Perspective Needed

One of the reasons I’m a committed fair-weather fan is that  people like this drive me nuts; in this case, a guy describing the effect of the Vikes’ last big playoff choke had on his “life” (emphasis added):

“Gary Anderson ruined it for us. Laces out man, just blew it,” said Vikings fan Abby Binder.

“I think I was in seventh grade, I remember it pretty vividly. Gary Anderson, he ruined my life,” said John Ayres.

“I was in college, I was in Iowa City, Iowa. I will never forget that day. It was a horrible, horrible day. So I’m looking for redemption tomorrow,” said Mike Stevens.

Ms. Binder and Mr. Stevens:  they are a football team.  Mr. Anderson: get a grip.

The article goes on to note that some of the fans are resorting to superstition…:

To make sure the Vikings clobber the Saints, some fans will count on superstition to get a win.

“I wear my number 40 Kleinsasser jersey for every game,” said Nicole Schellenberg.

“I’m not really a superstitious person, but last weekend against Dallas I did wear my Jared Allen jersey, so I will be sure to have that on tomorrow night,” said Stevens.

…unaware that Berg’s Fourth Law of Media/Sports Inversion replaces superstition with empirical science:

Berg’s Fourth Law of Media/Sports Inversion – The Vikings will be contenders until the moment the local media actually believes they will be contenders. At that moment – be it pre-season or Week 12 – the season will fall irredeemably apart.

With that in mind, everyone sing along with me; they gonna choke.

They’re gonna choke bad.

20 thoughts on “Perspective Needed

  1. Before the game, you need to define Choke. As 4 point underdogs they aren’t expected to win. Generally a team favored to win, and win big, that ends up losing, is a choker (See MA-Sen, Choakley)

    If the club from MN gets spanked, I’d call that a choke, if they lose by anything less then 10 Points, I would be hard pressed to call that a choke.

    And “the Vikes’ last big playoff choke ” Was NOT the Atlanta game, it was 41 – doughnut against the Giants in 2001. THAT was a choke! They were favored by 2 and lost by 41 !

    As for Berg’s law, another one bites the dust! The Local Media was on the Bandwagon the instant Favre showed up in Chilly’s SUV, and after 17 games, the remain contenders. Win or Lose, another Faux Berg Law is tossed to the wayside


  2. … or you need to define ‘local media’.
    Either way – leave your bad juju at the door.
    Skol Vikings!!!

  3. Flash: As re which year was which? Don’t much care. I barely keep up on Bears trivia, much less ‘queens. And don’t go (trying to be) tossing Berg’s Laws aside; they are simple but boundlessly subtle. Is 17 games too long for the Law to take effect? We shall see. Like any great scientist, I am always ready to adapt my theory to reality. But so far there’s been no reason, and let’s just say I’m pretty confident.

    Loopdeeloo: Real scandinavians know that selective pessimism is a powerful tool.

  4. I got your “selective pessimism” right here. After a full year of watching my country being dismantled, I welcome a real spectacle.
    I am also wearing double purple, which undoubtably influences karmic vibrations and will contribute to multiple Saints turnovers.

  5. I have been a Vikes fan since the day a crew cut coach from a Grey cup winning team took over. I watched a playoff game in a bench seat at Met Stadium in the early 70s when Fran the Man dismantled the LA Rams. Watched all four SB losses, the ’98 game, lost by Denny’s taking a knee at halftime, not the Anderson missed field goal,and have the Scandi pessimism even though I am not from the land of Ice and Snow.
    My natural feeling is, the bigger the game the more likely that the Vikes will fail and give the packer fans more things to jeer at us about. This year is different. the Favre Awesomeness Factor overrules historical Vikings rules. FAF dictates a win today, I call it as Vikes 37 Saints 30

  6. Mitch wrote: “Ms. Binder and Mr. Stevens: they are a football team. Mr. Anderson: get a grip.”

    Thank you thank you! A voice of sanity in a landscape of purple haze. Vikings fever is like some kind of drug in the way it affects some people, LOL.

    Good luck to the state team, but…..a little perspective?

  7. I am so beat down by local sports I’ve already basically prepped me for the dissappointment. My most heartbreaking moments in order (locally); #1 the 1998 Vikings, I mean seriously 15-1 unbeatable and they lose to the damn dirty birds. #2 2003-04 Minnesota Timberwolves, up 2-1 on the Lakers in the Western Conference finals and go on to lose 3 in a row. #3 2002 Minnesota Twins, after doing the impossible with beating the A’s in the ALDS they go up 1-0 on the Angels with home-field 2 months after they were nearly contracted out of existence. They go on to lose 4 in a row to the eventual World Champs. If the Vikings win it will be a fluke. The 2 national championships by the Gophers hockey team doesn’t count because they are minor, and had actually won championships before. I can’t explain how the Twins won in 87 and 91, those are exceptions to the rule not the rule.

  8. Hmmm…The Vikings. Is that the team that plays a silly game where the ball bounces kinda funny when they drop it?

  9. It’s been more than 20 years since I made a concerted effort to watch a football game (and that was only because I was at a party and football was on the only TV in the house and pretty much everyone was in that room watching it), but I promised my FB friends I would watch the SB if the Queens win tonight. And of course, one of them answered “WHEN, not if!”

  10. I’ve never understood people who live for their assigned team. It’s entertainment, people. It’s something to fill the spaces between commericals.

    The NFL is not a bunch of separate teams competing with each other, it’s one big business with regional offices – you can tell because the owners share the revenues with each other in a way that Target and Walmart never do. And the only reason Minnesota has a team is the owners think there’s enough television watchers here to sell advertising.

    It’s as if we were still in High School, going to the pep rally before the home game, sitting with homerooms in our assigned places. East bleachers against West bleachers – we’ve got spirit, yes we do, we’ve got spirit, How Bout YOU? Did anybody give a crap if West had more spirit than East? No, because we were assigned to cheer for that side, we didn’t pick it.

    I could not possibly care less if the Vikings beat the Saints. Their win won’t get my bathroom painted. Their loss won’t get it painted, either. All you who are La Vida Purple right now, get over here and grab a brush.


  11. Hey Nate, La Vida Purple could not possibly care less if your bathroom gets painted. Just out of curiousity, what shade of pink did you choose?

  12. Well, it’s over and more lives ruined. Sad. I can only hope the people who are actually on the team making millions of dollars can somehow move on. Well, maybe over the years as those players move from team to team they will find the one that wins it all.

  13. Local sports teams mean a lot more to a community than some commenters here might think. I lived in Detroit when the Tigers won in ’68. I wasn’t old enough to understand the significance of how that victory brought the town together – but nearly everyone in that troubled town at the troubled time came together around the Tigers. I’m sorry that people don’t get jazzed up about a new library opening or a new trolley line. But sports teams mean a lot to a town in many ways both tangible and untangible. I’m sure there are things commenters here who don’t care for the Vikings are interested in. It’s just that Mitch doesn’t have enough guns in his posession to stick in my mouth to get me to care about the Westminster Kennel Club Competition or who won The PEN/Faulkner award. There’s always next year.

  14. Seflores,I know what a team can do for a community. The 87 and 91 series were huge here. And I don’t care about the Westminster Kennel Club event, although regular comment Dog Gone may.

    But I’m not bagging on that. I’m talking about people who base their identity on their sports team; the kind of people who’ll be sucking the pipe after a game like yesterday.

  15. Pingback: Shot in the Dark » Blog Archive » Settled Science

  16. Not pink, Kermie, but a new shade they blended this week in your honor — “Loser Lavender.” It’s specially formulated for perpetually frustrated Vikings fans. Look for it where fine paints are sold – I think you’ll like it.

    As for teammembers making millions, it’s because they’re entertainers. Oprah makes $225 million. Even Simon Cowell, the jerk on that silly talent contest show, makes $36 million. They’re all there to draw eyeballs to screen FOR THE ADVERTISERS.

    And advertisers know they need to draw viewers from the entire country to make the most money. That’s why you’ll never see a Minnesota-Green Bay Super Bowl – no appeal outside our region, no viewers, no ad revenue. What, you thought it was because we’re in the same conference? Who set up the conferences, dummy? This isn’t high school football where we ride the bus to the game so we’re grouped with local towns to shorten travel times.

    The Vikes were destined to lose because they aren’t a big enough draw for a Super Bowl. The only reason they went was to rotate patsies. Nobody wants to see the same team get beat all the time, which is why the Harlem Globetrotters no longer play the Washington Generals every day.

    This isn’t hard to understand once you grasp the fundamental point that it’s for show, just like All Star Wrestling. The one thing that continues to bewilder me is why the NFL doesn’t let linemen have folding chairs, and why they don’t have cheerleader catfights during the 2 minute warning. Now THAT’S entertainment.


  17. Westminster rocks….but pretty much only if you are a ‘dog person’ to begin with, and you know those people and the dogs on the tv screen while watching at home.

    Winning is also VERY nice. VERY nice.

    That, and if you have to spend the day with your dog benched while a bazillion million people walk by, it’s nice to have dogs that work the crowd like seasoned politicians. It’s also way cool if you happen to be doing interviews. (We scored a dozen print interviews including one in Money magazine, and a CNN interview that ran here in the cities.)

    I imagine that most people feel about Westminster the way I feel about football, LOL. I’m sorry the Vikings lost, but hey – it was nice to get as far as they did, and they didn’t make it easy for the Saints….so……they lost but they didn’t “choke”?

  18. I call 2-855-7448 on Dog Gone.

    They choked, DG, take the time to inform yourself on the stats of the game before you stick your foot in your mouth again.

    How the hell could the Vikings lose? They choked. Period. They stole defeat from the jaws of victory.

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