Minnesota Vikings' "Star Caps" Are Disappointing

Garland H. Green Jr.Contributor IDecember 7, 2008

I take no pleasure in seeing a player go down with injury. I understand, injury is part of the game and teams have to account for that when they build their rosters.

So when the Williams Brothers were issued a suspension for violating the league's anti-doping policy I was both disappointed and saddened for the organization.

I have a lifetime of experiences that have helped to shape my opinions of the Minnesota Vikings. This is hard for a diehard cheese head to admit, but most, have been favorable.

I have a fond memory of watching the Green Bay Packers play at Metropolitan Stadium on Sept. 30, 1973. The Pack won the division in 1972 with a 10-4 record. The Packers' season started out, with promise for the new era, since Bart Starr was gone and hopes that the smash-mouth, character-filled team would continue.

The Packers lost 11-3 on their way to a harsh, gut-wrenching and forgettable loosing season. Watching Fran Tarkington, Chuck Foreman, John Gilliam, Ron Yary, Alan Page, and Carl Eller was so memorable that I am writing about it today.

As much as I "hate" the Vikings, and I do, I have always respected their fans and enjoyed “jousting’ with them.

So when Pat and Kevin Williams were suspended for four games after testing positive for the banned diuretic in the dietary supplement Star Caps, I was disappointed.

These guys did not go down with an injury that is part of the game; they went down for taking a substance used to mask the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Being a Packers' fan means that you are not without your team's share of disappointment with players who have let down the organization.

I remember the shock of hearing that the now-inducted Hall of Fammer, James Lofton, was charged with second-degree sexual assault after an incident at a Green Bay nightclub. Mark Chumura was charged with third-degree sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl. We lived with the dirty play of Charles Martin's unnecessary piledrive of Jim McMahan, effectively ending their chances for a second straight Super Bowl.

I took some pleasure in watching that team deal with Randy Moss dishonor the fans, the "Booze Cruise," Koren Robinson drunk driving, and of course, "TicketGate."

Let's be clear: I "hate" the Vikings but, I see that team as a proud organization, with both divisional and league respectability, and fan's that created the tailgate. But they are not respected enough by the young players, who have only recently joined that team, instead tarnish that team’s name.

If the Williams Brothers had gone down because of injury, I would feel better about them not playing, but they are suspected of cheating on a drug test. There is no consolation that a federal Judge has blocked the NFL from suspending them. The rules are the rules and they broke them. Bottom line.

Regardless of what the outcome, I am disappointed that that team is once again in the news because of their players, not their play.

If I could wave a magical wand and give that team something, I would give them this: An outside stadium. I believe that once that team moved indoors they took the one ingredient that makes the teams of the NFC North tough. At the time that I write this, it is 3.2 °F. The Packers will play the Texans in Green Bay, and make no mistake, it’s cold outside.

I would love to watch the Vikings play outside. Furthermore, I would like to have their fans feel the bite of Old Man Winter. Instead, they are feeling the heat, in more ways than one