The impetus for this post comes from, of all places, Mile High Report. Apparently the good folks over there were looking in the Broncos media guide about how teams have performed since the AFL/NFL merger, and they seemed to be surprised by how consistent the Vikings have been since that merger. Here are some of the stats that they cite:
|6||San Fran, Washington||23|
Regular Season Wins
Home Wins (Regular Season)
And the more I think about it, the more I realize that the folks at Mile High Report are absolutely correct. The Vikings HAVE been a very consistent team over the course of the last four decades. Unfortunately, that fact gets lost because the team has never won the Super Bowl. Whether that's the way it should be or not is a subject that's up for some debate. But let's illustrate this a little further by looking a little more closely, taking the records from Pro-Football-Reference.com.
Here's a breakdown of the Vikings' regular season records since the merger:
-Seasons with a winning percentage above .500: 24 (1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982*, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005)
-Seasons with a winning percentage of exactly .500: 6 (1972, 1983, 1991, 1995, 2004, 2007)
-Seasons with a winning percentage below .500: 8 (1979, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1990, 2001, 2002, 2006)
So, nearly 80% of the time since the NFL/AFL merger, the Minnesota Vikings have been average or better. There have been very few seasons where the Vikings were truly out of it from the very beginning of the year.
This is probably a part of why so many Viking fans like to play the "tortured fan" card, a card that I've been guilty of playing from time to time myself. It seems like the Beloved Purple is always in the running, but have never quite gotten to the top of the mountain. When it comes down to it, however, we're damn privileged to be fans of a team that give us a chance to win nearly every season. The point in time will come where that consistency will be rewarded with the big breakthrough we've waited all our Viking fandom for.
Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday night, ladies and gentlemen, and we'll see you back here tomorrow!
(One more thank you to the folks at Mile High Report for the stats cited above.)