Hey fellow Vikings fans. I've never been much of an article writer, so I'm hoping the result of this isn't completely terrible. But I had a few points to try to make.
First off, as we know this will be the Vikings 50th year of playing football in the NFL, and for the last 50 years, Viking fans have been reacquainted with the term "Almost" nearly every year. We as fans, and the football team are no stranger to disappointment. 4 Super Bowl losses, years that we should have made the Super Bowl,etc. The Vikings "almost" beat the Atlanta Falcons in the 1998 NFL Championship Game, Gary Anderson was "almost" perfect on the complete NFL season, Randy Moss "almost" caught that touchdown pass in the first quarter of the game in 1998, which most likely would have resulted in a Vikings Super Bowl appearance. The 2009 Vikings "almost" beat the New Orlean Saints to make a Super Bowl appearance. The list is seemingly endless. And I don't know about any single one of you, but in the past I've let that statement effect my way of thinking toward the Vikings. However, are we gonna be told that the Vikings are never going to be a Super Bowl winning team because of what we've done in the past? Definitely not. Every single NFL season is a chance for ANY of the 32 teams in the NFL to prove that they can be the best. And yes, I know it's hard to deal with but a team named the New Orlean Saints were in the category of "Teams to never win a Superbowl" before February. However, they were crowned World Champions and although I am a die hard Vikings fan, I have to just respect that in it's entirety. After what the city of New Orleans has been put through, they really fought hard for this. It's hard for me to say that the Saints "earned" it, because of how many blown calls there were in that NFC Championship game. But you know, the Saints did earn it. No team gets to the Super Bowl out of sheer luck and chance. It's sad to see it getting to some players heads now, such as our former Darren Sharper who recently made some unsportsman like comments on a certain amazing QB's ankle. However that's one thing I am proud of the Vikings for not doing. Mostly everyone on the Vikings, if not all, never resort to being "unsportsman" to try and make themselves look better. And that in itself I think makes the Vikings one of the best teams to EVER play the game. A testament to that is the last game that we played against our opponent, in which the Saints made clear their objective. Beat up, Brett Favre. Do I think that it was unfair? Yes. Do I think that the refs blew a lot of calls during that game? Yes. In fact, I think some of the calls of that game go directly against Rodger Goodell's stance on making an aspect of the game "Player Safety". Especially with the comments made by Sharper. But sitting back and whining about the past isn't going to grant the Vikings a Super Bowl appearance. 2010 is another year, to prove that we are the best team in the NFL. Another shot for the glory, our team has only gotten better during the offseason, and we are just that much closer. Maybe one play closer in the NFC Championship game, to going to the big game.
However, regardless of if the Vikings win the Super Bowl, or if they even make the playoffs next year (and lets face it, they will) the game is and has always been about heart. There is a great quote from one of my favorite movies, "We Are Marshall" in which coach Jack Lengyel tells his team
"...The opponent we are about to face today, doesn't know your heart. I do. I've seen it, you've shown it to me. This coaching staff, your teammates, you have shown yourselves exactly who you are in "here". When you take that field today, you gotta lay that heart on the line, men. From the soles of your feet, with every ounce of blood you've got in your body, lay it on the line until the final whistle blows. And if you do that? If you do that.... we CANNOT lose. We may behind on the scoreboard at the end of game, but gentlemen if you play like that we cannot be defeated."
The 2009 Vikings gave one hell of a show. We put up a fight that thirteen teams proved they could not handle. The Vikings laid their heart on the line, and even though they lost, they were not defeated. 2010 is another year to prove what we've got.
Cris Carter: "The uncertainty of football is why we play the game. It is why you turn on the television and watch, because in this league? There is no definite win."
And how right is Cris Carter? That statement has been shown in the NFL since it's inception. The Vikings sure do have a tough slate of games this year. They may say that we have to face teams that are so talented, players such as Drew Brees, Darelle Revis, Randy Moss, Tom Brady, and more throughout the year. But they are wrong. They, must face US. September 9th will come fellow Vikings fans. And already the "experts" have favored our rival the Green Bay Packers to win the division. And I guarantee, many will favor the Saints in the 2010 season opener. But we've got a great opportunity ahead of us. The Vikings have a chance to set the tone for the 2010 season with a win against a team that people will say we cannot beat. The players of that team will say, that they will be chasing our QB around the backfield all day. But those are just words. An uncertain outcome, of what is to come. Can the Vikings, beat the New Orlean Saints? Absolutely. Can the Vikings make the Super Bowl this year? Most definitely. At the start of the season they will have 55 talented athletes on that roster. 55 men, on a journey for Superbowl XLV. And along with that, we'll have 31 other teams in the league with the same goal. Yet we will only play 13 of those teams. Only sixteen tries to prove that we have what it takes to make it to the big one. In the NFL there is no definite win. And there are no guarantees. We can try to do silly things like predict what the record at the end of the season will be. How the players will perform. But as far as guarantees go, there is only one. They are guaranteed to take the field. And you can count on the Vikings to play with their hearts on the line. With a passion for football in some of these men, that is unmatched.
Dennis Green, who, in my opinion was the second greatest coach to ever play call for the Vikings, said that there are three things you must do to get what you want. He called them the three D's. Desire, Dedication, and Determination.
Do the Vikings have a desire to get to the Super Bowl? Most definitely.
I think that dedication and determination go hand in hand. Your dedication is part of your determination. The Vikings have been knocked down, several times. But we are DETERMINED to get back up each year and keep striving to be better than the year before. They've got an undeniably talented squad on the roster. In 2010, we will be a powerful force in the NFL. And another thing I can guarantee, is that no matter what? The Vikings will be a fun team to watch. I remember back in 1998, when my first stint of becoming a fan of the Vikings was born. I was only 5 years old. And I simply knew the Vikings as the "purple team". It was a monday night game, at Lambeau Field, and I told my dad, "Watch daddy, the Purple team is gonna win". And they did. But the thing that struck me was that the Vikings were just an undeniably fun team to watch. I didn't really become a follower of the game again until 2006. But we as Viking fans are ONE. And no matter where the Vikings go, although were hoping it's to Texas, this February, we will stand and root for our team. A team of CHAMPIONS, no matter what the score board says. No matter what our record is. The Minnesota Vikings, are winners.
I hope that this wasn't too terrible of an article. This is really my first shot at one, and I'm only 16 so I hope it's at least decent. Thank you.