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.