Ever since I can remember, I've been a fan of the Minnesota Vikings....That goes all the way back to when the team played in the old Met Stadium, now commonly referred to as the Mall of America.
Over the years, I've been chided over my choice in teams....over and over I've been told, "Oh, they'll start off strong, but they'll never make it to the finish line."
It's a little depressing to now admit that they might be right.
In the 80's, I felt the Vikings were probably the best team in the NFL, but, because of bad luck, or bad calls, they never won the Superbowl. "Two-minute" Tommy Kramer is, at least in my mind, one of the most underrated quarterbacks to have ever played the game. I thought it was great that he routinely showed up to games half-crocked (I bet he was a PBR guy)...it wasn't 'til he was forced to dry out that his game actually began to suffer. Then he got his kicks by taking out mailboxes with a baseball bat.....at least that's my theory behind the mystery "numbness" in his thumb that plagued him in those final games.
When Wilson took over for quarterback in the mid to late 80's, like everyone else, I could see his potential, however, I always thought that third stringer Rich Gannon would be the guy to take the team to a win. Of course, the argument was that he was young, and inexperienced...but I thought he was one of the few that played the game as though he cared....I lamented as year after year Gannon sat on the sidelines, not really doing anything with his time except for holding the clipboard for Coach Burns....Rich was eventually traded to Kansas City late in his career to become one of the top rated starters...1999 he was signed as a free agent by the Raiders. He went to the Pro Bowl in his first year as a Raider, and again in 2000 and 2001, both times becoming the Pro Bowl MVP. Gannon was named the NFL MVP after a record-setting 2002 season, which helped the Raiders get to Super Bowl 37 (which they ended up losing, but I digress)......alas, the Vikings never seemed to realize his abilities.
One of the worst management decisions for the Vikings was the trade for Herschel Walker in exchange for 5 first round draft picks....Walker, obtained from the Cowboys didn't do anything for Minnesota's running game...meanwhile, the Cowboys became the team to beat in the '90's. Ironically, Walker ended up being traded back to the Cowboys....The Vikings paid for that blunder for several years.
We've had some outstanding players in the past few years...Anthony Carter, Chris Carter, Robert Smith, Chris Culpepper, and ...... uh...reluctantly, and embarassingly ...Randy Moss....but the Vikings could never really seem to get their act together...they always seem to fall apart in the last half of nearly every game...I don't know if this is some sort of curse, but it's very discouraging....
...In fact, it's become apparent to me that for the past several years, they start out with a bang, and fizzle to the finish....it's troubles me that this is the routine now...pretty much expected and accepted. I can't blame the coach...Mike Tice seems to be fairly grounded...I just doubt it's in the cards for the Vikings to ever pull out of this rut.
So, I'm currently considering finding a new favorite team to get behind....I'm tired of constantly being frustrated, then drinking myself into a stupor over things I can't control....I have enough trouble keeping up with drinking myself into a stupor over the things I CAN control...
...feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments box....