Monday, January 11, 2016

Vikings: Again snatching defeat from certain victory

Right before Blair Walsh lined up for his fourth field goal try, my daughter, Hannah, asked me if the Vikings were going to win.

When Hannah asked the question I was briefly transported back in time to December 28, 1975.  I was watching the Vikings/Cowboys divisional playoff game at my grandfather’s farm home.  My sister asked me the very same question right before the Cowboys lined up for a 4th and 17 on their final drive. 

The logical, analytical part of me responded to Hannah the same way that I responded to my sister.  All athletes and even spectators know that the game is not over until the clock has run out. 

The emotional part of me silently responded to Hannah the same way I silently responded to my sister a little more than forty years ago.  “There is no way we can lose this game.”

When Hannah asked me the question the only way I thought the Vikings could lose was if the Seahawks responded with a miracle drive.  They would have about 25 seconds and no timeouts, so it didn’t look good for them.

It never even dawned on me that Blair Walsh would miss a chip shot, 27-yard field goal.

We all know that he missed it.  And when he missed it I buried my head in the couch.  My wife, Amy, was so concerned about me that she sat next to me on the couch for ten minutes.  

My response was G-rated.  But if you want to see some more flamboyant responses from Vikings’ fans to Blair Walsh’s miss go to:

The Vikings have always had the terrible ability to snatch defeat from certain victory.  It’s not that the Vikings lose.  They lose when it seems definite that they will win.  What happened yesterday has happened before.  Yesterdays’ game can now be lumped with 2010, 1999, and 1975.  Defeat snatched from certain victory.

These games don’t even account for four Super Bowl losses and the infamous 41/donut.  And who doesn’t remember the touchdown by the Arizona Cardinals to keep the Vikings from the playoffs in 2003. 

No other Minnesota sports team does this to their fans.  Quite frankly I can’t think of any other professional franchise that does this to their fans.

I wrote about the pain of being a Vikings fan in a blog on January, 25, 2010.  Read it here:

I’ll never stop rooting.  I’ve stopped trying or believing that I won’t get hooked.  When Brett Favre threw his interception against the Saints I was wildly yelling at the television.  Just like I was face-planted on my couch yesterday. 

I still believe that the Vikings will win a Super Bowl.  Perhaps it’s my own naiveté that keeps me cheering. 

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