So, normally, pre-season doesn’t mean a ton to fans. We might watch… if it’s televised. And sometimes, we still have something better to do. It’s great for watching the intriguing roster battles, and seeing how our second-stringers will do. But as far as a general predictor for success (or lack thereof), we all know it’s bumpkiss- best examples of course being the Lions winning all four pre-season games before their ‘epic’ 0-16 season, and the Colts losing all four pre-season games before their 14-2 season and Super Bowl appearance.
Let’s face it, getting over-hyped or bent out of shape based off pre-season, while we all tend to do it from time to time, is really just cause for an ulcer and not much else.
That said… we’ve got ourselves quite the intriguing pre-season game coming up. The ‘Mini-Vikings’, formerly known as the Seahawks, have our old OC (Bevell), perennial backup-starter-backup-starter QB (Jackson), and one-time Pro Bowl WR (Rice). Ever since Rice went over and made the trifecta official, people began hyping the upcoming pre-season matchup like it was a regular season game.
More after the leap of faith. (It’s more that than just a ‘jump’ with my stories, no?)
But how much will the Vikings, or Seahawks, themselves actually care? Tavaris Jackson recently came out and said that there is a bit of extra motivation- and for that, I don’t blame him one iota. But Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shaincoe, and Anthony Herrera won't be playing. Also, albeit not necessarily as significantly, Greg Camarillo and Asher Allen will be benched as well.
It’s still a pre-season game at the end of the day. Leslie Frazier and co. will likely not be baited into treating it as anything other. The Vikings will still care more about what they see in performances on the field in regards to figuring out the regular-season roster rather than what the final score will be, as well as avoiding any injuries. And Pete Carroll and co. will be in the same boat. It’s not likely that TJack will see extra playing time just to give him more of a shot at revenge- he’ll do his quarter or half (depending), and then he’s out for Whitehurst. And with Rice, although active, still nursing his shoulder, I’d be surprised to see him play outside of the first quarter.
Likewise, Bevell won’t show his entire game plan on the field in only the second pre-season game, and Fred Pagac won’t be releasing any Krakens like he did against the Eagles last year, either. At the end of the day, it will ultimately be another ho-hum pre-season matchup: kinda fun to watch for us football-starved fans, but with AP getting all of two or three snaps, Jarred Allen going nuts for a play or two, and then it’s in with the second, third, and fourth strings. I wouldn’t even expect a genuine Rice-Winfield matchup or anything cool like that. They might have one play against each other, but in all likelihood, TJack would know better than to take the shot anyways. (Or maybe not, in which case that will be kinda awesome.)
But what about us fans? What’s your take? Are you more hyped, hoping for that one Rice-Winfield showdown? Are you looking forward to a Tavaris Jackson jump-pass to Cedric Griffin (assuming he’s in at all)? Or are you just accepting that in all likelihood, it’s just another pre-season game, and very likely nothing fun (in this sense) to watch will REALLY happen? Will you watch at least to catch the roster updates, see if Webb improves from last week’s performance, or are you just going to catch the highlights later?
I, for one, will do my best to catch at least the first half of the game, and cross my fingers for one old teammate matchup in there somewhere. But I’m not holding my breath. What say you, Viking faithful? How important is the Mini-Vikings vs. Big Brother Vikings pre-season matchup to you?