Viking players said they wanted Leslie Frazier to become their head coach.
I'm glad he got the job, anyway.
Frazier is intriguing because of his life story, his résumé, his personality and his familiarity with the organization. He's easy to root for because of his demeanor and humility.
Let's hope Zygi hired Frazier for those reasons, and not because of his popularity with the players. There could be no worse reason to hire a coach than because of the sentiment of current players.
In the NFL, current players are soon-to-be-former players. Not enough players stay with one team long enough for their voices to carry weight. The only voice that might matter would be that of a franchise quarterback, and the Vikings don't have one.
The voices in this locker room, in particular, don't deserve to be heard. This group included cowards who campaigned to get Brad Childress to get fired without identifying themselves. This group quit on Childress, then failed to beat the Lions on Sunday in Detroit, even while playing for the coach they said they wanted to get the job.
These people do not deserve a vote. Asking them who should be the coach is like asking a slacker fry cook who should become the CEO of McDonald's.
What's worse is the logic employed by these players when recommending Frazier for the job. Their greatest compliment: "He played in the league.''
That might sound logical, but recent NFL history indicates that is closer to an indictment than a compliment.
The Patriots' Bill Belichick might be the best coach in all of football. He played college football at Wesleyan, where he was a better lacrosse player. He never had a chance to play in the NFL. That won't keep him out of the Hall of Fame.
Andy Reid might be the second-best coach in the NFL. He did not play in the league.
Two years ago, Mike Tomlin became the youngest coach ever to win a Super Bowl. He's known as a players' coach because of his charisma and tough-mindedness. He never played in the NFL.
In fact, of the 12 coaches who made the playoffs this year, only one ever played in an NFL game. Well, he didn't even play in a real NFL game. Saints coach Sean Payton was a replacement player during the 1987 strike. And one didn't even play football in college -- the Chiefs' Todd Haley played golf.
In 1985, Frazier played for Mike Ditka, a former star NFL player. Ditka and Frazier won the Super Bowl with the Bears that year.
Since then, only two former NFL players have won Super Bowls as head coaches -- Tony Dungy and Bill Cowher. And both were reserves.
Perhaps in the old NFL, being a former player mattered, although Vince Lombardi never played in the NFL, nor did Bill Walsh, Jimmy Johnson, Bill Parcells or Joe Gibbs.
In today's NFL, the head coaches who succeed are those who are intelligent, adaptable, organized and flexible. They surround themselves with good people and are willing to work ridiculous hours in the pursuit of an edge. They don't sit around telling stories from their playing days. They're too busy watching film.
Being a former player might help a coach in his first few weeks on the job, in gaining his players' attention, but when that wears off, he'll have to command their attention with his ability to win games. Losing bleaches résumés.
The most notable former player to be a head coach in 2010 was Mike Singletary, who brought the same intensity that made him a great player to the sideline in San Francisco ... and got fired last week.
Frazier has a chance to last a lot longer than his buddy. He's coached under Andy Reid, Tony Dungy and Brad Childress. He's run a college program. He's credible and accomplished.
If he wins as a head coach, though, it won't be because he owns a Super Bowl ring. It will be because he successfully navigated the modern coaching labyrinth.
The players say they want Frazier? Great. These people brought you The Love Boat and The Whizzinator. I hope Wilf wasn't listening to them.
Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2:40 p.m. on 1500ESPN. His Twitter name is Souhanstrib. firstname.lastname@example.org