A brief history in Purple
With the Vikings one win away from their first Super Bowl appearance since a decade before I was born it's a fun time, to put it mildly, in the Norse land. That's the grossest miscarriage of how wonderful this week has been that you will encounter but I like so many others am still at a loss for words. Euphoria is the closest word to accurate that I've come up with, but I digress.
Riding the wave of positivity, I asked Vikings fans why they're Vikings fans? What is it about the Purple that leads to their loyalty? I got more answers then I ever imagined and it has been great reading people's responses. I was hoping to link to that post but it's behind a privacy wall.
But my motivation for the questioning is that I've been thinking about why I'm a fan of the Vikings. I know why I'm a Bison fan. I know why I'm a Timberwolves fan. I even know why I'm a Wild & Hockey detractor. Those pale in comparison yet I can't pin down what it is about the Vikings that lead me to driving from Fargo to Mankato this summer and sleeping in the back of my crossover so that I could take in two days of training camp. Why I spent some of my dwindling finances to be in attendance for one of the last games at the Bubble. Then why I was compelled to be in attendance for the very first Football action in Purple Paradise.
There's something about Football that creates a loyalty that is difficult to quantify. I never played the game when it counted for anything. Sure I've watched 100's, maybe even 1000's of games on all levels of the sport but going from barely interested spectator to those lengths is quite a leap.
I, like many of the respondents, picked the Vikings due to proximity. That's a factor for all the teams I root for yet the Vikings have risen to the top. Maybe it goes back to one of the first memories I have. I was with my dad at a Tires plus when I was five or six and there was a drawing box for Vikings box seats. I could barely spell my own name but I knew enough to fill out the slip and drop it in. I was bored, just looking for something to do. Low and behold a call came in not long after that and my slip had been chosen. Went down for the game with my dad and brother. I have no idea which team they were playing or if they won but 25 or so years later I still remember walking in, the spread of food, the game being shown on the tv's even though it was also right below us.
From then til now, there's been a lot of downs but also some ups. I didn't really pay attention to any football where family wasn't participating until one of my buddies did a fantasy Football league that I won. First time ever and it's still the only league I've conquered. That started my interest in earnest and I guess it's ramped up ever since.
Back in '09 I remember huddling with a dozen (or three) people on sundays to watch the Vikings. The bounty game where myself and five or six other guys came as close as I ever have to a bar fight because these bro's kept blocking the view.
All the years since where the Vikings tried to find a quarterback to pair with AP. Tried to build a defense like they have now. Tried to finally win a Super Bowl. It may not happen this year, hoisting the Lombardi is still a long shot.
But with as bad as it was from Childress through Frazier and into Zimmer, a shot makes up for a whole lot. A real chance to get to the Super Bowl and win. I can't help but laugh at the fact that Blake Bortles might be AFC's representative quarterback. Against Nick Foles or Case Keenum, I can't help but laugh about that. I'd love to hear the audio from behind closed doors if the Jaguars do dethrone the Cheatriots.
To the point though, I guess that stew of facts explains why Sunday was so cathartic. I went from head in hands and on the path to despondency to exuberant, giddy bliss. From sitting on my couch, hunched over to rolling on the floor in such split second that I don't even remember moving. It was a reaction like I've never had before and may never have again. But as I thought about it, the question came to mind - Why the Vikings? What about them lead to that reaction?
I asked the question to others and got their answers. So this is my answer, a history more then an exact conclusion but it meets the merits as far as I'm concerned.
If you got this far maybe you want to put your two cents in. I'd be glad to hear more answers over on the Facebook Page! If not, well there's only one thing left to say: