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The Unbridled Optimism of the Viking Fan

I'd like to expand a bit on something that Pacifist Viking had on his site yesterday.

There's a lot of pessimism about the Vikings now, you can still find the legendary wild optimism of Viking fans. Skol Vikes predicts the Vikings in the NFC championship game, and the Daily Norseman gets incensed any time a national news source disrespects the Vikings. Honestly, I never go into a Viking season without some vague, obscure hope that this is the year they win the Super Bowl. This season is no different. I don't care how insane, irrational, or incompetent this belief is; I don't care how much respect you lose for me when I say so. But I am going into this season hoping the Vikings win the Super Bowl, and for me "hope" isn't an airy dreamy word. This is the only way I can live.

The first thought that comes to my mind when I read this is, "There are teams that have fans that aren't wildly optimistic going into every season?"  I say that because I can't possibly imagine what that must be like.

As far back as I can remember, every new sports season has always been a time for optimism about one's favorite sports team.  No matter what the sport, I've always been excited to see my team take the field/court/rink after a long absence, and going into every season, I've always thought that they'd be a contender for whatever championship it was that they were pursuing.  It didn't matter if it was the terrible Twins teams of the late '90s, the Tony Campbell-Pooh Richardson-Randy Breuer Timberwolves from their first few years of existence, or the North Stars. (FUCK YOU NORM GREEN. . .ahem)

But I'll readily admit that I've had optimism for no team in my quarter century as a sports fan like I have for the Minnesota Vikings.  I often wonder why that is.  What, exactly, is it about this team with a penchant for the nose dive that draws me to them in such a manner?

And, quite frankly, PV summed it up when he used one little word in his passage.

Hope.

That's what it comes down to.  The hope that maybe. . .just maybe. . .the Vikings will finally deliver to us what we as loyal Viking fans deserve.  The hope that, just once, someone else will make the critical error that makes them a subject of ridicule for years to come.  The hope that, after all this time, the team that's renowned for finishing second will take that one step up the ladder.  The hope that we'll finally be able to walk up to fans of teams like the Bears and the Packers that have constantly rubbed "championships" in our faces, look them right in the eye, and say "Screw you. . .we got ours."

Is 2007 going to be the year?  Hey, why can't it be?

If the Vikings don't win Super Bowl XLII, do they have a shot at winning XLIII?  Hell, why not us?

The last time this team made it to the Super Bowl, I was all of four months old.  The first season I truly followed this team, they went 3-13 and if not for a couple of fortuitous bounces, could have been 0-16 (the '84 Vikings won their 3 games that year by a combined total of 11 points).  I, like most of you, suffered through the '98 NFC Championship Game, the '00 NFC Championship Game, Nathan Poole, the Love Boat, and numerous other things that would damper the enthusiasm of lesser fans that cheer for lesser teams.

But not us.  We're still here, just like we've always been.  Because every new season renews our hope, and will continue to do so for as long as we're fans of this team.  It's another reason that I laugh at all the prognostications of gloom and doom that have followed the Vikings this off-season.  Whether this team goes 16-0 or 0-16, I'll be watching every game and thinking that the Vikings have a shot at a W in every single one.  Why?

Hey. . .why not?