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Tice not a lock in Minny

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  • Tice not a lock in Minny

    Follow the StarTribune for the news, photos and videos from the Twin Cities and beyond.

    McCombs downplays magazine comments
    Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune
    October 28, 2004 VIKE1028

    The Vikings head coach next season will be either:

    A) Mike Tice; or B) someone else.

    So now that we've cleared up that little problem, we'll move on to world peace.

    The long-term future of the coach, as well as the future viability of the team in Minnesota, remained in doubt Wednesday as owner Red McCombs backed away from a series of stunning comments attributed to him in a national magazine.

    Contrary to what Sports Illustrated quoted him saying a day earlier, McCombs said he has made no decision regarding the 2005 option on Tice's contract.

    The magazine also quoted McCombs saying "I would love to be in Los Angeles."

    McCombs acknowledged Wednesday that "I don't even see that as an option."

    McCombs will attend the NFL's quarterly owners meeting today in Detroit, where the agenda will include a report on the status of the league's possible return to Los Angeles. McCombs told Sports Illustrated that NFL officials know he would like to move the Vikings to Los Angeles, but in an interview Wednesday, McCombs said those desires are a moot point.

    "Nothing has changed," McCombs said.Carlos GonzalezStar Tribune"If you asked me if I would like to see a stadium proposal from Los Angeles, the answer would be yes," McCombs said. "If you asked me if I would like to see a stadium proposal from Minnesota, the answer would also be yes. We don't have a stadium proposal from anywhere -- Los Angeles, Minnesota or anywhere else."

    McCombs, however, said league officials have told him to "work it out in Minnesota." Since purchasing the team in 1998, McCombs has been unable to secure public financing for a new stadium and is giving strong thought toward selling the team.

    But with no buyer prepared to meet his asking price of $600 million, and a league which has all but ruled out relocation, McCombs said: "We just have to keep on trucking here."

    That advice also could apply to Tice, who had little to say Wednesday about the confusion surrounding his contract. The deal will expire after this season unless McCombs exercises the option, an action that would keep Tice under contract through 2005. The two men spoke Wednesday morning but, as per Tice's policy, the Sports Illustrated article did not come up.

    "I do not discuss my contract with Red," Tice said.

    McCombs, meanwhile, reiterated what he has said for months on the topic -- saying that he has neither exercised the option or even decided to do so.

    "Nothing has changed," McCombs said. "We'll review Mike and the rest of the coaching staff at the end of the season, like we've always said."

    Sports Illustrated quoted McCombs saying that even if the Vikings lost the remainder of their games, "I'm still going to exercise the option."

    When asked about the discrepancy of the two statements, McCombs said, "I was asked, as [Twin Cities reporters] have asked like a broken record, if I like Mike and if I want him to stay here. I said I liked the job Mike is doing, and that I don't see any reason why anything would change that situation. But we won't come to a conclusion on that until after the season."

    The entire discussion could become a matter of semantics. After starting 5-1, the Vikings have put themselves in the driver's seat for the NFC North Division title. Barring a collapse this season, Tice's $1 million option would make him a relative bargain in 2005. It also would not be a surprise for McCombs to offer an extension in that scenario; it is highly unusual for NFL coaches to enter a season as a pending "free agent."

    Tice's contract status was a topic of conversation Wednesday among Vikings players -- most of whom Tice has either drafted, recruited or developed.

    "Mike's built a good program here over the past three years," guard Chris Liwienski said. "We all like him and want him to succeed. ... It's not something we talk about as players, but I guess it's probably impossible not to be somewhat concerned with it.

    "You come up with a coach. You're one of his guys, and you want to see him around. ... If you find a coach that likes your style and you win for him, that's about the closest thing to job security as there is."

    Said cornerback Antoine Winfield: "We all understand that it's a business. Your contract is going to come up. But [Tice] is a good guy, a good coach and we love playing for him. If we make it to the playoffs, you would think he'll definitely get an extension. We have some control over that by the way we play and how many games we win. But that's really up to Red McCombs."

    Who, on this day at least, insists there is nothing to report.

  • #2
    Re: Tice not a lock in Minny

    Playoffs = Extension
    No playoffs = new job


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      The "Los Angeles Vikings?"

      Posted by Mike Florio on January 3, 2009, 10:08 a.m.
      As the Vikings deal with a stadium that they’re struggling to sell out for Sunday’s playoff game, the first to be hosted at the Metrodome in eight years, ownership of the team faces an increasingly uphill climb in the quest to build a new stadium, for which the locals might or might not buy tickets to games.
      Despite repeated assurances over the three years since Zygi Wilf bought the franchise from Red McCombs that Wilf won’t move the team, signs have emerged for the first time that the Vikings might go the way of the Lakers.
      Per the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Vikings vice president in charge of stadium development Lester Bagley says that the Wilfs are getting “frustrated” by the lack of progress toward the construction of a new stadium.
      It’s reality check time,” Bagley said. “If we want an NFL franchise in this state, we have to resolve the stadium issue. Time is running out. If nothing gets done, then maybe the Wilfs throw in the towel.”
      Uh. Oh.
      Folks in Minnesota don’t seem to respond well to pressure or ultimatums, even when being begged by Jared Allen.
      When the I-35 bridge collapsed in August 2007, we suspected at that moment that, if the Vikings were to land a new stadium, they would have to do it without public funds. And that the Vikings would instead move to L.A. before building a stadium without free taxpayer money.
      Since then, the economy has deteriorated, making public funding far less likely. Especially in the upcoming legislative session.
      “It certainly will not be a high priority,” Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller told the Star Tribune. “We have a fiscal and job crisis in Minnesota.”
      House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher was more blunt. “There is no chance,” she said. “It’s a great idea if they would pay for it themselves. But we are in uncharted economic waters. We are in a crisis situation, and we have to focus on the financial and economic health of the state.”
      To illustrate their point, Pogemiller and Kelliher “laughed out loud” regarding the prospect of public stadium financing in the current climate.
      Wilf wants a $954 million stadium to be built in downtown Minneapolis, and he wants more than $635 million in public funding.
      “Why not? Bagley said. “The Vikings are a public asset. This is going to create an economic boost.”
      The Vikings have tried to characterize the effort as a massive public works project, which will create 5,500 jobs and provide $500 million to local contractors.
      But it’s not working. And with the Vikings’ lease at the Metrodome in place for only three more seasons, 2012 could be year one of the “Los Angeles Vikings.
      -01-03-2009, 05:03 PM
    • DJRamFan
      Owner says 'sloppy' play led to Haege's dismissal
      by DJRamFan
      Fear of losing players contributed to decision
      By Adam Candee
      <[email protected]>

      An emotionally detached assessment showed Jim Ferraro that he wanted to fire Frank Haege as the Gladiators' head coach. The perceived danger of losing current and prospective players because of Haege, combined with the owner's distaste for the team's "sloppy" play during the past two seasons, made it easy for Ferraro.

      But the owner's personal respect for Haege made it hard to pull the trigger.

      "You look at it all and the decision was not really hard at the end of the day," Ferraro said Friday, speaking publicly for the first time since Haege was fired on July 28. "It was just hard for me to do it."

      Along with a long evaluation process that Ferraro said could not have happened while the team focused on winning games during the season, that respect led to the two-month wait after the season's end to fire Haege.

      Ferraro is in town to conduct interviews with the three finalists to replace Haege: Gladiators assistant head coach Ron James; New Orleans defensive coordinator Kevin Porter; and Indiana interim head coach Mike Wilpolt. Interviews begin tonight and continue Tuesday, with Ferraro and general manager Dan Dolby hoping to select someone by Friday. Ferraro recently returned from a long trip out of the country, which slowed the process of hiring a new coach.

      After three middling seasons that produced a 25-21 record and a division title, but no playoff wins, Ferraro entered the offseason intent on evaluating Haege's situation after signing the coach to a three-year contract extension during the 2003 season.

      The most distressing conversations Ferraro had, he said, were with people both inside the organization and around the league indicated that some free agents might avoid Las Vegas and that some current Gladiators might try to get away from the team if Haege remained the head coach.

      He became more disturbed by the lack of support he found for Haege from both players and management.

      "I didn't have anyone who objected to it," Ferraro said of firing Haege.

      No players have spoken out against Haege. Talking the day after Haege's firing, Gladiators quarterback Clint Dolezel -- the team's centerpiece acquisition last offseason -- expressed no reservations about the coach.

      Dolezel did not mourn for long, though, phoning Dolby to vouch for Sparky McEwen as Haege's replacement. McEwen, who worked with Dolezel in Grand Rapids as the offensive coordinator, came off the Gladiators' finalist list Friday when he accepted the head job with the Rampage.

      Ferraro was disappointed in both the Gladiators' preparation and performance leading to an 8-8 record in 2004 after he spent up to the $1.7 million salary cap to upgrade...
      -08-17-2004, 10:12 AM
    • Nick
      Fowler says Moss won't be traded
      by Nick
      Sid Hartman: Fowler says Moss won't be dealt
      Sid Hartman, Star Tribune
      February 21, 2005 SIDH0221

      Reggie Fowler was on a plane to New York from his Arizona home on Sunday morning. The man who is in line to buy the Vikings from Red McCombs was headed for a meeting with his partners in the prospective purchase, and also intended to meet with some NFL officials.

      Fowler spoke about some of his plans for the team, and made it clear that his group would have no plans to trade Randy Moss, who has been the subject of trade talk since late in the season.

      "I think we all have to have a set of standards," Fowler said. "I think Mr. Moss is, if not the finest, one of the finest receivers in the league today. And I think he's a winner. A lot of times when you want to win, you get excited.

      "So I look forward to working with Randy, and I think he'll do all the things we need him to do. I don't know that you take some of the best players in the league and start trading them. We need those people to help us win, and I think Randy's one of those guys."

      Fowler and McCombs had a news conference on Monday to announce the sale. There were questions about some items in Fowler's biography, and he returned to Minneapolis to meet with reporters Friday to explain them. On Sunday, a story in the Star Tribune examined his businesses and reported on a number of lawsuits and controversies surrounding the many companies Fowler owns.

      "Most of it's not true," Fowler said. "I hope to prove that we are credible individuals and hope to get the people of Minneapolis excited about what could happen in the next 30 days or so."

      For the first time, Fowler, who needs to be OK'd by the NFL before he can own the team, said he is confident that his group will be able to put together a plan to get a new stadium built for the Vikings.

      "We'd like to think there are many options," he said. "One of them, of course, is public funding or state funding. Another option is going privately. We have to evaluate those different options. But at the end of the day, we're confident that we can get something done."

      Fowler sang the praises of Vikings Director of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski and gave a strong indication that he will continue to do what he has been doing.

      "Rob Brzezinski is well-respected in the league, and I look forward to working with Rob in the future," he said.

      Fowler said he didn't think anybody can operate under a one-year contract and indicated that Mike Tice and his coaching staff would get more security than they now have.

      "We want to build a winning franchise for a long period of time, and you need people to stay around and understand how you do and don't operate in order to do that," Fowler said. "So...
      -02-21-2005, 10:24 AM
    • RamWraith
      Four Vikings charged in boat party scandal
      by RamWraith
      MINNEAPOLIS - Quarterback Daunte Culpepper and three other Minnesota Vikings were charged Thursday with three misdemeanors each for taking part in a bawdy boat party earlier this season on Lake Minnetonka.

      Culpepper, Bryant McKinnie, Fred Smoot and Moe Williams were charged with indecent conduct, disorderly conduct and lewd or lascivious conduct, according to court papers.

      If convicted, each player faces a maximum of 90 days in jail on each count.

      Prosecutor Steve Tallen's decision was based on findings by the Hennepin County sheriff's office, whose investigators reviewed allegations of lewd and drunken behavior aboard a floating party Oct. 6 that involved some Vikings players.

      Crew members complained that some people took off their clothes and engaged in public sex acts during the cruise, according to Stephen Doyle, an attorney representing the boat owners, Al & Alma's Supper Club and Charter Cruises in Mound. The crew members identified 17 Vikings among about 90 people on the two boats.

      The court papers released Thursday said Smoot and defensive end Lance Johnstone arranged the charter.

      Vikings coach Mike Tice was careful with his reaction.

      "According to NFL rules and union contracts, there is a large difference between allegations and charges and convictions," Tice said just before his routine news conference. "So until at any point there is a conviction of some type, if there is, I have no action to take and nothing to say."

      After that, Tice threatened to stop talking to reporters if anyone asked more questions about the allegations.

      Reports that some women at the party were paid to come from outside Minnesota had raised the possibility of federal charges, but U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger said Thursday that no such charges would be brought. Heffelfinger cited insufficient evidence.

      That decision, along with sheriff's decision to send the case to Tallen's office, meant any charges would be minor. Tallen is the prosecuting attorney for the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District, which handles nonfelony crimes committed on the big lake just west of Minneapolis.

      The boat scandal hit the Vikings when they were already reeling, off to a 1-3 start, and made them the object of national ridicule on late-night TV and cable sports channels. New owner Zygi Wilf, who had been seeking state help for a new stadium, responded forcefully, apologizing to Gov. Tim Pawlenty and other state officials and instituting a new code of conduct.

      The team has since recovered on the field and, with quarterback Brad Johnson replacing the injured Culpepper, reeled off six straight wins to become a playoff contender at 8-5
      -12-15-2005, 02:56 PM
    • Milan
      NFL no plan to move north
      by Milan
      DETROIT (CP) - A year after suggesting Toronto was a future candidate for NFL expansion, commissioner Paul Tagliabue slammed the door on the subject Friday.

      Tagliabue told reporters at his annual state-of-the-union address Friday that the league has no plans to expand into Canada and the NFL's priority remains putting a team back into Los Angeles.

      "I could not see, at least now, a decision that would involve a two-team expansion," Tagliabue said. "If there is expansion, I would think it would leave us with an odd number of teams for some period of time, which we have had in the past.

      "I don't see expansion to Canada as being related to what we might do in Los Angeles."

      The long-standing belief has been that if, or when, the NFL returns to Los Angeles it will add a second expansion team to keep its two conferences balanced.

      Click Here

      The NFL currently has 32 teams, 16 per conference. Los Angeles would make for 33. However, Tagliabue said the league is willing to go with an odd number of teams for several years, thus delivering a blow to Canada's chances of landing a club.

      At last year's Super Bowl, Tagliabue said both Mexico and Toronto were future candidates for NFL expansion. The league opened the 2005 season in Mexico, with a record 103,467 fans cramming into Azteca Stadium to watch the Arizona Cardinals beat the San Francisco ***** 31-14.

      The NFL has only staged exhibition games in Canada, in both Toronto and Vancouver.

      CFL commissioner Tom Wright, who attended Friday's news conference, said Tagliabue is very aware of the impact an NFL team in Canada would have on CFL teams.

      "Clearly the commissioner understood what our goals were and understood the importance of a partnership," Wright said afterwards. "He understands that a strong CFL is ultimately going to be good for football and what's good for football in Canada is going to help the NFL.

      "We are now finishing almost a decade of a formal relationship with the NFL and I have every hope it will be another decade of a good relationship."

      The CFL and NFL entered into a working agreement following the 1996 season, a deal that continues to allow players in the Canadian league entering the option year of their deals a six-week window to sign deals south of the border. The NFL-CFL deal runs through April 2007.

      "Clearly he also knows the CFL wouldn't have had the chance to renew itself following the U.S. expansion had the NFL not stepped forward and supported us," Wright said. "They've seen what happens when there's a strong organization that is focused on growing the game in Canada and what it results in is a healthier football climate for both of our leagues."

      Toronto has long lobbied for an NFL expansion franchise and in the past Tagliabue...
      -02-03-2006, 04:51 PM