I do not have many loves in my life, but the ones I do have don’t typically return my affection. The Minnesota Vikings are a repeat offender. They are responsible for my first realization that caring about sports is a foolish endeavor that is only undertaken by masochistic simpletons with low self esteem. I never miss a game.
The moment of cognizance in question took place during the 98-99 season, where Gary Anderson stole my innocence. I won’t go into any further detail because the sun is out and I don’t like stoking the depression fires during the day, but if you don’t know what I am referring to you can see it here. Anyways, the season is just around the corner, and despite all of the “experts” predictions, I am excited to watch this presumably mediocre team start their inevitable journey to 8-8.
Last season was one of the more Vikings seasons in recent memory.
Lots of hope and expectations coming into training camp, a young, exciting defense, the return of their star child abuser and the development of a young signal caller primed to take the next step. A deep playoff run was on everyone’s mind. This was going to be the year. lol, nah.
Before the first regular season game their quarterback’s knee spontaneously combusted (actual medical diagnosis) during a non contact incident in practice. Basically he took a 5 step drop and on step 3 his knee Hiroshima’d. This compelled them to make what some (me) would refer to as a panic move by sending a first and fourth round pick to the Eagles for former Sooner great Sam Bradford. A steep price for a quarterback with a history of injuries and no real accolades since his 2008 Heisman Trophy win, but by all regards a competent solution considering their other options were a 36 year old Shaun Hill and second year man Taylor Heinike (actually Taylor was not available because he suffered a leg injury requiring surgery when he kicked in a door in an attempt to break into his own house because he’s a fucking moron). Early on, the trade seemed like a classic win win for both organizations. The rebuilding Eagles got some future draft equity and a Super Bowl hopeful received a second chance. Through week 5, the Vikings were sitting undefeated and hope was once again boiling over for the Norsemen. Then, in typical Viking fashion, they proceeded to lose 8 of their final 11 games to finish an incredibly disappointing 8-8. Sigh.
All of this brings us to the 2017 season, and I am pumped! Why, you may ask? Did their young quarterback make a miraculous recovery? Did they make a big free agent splash? Is their aging future Hall of Fame switch grabber looking 5 years younger? No to all of those things. And I don’t care. They upgraded their offensive line with two overpriced, average-at-best bookends and drafted a running back from Florida State with ‘character concerns’ and I couldn’t be more excited. Of course Sam Bradford will finally put it all together in year 8. Of course the spending spree on pedestrian tackles will pay dividends. Of course second year receiver and former 1st round pick Laquon Treadwell will figure it out and obliterate his rookie 3 target, 1 catch season. This is all not up for debate. These are facts. Who cares if our coach only has one eye. Who cares if one of our starting corners will be 39 before the season starts. Who cares if the former face of the franchise is now a platoon back in the bayou. None of that matters. Bring on 8-8. Hell, I’m feeling so good right now I’m holding out hope for 9-7. Let’s go.