Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I still dream about this accursed team

part two in an erratic offseason of blogging

Last night I dreamed that the Vikings won the Super Bowl. I'll skip details (it was a little weird), but it was quite vivid. And I was just ecstatic. That's what I remember from the dream: grinning wide and feeling exquisite joy. But all along, I knew something wasn't quite right. I had remembered that the Saints won the Super Bowl. And I think I knew the joy I was feeling was short-lived, and I was bound to wake up.

And of course, I did.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


part one in a sporadic offseason of blogging.

I spent the evening rubbing raw some wounds that had spent two weeks scabbing over, so if you don't mind, I have a few things to write. I feel like we gave it to the Saints, and the Saints took it from the Colts.

If you're curious
2009 marks the 12th time the Minnesota Vikings lost a playoff game to the eventual Super Bowl champion ('69, '71, '73, '74, '76, '77, '82, '87, '88, '89, '99, '09).

You might be surprised to learn that PV thought about the Minnesota Vikings while reading a poem.
From Milton's Paradise Lost:

I give not heaven for lost: from this descent
Celestial virtues rising, will appear
More glorious and more dread than from no fall,

Satan is trying to talk himself into something here. After being cast out of heaven during a disastrous failure to wage war against the throne of God, Satan suggests that when they finally do defeat God and take back heaven (a total impossibility), it will be much more glorious than if they had won without falling first.

This is what some might say to console Viking fans. Chin up: after all these disappointments, it will just be that much sweeter when the Vikings finally do win the Super Bowl. But there are two problems with this consolation. First, why the certainty that it will eventually happen? Ask Cubs fans how certain you can be that your favorite team will win it all in your lifetime. Second, weren't there already enough disappointments that would have made 2009 epically sweet? What, 48 years of existence with no championship wasn't enough? An 0-4 Super Bowl record wasn't enough? The endings of '75, or '87, (or if you'll only allow me the disappointments I've experienced) of '98 (especially!), of '00, of '03, weren't enough? We needed a more disappointment in 2009 to make it even sweeter in some mythical hopeful future?

I don't ACTUALLY believe this (not really)...
Some spiritual entities watching over sports won't allow a team to go 0-5 in the Super Bowl. There were three 0-4 teams: the Vikings, the Broncos, and the Bills. The Broncos weren't allowed to go back to their fifth Super Bowl until they were ready to win it, and the Vikings and Bills won't be allowed back until they're ready to win it.

If I think I took it bad...
My wife spent the last two weeks telling anybody who brought up football that she didn't want to talk about it. I thought I had used avoidance and distraction as a defense mechanism: she turned it into an art form (when we turned to The Soup to get away from our football thoughts, Joel McHale started with a joke about Brett Favre throwing an interception in the Puppy Bowl, so it hasn't exactly been easy to forget about). She really might have been more disappointed than I was. She barely looked up while I was watching the Super Bowl (we've watched each Super Bowl together since the Buccaneers beat the Raiders, which, considering the current states of those teams, certainly seems a long time ago), but she's already excited to watch the draft, which somewhat flummoxes me (she's hopeful, I guess). And she's currently encouraging me to keep up this blog.

And now the Saints won
I've avoided allowing myself to think about what I'd be feeling tonight if things had gone just a little differently (like, say, no 12 men in the huddle penalty). Luckily, my imagination keeps that thought abstract and distant, not quite so close to reality as it actually was. But usually after the Super Bowl I start thinking "Someday. Someday. Maybe even next year." I have trouble doing that now. I try to tell myself things though (we've got Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice!). And there are a lot of teams that won the Super Bowl the year AFTER their apparent best shot (the '96 Broncos were the AFC #1 seed but won the Super Bowl in '97,the '04 Steelers were a 15-1 #1 seed but won the Super Bowl in '05, the '05 Colts were a 14-2 #1 seed but won the Super Bowl in '06). But it feels as far away as ever.

It's constantly cold, and it's quickly dark. Another year without a Viking championship. It's Minnesota. But the Timberwolves are kind of coming around? They've won four straight, right? Right?

(public domain image--by William Blake--from Wikipedia).