Have you heard? Teddy Bridgewater is coming back to Minneapolis on Sunday, as the starting quarterback of the Carolina Panthers. If you’ve opened an article or blog written by Minnesota media over the last week (or talked to Mike Zimmer), you might think Teddy played 15 years for the Minnesota Vikings, won multiple Super Bowls and definitely cured Cancer.
It’s not even the media’s fault. In only four years of wearing purple, Bridgewater grabbed the hearts of SKOL nation unlike any mediocre sports figure to ever grow roots in this town.
Minnesota loves Teddy
The Athletic described it perfectly this week, when they talked to KFAN’s Paul Allen about the first time Teddy played QB at US Bank Stadium. Allen calls games on the radio for the Vikings and described the crowd reaction on the day Teddy returned to football, after a gruesome knee injury that took over a year to recover from.
US Bank Stadium gets loud for every game (before 2020). The decibel level it reached during that moment back in 2018 though… hit different.
Allen might be best known for his “Minneapolis Miracle” call when the Vikings shocked New Orleans on Stefon Diggs’ 61-yard, walk-off touchdown in the divisional round of the 2017 playoffs. So he’s experienced U.S. Bank Stadium at its most frenzied state. Bridgewater’s ovation approached it from a noise standpoint.
“The murmur began, and when he walked out on the field — or kind of cantered — it erupted to a sound that was very close to playoff level,” Allen said. “Not like Minneapolis Miracle or when they beat the Cowboys at the Metrodome in 2009. But louder than any regular-season moment I had heard at U.S. Bank Stadium to that point.”The Athletic
Teammates and coaches in on it too…
The love for Teddy Bridgewater isn’t just oozing from the Minnesota Vikings fan base 3 years later. Teddy’s old coaches and teammates can’t stop talking about him either.
Mike Zimmer would leave his smokeshow girlfriend for Teddy Bridgewater and Chad Graff (The Athletic) wrote an entire article about it a couple of days ago. Yes, that’s two featured articles from The Athletic this week, written solely about how much those in Minnesota still love Teddy Bridgewater, even today.
On the other side of the internet, a football insider created a sub-stack account so he could write a 3-part LONG-form article about how much Mike Zimmer hates everyone and everything around him. But when it comes to Teddy, Zim melts…
via Chad Graff – The Athletic
“Mike Zimmer is the biggest Teddy Bridgewater fan I think I’ve ever met in my life,” said Paul Allen, the play-by-play voice of the franchise. “Mike loved Teddy the person, and loved how Teddy played the game, where he’s not gonna kill the game, but he’s probably not gonna explode. But it’s going to let Zim’s defense dictate the tempo. Zim was downtrodden for days after the Teddy situation.”
Even after the Vikings traded for Sam Bradford in an attempt to keep their Super Bowl hopes alive, Zimmer remained attached to the first quarterback he drafted. A few days after emergency surgery, Bridgewater began returning to the facility for rehab work.
The training room isn’t a place often visited by head coaches, but when Bridgewater was there, Zimmer would stop by to catch up. During one September visit to the training room, Bridgewater was sitting on a table shoeless. Usually, Xavier Rhodes helped him take the shoes off and put them back on since Bridgewater couldn’t yet reach his feet. But on this occasion, Zimmer took the task for himself. He helped Bridgewater get his shoes on and then tied the laces.
“I’m the shoe-tier,” Zimmer proudly said.
Can we get a comment from Kirk Cousins?
Look, I know that Kirk Cousins is a nice guy. I don’t expect him to harbor any ill-will toward Bridgewater, just because Teddy has likeability Kirk could only dream of. If asked, I’m sure Cousins would find positive things to say about Zimmer’s love for a QB that isn’t him.
But on the inside, Kirk Cousins has to hate everything about Teddy’s return to Minneapolis this weekend. Kirk is better than Bridgewater in every physical way, as an NFL quarterback. Over the course of a long career, where he’s been able to stay healthy like few ironmen before him, Cousins has the stats to prove it.
From a pure physical football standpoint, Kirk Cousins should have made us forget about Teddy Bridgewater a long time ago. Cousins is the only QB out of the two, to win a playoff game for the Vikings. He’s also coming off of his best game this season vs Dallas. All eyes should be on him. But nobody cares about Kirk, especially when Teddy is in town.
I just wanna hear Kirk Cousins say “fuck”… pic.twitter.com/OOjtKJHyoj— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) November 11, 2020
So, I hope we get fired-up Kirk Cousins this weekend. I want to see him come out and throw all over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon, and then NOT shake Teddy Bridgewater’s hand after the game. I want to see him at the post-game podium, asking Minnesota fans, Mike Zimmer and media asking, “how much do you miss Teddy Bridgewater now?” That’s the QB1 I want on my team.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan