Friday, April 28, 2006

Vikings, Rubes, and Jerseys

Welcome to the Viking Pep Rally
The Viking Jersey Unveiling was just like a high school pep rally. The cheerleaders were on hand for no apparent reason. The alumni were trotted out for their applause (alumni consisted of Tommy Mason, Jim Marshall, Paul Krause, Joey Browner, and Randall McDaniel). The head coach came out to say a few random but uncharismatic words to the fans. Then the current players came out in the new outfits (players on hand: Mewelde Moore, Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, Matt Birk, Jermaine Wiggins, Jim Kleinsasser, and Troy Williamson). All in all, just what the rubes need to get through the offseason.

Why the rubes come out to play
The NFL season is very short, with only a few real events to attend. So in the offseason, fans will take any excuse whatsoever to attend an event featuring their team. The rubes were out in full force at the MOA last night. I've twice been to River Falls, WI when the Vikes scrimmaged the Chiefs--it was an absolute madhouse covering several practice fields. I've attended preseason games, and there are barely less people in attendance than for a real game. It's been years since I've been to Mankato for training camp, and I've never been to the draft party, but from my understanding it's just as crazy.

We're rubes. We love our team. We'll do just about anything to feel any connection with the team.

My fandom is put to shame
I always feel guilty when I see the fans walking around with facepaint and horned helmets (yes, plenty of fans painted their faces purple and gold to attend a freaking jersey unveiling). I always think, "Could I be doing more as a fan?"

Modernization without abandoning tradition
There's always a fair amount of anxiety when a team changes jersey styles. Too many teams have made terrible changes, even altering the color scheme and overall concept. And there will always be some people resistant to any changes.

But I like the new Viking uniforms. They've maintained the color scheme without change. The helmet is slightly revised (which has happened before too), but the concept of the horn on the side of the helmet remains. The changes really make a huge difference in the overall look of the uniform; however, the uniforms are really the same (with a few swishing stripes on the side and shoulder pads).

I think the changes are positive. The purple pants are slick. On the football field, they will look classy and pretty similar to the way they've always looked.


  1. Did Williamson change to #82? The jerseys are better than Seattle's and that is a relief.

  2. man, i thought i had issues with football addiciton...

  3. They're keeping the purple pants seperate from the purple jerseys right?