During the Saints*-Seahawks “football game” (quotes required because really, there was no actual game- just a good ol’ fashioned beatdown) last night, I noticed on Twitter a great number of Vikings fans questioning whether they hated the Saints* or the Seahawks more. And I, personally, was confused.
Now don’t get me wrong. Football fandom is a fairly personal thing: you hate who you hate, and you love who you love. Just because I don’t understand or agree with a particular rooting preference doesn’t make me right or you wrong. I was just honestly… confused. So I decided to explore a bit of the Seahawks history with the Vikings, and then conclude with a simple poll: do you hate the Seahawks as a legit “enemy of the Vikings”?
First off allow me to explain my confusion, and then to try and encapsulate why, as it was explained to me, I shouldn’t have been confused. If you ask me, a team that essentially cheated** us out of a Super Bowl appearance is going to have my hatred levels go past Packer-status. (At least I can say the Packers just legitimately beat us fair and square. Still hate them though.) Let’s put it like this: when the Packers and Saints* play it’s an absolute ‘meteor bowl’ for me, but if the Packers win, at least I will smirk at the sad looks on Drew Brees’ and Sean Payton’s faces. If the Saints* win? Can’t even smirk at Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy, because I know that the Saints* won and it pisses me off too much.
**I still blame the referees the most. The Saints* couldn’t have gotten away with what they did if the zebras had, you know, done their jobs.
Again… that’s just me though. Some people are over it. Some people think the problem was overblown from the start. C’est la vie- again, football fandom is a personal thing that is individually decided. And some people would lose their minds at the thought that I actually hate the Saints* more than the Packers, and they would have many a legit reason as to why.
The Seahawks, on the other hand? Again, to explain why I don’t get the hatred, they really haven’t successfully done anything to us. We did have a bit of a ‘poison pill’ back and forth with Steve Hutchinson and then Nate Burleson (BTW, Hutchinson’s Twitter mockery of the Saints* last night was classic), but c’mon… we won that. They recently signed a slew of our FAs, but to be fair, a.) we by and large have ‘won’ that as well (Sidney Rice is constantly hurt and Antoine Winfield didn’t actually make the team); and b.) these were FAs, guys we either cut (Winfield) or really didn’t try very hard to retain (Rice). The way I see it, if you cut a guy or don’t make the proper effort to retain them, then you can’t get mad when another team swoops in and picks them up. (And while we all very, very much miss Winfield right now, Rice has firmly entered “who”? territory anyways.) And Percy Harvin? That was a trade, a trade we absolutely won. Heck, even if we didn’t “win” that trade, they paid very fair price for a guy who didn’t want to be here anymore, so I still wouldn’t have been able to hold it against them.
The Seahawks may have kicked our butts earlier this season, but they pretty much did so because, well, they’re really good and we suck. You might point out some PED scandals but I mean, c’mon- if they’re juicing, it’s not because they’re worried about beating us in Seattle. I’m fairly certain they could have rotated half their team out to the second string and still walked away with a sizeable victory.
So, again, I really just don’t see anything in our shared history that calls for rivalry-style hatred. They might be the Vikings Light, Vikings Lite, or Vikings West (not sure if it’s “light” or “lite”, or that we have the right to call any team either one right now). Their roster might be about 40% former Vikings. Then again, there’s been plenty of times our roster has been about 40% former Packers, and lord knows I still can’t believe we don’t have an ex-Bear on our WR corps right now. (We don’t, do we? I didn’t check the PS.)
But again, that’s all my point of view. Some people still despise them. Some despise them because of Pete Carroll, and that’s a hard argument to combat. The guy ran from USC sanctions and now leads a team that has the most suspensions in the NFL. His star defensive player Richard Sherman has such bad ADD that he can’t focus on the fact that he’s not supposed to be taking Adderall. While I’ll credit the Seahawks for not having the same off-the-field issues as the Vikings right now (you know, in the rampant DUI/ woman-beating departments), their team sure can carry a sense of dirtiness with all these PED allegations. And, apparently, Carroll sees fit to do absolutely squat about it so long as his team keeps winning. So that’s pretty hate-able right there.
There’s also the jealousy factor, which is understandable too. The Seahawks are the hands-down best team in the NFC right now. They are running away with a division that was supposed to be competitive with the 49ers (although major hat-tip to the Cardinals for showing up kind of out of nowhere). They just took the second best team in the NFC and practically did things to them on national television that are banned in certain Southern states. With an offense that clicks when it needs to and a defense that will shut down basically every single other NFL team, it’s hard not to see them as Super Bowl favorites right now. And worse, it doesn’t matter what stars aren’t on the field- their next man up strategy seems to be able to handle almost any loss. And good G-D do they have home field advantage, to a terrifying level. So, it certainly creates a situation ripe for jealousy, and I feel that jealousy in sports is a very valid reason to hate. You always want to see the top dog get knocked off. That’s just how it is.
Someone pointed out too on Twitter than their fans are jerks. I actually only know one Seahawks fan and he’s pretty cool, so I’m going to leave that alone. But I will still toss it out there just because maybe it’s true. I honestly don’t know. (They can NOT be as bad as Jets fans, I refuse to believe that.)
So, on one hand, you have a team that really has failed at every attempt to “get us” for something we actually started (poison pill), and otherwise really hasn’t done anything to us as a franchise or a team that basically we didn’t ask for. But, on the other hand, you have a potentially dirty team run by a slimy head coach; worse, said team is the hands down best in the NFC and possibly the entire NFL, and therefore MUST BE DEFEATED.
What say you, Vikings fans? Are the Seahawks a team that deserves rivalry-style hatred from the Vikings fan base? What points in either side did I miss here? Vote now and sound off!