After a dreadful start, the Minnesota Vikings have revived their season and, believe it or not, still control their own destiny in the NFC North. With Monday Night Football in town and Peyton and Eli watching from afar, the Vikes notched arguably the best win of the year against a suddenly fallible San Francisco 49ers club. Somewhere along the line Troy Aikman said something that got the public hot and bothered.
Nothing is funnier than watching pundits get red in the face splitting hairs in an attempt to come to a scientific conclusion on which quarterback is the 14th-best in the league and which could be ranked as high as seventh. Like that certificate in Searching For Bobby Fisher, it's all meaningless. Well-adjusted adults do not walk around with a ranking of NFL quarterbacks in their back pocket for team reasons. One, because they are more important things to do like raking all those leaves before the first snowfall and two, any such classification system would be both highly subjective and volatile.
Now having said all that, Cousins can clearly be a Top-10 quarterback for one week. Or two weeks. Hell, even 10 weeks. But probably not the whole season. He's a bit of a roller-coaster ride where you take the good knowing the bad is lurking around one of the next corner. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about him, as revealed on the Netflix documentary, is he couldn't give less of a shit where he is on any such lists. Cousins wants to win while being a good teammate and a good father and is straight-up more of a normal person than almost anyone playing professional sports. At times he can come off corny but it's ultimately really endearing.
After big wins he gets especially goofy with the help of his teammates and last night was no exception. While conducting an interview with ESPN's Lisa Salters, the injured Justin Jefferson came over and placed a big Top 10 chain around his quarterback's neck. In the haze of late-night I truly believed this had something to do with Aikman's comment and not an allusion to SportsCenter's Top 10 plays which makes more sense. How Jefferson even got his hands on jewelry like that is a question for another day. Why they even make jewelry like that is a better question for another day.
Cousins reacted like to the moment like a pro as well, doing the thing you do when you get something for the holidays you're not really into but need to sell before launching into a classic clichéd interview. So all in all, a very eventful night.
At 3-4 the Vikings have peeled themselves off the mat and are right back in the mix for a playoff spot in a rather pedestrian NFC. The celebrations can get even better. The accessories can get even gaudier. What once seemed like a dead-end has new possibilities.