‘The History of the Minnesota Vikings’ a 7-part saga of the Purple and Gold from SB Nation’s stat and chart wizards Jon Bois and Alex Rubenstein, is almost halfway through its full premiere.
And well, I dare say it has been *chef’s-kiss* perfect.
I have endured pain similar to multiple groin-kicks. I have also inadvertently spit up my cereal in laughter.
But most importantly, I have learned.
The series most recently left off after the last of the 4 Super Bowl losses sustained in the late 6o’s and early-to-mid 70’s, in other words, ‘The Last Chance’.
Like any true fans I have held the names Fran Tarkenton, Jim Marshall, Alan Page, and Bud Grant (among others) in esteemed reverence for as long as I can remember, but just as the heroes of Vikings teams gone by.
They were special, but I never truly understood why. The focus had always been on the present for me and my family of fans.
My favorite thing about this series then is the past I never had a chance to properly know. As someone who was born 3 1/2 decades after the founding of the Vikings, I never knew the stories of these wildly successful yet never-crowned teams.
I never knew just how many passing records Tark broke, how many meals the Purple People Eaters ate, and how sane the mind of Grant. It has been enlightening to find out about these legends, let alone the cadre of other escapades these players and luminaries have had.
The ill-fated, deadly snowmobiling trip the Jims Marshall and Klobuchar (among others) took had my jaw on the floor, especially since I have seen how wild an area the Beartooth Pass is.
Ditto for the absolute debauchery of the Norm Van Brocklin era, seemingly fueled almost exclusively by functioning alcoholics. The drinking stories Bois rattles off in episode one hurt my gut just by hearing them.
But, as it always goes, the field of battle is where the true intrigue lies, and Bois/Rubenstein’s game recaps, statistical research, and commentary are truly amazing.
Alas, It is not for the weak of heart, NFL referees of the late 60s and early 70’s, or Vikings fans that take trips to warm-weather postseason destinations.
Who this is for is the true fan, the fan that can take the good with the bad, and the fan that has been through the figurative gauntlet of gut punches and uppercuts.
This is pain, but what is life as a Vikings fan like without it?
I wouldn’t know, and I couldn’t tell ya, but the day WILL come when it will all pay off, and I will watch this series again, knowing it all led to something.
‘The history of the Minnesota Vikings’ episodes premiere Tuesdays at 8 pm central on the Secret Base YouTube channel.
Episode 4: The 1980’s - 8/22
Episode 5: The 1990’s - 8/28
Episode 6: The 2000’s - 9/4
Episode 7: The 2010’s - 9/8