reen extension spells gloom for Vikings faithful

There’s a stench hanging over the newsroom today, and to tell you the truth, it’s worse than normal.
On Wednesday, the fit finally hit the shan.
Making what he termed a “seat of the pants” decision, Vikings owner Red McCombs extended Minnesota coach Dennis Green’s contract through the 2004 season.
Seat of the pants. Not to digress, but whose pants? If we’re discussing Denny’s, you could parachute with the suckers, let alone get a cushy new deal.
Seriously, what was McCombs thinking when he said, “I’m convinced Dennis is the best football man in the NFL. I say this because of his great skills as a coach and an administrator.”
Dennis Green, the greatest football man in the country. I guess those rumors about other teams and the “Super Bowls” they’ve won are sheer nonsense.
The three-year extension, when averaged with Green’s current deal, will pay the coach nearly $2.5 million a season. Green, already the NFL’s longest-tenured coach, will become one of the highest paid as well.
The other coaches who are making that kind of bank: Mike Holmgren, $4 million per year (one Superbowl, went twice) Mike Shanahan, $2.5 million (back-to-back Superbowl wins) and Jacksonville’s Tom Coughlin, also at $2.5 million (no Superbowls, but has taken an expansion team pretty far).
And now Denny. The man who took the most talented team in the NFL, knelt on the ball and lost the NFC championship game. The man who drafted Duante Culpepper ahead of Jevon Kearse.
I can hear the Vikings fans screaming now. Duante’s the man, they holler. But despite the 3-0 start, I have a feeling Minnesota will soon learn an addition to an old cliche: Defense wins championships, the quarterback draw will beat Chicago and New England.
Was there any doubt the Vikings would come out the gate well this year? Yes, but not much, considering their schedule. They haven’t played anyone yet, folks.
To tell the truth, I’m not really a Vikings fan. But on this one, even I am feeling for all you Purple Pride flag-flyers. This has got to be killing most of y’all.
So I called up one of my buddies and asked what the feeling was among die-hard Minnesota backers.
He said if the deal would keep Randy Moss wearing purple and gold it was well worth the cost, despite suffering through four more years of listening to Dennis talk.
He makes a point, but I can’t say I agree. A coach who hasn’t ever won an important game isn’t worth keeping, even to keep one of the best wideouts in the game.
The Vikings players did respond positively to the move. That’s not the point. They’re the players. They should play for the coach regardless of who it happens to be.
And does it strike anyone else that the players love Green just a little too much? If you wonder why this can be bad, I suggest you reference Rhodes, Ray, one-year stint in Green Bay. Vikes fans, this could be the perfect chance to finally converse with a Cheese head.
The bottom line: Minnesota isn’t winning the Super Bowl this season. You can look that one up under defense, pourous, Tampa Bay. They’ve given a coach with a 3-7 record in the playoffs total control of personnel and games for the next four seasons. And they did it before any real competition could be used as a barometer for this year’s squad.
The lunatics are running the asylum.
“I’m young,” Green was reported as saying. “I’m 51 years old. I don’t look at this as my twilight. I’m a career coach.”
If chills aren’t running up your spine, I’d suggest you hand in your horns.

Josh Linehan is the sports editor and welcomes comments at [email protected]