Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Minnesota Vikings Did the Right Thing

By Guest Contributor @MarkDeisinger

The Minnesota Vikings have once again failed to achieve the ultimate goal for an NFL team (as opposed to the ultimate goal for the owners of 31 NFL teams). The Vikings' record of futility is not quite as bad as some, but it's certainly impressive. The Vikings went to Philadelphia to put on a lackluster display of force and end their season. No doubt millions of dedicated Vikings fans – wait, are there millions of dedicated Vikings fans?; let's say thousands instead – thousands of dedicated Vikings fans are immensely disappointed, but I contend, as a Packers fan and son of Wisconsin who has lived in the Twin Cities area for decades, that the Minnesota Vikings manned up and did the right thing for their team and their state.

Before I get into specifics, I should state that I'm a software engineer. Some say that what we do is convert coffee into code. I don't drink coffee, so for me it's more of turning the fuel provided by your better foodstuffs into code. But what I really do, day in and day out, is deal with logic. I say this not to brag but only because some may not follow my logic here. I contend that I have the experience and training to produce logic that is reasonable and rational. Having grown up a Packers fan, I also have a solid rooting and foundation for my understanding of winning sports teams and, by necessity, their opposite.
So here are three reasons that the Vikings were acting in a conscientious manner by losing the NFC Championship to the Eagles:

1. They cannot continue to emotionally torture their fans. It is a foregone conclusion that, if they had indeed reached the big game for the first time since the Ford administration, they would have lost it in spectacular and embarrassing fashion. Oh, they might have kept it close with Tom Brady and the Patriots, but somewhere near the end of the 4th quarter, or perhaps in overtime, the Vikings kicker would kick a field goal try in the wrong direction, or a Love Boat would have jumped the banks of the Mississippi to strike US Bank stadium at just the wrong moment and jar the ball out of Case Keenum's hand, or Randy Moss would have driven through several security guards and triggered a stadium alarm that would nullify a TD catch. You get it. Something Vikings-esque. My point is that the Vikings, knowing it was inevitable that they would choke at the last moment, in some bizarre and unprecedented fashion, chose the high road of self-denial on behalf of their fans and threw the NFCC game instead to save their fans more distress. Kudos, Vikings. Kudos.

2. The Vikings recognize it is simply wrong to be in the Super Bowl in your home stadium. It has never been done before, and for good reason. The Super Bowl should be a neutral field of battle and should be a destination for both teams. The Super Bowl must not be in a place that gives one team a great (though fruitless; see point one) advantage. The mere fact that the Helga Horn and obvious piped-in crowd noise were the first features to be designed for the audio system of the stadium are reason enough to disqualify it. On this point, the Vikings no doubt looked to their older and more talented step-brother to the East, the Packers franchise. They noted that, due to its small-city charm, community ownership, and deep-seated love and support of its team even in down times, Green Bay will never lose its team to a greedy owner-invoked move, but Green Bay will also not host a Super Bowl. Some say it's because of a lack of hotel rooms, but Packers fans know the real reason – it would be wrong. So, good on you, Vikings, for recognizing this salient point and acting on it.

U.S. Bank Stadium - a neutral field for the
Super Bowl (as it should be)
3. Finally, and here it gets a little personal, winning it all would be a serious slap in the face to deceased Vikings fans. A good friend of mine passed away a few months ago after a valiant fight with cancer. He was a stellar individual and a gracious Vikings fan, and we enjoyed much good-natured banter and ribbing together. He had lived through the entirety of the Vikings' irrelevance and lack of Super Bowl victories. He had suffered through the bad kicks, the missed opportunities, all of it. I believe the Vikings knew there were fans out there who would have just missed the Super Bowl victory, and this final insult to their late fans' families would be too much to bear. A solid and respectable move, Vikings.

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