Posts Tagged ‘Vikings’

SKOL ! ! !

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

After 48 years of frustration and agonizing defeats, I sat and watched for what I swore to myself would be the last time, as my Minnesota Vikings were seconds away from yet another heartbreaking loss….

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There are few great playoff come from behind wins in the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings, MY ( I feel I have the right to stake claim to a small part after this long) Minnesota Vikings, have no such victories during their many playoff appearances. But as of this past Sunday, all the old excruciating losses can now be put in the rear view mirror, because we finally broke the curse.

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Diggs Minnesota Miracle catch

In a span of ten seconds, my thoughts of leaving behind my Purple Passion for this team vanished almost as quickly as the thought set place in my mind. In those ten seconds, what will forever be called the Minnesota Miracle, made me and millions of fans remember just why we bleed Purple and Gold.

I remember just one other time in my life, when such an event took place and I had similar thoughts of walking away from my favorite baseball team. Down to one strike and a World Series on the line, the New York Mets drew another breath, when all seemed impossible and a series loss looked inevitable. Then too did I swear I would never again put myself through a season of joy only to sit in despair when my team went through one more ugly loss when it mattered most. But just like this past weekend, they pulled it out in “Amazin” fashion and made me a believer once more.

I have been a Viking fan since my dad told me they were called the Purple People Eaters way back in January of 1970, when they appeared in their first of four Super Bowls. Since that memorable first impression I have watched (although almost impossibly back then without streaming) as many games as I could. I listen now to Minnesota sports talk radio on a regular basis ( thanks you IHeartradio) and can’t help but enjoy the always entertaining Paul Allen, who does the Viking broadcasts and like so many of us, is a diehard  rube.

Over the years I have watched some great Viking teams and dozens of Hall of Fame players perform at a high level and set seasonal records but never get that Super Bowl title. There are three very bad losses we sat and watched in the NFC championship round, all of which we were favored to win. This week we finally got one back from the New Orleans Saints who robbed us of a Super Bowl visit back in 2009, when Brett Favre threw up an interception that cost us the game.

This week like last, we’ll be favored to beat the Philadelphia Eagles but like most Viking fans , we don’t believe any game will ever be easy or sure thing. So I’ll sit back in my chair one more time, stress over the chances we won’t have something crazy go against us, and for those last few seconds of the game, pray we finish off the birds. No more drama and last minute Hail Mary passes (which phrase was coined after a loss by us to Dallas in 1975) but maybe a good old fashioned hard played win to get us into a home game Super Bowl. That in itself would help erase years of frustration..GO VIKES!!!

The Super Bowl..one players thoughts

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Great take on the game itself..thought I should share this in case you missed it

Editor’s note: Minnesota Vikings punter, Tripping Icarus bass guitarist, video game aficionado and Twitter icon (@ChrisWarcraft) Chris Kluwe offers his take on the Super Bowl for the Pioneer Press.

The Super Bowl. It is the culmination of an entire year’s worth of work for 106 players and their coaches. It is the gladiatorial spectacle writ large, an entire nation the stage, hundreds of millions of spectators enthralled by 60 minutes of savagery, a chance for three hours to be part of something greater than an individual life. It is the chance for an obscure name to clamber atop the pedestal of greatness or for a celebrated veteran to ruin a career with one ill-timed drop or errant pass. It is the opportunity to rise above the mundane and the petty and achieve immortality. It is everything.

The Super Bowl. It is nothing. It is the overindulged watching the overcompensated while marketing companies rub their well-manicured hands with glee. It is the definition of materialistic consumption as million-dollar advertisements vie with one another to see which can blare the loudest, bedazzled peacocks and sequined foxes strutting their wares for an insatiable audience drunk off emotion and liquor and too many mini hotdogs such a steal at only $3 a box and, no, don’t ask what’s in them.

The Super Bowl. It is a celebration of life. It is the child who grew up with a blind father and almost had to quit playing football to support his family never having to worry about money again. It is the receiver who, despite all odds, was able to fill in at cornerback and make a key play to keep his team in the game. It is the fan who found the strength to rise above the miserable conditions at home, inspired by his favorite team, now a doctor or teacher or mentor and cheering that team on from the stands. It is that penultimate story of the quarterback no one thought would amount to anything, now living the Hollywood dream with a supermodel wife and widely regarded as the best player at his position and, boy, if you tried to pitch that as a movie script, would you be laughed out of the room.

The Super Bowl. It is the funeral march of despair. It is the same quarterback, slowly walking off the field after having come so close to victory only to watch it snatched away by an improbable circus catch, the width of a blade of grass the difference between perfection and an offseason of what-ifs. It is the bitter taste left in the mouth of an entire organization, one some have felt more keenly than most, to travel so far and walk away with only a consolation “Division Champion” ring that most would rather melt down than look at, so stinging are the memories. It is the knowledge that on the one day when it mattered the most, at the pinnacle of greatness, you JUST WEREN’T GOOD ENOUGH GET A JOB YOU LAZY BUM, never mind that those words will echo through your mind long after the lights are shut down and the last piece of confetti is swept away, perhaps to linger the rest of your life. It is the sickening thwack of an angry husband striking his wife, unable to articulate the pent-up frustration and rage he experiences from watching what is, after all, only a game.

The Super Bowl. It is the pathos of the stage on a scale Sophocles could only dream of, a million different story lines merging and swirling together to form one vast tapestry of drama, comedy and tragedy – a resonating stillness of chaos that brings the audience and actors alike so close to a transcendental moment that can never be captured, only experienced. It is the shining instant of perfection, but it is not guaranteed, never guaranteed, only the chance to participate, and is it any wonder that it happens on a Sunday?

The Super Bowl. It is the ultimate dichotomy, at once both a celebration of socialist equality amid the thunderous roar of a capitalistic juggernaut, a dance that any team can attend with that promiscuous belle of the ball, Advertising. It is our society, our culture, our America. It is the gloriously triumphant epitaph that will one day adorn our tombstone of decadence, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

It is the Super Bowl.

Heartbreak again

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

heartbreakWhat is it with being a fan of a sports team that when they lose we feel like we were there on the field with them.

Being a fan for so many years ( thirty nine to be exact) of the Minnesota Vikings has not been a good investment of my time. Thirty nine years without a Super Bowl win is not a thing to be happy about. Losing the last five Championship games isn’t fun either. I think it could possibly be worse, only because my team didn’t get to play in the Super Bowl let alone lose it.

After this weekends lose to the Saints, I swore to myself that I was done. Too many years of wasted time, energy and emotions left laying there on the floor of my living room, has made quite a mess.

It seems so odd to think that our emotions can get so drained, that we can fall into a funk of depression ( if only for a day, if you are one of the lucky ones) and then the next year be so optimistic that our team will get us to that glorious game. How can it be that being a fan of a team can become so much a part of our being as love, hate or any other long lasting emotion? Think about it. I remember the feelings I had when I lost one of my early girlfriends. It’s really not that different. Its like a part of our life is taken away and that missing piece takes time to heal and grow back. With love, its just replacing a lost love with a new one. With sports, its just replacing one team with the next. Football is over but maybe this year my baseball team will win it all .It’s how we heal.

How about all those Steeler fans. Boy do I envy those guys. How lucky are you if you happened to become a fan of the Steelers in the seventies. You have had a pretty good run haven’t you. But even with that, you still felt that heartbreak when those Steelers tanked this season after starting so well. Lucky you though. You didn’t have to go through that agonizing loss like us Viking fans did last Sunday.

So what does a guy do? Thirty nine years of futility is enough isn’t it? Isn’t it time to step away from being a fan and live a life less stressed and emotional?  Don’t we really need to find something better to invest our selves in that won’t let us down when it really counts? I for one have decided its time to try.

I have stepped back from baseball. I have found ways not to watch. As tempting as it is to read the back pages each day, I turn away. I figure it this way. Maybe if I walk away, my teams will find a way to win. Maybe they will do it without my emotional support. Maybe I can step away and if they make the playoffs, I can watch. Maybe then I won’t have so much invested in the team so that if they do lose, it won’t be so bad. After all I didn’t spend all season watching, so how bad can it be watching one game. It has to be better than watching every win or loss leading up too the big letdown.

Years ago when I was younger, it wasn’t as bad as it is today. Years of watching, reading and talking sports still doesn’t add up to the exposure we have available to us now. I can remember being lucky to watch a Vikings game on television. Usually it was a Monday night game. Living in New York, it was near impossible to see Viking games on Sundays. Today, we live in a different world. Directv has the NFL ticket. The NFL network now brings us games. Sport Center plays the tape over and over again every hour in case you missed it or want to see the replay until it makes you puke. And satellite radio, the Internet and pod-casts give us infinite ways to see or hear our teams games, even though they play in a different city then we live in.

Unless your head was buried in sand all winter, then you know that Brett Favre came to the Vikings. Because he did, I was able to watch twelve Viking games on television this year. That is ridiculous!!! I was in my glory. All because of the allure of Brett Favre to the sports writers, broadcasters and fans.

The stars were aligned for Viking fans.  The time was now for Viking fans. All those horrible losses would be forgotten with a Super Bowl victory this year. ” The pieces are in place”was Brett Favres own words this year. KFAN radio in Minnesota, played that over and over everyday during their  sports talk radio shows. They actually gave us fans hope that this year would be different. We all know how that turned out!

So with one more broken heart I go forward into the next sports season. Pitchers and catchers report in three weeks, but this time will be different. This time I will look the other way in hopes that I will remain strong enough not to fall prey to their catchy phrases and slogans of a better year ahead. On no, you won’t fool me again! You won’t break my heart again! Today I take ESPN out of my channel guide and hope that someday, someone calls me and says ” Hey, congratulations on the Vikings Super Bowl win!” ….

The Regular Guy

Hey sports fan here!!!!

Friday, May 8th, 2009

I am a fan. I am not nor have I ever been an athlete. I was not blessed with soft hands or big hands for that matter, so I was never really cut out for organized sports. Not that I would have wanted it any other way but I wonder if I would have followed some sort of dream had I had some basic skills to play ball.So I am just …the Regular Guy.

So here I am …a fan. Not a fan-atic (fan being short for fanatic), but these days, just a fan. I have to say, my days of living and dying over my teams wins and losses, have long since passed. I began to realize about 10 years ago that I, as a fan, seemed to care more about my teams losing than my teams players did.  I remember crying as a child when Cleon Jnym1ones struck out and the Mets lost a game. I remember how sick I felt when the Mets were down to two outs, and two strikes in game six of the 1986 World Series. And then how my heart raced and my mood became elated, when the game suddenly became a win for the Mets and they were once again alive to possibly win the Series in seven. Not since those days have I cared so much about sports and my teams.

Growing up, before free agency, if your team was good, it was always good, But,if they were bad, they stayed bad. My team just happened to be bad. Make that very bad. The Mets were lovable losers. Never picked to win anything, I did, as luck would have it, enjoy  my teams  first three World Series at an age that I can still recall all of them vividly. My Mets had the great Tom Seaver. I still remember the first time I heard his name and he is the reason I became a Met fan. He was and probably still is, the single greatest Met to ever wear our uniform. It was, as any Met fan knows well, the worst day in our lives when they traded him to the Reds. You see times were different then, and Tom Seaver belonged to us. He wasn’t supposed to go anywhere. After all, not many guys moved around much back then especially a star like Tom Terrific. Who was  I going to root for now on my team. This was my first scar as a fan.

I don’t watch all the major sports but I do like to watch football. I didn’t do to well picking a football team either, w

min1hen I chose the Minnesota Vikings. In retrospect, my choice of the Vikings didn’t look so bad back in 1970. It was my grand parents anniversary and I was in Momma Leone’s in Manhattan with my family celebrating the event. This would be my first experience with the Super Bowl. Thinking back on it now, I used to think it was weird that they would choose the day of the Super Bowl to celebrate, but back then the Bowl was fairly new and it didn’t garner the attention it does today.

Being that as it may, the Purple People Eaters were playing and I just had to make them my team. What kid wouldn’t pick the Purple People Eaters for their favorite football team. The Vikings had a tremendous defense which is why they went to four Super Bowls in eight years. Unfortunately other teams had better defenses when they met the Vikings in Super Bowls. Four visits, four losses. Not a good record and to date they have never gotten back there. Yeah we had some good teams but we couldn’t get over the hump.This would be scar number two.

Being a fan, epecially for some 40 years, the scars never heal. This is where it becomes hard to be a fan. Although years pass and players change our need to heal the scars never wanes. Being a fan of a losing team only makes it harder because it never seems that we can get that win that makes us forgive and forget the past wounds. This is why it is harder on fans then it is on the players they root for. The players don’t have years and years  invested in the team they play on, but we do. While those players were in diapers we were rooting for our team. When those same players retire, we will still be rooting for our team.

I woke up. I woke up one day and decided that my teams wins and losses were no longer important in my life. I don’t watch  much baseball anymore because for one thing I am sick of the drugs, the high priced players who never stick around, and the fact that I have to pay to watch them now. I don’t stay home on Sundays anymore to watch football, because when the weather is nice its hard for me to waste a day indoors watching television…any television. Life has too much to offer me other that watching sports and I am sure that on my dying bed I won’t be thinking I should have watched more sports.

I am a fan. I am still a fan. I am a fan but now I know my limits and because of that I can appreciate sports as entertainment and nothing more. My memories of the Mets and the Vikings are still intact and the scars never do heal, but life is so much bigger than sports, and I am spending my spare time…. trying to grab a piece of it.

The Regular Guy