Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.

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Wasswa comparison grows stronger for Robinson

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: October 13, 2013 - 6:15 PM

The 2000 New York Giants were looked at as a team of such modest prowess that the 11-5 Vikings went into the NFC title game as road favorites.

It didn't quite work out that way. The score was 34-0 for the Giants at halftime and, I must admit, the reporters in the visitors end of the large press box had lost all decorum.

If Twitter had existed on Jan. 14, 2001, we could have entertained ourselves by sending out smart-aleck messages of 140 characters or less. With no Tweets, we had to settle for "blurts -- quick, sarcastic comments that could be overhead in the range of a few seats to the left or the right.

By the second quarter, the blurts were coming with the subtlety of an old-time Tommy gun.

Several members of the Vikings' brain trust were in position to hear this cacophony of ridicule. I recall Rob Brzezinski, a Vikings' vice president, expressing his unhappiness directly to me ... and for good reason, I'm sure.

The lasting memory from that game remains the bites that the Vikings' defensive backs were taking every time Giants quarterback Kerry Collins went with a pump fake. This was particularly true for Wasswa Serwanga, who had been sent into action that season after the secondary sustained a couple of injuries.

The best observation on this came from Kevin Seifert, then the Vikings' beat man for the Star Tribune: "Have you ever seen a guy throwing Frisbees to an amped-up dog on the beach, and he fakes one, and the dog takes off? Poor Wasswa looks like he's chasing an imaginary Frisbee.''

Seifert said this in a conversational tone, not in a blurt. I thought it was so danged funny that I took care of the blurting. The Wasswa-chasing-a-Frisbee comparison might have been what put Brzezinski over the edge, come to think of it.

On Sunday, I was watching the first half from home. Carolina was on the first of what would be a series of lengthy drives. It was fourth-and-1 at the 2. Cam Newton went into the spread formation, looked at the Vikings' defense and called timeout.

Coach Ron Rivera stuck with the decision to go for it. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula, in the press box, obviously had watched enough tape on the Vikings' first four games to know there was a strategy for this occasion:

Something that could get Josh Robinson, the Vikings' second-year cornerback, in a position where he had to track a receiver off the line of scrimmage.

Boom. Veteran Steve Smith reset to the right, cut back through traffic, Newton had time to wait, Smith cleared the traffic, Robinson was trailing by three steps, and the Panthers had the lift of a touchdown, rather than the disappointment of starting with a field goal.

And there was Robinson, slowing behind Smith, head hanging like a pitcher who knows he just gave up a bomb.

"Wasswa ... Josh really is the second coming of Wasswa,'' I said to myself in the TV den in Golden Valley.

Later, as the Panthers turned the Metrodome into an abattoir for the Vikings, I joined sparingly in the fun on Twitter. Such Tweets mostly get lost in the avalanche of ridicule that surfaces during a putrid Purple performance.

I don't know about the quality of blurts in the press box on Sunday. I gotta say, though -- no matter how quick-witted the home scribes might have been during this 35-10 thrashing, there's no way they topped the quip fest of 41-donut.

One reason I know this: We had the pompous Denny Green to blurt over in January 2001. Sunday's victim was nice guy Les Frazier.


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Detroit 6:00 PM
Portland 6:00 PM
Sacramento 6:30 PM
Boston 7:00 PM
Dallas 7:00 PM
Denver 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
New York
Charlotte 7:30 PM
San Antonio
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Washington 9:30 PM
Toronto 6:30 PM
New Jersey
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Chicago 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Temple 6:00 PM
Winthrop 6:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Northeastern 6:00 PM
Wake Forest 6:00 PM
Florida State
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Delaware 6:00 PM
James Madison
South Carolina 6:00 PM
New Hampshire 6:00 PM
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
Binghamton 6:00 PM
American Univ 6:00 PM
Elon 6:00 PM
Wright State 6:00 PM
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Penn State
Duquesne 6:00 PM
SMU 6:00 PM
South Florida
Hartford 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
Albany 6:00 PM
Hofstra 6:00 PM
William & Mary
UNC-Asheville 6:00 PM
Radford 6:30 PM
Char Southern
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 6:30 PM
Notre Dame
Texas Tech 6:30 PM
Oregon State 7:00 PM
Arizona State
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Drake 7:00 PM
Lehigh 7:00 PM
Rice 7:00 PM
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Louisville 8:00 PM
Boston College
St Johns 8:00 PM
East Carolina 8:00 PM
Georgia Tech 8:00 PM
Miss State 8:00 PM
Ole Miss
Clemson 8:00 PM
NC State
Indiana 8:00 PM
Kansas 8:00 PM
Oregon 9:00 PM
Air Force 9:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 10:00 PM
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 57 2nd Half 9:00
Richmond 47
Eastern Kentucky 36 2nd Half 12:42
Jacksonville St 49
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 6:00 PM
Akron 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Memphis 6:00 PM
East Carolina 6:00 PM
(2) Connecticut
Murray State 6:00 PM
Eastern Illinois
Kent State 6:00 PM
Central Michigan
UT Martin 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Eastern Michigan 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Indiana 6:00 PM
Michigan State
Colgate 6:00 PM
Fordham 6:00 PM
Duquesne 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
George Mason 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Detroit 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 7:00 PM
Oklahoma St 7:00 PM
Kansas State
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Denver 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
Central Arkansas
Austin Peay 7:00 PM
Kansas 7:00 PM
Iowa State
Bowling Green 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Penn State 7:00 PM
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Boise State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Utah State 8:00 PM
San Diego State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nevada 9:00 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 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9




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