In the 24-hour news cycle with Twitter's appetite 100 times that of Michael Phelps', even innocuous comments get crammed into the "Make this news!" machine and spit out as sensationalized headlines. So it was no surprise that on July 31, when Vikings owner Zgyi Wilf stopped by training camp, every word he exchanged with reporters was quickly processed for what might make the biggest instant splash.
The winner? Wilf's response on his realistic expectations for the 2012 Vikings.
"I expect to be division champs," he said without flinching. "I want to be able to fight for the division as we always do every year."
Never mind that not a reporter in that scrum truly trusted that Wilf believed in his heart that this year's Vikings could win the NFC North. These were spoken words. So here came the headlines.
Zygi Wilf: 'I expect to be division champs'
What didn't get such major play that afternoon was what Wilf said 15 seconds later, his follow-up thought carrying more reason plus an assertion that he would "absolutely" be patient with the rebuilding efforts.
"Things don't happen overnight," Wilf said. "There will be the ups and downs. And we certainly have had them in the last seven years of ownership. But you have to be patient."
Heck, patience was at the forefront of the Wilfs' push to get a new stadium. So no matter what happens on the field, Zygi and his brother Mark already have scored what will go down as the Vikings' biggest victory of 2012. Their visions for a billion-dollar, state-of-the-art downtown stadium soon will become a reality.
Now, for those visions of chasing a division championship? The man the Wilfs hired to be their general manager (Rick Spielman) and the man they promoted to be their head coach (Leslie Frazier) have the controls.
(For what it's worth, Vegas odds have the Vikings as 40:1 underdogs to win the NFC North this year.)