Okay, ladies and gentlemen, it's time for me to level with everybody here. Things have changed around here, and not necessarily for the better. Some of you have said as much, and I've made every effort to deny that thus far. . .but there's really no point in ignoring it any longer.
This site should be held to a higher standard. Quite frankly, it's the best site of its kind on the internet, and a part of the best network of its kind on the internet. Prior to this past off-season. . .hell, prior to the last couple of months, to be honest. . .I would like to think that it has met that standard. However, a confluence of events recently has taken away from that. Some of them have been positive, some have been negative, and all have been of my own doing.
This must change and, quite frankly, this will change.
Positives first. . .obviously, there's the fact that I received a promotion at my "real world" job back in February. As anyone that's ever been in my line of work will tell you, such things don't just come with an increased paycheck, but with increased responsibility as well. As a result, my work hours have gotten longer, my spare time has become a bit less, and most days. . .to steal a line from Barry Bonds. . .I'm just tired. Working 13 and 14-hour days for the past 4 1/2 years without a lot of leave in-between is finally starting to catch up to me. Fortunately, Mrs. Gonzo and I leave for the West Coast in. . .*checks calendar*. . .26 days. My understanding is that the hours at our next assignment will be nothing like they've been down here at the schoolhouse, which I see as a benefit. . .more time for relaxation, more time to devote to the site, more time to devote to Mrs. Gonzo. . .all overwhelmingly good things.
The other huge positive was being given the honor of heading things up over at SBNation Minnesota. Make no mistake, our Minnesota-based sites here at SBNation are run by some damn fine individuals. . .if you're a Minnesota sports fan and you're not checking every single one of them every day, you're doing yourself a disservice. To be chosen from that outstanding group of folks to be in charge of a project like this, and to be shown that sort of belief from the higher-ups at SBNation, is honestly a pretty humbling experience. As I've stated on more than one occasion, four years ago I was just some schmuck with a personal blog that occasionally wrote stuff about the Minnesota Vikings. You know, in-between making posts about poker, professional wrestling, video games, and whatever else crossed my mind at any given time. To go from that to being a pretty significant part of one of the top 50 start-up companies to watch in America is pretty damn special, in my book.
My book. . .that's where things have gone off track a bit. For the majority of this time that I've been doing this site, my book has been the only one that's mattered. I focused on the site, put together the stories I wanted to put together, expressed the opinions I wanted to express, and wasn't terribly influenced by a whole lot else. However, I have unfortunately allowed myself to get distracted by what other people think. . .of the site, of the team, of me as a person, whatever. This simply can not be allowed to continue, and it will not continue.
Honestly, should the opinions of a bunch of 40 and 50-year old men that still possess a junior high school clique mentality color my view of the world in any way? Particularly when that group of 40 and 50-year olds are still bitter and angry over the fact that their "super awesome" defense and their "super awesome" young quarterback got humiliated twice on national TV by a team led by a guy that they were convinced couldn't get the job done any more?
No. . .after all, we're talking about people that still think there's drama over Brett Favre coming back to Minnesota and that he's holding the Vikings hostage. They're obviously clueless, and such things shouldn't be indulged.
(Once again, to review, there's exactly one Packer-based website on the internet that's worth reading regularly. . .they live right next door to us.)
Should I be worried about the fact that a group of fans just doesn't seem to possess the level of intelligence necessary to realize that Minnesota's NFL team is called the Vikings, largely when that team is coming to the realization that they've saddled themselves with the most overrated quarterback in the NFL and that their allegedly great defense is still talked about like it's great when, in reality, it hasn't even been good for three seasons running (and won't be good this year, either)? Particularly now that they think their savior is an offensive coordinator whose scheme hasn't been any good since he was coaching a two-time MVP quarterback, an MVP running back, a great WR corps and an outstanding offensive line?
No. . .such fans should be treated in much the same way the Vikings have treated their team for the better part of Minnesota's existence. As an afterthought.
Should I be bothered by people who cheer for a team that, knowing they couldn't beat the Vikings straight-up, were coached to go after a 40-year old quarterback with cheap shot after cheap shot, late hit after late hit, low blow after low blow. . .managed to luckbox their way into five turnovers. . .and still needed a field goal in the worst officiated overtime in NFL history to back into the Super Bowl over a superior team? Particularly considering that most of those "die hard" fans didn't do a whole lot while their slimy owner attempted to leverage the aftermath of the biggest natural disaster in American history into a move to Los Angeles?
No. . .because we know who the better team was. We know who the better team is. And, hey, we're talking about a group of people that used to show their "support" for their team by walking around with paper bags over their heads. Have we ever stooped to that level? Hell, no. . .we're better than that. And we've never been that thoroughly irrelevant for that long a period of time. Hell, in 49 seasons of football, the Vikings have only been under .500 13 times, and about half of those came in the first decade of the team's existence. . .what do we have to be ashamed of? Nothing, that's what. Not one damn thing. Despite what whining, hating, crybaby fans of other teams would attempt to lead you to believe.
Should those things bother me? No, they should not. Have they been bothering me? Yep, they sure have. And, starting today, this changes.
The Minnesota Vikings, trophy be damned, were the best team in the National Football League in 2009. I know it, you know it, and there are plenty of other people that know it. Quite frankly, they're the best team in the National Football League right now. And this site needs to get back to reflecting that. I'm pretty sure that it has in the past, and it's going to be that way again, starting right now.
Thanks to everyone that has stuck around. . .Training Camp is just a few short weeks away. I have been looking over the stuff that everyone has sent me that was interested in being a contributor to the site, and I should be announcing those new additions sometime in the next week or so. After all, with Mrs. Gonzo and I moving cross-country in a few short weeks, we'll be needing people to help Ted and Eric with updating things during camp and so forth. So, keep an eye out for that.
Off to get our dogs vaccinated, and then hopefully back with another update. Until then, keep enjoying your Saturday and the rest of your (hopefully) long, Fourth of July weekend, ladies and gentlemen!