This year has offered Viking fans an experience we haven't had in a long time.
Nobody is picking the Vikings to do anything this year.
I've already read a lot of previews and predictions. Most prognosticators have the Vikes under .500, in third or fourth place in the NFC North. Some have predicted the Vikings to be among the worst teams in the league. With the exception of some Viking fan bloggers, I have not seen any writers projecting the Vikings with a division title, a playoff appearance, or even a winning record.
While this is somewhat disheartening (I can't help but think the entire rest of the football watching world must be onto something), I'm really not sure we should care. Since I've been following the Vikings closely, I've seen both Dr. Z and Peter King predict the Vikings in the Super Bowl. Randy Moss was on the cover of Sports Illustrated's NFL preview once; Daunte Culpepper was featured prominently in ESPN the Magazine's NFL preview in a different year. Several years the Vikings were seen as an emerging contender in the NFC. I've seen dozens (possibly hundreds, but I try to avoid hyperbole) of predictions for division titles in the last five years.
None of those predictions of good things for the Vikings were correct. And so it is entirely possible that all of these predictions of bad things for the Vikings will be just as incorrect.
The optimistic preseason predictions we read for the previous five years weren't worth my toilet brush. Here's hoping all the pessimistic predictions we're reading now aren't worth my plunger.
These are the things I tell myself as I mull over whether to purchase season tickets tomorrow.