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Vikings Need Help! A View From the Dome

I had made a pre-game prediction this past Sunday afternoon that Minnesota would lose to Atlanta by a touchdown, telling all the Vikings fans I know not to bet on the home team. Turns out I have a knack for calling bets. The Atlanta @ Minnesota game was the only regular season professional football game I have had the chance to attend, and with their glorious performances against the Bears (second round) and the Cardinals two weeks later, I was almost on board to throw them my support for the remainder of 2008. I now understand the plight of your run-of-the-mill Vikings fan.

The Vikings embarrassed themselves Sunday with seven fumbles, losing four of those, and Tavaris Jackson proved himself to be an uncoordinated fluster under pressure from the Falcon’s defense, regardless of what the stats say. I was there, I saw his blood boil. He is quick on his feet, yes, but he isn’t the steady-handed veteran quarterback Minnesota needs to make an impact on the heavy-hitting teams of the 2008 season. Even if they were to make it into the playoffs, they would be quickly thrown out on their buts with the bouncers laughing like magpies. My only conclusion is that they depend so heavily on Pat Williams they couldn’t deal with his absence, either in spirit or playbook. Maybe the Vikings only real game strategy, other than handing the ball to Peterson every other play, is to annihilate the rushing offense.

During the game I was sitting next to a drunk redneck who split his time evenly between ogling high school girls and heckling the Vikings when they made a bad play, which was strange considering he was wearing a Vikings shirt and hat. Aren’t fans supposed to support their team, regardless of the circumstances? I mean, Browns fans still exist in Cleveland, right? People wear Culpepper jerseys in Michigan. Why so much trash-talking from the stands in the Metrodome about a local team that really isn’t that bad? All in all, I have to blame the fickle fans and their constant wavering of support. How is poor old Adrian Peterson supposed to feel when he gets booed after he fumbles? …Again. Minnesota knows not the meaning of "diehard".

The drunk redneck gave up on the Vikings at the beginning of the fourth quarter, spending the remainder of the game clock guffawing loudly with the other drunk redneck sitting to my rear, mashing shoulders with me like a staggering bear with a tranquilizer dart in his ass. These fair-weathered, beer swilling bast.... are only there to yell at the field from the upper deck about how they would run the team if they were coaching. That’s why you’re in the nosebleed, buddy. You couldn’t handle the stress or keep the attitude necessary to work on a professional football team. These people are terrible fans, to say nothing of how they would react to a teammate’s constant fumbling or off-field conduct. You just go back to drinking your plastic beer, ...hole, and leave the football to the athletes.

By that time, half of the stadium had cleared out, the outcome being mostly decided. It ended with Matt Ryan downing the ball and running out the clock. Atlanta by 7.

On my way back to the parking garage, in the sullen and below zero Minneapolis air, I heard the Vikings victory song wafting through the air. I looked around and saw a guy in a Peterson jersey, wearing a jester’s hat with his face painted purple and yellow. A real fan, still singing…

After the game this Monday evening, with the Bears winning in overtime by 3, the Vikings have less of a chance at any sort of victory. Now Minnesota’s only shot is a loss by Chicago next week. Some people also think that if Minnesota Viking defeats the New York Giants next week, they can clinch the NFC North title. But that kind of thinking has a serious flaw: the 2008 Vikings will never beat the 2008 Giants, even in some crazy bizarro dimension. So their only chance is a title by default, a very-Vikings-approach to championship.

Vikings Blog Feature Writer: Matt Homan

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