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History of the Minnesota Vikings named one of the ten best films of 2023

Pretty high praise

Minnesota Vikings Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Just before the 2023 regular season kicked off, we Minnesota Vikings fans had the privilege of having our favorite team chronicled by Jon Bois from SB Nation. The History of the Minnesota Vikings was a seven-part opus that went into a lot of detail about the purple and their history, and even those of us that have been fans of the team for our entire lives were able to learn things that we might not have known prior to the docu-series being put together.

Now, Bois and the rest of his crew have been recognized for their hard work, as The History of the Minnesota Vikings was named one of the ten best films of 2023 by The Atlantic. Here’s what they had to say about it.

Bois is a sportswriter and video creator at the website SB Nation who has, over the years, evolved from a funny and insightful blogger to one of the most groundbreaking directors in documentary filmmaking. His first true opus, 2019’s The Bob Emergency, explored the decline of athletes named Bob in America; in 2020, he unveiled The History of the Seattle Mariners, an exhaustive look at the baseball team that ran for more than three hours. Though at least twice as long, The History of the Minnesota Vikings does something similar and is just as compelling, investing me in the long history of a team I don’t care about that plays a sport I barely understand. Bois makes sports documentaries that ignore the genre’s tired hallmarks—there are no talking heads, there’s barely any footage from games, and the music is almost entirely bouncy yacht rock. Instead he focuses on hard statistics and idiosyncratic anecdotes, endlessly zooming in and out of a jumble of graphs and charts in ways that shed new light on old, hard facts.

This is a pretty impressive achievement, given some of the other films that are on the list. The History of the Minnesota Vikings is on the list alongside Oppenheimer and Killers of the Flower Moon, movies that you’re going to hear bandied about when it comes time for the Academy Awards in a few months. To have a film/series/whatever about our football team and their string of bad luck being propped up alongside those sorts of works is pretty damn impressive. I don’t know if Bois and his crew are going to be up for any Academy Awards or anything like that, but damn it, they ought to be.

Congratulations to Jon Bois and the rest of the Secret Base crew on this impressive achievement. And, if you haven’t already watched The History of the Minnesota Vikings, you really owe it to yourself to do so whenever you have the opportunity.