Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is setting the record straight on a report that attacked his character.
"I want to set the record straight on an erroneous report that I feel like attacked my character and my reputation," Zimmer said Thursday before reading 10 headlines related to a motivational tactic gone wrong. "I had nothing to do with that."
That ... was a bunch of stuff animals with slashed throats covered in red paint scattered all over the Vikings' practice facility meant to serve as a message of motivation.
"It bothers me," Zimmer added. "I do a lot of crazy stuff, but I'll admit it when I do it."
The Star Tribune first reported the story about Zimmer's stuff animal message.
"Before dismissing his 5-0 team for the bye week, coach Mike Zimmer scattered stuffed animals of the feline variety throughout Winter Park. Their throats were slashed, with some of the white stuffing within seeping out, and were then splattered with red paint.
Hanging on the larger cat in the locker room was a sign that read “Fat Cats Get Slaughtered.”
The writer of the story, Matt Vensel, later corrected the story to say Zimmer used the stuffed animals as motivation, but he didn't slash, nor plan to slash any of their throats. Someone else, still unknown to the public, did it.
The fallout after the Vikings got thumped by the Eagles was vast. Sports Illustrated took a pretty direct shot at Zimmer saying "the kind of person who’s willing to work long hours in a high-stress job is apparently the same kind of person who will slaughter a bunch of stuffed animals."
NFL.com's Dan Hansuz said Zimmer "should rein it in this week."