MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Robert Griffith plays strong safety for the Minnesota Vikings, but he has also dabbled in another side of the entertainment business by appearing on a recent episode of "The Young and the Restless."
That means, of course, that Griffith participates in a soap opera in BOTH of his professional interests.
Hardly a season, or a month, or an hour, can seem to go by out at the team's headquarters at Winter Park in Eden Prairie without some kind of an uproar or upheaval.
Just look around:
Some players running their mouths when they shouldn't and others refusing to open them when they really should.
A staff full of coaches once again unsure whether they'll return for another season.
A front office resuming its lobbying of the state legislature for a chance to convince the public the team needs a fancy new stadium.
An owner presiding over all this mess who just might want to sell his stake in the whole thing -- if he doesn't up and move it all west first.
And, lurking in the shadows, those money-grubbing lawyers -- representing the family of a player who passed away earlier this year -- who want to sue the pants off of anyone who has anything to do with Purple Pride.
Surely somewhere in Hollywood, the cast of "Guiding Light" is blushing.
But first, before we go on, we to come up with a name for the Vikings' continuing saga. Here are a few possibilities:
-- As the Worm Turns. Coach Dennis Green, after witnessing one of his star wide receivers raise yet even more of a ruckus on the sideline during a frustrating loss, calls out Cris Carter for the ranting and admits publicly that such antics from No. 80 are counterproductive to team chemistry. It prompts a rare apology from Carter.
-- All My Childlike Behaviorisms. Wide receiver Randy Moss is the star of this one. Watch him as he yells at security guards and corporate sponsors, takes plays off, defends his right to take plays off and outruns defenses for 73-yard touchdown receptions.
-- The Bold and the Beautiful Predictions. Coach Green claims his team will be in the Super Bowl and then when it falls below .500 insists that nobody expected them to do that well in the first place.
Maybe, some will say, the drama is overblown. Maybe all this is generated by those manipulative media types. Even if that's the case, there cannot possibly be another professional sports team in a market of any size that creates this much (firestorm, controversy, hubbub, ... insert favorite cliche here).
It's amazing. Green's 10-year tenure has been filled with soap-like stuff. His autobiography threatening a lawsuit of ownership and contending a local conspiracy wanted to strip him of his job. Loyal veterans forced out by salary cap problems. A shaky stadium situation. Rumors of the team moving. Sideline tirades by star players. A fan getting arrested for lighting a Packer backer on fire. Players fined. A first-round draft pick hitch-hiking away from training camp and not turning up for days. Sexual harrassment suits. Axing assistant coaches.
And it's certainly not just Green. Under Jerry Burns in the late '80s and early '90s, the Vikings were annually picked as leading candidates to make the Super Bowl but were constantly plagued by off-the-field trouble and a less-than-harmonious locker room.
It never ends.
The family of the late Korey Stringer plans to sue the Vikings, naming several members of the organization and alleging willful negligence in the offensive lineman's heatstroke death, for more than $100 million once the season ends. The suit was announced last month but its filing delayed until after the team's final game so as not to interfere with its on-field business if players or coaches have to be called to give depositions.
That's a good one. With all the other sideshows going on in VikingLand, a player appearing on the witness stand might not even be news.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.