Kirk Cousins‘ relationship with Mike Zimmer is one of the juiciest sources of drama for the Minnesota Vikings over the past couple of years. Now that new details are coming out about Cousins shoving his former head coach, I can finally get one thing off my chest —just how weird this interaction still is!
First thing’s first: Cousins and Zimmer are two really weird NFL personalities. Cousins has capitalized on it by being a goofy, van-driving youth group pastor of a leader. It’s a little weird in the NFL, which is filled with dudes who capitalize on swagger and attitude. But he’s true to himself.
Zimmer is a different story. He had a more subdued personality in the sense that his weirdness wasn’t something he flaunted. He just dipped on the sideline, cussed out other coaches, and killed stuffed animals in the locker room.
Unsurprisingly, they never quite got along because they are two guys on different sides of the human spectrum. Sure, Zimmer loved goody-two-shoes Teddy Bridgewater, but he had some fire underneath his soft side. When Cousins lets loose, he says things like “You like that?!” with a sharp voice crack or yells “Frick!”
In my best Jeff Foxworthy voice: If you yell “frick” or “heck” after throwing an interception, youuuuu might not be a Zimmer guy.
And before I move on, just take a look at the shove. Focus on just how weird it is. Because it’s the strangest human interaction I’ve ever seen on an NFL sideline.
A few notes:
- Zimmer looks pissed from the go. He takes his headset off like he’s ready to throw down.
- Cousins doesn’t push Zimmer so much as he grabs him.
- They are undoubtedly yelling at each other.
- Zimmer gets held back by an assistant coach.
- Patrick Peterson literally breaks it up to celebrate with Zimmer. Veteran maneuver.
Here’s one more angle to dissect:
Here it’s clear that Cousins said, “You like that?!” to his former head coach. Really running that meme into the ground there, buddy.
But isn’t that what Zimmer wanted Cousins to do? Get fired up for once? All it took was a successful kick from Greg Joseph to win a game. Maybe Zimmer wanted him to get fired up on the field?
Here’s what I think really happened.
In typical Cousins fashion, he got fired up and got too intense and grabbed his head coach.
At the same time, Zimmer had already had enough of Cousins and instinctually retaliated against the QB grabbing his windbreaker because Zimmer is ready to throw hands at anyone at any time. Zimmer probably isn’t aware of the “You like that” meme and thinks it’s directed at him too.
With emotions running hot between them, and Zimmer possibly aware he was on the hot seat, I can easily see why they both reacted the way they did. But that doesn’t change the fact that this was weird as hell.