The Pioneer Press and Star Tribune keep running the same stories and columns about the Vikings. KFAN has been singing the same tune. Viking fans are apathetic about the team right now. Nobody has confidence in the organization. People think the ownership, coaching staff, and front office are incompetent. Fan excitement and interest in the team is at a low point, maybe the lowest ever.
If this is true, I just want to ask: what the hell is wrong with you people?
Let me take you back to 2001 and 2002. The '01 Vikings spent a season under a spiritual cloud after Korey Stringer's death. The tacky thing to note is that Stringer's death also contributed to making the Viking offensive line awful for two years (In '02 Bryant McKinnie was drafted to help deal with these issues; he held out into the regular season). During the season, Randy Moss started talking openly about his lack of effort. The '01 and '02 Viking defenses were epically bad. Every opposing WR looked like Lance Alworth (sometimes you couldn't even tell which Viking DB got beat--he was beaten so bad that there were no Viking defenders on the TV screen). Shaun Alexander scored 5 TDs in the first half against the Vikes in '02. After Denny Green was run out in '01, Mike Tice, an offensive line coach with no coordinator experience, was promoted to head coach because he was cheap. And of course, the team was owned by Red McCombs, who was notoriously unwilling to spend money to make the team competitive, and who frequently discussed his desire to relocate the team.
How is that period better than this one? We've got an owner working hard to get a new stadium in Minnesota, who has stressed his firm intention to keep the Vikings in Minnesota, who has taken financial losses for the team in a clear commitment to devote financial resources to the team's competitiveness. The team features a strong, young offensive line and a crushing, dominating defense. The defense was wonderful against the run in '06, and was actually excellent overall (there were several games in which the Viking defense gave up one or zero touchdowns). Why in the world would the '07 offseason be a time to be more apathetic and pessimistic than the '01 or '02 offseasons?
Two words: Randy Moss. Randy Moss was an exciting offensive player. No matter how bad the organization, ownership, coaching staff, offensive line, defense, or special teams were, Randy Moss made the Vikings fun to watch. They were always going to have offensive fireworks. The rubes liked offense: it didn't matter that the Vikings were nowhere near fielding a championship (or even playoff) defense. Offense is fun; defense is not.
But you want my opinion? This Viking team is MUCH closer to championship material than those teams. It will be much easier to create a competent offense to compliment our great defense now than it was to try create a competent defense to compliment our great offense then. The entire defense sucked back then. There were issues at all 11 positions. There were also major issues on the offensive line. We had no kicker and no return game. Other than Randy Moss's excitement, it was a brutal time to be a Viking fan.
Right now, we've got a great defense (and for the most part, young, too). We've got very good offensive linemen and solid running backs. We're currently incompetent in the passing game. But it's going to be easier in the next one or two seasons to build a competent passing game to compliment good offensive line, good running, good special teams, and great defense, than it would be to find 11-25 defenders to support a great passing game.
This is NOT the time to be apathetic or pessimistic. Just because you found the '06 Vikings BORING because they featured dominating defense and poor offense does not mean the team is in worse shape than it was in '01 or '02. And if you think it was better then than now, just admit you're a rube for offense. Just admit it and move on. You like the exciting long-bombs, you want to see great offense, you don't appreciate great defense, and probably, you don't understand what it takes to win football games.