You are going to need it.


Yours very truly,


The San Francisco 49ers

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