Do The Seasons of 1998 And 2009 Haunt This Years Vikings Team?
Minnesota Vikings currently sit tied for the lead in NFC North division. Fans should be out celebrating, because most experts predicted this team finishing anywhere from four-to-six wins, yet currently the Vikings have won four games, and realistically could win anywhere from 9-12 which would put them in playoff consideration. Lets forget the national media like ESPN, who has ignored the Vikings hot start, but instead lets focus on the local media, and even the fans.
If the past can tell us anything, it would say be cautious with hot starts from Minnesota professional teams. Fans have every right to be excited about the 4-1 Vikings, because for a state that has not had a playoff victory in any of the four major sports since January, 2010 when the Vikings beat the Dallas Cowboys; and also have not had a playoff team since the 2010 Minnesota Twins ( I am not including the Minnesota Lynx).
The local media should be gloating about this team, but they are not. Is it because they know this team will most likely fall back to earth? Or are they completely shocked by this start that they do not know what to do or say. You would think this team would be the talk all over town, because lets face it the past two years all we have had to talk about is Joe Mauer being overpaid, and Ricky Rubio coming to Minnesota. Not a lot has happened in Minnesota since Brett Favre threw that interception against the New Orleans Saints back in early 2010.
Minnesota fans are unique, and passionate at the same time. name another state that sells out a hockey arena even though the teams sucks on the ice? Name another state that once hated a certain rival quarterback, but then fell completely head over heels for him? And name another state that will sell out the Metrodome to watch baseball? This can only happen in Minnesota.
As a state that has not won a championship since 1991, the fans in this state have a right to get overly excited when a team starts off hot. Yet Minnesotans are haunted by the past. Within the last 15 years our teams have crushed our hopes. Fans have learned their lessons from past heartbreak.
Even though this Vikings team is crushing every team they face, fans are hesitant to say the “P” word…playoffs. Fans thought 1998, and 2009 were our year, but certain players crushed those dreams. Fans are just waiting for that untimely interception thrown, or a easy field goal missed. Fans have already been talking about how this team will blow it if they ever make it the playoffs this season? Will it be a wide open touchdown pass that will be dropped by Percy Harvin, or Adrian Peterson fumble inside the five yard line in the Super Bowl?
We the fans have been lied to, missed lead, and have had our hearts broken on national television. From 2003-2010 the Minnesota Twins kept telling us this is our year, even with two MVP awards, two CY Young awards, and multiple other awards, the Twins would only win two games in 17 games in the playoffs from 2003-2010.
Fans have a right to be cautious. How can a team go from last place in the division to first, when everyone expected them to finish in last place again? People talk about parity in the NFL, but it is hard to imagine a team from 2011, that blew many fourth quarter leads, couldn’t defend the pass, and saw their best running back in franchise history blow out his knee, and now the team just does a complete 180 degree turn, and become one of the best teams in the NFC less then a year later. How is that possible?
Let’s not ignore the past, the Vikings 0-4 in the Super Bowl, and 0-3 in the NFC championship game since 1998. Minnesota Twins 2-3 in the World Series, but have not been to the American League Championship Series since 2002 (0-5 in the ALDS). Minnesota Timberwolves have not been to the playoffs since 2004 when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. The Minnesota Wild have not been to the playoffs since 2008. So if history tells us anything, it would say our teams have not fared very well in the postseason.
Minnesota fans are loyal as they come in professional sports, but also we can sense something horrible coming along the way, we were fooled by Brett Favre “twice” a few years ago, we thought Dennis Green was the best coach ever in 1998, and also we thought 2010 the Twins would finally beat the New York Yankees, but always we get our hopes crushed. Even though we celebrate every victory the Vikings get this year, we are also weary of what will come later in this season. Fans are haunted by the outcomes of 1998 and 2009, which makes us wonder if 2012 will end up being placed along side those infamous seasons, only time will tell if the Vikings are for real, or have pulled a fast one on their fans again.