Did Vikings rub it in on Cowboys?
On the first play after the two-minute warning Sunday, with the Vikings leading Dallas 27-3, Minnesota faced 4th-and-3 from the Cowboy 11-yard line. The Vikes had four choices: field goal, take a knee, run the ball up the middle or throw.
Brett Favre did the latter, and threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Visanthe Shiancoe. Cowboy linebacker Keith Brooking went nuts. He ranted in front of the Viking bench and after the game called the touchdown “disrespectful. It was classless and all the things that are in that category. I’ll say it to the Vikings organization and whoever is over there calling plays. It wasn’t the right thing to do at that time. Period.”
Maybe not. The game was over. Dallas was defeated and wasn’t coming back. But let’s examine the Viking options. Field goal? No way. That’s the ultimate slap. Kicking a field goal up 27-3 indeed is running up the score. Taking a knee? That’s almost disrespectful the other way; taking a knee before time can run out is a sign of pity.
So Minnesota really had two choices. Run the ball or do what it did. I would have run the ball. A touchdown was not necessary, though it certainly added to the flavor of the Viking celebration. It gave Brett Favre a fourth TD pass, and it gave Shiancoe a chance to give the football away, to a woman in the front row of stands wearing his jersey number, Might of been his mom for all I know, but in a game where everyone who scores a touchdown cradles the ball back to the sideline like it’s the Ark of the Covenant and they scored the touchdown all by their lonesome, it still was a cool thing to see.
Still, there is no doubt that throwing the ball in that situation was rubbing salt in the Cowboys’ wounds. This is a big-boy football, so I don’t know if that matters to anyone. It would matter to me and any organization I was involved with, but maybe Favre, Brad Childress and the Vikes see it differently.
I did think Brooking’s reaction was over the top. Brooking’s reaction was worse than the pass. Parading in front of the Viking bench brought more disrespect to the game than Favre’s pass.
It’s a little bit like that Bedlam basketball flap of a few years ago. In Stillwater, 2005, OSU finished off a 12-point win over OU with John Lucas tossing an open-court alley oop to Ivan McFarlin for a game-finishing dunk. Both that dunk and Favre’s touchdown were more celebration with fans and each other than spitting in the eye of an opponent. Could Favrehave handed off? Could Lucas have dribbled out? Yes on both counts. But in the flow of the game, they did what they do. Favre throws the ball and Lucas looks for a big play.
Taking umbrage, as Brooking did, only made him, not the Vikings, look bad.
Again, I wouldn’t have thrown. But the bigger crime was the outrage expressed by Brooking.
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