Pelissero: After another lifeless effort, do these Vikings even care?
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
MINNEAPOLIS -- The anger is gone. The frustration is gone.
Defiance? Forget it.
If it's an emotion, it has left the Minnesota Vikings locker room.
Monday's 40-14 flogging was a sleepwalk on the mild side for a bunch that couldn't have looked more eager to get out of the cold and the Chicago Bears' way.
This was all the guts the Vikings could manage on a night 40,504 fans braved subfreezing temperatures to support a 5-9 team and the franchise honored its all-time greats?
"I know they're disappointed," interim coach Leslie Frazier said. "They put a lot of effort into coming here and getting a win, and to not finish the game the way we wanted to -- I know that's a disappointed locker room."
Is it, though?
Does anyone really care?
The Team of Almosts has turned into the Team of Not Close over 120 uninspired minutes that have erased all the good vibes of Frazier's 2-0 start.
Too damn bad.
There are no excuses for getting pounded like the Vikings have against the New York Giants and Bears -- except, of course, that they're a hell of a bad team that's run out of straws to grasp.
"We're not playing to make the playoffs -- we're playing for each other," receiver Sidney Rice said. "You definitely don't want to go out there and put crap on film."
Right now, the Vikings are giving crap a bad name. A season's worth of drama and disappointment seems to have sucked out whatever life they might have had left.
And that's too bad for Frazier, a good man and a fine coach who might struggle to remove the stink -- not to mention the interim tag -- if things get much worse.
"The fight is still there," Frazier said. "I just think we're not executing in some key situations that we need to execute in."
The Vikings went 60 yards in six plays on their opening drive Monday night, capped by Percy Harvin's 23-yard catch-and-run against flat-footed cornerback D.J. Moore.
Then, the secondary took a nap against opportunistic Jay Cutler (three touchdowns, 106.1 passer rating), Favre got knocked out and the coverage units handed Devin Hester an I-Pass, allowing the Chicago defense to bear down on poor Joe Webb as the Vikings went one-dimensional.
By the time it was over, the stadium bowl had emptied out and players were dodging snowballs from their own fans, many of whom spent hours queued in the cold to get good views of their fallen heroes' most heartless effort yet.
"There's always a couple bad apples out there, but what are you going to do?" end Jared Allen said. "They were obviously disappointed, and rightfully so. We've got to play better."
Don't hold your breath -- not with road trips to Philadelphia and Detroit, which might have a shot to escape the division cellar if the two-time defending champions can't rally their pride in a hurry.
Legendary coach Bud Grant drew a roar at halftime when he strolled onto the field in short sleeves and left on the shoulders of former Vikings standouts Tim Irwin and Matt Blair -- past glories incarnate.
The current team is better represented by the fan who jogged lazily onto the field, went unnoticed as he talked to players near a pileup and finally got dragged off with his pants around his ankles.
These Vikings are wandering in circles with no real purpose, just a passing sense of boredom and exhaustion as they wait for someone, anyone, to take them away.
T-minus 13 days and counting.
Asked if it'll be tough to stay motivated now, receiver Percy Harvin admitted "it definitely will" before adding, "but I think we have the group of people that will keep coming out, keep fighting, and not want to come out on Monday Night Football and get embarrassed. I don't think the guys in this locker room are like that."
Maybe not, but at this point, they're playing like it. Which means they're not really playing at all.
Just about everything is gone now. This miserable season can't follow soon enough.