This is a new year and a new season. Here we go again. I went to my emotional bank and took out a huge loan for last night's game. It started out well enough. I put on my new Brett Favre jersey, which is complete with the new fifty year patch and sat down in front of the telly. I texted my dad and exchanged pictures on the mobile phone with each of us in Viking battle gear and a whole lot of optimism. Since my dad lives in Tennessee, it was our way of connecting. Dad is one of the faithful from way back when they started in 1962. I got on board after my birth in 1968 (but enough rambling). So, I watched the game. I was a bit shaken when the Saints scored so fast. However, the time after that, I was encouraged. The Saints seemed to slow down and at times lost their zeal. In the second quarter they seemed to be at a standstill. That was our moment to strike! Our offense struggled but but it did produce. Our defense held well and the Saints missed all of their field goals (no voodoo happening there).
You know, there were times in the fourth quarter when I thought Lewis, or Berrian, or even Visonte would break open and pull it off. I could envision Favre running across the field in triumph after a great game-winning pass. I think we all were. But it didn't happen. I was hoping that the Vikings would beat the Super Bowl champs and maybe they would get some respect, but that didn't happen. But we have to look at this way. It didn't end the same way as it did in January. The Saints are NOT heading off to the Super Bowl and Favre is not injured and it's not the end of the season. Now the talking heads at ESPN and Sports Center and etcetera, will go on and on about how the only teams that are contenders for the Super Bowl this year is the Saints and Dallas. Like the good loyal Vikings fan I am, that makes me sick!
It's obvious that we need Sidney Rice and Cedric Griffin back and healthy, but without them, we held the Saints to only 14 points! Plus, we still managed to get in the endzone. This is not going to be a season of field goals. Our Vikings have the talent to do it this year. Brett came back to complete some unfinished business and I hope he can do it. Heck, we want him to do it. This is our 50th anniversary and dang it, we want it to be special! I'm praying and hoping above hope that it will be.
This year we had an early Christmas and my folks came up North to visit. The gift I gave my dad was a Vikings helmet with the signatures of the Purple People Eaters. His eyes lit up when he saw it. As he held it in his hands he said, "This will mean a lot more if the Vikings can win it this year." He's right I think we all want to see the Vikes win it this year. But you know what? Even if (God forbid) they don't, that helmet will still mean a lot to him and he will display it proudly none the less. Because he is a faithful Vikings fan no matter what.
I have seen how Vikings fans handle disappointments and have read some real heart-wrenching blogs about how sons watch the game with their aging retired fathers and how they say, "You can't win em all." Well this year, I don't want to learn new philosophies of not winning and reading the book Coping With Loss. I want to see how Vikings fans and players handle being World Champions. I still think we can do it! We have the talent and the heart.
So, I'm going to go and take out another emotional loan for the next game. I'm going to believe the Vikings will be able to pull off the big one. I'm going to believe that perhaps the ONLY team that can match the Vikings is the Saints. I'm going to wear my Vikings jersey in public places and proclaim this is the year of the Purple Reign! We have to win at least one Super Bowl before that comet hits the earth.
There is still an entire season ahead of us!!
(I'm done preaching to the choir). BELIEVE VIKINGS FANS!!!