We are officially less than a month before the start of the NFL season, so it's probably time to start previewing the monster. The key to the NFL's success — other than fantasy football and gambling, of course — is the rabid nature of its fans. That is to say: You don't see a lot of people painting their faces for their favorite golfer.
We asked a gaggle of writers, from the Web, from print, from books, even a TV guy or two, to tell us, in as many or as little words as they need, why My Team Is Better Than Your Team. This is not meant to be factual, or dispassionate, or even logical: We just asked them to riff on why they love their team so much, or what their team means to them, or whatever. We will be running two a day until the beginning of the NFL season.
Right now: the Minnesota Vikings. Your author is Big Daddy Drew.
Big Daddy Drew, which, strangely, is not his real name, is one of the freestylists at Kissing Suzy Kolber. His words are after the jump.
I get why some people might laugh at my beloved Vikings. I really do. You're talking about the team that plays in the world's largest covered ashtray. A stadium that literally pushes you out the doors as you exit. The Vikings are the team that drafted and cut a running back who carries powdered urine onto flights as if it's Crystal Light.
They're the team that fired their GM this year, after only months on the job, because of an exaggerated resume, a tendency to rudely shush people in the draft room and the time he told a team secretary to expect a "bloodbath." He was also a grown man named Fran. And, unless your last name is Tarkenton, that's fucking weak. They're the team covered by a raft of hometown columnists (Jim "Douchebag" Souhan, Tom "Whiny Puss" Powers, etc.) who genuinely hate them and wish them ill.
The Vikings are the team that laid down 10 seconds into the 2000 NFC title game because their starting wideout was moody and their starting cornerback was Wasswa Serwanga. They're also the team that lost four Super Bowls, only to then be overshadowed by an even more incompetent team that managed to lose four in a row. Their last coach wore a pencil in his ear in order to look smarter. He was a coach so dumb, you could practically see the gears in his brain grinding to a halt any time an important decision had to be made. And the coach before that coach once chose to kick off twice at the beginning of each half during a single game, setting a precedent for the Marty Mornhinwegs of the world to follow. Wind advantage, my ass.
The Vikings are the team that traded Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper for Napoleon Harris, Troy Williamson, and Ryan Cook. Guhhhhhh. They're the team that employs the league's oldest starting quarterback and signed Mike McMahon as his backup when Julian McMahon would have been a better choice. Up until a year ago, they were owned by a used car salesman. They're the team that abandoned the old Metropolitan Stadium so that the nation's biggest mall could later take its place, complete with two Auntie Anne's pretzel stands. Oh, and a couple of their cheerleaders may be post-operative transsexuals.
So yeah, maybe you laugh at the Vikings a little bit. But you know what, all you smug Packer, Cowboy and dipshit Patriot fans? If you look closer at the Vikings, you'll soon begin to realize that they are, without question, the most Badass team in the NFL. Look at their mascot: Ragnar the Viking. He's a crazy motherfucker with a huge-ass beard who rides into the stadium on a giant fucking Harley and then spends the entire game screaming at fans and blowing a giant horn. Do you fuck with this man? No, you do not. He's the Drexl Spivey of mascots. Ragnar may also be directly related to Sega Master System Badass Rastan, so suck hard on that.
Want more? The owner of the Vikings is the son of Holocaust survivors and did his parents proud by accumulating enough fuck-you money to buy that kingdom of dark-sock-and-sandal-wearing dorks called Germany and sell it for scrap. They're also the only NFL team named after a race of Scandinavian explorers who prized raping and pillaging over cartography. That's fucking Berserker, my friends. ("My love for you is ticking clock, Berserker! Do you want to suck my cock, Berserker!") They're the team that imports strippers for their parties when they deem the local-area talent pool lacking. And their starting cornerback eschews the use of his own penis so that others in the galley cabin might enjoy some tender double-pronged dildo action.
The Vikings are also the team that got Mike Ditka fired. Back in '92, Jim Harbaugh of the Bears threw an interception that safety Todd Scott returned for a touchdown, sparking a rally from 20-0 down in the fourth quarter that led to a 21-20 Viking victory. Ditka's sideline rant at Harbaugh transformed him from a coaching legend into a raving douchebag in mere minutes. The Vikings are also the only team to ever win an overtime game on a safety. Back in '89, Mike Merriweather blocked a punt out of the endzone in overtime to defeat the LA Rams 23-21, a game in which Vikings kicker Rich Karlis booted seven field goals. Barefooted. Bitch.
They're also the team that produced Alan Page, now a well-respected judge. They're the team that helped give Don Banks — one of the few truly great NFL journalists and a man I'm somewhat gay for — his start. They also represent the great state of Minnesota, home of wild rice, motherfucking H
and Schmidt Beer (the only beer that's Honest to Minnesota, but a lying sack of shit to Iowa).
Oh, and they're the team that I grew up rooting for and the team I love unconditionally, which is the only way anyone should love anything.
So maybe you want to make fun of the Vikings. Or perhaps you'd like to treat them with complete and utter indifference, as the Chris Bermans of this world do. Well, you know what? That's fine. Go find a Styrofoam block of cheese and put it on your head. Have a ball, you fucking loser. My team has games to win and hookers to nail.