(above : a very unpopular Halloween costume in 2010 and for years to come)

In what will qualify as perhaps the least surprising news item of any sort this month, the Minnesota Vikings —- all but guaranteed playoff elimination with a 3-7 record — have axed head coach Brad Childress.  From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Judd Zulgad ;

The team announced that Childress has been relieved of his duties and that defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has been named the interim coach and will serve in that capacity for the remainder of the season.

Childress, 54, signed a contract extension through 2013 last November but it was reported last week that the final year is the team™s option and that Wilf will have to pay Childress $6.6 million for 2011 and 2012.

Owner Zygi Wilf spent only a brief time in the Vikings locker room following Sunday™s loss and appeared livid as he departed. He refused to comment but NFL sources indicated he made the decision Sunday night that Childress would be fired.

On his twitter account, offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie said he was riding to Winter Park with teammate Naufahu Tahi and that “we have no clue what the vibe is gonna be like.”