By Michael Schocker
Something is rotten in the state of Minnesota. Dark clouds hang over our heads as we suffer the anguish of yet another disappointing Vikings playoff run.
Although the pain is wearing off and we’re settling back into our routines, it’s difficult not to continue dwelling on that
horrific debacle of a football game.
I thought this NFC Championship game would be different. Digg’s miraculous play in the final seconds of the divisional round had seemingly vanquished our past playoff demons. All that was left to do was play a great game against a Philadelphia team without their starting quarterback, and we’d make history by playing the Super Bowl in our home stadium.
But it wasn’t meant to be. Keenum’s huge interception in the first quarter killed our momentum for the rest of the game. Yes, it was still tied, but it didn’t feel like it. Our top ranked defense played flat. We were man handled in the trenches on both sides of the ball. This was the NFC Championship, but the entire team looked like it was playing a meaningless preseason game.
I suppose we should be grateful the Vikings made it this far in the first place. Who honestly could have predicted early this season, following Bradford and Cook’s injuries, that a chance at the Super Bowl was in store for our team? It certainly didn’t cross my mind when we were getting thrashed by Pittsburgh in week two. We were all confident about the Viking’s chances going into the game, but the Eagles were no joke. They were still the No. 1 seed, and Nick Foles has once again proven himself capable of leading his team to victory.
We can console ourselves all we want to help us sleep at night, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is embarrassing and disappointing. The Minnesota Vikings have a rich tradition of great players and electrifying teams that all somehow managed to blow it big time when it actually matters. Four Super Bowl losses and a myriad of painful playoff defeats are still the most iconic features of our snakebitten franchise.
I’m pretty bitter, and I was only born in 1997. Imagine being a fan who grew up as a child having to endure those defeats in the 1970s. I feel especially bad for Millie Wall, the 100-year-old grandmother whom Roger Goodell gave free Superbowl tickets. Here’s what she said after the Divisional round.
“Boy, those Vikings better hurry up. I don’t have that much time.”
Unless they have another miraculous season next year, she’ll have gone to her grave without her wish being fulfilled. Hopefully our defense cares more the next time they play in an NFC Championship game. Based on the current trend, this will most likely be in 2028.
As we all know, being a Vikings fan is all about suffering. Fans my age have experienced the 2009 heartbreak, the Blair Walsh shank, this past Sunday and many other painful happenings. However, this is what being a true fan is all about. Cheering for teams like the New England Patriots and Golden State Warriors is too easy. Our hearts are forged in only the hottest furnaces, and we come out stronger because of it.
Wear those scars on your heart with pride.
This is the opinion of Michael Schocker, SJU junior