I really don’t want to write this column.
I really don’t.
Yes, the Minnesota Vikings just defeated the Detroit Lions, 20-13, to become surprising leaders in the NFC North.
Yes, they just beat the San Francisco 49ers, a preseason Super Bowl pick for many, two weeks ago.
And yes, I realize that they have…
- Yet to play outside
- Yet to play the Green Bay Packers or Chicago Bears
- Beaten a sorry team: the Jacksonville Jaguars
- Lost to another sorry team: the Indianapolis Colts
- Flown under the radar for the first three games
- Just beat the Lions (the Lions)
- A starting quarterback, Christian Ponder, that is profiled to be a “game manager”
- A running back, Adrian Peterson, that just suffered some major injuries and was involved in a kerfuffle at a Houston bar
- A wide receiver, Jarome Simpson, that missed the first three games due to suspension
And, most pertinently:
They. Always. Break. My. Heart.
But here I am, writing it.
I believe in the Vikings. I think they can…*gasp*
No. Don’t do it!
Oh my god, just stop right now!!
Hand cramps! Hand cramps!! Hand cramps!!!
If the Vikings were a song, Britney Spears would sing it.
If the Vikings were a book, Julie Garwood would write it.
If the Vikings were a film, Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt would star in it.
As Bill Simmons brilliantly wrote in his Levels of Losing column* after Minnesota’s NFC Championship loss to the New Orleans Saints:
Every 10 years or so, they rip the intestines out of their fans. Happened in 1975 (the Hail Mary), 1988 (Darren Nelson), 1998 (Gary Anderson) and 2009 (12 men). … By the way, none of those were the four lost Super Bowls. Not even the Red Sox annihilated their fans at such a consistently efficient pace.
Let me just say, thank god I was born in 1989.
Having said that, I still have trouble processing food.
*By the way, that was the best Bill Simmons column to date. Here’s how it starts:
A few weeks ago, I was trapped at home on a Friday night. My wife and daughter were away. My son was asleep. The Celtics had just blown a winnable game in Atlanta. I was flipping channels and thinking about things like, “I wish we had gone for Jamal Crawford over Rasheed Wallace” and “I wish Rasheed Wallace didn’t have bigger breasts than Rashida Jones.” And as I was thinking about breasts, I stumbled across Jennifer Love Hewitt — someone who, as far as I can tell, has made an entire career off her chest.
Oh yeah, by the way, a guy who covered the Twins with me this year told me that Sheed was making a comeback. And, of course, he’s trying out with the New York Knicks because, well, that’s a Knicks move. There are so many other things I’d rather see him do instead of playing basketball: join professional wrestling, do a movie with Shaq, go to the dentist…
But I digress.
Despite all they’ve done to me, the Vikings have me believing. Maybe it’s because the Twins have struggled so much or because the NHL is having its regularly-scheduled lockout or maybe because it’s hard for me to ever believe “Wolves hype” or maybe I’m just a sad sap.
Whatever the reason, I’ve bought in.
And don’t get me wrong: I know that I shouldn’t.
The logical side of me is not on board at all—I had already written them off, believe me.
It’s the emotional side that has me in a bind. I want to believe they can win.
I was texting a former sports editor at my alma mater, Santa Clara, that found me at a party and offered me a job (while he was blacked out) and he joked with me, saying that the Vikes were halfway to his projected win total of six. I had pinned them at six wins too.
But now six isn’t good enough. I want 12! I want 13!! I want 14!!!
I want 15.
Hell, I’m pretty upset right now that they lost to Indy.
I’ve seen 15 in my lifetime. I want 16.
But in the end, what I really want is a Super Bowl Championship here in Minnesota.
The entire city would go nuts.
We haven’t celebrated Big Four championship since the Twins won it all in 1991.
I was two years old!
But I know better.
I know I should curb my enthusiasm*.
*Great show by the way.
I know that by acknowledging their success, I’m only jinxing them.
In fact, come to think of it:
I really don’t want to write this column.
Tom Schreier writes for TheFanManifesto. He can followed on Twitter at @tschreier3. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.