A few years ago, my family just got hit with one gut punch after another. Between illnesses, layoffs, and a couple people not seeing eye to eye on some things, it just seemed like no one on my side of the family could catch a break. Towards the end of the year, we were in my sister's backyard around a bonfire, and we threw a calendar into the pit, because that year just needed to be killed with fire.
It was a catharsis for us, and although the problems we faced were still there, it symbolized that we can forget about what's behind us, and it gave us energy to face what was on the horizon. What's done is done. Pick up the pieces and move on.
And so it is with the 2010 NFL season for Vikings fans. What began with such promise ended with an indifferent loss to Detroit in the season finale. In between we were asked to face a myriad of issues--The Hip That Wouldn't Heal, The Secret Flight of the Three to Make Four, The Prodigal Son Returning, said Prodigal Son not being a Schematic Fit, whatever the hell that means, Chilly's Firing, The Vikings Becoming Homeless, 1-5 in the Division, and I'm sure I'm missing something. Now that we've had time to decompress, I would think some, if not most of us, should file for disability, because if you're not suffering from a Vikings induced PTSD, then by God, you're not really a fan of the Purple and Gold. And with the lockout and stadium fight looming, it's not over.
The phrase 'that which does not kill you makes you stronger' keeps rolling around in my head, but I don't know why.
But we are Vikings fans. We keep our chin up and we move forward into the fire, humming our own personal Sturm und Drang along the way.
But c'mon, Lord, could you let up on us just a little? Did you really have to put the Bears AND the Packers in the NFC Championship?
Really. The conference championship games are, for me, such a perfect storm of craptastic that I really think my football season has ended. I've been beaten into submission. The AFC has the Steelers-Jets, and although I can cheer for the Steelers and Mike Tomlin, I still have a hard time looking past Super Bowl IX and Ben Roeffnarelkbgdvbzxfvshxzvdtasfger's off season indiscretions. The Jets? Let's put it this way. If Rex Ryan was the Vikings coach, I would love him. LOVE him. But he's not. He's the Jets coach. Never really liked the Jets, can't really stand New York anything, so it's easy to hate them and their brash trash talk. We Scandanavians frown on that. Give me the Steelers while I hold my nose.
Well, it's time. Time to talk about what we don't want to, but must.
That game. That. Game. With those teams.
Packers v. Bears. Historical blah blah blah. Franchise quarterbacks blah blah...excuse me while I throw up and then roll around in it. Two great defenses blah blah blah.
Here's my best case scenario. The Bears beat the Packers in the NFC championship, and then the Steelers blow out the Bears in the Super Bowl. And for all of you Packer and Bear fans that will come on here bleating about 'you should cheer for the NFC North' I say no. If it was the Lions, yeah, I'd cheer for them. Their fan base is more tortured than a victim of the Spanish Inquisition, so I could get behind them. But not the Bears, and especially not the Packers. I hope they both lose Sunday, and I would rather the NFC North be perceived as the NFC West before I ever see your teams in the NFC Championship again.
Because understand this, and let me make this clear: We hate your teams. Well, I do. I respect them, and the accomplishments of both teams are to be acknowledged, but I will never cheer for them unless doing so would somehow benefit the Vikings. And I would hope, as fans of the Bears and Packers, you can appreciate this sentiment, and would reciprocate. When you watch the game Sunday, Bears and Packers fan, watch knowing that I am in NFHell, and you can rejoice in that. Because one day the Vikings will scale the mountaintop, and I promise you, I will rejoice knowing you are in your own NFHell.
It's not personal, it's football fandom.
I leave you with the last 'Don Glover Quote of the Day' of the 2010 season. At some point during the games this season, my father would go all 'S*** My Dad Says' in regards to the game we were watching or the main rivals of the Vikings, and 9 times out of 10 it was hysterical, and if I was on the DN game threads, I'd share with the community. I called my Dad to see if he wanted to come over and watch the Packers-Bears this Sunday.
"Well", he said, "I can't cheer for that bitch or that baby, so I don't think so."
"Who's who, Dad?" I asked.
"Rodgers is a bitch, and Cutler is a baby, but it's pretty much interchangeable at this point."
I love my Dad.
Good luck to both teams. I hope you both lose, but I hope it's a good, injury free game.
Oh, one more thing. We're burning a 2010 Vikings calendar in my fire pit immediately after the game.