A Football Life

I love football. My favorite NFL team is the Minnesota Vikings. They were one of best teams in the NFL three short weeks ago. They were the only undefeated team in the entire NFL. Last night, they lost to the Chicago Bears, a team that has been one of the worst NFL teams all season. Honestly, after the way the Vikings have performed over the last two weeks, they look like they’ll be fortunate to win another game this year.

The Vikings have been in the NFL since 1961. They’ve fielded some impressive teams over the years, most notably on the defensive side of the ball. Marshall, Eller, Page and Larson–the Purple People Eaters–were one of the best defensive lines of all time.

The Vikings have been to the Super Bowl four times. They have yet to win a Super Bowl. It’s like a friend of mine once said, “Oh yeah, the Vikings. Man, you know they’re gonna tear it up in the regular season, but they’ll break your heart in the playoffs.”

Ahem. Did you hear that guys? You have roughly nine weeks of not sucking left! Jaysus, Mary and Joseph!! Saints presarve us!!!

For those of you that don’t watch football, it’s a violent, contact sport. It’s a game of big hits–torn ACL’s, torn MCL’s and concussion protocols. Injuries are part of the game. They are a given. You have to prepare for them.

Last year, the Vikings were an young, upstart team that came out of nowhere to win the NFC North division. This year, they were an early pick to be in the Super Bowl. I was really excited about this team. If they can just stay healthy, I thought…

You can’t make excuses, but injuries have been the one thing this year’s Vikings haven’t been able to avoid. And they have been almost catastrophic. The Vikings lost their starting quarterback before the season even started, then lost arguably the best running back in the game in Week Two. Well, all I can say is those are going to seriously alter your game plan.

The Vikings did go out and get a replacement starting quarterback. Sam Bradford looked like he was going to be more than a stopgap solution. He looked freaking awesome–until the Vikings played the Philadelphia Eagles, Sam Bradford’s former team. And that’s when a glaring weakness in the Vikings lineup was revealed.

Today’s NFL has evolved into a precise, high tech game of complex offensive formations and big plays. The passing game has eclipsed the running game in terms of importance and fan approval. It has become an exciting game to watch, most of the time.

However, in order to achieve this finely tuned aspect of the modern game, you need at least one throwback fundamental element from the old school game of the ancient 1930’s. You still need the big guys on your offensive line to block the big guys on the opposing team’s defensive line.

And this is the glaring weakness that has been revealed in the last two games, the Vikings apparently don’t have an offensive line.

I know, right! How the hell doesΒ that happen? Well, the injury bug has been feasting at that buffet this year, too. And so, a year that started out with such promise has suddenly become a season that cannot end too soon, and I love football! I never want the season to end!!

I haven’t been this disappointed since 1998. That was a year that will live in infamy for every Vikings fan.

In 1998, the Vikings unleashed something that had never been seen before. The Vikings had a high powered offense. The Vikings could seemingly score at will, from anywhere on the field. They tore up the regular season, coasting to a 15-1 record. They were easily the best team in football that year. They were the odds on favorite to win the NFC title, and they were a shoe in to win the Super Bowl. It was the greatest season ever to be e a Vikings fan because this was our year! πŸ˜„πŸ‘πŸ˜„πŸ‘

I’m not sure I can finish this without needing to be on suicide precautions. To make an incredibly heartbreaking story very short, the Vikings got beat in the NFC Championship game by the Atlanta Falcons. By a fucking field goal. And the big story the next day wasn’t that the Falcons won, but rather that the Vikings lost. I lost one thousand dollars on that game. It was the last time I ever placed a bet on any football game, let alone a Vikings game.

I howled like a dog for three days. I cried like two toddlers that had dropped their ice cream cones. I think the only thing that hurt me more, in terms of heartbreaking anguish, was when my high school sweetheart and I broke up.

My lovely wife finally bitchslapped me back to life with these words, “If you want to kill yourself, I’ll drive you to the IDS Center and push you off myself! For the love of God, snap out of it!! Be a man!!!”

I’ve tempered my passion for football since that year. You have to do that, especially if you’re a Vikings fan. I try not to get too high, so I can avoid having to fall so very, very low. And despite that, I’m still disappointed when the Vikings don’t play well.

I guess that’s why they call us fans. We vicariously live and die by our respective teams. It looks like it’s gonna be another year of death for Vikings fans. Too bad we can’t request a bullet to the head, instead of having to watch while someone eats our livers in front of us before we bleed out.

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