Adrian Peterson fumbled for the 2nd time and I screamed at my television in disgust. I started to wonder at that point what life would be like after spending a year (my first year) cheering for the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings were atop the list of my most hated teams in the NFL until the signing of Favre. Yes, I’m one of THOSE fans that cheered for both the Packers and the Vikings this season and honestly it didn’t bother me at all (except for 2 times where I stared and the TV like a deer in the head lights and didn’t know whether to cheer, cry, punch something or record the game for my vault of biggest NFL games in league history).
Suddenly I realized that while I was cheering for Favre he wasn’t playing alone and needed help from those other 21 players on offense and defense…and I’d been cheering for them too! It mirrored a religious experience of sorts, a self actualization that I was a Vikings fan. You would have thought I would have realized this after putting on my purple Favre jersey for the first time, but hey sometimes I’m a little slow.
So after cheering for the likes of Adrian Peterson and yes, Jared Allen (mullet and all) the lights went off in New Orleans and I took a step back and realized my whole fan-ness had done a 180. Maybe not a full 180 degree turn, but a turn nonetheless.
So now I say to myself, when the Vikings line up for their 2010 – 2011 campaign have I connected with their players enough that I would still cheer for them? Or would I simply look at them like the cast of extras on a Johnny Depp film. I think the answer came quicker than I thought.
If anything I hate them (the Vikings) even more for dropping the ball (literally) on helping Favre win his second Super Bowl. As for all the die-hard green and gold fans that didn’t wish Favre well, you have to admit that Favre was a secret agent of sorts for the Packers this year. Why you ask? Favre single handedly delayed Tarvaris Jackson’s development for another year and if you’re thinking a potential mind blowing trade for McNabb is the long term answer for the Vikings at the quarterback position you’re mistaken.
Not only that, but Favre made such an impression on his Vikings teammates that they will hope he comes back through the whole offseason…through the whole training camp…through the whole preseason…you get my point. The Vikings (while wishing for a late return from number 4) will be distracted through it all. Admit it Packers fans– it’s why we care so much about a quarterback change (one out of so many that happen every single year) the way that we do. Over the years Favre has captured us all one way or another. He will go in the history books as one of the most charismatic players of all time.
So in the end what happened to me? Nothing, really. No really! Am I less of a packers fan for next season? Nope. Are the Vikings still my least favorite team in the league? Yup. In the end all is still right with the world, the balance of good and evil in the NFC North remains the same – and come on, you know you had more fun watching Rodgers vs. Favre than you would have had watching Rodgers vs. Jackson any week – the ratings will back me up on that one.
It’s interesting to look back and ask…do the players make the fan like a team, or is team loyalty enough regardless of the players on it? I’ll leave that up to the reader.
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