Here we are again, looking at another Minnesota Vikings' loss after a game they could have won. Really, it's amazing to me that the Vikings could play as sloppy a game as they did on Sunday at the Metrodome and still have had a chance to win. Somehow this season, regardless of how strong they may have started or the lucky breaks they might have gotten on calls, the Vikings found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in all but two games. Sometimes it seems like the Vikings work harder at losing than other teams work at winning.
The 2010 season was a surprising disappointment for Vikings fans hoping for a repeat of the thrilling 2009 race that left the team and fans heartbroken just one game shy of the Super Bowl. But in comparison to the now accustomed disappointment of the 2011 season, I find myself missing 2010--at least it was interesting.
Later this week America is going to observe a holiday set aside to give thanks and it made me wonder what we as disheartened Vikings fans can be thankful for even in the midst of a crap season. What do fans have to hold onto to help them keep some hope and some humor despite the Vikings 2-8 record?
Here are a few of the things I came up with:
- No matter how rough this season is, there are only six more Vikings games left to go. The 2011 season can't torture us indefinitely. Right now, I find that oddly comforting. Eventually this season will end and, I can hope, that next season will be better.
- The NFL knows that keeping teams competitive makes for a better entertainment product, so teams with lousy records get high draft choices. Which is really great because fans need something to give us some encouragement. Even though the Vikings' record stinks it's good to know that if the draft were held today, the Vikings would pick somewhere in the top four. Fingers-crossed, the Vikings invest in the offensive line.
- And, thinking of first round draft picks, the Vikings' first round pick in the last draft is getting a lot of game experience. As far as learning goes, there's nothing like NFL game-experience and Christian Ponder might as well get that experience when the team doesn't have a reasonable expectation of making it to the playoffs. What we've seen so far has inspired some cringing and a lot of interest, giving us a reason to keep watching in 2011.
- Players still care about winning. It would be hard to believe that all the Vikings players are still giving their all and playing with their heart in it when the team's record is 2-8, but many of the team leaders continue to give an all out effort. Adrian Peterson plays all out every game, no matter what the score board or the team's record might show. So do Jared Allen and Percy Harvin. While dynamic playmakers and leaders like Peterson, Allen, and Harvin are still giving their all, there is reason to believe the team will win more than two games this season.
- Most importantly, no matter how bad the 2011 Vikings season may get, I know that here at DN I'm part of a community of hardcore Vikings fans who won't give up on the team and will find the humor in the situation. Heaven knows we need to keep our collective sense of humor, otherwise our team sitting at the bottom of the NFC North for back-to-back seasons could drive us crazy.
And in the spirit of keeping our sense of humor despite our team's record, I'd like to suggest a little contest. To a slightly lesser extent than the 2010 season, the 2011 season has a certain melodrama and tainted-love quality that the Twilight Saga can only envy. So, it seems like the season needs a soundtrack, we could call it Ultimate Misery Mix 2011 or something. At any rate, here's the idea--I'll toss out a topic and then you, the witty and charismatic readers of DN can submit your musical choices. My panel of experts and I will choose the song that we think best fits the topic or makes us laugh the most. If your song is chosen, you're king/queen of the site for the day. Okay, maybe not king/queen of the site, but we'll give you kudos and tell everyone we think you're really cool.
If you want to submit a song for the topic, then in the comments share the song and artist, a link to the entire song, and your two cents about why your song choice is awesome. Lobbying your song is encouraged, hating on other people's choices is not.
So, without further ado, here's the topic, give me your choice of the best song for the Vikings' letter to Governor Dayton about a week ago.
Note: Alittlemore_cowbell pointed out that I completely forgot to say what the deadline for song submissions would be or when you'd find out whose song won. My bad. If you want to submit a song, the deadline is Tuesday 9pm central time and I'll post the results on Wednesday. Something to see when you're counting down until Thanksgiving.