Whats More Likely to Happen- Vikings Win The Super Bowl? or Christian Ponder Win The MVP?
That question might be immature to ask, given that Christian Ponder has not taken his first professional snap in the NFL. Yet all Minnesota Vikings fans want to know is what will they see when Ponder takes the field this Fall or whenever the NFL lockout is over.
If you take a look into the Minnesota Vikings history you will notice there is only one quarterback that has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a Viking, and the man is Fran Tarkenton. Tarkenton led the Vikings to three Super Bowls in his tenures’ as a Viking, but lost all three of them. Randall Cunningham, Daunte Culpepper, and Brett Favre have led the Vikings to the NFC Championship game, but to ultimately lose those games. Will Ponder do what Tarkenton could never to, and that being hoist that Vince Lombardi Trophy, or will he become the next Sean Salisbury and become a bust and work for ESPN then get fired?
We might be throwing way to much expectations on a kid that has not even signed his first professional contract yet, but as a Minnesota Viking fan who saw his team just a mere few yards away from reaching the Super Bowl a few years back, wants to see his home town team win a Super Bowl before they move to Los Angeles. Do not worry Minnesota the Vikings have not said they are moving, but it seems like we will see the Timberwolves win the NBA Championship before the Vikings get their stadium.
On April 28th of this year I was glued to the TV like I am every year for the NFL draft. Being a Mizzou
fan I wanted the Vikings to draft Blaine Gabbert. Slowly I watched as he fell, just two picks away, and with no other team ahead of the Vikings who needed a quarterback; I thought to myself “I finally will see the Vikings draft the quarterback I wanted”. I was almost about to order my Gabbert Vikings jersey when the Jacksonville Jaguars traded up, and stole my guy. First Jake Locker, and now Gabbert. I was wondering “now who will the Vikings draft?” Will they address other needs of their roster with this pick? Nope; The whole nation witnessed Roger Goodell say “with the 12th pick of the 2011 draft the Vikings select Christian Ponder, Florida State”. I almost said I will become a Green Bay Packer fan, but I did some research on Ponder, and I have to say he has grown on me, the stats do not speech highly of him, but his attitude and work ethic speaks a lot.
Ponder stats in college do not scream out Payton Manning-est, but more resembles T-Jack(Tavaris
Jackson), which might scare most Vikings fans to death, because of what T-Jack did for the Vikings or should I say what he did not do for the Vikings. Ponders best stats throughout his college career are these: 2010 20 TD, 2009 2717 yards passing, 2009 68.8 passing pct. With T-Jack best stats at Alabama State were these: 2005 29 TD, 2941 yards passing, 60.9 passing pct. If you look at Manning at Tennessee: 1997 37 TD, 3817 yards passing, 60.37 passing pct. Manning nearly doubled Ponder with TD thrown in season, and T-Jack had a higher season total in TD then Ponder. But we all need to remember something, College stars do not always become NFL stars, take Ryan Leaf for example, Leaf was drafted with high expectations and later became a bust.. And sometimes in the draft you can find that college player that is a diamond in the rough like Tom Brady was at Michigan. So you can talk all you want about stats, but at the end of the day it depends on what happens on the field, and quite frankly we have not seen Ponder on the field.
So instead of arguing until your blue in the face about what will Ponder do for the Vikings, lets take a look at what Ponder took on when the Vikings drafted him. So Ponder just inherited the quarterback role that Mr Favre has held for the last two years. Ponder is now in a locker room that has stars like Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson, and Kevin Williams; who all of them are in their prime. Ponder success will greatly determine the legacy for Leslie Frazier who took over for Brad Childress. If Ponder fails then Frazier fails, just like Chilly and T-Jack failed. And Ponders new fans are way to passionate and impatient at the same time, so if or when Ponder starts to fail, he needs to embrace and fight through the negativity he will receive from the fans, and become the best quarterback that he can become.
Fans might be too impatient for what I am about to say, but I say Ponder needs to mature behind a veteran. I know the fans are saying we want to win now, not few years down the road, but by letting your rookie mature behind a veteran is the best thing. Look what the Packers did with Rodgers and Favre, and this year Rodgers led the Packer to a Super Bowl win.
As a Viking fan you expect the unexpected, who would of thought we would see Favre wear purple and
Gold, and see the Aint’s(nickname given to the Saints in the 80′s) win a Super Bowl before the Vikings in the same year, but then again who would of thought that Favre would throw into triple coverage, only Vikings fans can expect to see that. We have talented team, and great coaching staff with new offensive coordinator and quarterback guru in Bill Musgrave, and with fans eager to see the Vikings break their Super Bowl curse. Will Ponder deliver? or will we see him leave the Vikings a few years down the road and lead another team to a Super Bowl like Brad Johnson did for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002. Viking fans listen up, lets not start demanding for Favre to come back out of retirement for the fourth time or fifth time I do not know I lost count, but who knows he might just do that, but instead the Vikings should resign some of their key free agents; go out and get Donovan McNabb or Matt Hasselbeck, and let Ponder mature under one of those guys, and watch Ponder grow into the quarterback we all hope he will become.
So for my headline Whats More Likely to Happen? Maybe we could see both happen in the same year, but the history of the Vikings, and their quarterbacks go hand in hand. If Ponder succeeds then the Vikings will succeed, so I would say Ponder winning the MVP could happen first, because we all know that when the Vikings have a chance at winning it all they shoot themselves in the foot, but only time will tell if Ponder can become the next Payton Manning instead of the next Matt Leinart.