Some people are fans of the Minnesota Vikings. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Minnesota Vikings. This 2018 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: 38-7
Your 2017 record: 38-7. This is the part where I disclose that I, the author of this series, am a Vikings fan. So while I may clown on other teams, it pales in comparison to how often, and how mercilessly, other teams clown on my own. I am all talk, no rings. Every year, this asshole team hands opposing fans new ammunition to cut me down with. 38-7. Look how easily those numbers can be honed into a lethal weapon:
The numbers are embossed upon my very heart. I’ll never escape them. I’ll never outrun them. I have no comeback to them. I will NEVER have a comeback, because I already know this goddamn team will refuse to provide me with one.
There’s a phenomenon that occurs in sports that I have witnessed firsthand, and it occurs when a traditionally snakebitten team casts off its demons and becomes a behemoth even BEFORE they’ve consummated a championship. There’s an air of dominance and irrational confidence that happens during a run where everything begins to feel preordained. It infects the team, the fans, the opposition, everyone. This air … this collective FEELING … so completely dispels historic failure, it’s like those failures never even happened. It happened for the Boston Red Sox. It happened for the Washington Capitals. And for one week—ONE MEASLY GODDAMN WEEK—I could have sworn it was happening for my team. My poor, shithead Vikings. They had a dominant defense, a charmed quarterback, and the touch of Jesus after finding themselves the beneficiaries of this play:
They didn’t deserve to win that game, but they did. I could have sworn to you after that game that it was finally the Vikings’ time. My fatalism vanished. This team was one game away from playing the Super Bowl AT HOME, and all they had to do was beat Nick Foles to get there. Nick Foles. Nick fucking Foles. They were going to do it. It was destiny. I believed. I truly did. And I believed it even more when the Vikings went to Philly and immediately went up 7-0. It was all happening.
I… am a fucking moron. Shoot me point blank in the head because THIS is the carnage that ensued:
I got one week of happiness, and then this shit team couldn’t even hang with Nick fucking Foles for a single half. That incredible play against the Saints? It means nothing. It was rendered less important than the approximately 700 touchdowns Philly rained down on them the following week. It may as well have never happened. Where did the defense go? WHERE THE FUCK DID IT GO? ARE THEY ALL NARCOLEPTICS?!
Any team actually worth a shit follows up the Minneapolis Miracle with a Super Bowl. This would be like if the Red Sox had lost to the Cardinals in 2004. For the second time in this century, the Vikings played an NFC title game where the entire fucking second half was rendered garbage time. They blew it, and the worst part is that all of the supposed good karma they had built up over the course of last season ended up instantly transferring over to the fucking Eagles, of all teams. They took it all. They took the irrational confidence. They took the NFC title. They took the Minnesota Super Bowl. They took my pride. They even took the fucking chant.
They may as well have taken my wife. Here’s a good lesson for you kids out there: never take joy in anything because it doesn’t ultimately matter. The Vikings exist mainly to remind me that hope is for idiots. God, they’re such pieces of shit. They’ll never have a chance like that ever again. I wanna die. The ghosts of the birds the new stadium killed cursed them to lose to the bird teams forever.
Your coach: Mike Zimmer. Getting that close to a hometown Super Bowl has only made this franchise thirstier, which is why Zimmer swiped the Eagles’ QB coach to run the offense and then BLOCKED his own QB coach from taking a promotion with Pat Shurmur and the Giants.
“I get criticized for blocking guys and stuff like that, but loyalty, to me, is a big thing, right? So I come in here four years ago and the offense is 29, 27th, 26th. But I keep them. So the first time our offense is pretty good, then I’m supposed to let all my coaches leave? I don’t think that’s right. If I’m going to be loyal to them and not fire them after they don’t have good years, then I don’t think they should not be loyal to me.”
That is remarkably fucked up, and yet Vikings fans gladly ignored it, probably because Zimmer is as ruddy as they are. I know NFL coaches have all the moral turpitude of Ted Bundy, but it’s generally agreed upon that you let your assistants go somewhere else if they’ve got a better job waiting for them. Zim didn’t do that, and now his own assistant will probably spend all season showing titty movies to the QB room just to spite his ass. Speaking of which…
Your quarterback: The Vikings had three quarterbacks last season. The first one was a beloved draft pick who had his knee detonated by a lightning bolt thrown by Zeus from a nearby cloud. The second set a league record with the team, and then started one game the following year and promptly developed a knee injury of his own that was so vague and mysterious that NPR could base a fucking podcast around it. And the third little piggy took this team to the NFC title game before withering behind an undermanned offensive line. For his trouble, Case Keenum was given a pack of cigarettes and shown the door. Instead of locking down one of the team’s own QBs, Zygi Wilf skimmed $84 million from his shopping malls and handed it to this man:
The Vikings have an eternal hard-on for other team’s quarterbacks, and Kirk Cousins is the ultimate consummation of that engorgement. For the second time this century, I have to hop into bed with a quarterback I’ve been trained for YEARS to despise. This is going to be a learning process for everyone involved. Here are some fun things about Kirk Cousins. First off, he throws lots of bad picks! Secondly, he can’t fucking grill a steak! Thirdly, he apparently doesn’t realize The Office is on Netflix. Fourthly, he combines the suffocating piousness of Tim Tebow, the strained comedy of Ted Cruz, and the training quackery of Tom Brady. From that wretched brew he has engineered a brand of corniness so robotic and so toxic that it could burn through steel.
What a fucking dink. There’s no one on Earth who needs to Mackle less than Kirk Cousins.
To me, it’s extremely telling that Cousins’ phoniness wore thin even in Washington, where they were STARVED for decent quarterbacking. Those people knew damn well that Kirk is a politician. Then he gets on a plane to Minnesota and Vikings fans were like OH YA THIS GUY HERE IS THE REAL DEAL YA KNOW! He couldn’t be a better fit with this population if he tried. And he will! He will try over and over again until you want to punch him in the fucking head. And Minnesotans will LOVE him for it. They’ll make canned soup pies in his honor. Remember when the Vikings hired an 18-year-old tech baby to teach them how to relate to the teens? Making Kirk Cousins the highest-paid player in history was the end result of that study. I don’t even have to see the PowerPoint deck to know it’s true. I do NOT like that. Fuck Kirk with his own tube of death rocks.
What’s new that sucks: This roster is loaded and the Vikings spent the offseason basically dotting it with maraschino cherries to make it even more appealing. They got Cousins. They signed Sheldon Richardson. They got Kendall Wright to make the wideout corps deeper and then didn’t even bother to keep him. They have Dalvin Cook back from injury. And yet NONE of that will matter because they forgot to fix the stupid offensive line.
This line crumbled the instant guard Nick Easton got hurt at the end of last season, and yet the Vikings did virtually nothing to address it. Their biggest move was drafting a right tackle in the second round whose chief drawback is that he weighs 68 pounds. They could have drafted a guard in the first round and opted instead for an eighth cornerback who has a sexual assault inquiry on his resume. They were counting on Easton to come back and he’s already lost for the year with a neck injury. They were also counting on center Pat Elflein to come back from a season-ending injury and had to trade for the Giants center when that plan went to shit. They were hoping the line coach would fashion these parts into a workable unit and he DIED. It’s like this team baked a cake and forgot to add the fucking sugar.
It’s a disaster waiting to happen. Cousins was one of the most durable QBs in football and I already know that run will end in Minnesota. Khalil Mack will knock the Jesus right out of him. It’s $84 million down the fucking drain. In my weakest moments, I think to myself, “You know, they probably could have used Richie Incognito.” I suck.
Think this defense is stacked? LOL you won’t think so come October when half of them are on IR. Xavier Rhodes misses at least one series with an injury scare literally every game, so this is the year he suffers a real injury and misses 14 games with hip dysplasia. They cut the old kicker and replaced him with a rookie who already missed two gimmes in a preseason game, conjuring an air of doom so thick I need fog lights to navigate my way out of it. Millie will probably die during a home game. I know how the Vikings work. They do not SUSTAIN success. They won’t be back in the title game until 10 years from now, with another batch of coaches and players. And they’ll lose.
Al Franken fucked it all up. All the sexual harassment stuff is only like the 20th worst thing about Garrison Keillor. Mike Priefer is still an asshole. Fuck Nick Foles with his own dick.
What has always sucked: In the pursuit of fairness, I asked the staff to explain why I, Drew Magary, suck. Here now are their replies.
Samer: You suck.
Ley: You suck so much.
Samer: Fuck you!
Marchman: You posture as a food guy while displaying the palate of a four-year-old.
Barry: You should let the readers know that you STILL file every 5000-word column with two line breaks between paragraphs because you use Microsoft Word and your valiant editors have to manually delete each extra break.
Greenwell: This dude just ghosted on a goddamn meeting about his own goddamn podcast today. Just failed to show up. Didn’t respond to slacks or texts. Just left everyone waiting in a room for him.
And yet it wasn’t nearly as bad as 10,000 extraneous fucking line breaks.
Samer: The most fitting tribute for this roast would be to let it be published then put it in Slack a week later with a “anyone see this?”
Greenwell: Deleting 10,000 extraneous line breaks makes me want to die.
Barry: The most fitting tribute would be to publish the Vikings WYTS without editing.
Samer: Sometimes you have extra spaces before each WYTS category and I don’t know how you do it.
Me: I’m gonna delete the line breaks myself! I swear!
Barry: Much like with the Vikings: After a decade of crap, why should I believe this time will be any different?
Let’s be honest: they’re going easy on me here. If they really wanted to roast my ass, they would fire me and replace me with Kluwe to show the world just how replaceable I am. I deserve this fakeass loser team.
What might not suck: Hey Everson Griffen, how ‘bout that 9/11?!
Best. Memorial. Ever!
Let’s remember a guy who sucked: How much time you got, because I have a lot grudges to wade through here: Derrick Alexander, Demetrius Underwood, Onterrio Smith, Alfred Anderson, Raonall Smith, Troy Williamson, Kailee Wong, Stalin Colinet, Duane Clemons. All SHIT.
HEAR IT FROM VIKINGS FANS!
A few days after the NFC title game, I was walking across the parking lot to my local gym wearing a Vikings hoodie when a silver BMW pulled up in front of me. The bro that was driving rolled the window down and yelled “Yeaaaahhhhh Nick Foles, Baby!!!!” before speeding away.
This was in Cincinnati.
Fuck being a Vikings fan.
For some reason my little brother claims to be an Eagles fan (We grew up in North Dakota WTF). After the game my mom had the balls to say to me and my dad (also loser Vikings fan): “Well at least we can be happy for your brother!” I think I heard my dad mutter “fuck you” under his breath. Great season, assholes.
It was like the ending to Se7en. We got beat to death with bars of soap for 55 minutes.
I long for the sweet release of death.
I guarantee we fucked up the QB choice.
I used to circle games against Kirk Cousins as guaranteed wins.
The greatest moment in team history required us blowing a 17-point lead to make it happen.
The happiest moment I will ever experience as a Vikings fan will always be inextricably linked with the most soul-crushing game I will ever experience as a Vikings fan.
Mike Zimmer will not rest until he has an entire roster made up of DBs.
Every time they approach greatness, they trip over their own dicks and faceplant straight into humiliation.
The Meaningless Miracle.
2009 - NFC Championship heartbreak
2010 - 6-10, coach fired, Sterger-gate, Percy migraines, Metrodome roof collapse, last place division finish
2017 - NFC Championship heartbreak
2018 - ???
Because the greatest achievement the Minnesota Vikings will ever reach was having the Patriots melt down and blow a Super Bowl to Big Dick Nick in their stadium.
This signing reminds me of Herschel Walker so much it’s scary.
The guy drives a van that by itself probably raised the carbon footprint of Eagan 67%.
I just wanted them to win the Super Bowl so I could stop watching the NFL altogether.
Please save this for when Daniel Carlson inevitably fucks this team over.
This team isn’t a threat to anything besides bird migration patterns.
We did the impossible last year and I still had to brave five degree weather for a Super Bowl with HOF meat swinger Big Dick Nick because our team shit the bed for the 437th time in a row.
We are literally the football equivalent of the lifeless skid mark a bird makes on the glass when it hits the side of USBank Stadium at full tilt.
As soon as I put my shirt back on from celebrating the Minneapolis Miracle I started refreshing my sportsbooks until I could play the Eagles +3 and didn’t tell anyone. Lost it all on the Patriots two weeks later anyway ‘cause I am a Vikings fan after all and we can’t have anything.
This motherfucking team has given me hope right at the time when it’s becoming almost unconscionable to support the NFL and fuck them forever and ever for that.
The Bengals will win a Super Bowl before Minnesota does, and then every member of that Worst NFL Family in America who abandoned the Vikings will be vindicated in doing so.
They suck your soul out of your ass. I have never seen my dad more excited about a sporting event than the moment Diggs crossed the goal line. The following week, halfway through the second quarter he looked at me dead-eyed and said in the most Minnesota dad voice possible: “Well, at least they can only lose one game tonight.”
Drew (not me):
I want to be optimistic about Kirk Cousins, but I already know he’ll end up bleeding out from eating a jagged piece of aluminum foil that fuses itself to one of his stupid steaks.
Fuck the skol chant for now being forever tainted.
Every season ends like an Andy Reid playoff game.
It’s no secret who the most pathetic fan base in sports is.
PS: Drew Pearson pushed off, and I look forward to watching him burn in hell for it.
I’m not ashamed to admit it, but I told Gary Anderson that he ruined my life. Granted, he was down on the sideline kicking for the Titans, and I was in the very last row of the RCA Dome, but it provided me the cathartic experience I needed after the 1998 NFC Championship game.
I used to dream about what I would do if I had that Men in Black mind eraser/flashy thing. For a while I’d forget a lot of embarrassing high school memories, then I thought I would forget that I watched Breaking Bad and watch it again or would forget about a bad break up. The truth is I would forget I was a Vikings fan and start cheering for the Packers.
I dosed myself with Ambien prior to the Viking/Eagles playoff game so I could time travel through their self-destruction.
The Packers will draft a-once-in-a-lifetime quarterback talent in 2019.
Fuck Brad Childress.
Kirk Cousins has never been injured. The way I figure it, his knees will turn to sushi no later than the first week of October. It’s the Vikings.
Fuck this team in advance for the heroic fucking letdown that they are inevitably going to deliver this year. I can just tell that this will end with me coming completely unglued in front of my friends and loved ones for... I think this will be like the fifth time in my 37 years in this planet.
I grew up in West Virginia. I have no connection to Minnesota via family or geography. I cheer for the Vikings. I would have been better off getting a case of meth mouth.
I worked in Downtown Minneapolis near the stadium and during the preseason when they have games on stupid days, we got to deal with all of the people flooding in for the game at 5pm on a Thursday. Two years ago I saw at least two people wearing Darren Sharper jerseys. One of them was a woman.
I was in downtown Minneapolis last October to see some friends off at the start of a ten mile race. The run started at 7 in the morning. The Vikings were also hosting the Lions that day.
Close to the start line was a group of tailgating Vikings fans. One member of the purple and gold faithful seemed to be drunk and had gotten his hands on a megaphone. Before the race started this drunk fan (remember, the race started at 7AM) kept shouting over and over again into his megaphone “if you’re not first you’re last.”
Yes, a Vikings fan repeatedly teased other people with “if you’re not first your last”...at least 100 times.
And no, none of his friends tried to stop him.
Oh the Vikings lost to the Lions that day. On the off chance megaphone dude or his pals are reading this, which admittedly seems doubtful, I just want you to know: yes it is your fault.
Let me tell you about my hometown.
Minneapolis is the most aspirationally mediocre city in the United States. The music scene has been coasting on Husker Du and The Replacements for decades, and Paul Westerberg is a huge asshole. We humiliated our two orchestras in labor lockouts when their world class musicians dared asked for more money. The state’s biggest tourist attraction is a mall. Everyone in Minneapolis wears ill-fitting jeans, cheap tennis shoes and a University of Minnesota sweatshirt everywhere, all of the time, because they are afraid of sex.
They’ve gutted any remnants of the bohemian culture of a couple decades ago, turning Uptown into a giant Punch Bowl Social. They are 18 months out from doing the same to Lyn-Lake. Paradoxically, the city has managed to completely fuck up downtown, turning a once beautiful shopping district into a Safdie Brothers movie. Nevertheless, every house here costs at least $500,000 now.
This city’s civic culture is a paradigm of condescending milquetoast urbanity. 90% of Minneapolitans bitch about Trump constantly but will defend our grotesque, unfunny pervert former senator to the death. The other 10% are terrified of Somalians and think the Hmong eat squirrels. Head 30 minutes outside of the metro in any direction and you can reverse those numbers. The cops shoot someone here every six months.
People are mad because a major freeway (35W) is under major repairs for the next couple years. I don’t understand why, because there is nowhere to go. The weather is bearable for the months of May and September, exclusively. Southwest Minneapolis is a network of extraordinarily beautiful neighborhoods chained together by wonderful public lakes. It is in the direct flightline of MSP airport, and you will (seriously) be lucky to spend 90 seconds outside without hearing a plane roar overhead loud enough to interrupt conversation.
Despite all of this, everyone raised in Minneapolis thinks it is the best city in America and looks down on everyone not from Minneapolis, ESPECIALLY people from St. Paul.
If you had a machine that could transform a small, red, unwashed penis into a man, that man would be Garrison Keillor.
My little sister is an incredible woman. But, see, she also has a great sense of humor, and when she came to watch the NFC Title game with dad and I, she took off her coat to reveal a Carson Wentz jersey - approximately 20 seconds before Keenum threw the pick-six. My sister made a joke and wore an opponent’s jersey. She was the reason we lost, so, I yelled at her and made her cry. A lot.
The Vikings suck because no matter how smart you are and how much you know and how prepared you are for that moment every ten years moment when they rip your heart in half, they still suck you into being that Coors Light swilling Neanderthal who thinks Jared Allen should get a chance to play running back and Randy can make one more comeback and why don’t they run the flea flicker anymore, which causes you to tap into that lizard brain and make your sweet, kind, funny little sister who you held as a newborn proceed to cry for two hours over the stupidest fucking shit.
We could have resigned Teddy Bridgwater for $800,000 and a ham sandwich and signed the entire rest of the roster until 2025 but instead we gave the GDP of a small country to a weird robot whose only progression over the past 3 years has been slowly transforming from a cool, weird idiot who screams and points aggressively at people to a bizarre statue with an ever darkening tan and a jawline cut from steel who exclusively talks in bible verses.
He’ll play behind an offensive line that has been Henry Kissinger’s finest war crime for five years straight.
How do I unpack the amount of emotional trauma this team has done to my wife and kids due to my rage from this team. My wife begged me to shut off the TV during the third quarter of the Championship because I was literally scaring the shit out of my kids because of the screaming/crying/rage. I went to bed early that night fitfully. Everyone at work treated me like I just came back from a close relatives funeral. I don’t know what else I can say other than I don’t know if I can ever recover from last season.
The Minneapolis Miracle was our Super Bowl. Winning that game, in that fashion, against that team...it was our pinnacle. The fans knew we shot our wad. The players DEFINITELY knew they shot their wad.
Our pinnacle isn’t winning the Super Bowl. It’s winning a Divisional round game we should have lost, and celebrating like idiots. I don’t know what level of pathetic that is, but it’s very Vikings-ian.
I spent the ENTIRE year doubting them. I watched every play, called out every lucky throw, every missed open receiver. I doubted the line and the actual skill of Case Keenum. I doubted them for every single game. Every single play. Until they scored in the NFC championship game. I thought this defense is too good to lose a lead to Nick Foles. I finally believed. At the start of the 4th quarter I shut the game off and silently walked out of the room.
Hi, I’m Connor and I’m 18.
I’m 18 and have seen the Minnesota Vikings make it to two NFC championship games in my lifetime. Assuming that this trend continues, I’ll be able to see Jaxon Jerkoff lead the Vikings to an NFC championship in the year 2027 only to get the literal shit beaten out of them by the new London expansion team.
Last year was an amazing year, but I already know that this year, by Week 4 the O-Line will be in shambles and Kirk Cousins will turn into a pile of broken bones and concussions by Week 7.
The defense is extremely good as they showed throughout the season last year, but giving up 38 to Philly to end the season doesn’t exactly instill confidence.
Also, Fuck the entire city of Philadelphia.
I went into the same bar the next weekend with one of my friends to watch the NFC Championship with this weird feeling in my stomach — I mean holy shit, we had a chance to do this. The Vikings might just make a Super Bowl.
I started off drinking beer. Midway through the second quarter I switched to double well whiskey cokes. I watched the whole game. I thought it was going to get better. It did not. The bartender made the drinks strong, at least.
My friend splits after the game and I wanted to continue my debauchery. I blacked at some point that night and have no idea how I got home.
I didn’t talk to a single person the next day. Fuck the Eagles. Fuck Nick Foles. Fuck Alshon Jeffery. Fuck Minnesota for making me believe. Again.
Born and raised in Cleveland, I started really paying attention to football JUST as the Browns left. I had to root for someone, so I latched onto the late ‘90s highlight machine Vikings. Little did I know that my stupid ass chose the ONE team that could crush my soul more often, and more creatively, than the eternally awful Browns.
My first true memory of Vikings fandom came on my ninth birthday in 1998 when my aunt gave me tickets to see a game. I got to see rookie year Randy Moss torch the Bengals for a 61-yard TD. Our row won the “Row of Fame” and everyone was treated to a stale Dome Dog. There was a guy dressed up as a mix of purple Superman and Captain Underpants. Truly great memories for a 9-year old. The pain and suffering I personally endured from this franchise between that day up until the Minneapolis Miracle likely classifies as torture in most cultures. BUT, when Diggs caught that pass and made that sprint up the sidelines none of it mattered anymore. I fell to the ground and cried while my friends and wife laughed at me. It didn’t matter because I knew it was our year. The stars were aligned, you can’t mess with destiny, and a home Super Bowl was on the horizon.
Sometimes I wish I had choked on that Dome Dog.
The proper name of the game is Duck, Duck, Goose.
They’d be better off rounding up five mall Santas to block every Sunday. The Minneapolis Miracle only delayed the inevitable for seven days.
Thank god Twitter wasn’t around when 41-0 was a thing.
The most passive aggressive group of fans you’ll ever find. The Vikings are good, they’ll never shut up about it. If they’re bad? “It’s just a game and it’s sad that the other teams’ fans take it so seriously”
This fanbase seems by and large quite excited by the signing. Mostly because the most repressed racists among them can finally be relieved that there is NO CHANCE they have to root for a black quarterback again for the foreseeable future.
The team will implode and we will be rebuilding before Donald Trump completes his second term in office.
Nothing is good. The bad guys win. And we never learn from our mistakes.
Earlier this year I had batting practice passes for what turned out to be “Vikings Night” at Target Field. A couple of Vikings players were down on the field with their families mingling with the Twins as they took warmups. I said hello to Kirk Cousins, who seemed like a very nice guy, and told him he had a cute baby. Minutes later I actually found myself thinking it’s too bad I’d make sure said baby grew up fatherless if Kirk doesn’t bring a championship to Minnesota.
In my family’s Viking shrine area in the garage, they display a certificate commemorating the January 16th, 2016 game verses the Seahawks as -6° and the coldest in Vikings history. You know the game. Blair Walsh. 27 yards. Wide left. Every time I look at it, I can’t decide who I am more angry at. My family for proudly displaying that black eye in a long running abusive sports relationship or the Vikings for having the gall to send that parchment middle finger so that the wound can re-open every time I visit.
Ten times this team has been within two victories of being champs.
Four times they’ve lost the Super Bowl.
The other six times they’ve lost in the NFC Championship game.
I have been alive for all ten of those losses—cognizant and rooting during nine. I can’t imagine how many more of these losses I’ll have to endure. And yet I delude myself that they’ll win it all before I die, and I also made my kids promise me they’d visit my grave to fill me in when they finally win it all. Which will be the week after I drop dead. Because that’s just how this team fucks with its fans.
How in the loving crap did I convince myself that the one Vikings team that would finally put an end to 50+ years of choking and bring home the coveted Lombardi Trophy would be the one led by Case Keenum!?
Oh well, at least we gave $84 million fully guaranteed to the sole remaining member of the Scott Stapp Fan Club.
Fuck Matt Kalil. Fuck Blair Walsh. Fuck Gary Anderson. Triple Fuck Norv Turner with the remaining shards of Teddy’s patella
The second-best team in the franchise’s 58-year history got completely skullfucked by a guy who was once benched in favor of the very same QB he beat that day. Then Eagles fans promptly celebrated by co-opting the Skol Chant in the greatest bit of spontaneous ownage I’ve ever seen.
That’s when I realized that this team will never win a Super Bowl. Ever. Outside of the game being at Philly, the circumstances leading up to that moment could not have been more favorable. Rodgers was hurt, Wentz was hurt, and they pulled off what was by far the most incredible play in franchise history just the week before. They were going to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium and get the fucking gorilla off their back. If the fucking Cubs and Cavs could do it, the Vikings sure as hell could.
Except they couldn’t. They never could and they never will be able to. The stars will never align like that again and this team will be doomed to shit on its own dick forever (or at least until the NFL gets outlawed for turning every player’s brain into soup). It’s a shame, really, because the roster is stacked, Zimmer is a legitimately good coach and the front office is shockingly competent most of the time.
Any other franchise would win at least one Super Bowl with this kind of setup. Not the Vikings, though. Failure will constantly hang over this franchise and anyone dumb enough to root for it like a dark cloud. They’ll probably make the playoffs this year, and then Kirk “possibly a serial killer” Cousins will promptly bumblefuck his way to three turnovers in a 17-point loss. I already want to die.
I was drunk in Mexico when the “Minneapolis Miracle” happened and it felt like half of Minnesota was there with me to celebrate. I was so stoked that I was completely capable of ignoring how thoroughly our defense had shit the bed in the second half against the Saints.
However, on the plane ride home, some guy wearing Vikings gear was talking about how it was “good that the Vikings don’t play at home this week so they can get the field ready for the Super Bowl.” He then went on to say that he “thinks we’ll do great outdoors” and that “we have momentum” and “we should sign Case to a long term deal.”
Anyway, by the end of the four hour plane ride, I knew (a) we were going to lose and (b) it was probably going to be pretty ugly. It was then I started hoping that Super Bowl weekend would be miserably cold for the East Coasters who would be invading our area. So, I got one thing I wanted.
A few years ago, right before Christmas, I needed to buy wrapping paper and went to a Target in Edina (Big mistake, never go to Edina). I was in a hurry, quickly grabbed my wrapping paper, ran past the gift card kiosk, straight to the express lane. I’m waiting for five minutes, ten minutes, slowly the line is starting to pile up behind me. In front of me is a septuagenarian woman angrily rummaging through the gift cards they keep next to the register, despite the massive kiosk full of gift cards just 10 feet away.
I’m not moving, quietly checking my phone, when she turns to me and yells “YOU AREN’T GIVING ME ANY SPACE!” And shoves me into the cart behind me. The woman behind me has been watching, sees what happens and drops her jaw. She meets my gaze as we both freeze, unable to process what happened. I couldn’t move, I was in shock that I had been assaulted by an old lady. I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. I dropped my paper and left. I was assaulted by an old lady and I did nothing.
I used to fantasize about winning that fight. I would dream of horrible things happening to her, like Parkinson’s, or choking to death on pills and applesauce, or the Starbucks barista telling her “No Problem” when she says “Thank you”. My only solace in this tale comes to me in the form of the two Minnesota Vikings earrings that dangled close to her elephant neck. I realized I could wish all the evil in the world upon her, but there’s no punishment worse than being a Vikings fan.
I hope she lives another year, so that she can once again see this godforsaken organization take a shit and slip on it.
I was 13 in 1998, the first year I could remember the Vikings being good. As I imagine most 13-year-olds do when their favorite team finally starts winning, I dove headfirst into my fandom. I made my parents buy all sorts of Vikings gear. I remember being especially insistent that my parents buy those flags for your car that you stick in the windows. As the season went along and the Vikings kept winning, I was sure that those flags were some sort of good luck charm and as long as we kept them on the car the Vikings would win the Super Bowl. This being Minnesota, the week before the NFC championship game, there’s a big snow storm with high winds. While driving with my parents, the wind rips the flags right off of the car. I insist that we stop to look for them, but after searching 20+ minutes, they were no where to be found. I remember thinking then, “This is a sign, isn’t it. The Vikingsare going to lose the championship game.” I cried extra hard after the loss, thinking that if I did more to secure those flags, the Vikings would have won. I fucking hate this team.
Submissions for the 2018 Deadspin NFL previews are now closed. Next up: New England Patriots.