Yesterday, after the Minnesota Vikings fell to 2-9 at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons, I decided to watch the first two Twilight movies for two reasons: 1) they have absolutely nothing to do with football and 2) I promised my sister I would go see Breaking Dawn--Part 1 with her so I thought I should find out what the story was. Turns out it's a pretty basic forbidden love story with a vampire/werewolf angle thrown in and yet, not since 1993 have morose, plaid-clad people in the Pacific Northwest enjoyed such an influence on pop-culture. But I'm inclined to think that history will show that Nirvana and their grunge-rock cronies could have kicked some vampire ass.
That said, I'm grateful to those star-crossed vampires and werewolves because if I had to brood any longer on the Vikings' latest example of how to lose in football while really trying, I think I would have gone mad. Not a great attitude to have about your team when you write for a Vikings fan site, but not wholly unexpected given the way this season has gone.
Fill in the blanks on this most recent loss after the jump. Oh, there just might be a caption contest too.
It's getting to the point where football writers can almost use a 2011 Minnesota Vikings version of Wacky Mad Libs to write post-game stories. Honestly, it's more or less the same litany of problems leading up to a disappointing loss with just the specifics changing. That makes each loss, in addition to disappointing, well,...kind of boring.
In fact, let's just give that a try. Let's just see how ridiculously interchangeable the Vikings losses this season have become. I'll write the form and you can fill in the blanks, tell me how many of the losses this season it would work for.
After an uneven effort Sunday against the (opposing team name), the Vikings fall to (current record). While very few would have picked the Vikings to beat (opposing team name), there were times during Sunday's match-up when it looked like the Vikings would make a game of it, only to have those efforts nullified by costly (mental errors/penalties/coaching mistakes/injuries/all of the above).
Early in the game, (most recent player to suffer catastrophic injury) was knocked out of the line-up. (Another player) was pressed into service outside of his usual position. He occasionally looked (good/bad/uncomfortable/annoyed), but managed about as well as you'd expect. The team says they will know more about (injured player) after an MRI, but it is uncertain when he will be able to return.
(Opposing defender) powered through the Vikings' offensive line and harassed (Donovan McNabb or Christian Ponder), preventing the Vikings from finding an offensive rhythm. The Vikings' running game struggled against a (opposing team) defense that has routinely given up 100-yard rushing games to opponents this season.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings tried to compensate for their depleted secondary with a strong pass rush, but, although (opposing team)'s offensive line has faltered in protection frequently this season, they held the Vikings to a (opposing team) season low quarterback hurries and sacks, allowing (opposing quarterback) to remain untouched in the pocket so he could exploit the Vikings' depleted secondary.
In the fourth quarter the Vikings rallied with an explosive play from (Adrian Peterson/Percy Harvin) that brought them within (amount of points) of (opposing team), but (opposing team) managed to hold on and prevented that spark from becoming a fire.
The (opposing team) held on to win, dropping the Vikings to (current record) for the season, the Vikings' worst record since (equally awful season). Said Jared Allen after the game, "(something folksy and candid about how the Vikings suck and need to get better and how the other team played well enough to win)".
How many more of these formulaic losses will the Vikings have before the team's ownership does a complete rewrite? I don't know, I suspect that given the perfect storm of bad that the NFL lockout was on the last off season, Leslie Frazier and his staff will probably have another season to rebuild the team, hopefully, I won't have to use this template for another season. It would be nice not to have to use it for another game.
But, there are a few more games and we have a sense of humor here to maintain at the Daily Norseman, so let's commence with some silliness.
Because the people have spoken, I've left the caption off this image of Percy Harvin's incredible kick return on Sunday. Wow and amuse us with your clever captions for this picture. I'll pick a winner, possibly with the help of my fellow DN staff members, and we'll give you some metaphorical laurel leaves and an imaginary pat on the back. We'd do more, but the DN budget is somewhat smaller than Oprah's. We'll just have to hope the allure of being crowned king/queen of the caption contest is enough of a thrill for your ego.
Note: Once again, I have forgotten to include a deadline for the caption contest. The deadline is going to be Tuesday, 8pm central time. Look for the winner on Wednesday.