Friday, September 07, 2007

The Wrath of Valhalla

How could this happen? How could anybody allow this to happen?

I first learned it at Viking Update, and the Star Tribune has more information (via Daily Norseman).

I'm filled with horror. Rookie WR Aundrae Allison is wearing #84.

84! The number belonging to man myth legend Randy Moss!

The current ownership and coaching staff don't have any loyalty or feeling for Moss: he was gone before they got there. But that number should eventually be retired. There is no question about that. Moss scored 100 regular and post-season touchdowns for the Vikings in his seven seasons with the team. And here's the important part:

The fans still love him.

There's no feeling of animosity toward Moss among the bulk of Viking die-hards. We loved and defended him when he was with the team, and we don't blame him in any way for his exit from the team. If he somehow came back to the Vikings there would be mass hugs among strangers at the Metrodome. He's a beloved athlete that gave us some incredible memories.

Nobody else should ever again wear #84 for the Purple (unless that person is Randy Moss himself). If you're not convinced by arguments about Moss's place in Viking history, you might be convinced by the argument that there is a lot of baggage associated with that number. Maybe this is an attempt to purge the memory, I don't know. But I don't like it. It's possible that at some point, #84 could be used again, but not by a fifth-round draft pick that hasn't done anything--that's just smearing the number. It's sacrilage. That's not meant to hate on Allison, who I hope is good and is probably a decent fellow, but he's not currently worthy of the number Randy Moss immortalized in Minnesota.

The Vikings need to stop Aundrae Allison before it is too late. If he wears #84 for even one regular season game, Valhalla will quake at such a display of disrespect.

Extra Links

Ever the contrarian, Patrick Reusse vexes over the pessimism about the Vikings, talks about why they'll be good, and predicts a 9-7 finish.

The Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press both have stories on Adrian Peterson and the Viking running game.


  1. what's the tradition of retiring numbers in MN? i know some teams retire a number when a player makes a pro bowl but i think it should certainly be something where retiring is reserved for a player who is the face of a team for a number of dominant years. jordan not pippen, that sort of thing.


  2. Well, I'll skip over your dismissal of Scottie Pippen (one of the most versatile basketball players ever, certainly a stud on a six-time champion).

    The Vikings with retired numbers are listed at the HOF web page

    "#10 Fran Tarkenton, #53 Mick Tingelhoff, #70 Jim Marshall, #77 Korey Stringer, #80 Cris Carter, #88 Alan Page"

    So the Vikes are fairly selective; HOFers like Carl Eller, Paul Krause, and Ron Yary do not have numbers retired. The Vikings also have a Ring of Honor which contains more players, but being in the Ring of Honor doesn't come with a retired number.

    I like the idea of teams that don't retire numbers (Raiders and Cowboys) more than the idea of teams that retire all sorts of numbers (Bears and Celtics). I don't know if 84 should be retired, but it makes me sad to see it going to the fifth WR on the roster.

  3. Anonymous11:27 AM

    You wouldn't retire #33? You're nuts.

    Without Pippen there is no championship for Jordan. Take the teams he had and if Pippen is gone, so are the rings.

    Pippen compares favorably with Lebron statistically other than PPG, if Pippen were the alpha on the bulls he would have been right up there in the high 20s per night.

    I don't know if we can retire his jersey at this point, but you're right.. almost every Vikes fan I know still loves Moss and wishes him well. I would love to see him back in the 84.

  4. Anonymous3:21 PM

    pretty select company. it's tricky. if cris carter is there... but he was a viking for much longer, right? for me it's like hall of fame of hall of fame. that's why i wouldn't put pippen in that class. but if joe montana has his number retired i guess second fiddles everywhere have hope. ha.


  5. Anonymous3:22 PM

    as far as #84 in use if i remember right the first packer after sterling sharpe (one of my boyhood heroes) to wear #84 was bill schroeder-- my least favorite football player. ever. that was tough.


  6. I think you're holding it against Pippen just because he played with Jordan, arguably the greatest player ever. Pretend Pippen never played with Jordan, and you're looking at a three-time All-NBA first teamer and eight-time All-Defense first teamer. You're also talking about one of the most versatile players ever. Look at his scoring, rebounding, and assist numbers in his best seasons. The guy could play three positions (point guard, shooting guard, small forward) very well, he was explosive and fun to watch, and a dynamic defender. I'll be defending Pippen as one of the all-time greats for a long time--he gave me a lot of joy. In his year without Jordan, he could have been MVP: 22 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 5.6 apg, 2.9 spg. He's only a "second banana" because he played with Jordan in his prime; Pippen was great enough on his own.

    And when it comes to retired numbers, we're looking at impact on the team. The Bulls have won six championships in their entire history: Jordan and Pippen were on all six. Pippen was clearly an elite player for those six championships. His impact on the franchise was significant enough to earn a retired number.

    I'm always peeping for Pippen, a true original.