So, Benny Sapp got re-signed. You remember Benny Sapp, because he was the catalyst in what turned out to be the most exciting six play sequence in recent Vikings history. Remember the Bears game at the ‘Dome from last November?
Vikes are down 7-3, early second quarter. The Bears had a first and goal at the Vikings one yard line after a 26 yard run by Matt Forte, and the Vikings held, dramatically stopping the Bears from inside the one yard line on third and fourth down. The crowd went nuts, Jared Allen came sprinting off the field, arms raised in jubilation. The next play, Gus Frerotte hit Bernard Berrian in stride for a 99 yard touchdown pass. The Metrodome was as loud as I can remember it being in several years, momentum permanently shifted to the Vikings, and they won going away, 34-14, taking over first place in the NFC North en route to a division championship.
And it was all thanks to Benny Sapp.
But how, Purple Buckeye? His name isn’t mentioned. Was it the great Benny Sapp that tackled Matt Forte on the one, saving a touchdown?
Was it the great Benny Sapp that plugged an emerging hole at the goal line, stuffing Matt Forte short of a score?
It was the great Benny Sapp that was flagged for a personal foul, blow to the head penalty after in incomplete pass on third down that would have forced a Bears punt. You can’t make it up.
Benny Sapp? Benny Sapp? I mean, let’s put this in terms we can understand. If you’re lucky enough to have a job in this era of hope and change, (because after the last few weeks, I hope I got some change in my pocket at the end of the day), let’s say you were responsible for roofing a building, and the building was scheduled for its grand opening on Friday morning at 7:00. Let’s say on Thursday, ten minutes before happy hour, you take a claw hammer and put 50 holes the size of a quarter in the roof, slap an apprentice roofer on the head, and then sit around while the other ten guys on your crew bust their ass to cover for your mistake and they fix the roof. At the opening the building is hailed as a marvel of modern construction, in spite of your blatant stupidity.
Why the hell should you be retained? Even though the end result was good, you had nothing to do with it. As a matter of fact, your actions almost ruined it! Yet you keep your job, when there are several roofing apprentices that look promising and could probably do a better job by just not putting a claw hammer through the roof.
I’ve gone on record many times supporting the free agency moves and drafts of Spielman and Childress, but this is one move I can’t get on board with. What Benny lacks in self discipline, he makes up for with a keen inability to tackle or cover a receiver. If you can’t cover, you should be able to tackle. If you can’t tackle, you better be able to cover. Benny can do neither, and he does neither quite spectacularly.
This is quickly becoming the off-season of my discontent, which is in stark contrast to the last two or three seasons. If Sage Rosenfels is the answer at quarterback the Vikes are on the very short list of legitimate Super Bowl teams, but the supporting cast is just as important. Sapp has a penchant for excruciatingly stupid plays at the most inopportune times, and what happened against the Bears is most assuredly the exception to the rule. 9 times out of 10 a team that’s given that kind of gift will score the touchdown, and if the Bears had scored there, it’s 14-3 Chicago and the outcome of the game could be very different. Normally, stupid penalties that lead to a score for the bad guys completely deflates a team, but hats off to the Vikings defense for the stunning reversal and a heart-stopping moment that was reminiscent of the Purple People Eaters…all thanks to Benny Sapp??
The defense will carry this team, and they can’t afford to have role players like Sapp take a walk down Bonehead Lane, because it will eventually cost the Vikings dearly.