NFL Season Preview: Minnesota Vikings (Featuring A Discussion Of Best Jerseys For Civilian Wear) We're less than a month away from the start of the NFL season, so it's time to start the impassioned season previews from various writers, bloggers, diehard fans, cooks, TV personalities, and numerous other walks of life whom consider football the only sport worth watching. Right now: the Minnesota Vikings. Your author is Drew Magary. Drew's new book, "Men With Balls," released October 27th and featuring 100% new material, is available for pre-order here. You can email Drew here. Read him during the week at KSK.Let's be honest. You don't give a shit about this preview. No one reads these fucking things. The Vikings probably aren't your team, and you don't want to hear me prattling on and on for paragraphs at a time about how I think the team will do this year (make the playoffs, not reach the Super Bowl), or how Purple Jesus makes me all happy in the pants. This is especially true in the case of the Vikings, the team with the most obvious storyline coming into the season: Loaded everywhere but at the game's most vital position. They could be a dark horse Super Bowl contender. Or they could go 6-10, depending upon both how Tarvaris Jackson plays and whether or not the o-line fails to give ANY of the team's QBs adequate protection, as they did last year, despite the unit's rather lofty reputation. (This could be an even bigger problem if Bryant McKinnie is suspended for the first 4 games after a recent off-the-field incident that, surprisingly, did not involve a public display of boxchowing.) So let's take the time now to talk about something more relevant to all of us: jerseys. I have never owned a Minnesota Vikings jersey. To be sure, I own or have owned pretty much every other piece of licensed team merchandise: Vikings ties, Vikings boxers, Vikings t-shirts, Vikings hats, Vikings jackets, Vikings sippy cups, Vikings nipple clamps. If it says Vikings on it, I've either worn it, eaten from it, or gagged a drifter with it. But not the jersey. I have owned two football jerseys in my time. The first was an old Phil Simms jersey (my mom got it for me one year without realizing I was a Vikings fan). The second was a free jersey I got at Dartmouth football camp that said WEARERS OF THE GREEN across the chest and stomach, with no numbers on the back or front. The jersey itself was green, so the caption seems extraordinarily redundant in retrospect. I wore both of these jerseys. I looked like a colossal fuckhead in both of them, especially that idiotic Dartmouth one. Who puts a slogan on a jersey? In any event, the point is this: football jerseys are not meant to be worn as civilian clothing. Even NFL players look stupid in them if they're forced to wear them without shoulder pads (watch any Peyton Manning game intro montage if you don't believe me). But some jerseys look even dumber than others. And that brings us back to the Vikings jersey. I love my team. I really do. But I defy you to find any man who looks good in a purple mesh jersey. It isn't possible. You end up looking like a swollen penis that has neck stubble. Women? Now, that's a whole other story. You put any woman in a football jersey and no other clothes, and you got yourself a one-way ticket to Bonertown. Especially if the jersey is cut off at the midriff or tied up at the bellybutton and WOOHOO I think jet fuel just squirted out of my shorts. Wearing a jersey makes any man look retarded, but when that jersey has the added detriment of being fucking PURPLE, it only exacerbates the problem. Which got me to thinking: What are the best and worst NFL jerseys to wear as casual garb? They all look dumb, but some look far dumber than others. My best list: Least Awful Jerseys For Casual Wear*: 1. Raiders 2. Giants 3. Bears 4. Steelers 5. Cowboys (NOTE: Does not take into account the fact that wearing a Cowboys jersey declares you a fucktarded Cowboys fan) All of these jerseys are, fashion-wise, minimalist. Traditional. They feature one prominent, not-too-garish color. And they don't have a shitload of faggy flourishes. Like a Broncos jersey. You really want to wear something that has orange accents? Fuck no, you don't. Here are eight jerseys even Lucy Pinder would look stupid wearing: Most Awful Jerseys For Casual Wear*: 1. Bengals 2. Panthers 3. Jaguars 4. Ravens 5. Vikings (couldn't put them higher because I'm totally biased. Hey Ravens fans, you look EXTRA queer!) 6. Titans 7. Chiefs 8. Broncos (*Rankings subject to change if you're one of those black dudes who can pull off any jersey) At least the Broncos jersey is dark blue. Purples, oranges, teals, fire engine reds… Nothing enhances goofiness on a man quite like those colors. They're the cherry on the retard sundae. So why do grown men wear jerseys at all? Well, if you're anything like me, you've noticed in your life that there is a huge discrepancy between how you see yourself in a mirror and how you see yourself once a picture is taken of you. I had a Vikings Apex One jacket I wore all through high school. I thought it looked awesome. Then someone handed me a photo of me in it, and suddenly the reason no girl ever came within 50 feet of me in high school became glaringly apparent (many other factors also contributed). We WANT to think we look cool in football jerseys. Because football players are cool, so we throw on a jersey, look in the mirror, and see ourselves as part of the team. It looks good. TO US. I played football in high school. Every Friday before the game, we'd wear our game jerseys to class. Let me tell you something: You feel like a total badass when you're in high school and you do that. Especially if you ride the pine, like I did (no one knows you're a team liability until game time!). You DON'T look like a badass in that jersey, of course. But that almost doesn't matter. How you look in the jersey is of minimal importance next to how you it makes you feel. And so, many guys are happy to look like complete jackasses in exchange for that Friday afternoon high school buzz. But not me. I love my team. I really, really do. More than just about anything in the world outside of my family. I love them without conditions or expectations. And I know this year, with Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen, that they'll be a particular joy to watch, playoffs or not. But god dammit, that is one gay jersey on me.