Isn’t being a sports fan supposed to be an escape from reality? After all, isn’t life already filled with enough stress? Your hobby should bring you joy…not pain. Well, if you are one of the unfortunate people on this planet that calls him/herself a Minnesota Vikings fan, Sundays can feel a lot worse than waking up for work on Monday.
You’ve heard of the 5 stages of grief? Well, if you are a fan of the purple, there is a vicious cycle that we go through continuously that truly pushes our emotions to the limit. The clinical term for this series of emotions is called the 5 H’s: Hope, Hype, Heartbreak, Humiliation, and Hell.
I have been a fan for 23 years and it just hit me that this is very real and it sucks! In case you were wondering, we are currently in the Hell portion of the schedule. How long we stay there is anyone’s guess.
I know what you are thinking, I am out of my mind and none of this is real. Let’s revisit recent history so that I can map out how the 5 H’s have occurred.
Brad Childress was hired to instill a disciplined culture and smash-mouth/defensive-minded identity to a team that was more likely to party with hookers on Lake Minnetonka than win a meaningful game outdoors. Heck, we even changed our uniforms.
After winning 10 games and earning a playoff birth, the Tarvaris Jackson/Gus Frerotte quarterbacking duo was upgraded to the legendary Brett Favre. The front office’s belief that Favre was the missing piece was validated as the Vikings established themselves as one of the NFL’s elite. This was the most complete Viking team that I have ever witnessed: a high powered offense, a disruptive defense, and a clutch, reliable kicker. The stars appeared to have finally aligned!
Do I really need to go here? Twelve men in the huddle, the horrible interception at the end of regulation, and an overtime field goal to end our season. Once again we go into the off season knowing that the best team didn’t represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
The following season can be summarized by the following events: Favre’s retirement soap opera and sexting drama, the firing of Brad Childress after a 3-7 start, and trading a 3rd rounder for 4 weeks of Randy Moss. The roof literally caved in before our very own eyes.
A disappointing 6-10 season was followed up with a dismal 3-13 encore. Just when it appeared that we were about to secure our positioning to draft either Andrew Luck or RGIII, we screwed it up by winning a meaningless game late in the season at Washington. Fast forward to the present day and we still don’t have a quarterback!
Now do you believe me that the 5 H’s are real or do you need more proof?
- Remember the heartbreak from Josh McCown’s touchdown pass with no time left to end our playoff hopes during the 2003 season? By the way, we started 6-0 that season.
- How about the hype of an unstoppable offense featuring Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Jake Reed, Robert Smith, and Randall Cunningham during the 1998 season?
- Does the 41-0 humiliation from the 2000 NFC Championship Game ever creep back into your memory?
- Certainly you recall the aura of hope surrounding the franchise when Randy Moss and Adrian Peterson fell into our laps on draft day.
I have come to accept the reality that we are a snake bitten organization. Jinxed franchises lose four Super Bowls. Jinxed franchises are ones that establish themselves as the league’s best during a season only to NOT make the Super Bowl. Jinxed franchises would have a general manager that would trade away every future asset for a running back who would play three years in Minnesota and gain a paltry 825 yards in his most productive season there.
Did I mention that our timing sucks too? In the 1990’s, an era when defense and ball-control offense won championships, we were the ones reliant on our aerial attack and looking to outscore teams. Luck would have it, as the NFL rules changed to create a “pass-centric” league, our offensive identity morphed itself into something out of the 1960’s. It’s as if the rest of the NFL is currently running on high-speed WiFi and we are operating on a dial-up connection,
It’s just too bad I didn’t see the warning signs as a kid whenever I saw the highlight of longest run from scrimmage on the Metrodome turf.
Freaky things just happen to cursed franchises. How else can you explain this play?
If you are a true Vikings fan then you are used to embarrassing highlights which feature the Viking defense slipping, tripping, and running into each other.
Well we are currently 1-5 on this train wreck of a season and the Leslie Frazier era is sure to expire in ten weeks. We are certainly going through hell, but with a new coach and a high draft pick will come hope. Whenever we take that next step forward and have a real chance, I will be prepared for that guaranteed heartbreak (I am clearly lying here). After all, I am a fan of the Minnesota Vikings. What other life as a fan is there? I just wish to this purple pain would end already.