Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Living the Dream.

This past Monday, I was told by a number of people, "it's only a game." or "I don't understand why this is such a big deal." And I was forced to face a burning issue.

In a year in my life which featured being unemployed, a major move, getting mugged and the death of my father, why was the loss of a football game somehow gaining ground as the straw that would break my spirit? A FOOTBALL game!!!

And then I realized. For better or worse I have spent 36 years in soulmate-like synchronicity with the Minnesota Vikings. I was born 2 days after the 2nd Super Bowl loss the Vikings suffered. I turned 24 2 days before the Vikings lost the 1998 NFC Championship Game. I was probably conceived about 2 days after the Vikings drafted legendary back Chuck Foreman.

In my life only one Payton has played football (Eddie), Bud refers to a man not a weed and Drew Pearson is a name only whispered in the shadows. I scheduled my wedding to coincide with the bye week and tattooed the team's logo on my left ankle to coincide with my subsequent divorce. I attend the draft, hit the road, cheer at home and seriously consider those who don't appreciate the game to be sadly subhuman.

So in a year where Favre returned to show the world that down and out doesn't mean old and done, the synchonicity again reared its ugly head.

At 36, I've got a great job, amazing friends and the world's most unique family. And sometimes I still feeled stalled personally and professionally, I am a middle-aged veteran hanging on for a chance to prove I can still do it. Succeed that is. I can totally still do it.

Not the point. The point is, this season week by week I believed in this team, because doing so helped me believe in me. No matter what was going on in my life the Vikes gave me a little something to look forward to.

And Monday I woke up and felt as lost as a 12th man in a huddle.

And then it hit me - NOT THIS TIME.

Say what you want about the NFL. It has too many rules, big attitudes and can be tainted by money and image. But somewhere beneath all the crap - it's driven by the belief, that any given Sunday even the underdog can win. You can't say it about baseball. You can't say it about business, but wouldn't it be great if you could say it - and mean it - about life?

And doesn't that still count?

It would. And it does.

So here's my attempt to keep up the fight, for myself and for my team.

A year-long journal from the 2010 NFC Championship Game to the 2011 NFC Championship Game. As the Vikes chase their dreams down the Mall of America Field, I'll do the same here at the Maul of America. With any luck the synchronicity will continue and by this time next year one woman and one team will emerge Champs. If not perhaps the world will still have room for a couple more lovable losers.

In the meantime both me and the Vikes live to see another down - and in the end that's probably all that matters.

Monday, January 25, 2010

An Open Letter to #4

Dear Mr. Favre,

You don't know me. Well I mean unless you count that whole "Tap That" award, but I don't, so you really shouldn't.

Anyway, I digress.

You don't know me but I'm a lifelong Vikings fan. Such a fan in fact that I have the team's logo tattooed on my left ankle (closest to my heart).

One time, at a game against you and the Pack, I was so hurt by a game winning play you made that I gave a 9-year old boy wearing your jersey the finger while I yelled, "F You FAHV - RAY!"

Yup. That really happened.

So, you can imagine how difficult this letter is for me to write.

But Brett, I have no choice.
I beg you.
Don't leave. You complete us.

Sure we've been that team one victory away before. Sure we've been the guys who fumble on season defining plays and of course, we've lost 4 Super Bowls and 5 of the 8 chances we've ever had to get there.
Sure we've been that team.

But for 16 weeks and 65 and 1/2 minutes this season we were a different team. A team who actually believed we could get there. And maybe, just maybe we needed to learn that before we could win the big one.

So how 'bout it Brett? Beat the cynics! Demand the dream - come back.
One more season.
Right the wrongs. Up the downs.

Or at the very least give this 36-year old fan a tiny reason to keep cheering.

You see Mr. Favre, turns out it wasn't a championship that made this season magical - it was a story.

A story of redemption and return. Of letting go and starting over.

Real legends always go down on their terms and you provided a GenX Fight Song to dull the static gathering steam in our lives.

A bit dramatic?

But let's face it, in a world were last month corporations became citizens, Kennedy's seat was lost on opposition to providing reasonable health care and the vast majority of people are moving begrudginingly toward an uncertain future - for 60 minutes a week we still believed sometimes fairy tales happen.

And in fairness, what did you expect from a gal who was taught to believe a Coke and a smile could change the world?

So Brett, for the love of God and Green and Gold and everything else, one more season.

Not for the Super Bowl. But for the story.

The world, and this little Vikings fan in particular, could use a little sumthing' to let us know it's still ok to hope.
I beg you Brett, toss me a bone.

Pun intended,

Oh and p.s. When you do come back, make sure you sign the deal to make the commericial about this letter - it'd be pretty bad ass.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Let's Go Crazy.

Purple beloved
We will gather here this Sunday
2 kick through this thing called “who ‘dat”.

Eccletic word: “DAT”
It means “that” and that’s a mighty lame cry.
But I’m here to tell you.

There’s something else….The Super Bowl.

A world of never ending champions
U can always see the ring.
Day or night.

So when we knock off that jerk in New Orleans
You know the one –
“Dr. Everything I Throw is Right”-

Instead of asking which record to break
Ask him sack by 69?

‘Cuz with these Vikes
Things are much different than the old world.
With these Vikes –
We win the Bowl.

And if the Allenator tries to bring Drew down
Go crazy, punch a high five.

If you don’t like the play that’s lining up
Take a look around
At least you got Favre.

Quit being babies
We’re friendly no more.
We picked up Romo and dropped him on the floor
Touchdown 18 is all he heard.

Are we gonna watch the Allenator bring Drew down?
Let’s go!

Let’s go crazy
Let’s get Bush.
Cheer 4 the Purple Armada
‘Til the Saint’s dream busts.

Let’s go.

We’re all excited
But we don’t know why
Maybe it’s cuz
The ‘Aint’s gonna die.

And when they do (when they do)
Was it all 4? (was it all 4?)
U better believe now
Before the purple people come knocking on your door.

Tell me, are we gonna let the Allenator bring Drew down?
Let’s go!

Let’s go crazy
Let’s get Bush.
Cheer 4 the Purple Armada
‘Til the Saint’s dream busts.

Let’s go!
Come on! Let’s get nuts!


Let’s go crazy!

Are we gonna let the Allenator bring Drew down?
Let’s go!

Go crazy.
I said let’s go crazy.

Dr. Throw Everything All Right
We’ll make everything go wrong.
Sacks and burns and intercepts will kill
Hang tough Drew

We’re coming
We’re coming

Take MI- AMI!!!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Viking Fan's Creed

I believe in Brett, the Favre Almighty,

Winner of North and of Central.

And in Sydney Rice, his only receiver.

4 was cherished by the fans of Green Bay,

Born of the frozen tundra.

He suffered under Ted Thompson,

Was retired, traded and buried.

The third time he unretired and ascended into Minnesota,

Where he is seated at the right hand of Wilf, the owner Almighty.

He will come again to crush the Rodgers and the Romo.

I believe in the Harvin Sprint, the Allen Mullet, the destruction of the Saints, the forgiveness of AP's fumbles, the resurrection of the Purple and Vikes everlasting.

Our men.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Devil Went Down to N'Awlins.

The Devil Went Down to N'Awlins
by Sarah Manning (Angry Democrat and Lifetime Viking)

The devil went down to N'Awlins. He was looking for a Bowl to steal. He was in a bind, 'cuz he was way behind; he was willin' to make a deal. He came across this old man sawin' on DBacks and playin' it hot. And the devil jumped upon a hickory stump and said, "Sir, let me tell you what: I bet you didn't know it but I'm a football player too. And if you care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you. Now you play pretty good football son, but give the devil his due. I'll bet on Black and Gold against your Bowl, 'cuz I think they're better than you."

The man said, "My name's Brett, and it might be a sin, but I'll take your bet, you're gonna regret, 'cuz I'm the best there's ever been."

Brett you rally up your team and that game so hard. All hell's broke loose in N'Awlins and the devil deals it hard. And if you win you get your shiny trophy made of Gold, but if you lose the Saints will get your BOWL.


The devil opened up his bench and he said, "I'll start this show." and Brees flew from his fingertips as he conjured up his Bowl. And he pulled Colston across the field and then made an evil hiss. Then that man of Kardashian's joined in and it sounded something like this:


When the devil finished up Brett said, "Well you're pretty good ol' son. But sit right down in that chair right there and let us show you how it's done."

"Titles on the line it's one and done. Brett Favre's in the House of the Risin' Sun. Allen's in the backfield picking off Drew, Reggie does your team win? No child, no."


The devil bowed his head because he knew that he'd been beat. He laid that golden trophy on the ground by Brett Favre's feet. Brett said, "Devil just come on back if you ever want to try again, I told you once you son of a bitch I'm the best that's ever been."

And he played, "Title's on the line it's one and done. When Favre's in the House of the Risin' Sun, Allen's in the backfield knocking down Drew...."