Yep, I chose to reflect my excitement for the 2009 Vikings season by quoting a movie that came out three years ago. What can I say? I like to stay current. But the crazy Khazakstani's unbridled enthusiasm describes exactly how thrilled I am for the 2009 Vikings season to kick off in just two short days.
Think of all the reasons we should be beside ourselves in glee, like just the Nintendo 64 kid:
- First and foremost, we have the breaking news that THE WILLIAMS WALL IS (most likely) FREE FOR THE ENTIRE 2009 SEASON! That's right kids! Chalk one up to our country's excruciatingly drawn-out legal process! As the guys from the Trib said in the article, Pat Williams might be retired before the NFL can try to get its way.
- We have The Best Running Back In The National Football League Period goin' for us, which is nice.
- I know it has gone a bit under-reported, but you might have heard that we picked up some old guy to hand off the ball to Adrian Peterson this season. He likes to fly under the radar and most people don't have much of an opinion on him, but apparently he may make an impact this year.
- Our dominating defense from last year is back mostly intact, including a healthy E.J. Henderson and Madieu Williams.
- We drafted one of the most exciting college players in recent memory, Percy Harvin. He'll be sure to smoke a few defenses this season. (See what I did there with the marijuana joke? Sorry to steal your thunder Bears fans.)
- Our head coach still looks exactly like Mr. Noodle. Or maybe he looks like he should be doing my taxes instead of coaching my favorite football team. I can't decide. Either way, it makes me laugh every time.
- We get to start our 2009 season against a CFL team! Wait, what? You're serious? The Browns AND the Raiders are both NFL teams?! Who knew?
OK, sorry, that was a bit harsh. I'm actually not that confident that the Vikes will pummel the Browns on Sunday. My breakdown is after the jump.
On paper, it seems like the Vikings should walk all over Cleveland. But as Chris Berman always says...wait, I'm not 12 anymore, I'm not going to quote Berman. But there are a few factors that could make this game uncomfortable for the Purple.
For starters, we have that sneaky mastermind head coach Eric Mangini to deal with. And no, not because he kept his starting quarterback a secret. (That's not even the good "I wonder what I'm getting from my mom for Christmas" kind of secret. It's more like the "who will win the South Park election between the Giant Douche and Turd Sandwich" kind of secret.) But he did coach Favre last year, and
Mangenius Mangina Mangini has hands-on knowledge of how Brett operates. If the Browns can exploit some of Favre's tendencies (especially the one where he throws it to the other team a lot), Minnesota could be in trouble.
Maybe Braylon Edwards won't drop 167 passes this year. The only way the Browns will beat the Vikings' D is through the air, especially when Jamal Lewis is averaging about 1.8 yards a carry against normal defenses. If Edwards wipes the butter off those fingers, he could do some damage.
But c'mon. I mean, come...on. This is a game the Vikings should win and quite frankly need to win in order to keep up in what should be a very competitive NFC North. Minnesota has too many weapons on offense, too much talent on defense, and oh yeah, THE BEST RUNNING BACK IN THE NFL PERIOD.
Prediction: Minnesota 31, Cleveland 10
As for the rest of my Week 1 NFL picks (home team in CAPS):
STEELERS over Titans: Yeah I know this happened last night, but I did pick Pittsburgh. I got it wrong against the spread though.
FALCONS over Dolphins: I'm not very confident about this pick, but I'm extremely confident both teams will finish with worse records in 2009.
RAVENS over Chiefs: This is my Week 1 Eliminator pick. So bet heavily on the Chiefs.
Eagles over PANTHERS: I wouldn't trust Jake Delhomme to safely hold an infant at this point.
TEXANS over Jets: Hurry up, the Annual Texans Playoff Bandwagon is almost full and ready for another disappointing crash at the end of the year! But I'm still picking them here because Sanchez is going to take his lumps.
COLTS over Jaguars: Jacksonville is going to start Troy Williamson at wide receiver. The defense rests your honor.
SAINTS over Lions: I'm afraid Drew Brees might break some fantasy football live scoring sites this week. I almost went with this for my Eliminator pick, but doesn't it seem frighteningly too easy?
Cowboys over BUCS: My old roommate is a diehard Bucs fan. He'll be thrilled if they get to five wins this year.
CARDINALS over 49ers: Pretty much a toss-up for me. I'm just afraid that Larry Fitzgerald's leg will fall off in the second quarter thanks the the Madden Curse. It already got to Troy Polamalu last night! BEWARE THE CURSE!
PACKERS over Bears: As always, I wish both teams could lose here. But I'll choose the Packers because their quarterback has one less chin.
PATRIOTS over Bills: Look, I get why this is a Monday Night game. Brady's back, TO in Buffalo--but could the NFL pick a bigger potential blowout to start the Monday Night season?
Chargers over RAIDERS: Yes, yes they could. Touché, NFL.
Finally! That February-to-September stretch felt like seven years, not seven months. If you aren't SO EXCITED (and a little scared too) about the Vikings 2009 season by now, then there's just no helping you. Here's to a wild, fun, never-dull, and hopefully great year!
Do you remember that story from "Borat" where he talks about his sister and his brother Bilo? Well the Vikings are sort of like Bilo, and the Lombardi Trophy is like his sister. For years and years, the trophy has taunted us while the Vikings were locked in their cage. The Lombardi Trophy proclaimed, "You will never get this, you will never get this!"
But one day the Vikings break out of the cage...and they get this.
Maybe that one day will be next February.
Before I go, allow me to get serious for just a bit. It has been exactly eight years since one of the most tragic and frightening days of our lifetimes. I still remember the utter disbelief of what I saw on TV that day. So take some time out of your day to thank the men and women in uniform that are responsible for keeping this amazing country safe with everything they do. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, PD, FD, Homeland Security, even our very own "Head Coach" of the Daily Norseman Gonzo--thank you. We'll never forget.