Some people are fans of the Minnesota Vikings. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Minnesota Vikings. This 2012 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read the other Why Your Team Sucks 2012 previews here. For a rebuttal, see Vikings punter Chris Kluwe's "Why Your Website Sucks."
1. Nice Minnesota people are the worst kind of people. I grew up in Minnesota and I can tell you that the single greatest myth about Minnesotans—a myth STARTED by Minnesotans—is that Minnesotans are extraordinarily nice. It's complete bullshit. Minnesotans are some of the fakest people ever to grace the surface of the Earth. Passive aggression is the default setting of virtually everyone living there. There's nothing genuine about these people. Their plastered-on smiles hide an inhuman thirst for cruelty. Living in Minnesota means living among five million Dolores Umbridges. They HATE people who aren't from Minnesota (particularly Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, supposedly because he's from New Jersey, but mostly because he's Jewish). If they could build a wall around the state and send out laser-equipped loons to protect their borders from anyone with a trace amounts of melanin, they would.
They phrase all put-downs in mother-in-lawese, like so: "That's a very nice dress for someone of your build." That's a Minnesota person being "nice." Catharsis is essentially illegal in that state. Most Minnesota people lie through their teeth 16 hours a day and repress all their anger and bitterness toward the world deep inside, until the day comes when they lace a carrot Jello salad with arsenic and sell it at a local elementary school auction. In a way, I'm glad that batshit crazy Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has gained widespread notoriety, because that woman is the perfect example of what people from Minnesota are really like. There's nothing nice about them. They're awful people.
2. Vikings fans like me are fucking horrible. Every time the Vikings play the Packers at home, half the stadium is Green Bay fans. The entire eastern portion of the state is Packer country. I myself haven't been to a Vikings home game in person since 1990, because no one wants to see his home team play inside an oversized trash bag. I can name only one of their starting linebackers (Chad Greenway, and I think Erin Henderson is another one; Oh wait! I think Jasper Brinkley is still around). When they aren't competitive, I have to fight with every fiber in my being the urge to change the channel and watch my fantasy players instead. I'm a shitty fan, and I'm not alone. When the Vikings are bad, no one shows up. Everyone fucks off to go watch a Louie Anderson comedy special. If you knew the number of Minnesotans who became first-time Vikings fans the day Brett Favre blew into town, you would be horrified. Our supposedly fantastic home-field advantage at the Metrodome was exposed long ago as a fraud: The Vikings pumped in crowd noise like Belle corking his bat. Other fans in other towns are far more loyal and enthusiastic. God, how I despise them all.
And do you want to know the worst thing about Vikings fans? It's the overtures of self-pity. I rip on Boston fans all the time for being melodramatic in the face of adversity. But secretly, silently, I happily accept any attempts to lump the Vikings in with the Cubs as one of the great pity cases in sports, even though Bills and Lions and Browns fans have far more to complain about. CAN'T YOU SEE THAT OUR LOSSES ARE MORE DEVASTATING THAN ANYONE ELSE'S LOSSES? DENNY GREEN BRAD CHILDRESS DREW PEARSON WAH WAH WAH. It's pathetic. My hypocrisy knows no bounds.
3. Oh, and we suck. For the better part of my life, I've been able to count on the Vikings at least being competitive (the franchise has an all-time regular-season winning percentage of .543). That's pretty much over now. Ahead of them lies a decade of guaranteed futility, with the three other NFC North teams clearly superior and built to be superior for the long term. They will get the Bears-in-Champaign treatment at the Gophers' home stadium for one to four years after this season, and they'll have no chance of competing without a real home stadium to call their own.
The interior o-line is horrid. The secondary, as always, is ghastly. No team whiffs on sacks and allows the other team to convert on a third-and-15 quite like the Vikings. The defensive line is aging and will soon become a liability. And Adrian Peterson is coming back too quickly from an injury that he's all but certain to sustain again a month from now. There were so many good players on this roster back in 2009, and all of them have seen their finest years wasted thanks to Brett Favre's penis and a run of abominable coaching. The Vikings' entire 2012 season hinges on a quarterback who most people already believe is an obvious bust. But surely there's still hope for Christian Ponder, right? RIGHT? No? WHO'S UP FOR SOME LOVELY CARROT JELLO SALAD?
4. Our punter won't stop trying to get a job at Deadspin. One day, I'm gonna look up a Chris Kluwe comment on this site and find that it was time-stamped at the exact same moment a punt was blocked. LESS TALKY MORE KICKY, WARCRAFT BOY.
5. Hear it from Vikings fans!
The coaching staff is full of personnel who's résumés read as if they were applying to jobs coaching at the high school level.
Giving a 5-year deal to John Carlson after he missed an entire season from injuries to play tight end alongside Kyle Rudolph doubled the number of injury-prone tight ends from Notre Dame on the roster. The Vikings also drafted both of Notre Dame's starting safeties this April. Has no one in the front office realized that Notre Dame isn't that good anymore? You'd think someone would have at least flipped past NBC on a Saturday morning at some point in the last half-decade.
And putting Percy Harvin on the field for only half your offensive snaps is like owning a really nice hot tub but only turning it on for half the dates you bring home.
Had it not been for the flukiness that made Randy Moss unstoppable, you would have ZERO history. And the fact that Daunte Culpepper had a career after chucking up hail marys to the best receiver we've ever seen not named Jerry Rice, is fucking appalling. Him doing that stupid roll thing with his arms is tattooed into my brain for eternity, and I'm fairly certain it's going to cause cancer. So fuck you, Culpepper.
You losers got Brett Favre's best season of his Hall of Fame career, and it wasn't even close. And what'd you go and do? Go get Favre'd in the biggest Vikings game since the the last time you cock stains blew it in a championship game. You have no idea how enjoyable it is watching this joke franchise choke, and choke, and choke. It's incredible. Watching that dickhead throw that pick was justification that the Minnesota Vikings won't ever win dick.
Our punter is the most interesting guy on the team.
Adrian Peterson is the most overrated great running back in NFL history. Doesn't catch passes out of the backfield. Can't pick up a blitz for SHIT. Has one good knee and is not only forcing himself to come back way too soon, but is perfectly willing to tell Jerry Rice (who has WON IN THIS LEAGUE) to basically fuck himself. Don't forget the fumbles in the NFC title game. Don't forget he's been in trouble with the law MULTIPLE TIMES..........forget the bar in Houston, he's also been pulled over for driving triple-digits on the highway. Fuck AD, AP, or whatever it is.
At any Vikings game you'll find Cleatus, who drove his house down from Coon Rapids so he can rock his face paint and Toby Gerhart jersey while he and his 400- pound wife take down a case of Grain Belt. That would all be fine and good if they were rational, logical fans, but they're not. They're the worst. Vikings fans are somehow obnoxious, entitled blowhards while still being paranoid pessimists.
They believe that the Vikings will always lose, yet they will never admit that it's because the team sucks. No fan base uses the "we outplayed them/the better team lost" clichés more than Vikings fans. It's the coach. It's the refs (it's ALWAYS the refs). It's some undefined "curse." But it's never because Robert Smith is a pussy who ran out of bounds in '98 instead of running out the clock. It's never because Favre turned out to be EXACTLY what you always teased Packers fans about him being (irresponsible and mistake- prone in crucial situations). It's never because the overrated, stat- obsessed Jared Allen was too busy chasing Jay Cutler for another sack that he didn't realize Matt Forte just ran right by him and is streaking down the sideline past the MAC- level secondary. It's never because the first round pick QB can't figure out how to throw a sideline out pass without having it jumped for a pick- 6.
Tell Vikings fans their team will lose, and they will probably reluctantly agree. Tell them their team is pathetic and doesn't have the talent to compete, and they will turn up some Toby Keith, spit out their wad of Kodiak, and it is ON. They always believe it's some outside influence that causes the Vikings to lose time and time again, when the reality is that the team just fucking sucks.
The Vikings can go 15-1. They can make it to the NFC Championship game. They can be just one play away from going to the Super Bowl. And somehow, some way, someone will screw it all up and then all of us Minnesotans have to listen to Packers fan gloat and rib us about all those Super Bowls we've won.
4 Super Bowl losses
4 NFC Championship game losses
The only offensive line so bad they allowed Brett Favre to be physically knocked out of the league.
The Love Boat
Brad Childress and the Perkins menu he called plays from.
Denny Green taking a knee with the most prolific offense ever.
The worst trade in the history of sports. Ever. (Herschel Walker for a full 52 man roster and a bag of balls)
The Metrodome. There are high school football fields in Texas better than the Metrodome.
The most embarrassing moment in sports history (Jim Marshall's wrong way run)
LESLIE FRAZIER EATS HOG.
For as long as I can remember, the Vikings have been the NFL retirement home, where The Ghosts of QB Past go to die disgracefully and ruin their legacies (Favre, McNabb, Brad Johnson, Jim McMahon, Warren Moon, I could go on). And then the few times we do give the ball to someone without an AARP card, it goes to practice squad back-ups, like T-Jack and now Ponder, who can't hit the broad side of a barn. And there are a lot of fucking barns in Minnesota.
Our QB has no pocket presence, our RB has no knee and our WR has no contact. Oh, and we're the Vikings… the most disappointing team in the league. It's pretty sad when my favorite two memories of them end with a crushing defeat in the NFC championship game. Can they just move to LA already so I can stop cheering for them?
The Saints were 11-5 last year with their star quarterback shattering the season passing record. Last season, we had a starting QB who threw for 39 yards in a game; it would have taken McNabb 8 seasons passing at that piss-poor clip to hit Brees' total for the 2011 season. Instead of finding a proven quarterback, we decided to just toss Christian Ponder into the fire and force him to make do with this motley crew of a team. We have a star wide receiver whose career has been stunted time and time again by migraines, which seems like some cruel joke, and a freaking WIDE RECEIVER at backup quarterback.
Old Vikings fans who complain the team is cursed are the worst. I despise listening to all of these fucktards like Patrick Reusse saying that they always expect the Vikings to blow the big games they're in. Guess what? Maybe they were beaten by better teams and/or just regressed to the mean by playing over their heads up to that point (the '98 team played an easy schedule and ran up the score, the '09 team needed Favre's historical anomaly of a season). Here's a thought: Vikings fans want to be disappointed, because they then have something to complain about besides their Mom Jeans wives and chaw-swallowing kids. This franchise isn't cursed; they just historically embrace short-term reactionary thinking and forgo championship contention for consistent hovering around 8-11 wins and wild-card playoff losses. This makes business sense, but it has expected results on the field.
Also, Minnesota is Greggggggg Easterbrook paradise: no gloree boyz allowed unless they seem like rednecks (Favre). Many of us hate Joe Mauer, bitch about Kevin Love, complain about Purple Jesus' fumbling even though he's done it like twice in the last 2 years, and never fully embraced the most loyal NBA superstar in in Kevin Garnett. News flash: some superstars are assholes, make it look like the game is easy, or have minor flaws. It's still better to have them than some "good guys" who can't play.
Being a Vikings fan is like being addicted to Meth. You REALLY want it to be good for you, but you know in your heart of hearts it will bring nothing but pain and sorrow.
The Minnesota Vikings is not, in fact, a sports franchise at all; it is a vast and brazen criminal enterprise preying on the taxpayers of Minnesota in general and of Minneapolis/St. Paul in particular. Basically, the last fourteen years have been an attempt to give the Vikings a patina of credibility while they set about swindling the city and state of half a billion dollars, which they have now successfully done in the recent stadium deal.
Our dirty secret is that while we Minnesotans live in perpetual hatred of the Packers, we are in constant jealousy of them. They do everything better than us: the narrative, the stadium (don't kid yourselves, MN tax payers just got SCREWED by Zygi the Pinhead), the hats, the color scheme. And our best quarterback of the last decade was sloppy, sloppy seconds from Wisconsin! Their history is somehow all Super Bowl, Lombardi heroism while ours will most likely always be Gary Anderson's miss and the Love Boat.
Good lord. Sometimes I wish I was a Packer fan. It would make life so much easier.
Being a fan of this team is like having a cold sore from September to January.
The worst part is, losing Super Bowls is our fucking lore! We've got nothing else to fall back on, so you've gotta sit around listening to some 70-year old relic spin yarns of the good old days, even though they've seen exactly as many championships as the illegitimate toddlers fathered by the defensive backfield. I always sit back calmly while they recall some great season, wait for them to wrap up, they say, "Oh yeah? Well how did that year end? Wait, I think I know, WE FUCKING LOST!!!"
Throw in the idiots that actually try to argue with Packer fans as if the two teams are in the same stratosphere, and Vikings fans make up the saddest, most hopeless bunch of losers west of Cleveland. There are only two acceptable courses of action when a fan of a Super Bowl winner tells you his team is better: Stab him in the neck with a sharp object or meekly stare at the floor and reply "Yes". Trying to counter based on logic and reason is not only impossible, it makes you a dipshit for even attempting. Accept who your team is, the Lions with a better regular season record, that's it.
We suck so fucking much.
They traded a 3rd round draft pick to the Patriots (Ryan Mallet) for 3 weeks of Randy Moss in the same season that their roof deflated en route to a 6-10 record. A lot to unpack in there.
If you ask any Packers fan who their biggest rival is, 100% of them will say the Bears. So while I'm staying up at night before Vikings – Packers games praying to at least compete (not gonna happen for another 5 years at least), Packers fans don't even acknowledge the rivalry.
There's probably no better summary of Vikings fuckitude than this brilliant YouTube clip of Jerry "F-Bomb" Burns, head coach back in the 1980s.
There's a scene in Kingpin where Woody Harrelson's character wakes up in his ramshackle home and walks past this old, sad, sickly man smoking a cigarette on his porch. Woody says, "Hey Herb, how's life?" and the old man chokes out: "...it's takin' forever." I can't think of a better way to put into words what it's like to be a Vikings fan.
I will never, ever, forget watching the 1998 playoff game against Atlanta on TV when Gary Anderson missed that fucking field goal. They panned around the Metrodome at these families, middle aged women, young kids, old people, the lot. Everyone's expression was identical. It wasn't horror, it wasn't shock, it wasn't anything. It was this silent, cold, blank, expressionless face resigned to the fact that what was coming all along had finally arrived.
I'm looking forward to this season because misfires, rebuilding, and incremental progress are the hallmarks of enjoyable Vikings football. It's when the Vikings have no reason to lose, get close enough to glory that you could almost imagine yourself there at the parade, but fall just inches short every time that are the most gut-wrenching seasons.
I've been to Minneapolis once, last year, and I went out of my way to
go to Tinucci's restaurant. Randy Moss was right, it's fucking awful.
Remember in kindergarten when your class would play with a parachute and at the end everyone would run inside and sit down in said parachute? That is roughly what the Metrodome is like, except there is more talent in a kindergarten class parachute.
I was given tickets to a preseason game last Friday. It was a beautiful day, so we went down a bit early to have a few beers on the plaza. As I stood there, watching generations of Vikings fans milling around, it occured to me that not one of them, from the kid in the AP jersey to the old man in the Tarkenton, could say they'd ever walked away from the last game of the season feeling happy. In the end, this team has literally disappointed everyone that has ever rooted for it.
The franchise hit the half-century mark last season, and celebrated by adopting the slogan "50 Seasons Of Greatness". Greatness? Really? I've seen 2 seasons in nearly 30 years of following this team that would've qualified as "great" at any point. Unfortunately, those also doubled as the two biggest nut punches of my sports-watching life. Perhaps "50 Seasons, Some Of Which Showed Flashes Of Greatness Before We Decided To Tear Out Your Heart LIke Mola Ram" would've been more appropriate. Tough to fit on a banner though.
My dad and I still get together most weeks to watch them. He's in his 60s, and has abandoned all hope of living to see a Super Bowl victory. One week last year, as we played out the string during another lost season, I joked that I was going to scatter some of his ashes in the new stadium, so he could be there when they finally one won. He glared at me, and said with total seriousness, "If I have to watch this shit for eternity, I'm going to haunt your ass until they win or your dead too. Wanna take that chance?"
Fuck no sir, fuck no.
And on that note, GO VIKES.
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