First off, I'm not entirely sure why I decided to have a Dr. Seuss type headline. It sounded right for some reason. Second, with all the debate on MN politics ad the state of the team going on in the past week (with good reason), I figured that a thread about something light would be in order.
With what looks like an imminent deal being worked out (crossing fingers that Lucy doesn't pull the football out... AGAIN), it looks like the MINNESOTA Vikings will be staying in MINNESOTA for at least another 30 years (knock on wood). Obviously there is a lot of history with our proud franchise, some good... some not so good. But ALL important to us fans. Which brings us to the topic I propose.
When and How did you become a Vikings fan? I'm sure some people are just born with Purple and Gold running through their veins, and I'm sure there were other people who came about it by less conventional means. Such as they saw a Packer fan peeing on their Subaru and decided then and there they would hate the Packers with all their soul... thus becoming a Vikings fan.
Here's my story... I am a military brat so I did not live in the great state of my forefathers. Well, of my father, grandfather, and great grandfather. Any farther back would be on the boat from Germany, but I digress. I lived in Minnesota for all of about 3 years of my life total. And 2 of those years I didn't know because I was a little guy. The other year was when I was in 3rd grade. Anywhoo, My parents were stationed at Andrews AFB in Maryland when I was little. And most everyone knows that the DC area is swarming with Redskins fans. And Dallas fans, but mostly Skins fans. I remember when I was young, my dad watching the Vikings play the Redskins. I didn't know it at the time but it was the 2nd round of the playoffs then. In 1982, I was 4, so I didn't understand football. All I knew was that my dad was rooting for the Purple guys. Of course I wanted my father to be proud of me, so I started yelling at the tv along side of him. After the Vikings lost that game... I do remember the sting of defeat even at that young age, I remember going to bed upset.
The next morning I had preschool, and I went in to school like I did every Monday. Now I don't remember a lot of that school, much like I don't remember a lot of schools I attended due to the high volume of traveling my family did. But I do remember this day, Mainly because it is what solidified what would become my obsession for the next almost 30 years. I went into my classroom and the teacher started the day like she normally did. After a little while, the topic turned to if everyone had seen the game the previous day. Most of the class raised their hands. Of course my teacher had a huge smile on her face since the Skins had won. She then proceded to hand out Redskins hats. The soft hats that have the flap in the back to cover your neck... you know which ones I'm talking about. When she handed me one, I looked at it with disgust. I looked around and saw the other kids proudly displaying theirs atop their oversized domes. Then I got up, walked to the front of the class and threw it onto my teachers desk. I didn't throw it in the trash because I didn't want to get yelled at. Well the teacher looked at me and asked why I didn't want it, and with my eyes full of the innocent tears of youth, I replied "Because I'm a Vikings fan!". The other children laughed and ridiculed, the teacher even threw in a chuckle. But it just bounced off of me because I knew that the Vikes were the best team ever.
With all the anxiety of the past couple months regarding the stadium and whether the team would move (rub a rabbits foot), I'm reminded of why I became a Vikings fan and why I remain a Vikings fan. I became a fan because of my father, and because I didn't want to be a follower of what everyone else was doing. I stayed a Vikings fan because of what it meant to me. Being a member of the military myself, I don't live in Minnesota. As I've stated before, I only lived there a short time. But everyone in my family lives there, except my dad and sister now. The Vikings are a way for me to be able to connect to the family I almost never see. They are a conversation piece for my dad and I when we don't have much to say on the phone other than talking about how my sons are doing. A way for me to forget the mundane, and just stress about football instead of everything else. I couldn't do much as an out of state fan, but I did write the Governor stating as much.
I'm so glad that perhaps my sons will be able to experience the glorious pain that is being a Vikings fan. SKOL Brothers and Sisters SKOL.
P.S.- I know nothing is set in stone as of yet, so I'm still praying, knocking on wood, rubbing a rabits foot, and crossing my fingers that things happen the way we want them to. Thanks for taking the time to read this.