The heartbreak was worth it

That was no fun at all.

The Vikings choosing the NFC Championship game to play their worst game of the season is the type of loss that makes them a punching bag now for the fans who were sure that, given the opportunity, they’d again break our hearts on the way to the Super Bowl.

That would be unfortunate because it’s been a long time since we’ve all had the kind of fun together that we had in the last week, despite football’s best effort to make us hate it.

So perhaps it’s a sign of how tribal and divided we’ve become that it took a sport like football — with its public funding shakedowns, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and disdain for those who seek an American value like racial equity — that brought us together for a week.

To be sure, with the Vikings out of the Super Bowl picture, the next two weeks will be insufferable with the rich and well connected taking over our restaurants and closing our streets; and the two most obnoxious fan bases in sports challenging our Minnesota Niceness. Good luck to the Super Bowl volunteers who have to be nice now to fans from Philadelphia who threw beer and punches at Vikings fans on Sunday.

But none of that can erase the last week, when a downtown was bathed in the warmth of a purple glow, when people held doors for each other, when fans, smitten with the very idea of sportsmanship, collected $200,000 for a charitable foundation of an opposing player, and when the culture of the arts even embraced the official sport of the uncultured.

Even in the loss on Sunday, there was a pride in who we are. Better to lose as Minnesotans, than to win as Philadelphians, Philadelphians proved.

Now that it’s over, we’re free to return to our tribes and, goodness knows there are plenty of issues over which to once again wage war with each other.

But it’s worth remembering that pulling together for a week was a lot more fun.

  • theoacme

    The Rocky bit…I mean, if Vikings fans had simultaneously looted and pillaged Geno’s and Pat’s, all while cursing Rollie Massimino to the Jell-O jingle (wearing Bill Cosby masks, yet!), Eagles’ fans might get some sympathy from me…

    …but a fictional character from a movie, played by a multi-millionaire who had as much connection to Philadelphia as Mary Tyler Moore did to Minneapolis… really?

    I need a triple (bouquet of Four Roses, and facepalm!)…on top of the triple bouquet I needed after it became 31-7…

  • Jack

    Better to lose to the Eagles than the Patriots is how this household figures it.

    I’ll be watching the half-time show during the game but not the actual game.

    • KenB

      You — we — also have the Puppy Bowl and the Kitten Bowl to watch before, during, and after the game.

  • Matt

    Orchestra did the same thing Saturday night, and Ben Folds (who was hosting) wore a dark purple suit and his “Rock this Bitch” made-up-on-the-spot tune – which he does at every show – was titled “Skol.”

    That game hurt.

  • Rob

    //That was no fun at all//. The. Understatement. Of. The. Year.

    I had become a True Believer, thinking that the Vikes would escape The Playoff Curse at last. But once again, it’s a Charlie Brown and Lucy football moment.

    Just glad I don’t live or work In Minneapolis, so that I can avoid dealing with //two of the most obnoxious fan bases in sports.//

    • Barton

      It was depressing getting of the LRT this morning and seeing all the stuff going up on Nicollet Mall for Super Bowl Live. Last week was fine – because I had hope (never really “believed” though). Today, it just made me upset that we have to deal with Pats’ and Eagles’ fans for a week. And then a week of clean up before things are back to normal.

    • Brian Simon

      When do Vikes fans start calling it the Schulz curse? It cannot be coincidence that he is from here.

      • Rob

        LOFL!

  • Ben Chorn

    This loss was almost as bad as the 41-0 loss to the Giants.

    I should have known as a Vikings fan that them playing in a Super Bowl in Minnesota was too good.

    Time to repost the diagram…

    https://twitter.com/eric_j_thompson/status/642005199696068608

    • >>This loss was almost as bad as the 41-0 loss to the Giants.<<

      I mentioned the likeness to the 41-donut as well.

      With that said, remember, the Vikings made this run with their 3rd string QB and back-up RBs.

      *cue cliche*

      We'll get 'em next year!

      • Ben Chorn

        Exactly. Unfortunately Shurmur is gone, so hopefully the offense can be great again next season. Will be interesting to see what happens since Bridgewater, Bradford, and Keenum all are done with their contracts after this season too.

        • The offense wasn’t exactly “great” this year, they relied on their D to be able to stop the other team.

          The D didn’t show up at all last night.

          • Ben Chorn

            The offense was 11th in yards/game; 10th in points per game. I can concede they weren’t “great”, but I think without their starting QB and RB those rankings are great.

          • Oh I completely agree. they literally used their 3rd string QB and backup RBs for most of the season.

          • Ben Chorn

            And Diggs was also injured for a couple weeks too. And I know Rhodes missed a week at least.

  • Gary F

    Jake Tapper listens to The Current.

    • Yep, lots of people do.

    • Rob

      What’s his favorite song?

      • Probably that horrible Childish Gambino song.

        😉

        • Joe

          !!!

          I feel very sorry for you if you cannot appreciate “Redbone”

          • Don’t feel sorry for me at all. I just have good taste in music and don’t care for that song.

          • Joe

            You have a very narrow taste in music, I’ll give you that. But hey, whatever floats your boat.

          • >>You have a very narrow taste in music<<

            Hardly.

            I've been to Death Metal concerts as well as operas (at "La Scala" no less), I'm willing to bet that doesn't exactly fit with your preconceived notion of "narrow taste in music."

            I just cant stand that particular song.

            I'm willing to bet there is a song out there that you detest as well.

          • Joe

            No, I like them all. 🙂

          • EVERY song, EVER created. you like them all…

            Ok then…

            /Yeah, i know, you’re trolling me…

            😉

          • Rob

            I’ve been to a Death Metal opera

      • Gary F

        I don’t know but, I’m in love, what’s that song? I’m in love with that song…

    • Cam

      That’s what I took from this article.

  • ec99

    The history of the Vikings brings the Myth of Sisyphus to mind.

    • Barton

      that is certainly how it feels to be a fan of them…

      • Cam

        At least you get to take in the view from near the top of the hill every once in a while…

        Signed,
        Lions fans.

        • Jack Ungerleider

          Dear Lions fan,
          How’s the air up there?

          Signed,
          Someone impersonating a Cleveland Browns fan.

  • Angry Jonny

    I’m a passive fan of pro-football at best, but I allowed myself the foolishness of hope. Silly me.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-vikings-are-doom-dressed-up-as-hope/

  • Brian Simon

    Thanks for the (likely brief) reminder that packers fans actually aren’t the worst in football.

  • Nick Rocks

    Not to hate on the packer fans, but it was nice that they were very quiet this year. I was hoping if we won the Super Bowl maybe some of them would move back to Wisconsin.

  • holmespaint

    Please Bob, as a fellow New Englander, never lump Boston fans together with Philly. They may get rough & rowdy at times, but they never sink to that level of assholishness.

  • KTFoley

    Well said — and there’s Jana Shortal giving an intro to you reading your piece on Kare11!