Friday, September 21, 2007

Narcissism and Me: how Super Bowl IV defined my worldview

The Vikings-Chiefs game on Sunday is a rematch of Super Bowl IV, something nobody could possibly care about. But I do. Because I blame that game for everything. That's where it all started.

If the Vikings won that game, I wouldn't be raised by a generation of Minnesota sports fans that saw the Vikes go 0-4 in the Super Bowl.

If they won that game, I would never have heard a Packer fan make a joke about how the Vikings have never won a Super Bowl.

Because if the Vikings won that game, everything would be different. I'd be rooting for a team that has won a Super Bowl. And right now, that is so different from rooting for a team that has not, I can't even imagine it.

Oh, I know the neuroses would still be there: it takes more than a sport to create a gentile version of Larry David. But as a sports fan, no matter what happened I could always think upon the 1969 Vikings. Sure, I'd want to see the Vikings win a championship myself (and for that, perhaps Gary Anderson makes all the difference--perhaps there would no longer be any tension at all but for that). But it wouldn't quite be so futile. It wouldn't all feel so useless. The desperate feeling of emptiness would be something else. The hopes might not come off as so desperate. There'd at least be something in history that I could look back on to make me smile.

Instead, the Chiefs beat the Vikings, and all my sports fan nerves got twisted and frayed, so that sports become not an escape from the hazards and confusions of life, but a concrete reminder of all that is hopeless.


  1. So what's worse... rooting for the Vikings, who have been to four Super Bowls in their 47-year history and lost them all, or rooting for the Lions, who have won only one playoff game since their last championship in 1957?

    I'm honestly not sure. On one hand, as a Lions fan, you never get your heart ripped out as Vikings fans or Bills fans (I consider them to be in similar predicaments) must experience. On the other hand, the reason that never happens is because Lions football is inevitably irrelevant by mid-November.

    That said, I think I would rather root for a team with the relative success of the Vikings. I lived in Massachusetts from 2000 until about two months ago, and grew to be a little bit of a Red Sox fan. Getting to watch playoff baseball almost every year, even though there was an overwhelming sense that fate would crush the team's chances, was more fun than rooting for consistent failure. And when they finally broke through in the magical fall of 2004, nothing topped the sheer happiness of everyone in the Boston area. I really think that everyone appreciated the championship all the more because they had been so close in the past.

    It's not a definite answer by any means. And as a 25 year old fan, sometimes I think logically about things and realize that it doesn't really matter whether a team's last championship was in 1918 or 1988; I still wouldn't have experienced it. But some kind of "fan base pride" element definitely exists. Where am I going with this? I don't know. Sports are irrational.

    More than anything, this ludicrously long comment was a great way to put off briefing cases for law school for another 10 minutes...

  2. pv, I forgot to ask, can you send me an e-mail? I realized I don't have it, and that's why I never e-mail you. Cheers, MCBias.

  3. Anonymous11:49 PM

    If I could have just had sex with a gymnast before I graduated from college, everything would have been so much different than it is now. I wouldn't be stuck in this dead-end job, I wouldn't have such a sour outlook on life, I would be able to dance, probably have a wife that loved me, and would finally be able to keep those thoughts about guys touching their toes out of my head. Had that little thing that I'd been hoping for actually happened that would have been great while it was occurring and for a short time afterward, I'm sure that everything my life would take on a brand new shiny gleam for the rest of time. I'm postive that gymnast sex will be the crowning achievement of my life and I'll be able to close my eyes and sleep for eternity.

    Now I've found a couple of gymnasts and made my move, but I've been rebuffed 4 times now. Some nights I go out and there aren't even any gymnasts out at the bars. Other nights I go out to grab a drink and check out the club for gymnasts and I'll see some really short powerful girl and I'll think "gymnast!" Nope, she's a powerlifter, and I'm back to square one again.

    I try to distract myself during the day, get my work done and try to live a normal life, but when night comes, I can't help ignoring everything and everyone in my life to right this wrong. Once night falls, I'll be out there trying desperately to make it happen. Each night is a new night! Tonight could be the night! My emotions are so strong, it has to happen tonight!

    But it didn't. When I do have sex with a gymnast, I'll be able to tell my kids about it, or someone elses kids. Heck, I'll be able to show them the video!

  4. Anonymous1:52 AM

    ^^^ Hilarious.

  5. I'd prefer a SuperBowl VIII rematch, but let's be serious...that will never happen as long as I'm alive.