Good afternoon, fellow Vikings fans. I sincerely hope that you're enjoying the brave new world of SB Nation with the launch of SB Nation United today, and we got a hell of a kickoff last night in Seattle with what might be the most talked about incident in the history of the league.
We know what happened. . .we saw the play. Kyle has given his take on it here, as most of you have no doubt already seen. But I wanted to throw my take on the situation out there as well, and I want to start it with eight words that I never thought I would string together consecutively.
The Green Bay Packers got screwed last night.
(No, there aren't cats and dogs sleeping together, and me making that statement doesn't mean that the Mayans got it right after all.)
Yes, the Packers looked like nothing short of hot garbage for the first half of football. No points scored, eight sacks of Aaron Rodgers (which is as many or more than 24 NFL teams have through their first three games of the season). But they made the necessary adjustments in the second half, outscored the Seahawks for the first 29:59 of the second half of play, and should have won the football game.
Anyone that's been following this site for any length of time knows how I feel about the Green Bay Packers, particularly the specific segment of their fan base that is of the impression that their fecal matter emits no perceptible odor. And many of the same fans that are up in arms about what happened at CenturyLink Field last night had no real issue when it came to light that, in a certain NFC Championship Game a few seasons ago, a particular team had a full-blown system that went all the way up to the General Manager that involved attempting to put a certain quarterback out of the game, out of the National Football League. . .you know, whatever they could get done. Or on any of the other occasions that the Minnesota Vikings have received a letter from the NFL offices saying (and I'm paraphrasing here), "Yep, we screwed up again. Our bad. . .but you still lost."
Yet despite all of that, I do feel bad for the Packers today, as well as the members of their fan base that aren't complete jerks about everything relating to NFL football. As a rabid Vikings fan, that's not a terribly easy admission to make, but there you have it. Don't get me wrong. . .if the Vikings massively exceed expectations and make the playoffs this year and the Packers miss out on the post-season by one game, I'm not going to say I wish they had Minnesota's spot or anything. Such a statement would be disingenuous at best.
Many people have said that nothing would change in the stalemate between the National Football League and the officials until the officiating cost somebody a game, and we've finally reached that point. And you know something?
It isn't going to make any difference. Not one. . .damn. . .bit.
Why is that?
Because when Thursday night comes around and the NFL Network fires up the television cameras to bring us the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns, we're all going to be watching. And that's all that the owners care about. You'll notice that none of the owners in the NFL have really come out about this situation. . .for crying out loud, Jerry Jones has said that he didn't see last night's ending because he was asleep. What the heck sort of message does that send?
The National Football League owners have all the leverage here, and they know it. . .and they're going to have all of the power until something happens that inhibits their ability to make money. Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, Jim Irsay. . .and, yes, even Zygi Wilf, who we all love because he saved football in Minnesota. . .didn't make a ton of money by being stupid or by making deals that they feel aren't beneficial to them. And they're not going to cave to the referees because of what happened last night. I'd be incredibly surprised if they did.
And that's who I blame in this situation. . .the NFL owners. I don't blame the men that are on the field. Everyone knows they're not qualified to be out there, but those guys are working their asses off and doing the best job that they know how to do under the circumstances. It's the equivalent of taking some dude from your local community theater and throwing him out there for opening night of the biggest Broadway musical of the year. Yeah, the guy has an idea of what he's supposed to do, and he's done something similar before, but nothing that even approaches the size and scope of doing it in front of a ridiculous amount of people on the biggest possible stage. And he's going to be terrible. The difference is that, on Broadway, if a show is terrible, people are just going to stop going, and the production will eventually shut down.
That's the sort of thing it's going to take to get this situation to change, and I simply don't see it happening.
Now, I'm seeing people calling for a boycott of the National Football League. While I understand and can support the sentiment, I'm not naive enough to think that such a thing is going to take root or even come remotely close to bringing the sort of impact that it would take for the NFL owners to reverse their case of rectal-cranial inversion. Because it won't.
Am I going to be watching next Sunday when the Vikings play the Detroit Lions? You're damn right I am. Why? Well, for starters, the nice folks at SB Nation have charged me with the operation of this website, and as such it's my job to bring all of you the best coverage of the Minnesota Vikings that I'm able to bring you. That and, well, I really enjoy watching Minnesota Vikings' football. Simple as that. So, you won't be getting any of the "RAWR BOYCOTT EVERYTHING ABOUT THE NFL" talk from here. Frankly, it would be an insult to the intelligence of every reader of this website to even suggest that I would do so.
An injustice was done at CenturyLink Field on Monday night when the Seattle Seahawks were awarded a victory over the Green Bay Packers. And an injustice is an injustice, even when it happens to someone that you've had your issues with more frequently than not. While I would like to hold out hope that this would be the catalyst for a change in the current situation, I'm not holding my breath. As long as the television ratings stay high and the advertising money keeps flowing in, there's no reason for the NFL owners to change anything, and I fear that we're going to continue to see more of the same going forward.
But if any of the owners are reading this, I'd love for you to prove me wrong.