Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Disappointment and Attendence

I decided not to attend the Viking-Giant game this past weekend (I didn't have tickets, but like Walter in The Big Lebowski can get you a toe, Viking tickets aren't hard to get). Whether I attended the game or not, I was going to be devastated if the Vikings lost; however, if I made the effort to go to the game and had to walk out of the Metrodome after a loss, I knew I'd be dead inside. And frankly, the Vikings have so frequently disappointed our expectations, that it was fair to believe the Vikings would lose the game and miss the playoffs.

So I'm not surprised the Vikings are struggling to sell out this week's playoff game against the Eagles. Viking fans have been repeatedly disappointed by this team. Going to the game is an act of faith that a lot of Viking fans can't muster anymore. Isn't it fair to expect to be disappointed? Isn't a "wait and see" approach reasonable?

I may go to the playoff game on Sunday (if the game gets blacked out, I'll certainly go). But I'm guessing a lot of Viking fans feel right now like I felt last week. We expect to be disappointed, and don't want to give the money, time, and effort to go be disappointed in person.

Perhaps it's like the Seinfeld episode when George's girlfriend says they need to talk; he knows she's going to break up with him, so he leaves, then spends a big part of the episode just trying to avoid her. We want to avoid the in-person breakup. No, it's not like that: we can't avoid it, because whether it happens on TV or in person (or any other way), the breakup is going to happen. So let's create a different analogy:

You know your significant other is about to break up with you. He/she is willing to do it over the phone; it might take a while, but you don't have to exert money or effort to receive the phone call. Or, he/she is willing to break up with you in person, but you'll have to deal with traffic getting to his/her place, pay for a parking space, pay the doorman $30-160 just to get in the door, sit around waiting, then proceed to get brutally dumped in person for three hours, with three minute breaks every ten minutes for you to just think about the awful things this person is making you feel, and when it's all over, you can leave the place and deal with traffic trying to get home while you just feel terrible about everything.

Wouldn't you take the over-the-phone breakup?

I'm guessing that's how a lot of Viking fans are feeling now. Viking fans expect the breakup, and will take it as cheaply and easily as they can. That's what comes from rooting for a team that brutally crushes us at every moment it gives us the most hope. And I don't even have to recite the litany of those crushing moments--they were so memorably heart-breaking, you won't ever forget them.


  1. Eagles fans travel well and may help sell out that game, although the tempeture of Eagles fans is pretty lukewarm also.

    You've got to go. Makin the playoffs is an important accomplishment for the Vikings. How many chances does one get to see a playoff game.

    I am a Vikings fan living a time zone away, I have virtually no chance of ever seeing a Vikings playoff game. Go for me.

  2. Right now I'm planning to go, but I think the endings of the '98 and '03 seasons, and the high expectations at the beginning of the '04 and '05 seasons, are directly responsible for a lot of Viking fans not going.

  3. You know "deal" makes me think of a very good point here, and I've felt this way a lot toward my fellow viking fans: eventhough we are disappointed almost every season, we're a lot better off than a lot of teams out there. Deal said "making the playoffs is an accomplishment and how many chances does one get to go to a playoff game?"

    Well if you're a vikings fan, you've had many chances to see a playoff game at home. We've had plenty of them in recent years, and even more in the 70's (I wasn't around). So we can easily stay home from a playoff game without regret.

    What if you're a Lions fan? Ask yourself the same question: "how often do you get to see a playoff game?" I hate to be the mom who says there's starving kids in China so finish your green beans, but it's true. There are a number of franchises that went on long droughts of no playoff appearances. The Bears sucked pretty much most of the 80's except for the fluke superbowl season, Arizona is a consistent joke and still is despite winning their division, what about the New Orleans "Aints" as they are called that for a very valid reason. Chargers have been around less time but they've never won it, same with Seattle as they are a perrenial shit team most years. The Bengals, the browns, falcons, the list goes on.

    There are quite a bit of teams in the NFL that have not won a Superbowl besides the vikings, but vikings fans take a playoff appearances for granted. If you have the chance to go, then go and support your team, keep eagles fans out of the seats. Because just as there's a chance they could win the superbowl, there's also a chance that the vikings may not make the playoffs again for a very long time. In the NFL, anything can happen.