Vikings’ coronation goes down the tubes
So how was your Sunday? Mine last weekend was less than ideal.
I’ll just be honest. Mine sucked. As a longtime Minnesota Vikings fan, there have been days where I’ve been disappointed or upset over what I saw. However, Sunday took that to a whole new level.
The Super Bowl will be played in my home city of Minneapolis next Sunday, and everything was lining up perfectly. My beloved Vikings were one game away from playing for their first Super Bowl title and it was going to be on their home turf, the first team in league history to do that.
Not only that, my wife and I are heading down there next weekend to watch the game on TV with my family. I would’ve gotten to see the joy on my father’s face, a long-suffering Vikings backer, as he watched his favorite team came out of the tunnel to the sound of a Viking horn and fans doing the “Skol” chant (look for it on YouTube).
Seeing as I missed out on that look when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series two years ago, I would’ve been thrilled to see him smile like that.
Unfortunately in life, when things seem to appear perfect, they rarely end up that way and that’s what Minnesota fans had to learn again Sunday.
Perhaps the warning signs were already there before the game began. In the AFC Championship, the team I despise above all others, the New England Patriots, managed to do what they typically do and overcome a double-digit deficit late to win.
I am by no means a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, but I became one that afternoon just so I wouldn’t have to suffer the agony of watching New England try to win a Super Bowl in my home state.
That’s right, Tom Brady. My home state. You just wish you were a Minnesotan.
As painful as that conclusion ended up being, I was okay. When I was living in Indianapolis, the Patriots came for the Super Bowl and got upset by the New York Giants.
“Wouldn’t it be sweet to see the Vikings do that to New England?” I thought to myself like the fool that I am.
The Vikings’ game against Philadelphia started off so well. Minnesota scored on its opening drive when quarterback Case Keenum found Kyle Rudolph open in the end zone.
I got excited. The Vikes were already looking great. Something that I didn’t think would ever happen was going to. If you’ve read my column last week, you know that I missed the Minneapolis Miracle play because I was in a movie theater.
I debated about putting in a DVD seeing as Minnesota was off to a great start. Why break with tradition? When I don’t watch something, things go well.
Instead of watching a movie, I started flipping through channels to find something different and I settled on the Disney movie “Frozen.” Yeah, I’m not sure why either.
After Elsa and Anna attempted to build a snowman, I flipped back to the game to see how things were going and I immediately regretted it as Keenum threw a pick-six that tied the game.
Not wanting to make it worse, I switched channels again and just tried to keep track of the game on my phone. It turned out my strategy didn’t help as the Vikings offense decided to pack it in after the first quarter and the defense by halftime.
As the Eagles continued to soar over my squad, I did what any sane person did in that situation — I took a swig of Jim Beam and went back to “Frozen.”
My spirit was gone by that point, and I don’t mean the bourbon whiskey I was drinking.
Despite Elsa’s pleading for me to “Let It Go,” I just couldn’t do it.
It’s not that easy Elsa. This was supposed to be our time.
The next day, I watched footage of Eagles fans running into posts, climbing greased lamp posts, pelting Vikings fans with beer cans, and of course, fighting each other for no reason.
Apparently, some guy punched a police horse, which is the second time this has happened in the last month. This classy bunch now will be arriving in Minnesota this week.
I also got to watch Patriots’ fans relentlessly brag about their team and talk about how great Boston was compared to other places.
When walking downtown, there’s a chance I could bump into these clowns, too. My guess is at least one of them will go by the name of Sully or Murph. It’s like clockwork.
So next Sunday, Vikings’ fans will have to choose between two horrendously awful fan bases. One of them will probably high-five you after they win and then punch you in the face for not wearing green. Meanwhile, the other one will insult you the entire game and then when they win on some fluke play or botched call, will make sure that you never forget it.
Neither one sounds particularly pleasant, but for me the choice is easy.
A punch in the face is better than being taunted. It’s over quickly and who knows, you might not even remember it.
Unlike what happened to the Vikings last Sunday.
Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.