I did not witness the second half of the Vikings-Packers tilt on Christmas Eve. Instead, I made the spiritually correct choice of attending the early Mass at St. John's (in Rochester) on Friday night with the family. Spiritually correct in the broader, celebrating-the-birth-of-the-Savior sense. And also in avoiding having to witness yet another spirit killing loss for the Purple. In context with the rest of the night's meaning, ignoring the Vikings and their exploits felt right and made for an even more silent and peaceful mindset.
If there were any doubt that I might have missed this result of the game entirely, my email inbox was filled with glad tidings of the season, such as this from an ex-pat Packers fan in LA:
A game winning field goal from Ryan Longwell. There is a Santa Claus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Still worried about Davenport? Merry Christmas!
Your favorite Packer fan in Los Angeles, Jack.
Davenport's stats (11 rushes, 40 yards) reinforce the contention that his performance was not integral to the game's outcome. But Vikings coach (for now) Mike Tice isn't willing to give up the ghost yet, with this potential allusion to the invisible .... er, hand, of Najeh Davenport.
"We lost another tough game," Vikings coach Mike Tice said. "It takes your insides out. When you've worked as hard as we've worked and gone through all the crap we've gone through, it rips out part of your insides that don't grow back."
Let that be the final word on the Vikings and Najeh Davenport.
No, let's let this be.