Sunday, August 2, 2009

The non-news update

Two things happened in Vikingland over the weekend. One is important but not unusual, and the other is probably even less important but will have the strong likelihood of erecting mountains where molehills once stood.

* Percy Harvin agreed to a five-year deal with the Vikings today, after missing just two days of training camp. While it's certainly good to have Harvin in camp, his lateness in securing a contract hardly registers as a blip on the notability radar. All the usual pleasantries are brought up in the article ("Coach Brad Childress has said that it was important for get into camp as soon as possible"; "Segal [Harvin's agent] said his client was ready to hit the field immediately") but Harvin's participated in all the team's other off-season activities so his absence will have no effect on his performance this season and beyond. Furthermore, 11 of 32 first-round picks have yet to sign deals with the teams that drafted them, all of them higher picks than Harvin.

I've been skeptical of Harvin, partially due to his off-the-field issues and partially because I lack the confidence to believe in Brad Childress and Darrell Bevell's ability to use him properly. And there have been legitimate rookie holdouts in the past. But if Harvin does have a subpar year, it won't be because of this insignificant "holdout."

* Then there's the story that won't die. This article, which is the top story on ESPN's NFL page, cites the usual contempt the media has for the Vikings' quarterback situation, lamenting the absence of Brett Favre, who we all know would have led the Vikings to a 17-0 record in the regular season and won the Super Bowl twice in the same year. It was posted at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Which is about the same time I heard news of this. And yes, for the first time in my life, I got legitimately worried about Tarvaris Jackson's health.

It wasn't because of the severity of the injury. It's supposed to be a grade 1 (least severe) MCL sprain, meaning that, at most, Jackson will probably miss a little practice and then be back in action. The article even says, "Jackson missed the Vikings’ practice on Saturday night. If he can’t go for the team’s lone practice on Sunday, [Sage] Rosenfels and [John David] Booty will get all the work." Can't be all that serious if they're not even sure he's going to miss any time.

But why should that stop ESPN from reigniting the speculation that nobody wants to hear? When I watched the evening SportsCenter, here's how the lead story went, in a conversation between the lead anchor and a reporter on the scene at Vikings' camp (sorry for not remembering the names):

Anchor: What's the word on Jackson's health?

Reporter: They're saying it's a grade 1 MCL sprain. [10 seconds on how minor that is]

Anchor: I have to ask -- have there been any phone calls to Hattiesburg from Viking camp?

Reporter: Oh, I bet there have been plenty!

Ha ha. I changed the channel at that point. Because you all know that, if Tarvaris Jackson develops an ingrown toenail or Sage Rosenfels gets indigestion, it'll be time to panic and call up ol' #4.

If a legitimate injury happens to both Jackson and Rosenfels, then I would actually be a little more on board with the notion of calling up you-know-who. Since that hasn't happened, well, there's not much to report.

No comments: