Some people are fans of the Minnesota Vikings. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Minnesota Vikings. This 2016 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here. And buy Drew’s new book here.
Your team: Blair missed the kick.
Your 2015 record: I don’t even remember because Blair missed the kick. Here…
I don’t… Ugh, just… Look man, shit like this only happens when God wants to fuck you.
This is the part where I disclose to you that I am a Vikings fan. That means no matter what I say on this website about any other team, or any other fans, or any other city, you can go right ahead and throw this goddamn kick right back in my face and I will be unable to respond. I am a deer in headlights when confronted with the absolute and total failure of my own stupid, asshole team. God fucking dammit. TWENTY-SEVEN YARDS, BLAIR. I don’t care if it was cold enough to kill a Tauntaun. From 27 yards the corpse of Denny Green could have made that kick. My alcoholism is on you.
Your coach: Mike Zimmer, whom I love and whom is easily the best coach in team history since Bud Grant. But it took no time at all for phony-ass Minnesotans to take Zimmer and use him to buff up their own bullshit self-image. Oooh, he’s so plain-spoken, just like Bud! He’s our kind of guy! Look at this load of garbage:
Mike Zimmer is becoming our guy. Which is a rare thing… He is clearly not “one of us” by birth or accent. He nevertheless has a chance to become one of the most beloved coaches in Minnesota history, where no matter what we say we want we really prefer older and crustier, blunter and bluer… Zimmer has performed a neat trick by not performing any tricks.
See, this is why Minnesotans deserve to watch shanked 27-yard field goals for the rest of eternity. They are a group of passive-aggressive psychopaths who have somehow deluded themselves into believing they’re plain, honest folk. There are Bridgehampton socialites more willing to speak their mind than these silently fuming lutefisk eaters. It’s an entire state of TV morning show hosts. And the whole “one of us” thing is genuinely repugnant. This state treats itself like a country club and it treats the rest of the world like it’s on a waiting list to get in. If only Minnesotans knew how little everyone else thinks of that frozen wasteland. By God, I will scream my contempt out loud through the new Gjallarhorn.
Also, Norv is still the OC. If Norv Turner were a doctor he’d leave a scalpel inside you by accident. Watch any game called by Norv and you will witness at least one drive, perhaps more, that seems to have been deliberately sabotaged. Wait, why are we running the ball with no timeouts left? Why did he call that fullback lateral? IS HE A DOUBLE AGENT?! Norv can rot in hell.
Blair missed the kick.
Your quarterback: Teddy Bridgewater. Every time I talk to my friends about the Vikings, they usually ask, “So, how you feel about Teddy?” And when I tell them that I like Teddy, they arch their eyebrows to the point of spraining vital facial muscles. Really? You sure about that answer? You sure you don’t want to change your story there? This is because they know that Teddy has the arm strength of a wingless seagull. Every pass downfield looks like it’s on replay. Faced with a mild pass rush, Teddy looks like the town bully just told him to meet him behind school at three o’clock. I am a moron for believing in Teddy, particularly when he conspires with Norv to make moments like this happen:
Fuck me blind. Also, Teddy led the drive that led to Blair missing the kick.
What’s new that sucks: The stadium! Yes, this year the Vikings unveil their billion-dollar, bird-murdering stadium, which looks like a set of giant Magna-Tiles some toddler left in the center of downtown Minneapolis. Al Michaels has already creamed his Four Seasons bathrobe thinking about the place.
Were there cost overruns? You know there were. Did the Vikings sue Wells Fargo for daring to put signage near the stadium, which is named after a competing bank? You know they did. Will the city of Minneapolis begin slashing budgets for schools and other vital services to help foot the $500 million they’ve paid for this Imperial Destroyer? You know they will. The Wilf family is a bunch of scummy crooks and they’ll burn this thing down for the insurance money the second they discover the Feds sniffing around them...
On the field, GM Rick Spielman made only a token effort to revamp what was the worst line in team history. You’d have a harder time knocking down a row of dominoes. The Vikes cut Phil Loadholt’s salary until he retired, signed aging vets Alex Boone and Andre Smith’s manbreasts, and drafted Willie Beavers, who graded second-to-last among lineman in ALL of college football last season. All of it. Jesus Christ. The rest of the line is dependent on center John Sullivan not having his spine turn into wet bread at some point during the season. Matt Kalil is still the worst thing in my life.
Laquon Treadwell was the team’s first draft pick. The knock on Quon is that he has issues catching the ball, which isn’t a big problem for wideouts at all! Why not draft Troy Williamson a second time and then stab me in the heart.
Also, we drafted a German wideout. The second he catches a regular season pass, his jersey will skyrocket to No. 1 in sales across the entire state and the governor will hand him a sash with ONE OF US emblazoned on it.
Our bearded imbecile of a mascot held out for $20,000 a game and then decided to become a Packers fan when the team (wisely) told him to eat shit.
Prince died. Blair missed the kick.
What has always sucked: Oh hey, Adrian Peterson is still out there swallowing his own dip spit while fumbling like a complete asshole in playoff games. Has ANYONE talked to him about the fumbling? Or would that be too upsetting to his delicate psyche, causing him to literally lash out at everyone with a palm frond?
I am sick to death of the endless coddling of Adrian Peterson. Everyone is scared to death of upsetting him. He surrounds himself with family and sycophants down in Texas because he can’t bear to be confronted with anything resembling the truth, and then he pops up to Minneapolis during the season to bitch about carries, treat his fumbleitis with nothing but firm handshakes, and then lay the ball on the turf when his team can least afford it. He’s expensive and thin-skinned and he’s not even a good fit for this offense anymore. If he gets suspended another full year for locking his kids in an airless steam trunk, I won’t bat an eyelash.
Also, Blair is still here. Now I know the honorable thing to do is keep Blair Walsh around, send him encouraging letters from first graders, and stand by him as he tries to recover from the playoff game against Seattle. This is one of those rare and baffling instances where a football team decides to be humane. But I already know it’s a lost cause. Once a kicker gets his psyche shattered, there’s not putting it back together. Walsh could go the entire regular season without missing a kick and this team would still have a massive guillotine blade hanging over its neck. Everything about the Vikings—from the offense to the defense to the special teams—is designed to malfunction at the exact wrong time. More sad fan reaction videos are the Vikings’ destiny. And it’s what they and their fans deserve:
If Blair confessed that he missed the kick just to spite Minnesota, I wouldn’t blame him. I’d strangle him with my bare hands, but I wouldn’t blame him.
What might not suck: Kiss my ass. We’re going to the Super Bowl. That is my formal prediction. Be sure to remind me of this come January when the team has accidentally fallen into a snow crevasse.
Also, Blair would miss the winning kick in that Super Bowl.
Let’s remember some Vikings:
- DJ Dozier
- Al Noga
- Jake Reed
- Derrick Alexander
- Steve Jordan
Hear it from Vikings fans!
I don’t even care anymore, I’m going to just revel in the pain of others because I know it’s coming. I used to have feelings, Not anymore.
Even if Walsh made the field goal, we still had 20 seconds to blow the game.
I have to root for a fucking child beater.
I made the mistake last year of going to the playoff game against the Seahawks. I cried the whole way home and on top of that my wife got fucking hammered during the game and puked everywhere during the car ride home. (We car pooled with friends).
Fuck Blair Walsh with Teddy’s skinny kneecaps.
From my section (Southeast corner) it looked like Blair Walsh’s last minute chip shot went through, so we all cheered. Many people turned around high-fiving and hugging and screaming in our exultation. It took a minute or two before people started getting confused by what was/wasn’t happening on the field, and you could hear the realization slowly ripple through (wait, why aren’t we kicking off? Was there a penalty? OH-DEAR-MOTHER-OF-GOD-NO-YOU’VE-GOT-TO-BE-KIDDING-ME). After the game most people were too numb (physically and emotionally) to do anything but just calmly walk out, but I remember seeing one guy just swearing at the field, and another full grown man weeping in his hands.
I can’t wait to tell my kids this story.
Our fan base consists of old closet anti-Semites and single mothers who take blurred selfies with Vikings gear on. We are so irrationally in love with a running back who split his own child’s nutsack with a branch and has also taken it upon himself personally to continue the Viking legacy of shitting the bed and rolling around in it every 4-5 years.
I was in Japan this past year during the playoffs. I woke up at 2 am to watch the game. And immediately before Blair Walsh missed the easiest field goal of the game, I took a deep breath and came to a moment of zen a la Kevin Spacey in American Beauty. Watching it go wide left, I wasn’t surprised, or mad or sad or anything. I had a scary feeling of comfort. Like yes, this was going to happen.
Love Boat for life.
I process grief far more efficiently than your average American thanks to being a Vikings fan.
The stadium bill with funding by the state of Minnesota and city of Minneapolis is one of the worst mass sodomies in professional sports history. Lester Bagley, the main PR executive that lied so shamelessly about the benefits provided by a new stadium, has one of the most insufferable, snotty voices you could imagine; that a sycophantic shill like him could secure such a sweetheart deal is beyond the rules of logic. Future White House press secretaries should intern with this pie-faced rodeo clown to learn the art of seamless bullshitting. Add to this farce that our state’s legislators and governor were too afraid to force the Vikings to open up their books or defy the will of the drunken masses and we’re left with presenting the gift of half a mil to a fucking billionaire?!?! A swindling, potato-faced billionaire closer to a Loony Tunes villain than an actual person?
I’ve watched this team lose on a blocked punt for a safety, on a last-second Kyle Orton game-winning drive, and sat, helpless, as TWO normally brilliant kickers faltered with the game on the line. Christ, both Gary Anderson and Blair Walsh looked like they were asked to kick a live hand grenade into a daycare center.
What makes the whole endeavor of Vikings fandom even worse is the holier than though attitude that the vast majority of fans have. Vikings history is little more than bland competency spiked with crushing, inexplicable playoff losses and organizational malfeasance.
The great Bud Grant (who still looks like he could break your spine with his bare hands at 89), was the last coach to get the Vikings to the Super Bowl. In 1976. Which is so far gone from today’s NFL it might as well have been played on the moon.
We think we’re better than the dregs of the NFL like the Bills and Browns and Lions. Guess what? The Vikings only “championship” was pre-NFL/AFL merger in 1969, which was technically the NFC title game at the time. They then promptly lost in the Super Bowl to an inferior Kansas City team.
The Bills won 2 AFL league titles, in 1964 and 1965, which were actual, legit championships. The Lions were 4-time Champs (1935, 1952, 1953, 1957). The Browns were a powerhouse, winning 8 league championships from ‘46 to ‘64. We have as many “titles” as the goddamn Providence Steamroller and Frankford Yellow Jackets.
We finally have a solid team with a great young defense, a respectable head coach, and a QB who, while likeable and heady, has less career passing TD’S (28) than Kirk “YOU LIKE THAT?” Cousins had last year (29).
My dad doesn’t watch the games anymore after 50 plus years of heartbreak. Before the Seattle playoff game last year we talked to express my excitement at the possibility of the Vikings pulling off a tough win. All he did before going outside was sigh and say, “They’ll screw it up somehow.” When Walsh ‘s kick hooked left and my dad came back inside from the 10 degrees below zero weather and asked “How’d they mess up this time?” I was still stunned into silence, so I hit rewind on the DVR. He grunted once and asked what was for supper.
Fuck this team.
My dad died unexpectedly in mid-January. And the very last thing I can remember doing with him is joining him and my brother in a gigantic, simultaneous “NO” that scared the shit out of the dog.
I’m with the 119th Air National Guard in North Dakota, and needless to say Sunday Drill Afternoons will almost always have the Vikings Game on somewhere. I do training management where I keep track of who gets back from tech schools, basic training and oversee most of the hands on training and go to many of the meetings to keep the commander and chief master sergeants informed on how our troops are doing. The end of Day meeting was delayed in January because the Vikings were in the playoffs.
I told myself I wasn’t going to care, I told myself that we were playing with house money this year, that no one even expected us to be here, much less host a playoff game, or beat the Packers at their home stadium to win the division, that I would be fine no matter what happened. And then the Kyle Rudolph catch and run…. Holy shit they might make it, they’ve got it close to where it’s practically a chip shot.
Somebody in the meeting goes, “Watch, he’s gonna blow it.” I had my doubts because we had the Rams and Bears games that gave me false hope, and Arizona didn’t look too tough, we played them well on Thursday night without 3 of our best defensive players. Maybe we could continue our every decade tradition of getting our asses kicked by an NFC South team tradition.
And then the miss…..
You could hear NOOOOOOO!!!!!!! screamed from every office of our building. My heart snapped in two like Ralph from the Simpson in the I Choo Choo Choose you episode. It was like my best friend got shot right in front of me. The chief (who’s a Steeler fan) asked me how many people we had in PME courses and I could barely stutter out an answer, I was completely numb. I drove home just listening to sports radio trying to figure out why this happened and the thing that pissed me off is that we wouldn’t have even been in a position to win if it wasn’t for Blair Walsh. We lost because our asshole running back wanted to be the hero and blew it again, and because Russell fucking Wilson can botch a snap, run 30 yards all over the field and somehow find an open receiver. And that’s still not the worst playoff loss that we’ve had.
Also Fuck Brett Favre.
We have a left tackle I hope at least has the courtesy to yell “He’s coming!” at Bridgewater so that he can at least bite down on his mouthguard before getting exploded in front of his mom.
Fuck our delusional, child-beating running back. I hope he falls off a camel. Fuck Percy Harvin. Fuck Brad Childress. Fuck Brett Favre. Fuck Fred Smoot. Fuck our criminal owner. And apparently fuck all of the birds in Minneapolis that are going to be killed by our gaudy new stadium.
Oh, and fuck Chris Kluwe. There’s nothing more annoying than that smug, annoying, wanna-be Deadspin staff writer sputtering hot takes on this site every couple months. He got cut because we found a better, younger punter who doesn’t sit in his basement all day playing Dungeons and Dragons and arguing with other idiots on the internet.
FUCK GARY ANDERSON AND HIS GODDAMN YIPS THAT SHIT MADE ME CRY
Kluwe could have made that kick.
Once again the Vikings playoff game will come down to another last minute crushing defeat to a team that we should have beaten by 10 points if our QB had the ability to complete a pass over 5 yards.
When I was a kid (1970s and 80s) the Purple sucked because they couldn’t win the big game. Now we can’t even get to the big game anymore.
Oh, and our fans suck too. And deep down, we know that we suck because US Bank Stadium, lovely or not, is the ultimate expression and manipulation of passive aggressive, “Minnesota Nice.” Mind you, there was no chance of our uptight, inferiority-complex driven fans allowing their spineless State Reps say no to this team and letting them go to LA where they’d likely win 12 Lombardy Trophies. But we hemmed and hawed, and dicked around, and acted like a bunch of petulant pussies until they got scared and just fucking invented a revenue stream out of whole cloth to pay for the fucking thing. “What? Gambling! Gambling and Pull-Tab fees will pay for it! How much? Uhhh....... let me get back to you..... Vote yes!”
We suck so bad as fans that our team has to basically share our fan-base with our biggest division rivals. The same rivals who describe another fucking team as their biggest rival. The last Viking-Packer game I went to, the cheese-heads were in their seats first and the Purple got booed in their own shitty stadium when they took the field for warm-ups. Fuck this team for letting that happen.
Fuck Robert Smith for retiring early.
Fuck Adrian Peterson for beating his kid and fumbling in every goddamn play-off game he’s ever been in. (Not to mention that fucking camel pic).
Fuck Randy Moss for trying to run over a Minneapolis meter-maid.
Fuck Herschel Walker.
Fuck that side-line, biker Viking guy who thought that he was worth a quarter of a million dollars or whatever the fuck.
Fuck Jerry Burns for coaching like Jerry Burns for 5 years and not firing Bob Schnelker. (But bless him for pioneering the profanity-laden, post-game coach’s rant).
Fuck Armen Terzerian for not calling offensive pass interference on Drew Pearson.
And fuck that shithead who sits in the next section over from me who wears that stupid, fucking Mark Chmura Packer jersey to every game regardless of who the Vikes are playing.
This January we gathered in my living room along with 5 or so of our “newer” and less jaded Vikings brethren for the Seahawks game. As Walsh lined up, I was standing on the couch, my hand firmly grabbing my friend Dave’s shoulder and he looked up directly into my eyes and asked “He can’t miss this, can he?” And I looked right back, paused for a moment and replied “No, no he can’t.” As the kick sailed left, I knew I had lied to Dave. And I think he knew too, cause on some level we both knew that that goddamn kick was not going through. Fuck our 10 year old selves for choosing this fuckin team.
And just cause it doesn’t get said enough, fuck Red McCombs.
The only team that can cost the state $500 million and raise hot dog prices to $6. Fuck the Vikings and Fuck the Wilfs.
When Denny Green died, the obituaries all mentioned the two NFC Championship losses. As I was reading them, I realized that reaching those games (plus two more after the 1987 and 2009 seasons) was the apex of my football fandom. 35 years watching this team, and my highlights are four divisional playoff victories followed by four gut-wrenching losses.
During our Wild Card game against Seattle, I was watching it on the Fox Sports website. There’s a natural lag between actual cable and what plays on the internet. So I saw Teddy lead us downfield and set up Blair Walsh for a chip shot. My girlfriend is super excited because she’s never seen my team do anything good in the five years we’ve been together.
Then I start getting texts from people saying “LOL” and “I’m sorry” from my friends. I basically got told the future and had to sit there and watch it happen. Meanwhile, my roommate, who is an insufferable Seattle fan, busts into my room and says “The better team won, bro.”
The Vikings had an open house this past weekend for their modest new $1 billion stadium. As my fiancée and I were roaming through one of the sections, I saw an entire family of Bears fans just sitting in the seats and taking it all in. Mom, dad and two kids, all decked out in Bears gear. Clearly there was malicious foresight in their clothing choices. I began to weigh options for a rebuttal, thinking it was important that we, the defenders of Purple Pride, issue a decisive yet nonviolent counterstrike. We must establish home-field advantage NOW. Do not let this place become a cozy vacation spot for visiting fans before it even hosts a game. I scanned to see who else in the area might help me with a chant, a mild insult, or any other passive-aggressive Minnesota show of strength. And right then, as I’m about to pull the trigger on the tried-and-true “BEARS SUCK!”, my fiancée spotted these same four people and realized they are relatives of hers. We walked over, had a very pleasant chat, and went on our merry way. I hate being nice.
Also, fuck all important playoff field goals.
Literally seconds before Blair Walsh was ready to kick that field goal to give us a well deserved playoff win, I get a text from my best friend. It only had two words: “Gary Anderson”. Five seconds later, Walsh yanks it left.
Fuck Gary Anderson hard.
I was living in Vancouver, Washington during last year’s Divisional Playoff against the Seahawks. A few minutes into the 3rd quarter, on a bright day with very little wind, DirectTV decides to shit the bed. So I have to run over to the nearest bar, which was packed with drunken assholes in #12 jerseys.
When Blair Walsh lined up for that FG, I swear I was the only person in Washington, Oregon and Idaho who KNEW that kick wasn’t going in. I made sure my tab was paid and I was ready to GTFO to avoid either being beaten or mocked. I was out the door before that fucking ball landed in the stands.
Fuck Jeff Locke
Fuck Blair Walsh
Fuck Adrian Peterson
I was at the playoff game against Seattle. I was sitting in the opposite end-zone from the missed kick at the end of the game. During the time out right before the kick, my wife looks at me and says “Are you ok?” I must have had some look of concern, and I said “I’ve seen this before, I’m not celebrating until that ball goes through the uprights.” Sure enough, my guy feeling was right. All I could do after that kick was laugh. I knew the Vikings would end up being the Vikings that I have grown up with.
Also, everyone blames Walsh for that game instead of the child abuser who couldn’t hold on to the football.
I’m a Vikings fan. I’ve had plenty to say over the years about why my team sucks, and it’s always been true. But screw that. They don’t suck anymore. We’ve got Touchdown Teddy Bridgewater and Zimmer’s kick-ass defense full of stars. It’s a talented team that went 11-5 last year and has nowhere to go but up. That missed field goal was a fluke. The Vikings are totally going to the Super Bowl this year!
Please publish this. That way, when the Vikings inevitably piss away a playoff game at the last second and all my idiot Packer fan relatives start taunting me on Facebook, I’ll be able to read it and feel like an even bigger idiot than I otherwise would have for thinking that this time they have a chance.
I watched the playoff game last year with five other Vikings fans. Before Walsh even attempted the kick, two people in the room predicted a shank. I said he’d make it, then we’d squib it, they’d return it to the 50, and Russell Wilson would do a Russell Wilson thing to get them to a game-winning field goal. We were predicting why we would lose before it would happen because it’s happened so many times before. Fuck your 86% in-game win probability, ESPN, we’ve seen this shit too many times.
When he missed, 3 people laughed, 2 were silent, and 1 just left without saying a word and went home. The Vikings cannot shock their fans with their failure. It’s expected, and we’re numb to it. Oh, and now Prince is dead.
Our biggest offseason story is the time that Nate Burleson made up a story of Brock Lesnar suplexing a dude in an intrasquad scrimmage. Sad part is yes, Brock Lesnar was actually in training camp, however the only Viking in my lifetime ever involved in a suplex was Brett Favre during that Bountygate Saints NFC Championship game.
When Blair Walsh missed that field goal last year, I calmly walked outside in my Cordarrelle fucking Patterson jersey, and shoveled snow off of my lawn. Not sidewalk, lawn. In minus 30 degree weather. My fiancé nearly called the police.
Our best player is STILL the douchebag who abuses little children, and has still never apologized for it, and still thinks that HE was the one wronged.
When Walsh missed the FG against Seattle last winter, it honestly didn’t surprise me. I didn’t scream or smash my coffee table. I was just dead inside, like I have been through every single Vikings’ season since Gary Anderson missed the game-winner against Atlanta back in 1998. That was also the first night I drank until I blacked out. I was 15.
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