Ed Driscoll

North Minnetonka Forty

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice trades perpetual bad boy Randy Moss to the Oakland Raiders this off-season, only to find that his own team has become the Raiders of the Midway. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated outlines the Vikes’ current woes:

It’s only a guess, but after the news that 17 Minnesota Vikings were aboard two charter boats on which sex parties allegedly were held on Oct. 6, I’m assuming no more United Way spots for the Vikings for the time being.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more embarrassing for the team that gave us Onterrio Smith and “The Original Whizzinator” and the Mike Tice Super Bowl-ticket-scalping affair, the Vikings may have hit a new high for lows.

I’ve heard of team bonding excursions, but never one in which almost one-third of the roster potentially had to post bond. But then, these are the Vikings, and they are adept at making the wrong kind of news off the field. In August, Minnesota All-Pro defensive tackle Kevin Williams was charged with domestic assault against his wife. (He has pled not guilty to the fifth-degree misdemeanor charge and has a mid-Oct. court date). In September, Vikings offensive linemen Bryant McKinnie and rookie guard Marcus Johnson were arrested in connection with a late-night fight at a Twin Cities-area gas station. (Both have pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process; preliminary hearings are scheduled for Nov. 4)

Even if the current allegations of prostitution and lewd behavior on Lake Minnetonka don’t result in indictments, the controversy-plagued Vikings might still see their bid for a new stadium derailed by the avalanche of bad publicity. How’s that for bottom-line impact?

As bad as a Jim Marshall tackle could feel, in the good old days before the Vikings decided to write their own version of North Minnetonka Forty.