Poor Charlie Brown. All he wants to do is kick that football. And that stupid girl always pulls the ball away so that he falls down. Charlie Brown, the archetypal loser. Everybody else gets candy; Charlie Brown gets rocks. But he's not the only member of the Peanuts gang to remind me of the Minnesota Vikings.
In "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," Linus sits around all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin while all his friends go out trick or treating. They don't believe, and they go party; Linus has faith, and so he waits.
Linus writes letters to the Great Pumpkin. While he writes, his friends come to mock and ridicule him. There's no Great Pumpkin and he's a moron for thinking there is. Why is he wasting his time? It's worthy of mockery and laughter.
In a conventional plot narrative, the faithful hero withstands the scorn of society and is rewarded for his faith. But Peanuts never gives us a conventional plot narrative. We see characters suffering through a world they don't understand. We see failure and disappointment. We see cruelty and depression.
And so Linus is never rewarded for his faith. Ultimately, he spends Halloween out in a pumpkin patch waiting for nothing. His friends make costumes and get candy; Linus waits on an empty faith.
Tell me, Viking fans, you don't know this story. It's not surprising that Charles Schulz is a Minnesotan. He was writing Peanuts before the Vikings even existed, of course. But there's something here, something in the long, cold, snowy winters, that prepares us for emptiness and disappointment. It makes the Vikings the perfect team for us. We wait and wait and wait and withstand the scorn of all around us, but our faith is never rewarded. Eventually, some of us are like Sally: we realize it is all stupid and give up in anger, cynical and jaded. But some of us, like Linus, take this year's failure in sadness, but hope and believe that next year, maybe, perhaps, the Great Pumpkin will show up. "Just wait til next year Charlie Brown! You'll see!" Linus is intent, devoted to the idea of the Great Pumpkin, and no matter how badly he is disappointed, he'll be back. Because he believes.
We're all Linus sitting out in a pumpkin patch. Blockheads.