Greetings from the Frozen Tundra, Vikings fans!
Yes, since the Green Bay Packers are off this Sunday (after a somewhat satisfying win over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day), today is a day to scope out the Packers' division rivals, which would mean the Minnesota Vikings. However, as I have stated in past articles, I am not one to gloat and poke fun of opposing teams who are struggling this season (that would also mean the Minnesota Vikings). While I am a Packers fan, my dear Dad is diehard Vikings fan.
I would like to have the upcoming holidays be as painless as possible, therefore I do not taunt or poke fun at the Vikings, despite their struggles this season.
While cruising the Internet this morning, and trying to figure out who would be playing football on my television today, I stumbled across the Vikings-Falcons game. And, to my surprise, I learned that Adrian Peterson is listed as inactive for today's game with an ankle injury.
Seriously? What more can happen to the Minnesota Vikings?
I want you to consider the past two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. First, they had Brett Favre, which was heralded by some Vikings fans as either the Golden Age of Vikings football, or the Demise of Vikings football, depending on who you asked. Then, the Iron Man of Football was injured, which left the Vikings with the choice of Tavaris Jackson or Joe Webb. And then the Vikings faced the Head Coach Slaying Green Bay Packers: Brad Childress was out, much to relief of many fans. Wade Phillips, former coach of the Dallas Cowboys, was also in the same boat after facing the Packers.
Also during the 2010 season, the Vikings-Giants game was rescheduled due to a snowstorm in Minneapolis. Then, the game was moved to Detroit when the Metrodome roof collapsed. THEN, the Vikings were trapped in Philadelphia during a snow storm that dropped nearly two feet of snow. Brett Favre retired at the end of the season, and I was the recipient of many jokes that included the punchline of God saying that while He loved Minnesota and it's natural beauty, He had to put a dome back on the Metrodome because there was only one blemish of the beauty in Minnesota. And that one blemish, in the whole entire state, wore purple and gold and has a habit of wearing horned helmets.
Other punchlines included, "The Metrodome roof collapse shows further proof that even God hates the Minnesota Vikings." While this was quite funny at the time, I started to wonder if this was indeed true...
Harsh. Really harsh.
So, one would consider the 2010 football season enough punishment for the Minnesota Vikings, right? Oh no, not at all.
The 2011 NFL Draft showed promise and provided hope. Christian Ponder, a phenomenal young quarterback, was drafted by the Vikings in the first round. Despite the NFL Lockout, which had the young Ponder not able to practice and therefore develop, hope still ran deep for fans of the Minnesota Vikings. My own Dad even began to talk about how the Vikings were going to give the Packers a run for their money this season.
Enter Donovan McNabb.
In order to give Ponder time to develop, Donovan McNabb, a veteran quarterback, was picked up from the Washington Redskins. Does any of this sound familiar? Despite McNabb being benched twice by the Redskins...Despite throwing more interceptions than touchdowns...Despite the whole Brett Favre experience...
Sure! Donovan McNabb will be a fantastic addition to the Minnesota Vikings' roster!
Okay, so just so we're perfectly clear: I am a Packers fan. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are my "B" team. No where in my vocabulary is "Go Vikings," much to my Dad's shame. Whereas I watch the Vikings games, and admire Jared Allen, I am not a Vikings fan. However, when McNabb was signed, I remember stopping in front of the television set, eyes narrowed and mouth open in shock, and said, "What are they thinking? BRETT FAVRE! BRETT FAVRE! How quickly they forget! What are the Vikings THINKING?"
McNabb struggled, which took no one by surprise, and Ponder was promoted to starting quarterback after "developing" for seven weeks. And his first start was against...the Green Bay Packers. The Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers.
For the love of everything...Talk about sink or swim! Ponder and the Vikings gave the Packers a run for their money, much to my chagrin. Even though the Packers won, to see Jared Allen sack Aaron Rodgers NUMEROUS times at least brought a smile to Vikings fans everywhere.
Packers fans, not so much...
And, all of this has happened while the Vikings have tried to find a new home. Why not just add "homeless" to the list of obstacles that the Vikings may face?
This week, right now actually, the Vikings are playing the Atlanta Falcons. Without Adrian Peterson. With injuries (Cullen Loeffler) happening as the game progresses, even I have to say ENOUGH.
What's next? Will Jared Allen cross the Minnesota-Wisconsin border and make a break for Green Bay, screaming, "Don't make me go back to Minnesota!"? Will Christian Ponder have a meltdown? Will Randy Moss come back to Minnesota? Will the Vikings pick up some of the more vocal players in the NFL? Someone like Terrell Owens or Chad Ochocinco? Who, in Minnesota, wouldn't love that?
Seriously, the Vikings' troubles have gone on long enough. Throw this proud NFL franchise a bone, here, Karma. For the Vikings neighbors to the East (aka Packers fans), we have to even say this: Enough is enough. What else can happen?