Friday, January 02, 2009

The Purple Paradox

Vox Day nicely summarizes how Vikings fans approach the playoffs:

Fortunately, Vikings fans have no need of faith. We have no expectations, we have no heart, we simply watch in numbed catalepsy and hope for the best. An NFC North championship and a 10-6 record is more than we'd dreamed possible this year. Sure, there are those poor souls who shriek "Super Bowl" every time we win two games in a row, but that's just the Post-Traumatic Staubach Disorder talking. Or, in the case of younger fans, 38 Wide Syndrome. Just nod, speak softly to them, and leave them to their haunted dreams of victories that never were.

Can we beat the Eagles? Absolutely. Can we lose to them? Definitely. Either way, we porphyrogeniti will watch, all purple-clad, and hope Sons of Bud Grant will give us cause to sound the horn and wave the sword.

At a New Year's Eve party, Atomizer opined that he wished the Vikings had lost last Sunday and the Bears won so he could be spared the inevitable playoff disappointment that awaits. As Vox notes, it's almost impossible to predict how the Vikings will play on Sunday. Nothing would be surprising, from the Vikings collapsing completely to them running up a big number on the Eagles.

The only thing that Vikings fans know for certain is that at some point, the agony of defeat is guaranteed. If not this Sunday, then the next, or possibly even the one after. The longer it goes on, the more difficult it is to swallow. That's why the more fatalistic fans subconsciously hope and will not be all that disappointed if the Vikings go belly up early on Sunday afternoon and get the suffering out of the way.

And yet, as Vox also notes, we will be tuning in on Sunday and following every snap. We know the Viking ship is going down at some point, but we feel a duty to stay on board until the bitter end. It's our birthright as Vikings fans and a fate that we have no choice but to embrace. Skol!