Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Context needed: Greenway's 'super duper drunk' comment not that big a deal

Posted by: under Vikings, Packers, Vikings players, Chad Greenway Updated: December 6, 2012 - 1:17 PM

Allow us to offer you a little something that's sadly too hard to come by in the 2012 "journalism" machine. Context coupled with level-headed perspective. (And yes, we heard that astounded gasp all the way over here.)

By now, you might know that Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway has taken some heat in recent days and has felt obligated to apologize for an off-the-cuff joke he made in the locker room following last Sunday's 23-14 loss in Green Bay.

Here's how it all went down. Just because we feel you deserve to know.

The Vikings had absorbed a brutal loss to the Packers in a game they probably should have won. It was a defeat that likely put an end to the team's playoff chances. From the second the visiting locker room doors opened at Lambeau Field, you could tell the agitation inside was raw.

As many Vikings players stood around and answered the usual barrage of postgame questions, Greenway was approached by three local reporters: myself, Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan and 1500ESPN's Tom Pelissero.

A minute or so in, a cameraman from a local Green Bay TV station jumped into the mix.

Greenway -- as he always does after a triumphant win or galling loss -- stepped up to offer his take on the loss. It was, as more postgame locker room exchanges should be, a candid and casual back-and-forth without inane formulaic questions or pre-packaged cliche answers. (Imagine that!)

Two minutes in, Greenway was asked whether the Vikings' Week 14 game with Chicago essentially became the game for the entire season.

"Yeah," he affirmed. "I think it is. You look at it with the travel coming up after that, why not call it that? And we have to play accordingly. I mean our fans have to show up accordingly, which we know they will. Hopefully they're super duper drunk."

Greenway shrugged. The three of us chuckled. Harmless humor.

"You know what," the linebacker continued, "if you look at it that way, it's 'You've got to win the game. Let's go win the game.' That's just what it's got to be. It's got to be our approach during practice during the week. Our coaches need to coach that way. Our players need to play that way. Our scouts need to scout that way. You just go win the game. You have to win the game. So sell out. That's the approach it's got to be. So drink liquor not beer."

Souhan chimed in with a laugh: "Is that a noon game? So you're advocating like morning drinking essentially?"

Responded Greenway: "Yeah. I mean. Morning drinking? Why not? You could pull an all-nighter. Then you'd have the drunk, tired guys who are really obnoxious."

Souhan: "But then they'll all fall asleep in the second quarter."

Greenway: "We'll just have to give them a reason to stay up."

And off the conversation went into a discussion of Aaron Rodgers' brilliant mobility.

Yet somehow this is the exchange that has caused a tornado of hullabaloo in the last couple days. Hand-plucked out of the interview with no understanding for the tone or setting of the conversation. Blogs have run wild with Greenway's quote as a way to fuel the chatter machine. That includes The Huffington Post and Fox Sports' Yardbarker blogs.

Oh, and Pro Football Talk wants Greenway to be fined. Seriously.

Hey, when a standout athlete encourages the fans to drink, it makes for a sexy headline that will generate a flood of Internet clicks. Even if much of the accompanying commentary is too much of a breathless overreaction.

Now? ESPN has made Greenway's comments a national headline with a story linked off its front page on The story's headline: 'Chad Greenway wants drunk 'Dome'

This coming four days after Greenway spent 23 seconds trying to lighten a depressed mood after a tough loss.

Today, during a radio interview with ESPN-1000 in Chicago, Greenway addressed the comments.

"Obviously, I could have used some more responsible words," Greenway told hosts Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman. "I think the people that know me, the beat writers included, know that I said that sort of tongue-in-cheek. I just wanted the fans at home to be loud like they always are. I think just trying to drive that point home I probably got a little loose with my words. Obviously should have been a little more responsible with it. It was said so what do you do?"

Kudos to Greenway for taking that tone and growing neither defensive nor overly apologetic.

And we wonder why there's an increasingly reticent relationship amongst reporters and players across sports today.


Oakland - LP: D. Otero 8 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 9
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
NY Islanders 5 FINAL
Boston 3
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Dallas 1
Colorado 0 FINAL
Calgary 2
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
San Jose 1
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon




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