Fear and Loathing In Minnesota

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Fear and Loathing In Minnesota
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The Minnesota Vikings are a good team, no wait -- a great team. A top three team in the NFC, no doubt about it. So why do I have such mixed feelings about their performance so far? Oh yeah, I know why, I am still coming to grips with Brett Farve.

I was born and raised in Minnesota. I've been a Vikings fan ever since I started watching sports. I especially remember the team in 1998 with Randall Cunningham as quarterback, Chris Carter, Robert Smith, and a young Randy Moss. Dennis Green and company got us to a 15-1 record and an NFC title game – though I’m furious to remember when our (perfect all season) kicker Gary Anderson missed a couple of key field goals. We lost and there goes that.

Then the squad in the early 2000’s had Culpepper, an older Carter and a more immature Moss trying to take a stab at the playoffs. They got close in 2004 when they beat the Packers in the first round -- a game all Vikings fans still celebrate. We loved sticking it to Brett and Co. But a loss after that prevented another Viking team from reaching the Super Bowl.

Jump to the last three years of having a solid team. Making great trades, pick-ups and great draft picks. But nothing sparking because of one simple fact: no quarterback.

Today, they’re just about the same team but with a 8-1 record and a guy whose name is so familiar to me -- but in a green jersey not purple. I hated this guy (past tense). I hated his little pitches that went for 35 yards, his long bombs that some how found the hands of those green jerseys and, not to mention, that stupid grin.

Brett Farve... I hated you. But wow, does the change of a jersey color give me amnesia! Brett Farve... I love you!

I've been called a hypocrite, a flip-flopper -- everything there is. But am I wrong? I have fellow Vikings fans agree and disagree with me. Some can't stand watching him in that purple jersey. Some are so cynical they can’t call those last second wins amazing. Some can’t even utter his name and “great” in the same sentence.

But the truth is the Vikings are winning. Not only winning, crushing our rivals. Farve doesn’t look like the Packer’s Farve, he looks too good to be compared with old Farve (17 TDs and only 3 INTs). Maybe it's because of AP, the top-notch offense/defense line, or the nasty defense (even without pro-bowler corner Winfield). Or maybe it's because he came, with all of the controversy, and he had to deliver…so far.

So please, Vikings fans, let me know if I'm crazy to enjoy this guy. I feel uneasy even typing the words but it's the truth. All other football fans who don’t understand what Vikings fans are going through wait to judge.

I asked some Bengals fans what they thought. And they called me all those names I mentioned earlier. But then I ask: "Ok, so what if in another ten years you have everything needed to win a Super Bowl. Combine a solid D, great special teams, the best running back in the league and some fast wide outs… but no QB? And a player like Ben Roethlisberger (who spends his carrer with the Steelers) came to the orange and black, are you going to cheer for him?" I get mostly responses like, "Hell no!" And then I say what if you're 8-1, have the division wrapped up and are a promising pick for the Super Bowl? The response is silence. It's a thought none of them want to even consider. But it could happen. It could happen to any team. Where would you stand?

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