Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/4/12
Good things come to those who wait.Unfortunately in today's National Football League it has become "Win NOW or Get Out!"Which is understandable, to a point.The point in question is about Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, and his place in the franchise.The Vikings had a horrible season last year, leading to having the No. 3 overall draft pick this past April.The Vikings were smart, they took offensive tackle Matt Kalil from USC. Good call, guys.No, seriously, it was a good call to draft a franchise quality "blind side" tackle to protect their quarterback of the future, Christian Ponder. That's what he is, though, right?The fact is, in the 2011 Draft, Minnesota maneuvered and traded around so they could move up the draft board far enough. The Vikings were in desperate need of a franchise quarterback.Christian Ponder from Florida State? Come on down! The future of the Minnesota Vikings and the hearts and faith of Vikings fans everywhere, is now ALL YOURS.Ponder had his share of struggles upon coming in and relieving now former starting quarterback, Donovan McNabb. The young rookie was dropped into about the worst situation any quarterback, let alone a rookie, faces. Losing big to a much more talented team with a ferocious defense and a weak offensive line.That's why they get paid the big bucks. To his credit, Ponder handled himself well down the stretch at the end of 2011. He nearly beat the (at the time) undefeated Green Bay Packers. He out-dueled Panthers quarterback Cam Newton the following week, winning 24-21.As the year wore on, with the playoffs an impossibility, Ponder made the most of a bad situation. "There's always next year!"Here we are. It's "next year". How is he doing?According to some, he's managing average, C-level production. To me, though, Ponder's performance thus far earns him at least a B minus, borderline B grade.Unfortunately, it is a widespread feeling and belief in Minnesota, who have gone 1-2 in the last three games, that the team must give up on him. When I hear that, in my mind I channel my inner Stewie Griffin and say, "Whaaaat??".Count your blessings, Vikings. You have one of the up and coming star quarterbacks of the future. Place the right weapons around him, put together a brick wall of an offensive line to protect him, and your team will be playoff ready, even championship ready.Do not emulate the 1992 Atlanta Falcons did, when they sent Brett Favre to the Packers. This is one of those decisions that has the potential to ruin your team for years to come.
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