For four years now, the Minnesota Vikings have been sitting on the confirmation of a myth they never even bothered to check for. If you had thought the firing of the former coaching staff was strictly because they ran a poor team, couldn’t call a game, and generally were awful at their jobs, you would have been only partially correct.
The other reason? They had, for four years, confirmation of a mythical beast right there on their roster, and never even realized it. The new coaching staff? Much smarter. When they see the talons of an eagle, the body of a lion, and the face of a shirtless Adonis, they recognize it for what it is; myth made into reality, the fantastical coming to fruition. The savior of their defense, and the protector of their valuable end zones.
And so they locked that up. On Sunday, the Vikings signed defensive end Everson Griffen to a five year, $42 million contract extension. A small price to pay to have a magical beast roaming your defense.
You see, in Greek mythology, the ancient magical beast with the mixed body parts of an eagle and a lion was a symbol of divine power and the guardian of the divine. This “Griffin” – now more commonly known as “Griffen”, as in “Everson Griffen” – would guard highly sought after treasure and other priceless possessions, like points awarded to another team by reaching a certain spot on a playing field. The Griffin took it upon themselves to be a beacon of strength to others around them, providing both wisdom and guidance, and often being viewed as the king of all creatures, or at least the king of all your other peers on the field, which isn’t all that hard when your defensive teammates generally suck.
In Medieval lore, Griffin’s were seen as extremely loyal and devout. They were often used by the Medieval church as a symbol of the lasting power of marriage, as ancient lore stated that Griffin’s mated with a partner, or signed a contract with only one specific team, for life. And even if that partner were to die, or – say – cut them from their team for any salary cap reasons in the future, the Griffin would go on to live the rest of their lives alone, understanding there was only ever one true partner, or team, meant for them.
Everson Griffen, a modern day Griffin, said much the same after signing this new contract with the only team he has ever played for professionally, identifying himself as a life-long Viking, who is ready to win, or rather, protect his field as if it were his own prized possession. He will do so as others of his line have done in the past, too, by displaying his eagle talons, running with his powerful lion legs, and flying to the ball carrier when needed.
The fact that Leslie Frazier had not observed this magical potential, did not realize they had mythology incarnate on their roster, remains a baffling depiction of Frazier’s reign as leader of the team. At least going forward with head coach Mike Zimmer, fans can now see Griffen start on the defensive line, and protect his home as he was meant to do all along.