EDEN PRAIRIE —
You won't see Zygi Wilf on the sideline on Saturday night and you won't hear him in the media during the frenetic buildup to this highly anticipated game — both Wilfs politely declined to speak for this story.
Now is not the time for them to be doing the talking, they said. It's the time when the focus should be on the players and coaches who have spearheaded this revival after two straight last-place finishes in the NFC North.
"Just like any family, when you go through ups and downs or different crises, it's unbelievable the relationship we have to discuss things openly and candidly," general manager Rick Spielman said. "That's so important to how you get through things. It's not a business, even though it is a business. You can attribute a lot of success we're having to the atmosphere we get to work in."
The gestures have been big and small this season, starting with sending Spielman and other members of the Vikings organization to Ohio when cornerback Antoine Winfield's brother was killed in September.
They did the same for defensive end Everson Griffen when his mother died at Griffen's home in October, making sure the distraught 25-year-old had every resource available to get through it.
"It showed me a lot," Griffen said. "It showed me they really care about their players. It showed me that I had a home here and that really helped."
Zygi Wilf also had several conversations with star running back Adrian Peterson over the summer when he was in the middle of his long and difficult rehabilitation from two torn ligaments in his left knee.
While many doubted if Peterson would be able to make it back, he said Wilf remained confident in his franchise player's recovery.