Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.
Follow Randball on Twitter
The Vikings are 3-9-1. They deserve every bit of that record because in the NFL, you are what your record says you are.
That said, Sunday marked the FOURTH time this season that the Vikings have given up a winning TD in the final minute after being ahead. Four times. At Chicago. Cleveland. At Dallas. At Baltimore.
But this one ... oh, this one ... this time the Vikings out-Vikingsed themselves.
We all saw it, so there is no need to rehash all of the details. But suffice to say, we know of no other team that could score a go-ahead TD ... give it right back on a kick return ... get it right back with 45 seconds left ... and then let a team march 80 yards in those 45 seconds to gut-punch them for a second time.
We were watching at a bar in St. Cloud with our good pal RandBallsStu, and it really tied a bow around this 13-game stretch. We were at the same bar for Game 1 of the season, when the Vikings looked to be in command against Detroit until crippling Christian Ponder interception tilted the game completely.
The Vikings have been completely outclassed in three of 13 games this season: against Carolina, at Green Bay and at Seattle. They could have competed at New York, but their QB situation was at its messiest.
In nine of the 13 games, they have ... three victories, all of them down to the wire ... those aforementioned four losses on TDs in the final minute ... the tie against the Packers after leading 23-7 in the fourth quarter ... and that loss to Detroit, a game they could have commanded.
This is the fine line in the NFL. With a few more plays from their defense or their quarterback along the way, the Vikings are a .500 team.
Instead, they were the epitome of themselves Sunday, and they added another loss to that 3-9-1 ledger.
It's a long, snowy Sunday ahead. Here's what to watch today.
One of the best criticisms of English soccer over the past few years has been the top-heavy nature of the league. So far this year, though, that hasn't been true; Arsenal, famously low-spending, can go seven points clear at the top of the standings with a win today - and if they do win, Manchester United, with all of their piles of cash, will be closer to last place than first place.
The oil gazillionaires at Manchester City and Chelsea are still doing well, so it's not completely topsy-turvy yet in England. But Liverpool is in second place, and Everton can get to a tie for second with a win today, and Tottenham and Newcastle aren't far back; it's an actual race this year.
Anyway, it's either that or diving headlong into the random number generator that is the college basketball season. Or talking to your family, I guess.
1:00pm: World Cup Skiing (NBC): It's the Olympics this year. Get in the mood with the World Cup men's downhill, from Beaver Creek, Colorado -- the only American stop on the circuit all year.
3:25pm: Seattle at San Francisco (FOX): It's a divisional rivalry, with the Niners needing a win to stay ahead of the Wild Card pack, and Seattle just a couple of victories away from clinching home-field advantage throughout the playoffs - a big deal, given the noise in Seattle. Also, it's the perfect football lead-in to...
7:20pm: Carolina at New Orleans (NBC): One of these teams will win the NFC South, and clinch a first-round bye in the process. The other will have to play an extra playoff game. This game could be the difference in deciding which is which.
And by the time that's all over, you'll be feeling ready to take on the week. That's the power of Sunday Funday.
We will refrain from making the "desperation at bar closing" analogy here because it is rather base in nature, but let it be said that the Twins might wind up looking smart -- or at least relatively smart compared to other teams -- by making two of their major free agency acquisitions early in the game.
Ricky Nolasco for $12 million a year (four years) and Phil Hughes for $8 million a year (three years) might not sound like bargains, but did you see that Scott Feldman got 3 years and $30 million from Houston.
He doesn't strike out a lot of batters. He has two decent years to his credit. He is 30 years old.
This is the market right now. Never mind that Robinson Cano got $240 million for 10 years from the Mariners. That kind of thing is going to happen when a team wants to make a splash.
It's the Feldmans of the world that could make the Twins look smart.
As we pondered the news that Gary Kubiak has been fired by the Texans -- the first NFL coach this season to get the ax -- we checked back in on the Bovada odds regarding the most likely coach to be fired (beyond Kubiak).
And, well, according to the odds it's a dead heat between Greg Schiano of the Bucs and Leslie Frazier of the Vikings. If you want to bet that Frazier won't be coaching the Vikings in Game 1 of the 2014 season, you need to wager $300 of your money just to win $100.
Kubiak led the Texans to back-to-back playoff berths in 2011 and 2012. The expectations were high this year. As so often happens when expectations go unmet, the coach takes the fall.
In particular, that has happened every time in recent Vikings history.
In 2000, Dennis Green took the Vikings to the NFC title game. In 2001, he was fired. In 2004, Mike Tice took the Vikings to the playoffs. In 2005, he was fired. In 2009, Brad Childress took the Vikings to the NFC title game. In 2010, he was fired.
In 2012, Frazier took the Vikings to the playoffs.
His fate in 2013 remains to be seen, and it's clear his team has not quit on him. But with four games left, the seat is plenty warm.
|Arts (1)||Books (1)|
|Movies (3)||Music (6)|
|Hobbies (1)||Fishing (1)|
|Society (2)||Crime (1)|
|Sports (511)||Baseball (1)|
|Professional baseball (726)||Basketball (7)|
|Football (1)||College football (118)|
|Professional football (494)||Technology (1)|
|Food and drink (14)||Politics (1)|
|Transportation (1)||Employment (1)|
|Career development (1)||Cooking (2)|
|Pets (1)||Vikings (958)|
|Men (3)||Games (1)|
|Gambling (1)||Commercial (1)|
|Animals (2)||Dogs (2)|
|Gripes (1)||Newspapers (1)|
|Beer (6)||Minnesota wine retailers (1)|
|Wine retail + marketing (1)||Bad driving (1)|
|Commuting (1)||Family activities (1)|
|Style (2)||Pregnancy (1)|
|Retirement (1)||Shopping (1)|
|Chickens (2)||Fruit and berries (1)|
|Internet (2)||Twitter (2)|
|Video games (2)||Web pick (1)|
|YouTube (1)||Birds in the backyard (1)|
|Business trends (2)||Loopholes (1)|
|Problems on the job (1)||The rich get richer (1)|
|Airlines (1)||Midwest getaways (1)|
|Road trips (1)||Skiing (1)|
|Travel deals (1)||Wisconsin (3)|
|Gopher road games (1)||TCF Bank Stadium (1)|
|NCAA: football (108)||Basketball on TV (1)|
|Gophers coaches (1)||Frozen Four (11)|
|North Dakota (1)||College hockey (18)|
|Fantasy football (12)||Golf (80)|
|Minnesota state tournaments (19)||Preps (8)|
|Soccer (85)||WNBA (16)|
|Wild news (3)||Wolves news (313)|
|NFC (2)||Vikings coaches (1)|
|Behind the scenes (3)||Celebrities (1)|
|Dance (1)||Local TV and radio (1)|
|Ex-players (1)||Injury report (2)|
|Baseball wisdom (1)||Target Field (246)|
|Twins fans (742)||Twins game coverage (17)|
|Twins management (3)||Twins offense (1)|
|Twins pitching (3)||NBA playoffs (1)|
|Wolves draft news (1)||Wolves guards (1)|
|Wolves players (9)||Values and morals (1)|
|Wild coaching (33)||Wild off-season news (1)|
|Wild player moves (1)||Wild pregame skate (1)|
|Movies (1)||Ortonville (1)|
|Brad Childress (1)||Stillwater (1)|
|Television (2)||NHL news (87)|
|Outdoors Women (1)||Glen Perkins (1)|
|Health + Beauty (1)||Beer (1)|
|Wine (1)||Public safety (1)|