I'm in shock. I don't know what to say. I'm speechless. Wordless. Only another Vikings fan can understand the stupor I am in right now. All I can do is reprint a note I sent my good friend who happens to be a Bears fan (I know, I know, but he's so cool that I can forgive even that). On a side note, thanks Waffles. WTF? You really are the Mush. "Put him in the bathroom!"
It is with very little pleasure that I sit down to write you this note. What is there to say? Well, first of all, congrats on a hard fought win. The Bears were playing for pride and their coach's job, and they fought hard all the way even while losing a couple key players to injury along the way. They never gave up. Unlike the Vikings, who didn't even show up until the second half.
It's funny, after the atrocious first half, I had a letter entirely composed in my mind. It was full of profanity and shocked outrage. While those core sentiments still remain, I am proud of the Vikes for playing with heart and intensity in the second half. Too little too late. The game was an absolute microcosm of their season and what it is like to be a Vikings fan in general. Dismay and deflated hopes, followed by an incredible surge of optimism, only to be emotionally crushed in the end. I am truly amazed at their ability to find fascinating and unique ways to dash my spirits. It's not easy staying fresh and contemporary in this day and age.
None of the Vikings woes are Favre's fault, so all the inevitable gloaters and haters can shut the fuck up this week (but won't).
Do you realize that last Sunday night the Vikings had the miraculous scenario unfold with the Saints upset loss, that they were playing for a chance at home field advantage throughout the playoffs, not to mention a first round bye? As of last night they have fallen to the third seed and will have to play in the wild card round. Classic. Absolutely classic. After a stunning eight days and two horrific nationaly televised losses, the mind bogling collapse is complete. I refer you to my last note for what it's like to be a Vikings fan. At least they are consistent. Every year, bone aching dissapointment. I think I had four or five minor heart attacks last night. My sportsfan soul feels like it went three rounds with Mike Tyson (in his prime too, not the bloated face tatooed version).
On a lighter note, we don't have ESPN, so for Monday night games I stream the Vikes radio network and follow the up to the minute game chart on NFL.com. It's actually a really cool way to experience the game. As you have pointed out, baseball lends itself to radio more than football, but you still get the crowd noise, etc. The Vikings home broadcasts are a bit embarrassing. They are exactly what the snobby east coast people would expect. Amatuerish, a little goofy, and prone to emotion. They are truly homer announcers. Last night, all of that was somehow perfect. After an emotionally charged up and down game, Paul Allen (the voice of the Vikings) couldn't take it any more after Adrian Peterson fumbled and the Vikings couldn't even get their defense on the field in time, and had to take a timeout. He was so frustrated, and was clearly showing it. He didn't have much time, though, because on the next play the Bears scored. His voice was brimming with rage and dissapointment as he made the final call. I can't find it online, but if you run across it, it's amazing. After bemoaning Adrian Peterson's tendency to fumble at critical times, the next play was: "Cutler back to pass, he throws a fade to Aromashodu. Of course. Touchdown. We lose. Bears win. This is the Vikings radio network." Straight to commercial. When they came back he could barely contain himself as he read off the list of producers, etc. He ended with "Bears beat the Vikings in overtime. Stay tuned for fan reaction." I was sure he was going to explode, but he managed to get off the air before losing it. Great radio moment. Sad but humorously gripping. I needed that laugh badly, too.
Well, all that's left is for the Vikings to get crushed by the Packers in the playoff in Favre Bowl version 3.0, the one that matters the most. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this will come to pass. I've been a Vikings fan for 40 years, I know these things.
See you in 5 days!