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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Zimmer pleads to set record straight on stuffed animals stories

By Derek Wetmore

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Mike Zimmer made an emotional plea on Thursday to set the record straight after a quirky news story made the rounds after Minnesota’s first loss of the season. Zimmer reportedly was involved in a motivational ploy wherein tattered stuffed animals were strewn about the locker room as a remind that Fat Cats Get Slaughtered.

“First of all, I want to set the record straight on that erroneous report that I feel like attacked my character and my reputation,” Zimmer said.

Then he read of nearly a dozen printed-out headlines that came out of the news cycle that is typical of today’s online news climate, complete with more than a few sensational, attention-grabbing headlines.

“I had nothing to do with that,” Zimmer continued, “but it just kind of goes to show you that – and, actually, the stuffed animals that I did have here were given to charity to Toys For Tots – but it just kind of goes to show you – and it was updated correctly that I had nothing to do with it – but unfortunately the headlines still keep coming out and it bothers me.”

“OK, want to talk about Chicago? Let’s go.”

He wasn’t finished.

“But I wanted to make sure we got the record straight because my foundation website is getting things: ‘Your dad’s crazy; blah blah blah.’ I do a lot of crazy stuff, but I’ll admit it when I do it,” he said.

Zimmer was visibly upset, and that stood out for a guy who typically doesn’t show many emotions in his midweek press conferences.

The report said that Zimmer was the maestro for the motivational tactic, which I guess was designed to ensure the 5-0 Vikings players didn’t rest on the laurels of their previous accomplishments and grow complacent.

Whether or not that was in danger of happening is debatable, but it’s inarguable that Zimmer would know better than any of us outsiders speculating as much.

I wrote about the maneuver – which evidently didn’t work – not to question Zimmer’s character but to point out our collective bias when judging people . It’s weird that it was done, whether or not it was on his watch. It seemed to me like weird timing. And it’s weird that the story got out.

It’s not that surprising that it grabbed headlines around the country and around the world – anything that novel is sure to draw attention in a league that commands an unimaginable amount of attention for statements like ‘Next Man Up’ and ‘It’s a Week-To-Week League.’ So, yeah, of course anytime deviates from the usual banalities it’s going to get a lot of attention.

It’s unfortunate for Zimmer, it’s not really fair to him. And that’s the way it works now.

A rhetorical question to conclude: How many sports news or opinion outlets that bloviated on the original story are now going to share the other side, that Zimmer is adamant he wasn’t involved and wants the record corrected and his honor restored?

Probably wouldn’t be as good for web traffic.

The post Zimmer pleads to set record straight on stuffed animals stories appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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