Coach Mike Zimmer kicked off Thursday’s news conference by setting the record straight regarding an error made and since corrected by the Star Tribune.

In reporting that Zimmer had distributed fat stuffed-animal cats around Winter Park as a motivational tactic to remind players not to become complacent, the newspaper erroneously reported that Zimmer had the stuffed animals’ throats slit and red paint applied. Someone else did that to the stuffed animals after Zimmer had distributed them.

Zimmer opened by reading 10 headlines from news outlets around the country referring to Zimmer slashing the throats of stuffed animals.

“I want to set the record straight on an erroneous report that I feel like attacked my character and my reputation,” said Zimmer, who added that he donated the stuffed animals to charity. “It bothers me. … My foundation website is getting things saying, ‘Your dad’s crazy and blah, blah, blah and all this stuff.’ I do a lot of crazy stuff, but I’ll admit it when I do it.”