Sunday, August 22, 2010

On not being over it

(or, how this blog turned into repetitive existential whining, where I'm inexplicably willing to admit the ways that the Vikings mean way too much to me)

I was just checking out this Judd Zulgad article at the Star Tribune when I came across a line that told me nothing that I didn't already know, yet floored me:

"If not for a few incredibly costly mistakes, including a Favre interception, the Vikings would have found themselves in the Super Bowl last February."

For some reason, I had to reread the sentence. And then I started reliving just how close the Vikings were to last season's Super Bowl. The Vikes as you know have never won the Super Bowl, and in my lifetime they've never been there. And they were that close. That was January, now it's August, and now I can't sleep because I read that sentence. "If not for a few incredibly costly mistakes." "The Vikings would have found themselves in the Super Bowl." They were so close. So freaking close. It's August, and that's still on my mind.

And now I know I'll never be over that loss. That's not entirely true: I won't be over that loss until the Vikings actually do win the Super Bowl. But that's the other thing: that loss took away my faith, and now in some deep way I believe the Vikings never will win the Super Bowl. I'm now one of the cynics. In some ways even the idea of them making the Super Bowl again just seems like fantasy: that's something from the Bud Grant past, never to be repeated. And yet occasionally I still literally dream that it's the day after the Super Bowl and I'm celebrating a Viking win.

All this is just a way to tell you why you should read this blog. I'm the mess who cares way too much about the Vikings, and we're now getting ready to enjoy another Viking season (their 50th!). I also do a fair job at talking myself into things, so I might be able to talk you into things. So skol on, brother. Skol on.

After watching the Vikings' 2009 Year in Review video (sadly bookended by plays from the NFC Title game--really the first time I've seen any replays of the game), I was reminded what a legitimately joyous season 2009 was. 9-0 at home, a Packer sweep, a couple exciting late game wins (49ers and Ravens), a 34-3 playoff victory over the Cowboys, 470 points and exciting pass plays all over the place, 46 was superbly fun. The end was obviously wildly disappointing, but the season was wildly entertaining, fun, and joyful. It is one worth remembering.

With that, I try to stop dwelling on 2009, and look ahead to 2010, hoping to find more joy.


  1. Anonymous6:50 AM

    Keep on skol'ing on!

  2. Life's a garden: skol it!

  3. Anonymous11:16 AM

    i wasn't a viking fan in 98 (packers) but if there was ever a game that seemingly proved the cruelty of the universe it was that NFC championship game. i've never seen so many random terrible things happen to one underdog, in one game, and yet that star crossed underdog kept fighting, kept winning, and still managed to lose after a series of even more inexplicable, bad luck calls, near fumbles, and mysterious penalties. i think we'll win this year, but after that game i was positive the vikings would never win a super bowl.


  4. You have to have skol in your heart!

  5. PV-

    The stars will SOON line up right and out Vikes will finally win the big one, like my Red Sox did in 04. Just wait anything can happen.

    I will die a Viking fan in Packer country no matter what.A fan since 1997.


  6. The passage of time brings on amnesia of these Viking failures for me.

    I watched the '87 and '98 NFC Championship games from beginning to end. They were both difficult losses and reinforced my already held belief that the Vikings were a cursed franchise.

    But other than the Darrin Nelson play, I have no concrete memories of the 1987 game (I was 17 at the time) and if not for the NFL Network occasionally airing the '98 game in its entirety, which I always watch for some reason, I'd have few memories of that loss as well.

    Ten years from now the events of the '09 championship game will be just as fuzzy to me.

    I take comfort in that.