Vikings Fans, Are We Forgetting Our Own Team?

David Westman@@DavidDWestmanContributor IApril 27, 2009

24 Oct 1999:  A banner for the Minnesota Vikings is run past the crowd during the game against San Francisco 49ers at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the 49ers 40-16. Mandatory Credit: Tom Pidgeon  /Allsport

“With the 2009, 22nd overall draft selection, The Minnesota Vikings pick Percy Harvin, the Wide Receiver from the Florida Gators.” This statement provided Vikings fans with multiple mixed feelings. They varied from excitement to frustration to confusion.

But, then across the web I noticed statements regarding Percy Harvin and his behaviors off the field and his supposed egotistical locker room behavior are highly questionable, with the major question being asked, why would Brad Childress draft such a player?

This made me start thinking about players that have been passed by NFL teams, because of “questionable behavior” by sports analysts and other supposed experts. 

Small Little Story

Let me remind you, in the 1995 draft the Minnesota Vikings passed on Warren Sapp, because of marijuana usage. So with their 11th overall pick they selected Derrick Alexander (who?). Then Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 12th overall selection picked Warren Sapp and stated they would “take the risk”.

Later, Warren Sapp in an interview said that he had an epiphany and realized that he is going to play in the NFL and he had to become an adult and stop his drug usage. 

Imagine, nine seasons of Warren Sapp playing next to John Randle (we kind of have that now with the Williams Wall, but I can’t help but wonder what kind of pressure these two could have supplied together, maybe a different outcome in the 1998 NFC Championship game).

With the Warren Sapp story fresh in your mind. Remember these two names, Cris Carter and Randy Moss?  Have we forgotten the background of these two future Hall of Fame Minnesota Vikings receivers?

Granted, Cris Carter wasn’t drafted by the Vikings. But, shortly after, Carter had a falling out with coach Buddy Ryan and was a surprise cut following the pre-season. Carter later admitted that Ryan released him because of alcohol and drug abuse, with massive amounts of cocaine being his drug of choice, and credits his former coach with helping him turn his life around as a result. 

Doesn’t this sound like the same criticism that was giving to Dennis Green when Carter was signed as a free agent?  But, as we know now the rest would be history and Carter would be known as either “CC” or “Automatic First-Down”.

Randy Moss. This draft selection already happened 11 years ago and he received more criticism than Percy Harvin, but the Minnesota Vikings ignored the critics and selected Randy Moss with the 21st selection overall. Yet again, the rest would be history, especially in his rookie season alone.  Some antics happened off the field, but we as fan forgot that during the game.

Lastly, I say that let’s give Percy Harvin an opportunity to present his talent on and off the field.  Because, as I am writing this an interview with him has been released, with him going on the record stating "I just was holding a lot of stuff in," he said, also noting, "I've grown from all of it, and I look forward to moving on.” Pioneer Press.

Sid Hartman said today on the radio in his column.  “Percy Harvin’s draft selection has a Randy Moss feel to it.”


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