The Vikings fired Coach Childress today after dropping to 3-7. The move can hardly be considered surprising as the chants of "Fire Childress" could be heard as far away as New Mexico. Equally sad, the "Scuba Diver" look Childress cultivated will lose its momentum in our cultural currency.
Childress did a fine job marshaling the underachieving Vikings and brought them from the sex boat scandal to the NFC championship in just a few years. His run-first/stop-the-run philosophy was a strong foundation and when he finally found a QB in Brett Favre, the Vikings seemed to be one of the best in the NFC. Fat idiots like Peter King actually predicted a Superbowl win for Minnesota this year.
By selling out his own integrity to bring back Favre no matter the consequences, Childress sowed the seeds of his own destruction. Bringing in Randy Moss and firing him a couple weeks later sealed his fate. While Childress knows football, he apparently had worse people kills than Lee Atwater and his eroded authority made him grasp harder like an unpopular despot.
What worries me, as Washington plays Minnesota next Sunday, is the traditional one-game burst of pride which consistently buoys teams in this situation. How Washington always manages to draw a team for their single moment of defiance is astonishing, but we'll have to save that for another column.
Coming off a tough, macho win over the Titans, Washington can't relent versus the reeling Vikings team. For their players will surely respond to their new coach and they should be motivated to slam the door shut on the Childress years. Interesting note: Childress will be replaced by Leslie Visser as interim coach for the year.
Correction: it's probably a different Leslie.