VIKINGS TIGHT END
The seventh-year pro out of Morgan State had a career-high 56 catches for 566 yards and 11 touchdowns for the NFC North champs
Dan Patrick:Help me out with the pronunciation of your name. I've heard it pronounced about three different ways, and I'd feel terrible if I was saying it wrong. Vin-SAN-tay SHANK-o.
Visanthe Shiancoe: [Laughs.] No. Vi-SAN-tay SHANK-o. I heard that n in there.
DP: Vi-SAN-tay SHANK-o. How about if I call you V?
VS: Yeah. Or call me Shanks.
DP:Who's your MVP this year in the NFL?
VS: That's hard to say. There are so many. So many. I couldn't say one.
DP:Is Brett Favre the MVP?
VS: I would say he's a good candidate.
DP:Peyton Manning? Chris Johnson?
VS: Chris Johnson. Chris Johnson is an animal. I would say the top two are Favre and Chris Johnson.
DP:Can you put Johnson in the same category as your teammate Adrian Peterson now?
VS: Oh, man, you're trying to back me up against the wall here. They have two different styles of running. Adrian is more of a power and explosive back. Chris Johnson is more of a finesse and a quick back.
DP:He gets that opening and he is gone. Probably the fastest guy in the league.
VS: What did he run, like a 4.2 or something like that?
DP:People are like, "He can't run a 4.2." And then you watch him....
VS: And you think he's a little faster than that. If you look at his speed compared to everybody else's speed on the field, he's just whipping in and out like a Corvette through traffic.
DP:Best team in the NFC?
VS: The Vikings.
DP:How about second-best team?
VS: I would say the Cowboys right now. The Cowboys are hot. They've got a lot of momentum. Hopefully they continue their postseason [struggles].
DP:The Vikings have a bye this weekend and will play the winner of the Arizona--Green Bay game in the second round of the playoffs. Who do you want to face?
VS: The Cardinals or Green Bay? Green Bay, that would be a circus. The Cardinals, we have unfinished business with them. It's like you got in a fight and got beat up a little bit by the bully, and you're ready to face off again.
DP:And less media coverage if it's against the Cardinals.
VS: Yeah. Green Bay would be a doggone circus. It'd definitely be Favre-apalooza.
DP:Did you get the feeling the Giants quit at some point in Sunday's game, which the Vikings won 44--7?
VS: [Laughs.] Good question. Good question. You know how to ask them.
DP:I'll take that as a yes.
VS: Quit? I don't know if they quit, but it's kind of hard getting a spark going when you're down 41--0. That's kind of hard. They stayed on the field.
DP:I'll let you get back to your workout, Shanks. Sorry for the tough questions. But you have a bye this week, so I thought I'd give you a little competition.
VS: I see. Thanks, Dan.
After the Colts pulled most of their starters in the second half of their Week 16, perfect-season-ending loss to the Jets, the NFL said it was going to look into the practice of teams resting top players down the stretch. That didn't go over well with Rodney Harrison. The former Patriot and current NBC commentator pointed to Wes Welker's torn knee ligaments suffered in Sunday's season finale (above) and said that the league has no right to force teams to subject their players to harm in unimportant games. "[Sitting players] is all part of the strategy," Harrison said. "All of sudden they're trying to force you to play? I don't think that's right."
As much as I love Central Michigan and Troy, how did the GMAC Bowl sneak into the week after New Year's? What kind of lead-up to the national title game is that? It's bad enough that there are any games after New Year's. But a matchup of mid-majors definitely belonged in 2009.
Line of the week
In light of Mike Leach's firing by Texas Tech, CBS commentator Gary Danielson had this to say about disciplinarian coaches: "I hear coaches say ... [they're] in the business of making men better men in the future. No. You're not. You're in the business of coaching. I'm in the business of raising my son."
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com/interviews
1. Coach Bob Huggins discusses West Virginia's hot start.
2. Actor Hank Azaria riffs on baseball announcers.
THE FINE PRINT: No alcohol was allowed during the final game at Giants Stadium. Jets fans were so disoriented they were chanting for women to put their tops on.
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (PATRICK)
BRETT DAVIS/US PRESSWIRE (WELKER)
CRAIG BLANKENHORN/CBS (DANIELSON)
RICH GABRIELSON/ICON SMI (SHIANCOE)